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1L Resources, Tips and Tools: 1L Course Casebooks & Study Aids

This guide describes print and digital resources to help 1Ls succeed at Brooklyn Law School.

1L Course Casebooks & Study Aids

BLS Library provides first-year casebooks adopted by BLS faculty and a wide selection of related study aids.  Click the links below to view sources by subject. Many current editions of print study aids are "on Reserve" in BLS Library. You can request these sources at the library's first-floor circulation desk.

CALI: Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

Some BLS professors assign or recommend CALI exercises to reinforce material covered in classes.  You can browse CALI lessons by subject.  You also can identify CALI lessons through BLS Library's SARA catalog.  BLS first-year students receive a CALI authorization code during 1L Library Orientation.  Enter this code the first time you sign in to CALI.  Also feel free to contact or to text (718) 734-2432 to obtain this code.

What Are Study Aids?

kid with vbooks

Study aids are secondary legal resources that cover specific areas of law. The three types of study aids below provide explanations, analyses, critiques and overviews of legal topics.  Students can use treatises, hornbooks and nutshells to obtain an overview of legal topics and to review concepts learned in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research, Property and Torts.

Treatises are works written by legal scholars that cover a specific area of law in great detail.  They provide detailed legal analysis.  Treatises include many references to related sources in footnotes and in appendices. They can be single-volume or multi-volume works. Treatises are primarily geared toward legal scholars and practitioners, but they also can be helpful to law students.

Hornbooks are primers for study.  The term "hornbook" originated in England.  In U.S. law, a hornbook is a text that gives an overview of a particular area of law. A law hornbook is a type of treatise, usually one volume, which might be a briefer version of a longer, multi-volume treatise. Students in U.S. law schools often use hornbooks as supplements to casebooks.

Nutshells are short volumes that provide simple overviews of areas of law. Nutshells provide few, if any, references to other sources and are considered the most basic secondary source on a legal topic. They might assist non-lawyers and law students. All nutshells published by West Academic include the word "nutshell" in the title. Never cite a nutshell in a legal document.

The library has study aids available in both print and ebook formats.  To view many ebook study aids available through BLS Library, visit Aspen Learning Library and Lexis/Nexis Digital Library.  (In BLS Library's SARA catalog records, click: ACCESS ONLINE VERSION.)