by Henry Alderfer, 1L
CALI: Computer Assisted Learning Instruction
CALI is the perfect way to study without having to bury your nose in a book for hours at a time. You don’t need to worry about checking out and returning the materials to reference either; all of the material is available online at all times. I spent a good couple of hours checking out these exercises because – believe it or not – it is actually somewhat entertaining to do.
I, for one, get a little jaded by reading all semester, so it is refreshing for me to study through a different medium for once. The lessons are detailed and complex enough to challenge your understanding of the material, but not so cumbersome as to discourage you. I would highly recommend sitting down with a glass of Malbec, or perhaps a cabernet, and working your way through a few of the lessons, just to see how it feels.
Learning Civil Procedure
KF8839 .D58 2007
This is a lot like Cliffs Notes. It pretty much hits all the bases for civil procedure in easily accessible language, which is huge for such an inaccessible course. It also has a nice little feature in each chapter called “Terminology,” where all of the big concepts and vocab words are boiled down and defined for added clarity. It would have been nice to have read this at the beginning of the semester for a frame of reference for the course, but it is still very helpful for outlining, as each big concept (personal jurisdiction, venue, etc.) is already outlined. Very nice.
Civil Procedure Quick Review: Sum & Substance (5th ed.)
Arthur R. Miller, and Jack H. Friedenthal
KF8840 .F73 2001
Sum & Substance Series
This bad boy is the procrastinator’s gift from the civil procedure gods. Not only is it keyed to pretty much every notable casebook (this means you!), but it also contains what is essentially one massive outline. If you were to write down everything in this book and commit it to memory, you would pretty much be made in the shade. It has all of the major cases and topics broken down, section by section, in quick, digestible tidbits. It has a diagnostic section to determine where your strengths and weaknesses are. It even has its own “10-5-2” study procedure for last minute exam prep. I mean, the book not only tells you what you need to learn, but it tells you how to learn it. If Oprah had a bunch of civil procedure students in her audience, this would be the book she gave everyone. It’s that good.
Civil Procedure: Examples & Explanations (6th ed.)
Joseph W. Glannon
KF8840 .G58 2008
Examples & Explanations Series
If you have Professor Green, you are (hopefully) well-aware of how big of an asset this book is. While it may not be the most helpful in terms of outlining or note taking, it certainly doesn’t lack in hypotheticals. And by that, I mean it has hypos for days. You could spend the rest of the semester doing nothing but practice problems from this book, and still not finish. If you think you’re all set up on your outline, go to the E&E and test your meddle. If you’re not confident of your answer, Glannon provides handy explanations to prepare you for the most ridiculous hypotheticals imaginable.
Questions & Answers: Civil Procedure (2nd ed.)
William V. Dorsaneo, III, and Elizabeth G. Thornburg
KF8841 .D67 2012
Questions & Answers Series
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Well, you can certainly judge this book by its cover. It consists entirely of – you guessed it – questions and answers! The book is designed so that you can use the questions either to reinforce and clarify material as you move through the course, or to test yourself in preparation for your final examination (which is probably more applicable to you at this point in the semester). It does a good job of helping you understand the rules in operation, and to recognize patterns of issues that will help you in answering questions on essay exams. Just don’t expect to find much use outlining from this book, because there is none.
Inside Civil Procedure: What Matters and Why
Howard M. Erichson
KF8841 .E75 2009
Inside the Law Series
For those of you out there that appreciate sidebars, graphic design, and cartoons, this book is for you. There are plenty of visual aids and pictures, and it doesn’t hurt that they threw in some color to liven things up. In terms of substance, I wouldn’t use this book to outline or go through hypos; there are plenty of other supplements that are more comprehensive in those regards. However, for a more holistic review experience, this may be a good option for you. Each chapter gives an overview of a topic of civil procedure (such as personal jurisdiction, complaints, etc.), along with frequently asked questions, which illustrate various nuances that an exam hypothetical might throw at you. If you’re looking for a more laidback, easy-on-the-eyes kind of book, this may be your thing.
The Glannon Guide to Civil Procedure (2nd edition)
Joseph W. Glannon
KF8841 .G59 2009
Glannon Guide Series
This book is a great way to shore up your personal weak spots. It provides short, clear, efficient reviews of basic topics in Civil Procedure, organized around the theme of multiple-choice questions. So basically, you read what you need to know, and then you are tested on what you just read. The hypos are no cakewalk either; each answer choice seems reasonable on first pass. As such, it is a great source for honing your critical reasoning. This book isn’t very good for outlining, but serves its purpose by preparing you for even the most vexing exam hypotheticals (which at the end of day, is all that matters). Don’t expect to read the whole book in one sitting; it’s pretty big. Try to find out what you’re struggling with beforehand and then use the book to strengthen your understanding.
Mastering Civil Procedure (2nd ed.)
David Charles Hricik
KF8841 .H75 2011
If you haven’t attended class all semester (either physically or mentally), the Mastering is probably your best shot at saving yourself. This is pretty much equivalent to the atom bomb of supplements, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your needs. It is incredibly thorough, and goes extremely in depth on even the most minor issues. As such, it’s probably a little overkill for the majority of students who already have a good grasp of the material. Trying to cram from this book would be like trying to drink a sip of water from a fire hose. Just because it’s thorough doesn’t mean it’s particularly helpful.
Acing Civil Procedure: A Checklist Approach to Solving Procedural Problems (2nd ed.)
A. Benjamin Spencer
KF8841 .S654 2008
This is actually one of the best, if not the best, civil procedure outlining resources I’ve come across. First of all, it’s concise, which is a huge plus because you don’t need to devote hours to get the full benefit of the book; an hour or two would be sufficient to read it cover-to-cover. Secondly, it has this nifty little checklist feature that teaches you not only what the relevant rules of law are, but also how to apply them to a hypothetical. This book was made for outlining and flow-charting, so if you’re a visual learner or just like the structure of following a formula when applying legal rules to messy hypotheticals, this may be the supplement for you. Acing Civil Procedure is a good place to start your exam prep if you want to ace civil procedure (pun may or may not have been intended).