Affordable Course Materials

The Law Library has put together these page of open access and low-cost course materials as a resource for faculty who are interested in lowering costs for students by offering affordable casebook options. On this page is general information on open access resources as well as some subject-specific recommendations. If you need assistance finding an affordable casebook in a subject not listed below, please contact your library liaison.  

If you are interested in creating your own open access casebook, please see the information below or contact your library liaison for assistance getting started with the process. 

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are textbooks and other course materials licensed under an open copyright license, meaning that those who are not the author of the book may freely reuse the work. Open Educational Resources are frequently free or low-cost, available online, and adaptable to the needs of the individual instructor. In the law school context, open textbooks are a natural fit, as many of the documents reprinted in casebooks are within the public domain, and there are already many open casebooks available for classroom use. 

Open Casebooks by Subject Area

The resources listed below are free unless indicated. If you don't see a casebook in the subject you're looking for, check the lists of titles available on these platforms:

Additionally, your library liaison can assist you in finding OER casebooks for other subjects.

Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law & Litigation
Contracts & Sales
Criminal Law
Employment Discrimination
Intellectual Property & Technology
Professional Responsibility
Creating Your Own Course Materials

In addition to adopting or adapting casebooks authored by others, you can also develop your own! It's certainly possible to collect, arrange, edit, and publish an open casebook on your own, but the best tool for creating one is called H20, a project of the Harvard Law School Library and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

The H20 platform provides several easy-to-use tools to create free, accessible, and easily-modified casebooks. Creators can use cases from the Harvard Law School Library's CaseLaw Access Project, a repository of 6.7 million freely-accessible state and federal decisions, as well as your own sources or sources available elsewhere online. Register for free here. As always, the law librarians are happy to help in getting started putting together your own casebook.

Other Ways to Keep Course Costs Low for Students

Even if you assign a traditional casebook to students, there are a few things you can do to help keep course costs low for students. As a start, please consider placing a copy of the casebook (e.g., any review copies you've received) on reserve at the law library for students to use. Next, when a new edition of a textbook comes out, consider continue to assign the prior edition unless the area of law has significantly changed. Earlier editions are often considerably less expensive on the secondary market, and recent documents, especially cases, may be available freely online to supplement the older material. Finally, consider using in class some of the many e-books or articles licensed by the law library (the law librarians are happy to assist in locating relevant titles.)

Updated July 2022
Michael Umberger