William and Mary Law School


Melanie on Contractsby Melanie Lazor, 1L

CALI: Computer Assisted Learning Instruction

(Requires access code)

These are nice because they’re really interactive. You’re scored on questions you answer throughout as your read lessons created by professors. You’ll get explanations instantly for why answers are right or wrong instead of having to flip pages back and forth. You can also really choose what you want to do. There are a ton of lessons in contracts on small concepts running all the way to the bigger topics that you need to understand to have any grasp of the course. I think these will be helpful once you’ve outlined and you feel like you know most of the stuff. You can pick what you feel you still need to work on and get a nice mix of lessons and quizzes which could be really helpful in actually learning it.

Contract Law: Flowcharts and Cases

Frank J. Doti
KF801 .A7 D68 2007

The Flowcharts and Cases book focuses on both the UCC and the common law. It includes 20 flowcharts on different aspects of contract law (from offer and acceptance through the parol evidence rule and more!). The flow charts are easy to follow and cite the cases/UCC provisions that each question comes from. If the flowchart covers a UCC provision, the book lists it on the next page so you can easily check the provisions. This will likely be very helpful to put everything together in your outline once you learn the individual rules, and be very helpful to learn how to structure exam answers.

The end of the book includes the full text of cases to demonstrate some of the concepts that you need to understand for contract law. This may be helpful to gain a different perspective or revisit cases once you understand an issue, but the flowcharts are the real asset of this book.

The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Contracts

Randy E. Barnett
KF801 .B37 2010
Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law

The Oxford Introduction reads easy. It breaks down the concepts as it explains them and doesn’t overcomplicate things. It also goes through concepts and rules step by step to help you avoid making silly mistakes when learning them. But it does still read like a book, and won’t be super helpful for actual outlining. It definitely will help you understand what is happening, why, and where the rule came from. Overall, this is written in a way that if you didn’t know anything about contract law when you started reading it, you’d soon get the gist of things.

Contract Law: Rules, Theory, and Context

Brian H. Bix
KF801 .B55 2012
Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Law

This one reads like a book and isn’t for quick reference or outlining. However, it could be very useful to help you understand a topic you’re lost on and the rationale behind it without being bogged down by cases, although there are cases and statutory provisions referenced to make sure you know where the rule comes from. And if you’re super interested, there’s a list of further reading at the end of each chapter.

Overall, this book may be helpful if you truly don’t understand something, but won’t be a great guide in helping you outline.

Contracts: Examples and Explanations (6th ed.)

Brian A. Blum
KF801 .B58 2013
Examples & Explanations Series

I found the E&E to be entertaining. The author is interactive and informal… and it helps. It’s easy to understand, but not so incredibly in depth that you get hung up on the little things that aren’t important until you understand the big picture. Each chapter goes through a whole topic in contracts law and is followed by hypos at the end of the chapter. The hypos are on the topic in the chapter (somewhat unfortunately), but they get more and more complex to make sure you really grasp on how things work. There’s no sample exam to put the pieces together, but overall this is a good book to practice and apply what you’re learning, and be able to look up why you did or didn’t understand something. Also there’s a glossary at the end for quick reference to refresh your memory. Overall, good for later in the studying process.

Concepts and Case Analysis in the Law of Contracts (7th ed.)

Marvin A. Chirelstein
KF801 .C44 2013
Concepts & Insights Series

Reads like a textbook, but it is the study aid recommended by Professor Gershowitz. And that’s for a good reason–it goes through contracts by giving the rules and justifications that may help you remember why the rule is the way it is. Numerous cases are discussed that were gone over in my contracts class, which may be helpful. Overall, not great to help you outline, but a good resource to make sure you truly understand what contracts is to help you practice applying it later.

Mastering Contract Law

Irma S. Russell and Barbara K. Bucholtz
KF801 .R87 2011
Mastering Law Series

One thing that’s nice about Mastering Contract Law is that it starts each chapter with a roadmap–you see what sections there are and in what order. But it isn’t written in an outline form, it’s written as a book, but in an easy to understand way. There are also a few cases referenced (and simplified) here and there, and there are a lot of references to the Restatement provisions that are important. The chapters finish with checkpoints which you can use to make sure you got out of the chapters what was important (i.e., the rules and their rationale). Overall, the book breaks down the more complicated topics and discusses them at more length than many of the outline books, but in an easier-to-understand way than the Hornbook-type review books. The book probably won’t be great for outlining or practicing, but if you’re struggling to understand details, this may be a good book to teach/refresh your memory on the topics.

Contracts (5th ed.)

John D. Calamari and Joseph M. Perillo
KF801 .Z9 C27 2010
Black Letter Law Outlines

There’s a lot here. You have 450+ pages of contract outlines and review questions, followed by answers. You get just what the title tells you: the black letter law for each topic in contract law. It’s no nonsense and will give you the overview of everything you could possibly need to know for your exams at a surface level. But the book also has review questions in the chapters (true or false, and an essay), as well as 40 multiple-choice questions in sample exam format and 15 comprehensive essay questions. And they all have answers. This book could be super useful in outlining if you just need some guidance and clarity, but will also be helpful with practice exams and applications.

Contracts (5th ed.)

Steven L. Emanuel
KF801 .Z9 E563 2012
CrunchTime Series

The CrunchTime has a ton of flowcharts (16 to be exact) that cover topics in contract law. Not to mention there is one large flow chart that will take you through all the questions that could come up when analyzing a contract (or a problem on a contracts exam). This chart could be helpful for a visual learner to see how the process physically looks. This book also contains a summary of the whole topic of contracts, in outline form, that could be very useful in helping you construct your outline.

But this also has a whole section on exam tips. It goes through good strategies to answer a question on most of the topics in contract law, and looks like it could be very useful when you begin practicing answers. Which you can do in this book, as it has short answer questions (with answers and explanations), multiple-choice questions (with answers and explanations), and full essay questions. Overall, this book seems to be very help at all stages of the learning/outlining/practicing process.

A Short and Happy Guide to Contracts

David Epstein, Bruce Markell, and Lawrence Ponoroff
KF801 .Z9 E673 2012
Short & Happy Guides

Short and sweet. There isn’t much to it other than easy to understand explanations of how contract law works. There aren’t questions to answer or sample exams to take. It probably wouldn’t be helpful outlining unless you really don’t understand the concepts. But that’s what its useful for. It will help you learn contracts and fit the pieces together. It probably is better to have with you the entire semester, instead of using it after you’ve learned everything, but if you’re lost, pick it up and give it a read.

Inside Contract Law: What Matters and Why

Michael B. Kelley
KF801 .Z9 K455 2011
Inside Series

This series is nice. There is the typical condensed descriptions of contract rules in every chapter to help you learn, but there are also handy tools to make sure you understand the quirks that may come up on an exam. There are “sidebars” which highlight issues or questions in the law. And then there are “FAQs” which ask a question and will give a detailed answer. These questions and sidebars cover a lot of the out exceptions to the rules. You also occasionally come across charts and graphs which could be helpful to visual learners. Each chapter also ends with a “connections” section to connect what you just read to everything else you’ve learned. It helps because it shows you how things work together in the big picture. This probably won’t be helpful for quizzing or outlining, but may be useful to read as a companion to studying to truly grasp to concepts.

Starting Off Right in Contracts

Carolyn J. Nygren
KF801 .Z9 N8 1998
Starting Off Right Series

This book is different: There’s a lot of overall exam and law school advice at the beginning. Each section has a sample outline of information followed by a question. The author then walks you through how best she believes to begin to formulate an answer before you write. This doesn’t seem meant to give any actual rules from contract law, but instead train you to learn to organize your answer the best for a contracts exam. This may be helpful, but it may just interfere with a technique that works best for you. Overall, it’s probably worth a look to see how to formulate your answers if you’re lost.

Questions and Answers: Contracts (Rev. 1st ed.)

Keith A. Rowley
KF801 .Z9 R69 2006
Questions & Answers Series

These are all multiple choice questions, followed by the answers and analysis. I wouldn’t suggest this if you haven’t REALLY learned contracts yet. If you feel confident, this may be great to test what you do and don’t know. There are 13 topics, each filled with multiple choice questions to test your knowledge and make sure you really can apply the information… especially when there is a definite answer. This isn’t good for outlining, but it’s great to practice your skills and decipher what you need to work on.


Melvin A. Eisenberg
KF801 .Z9 R83 2002
Gilbert Law Summaries

This is your typical Gilbert’s. It gives you a big, easy to follow outline of the entire course. In there, you get charts to help you visual concepts and rules and how they apply to exceptions, as well as exam tips that highlight issues that often come up on exams. It will likely be very helpful outlining the course–because it just gives the rules (along with examples so you aren’t just reading it and not understand how the rule works in practice). The book ends with a multiple choice exam and an essay exam. Both have answers and explanations. It’s got a lot in one and may be helpful at all parts of your exam prep process.

The Glannon Guide to Contracts

Theodore Silver and Stephen Hochberg
KF801 .Z9 S49 2013
Glannon Guides

Glannon’s goal is to help you learn contracts through multiple-choice questions. The chapters are organized with sections that explain principles in contract law. Chapters are interspersed with questions to answer and analysis for the answers after. What’s really nice is everything is written in an easy-to-understand language that clearly points to what you need to know. The book ends with a bunch of comprehensive multiple choice questions and their answers with analysis. This book won’t be great for outlining, but it could be a great overall study tool, especially if your exam may include multiple choice questions