First-Year Law Student Resource Guide

This is the authoritative guide to our favorite things here in the library to help you survive being a 1L.  It covers resources about law school, case briefing, and outlining.

Library Study Aids

The law library purchases the following study aid series:

  • West Nutshells
  • Examples and Explanations
  • Gilbert Law Summaries
  • Emanuel Law Outlines

Current study aids are located in the Reserve collection. Study aids are available for 2-hour check out and selected “starred” copies can be checked out overnight. Overnight books are available at 3 p.m. and are due the following day at 11 a.m. for day students and 6 p.m. for evening students. On Thursdays at 3 p.m. the overnight status converts to weekend so the study aid will not be due until Monday. Please note that there is no weekend checkout during the exam period – overnight checkout only. Overnight books cannot be renewed. Fines will accrue for late items at the rate of 25 cents per hour for the first four hours and $1 for every hour thereafter. Selected copies of older editions of study aids are located in the Treatise collection for checkout.

Noise Level

Throughout the academic year and as we get closer to finals, students seek quiet areas to study, free of ringing phones and personal conversations. Keep in mind that voices carry in study rooms (even when doors are closed) so please be considerate. The 4th floor is a designated quiet study zone.

1L Information

We met many of the new students during the recent library 1L orientation, but if you were unable to attend, here is a summary of some of the most important things we covered:

Library Survival Guide
If you need information about law school in general, briefing a case, or outlining, consult our new student guide.

Library Tours
We will provide short tours of the law library during the first few weeks of school.  Check back on the law library website for more information and sign ups.

Study Aids
The library has a variety of study aids located in our reserve section including: Nutshells, Hornbooks, Examples and Explanations, Emanuel Law Outlines and Gilbert Law Summaries.  Search our catalog for specific titles on the library catalog or see our Finding Study Aids Guide.  Remember, study aids are just that: aids to your regular study.  They are not a substitute for attending class and reading required material!

The library maintains one copy of each required first year casebook on Reserve for two-hour check-out (no overnight checkouts).  The first year casebook collection is to be used for quick reference or limited photocopying and is not intended to be a substitute for purchasing casebooks.  The library does not purchase copies of required supplementary materials/handouts or upper division course materials.  Search our catalog for specific titles.

Study Rooms
Study rooms can be reserved for your study group.  It’s a two hour maximum per day per group.  For more information, visit: the law library site and click on the links under Study Rooms and Equipment Requests.


Writing a Paper this Semester?

Here are some common questions and answers:

ID Card Needed for Law School Building & Law Library Access

library swipePlease note that you need your university identification card to get into the law school and law library during specified times. More information about library hours and access is available here.

New and Notable: Think Like a Lawyer


Edwin Scott Fruehwald, Think Like a Lawyer: Legal Reasoning for Law Students and Business Professionals (ABA 2013) New Books Collection KF379.F78 2013

“This book focuses on fundamental skills necessary for legal problem solving, such as rule-based reasoning (deductive reasoning), synthesis (inductive reasoning), analogical reasoning, distinguishing cases, and policy-based reasoning. The useful exercises that appear throughout the text enable you to practice the skills you are gaining as you progress through the chapters.”
– Scott Fruehwald

Reprographics Guide for Law Students

Need to scan documents or photocopy handouts?

The Law Library does not have an in-house copy center, so for students looking to photocopy, scan, or fax documents we’ve created a guide to help you locate these services on campus. The guide documents where you can find these resources as well as the contact information and any fees charged. We’ve also included the information for the nearest off-campus copy center in case you can’t make it to one of the on-campus providers.

The Non-Dischargeability of Student Loans

A classic research hypothetical given to new law students is “Can debt from student loans be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding?” After a short amount of research students are horrified to learn that while American Airlines can file for bankruptcy while sitting on $4 billion in the bank, student loan debtors can’t catch a break. A recent 9th Circuit ruling may offer a glimmer of hope.

More information is available at:

“Have you checked the catalogue?”


While we don’t have an awesome robot to remind you to check what we call the “catalog” (our previous requests have been denied), we do have awesome reference librarians who can also assist you with your research questions. If you are faculty, staff, or student at the law school, you can email or call us. You can also stop by the reference desk on the main floor of the library. We promise not to bite.

25 Vintage Photos of Librarians Being Awesome – Flavorwire