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Course Study Aids

This guide features explanations of major study aids series, particularly for 1L subjects.

Introduction

Course study aids are books designed to help law students understand their courses and prepare for final exams. 

The most recent editions of study aids are part of a collection on the second floor of the law library known as the Eyles Aisle. This guide provides a selective list of major study aids, primarily aimed at 1L courses. However, we also have available the full list of the Eyles Aisles course study aids for your reference.

Older editions of the student aids are often also available elsewhere in the stacks. Please search in the library catalog for more information on finding older additions.  

Note for COVID-19

The information in the guide is primarily written based on normal operating services, and so the in-library services and materials may be different during COVID-19 measures. Please check the main law library homepage for ongoing updates. 

While the law library is physically closed for access due to COVID-19, students may request scans of pages from books, or check-out books for pick-up, even from the Eyles Aisle study aids and other collections that are typically in-library use only. You can find the request form for these services on the Student Services page. 

We also have a virtual display of Eyles Aisle books selected for 1L courses available to help you browse. 

If you have any questions about available services or materials, you can contact the reference desk at reference@law.stanford.edu.

Explanation of Study Aids

Below is an explanation of the most common types and series of study aids you may find.

Hornbooks

These are sometimes referred to as student treatises; they are often authored by noted scholars. These books explain fundamental legal concepts in a narrative style. The references are usually limited to landmark cases. Note: this is both a generic term for such study aids, and a name of a published series

Concise Hornbooks 

This series features a scholarly and concise analysis of major areas of law by renowned faculty members. 

Understanding…

This series provides an overview and analysis of different areas of law. They provide less analysis than hornbooks but more than Nutshells. This series is sometimes referred to mini-hornbooks.

Examples & Explanations ("E&Es")

This series provides explanations and analysis for a legal topic and then gives examples to help fully understand the analysis. A series of problems at the end of each section help in testing understanding. Answers are provided.

…In a Nutshell (“Nutshells”)

This paperback series explains areas of law in a condensed quick overview format.

Gilbert Law Summaries

These contain overall outlines of areas of law, capsule summaries for quick review, indexes, tables of cases, exam tips and sample examination questions.

Glannon Guides

This series provides straightforward explanations of legal concepts taught in the classroom with concrete examples. 

Concepts and Insights

This publication explains major cases and issues in a simple and straightforward way. 

Law Stories 

This series contains real life stories pertaining to major legal issues. 

Short and Happy Guide 

This series explains difficult legal concepts in the simple terms with understanding techniques to master these concepts. 

Aspen Student Treatises 

This series aims to explain legal concepts and terms clearly and concisely using real world examples.