Some of the content on this website requires JavaScript to be enabled in your web browser to function as intended. While the website is still usable without JavaScript, it should be enabled to enjoy the full interactive experience.

Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

George W. Hopper Law Library|College of Law

List of Readings for Entering Law Students Suggested by the Library:
For Basic Legal Background and Practical First Year Techniques

Call numbers and locations are for the UW College of Law,
George W. Hopper Law Library collection

law school success

Burkhart, Ann M. and Stein, Robert A., Law School Success: A Guide to Studying Law and Taking Law School Exams, 2nd ed. (nutshell), West Pub. Co., 2008.
Reserve KF 283 .B87 2008

First year study hints, resources, curriculum, exams, classroom experiences, outlines and a brief introduction to the legal system.


introduction to the law

Burnham, William, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, 4th ed., West Group, 2006.  Reserve KF 386 .B88 2006

More in-depth reading for the novice; extensive introduction to legal system and methodology, brief review of different areas of law: administrative law, civil procedure, criminal procedure, Constitutional law, contracts, torts, property, family law, criminal law, business law, tax law.


law school exams

Calleros, Charles R., Law School Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win, Aspen, 2007.   KF 283 .C35 2007 (there are copies on Reserve as well as in the Treatise collection)

This short (200 page) book conveys two points about exam taking that are vital to every law student: (1) Exam scores can always be improved if the student masters effective exam techniques such as those outlined in this book, and (2) preparing to perform well on exams begins with a positive mind-set on the first day of class and steadily proceeds with solid study techniques throughout the semester.  


mastering the law school exam

Darrow-Kleinhaus, Suzanne, Mastering the Law School Exam: A Practical Blueprint for Preparing and Taking Law School Exams, Thomson/West, 2006.
Reserve KF 283 .D37 2006

This practical guide to taking law school exams includes detailed examples with analyses of sample answers and helps students fill the gap between what the professor refers to as learning to "think like a lawyer" and the actual means for doing so.


how to do your best on law school exams

Delaney, John, How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams, John Delaney Publications, 2006.
Reserve KF 283 .D44 2006

Perhaps premature to be entered on such a list, but once first year classes begin, there will be little time for such reading. And this is a worthwhile source. Law school exams are different than any you have probably ever taken. This book takes you through the steps of examination preparation and writing, along with samples. 


writing essay exams to succeed in law school

Dernbach, John C., Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just to Survive), Wolters Kluwer, 2006.
Reserve KF 283 .D47 2010

Although short (only 100 pages), this book contains much helpful information, including plenty of examples that illustrate the right and the wrong way to write essay exams, as well as advice from an experienced law professor on what it takes to excel on exams.



getting to maybe

Fischl, Richard Michael, Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams, Carolina Academic Press, 1999. KF 283 .F57 1999

Reaching far beyond the traditional explanations for writing law school exams, this text initiates a more complete process for test-taking while addressing analytical skills first year law students will be learning. It is an in-depth treatment, fairly complex to the new legal learner, but the system as it is explained should make excellent test-takers out of those who understand the material.


what every law student really needs to know

George, Tracey E. and Sherry, Suzanna, What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know: An Introduction to the Study of Law, Aspen Publishers, 2009. KF 283 .G46 2009

With the aim of decreasing students' anxiety and increasing their chances of achieving academic success, this book prepares students to get through their first year of law school. As a valuable reference over an entire law school career, it will continue to contribute to students' academic success.


Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law

Hegland, Kenney F., Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law, 5th ed. (nutshell), West Pub. Co., 2008.  Reserve KF 273 .H4 2008

Hints and tips on study, exams, case briefing, case reading, careers; covers some trial aspects, easy reading.


law school rules

Lewis, Mario T.D., The Law School Rules: 115 Survival Strategies to Make the Challenges of Law School Seem Like "Small Stuff", Harmony Books, 1999.  KF 283 .L49 1999

One-page tidbits, many of these suggestions are common sense. Written by a law school graduate, the book is a fun browsing resource.


what the l?

May, Kelsey, Samantha Roberts and Elizabeth Shelton, What the L?: 25 Things We Wish We'd Known Before Going to Law School, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. Reserve KF283 .M388 2010

This book was written by three recent law school graduates (University of Tulsa, class of 2010) who have complied 25 chapters of advice for new and current law students.  Written from the perspective of actual law students who just completed their studies, it may differ some from the average law school survival book written by law faculty and is definitely worth a look.


1L of a ride

McClurg, Andrew J., 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor's Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School, Thomson/West, 2009.  KF 287 .M38 2009.

Written by a law professor who has taught for over 20 years at six law schools, this book provides a candid beginning-to-end roadmap of what to expect in the first year, both academically and personally.


the law school trip

McClurg, Andrew J., The Law School Trip: the Insider's Guide to Law School, Footnote Press, 2001.  LEISURE.

A hilarious, tongue-in-cheek review of the law school experience that nevertheless allows you to see what you are up against. There is no real substantive content, but the fun look at the law school atmosphere is informative.


reading like a lawyer

McKinney, Ruth Ann, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like and Expert, Carolina Academic Press, 2005.  KF 283 .M398 2005

Reading the law well is a crucial skill for any law student or lawyer.  This book teaches the reader to read quickly and effectively in order to master the material, save time, and perform well on exams.


an introduction to law

Moliterno, James E., An Introduction to Law, Law Study, and the Lawyer's Role, 2nd ed., Carolina Academic Pr., 2004.   KF 272 .M64 2004

Creative explanation of development of law system using futuristic scenario; covers case briefing and legal research assignments such as memorandums and client letters.


LAW 101

Noreuil, Chad., LAW 101: What Law School's Really Like, Carolina Academic Pr., 2015.   KF 283 .N65 2015

This book draws on the experiences of nine students over their 3 years of law school. Included with the book is information necessary to access an hour-long documentary featuring those students.


Hard-Nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor

Parrish, Austen L. and Knolton, Cristina C., Hard-Nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor: How to Succeed in Law School, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. KF283 .P37 2010

This book is based around a fictitious law professor and his students, with each chapter focusing on a topic introduced in the storyline (which makes it more fun to read!). Topics covered include briefing cases, studying, taking exams, thinking beyond law school, and the bar exam.


Succeeding in Law School

Ramy, Herbert N., Succeeding in Law School, 2nd ed., Carolina Academic Pr., 2010.
KF 283 .R36 2010

Written by the director of a law school Academic Support Program, this book includes chapters entitled "Maintaining a Healthy Mental Approach to Law School" and "Study Groups, Study Aids and Study Schedules."  It also gives the reader a chance to practice writing briefs, outlines and answering exam questions. 


Law School Survival Manual

Rapoport, Nancy B. and Van Niel, Jeffrey D., Law School Survival Manual: From LSAT to Bar Exam, Aspen Publishers, 2010.
Reserve KF 283 .R37 2010

This book includes all the standard law school advice (exam taking, outlining, stress, etc.), but also offers very practical advice in an entertaining and slightly irreverent way (see page 45 for a discussion entitled, "Career-Limiting Moves that Come with Social Networking and the Internet", or page 142 for "Stupid Interviewing Mistakes that Students Make").


Expert Learning for Law Students

Schwartz, Michael Hunter, Expert Learning for Law Students, Carolina Academic Press, 2005.  KF 283 .S354 2005

This book contains chapters on such helpful topics as memorization strategies, and ways to obtain academic assistance, as well as a thoughtful chapter written for the family and friends of law students.


Law School Without Fear

Shapo, Helene S. and Marshall, Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success, 2nd ed., Foundation Pr., 2002.  KF 386 .S44 2009

Written by professors when their children went to law school, this book covers the basics of law school, touching on course material and teaching techniques that will be new to incoming students like legal writing and reasoning and remedies. There are tips for study, exam-taking, and handling the psychological aspects of law school.


Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School

Stropus, Ruta K. and Taylor, Charlotte D., Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School: Strategies for Success, Carolina Academic Pr., 2009.  KF 283 .S77 2009

This book helps students make the transition from their undergraduate experience to law school learning. This book explains the "why" of law, providing students with the context necessary to understand why law school is taught in a certain manner. Explains the "how" of the law, setting out a step-by-step process that will help students adapt to the law school setting. Explains the "what" of the law, giving students the opportunity to practice the problem-solving process by providing numerous exercises in a variety of subject matter areas.


The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School

Whitebread, Charles D., The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School: An Easy-to-Use, Step-by-Step Approach for Achieving Great Grades, Thomson/West, 2008. 
Reserve KF 283 .W48 2008

This short, easy to read book describes eight secrets of successful exam performance and then walks the reader through several sample exam questions.

Share This Page:

Footer Navigation

University of Wyoming Medallion
1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071 // UW Operators (307) 766-1121 // Contact Us // Download Adobe Reader // Accessibility Accessibility information icon