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Wills, Trusts & Estates: Casebooks & Study Aids

An introductory guide to Wills, Trusts and Estates law originally created by Grace Wagner for Brooklyn Law School students.

Introduction: Finding Casebooks & Study Aids

WIlls, Trusts & Estates is meant to be both a guide to introductory resources for estate planning and a potential reference for more sophisticated planning.  It is not intended to be exhaustive.  Sources are categorized by type and are listed "newest to oldest."   Current editions of print casebooks adopted by BLS faculty and current editions of many print study aids are in BLS Library's first-floor Reserve collection.  Students can request these sources at BLS Library's first-floor Circulation desk.  These sources circulate for two hours.  Many sources in BLS Library's Cellar-level Main collection circulate for the semester. 

This guide also highlights selected recently published digital study aids in Aspen Learning Library.  (In the SARA catalog record for Aspen Learning Library, click: ACCESS ONLINE VERSION - ASPEN.)  The "Read Online" feature in Aspen Learning Library is only available off campus if a BLS patron has implemented the BLS proxy server instructions for 1 web browser.  Librarians recommend the proxy server instructions for Firefox.



Legal Encyclopedias

Westlaw: Corpus Juris Secundum Entries:

Lexis: American Jurisprudence 2d Entries:


Hornbooks are primers for study. The term "hornbook" originated in England.  In the U.S., a legal hornbook is a text that provides an overview of an area of law.  A legal hornbook is a type of treatise. It might be a shorter (often single-volume) version of a multi-volume treatise. Students in U.S. law schools often use a hornbook as a supplement to a casebook.

Understanding Series

Examples & Explanations Series

This volume of Examples & Explanations includes hypothetical questions and in-depth explanations to help students test their knowledge/analysis of  topics.

Emanuel Law Outlines Series

The Emanuel Law Outlines below provide both capsule and detailed explanations of key issues, topics and law.  Chapters include a "Quiz Yourself" feature (short answer questions & sample answers) + Exam Tips. At the end of both outlines, there are 3 Essay Exam Questions/Answers.

Older Emanuel Law Outline available in Aspen Learning Library:

Nutshell Series

Nutshells are short works that provide simple overviews of legal topics.  Do not cite a Nutshell in a legal document.

Gilbert Law Summaries Series

This volume of Gilbert Law Summaries includes 100 multiple choice review questions/answers and practice exam essay questions/answers for students.


Some BLS professors assign or recommend CALI exercises to reinforce material covered in classes.   One can browse CALI lessons by subject.  One also can identify CALI lessons through BLS Library's SARA catalog.  BLS first year students receive a CALI authorization code during 1L orientation.  The BLS CALI student code also is available at the circulation desk, by emailing or by texting (718) 734 2432

When Was This Guide Last Updated?

Grace Wagner created and published this guide in spring 2023.  This LibGuide was last substantively updated:

On: May 8, 2024

At:  11:14 AM

By: Jean Davis