William and Mary Law School


Eric on Propertyby Eric Marriott, 1L

CALI: Computer Assisted Learning Instruction

(Requires access code)

The CALI exercises are, obviously, a unique type of study guide because they are more extensive and more engaging than any book available. Specifically, property is one of the most extensive subjects, with 92 lessons available. The CALI exercises are great for issue spotting and reinforcing what you’ve learned all year. The lessons range in complexity from the most basic concepts to the most intricate, all while maintaining a very comprehensive teaching style. I thought the CALI exercises were very helpful last semester, and I recommend them once again.

Examples and Explanations: Property (4th ed.)

Barlow Burke and Joseph Snoe
KF560 .B87 2012
Examples & Explanations Series

Examples and Explanations is one of most well-known and popular choices for study guides, and for good reason. It’s laid out like a typical property textbook, but is much easier to understand. The E&E makes a great companion to whatever textbook you’re using for the course. When it comes to exam time, this has a lot to work through, but it’s a very useful tool for studying. It’s a very easy study aid to engage with and work though, and one of the best guides available. I’d recommend using the E&E to get a more comprehensive look at a particular topic. I wouldn’t cram with it, however.

Acing Property (2nd ed.)

Colleen E. Medill
KF560 .M43 2012
Acing Series

Acing breaks down the concepts of property into bite-sized, easy to understand chunks. The chapters are littered with “checklists” that are organized as outlines for each chapter. There’s also plenty of in-depth problems and analysis for you to work through. Lots of diagrams, charts, and illustrations make it very readable as well as thorough. Overall, Acing Property is one of the most complete study guides available. It’s not overly dense and it’s very effective at helping you nail down the tough concepts that plague property. I’d recommend this series as an “all-in-one” sort of guide.

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

John Copeland Nagle
KF560 .Z9 N34 2004
Questions & Answers Series

The Q&A, as its name suggests, contains questions and answers. It helps test your knowledge of the full range of property concepts and to apply that knowledge to particular fact situations. There are two kinds of questions: short answer, and multiple choice. As far as exam prep is concerned, I find the questions in this book to be very helpful. If you can master the short answer questions in this book, you’re in very good shape heading into your exam. The Q&A is an excellent supplement to whatever else you’re using to study for your property exam. It only contains questions and answers, so it’s not exactly all-encompassing, but I recommend it as an addition to your other study materials.

Property (18th ed.)

James E. Krier
KF561 .D84 2013
Gilbert Law Summaries

Gilbert is sort of an all-in-one study guide, designed with finals in mind. It’s got review questions, a comprehensive outline, charts, and tables. It’s peppered with exam tips throughout, to make sure you bring your ‘A’ game.  Like the Emanuel, it contains a “capsule summary,” which is a very detailed outline of every aspect of the course. The organization of the book is very friendly, and it’s easy to work through without feeling overwhelmed. Gilbert is definitely one of the best exam guides available, and I highly recommend it to supplement your own outline and study tools.

Property (8th ed.)

Steven L. Emanuel
KF561 .E47 2012
Emanuel Law Outlines

The Emanuel for property offers a thorough, detailed outline of the typical property course, in addition to many helpful charts, diagrams, flowcharts, checklists, and tables to help make property a little bit simpler. I really like the layout of this guide. It gives you what you need for crunch time without going as far into detail as some supplements do. It’s designed precisely to help you study for your exam. Like the Gilbert, it contains a “capsule summary,” which is a very detailed outline of every aspect of the course. With quizzes and issue spotting problems, it’ll make sure you’re on point when preparing, but the Emanuel really shines in its outline of the course. That’s probably why they chose the title they did. I would definitely recommend this book for finals, and again, it’s a great place to look if you need help outlining.

Understanding Property Law (3rd ed.)

John G. Sprankling
KF561 .S67 2012
Understanding Series

I found this book fills its niche nicely. The explanations of concepts are very concise, but it doesn’t pack the multiple-choice questions, diagrams, or issue spotting practice that other guides will give you. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best books for outlining I found. The editors did a nice job formatting this book. If you’re looking for some help with your outline, or you’re looking for a quality review of the course come crunch time, I would highly recommend Understanding Property Law.

The Glannon Guide to Property (2nd ed.)

James Charles Smith
KF561 .S627 2011
Glannon Guide Series

The Glannon Guide to Property contains a clear, concise summary of the typical property course, organized in the same manner as a textbook. It’ll keep you paying attention as you work through it, with hypos, explanatory diagrams, and multiple choice questions every couple pages. The layout is very appealing, and it’s a very helpful guide to refresh your knowledge of what you’ve learned. I would recommend using this book to help you outline. The textbook-like organization lends itself well to that purpose.

Principles of Property Law (6th ed.)

Herbert Hovenkamp and Sheldon E. Kurtz
KF570 .S532 2005
Concise Hornbook Series

The Concise Hornbook is a very thorough guide to property. It’s great for outlining and delving deep into a specific topic you may need to refresh yourself with, but I wouldn’t recommend working all the way through it. The hypos in this guide are very well done, and the authors do a good job presenting the legal analysis with their answers. While the Concise Hornbook’s content is very in-depth, it’s very bland, and can be difficult to do large sections at a time. This book is best used if you really want to nail down a specific topic, or if you love hypos. It’s also good for outlining.

Property (6th ed.)

Roger Bernhardt and Ann M. Burkhart
KF570 .Z9 B46 2012
Black Letter Outlines

Black Letter Outlines specialize in—you guessed it—outlines. This is fantastic for helping supplement your own outline (which is of course based off of your class syllabus). The Black Letter not only has an expansive and detailed outline of a typical property course, but also offers lots of review questions to get your mind into the state of exam taking. One of the other neat things about this guide is it has a “Text Correlation Chart” (Appendix C). It lets you know which pages in your textbook cover each topic of the course. This is a great book to pick up if you’re looking for some help with your outline.

Property (4th ed.)

Steven L. Emanuel
KF570 .Z9 E43 2012
CrunchTime Series

CrunchTime is always a good choice when picking up a study guide, and the Property version is no exception. What sets CrunchTime apart from most other review books is that CrunchTime has actual practice essay questions to work through. In addition, the flow charts, outlines, exam tips, multiple choice and short answer questions really help to prepare you for your exam. This is easily one of the most complete and helpful guides out there. The whole book is concise and easy to work through, yet detailed enough to make sure you really know what you’re doing before you take your final. I highly recommend this book as an “all-in-one” study guide.

Real Property Audio CDs

Paula A. Franzese
KF570 .Z9 F73 2005
Law School Legends Series

All the joy of learning property, delivered fresh to your eardrums by professor Paula Franzese. Franzese, the Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law at Seton Hall University, is one of the country's leading experts in property law. Franzese promises these CDs “arm you with an accessible, cohesive, comprehensive, as well as comprehensible format” to help you master the concepts of property law. This set includes six CDs, each an hour long, broken into different tracks by topic. Franzese speaks clearly, calmly, and deliberately in this recording, although sometimes it leads to long pauses and drawn-out enunciations. These CDs are certainly the most entertaining way to learn property (for proof, check out CD 2, Track 2, at 3:47). I recommend them because they’re so accessible and easy to listen to. You can easily rip the tracks off this CD, put it on your iPod (or Zune, I don’t judge), and inject some property law straight into your brain.