Don’t Forget the Basics


Sometimes the best way to get your mind around a new topic is not by tackling the most complex treatise in the library but by scanning the least complex.  If you were new to copyright law, for example, you may not want to start off with Nimmer on Copyright, a venerable 11 volume, several thousand page looseleaf set under constant revision, when Copyright law in a nutshell is nearby.  Nutshells are generally 300 to 500 pages, assume no real prior expertise, and offer a broad view of a topic.  And that’s why people like them.

Nutshells represent a class of library materials known as study aids. The Jameson Law Library has recently purchased the West Publishing Study Aids package which is available electronically and includes several series such as Nutshells, Stories, Acing, Hornbooks, as well as materials on academic and career success. 1L and 2L/3L course subjects are also covered.

Here is an example of the materials available in the academic success section:


How to Write Law Exams: IRAC Perfected

Strong, S. I. / Desnoyer, Brad

1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the …

McClurg, Andrew J.

Acing the Bar Exam

Darrow-Kleinhaus, Suzanne

A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student

Ruskell, Alex

Mastering the Law School Exam

Darrow-Kleinhaus, Suzanne

The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School

Whitebread, Charles H.

Law School Secrets: Outlining for Exam Success

Batoff, Jeffrey S.

A Short and Happy Guide to Being a Law Student

Franzese, Paula Ann

The Bar Exam in a Nutshell

Darrow-Kleinhaus, Suzanne

Law School Success in a Nutshell

Burkhart, Ann M. / Stein, Robert A

Get a Running Start: Your Comprehensive Guide to the First Year …

Gray, David C. / Gifford, Donald G. / Graber, Mark / Richman, William M. / Super, David A. / Van Alstine, Michael P.

Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success

Shapo, Helene S. / Shapo, Marshall S.

The west study aids package is available to all UM Missoula students and faculty. You can access the package through the Law Library Databases list.

While the Law Library maintains paper copies of many of these titles, using the electronic versions offers two advantageous: they are always available (including the most current edition),  and you don’t have to return them on time.


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