A study aids collection was developed in 2005. The current collection is located in the law library behind the circulation desk. Access is available whenever the circulation desk is open. In addition, electronic study aids are available through subscriptions provided to our students.
Making Wise Use Of Study Aids
You need to be a wise user of study aid materials. The following tips can assist you in making appropriate use of study aids while you are in law school.
- Study aids are not substitutes for doing your own work and learning critical legal skills. Study aids should complement your own processing and learning of the information.
- Use study aids to increase your long-term memory through deeper understanding of the material and application of the material to practice questions.
- Remember that study aids may not match your professor's emphases in a course or the specific topics covered. You need to learn your professor's course and not a study aid's view of a course.
- Study aids should be chosen to match your learning preferences whenever possible.
- Remember that your professors (and tutors for 1Ls) are "study aids on legs" who are willing to answer questions and help you gain a deeper understanding of your courses.
Study aids should be chosen to match the specific purposes or tasks that you need to accomplish:
- Previewing a topic
- Summarizing a topic
- Providing authoritative commentary
- Explaining a topic
- Visualizing a topic
- Clarifying a topic
- Memorizing of rules, definitions, etc.
- Testing for recognition
- Testing for recall
- Testing for application
Commercial study aids may:
- Use different "buzzwords" or phrases than your professor
- Use different steps of analysis than your professor
- Have totally wrong information
- Have outdated information
- Have wrong answers to practice questions
- Follow a different casebook than your class is using
- Vary in reputation for accuracy
Making your own study aids may be more conducive to your learning preferences and/or your professor's course:
- Flashcards for learning rules, steps of analysis, terms of art, etc.
- Mnemonics to increase memorization
- Outlines for each course
- Flowcharts, tables, diagrams, etc. to visualize information
- Your own hypotheticals for quizzing on rules and elements of rules
- Your own fact patterns or multiple choice questions for practice
- Audiotapes of your outline, practice questions, etc.
Questions to ask before choosing a study aid:
- Does the item match the purpose for which you plan to use it?
- Does the item's content match your professor's course?
- Has your professor or an upper-division law student recommended the item to you?
- Does the item encourage you to learn skills or to avoid your own work?
- Does the item match your learning preferences?
- Do you have the latest edition of the study aid?
- Have there been significant legal changes since the book was published?
- Is the study aid produced for a national or Texas audience?
- What reputation does the study aid have for being accurate?