St. Thomas University Law Library
First Year Study Aids


The first year of law school presents many challenges - not the least of which is finding enough time to read and understand assigned case readings. This case-based learning methodology involves reading, extracting important facts, analyzing legal precedents, and applying these concepts to a larger legal framework. If you find yourself struggling with a case, or with applying a case to the larger legal framework, try using some of the library's resources. The Law Library's Study Aids collection has several legal resources that help attorneys and students learn legal concepts and understand how they fit into an area of the law. Study aids include Hornbooks, Treatises, Nutshells, Restatements, Black Letter books, and Computer Assisted Programs. This handout identifies select books and resources that will assist you in your first year of law school, organized by subject and by general resources type.


The St. Thomas University Law Library Study Aids collection is located on the first floor, behind the Reference/Circulation Desk. Books in this collection will have a "(Study Aids)" sticker following the call number. Several study aids are also in the Law Library Reserve section, located at circulation. These books will have "(Reserve)" following the call number. Others are in the reference or general collections, and will be labeled accordingly (i.e., "(Reference)" or "(General Collection)").

Civil Procedure Call Number (Location) Resource Type
Civil Procedure in a Nutshell (7th ed.) KF8841 .K36 2013 (Study Aids) Nutshell
Understanding Civil Procedure (5th ed.) KF8840 .S484 2013 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Civil Procedure: Examples & Explanations (7th ed.) KF8839 .G58 2013 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Civil Procedure, by Jack Friedenthal et al. (5th ed.) KF8840 .F72 2015 (Study Aids) Hornbook

Contracts Call Number (Location) Resource Type
Contracts in a Nutshell (8th ed.) KF801.Z9 R62 2017 (Study Aids) Nutshell
Understanding Contracts (3rd ed.) KF801.Z9 F46 2014 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Contracts: Examples & Explanations (6th ed.) KF801 .B68 2013 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Contracts (Black Letter Outlines) (5th ed.) KF801.Z9 C27 2010 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Restatement of Law, Second-Contracts KF801 .R47 1981 (Reference) Restatement
Corbin on Contracts, One Volume Edition KF 801.C651 1952 (General Collection) Treatise
Corbin on Contracts: a Comprehensive Treatise on the Rules of Contract Law KF 801 .C65 (General Collection) Treatise

Property Call Number (Location) Resource Type
Estates, Future Interests, and Powers of Appointment in a Nutshell (5th ed.) KF605 .W33 2014 (Study Aids) Nutshell
Real Property in a Nutshell (7th ed.) KF570 .Z9 B47 2016 (Study Aids) Nutshell
Understanding Property Law (4th ed.) KF561 .S67 2017 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Property: Examples & Explanations (5th ed.) KF560 .B87 2015 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Restatement of Property, Second KF613 .R47 1983 (Reference) Restatement
Wills, Trusts, and Future Interests (Black Letter Law Series) (4th ed.) KF753 .Z9 A93 2013 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Principles of Property Law (6th ed.) KF570 .S53 2005 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Wills, Trusts, and Estates: Including Taxation and Future Interests (5th ed.) KF755 .M34 2017 (Reserve) Hornbook

Torts Call Number (Location) Resource Type
Torts in a Nutshell (6th ed.) KF1250 .Z9 K53 2015 (Study Aids) Nutshell
Understanding Torts (5th ed.) KF1250 .D5 2013 (Study Aids/Reserve) Hornbook
Law of Torts: Examples & Explanations (5th ed.) KF1250 .Z9 G58 2015 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Torts (Black Letter Series, 5th ed.) KF1250 .Z9 K527 2013 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Restatement of the Law, Second, Torts KF1249 .A4 R47 (Reference) Restatement
Morris on Torts (2nd ed.) KF1250 .M67 1980 (General Collection) Treatise
Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts (5th ed.) KF1250 .P73 1984 (General Collection) Treatise

Legal Writing and Research Call Number (Location) Resource Type
Legal Writing and Analysis in a Nutshell (5th ed.) KF250 .S68 2017 (Study Aids) Nutshell
Legal Research in a Nutshell (12th ed.) KF240 .C54 2016 (Study Aids) Nutshell
Legal Writing: Examples & Explanations (2nd ed.) KF250 .L398 2014 (Study Aids) Hornbook
Fundamentals of Legal Research (10th ed.) KF240 .J3 2015 (Study Aids) Hornbook
The Winning Brief : 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts (3rd ed.) KF251 .G37 2014 (Study Aids) Book
Garner on Language and Writing: Selected Essays and Speeches of Bryan A. Garner KF250 .G376 2008 (Reference) Book
Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises (2nd ed.) KF250 .G373 2013 (General Collection) Book

General Study/Law School Material Call Number (Location) Resource Type
Succeeding in Law School (2nd ed.) KF283 .R36 2010 (Study Aids) Book
Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience (3rd ed.) KF283 .M55 2011 (Study Aids) Book
Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams KF283 .F47 1999 (General Collection) Book

Computer-Assisted Programs Links/Access
Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) STU law students have access to CALI lessons, but need to first obtain a CALI access code, which is used to set up the student's online CALI account ( To obtain the access code, see Circulation and/or Reference.
Georgetown Legal Research Tutorials Tutorials on legal research and areas of the law are available at

Glossary of Legal Research Study Aids

Books: Legal books typically provide commentary on trends in the law, often recommending changes in the law. The library also has books that help with legal research, writing, and law school life.

Computer-Assisted Programs: Computer-assisted programs are tools students can use that provide instruction and exercises on a given area of law. The library has both software and web-based materials. One of the most used computer-assisted programs for legal education is CALI, which has multiple lessons supplementing 1L courses.

Hornbooks: Hornbooks are broad, subject-specific books by experts in their fields. They are more comprehensive than legal encyclopedias, and often focus on specific legal topics. These resources are good ready reference materials, because they provide the general state of the law, explain select cases and laws, and cite to other useful secondary legal resources. Note: West publishes a hornbook series, characterized by its green covers. This series is selective and well known; however, other subject-specific books can also help students learn the law.

Nutshells: Nutshells are hornbooks that are typically more general than other hornbooks. Nutshell series summarize the major topics within an area of law, citing to major cases and statutes. Why use a nutshell? You will get an overview of major education law issues, learn education law legal terminology, and build a good foundation to better understand case law and statutes.

Restatements: Restatements are an excellent resource to learn more about general black letter law on a specific area. Most restatements summarize the majority position, provide the black letter law, and provide some commentary. However, do not rely on the restatement as the source of authority - restatements only summarize the law. Also, some rules are not summaries of the black letter law, but are instead recommendations for changes in the law. Restatements help frame a legal area, but a researcher should still use primary sources to verify the legal standards for a particular issue.

Treatises: Legal treatises are multivolume editions that provide in-depth coverage of law. A good treatise will have extensive summaries of the law, citing to applicable state and federal primary sources. A treatise is helpful when you want to know almost everything there is to know about a given area of law. Treatises are also useful for comparing state and federal law; for example, a treatise may have a survey of the corresponding state statutes for a topic.

Searching for additional resources: Check out the Law Library's online catalog ( to find more study aids, or ask a reference librarian.