I would definitely wait until school starts to buy anything. Some people love study aids and others hate them, so I would wait to see what feels best for you. As far as what to buy, heres some suggestions:-Ask a 2L who had that professor and see what they used.-Pick your aid based on what type of exam it is. E&E's have great short answer questions.-Look around your professors office. I had two professors that had study aids in their offices and those books were prefect matches for those classes. -Look around your library. Ours has a section of study aids. This will allow you to see what everyone else has used, but it will also let you look at them for free. -Get ones that match with your book. You assume the professor picked the book because it states the rules as they like, so the study aid which states the same thing would be best. -Look through old posts on the boards about certain classes. Certain books are known for being good for certain subjects (ex. Gilbert's on Property.)
FWIW, I did really well at a top school.Here are my recc's:CivPro: Glannon E&E (everyone says this)Crim: Dressler (Lexis)Crimpro: Dressler (Lexis)Property: Sprankling (Lexis)Contracts: Not sure, but definitely NOT E&E. Lexis was ok.Torts: Don't know.I really liked the understanding series. Canned briefs are stupid. Yes, you can use them if you don't have enough time to read the case. A MUCH better strategy would be to figure out how to read a case fast enough that you wouldn't ever need them. With practice, you can get everything you'd need in 5 minutes. Skim.As for using any of these before the fall, maybe read Glannon. You would never buy a restatement, by the way, since they aren't study aids, everything you'd need is in your casebook, and what you don't need is in Westlaw/Lexis.