Published on August 23, 2021 by Ed Craig, Reference Librarian  

What is the point of study aids? Is it just more reading on top of what the professor already has assigned? In my law school experience, many times I would read a case assigned for class and have very little understanding of what I was supposed to take from it after reading it. Use of study aids is a means of understanding what the rule from the case is, as well as grasp how that rule fits into that topic of law being studied. Another way to understand the role of study aids is this—while your casebook tries to describe the law of a subject using only case law, study aids are structured to describe the law of a subject in easy-to-understand narratives, providing examples along the way to help the student better understand the topic at hand. Additionally, many of the study aids provide test questions to help the student learn the subject, as well as prepare for the final examination; in fact, there are publications such as “Questions & Answers” that only provide test questions for helping the student understand the law and prepare for that all-important final test. 

Beeson Law Library has a plethora of study aids available to Cumberland students through online access from the following publishers—LexisNexis, West Academic and Wolters Kluwer. After accessing the law library homepage, you can find these study aid access points by clicking on “Databases” from the list of options at the right side of the screen. Alternatively, you may wish to consult the Study Aids Research Guide. After clicking on a study aid link the first time for one of the publishers, you will likely need to sign on with your Samford ID and password; the resulting screen will show a publisher’s entry point to the study aids from their portfolio that we have subscribed to; each publisher’s format for finding needed study aids will be somewhat different. This approach is particularly valuable if you are discovering “what is out there” for your topic. If you already know the specific study aid that you want, searching the Beeson Law Library’s online catalog is your quickest means of access. Additionally, there will be some recent and older editions of the study aids kept in the 2nd Floor treatise collection (available for seven-day checkout).

If you have any questions about study aids, please contact a reference librarian.