This is the ultimate guide to the best law school supplements. Not only will this guide walk you through the best law school supplements for all of your 1L and upper level classes, you’ll also learn the most effective way to use these supplements to ace your law school exams and prepare for the practice of law.
Best Law School Supplements
With all of the supplements on the market today, how do you choose the best ones? Here’s how.
The best law school supplements (1) summarize the relevant black letter law; (2) contain hypotheticals that demonstrate the law in action; and (3) provide thought-provoking questions to help you understand and apply the law.
The best law school supplements also save you time because they help you learn the relevant law and policy more quickly.
All of the 1L supplements and upper level supplements available below do just that, and formed the cornerstone of my law school success. They helped me finish 1L at the top of my class, transfer to a T14 law school, and graduate with Latin Honors.
How To Use Law School Supplements
Everyone knows that supplements are critical to law school success. But, how do you use them? Here’s how the top law students use their supplements.
First, read the relevant section of the Examples & Explanations or Understanding supplement (both available below) before class. Second, outline the applicable law and policy. Third, practice the hypos. Finally, make note of your professor’s nuances.
Then, as the semester progresses, use the CrunchTime supplements to fill in any gaps in your knowledge and to prepare for finals.
0L Prep Books
Successful law students prepare for law school before they even step foot on campus. If you want to finish at the top of your class and ace your exams you need to do two things well: (1) spot issues; and (2) apply law to fact. If you can’t do that, law school is going to be a bear.
Getting to Maybe and How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams will help you spot issues, apply law to fact, and ace your 1L exams. Read them during the summer before law school to get a leg up on your competition.
“You’re not in Kansas anymore.” That’s what my 1L contracts professor told us on the first day of class. She was right. For a behind the scenes look at what you can expect during 1L pick up a copy of 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School. It’s chock full of inspiring anecdotes, empirical research, and true stories from 1Ls about what you need to know to make your transition to 1L as smooth as possible.
Best 1L Supplements
These are the exact same 1L supplements I used to ace my 1L exams.
Civil Procedure (Examples and Explanations) — Eighth Edition, by Joseph W. Glannon
CrunchTime: Civil Procedure — Sixth Edition, by Steven L. Emanuel
Concepts and Case Analysis in the Law of Contracts — Seventh Edition, by Marvin Chirelstein
CrunchTime: Contracts — Sixth Edition, by Steven L. Emanuel
Property (Examples and Explanations) — Fifth Edition, by Barlow Burke
CrunchTime: Property — Fifth Edition, by Steven L. Emanuel
Understanding Criminal Law — Seventh Edition, by Joshua Dressler
CrunchTime: Criminal Law — Fifth Edition, by Steven L. Emanuel
Torts (Examples and Explanations) — Fifth Edition, by Joseph W. Glannon
CrunchTime: Torts — Fifth Edition, by Steven L. Emanuel
Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies — Fifth Edition, by Erwin Chemerinsky
CrunchTime: Constitutional Law — Fourteenth Edition, by Steven L. Emanuel
Best 2L Supplements
These are the best law school supplements for the most popular 2L and 3L classes.
Evidence (Examples and Explanations) — Eleventh Edition, by Arthur Best
CrunchTime: Evidence — Sixth Edition, by Steven L. Emanuel
Criminal Procedure I
Understanding Criminal Procedure: Volume One, Investigation — Sixth Edition, by Joshua Dressler
Criminal Procedure II
Understanding Criminal Procedure: Volume Two, Adjudication — Fourth Edition, by Joshua Dressler
Acing Business Associations — Second Edition, by Michael Chasalow
Legal Writing Books
If you dread legal writing you’re not alone.
The problem with law school legal writing classes is that the instructors take a one-size-fits-all approach to legal writing. This leaves law students ill-prepared to draft the creative, detailed, and legally sound memoranda and briefs that partners demand.
I’ll admit that my legal writing skills improved by leaps and bounds because of these books. Yours will too. I recommend that you read these books first as a summer associate or law clerk, and then again before your first day at the firm.
Legal Writing in Plain English — Second Edition, by Bryan Garner
Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates — Second Edition, by Ross Guberman
Trial Advocacy Books
If you want to become a great trial lawyer, or even a great corporate lawyer, you need to master the art of persuasion.
First, one of my go-to resources for trial prep is Trial Techniques and Trials by Thomas A. Mauet. This book is worth its weight in gold. Use it to prepare for mock trial and your trial advocacy classes, and then later as a practicing attorney.
Second, it’s no secret that Gerry Spence is one of the best trial lawyers of all time. If you want to learn how to argue like Gerry Spence then let him teach you how. His classic book How to Argue & Win Every Time should be required reading for all aspiring litigators.
Books For Summer Associates And New Attorneys
There’s no question that law school is tough. But the practice of law is even more demanding.
As a new attorney, you’ll need to learn as much as you can as quickly as you can. The partners will expect you to work hard. But hard work is not enough to survive and thrive in the practice of law.
So, how can a new attorney “learn the ropes” even before setting foot in a firm, navigate firm politics, and maintain a comfortable work-life balance? These books will show you how.
Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks — Second Edition, by Grover Cleveland
The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law — First Edition, by Mark Herrmann
Biglaw: How to Survive the First Two Years of Practice in a Mega-Firm, or, The Art of Doc Review — First Edition, by Sarah Powell
The right law school supplements will make all of the difference in your law school career. If you put the work in and use these supplements and resources, you’ll be well on your way to success in law school and beyond.
P.S. Getting and using the best law school supplements is only half the battle. Check out the best law school outlines for the other half of the equation. These are the very same outlines I used to ace my 1L and 2L exams and transfer to one of the nation’s top law schools.