« on: August 06, 2009, 06:33:25 PM »
Hornbooks are typically 800 to 1200 pages. They are your real textbook for the course. A casebook is a maze in which the reader is somehow expected to be able parse through in order to obtain both rules and the big picture. It does not work. While other students read a 1000-page casebook, I only quickly read the casebook and instead focus my time on reading a 1000-page hornbook. We both invest the same amount of time, but the hornbook is about answers or a set of debatable answers and not about questions. By reading the hornbook, you will get a summary of the entire area of law and not just a set of sampled points that your professor chooses. If the professor were only to test on material directly covered in class, there would be no problem skipping these hornbook sections. The reality is, however, that a professor will quickly touch on a lot of things and expect you to have made connections and leaps from his comments. Sometimes, this would be nearly impossible to do so given the materials discussed in class. However, the hornbook likely covered the material in more depth. Also, sometimes professors will model a test question on a somewhat famous case that has been academically debated that is not in your casebook. He is testing how you extend the tools he taught in class to a new situation, although you, as a reader of a hornbook that covered that case, have seen the courtís actual reasoning.