Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: fansill on January 22, 2005, 12:04:07 PM

Title: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash" Car
Post by: fansill on January 22, 2005, 12:04:07 PM
What are your opinions of study guides such as Crunchtime Books, Nutshells, Law in a Flash Cards, Casebook Legal Briefs Outlines, etc...??? Any others that you can recommend???

First Year Student in Chilly Massachusetts Thanks you...

Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: JD_MSA on January 22, 2005, 12:44:37 PM
I LOVE Law in a Flash.  After looking at my outlines, I like the idea of looking at one card at a time.  The hypos are good and funny enough to keep me interested.  I usually don't find the Nutshells too helpful, but I know some people really like them. 

My second-favorite (after LIAF, of course) is the Examples and Explanations series.  I used the book for Civ Pro and found it helpful.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: Burning Sands on January 22, 2005, 06:26:08 PM
Law in a Flash is great.  I went through the entire box of Torts before my exam.  It gets right down to the point and beats the concepts into your head over and over.  I would recommend them.

E&E is the grand mother of all study aids.

Crunch time is good too.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: dft on January 22, 2005, 07:17:05 PM
Has any tried listening to study guides on CD's or MP3's (for example, on your commute to school)?  Or - is it possibly to record your lecture on CD or MP3 format so that you can listen to it on your commute (I may be driving/commuting a lot during 1L)?  I have a CD player in my car my car but no tape player - I also have an MP3 player.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: duma on January 22, 2005, 09:51:26 PM
I use LIAF, crunch time, and Q&A from Lexis. I like them all. I tend to focus on practice questions though... not so much into reviewing when there are only two weeks before the exam.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: Louder Than Bombs on January 23, 2005, 07:52:18 AM
IMHO Law in a Flash blows. The hypos are poorly written and sometimes even wrong (or just unchallanging). The E&E hypos are generally very good, along with the explanations. I also like the CALI lessons as well.

Nutshells are OK, but again not really that great. I recommend the 'Concepts and Insights' series put out by Foundation Press. They are well written and lay out a conceptual framework that you can use as a lens to view the black-letter rules through. IMHO, is is MUCH easier to remember the rules when they are placed against a conceptual background, rather than when viewed as independent and only nominally connected.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: lawgirl on January 23, 2005, 08:11:09 AM
I don't like Law in a Flash. I agree with what was said before about it being inaccurate. I also don't think it covers the material very well in overall concepts.

I tend to use my Hornbooks, the Lexis "Understanding" series and "Examples and Explanations" for overall understanding of the material. I use Emmanuels or one of the other popular commercial supplements when I am constructing my own outline (I use them as a guide but mainly do my own).

The Nutshells are good for a limited view of a topic to give you a basic understanding.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: ruskiegirl on January 23, 2005, 08:33:43 PM
It's important to keep in mind that no one study guide will be the answer to all your prayers.  Examples and Explanations is good for some things, Gilbert's is good for others.  Staying loyal to one series could work to your detriment.  Here's a list of those which worked for me:

Civ Pro - EZ Rules, E&E, CrunchTime
CrimLaw - Understanding Crim Law, flow charts from CrunchTime
Torts - I didn't use any; the stuff seems pretty straight forward
LRW - Legal Research Survival Manual
Intellectual Property - Gilbert's, E&E
K's - E&E seems good so far
Property - haven't gotten any for the same reason as torts
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: Esq on January 29, 2005, 06:31:47 PM
The Examples and Explanations Series is great. The E&E Glannon Civ Pro book is essential. E&E's Contracts by Brian Blum is clearly written and has great hypos. I liked E&E's Secured Transactions and Payment Systems books. The E&E Wills and Trusts book by Beyer is excellent and I highly recommend it. All the E&E books are great.

I agree with what was said above about the "Nutshell" series. 
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: Legally Purple on January 30, 2005, 11:04:28 PM
I agree that diff supplements work better for certain classes.  Here are my suggestions:
Contracts: Crunchtime (everyone I know who used this (regardless of prof) got an A)
Torts:  Law in a Flash (provides good practice for issue spotting, which is what most exams are about.
Property:  Understanding Property from LexisNexis (really good break down of all of the law)
CDR: I used E&E
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: dft on June 19, 2005, 06:15:26 PM
I know this thread is really old but I'm just buying my supplements for this semester now.  Would anyone recommending the following set of supplements, or is it too much?

E&E's for the following subjects:

     Civ. Pro
     Contracts
     Torts


Gilberts First Year Set
     Civil Procedure
     Contracts
     Criminal Law
     Property
     Torts

Can anyone critique/evaluate this set of supplements?  I feel like it may be too much (the Gilberts entire First Year Set, in particular, may not be necessary, but I figured I would save some money in buying the whole set).
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: ruskiegirl on June 19, 2005, 08:04:01 PM
E & E for Torts is awful!  Don't buy it. Gilbert should be sufficient for that.  If you must have some questions and answers, try your profs old exams or the CALI online lessons.


The Gilbert for K's is very good and includes everything you really need to know.  It's also quite thick.  Honestly, I doubt you will have time to use both that and E&E. 
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: dft on June 19, 2005, 08:42:19 PM
E & E for Torts is awful!  Don't buy it. Gilbert should be sufficient for that.  If you must have some questions and answers, try your profs old exams or the CALI online lessons.


The Gilbert for K's is very good and includes everything you really need to know.  It's also quite thick.  Honestly, I doubt you will have time to use both that and E&E. 

d**mn - I was just about to buy the Contracts and Torts E&E's on Amazon!  They've got good reviews on Amazon (though obviously not as good as Glannon's Civ Pro) and are highly recommended in PLSII - but now you've got me second guessing myself.  I already bought Glannon's Civ Pro E&E, since it seemed to be the best supplement out there (from everything I've read).

Also, I want to start prepping this summer a little bit, and I've heard that reading/skimming the E&E's is the best way to do this (just to get some kind of overview of the areas of law that I am very unfamiliar with).  Would skimming Gilberts help at all?
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: dft on June 19, 2005, 08:46:26 PM
The Gilbert for K's is very good and includes everything you really need to know.  It's also quite thick.  Honestly, I doubt you will have time to use both that and E&E. 

Wait a second - a few posts above, you recommended E&E's for K's!  I'm confused.  Are you recommending Gilberts or E&E's for K's?
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: dft on June 19, 2005, 09:56:35 PM
I tried to read E&E (Torts, Contracts, Civ Pro, Property) *before* we covered a topic in class (skipping the examples), which made the lecture and cases much more helpful, then used Gilberts and the Examples from E&E to help with outline and study for exam.

What do you think of the E&E for Property?  From everything I've read, it seems that E&E for Property is not as good as the E&E's for Civ Pro, Torts, and K's.

From what I've read, it seems like a ranking of the usefulness of the E&E's would look something like this:

1) Civ Pro (Glannon) - by far the best
2) Contracts (Blum)  - similarly ranked with   3) Torts (Glannon)
4) Property -  similarly ranked with  5) Crim Law
Con Law - not sure where this goes - probably somewhere near the bottom


Thus, my initial plan (gone awry) to purchase the top 3 (under my "ranking system," which I realize may be flawed).


Question - is it worthless to flip through the Gilbert outlines this summer before 1L to try to get an overview of the law?  I remember someone stating that it is pretty worthless because you won't understand it, whereas E&E's might be somewhat helpful at least.

Also - would anyone recommend Emanuel's or Emanuel's Crunch Time series over Gilberts?
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: dft on June 20, 2005, 09:31:29 AM
Just briefly - the hardest thing in property is Future Intrests, and that chapter in E&E is pretty good.  The rest...  Not so much.  E&E is a great format, but not always the best book.

Gilbert for Property is written by Dukenminier (sp?) and he is to property what Glannon is to CivPro.

Hey, thanks for all your advice.  Do you think Gilberts would be sufficient for Property then (no E&E)?

Also, would everyone recommend canned briefs (e.g. High Court Case Summaries) in addition to commercial outlines and/or primers?

Ruskiegirl - I noticed that you said somewhere that you are going to go "heavy on the supplements and light on the casebooks" or something along those lines.  Does that mean that you'll be purchasing outlines, canned briefs, AND primers for each class?
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: dft on June 20, 2005, 09:39:57 AM
I've revised my initial proposed set of supplements.  Here is the revised set:

Civ Pro
  Glannon E&E
  Crunch Time

Property
  Gilberts

Crim. Law
  Delaney
  Crunch Time

Contracts

  E&E
  Crunch Time

Torts
  E&E (sorry Ruskie   :-\ )
  Crunch Time

Some of the above is tentative, such as Delaney for Crim Law (recommended in PLSII) and the Crunch Time for Torts (I'm not sure if either of these are good).  And also - I'll probably get some canned briefs, like High Court Case Summaries (I'll figure this out later).

E&E's for the following subjects:

 Civ. Pro
 Contracts
 Torts


Gilberts First Year Set
 Civil Procedure
 Contracts
 Criminal Law
 Property
 Torts
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: lincolnsgrandson on June 20, 2005, 04:09:38 PM
Property - Gilbert's. 
Torts - Gilbert's.  some recommend E&E.  I thought the Restatement of Torts was helpful (don't buy it, of course).  Just make sure you know the elements of a negligence action from the getgo, instead of taking six months to establish them.
Contracts - Black Letter Series.  Gilbert's and Emanuel's are also fine.  I relied primarily on Calimari/Perillo's hornbook.
Crim Law - most swore by Black Letter Series.  I regretted using Understanding.
Con Law - Emanuel's.  This is probably the only class where I think a case summary book is helpful - High Court Case Summaries.  If you use E&E, you have to buy two of them. 
Civ Pro - everybody uses E&E.  I also recommend Emanuel's. 

Nutshells aren't worth buying.

You can also ask your professor what hornbooks to recommend.  They won't recommend commercial outlines and they will tell you LegalLines is the devil.  I find hornbooks often helpful.  Also, a hornbook's author might also write a commercial outline.

Make sure you get outlines from students who had the class with your professor.  The journals and other student associations keep them on file.  Get them. 
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: ruskiegirl on June 22, 2005, 07:10:31 PM
The Gilbert for K's is very good and includes everything you really need to know.  It's also quite thick.  Honestly, I doubt you will have time to use both that and E&E. 

Wait a second - a few posts above, you recommended E&E's for K's!  I'm confused.  Are you recommending Gilberts or E&E's for K's?

I bought both, and tried using both, but halfway through the semester figured out that using both supplements was a bit ambitious and was not the best use of my time.  Then I scrapped E & E and used Gilbert.

Basically, E&E is good for any class that is docrinally difficult.  Contracts (or Torts for that matter) isn't one of those classes.  You can get all you need to know right out of the Gilbert outline.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: ruskiegirl on June 22, 2005, 07:19:31 PM
I've revised my initial proposed set of supplements.  Here is the revised set:

Civ Pro
  Glannon E&E
  Crunch Time

Property
  Gilberts

Crim. Law
  Delaney
  Crunch Time

Contracts

  E&E
  Crunch Time

Torts
  E&E (sorry Ruskie   :-\ )
  Crunch Time

Some of the above is tentative, such as Delaney for Crim Law (recommended in PLSII) and the Crunch Time for Torts (I'm not sure if either of these are good).  And also - I'll probably get some canned briefs, like High Court Case Summaries (I'll figure this out later).

E&E's for the following subjects:

 Civ. Pro
 Contracts
 Torts


Gilberts First Year Set
 Civil Procedure
 Contracts
 Criminal Law
 Property
 Torts

Serisously, you are wasting your money on the Torts E&E.  It's very incomplete. 

Quite honestly, I think all of you pre-1L's are jumping the gun buying supplements this early.  I remember being you, being so eager to start I was ready to start plowing my way through casebooks by mid-June if I knew which ones to get.  Just like you guys, I loaded up on the supplements before starting school.  I read them a bit before classes started, but by the end of the semester I completely regretted the financial waste.  Some of the supplements lay untouched on my shelves -- they weren't very good for that particular subject.  I had to get other supplements to replace the wrong ones I had purchased.  Other supplements I found din't work for my learning style.  I will be passing them down to my unsuspecting friend who starts at Boalt this fall. 

It's very worthwhile to wait a couple of weeks, feel out the class, reidentify your learning style, and see if your professor suggests any supplements.  I don't think anyone who waits a week or two into classes to buy supplements in any way jeapordizes his chances of getting an A.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: C2 on June 22, 2005, 07:56:17 PM
I've revised my initial proposed set of supplements.  Here is the revised set:

Civ Pro
  Glannon E&E
  Crunch Time

Property
  Gilberts

Crim. Law
  Delaney
  Crunch Time

Contracts

  E&E
  Crunch Time

Torts
  E&E (sorry Ruskie   :-\ )
  Crunch Time

Some of the above is tentative, such as Delaney for Crim Law (recommended in PLSII) and the Crunch Time for Torts (I'm not sure if either of these are good).  And also - I'll probably get some canned briefs, like High Court Case Summaries (I'll figure this out later).

E&E's for the following subjects:

 Civ. Pro
 Contracts
 Torts


Gilberts First Year Set
 Civil Procedure
 Contracts
 Criminal Law
 Property
 Torts

Serisously, you are wasting your money on the Torts E&E.  It's very incomplete. 

Quite honestly, I think all of you pre-1L's are jumping the gun buying supplements this early. 

It's very worthwhile to wait a couple of weeks, feel out the class, reidentify your learning style, and see if your professor suggests any supplements.  I don't think anyone who waits a week or two into classes to buy supplements in any way jeapordizes his chances of getting an A.

Sweet.  Now I can continue with my plan of chilling at the beach until classes start with no guilt!
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: lincolnsgrandson on June 23, 2005, 04:45:39 AM
also, I never liked using flash cards, even though many of colleagues use them.  Unless your exam is multiple choice, I think they're a poor way to study.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: btideroll on July 07, 2005, 07:01:11 PM
I don't know why folks are suggesting half of the E&E or even just 1-2.

I bought the newest editions of all the E&E's (Torts, Crim Law, Contracts, Property, Civ Pro) There are very new editions for a lot of those that settled a few issues that students had in the past. Why? The practice will be invaluable.

Whether or not the book is complete is irrelevant. Its a source to further understanding via examples, just because it doesn't have ALL examples doesn't mean its not worth it. Whose to say all profs will cover all of a given subject anyways--they at least cover the very important subjects.

So far I have all the E&E, the Gilbert Property (may end up getting contracts as well and Torts since the E&E tort is selective--only as a supplement to help with BLL and to outline). I also have several exam taking books.

I wouldn't touch anyone else's outline with a 10 foot pole unless 1) they went to your school this last year 2) have the same profs you are going to have 3) made an A.

That being said, and speaking from an entering 1L, I appreciate anything that will give me as many examples and explanations as possible that will expose to me exam like questions...because the exam is what its all about. I'm not going to go for the canned briefs or any of that junk that strips you of the learning process. By reading the stuff yourself and struggling and practicing, thats how you learn to analyze and thats how you will toast the competition. Just watch.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: Janna116 on July 30, 2005, 02:24:40 PM
I loved the Black Letter Series Outlines, very helpful for getting the ....Black Letter Law,  ;D
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: ruskiegirl on July 30, 2005, 07:22:37 PM
I don't know why folks are suggesting half of the E&E or even just 1-2.

I bought the newest editions of all the E&E's (Torts, Crim Law, Contracts, Property, Civ Pro) There are very new editions for a lot of those that settled a few issues that students had in the past. Why? The practice will be invaluable.

Whether or not the book is complete is irrelevant. Its a source to further understanding via examples, just because it doesn't have ALL examples doesn't mean its not worth it. Whose to say all profs will cover all of a given subject anyways--they at least cover the very important subjects.

So far I have all the E&E, the Gilbert Property (may end up getting contracts as well and Torts since the E&E tort is selective--only as a supplement to help with BLL and to outline). I also have several exam taking books.

I wouldn't touch anyone else's outline with a 10 foot pole unless 1) they went to your school this last year 2) have the same profs you are going to have 3) made an A.

That being said, and speaking from an entering 1L, I appreciate anything that will give me as many examples and explanations as possible that will expose to me exam like questions...because the exam is what its all about. I'm not going to go for the canned briefs or any of that junk that strips you of the learning process. By reading the stuff yourself and struggling and practicing, thats how you learn to analyze and thats how you will toast the competition. Just watch.

The bigger problem with some of the E&E's is that they are not only incomplete, but also inaccurate.  Even the newest editions contain numerous mistakes and you should always consult a professor or a more advanced student before using a certain supplement.  If you take the time to go to office hours and ask, most professors will tell you which study guides to stay away from and they might even recommend one that they believe to be accurate and complete.

Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: CoxlessPair on July 31, 2005, 01:17:15 PM
Just tagging this guy...
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: BigTex on July 31, 2005, 04:32:13 PM
The bigger problem with some of the E&E's is that they are not only incomplete, but also inaccurate. 

Could you cite an example of such an innacuracy? I find it hard to believe that, say, the elements of battery i learned in the Torts E&E are incorrect and the rest of the legal world actually uses a different set of elements when arguing a claim of battery. I think you make a valid point by saying that one cannot rely solely on supplementary material, but it's quite another thing to say that these primers are actually in error.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: ruskiegirl on July 31, 2005, 05:37:19 PM
The bigger problem with some of the E&E's is that they are not only incomplete, but also inaccurate. 

Could you cite an example of such an innacuracy? I find it hard to believe that, say, the elements of battery i learned in the Torts E&E are incorrect and the rest of the legal world actually uses a different set of elements when arguing a claim of battery. I think you make a valid point by saying that one cannot rely solely on supplementary material, but it's quite another thing to say that these primers are actually in error.
I think the general principles are mostly correct.  Like you said, the elements of battery are difficult to mess up.  However, certain nuances of docrtrine are slightly more complicated and more prone to inaccuracy.  My Property professor specifically told us NOT to use E and E for her class because many of the Answers in the Explanations sections were wrong.  She did not provide specific examples, but I knew to stop reading the book. ;)  She suggested Gilbert instead. 
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: BigTex on July 31, 2005, 08:18:10 PM
The bigger problem with some of the E&E's is that they are not only incomplete, but also inaccurate. 

Could you cite an example of such an innacuracy? I find it hard to believe that, say, the elements of battery i learned in the Torts E&E are incorrect and the rest of the legal world actually uses a different set of elements when arguing a claim of battery. I think you make a valid point by saying that one cannot rely solely on supplementary material, but it's quite another thing to say that these primers are actually in error.
I think the general principles are mostly correct.  Like you said, the elements of battery are difficult to mess up.  However, certain nuances of docrtrine are slightly more complicated and more prone to inaccuracy.  My Property professor specifically told us NOT to use E and E for her class because many of the Answers in the Explanations sections were wrong.  She did not provide specific examples, but I knew to stop reading the book. ;)  She suggested Gilbert instead. 

thanks. interesting. i did like the Torts E&E least of the E&E's i've read so far. Felt a bit too informal and colloquial (sp?). Even so, and in spite of any nuanced failings, it has given me a rudimentary overview of the subject matter that i can't help but feel is valid.
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: btideroll on August 01, 2005, 07:07:57 AM
well surely a student would take the profs definition over a primer anyways. but the point of them is to expose yourself to hypotheticals and to learn legal analysis. I don't really think these primers are "in error" or are "inaccurate" as much as they conflict with other profs views. That is just the way it goes though, it seems profs always want their slant on things.

Your prof recommended Gilbert? that's sweet

http://cacheofreason.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: jdohno on August 01, 2005, 08:48:33 AM
I agree.

well surely a student would take the profs definition over a primer anyways. but the point of them is to expose yourself to hypotheticals and to learn legal analysis. I don't really think these primers are "in error" or are "inaccurate" as much as they conflict with other profs views. That is just the way it goes though, it seems profs always want their slant on things.

Your prof recommended Gilbert? that's sweet

http://cacheofreason.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: Todd on August 01, 2005, 04:06:45 PM
I bought the "law in a flash" series for wills and trusts which I'm taking this fall. DO NOT BUY THEM!!! Ok enough shouting. They are grossly inaccurate. They often cite the RT2d (restatement 2nd of trusts). When the 3rd has been published since - get this - 1992!!!

Worse, I'm going through these cards and about half-way through I get a question from one of the lawyers I'm clerking for. It seems our client is the beneficiary of a trust and we need to shelter the funds to qualify for certain public services. The trustee is being uncooperative and we'd like to force his hand. I look at the records we have and realize that his investment strategies are rather poor and I recall that what I have learned indicates the trustee must at least invest in a savings account (card 505). I look up that card RT2d 207 and low and behold the RT3d withdrew that entire section!!! It's no longer good law. I look up the statute in IL. and sure enough it follows the RT3d.

It turns out all right because t-bills are the actual standard (now don't quote me on that, I'm not a lawyer).

The point is that any supplement that fails to update from 1992 needs to be tossed.

...
Title: Re: Opinions of study guides, "Crunchtime", "Nutshell" "Law in Flash"
Post by: Todd on August 01, 2005, 04:09:26 PM
FYI, a quick glance showed these cards citing RT2d, 292, 278 270, 267, 294, 499, 526. Who knows if the law has changed.