by Brooke Hettig, 1L
Property: Examples and Explanations (4th ed.)
Barlow Burke and Joseph Snoe
KF560 .B87 2012
Examples & Explanations Series
I very much enjoy using the E&E. It uses a technique which is probably the most effective way of learning this sort of information: it gives you the rules, gives you a sample question where you can try your hand at applying the rules, and then it explains what it feels is the correct analysis of their examples. I think the E&E is especially useful in property where your professor can give you a set of questions where there is only one correct answer. This differs from a lot of law classes in that you can’t argue and reason your way to an acceptable answer. Therefore, the amount of examples in this book will give you great practice in handling this type of question.
Acing Property (2nd ed.)
Colleen E. Medill
KF560 .M43 2012
The goal of this book, as the title suggests, is to help you on your property exam. It teaches you how to analyze property problems. At the conclusion of each chapter, Acing provides a checklist — much like the one you might include in your own outline — for what to look for and think about when presented with a property question. After providing a checklist, Acing gives you scenario, allowing you to apply the checklist to an actual problem. Finally, the book gives you a sample answer to the question, showing you how it might best be organized. This book is excellent for exam prep and for tip sheets you might include in your outline.
Property (17th ed.)
James E. Krier
KF561 .D84 2006
Gilbert Law Summaries
I have found Gilbert’s very useful in outlining. It’s a huge book, but that means it covers a lot of topics, so you can find what you are looking for and Gilbert’s will cover it in depth. It’s is written largely in outline format so it’s easy to transfer the relevant information directly into your own outline for use on an exam. I use Gilbert’s to find black letter law definitions and explanations of certain topics, written concisely enough to plug into my outline.
Property (8th ed.)
Steven L. Emanuel
KF561 .E47 2012
Emanuel Law Outlines
The Emanuel's has an impressive and extensive table of contents, allowing the user to locate exactly what he is looking for, assuming you know in what section it will be found. The outline format found in Emanuel’s pales in comparison to that in Gilbert’s; it is not as clear to read. However, all the information is there and it is organized by topic, sub-topic, etc. so, like I said, if you know what you are looking for, you will be able to find it and get the sought after information. Emanuel’s also has flow charts. This supplement has fewer charts than other books in the series, but that’s probably just the nature of property law. I find the charts confusing because they are so busy, but they are present if you like them. The best part about Emanuel’s is the questions and exam tips at the end of each chapter.
Property (4th ed.)
Thomas W. Merrill
KF561 .M47 2010
Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law
The Oxford Introduction was written by the authors of the property casebook for those of us in Professor Griffin’s class, with input from their students. It's is perfect for understanding the principles of property law without the clutter of cases. What really makes this book great though is that it provides the law with footnotes indicating the cases from which it came, without further details about the case. This allows you to read about the topics covered in your property class and reference cases like you would in an exam, without discussing the facts. This book is not written in outline format and isn’t the best for outlining, but is great for getting a grasp of the difficult topics of property that might not have made sense the first time around.
The Glannon Guide to Property (2nd ed.)
James C. Smith
KF561 .S627 2011
Glannon Guide Series
Glannon’s Guide to Property is one of the most useful brief books. It is written in a way that shows you the basics and then has you apply the knowledge by asking multiple-choice questions. After the questions, it provides a thorough explanation as to why each answer is or is not correct. I would not recommend it for outlining as there are better guides for that, but if you are stuck on a certain topic, like types of estates, it’s simple to read a 15-page chapter on it that will greatly clarify the topic for you. Glannon does not have charts, but because its brevity, it is easy enough to understand without them. I recommend reading Glannon for refreshing or clarifying your knowledge of a certain topic, before outlining.
Understanding Property Law (3rd ed.)
John G. Sprankling
KF561 .S67 2012
Understanding Property Law is far from the most aesthetically pleasing supplement. It is extremely dense and the important rules do not just jump off the page at you. It would be infinitely more useful if the key terms were bolded. However, that’s not to say that this book doesn’t have its perks. It is well written and does a good job at explaining difficult topics, even putting them in context of the moving trends in property law. I would not recommend this supplement for outlining purposes; it will simply take you too long to pull the rules out. But this is a book you might use if you are really struggling to grasp a topic and want a more in depth explanation than the other supplements might provide, and a more straight-forward answer than your casebook has.
Mastering Property Law (2nd ed.)
Darryl C. Wilson
KF561 .W55 2011
I quite liked Mastering Property Law. Like Glannon, its chapters are concise enough that you can easily read about whichever topics confuse you, all in a single session without getting bogged down. Mastering clearly presents important information by bolding and italicizing key points, and separating out other information in lists. I didn’t find the charts at the end of each chapter the most helpful, but the checkpoints that follow them are great because they list all of the important points form the chapter. Mastering also has examples and hypotheticals for you to run through.
Real Property Law Lectures on CD
Paula A. Franzese
KF 570 .Z9 F73 2005 AUDIO
Law School Legends Series
While other sections of the Law School Legends series have been surprisingly helpful with exam prep, the Real Property version has been less than helpful. Some may find the speaker’s voice slightly annoying. Substantively, the CDs are generally informative, but the delivery leaves something to be desired. Additionally, the CDs only cover real property while the property classes at William & Mary are not so limited. The best benefit of using the Law School Legends CDs is that you can listen to them on the go.
Introduction to Property (2nd ed.)
Joseph William Singer
KF570 .Z9 S56 2005
This is a book that really deserves the name “supplement.” It is not a book that will be useful for outlining, but it is excellent for “supplement[ing]” your reading of the casebook as it provides just the information you need to know in the clearest possible way. One of the most useful parts of this text is that along the margins, you will find key terms next to the paragraphs in which they are discussed, so if you went to that page with a particular purpose, it is easy to locate the information you are looking for. Unlike other books, this one does not have hypotheticals, questions, or charts; but it does include what it calls “Hard Cases”: real cases that were difficult for the court to decide, and it explains how they reached that conclusion.