William and Mary Law School


Jake on Contractsby Jake Albert, 1L

CALI: Computer Assisted Learning Instruction

(Requires access code)

The CALI exercises are good for practice, as they provide an ample amount of practice exam questions on an interactive format, scoring your answers throughout and giving immediate feedback on why an answer was correct or not. The drawback is that the interface is a little dated and sometimes slow. This can be helpful, however, once outlining is complete and you are comfortable with the material and just want a little practice before the exam.

Contract Law: Flowcharts and Cases

Frank J. Doti
KF801 .A7 D68 2007

The most important part of this book are the flowcharts, which take the general topics of contract law, such as Offer and Acceptance, and fit on one page all of the various aspects of the topic you should know. For some of the more complex, non-concrete topics, the flowchart is followed by an explanation or what the UCC or Restatements say. Flowcharts and Cases would be very helpful for someone confused on a certain issue and needing it laid out succinctly, which will also be very helpful for outlining.  The end of the book is dozens of important cases organized by topic, which will also help with outlining and understanding concepts.

The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Contracts

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

The Oxford Introduction is what it says: an introduction. It goes over the many concepts of contracts law from the beginning, and in doing so explains them very simply and very well. If you are so perplexed by a topic that you feel the need to learn it from the beginning, or you feel the need to know why a rule is the rule, this book is helpful. But because it reads like a book, the cases usually aren’t the ones we learned in class, and it has no hypos, this is the not the book for outlining or exam prep.

Contract Law: Rules, Theory, and Context

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

The Cambridge Introduction also reads like a book, with no simple charts, diagrams, or hypos. However, if you are stuck on a given topic or need to refresh, the book is great at explaining concepts and why rules are the way they are. The organization of the book is like the organization of a course and is very helpful explaining topics, so if you need help remembering Promissory Estoppel or the Parole Evidence Rule, the book is great.  Because of its structure it could be helpful for outlining (the table of contents acts as a great outline), but with no hypos or diagrams it would not be very helpful for exam prep.

Contracts: Examples and Explanations (6th ed.)

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

The E&E is the most helpful Contracts study aid of them all. First, it goes just in-depth enough into each topic to fully understand what you need to know, giving great explanations and diagrams to explain each concept. Second, it is an E&E, so there are many hypos at the end of each section that will help you practice any given topic, with detailed answers so you know what you are missing. The downside is that there are no cumulative hypos at the end, so this would be a good study aid to begin with and then use something with cumulative hypos at the end of studying. Finally, the book is very informal and somewhat entertaining, making jokes throughout, which doesn’t help with studying but gives a very slight sigh of relief or smile during a very stressful time.

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

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

Chirelstein is great at explaining the concepts of contracts in an easily understandable manner. There are no hypos and this book is not great for outlining, but it goes through the steps of introducing a concept, explaining it, and then introducing cases to help explain the application much like a class session would. The cases are often those used in our class and professors here have recommended this book in the past, so you know the explanations and cases will be very helpful if you are looking to understand a concept or two you may have missed.

Contracts (5th ed.)

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

This is the premiere practice exam and outlining book for Contracts. It is no nonsense: it does not explain concepts or backgrounds, just what the law is.  It outlines each concept on a need-to-know basis. Most importantly it has practice multiple choice and essay questions at the end of each section and a cumulative practice exams at the end of the book. If you need to learn a concept this book is not the answer, but for outlining and exam preparation this is the best option, providing more practice questions and exams than any other option.

Contracts (5th ed.)

Steven L. Emanuel
KF801 .Z9 E563 2012
CrunchTime Series

CrunchTime is the perfect book for help outlining and studying for the exam. It does not waste any of your time: it says the rule, briefly gives an example, and moves on. It uses detailed diagrams at the beginning of each concept to show you everything you need to know for outlining, and you can easily go to a specific section and read the short description and example if you need help. Finally, it ends with practice multiple choice questions and practice exam essay questions, which are the natural last step in any studying process (assuming you make it to the last step). Overall, this is a great option if you already know what you are doing and just need practice/review.

Inside Contract Law: What Matters and Why

Michael B. Kelley
KF801 .Z9 K455 2011
Inside Series

Like many of the other study guides, Inside Contract Law offers detailed insight into many of the concepts. However it does not read like a book, but instead like a study tool, with helpful charts and diagrams and examples. What are most useful are the examples and the “Connections” section at the end of each chapter. The examples are good to apply the concepts you have learned and the “Connections” section is like a checklist for outlining that concept, offering the important things to remember for the concept and connecting everything together. The Inside series is a great tool to quickly learn a concept and helpful for outlining to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Contracts (14th ed.)

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

Gilbert knows what they are doing, but you need to know what you are doing to understand it. Much like CrunchTime it provides charts (maybe a little more understandable than the CrunchTime diagrams) to help with outlining and brief descriptions with examples of the things you need to know. The best feature of this book is the multiple choice and essay questions at the end, as it has more practice questions than some of the other options. Overall use it if you know what you are doing and are ready to either check your outline or practice for the exam.