Final Exams Are Coming — The Law Library Can Help!

Exams are not very far away but don’t panic! The Law Library has a number of exam resources that can help you. Below are some resources that feature general law school exam studying and test taking tips. Stay tuned for next week’s blog posts where we’ll go over the types of study aids and where to find study aids for the first week of exams.

Study Aids to Help Generally with Exams


  • 1L of a Ride
    • Available through the West Academic subscription
    • Covered topics include pre-planning, top student fears, first-year curriculum, the Socratic and case methods of teaching, effective class participation, top habits of successful students, essential study techniques, legal research and writing, exam strategies, maintaining well-being, and much more. Combines anecdotes, comments from law students, empirical research, and authentic samples of signature documents from the 1L experience, including exam questions.
  • The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School
    • Available through the West Academic subscription
    • This work teaches the eight secrets that will add points to every exam answer you write. You will learn the three keys to handling any essay exam, how to use time to your advantage, issue spotting, how to organize your answer, and the hidden traps of the IRAC method. Once you have mastered these skills, you can put your knowledge to the test with sample exam questions and check your answers against those provided. A special section on how to do well on other types of exams, such as open-book, multiple-choice, or policy exams, is also included.
  • Getting to Maybe
    • Law Stacks KF283 .F47 1999
    • Getting to Maybe teaches how to excel on law school exams by showing the reader how legal analysis can be brought to bear on examination problems. The book contains hints on studying and preparation. The authors illustrate how to argue both sides of a legal issue without appearing indecisive. Above all, the book explains why exam questions may generate feelings of uncertainty or doubt about correct legal outcomes and how the student can turn these feelings to his or her advantage.
  • How to Write Law School Exams: IRAC Perfected
    • Available through the West Academic subscription
    • Provides students of all levels with a detailed, comprehensive, and practical guide to success on law school exams. This text breaks the well-known IRAC method of legal writing into comprehensible segments and gives students the tools needed to master their law exams. Provides readers with detailed student-written examples of the IRAC method in action. Annotated with line-by-line critiques, these sample essays show readers exactly what can go wrong in a law school exam and how to fix those problems before they appear on a graded paper.
  • Law School Materials for Success
    • Available through CALI
    • This text contains chapters on outlining and exam preparation and taking an exam.
  • Law School Secrets: Outlining for Exam Success
    • Available through the West Academic subscription
    • This book answers the most-asked questions of first, second, and third year law school students. Exam Preparation: How long should my outline be? What should I include in my outline? What secondary sources should I use? Are study groups effective? Should I swap outlines with other students? How do I prepare for open and closed book exams? Writing the Exam: What is the best way to read the exam questions? How do I schedule my time? How do I organize my answer? When do I need to assume facts? How do I impress the professor?
  • Law School Success in a Nutshell
    • Available through the West Academic subscription
    • This text explains and gives examples of the best methods for studying and for taking exams. It provides questions and model answers from actual law school exams.
  • Mastering the Law School Exam: A Practical Blueprint for Preparing and Taking Law School Exams
    • Available through the West Academic subscription
    • This book offers detailed examples that show students precisely “how to do it” and “how to write it.” Its illustrations help students learn to: fill the gap between what the professor refers to as learning to “think like a lawyer” and the actual means for doing so; create a successful path from note-taking, to outlining, to exam writing; and much more.
  • A Practical Guide to Writing Law School Essay Exams
    • Law Stacks KF283 .D47 2001
    • Students who do well in law school tend to write their exams in a particular way. The purpose of this book is to introduce students to this method. Chapters teach the law student the purpose of an essay exam, the process of getting started, the basic steps in writing the essay, principles for explaining your answer, as well as basic organizational,signposting, and writing rules. An appendix contains two actual exam questions, including a “model” answer.
  • Sum and Substance Audio on How to Succeed in Law School
    • Available through the West Academic subscription
    • Covers preparing for the exam During the semester: Outlining; Use of study groups; Preparing for the exam during the semester: Assessing your weaknesses; Preparing for the exam right before finals; Taking the test; How to write an “A” paper; How do professors grade; and Learning from the test for future classes.
  • A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student
    • Available through the West Academic subscription.
    • This book gives law students weekly checklists explaining the skills necessary to successfully navigate their first year of law school. Each chapter provides a checklist of things to do that week, such as briefing cases, going over notes, outlining classes, or doing practice questions. When a new concept is introduced, this book clearly explains the concept and its purpose and provides examples. Instead of merely providing advice, this book lays out a detailed plan for students to follow. It also includes a bank of over 100 short, medium, and long practice questions in six first year subjects.
  • Your Brain and Law School
    • Available through LexisNexis Digital Library (Lexis OverDrive)
    • Before you can learn to think like a lawyer, you have to have some idea about how the brain thinks. The first part of this book translates the technical research, explaining learning strategies that work for the brain in law school specifically, and calling out other tactics that are useless (though often popular lures for the misinformed). This book is unique in explaining the science behind the advice and will save you from pursuing tempting shortcuts that will take you in the wrong direction. The second part explores the brain’s decision-making processes and cognitive biases.

Helpful Articles

All articles available through HeinOnline (restricted to UC students, faculty & staff).

Helpful Videos

These videos offer exam taking advice from law school professors and law students. All videos are available through YouTube.


Comments are closed.