I just finished my 1L year. I spent a lot of money on new books the first semester, but much less the second semester. This is mainly because I thought I needed to have new books so I could highlight what I thought was important. It is nice to have new books, especially if you are "book-briefing." However, if you have time, go to the bookstore and try to find clean used books, or at least fairly clean. You would be surprised how many people don't highlight much in their books. I found many used books my second semester that were in great shape. It takes time but it is worth the savings. If you can't find any with light highlighting then buy new, because all the colors can get distracting. Also, a word of advice concerning commercial outlines/study aids considering they will increase your book expenses: Definitely use them, but find a good one and stick with it! You will hear many people talk about how great their commercial outlines/study aids are and you may be tempted to buy them because you don't want to be at a disadvantage. However, remember you will have plenty to read from your casebook and too many study aids results in books not being used simply because you do not have time to read all of them. Ask a 2L what study aids they used and then make your own decision. Most are the same, except they may have a different format. If you find out that your prof gives multiple choice questions on his/her exams then find a study aid that ask multiple choice questions. Also, try the bar review books since the presence of multiple choice questions on the bar is why profs use multiple choice questions on their exams.