Finals Resources and Assistance

Another tough semester almost complete! We wanted to remind you of some of the resources available to help you prepare for exams, get research assistance from the librarians, or take a break from studying! As a reminder, we will be open to the GSU Law community for normal Spring 2021 hours through the end of the exam period, May 12th. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter pages for exam and graduation-related messages and videos. 

Study Aid Finder LibGuide:

  • The Study Aid Finder guide provides easy access to a compilation of digital, physical, and multimedia study aids grouped according to the traditional GSU College of Law curriculum (with recommended electives being subjects tested on the bar exam but are not required subjects of the J.D. curriculum). The current Spring ’21 classes are displayed towards the top of each respective page.

Stress Buster LibGuide:

  • The Stress Busters guide is available via the private link sent to you in the most recent personal librarian email. We hope that it serves as an outlet during final exams. When you take the time to de-stress, you’ll recharge and be able to focus when you return to your studies. The GSU Law Library has gathered a variety of stress relief activities for you to enjoy. 

Pet Pics Display:

  • Pictures of students, faculty, staff, and their pets are displayed via the private link sent to you in the most recent personal librarian email. Please reach out to us if you need access to it. These images are also being displayed on the law library digital signage. You can still get your pet added to the display by emailing Gerard Fowke at gfowke@gsu.edu

Blog posts with helpful information from the library to help you with finals, including:

Good luck with finals! Reach out to us if you need assistance, research-based or otherwise.

Helpful Study Aids for Spring Courses

As finals approach, study aids are again in high demand. It’s easy to see why. Although study aids make a poor replacement for casebooks and other required materials, they can be a tremendously helpful tool for exam-prep purposes. They provide concise and highly organized reviews of topics covered in the typical law school course on the subject. The best ones also give students some valuable practice for their analytical skills. But with so many study aids out there, featuring differing formats and uses and often featuring very stark differences in quality, how can you know you’re choosing the best one?

Let’s try to answer this question while looking at a few of the best study aids for this semester’s 1L offerings. We’ll talk about what makes them worthy and how you might use them. This will also give us a nice opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various study aid formats and series you’ll encounter.

Examples & Explanations for Property (online/physical)

The E&E series provides an accessible course overview while also foregrounding the important skill of legal analysis. It does this by structuring the entire discussion around the titular examples, a format that proves to be especially well-suited for explaining future estates and other similarly knotty concepts from Property Law. Indeed, this title’s analysis of these hypotheticals evokes the common law methods of legal analysis at the heart of this core doctrinal course. This helps to make the supplement truly feel like an extension of the classroom discussion.

The Glannon Guide to Civil Procedure (online/physical)

The author’s CivPro E&E (online/physical) is an absolute classic, but don’t sleep on this one either. Glannon Guides have a similar focus on analysis and application, but here it’s in the form of multiple-choice questions. After each one, Professor Glannon patiently explains the right (and wrong) answers in conversational prose that helps demystify this oft-convoluted area of law. The overall format works especially well for the more FRCP-driven aspects of Civil Procedure.

Principles of Contract Law (Concise Hornbook Series) (online/physical)

If you’re chiefly after a bird’s eye view of the course, there are many study aids designed with just that in mind. However, in my experience, NutshellsShort & Happy Guides, and the like don’t provide enough detail or nuance to be truly useful. They can help you learn basic concepts and doctrines quickly, but that’s about it.

The Concise Hornbook Series provides a nice (if less concise) alternative. Like other titles in the series, Principles of Contract Law provides an overview of the major course topics. However, it keeps many of the doctrinal subtleties intact. Believe me, those subtleties will come in quite handy when asked to apply those doctrines to a novel fact pattern on an exam.  

Sum & Substance: Criminal Law (online)

Audio study aids like the Sum & Substance series are a convenient resource for busy law students. It’s easy to multitask with these, to simply put them on in the background during a commute or while housekeeping, and efficiently absorb a tidy little overview of one of your law school courses.

Here, Professor Dressler endeavors to be your “tour guide” for Criminal Law, splitting the lectures into a series of audio tracks that are mostly quite short and easy to digest. His overall presentation is a bit dry but always very clear. This study aid is also a solid choice because it makes a great companion for Dressler’s well-regarded hornbook, Understanding Criminal Law (physical).

Summing It Up

My overall advice is to choose study aids that emphasize analysis and application, such as the E&E series and the Glannon Guides. This ensures that you’re practicing the skills that you will be tested on in your exams. Even if you end up opting for a hornbook-style overview, consider supplementing it with some CALI lessons since the included quizzes provide a nice opportunity to test your grasp on the material. There are high-quality lessons covering many of the topics taught in CivProContractsCriminal Law, and Property.

Thanks to your tech fee funds, Study Aids are more accessible than ever, with most of the major series available for use online through the Wolters Kluwer and West Academic platforms. These resources try to recreate the format and the feel of their print counterparts, making them a breeze to use.

What are your favorite study aids? What do you look for when you’re trying to choose one to prep for an exam? Let us know in the comments!

Updated library hours and access to databases

View from the 5th floor Terrace

Because of continuing construction in the library as well as the move of the College of Law servers this weekend, the Law Library will have temporarily shortened hours.

The library will be open:
Thursday, June 25, 2015 7am-6pm
Friday, June 26, 2015 8am-4pm
Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28, 2015 10am-6pm
Monday-Thursday, June 28-July 2, 2015 8am-6pm
Friday-Saturday, July 3-4, 2015 Closed
Sunday, July 5, 2015 10am-6pm

Because of the server move, all Law Library databases will be unavailable from 4pm on Friday, June 26, 2015 through Sunday, June 28, 2015.

As a reminder, only current College of Law students are allowed in the building to use study aids, reserves, or get research assistance. Students will need to show their ID and sign in at the Security Desk and proceed immediately to the Circulation Desk on the Fifth Floor. Library personnel will retrieve materials, as available, and direct students to an area of the library where they can study. Students needing research assistance can also use the red Chat Reference button in the upper left corner of the Law Library’s home page.

At this time, the computer lab, printers, copiers and scanners are not available. We will continue to update you as construction progresses and more resources become available.  In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek (above) at the view from the 5th floor terrace. If you have any questions please contact Associate Dean Niedringhaus at krisn@gsu.edu or 404-413-9140.

 

Law in a Flash!

Flash Gordon (before and after using Law in the Flash) by flickr user JD Hancock

Flash Gordon (before and after using Law in the Flash) by flickr user JD Hancock

Flash cards– they’re not just for multiplication tables and state capitols. They’re also for law school!
Your library has quite a number of Law in a Flash sets available for check out at the circulation desk. Flash your PantherCard and pick up a set for 3 hours. Take them with you to lunch, to the gym, or on a smoke break. Study on your own or play trivia with a group. Every little bit helps as you approach exam time.

Here’s a list of the topics we have for you:

  • Administrative Law
  • Contracts
  • Civil Procedure, part 2
  • Constitutional Law, parts 1 & 2
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Environmental Law
  • Evidence
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Future Interests
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property
  • Sales and Leases
  • Secured Transactions
  • Torts
  • Wills and Trusts

And for after graduation, we have the Multi-state Bar Exam, but first things first. 😉