Law School Discussion

Where are you buying your books?


Where are you buying your books?
« on: July 29, 2005, 11:13:24 PM »
Does anyone know of any decent online sources for legal textbooks?  Are we better off buying from the campus bookstore (I'm guessing not)?  How are you buying your books?

Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2005, 02:30:25 AM »
I've found books on Ebay before, but you have to be careful you are buying the right edition and make sure they are very clear about the condition of the book.  Another good source is and of course  On both of those I look for used books that are in excellent condition, again make sure they are specific about the condition.  A commercial source is but the prices there are about what you'd find on campus at the book store.

Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2005, 07:59:32 PM »
Any of my textbooks I can get on Amazon -- I already looked there (I'm section A1). 

And Amazon is probably cheaper.  Although I wouldn't buy your books until Aug 5 -- well, that's what the law school recommends.

I've decided to buy new books, at least for the first semester.  It's expensive, yes, but I prefer not having to sort through other people's comments and highlighting for my own.  I have enough constraints on my time.

Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2005, 12:08:46 AM »
I don't know if its a good idea or not for law school, but I got through undergrad just fine by buying used books whenever possible. There's plenty of used books on or Some of the prices are absurdly low. Anyway, I already ordered all of my books used from amazon of half. I guess I'll report back when I get them and pray that they're in the half decent condition.

Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2005, 08:29:43 AM »
I'm a soon-to-be 3L on law review at Pitt.

I bought all new books my first semester, study aids, and everything - total waste of money.  I now buy off of Amazon, e-bay bidding, and and spend about 1/3 that of my classmates who still go to the bookstore.

(1)  Study Aids:  If you go to campus bookstore, they will try to push these on you.  I have seen this happen for myself and have pulled 1Ls aside and told them the following:
     (a)  Hornbooks - Don't buy them.  The library has them.  The bookstore was particularly bad about pushing the Civil Procedure one on students last year.
     (b)  Outlines - 2Ls and 3Ls will happily give you their outlines or course notes.  The Pitt Law Women's Association (PLWA) stores old outlines online.  I used these quite a bit and found them helpful if I had zoned out in class for a few minutes.  As for commercial outlines, I would honestly wait.  Some people will tell you to wait until October, I would personally wait until you are close to finishing a major component of the course (which could be in September).  Some commercial products are far superior to others.  Many contain errors.  If you want them now for peace-of-mind, I recommend the following:
          (1)  Legal Process:  Glannon's Multiple Choice book and his Examples and Explanations one.  These are the ONLY ones I would recommend getting now and may actually even be required for some legal process classes.
          (2)  Criminal Law:  I didn't use a study aid.
          (3)  Contracts:  Professor Madison had recommended the Concepts and Insights series book (it has a blue cover) for my class, which puts contract principles in plain English.  I'll probably sell mine in a few days. For outlining/learning, some people (myself included) prefer Emanuel's over Examples of Explanations or Gilberts for contracts.
          (4)  Torts:  Glannon's Examples and Explanations.
          (5)  Legal Writing:  Some sections list a book by Diana Hacker.  I bought it, and I've never opened it.  I have the new bluebook, but I ordered it from Harvard's site - it came within 3-4 days.

Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2005, 08:55:26 AM »
I would have gone ahead and ordered everything, but Barrister Books was out of stock of several of the books, most notably the Bluebook.  Has anyone found that on  I didn't have any luck.

I was able to find one from a seller on Amazon.  There were only 1 or 2 people selling the 18th edition.


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Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2005, 10:44:55 AM »
Aspen Publishing
Barnes and Noble
Westlaw (Thomson)

It depended on when they could ship (3-4 weeks doesn't do me any good).  Shipping was free on everything because the min order was like $25 or something so ANY book or sup is going to exceed that.  Sometimes I got lucky and hit a sale - like Aspen gave me 15% off plus free shipping.  It undercut the school bookstore prices by about $5-$10 pre book.  Westlaw was the only one who had the Tort Sum and Substance CD series in stock - which is very good BTW.  Amazon had some stuff, but usually wasn't the cheapest.

Here's a coupon for 5% off at BarristerBooks:

The other thing I did was Google the ISBN and get hits on  the book and where to buy it and then compared prices.

Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2005, 12:11:20 PM »
You can order The Bluebook from the Harvard Law Review Association here:

Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2005, 11:53:44 AM »
Kittenhawk - do you think we should invest in Black's Law Dictionary? Or will we make it with a smaller & less expensive pocket dictionary...? Just curious about your or anyone else's opinion on this....


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Re: Where are you buying your books?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2005, 12:09:09 PM »
I got my books (the required ones) at the Pitt bookstore.  With your pitt ID (or with a printout of your schedule and a photo id) there is no tax on the books.  They have everything, and I got 2 used that were virtually spotless.  I'll get my studyaids used on or  My books were around $575.