1L Guide on Research, Analysis and Exam Prep

This guide is designed for first-year law students who are looking for materials to help them with their legal research and writing course (LARAW), and basic legal analysis. There is also a section on preparing for exams.


Mabie Law Library has nutshells, hornbooks and other study resources available for use by law students. Typically, the latest editions of the nutshells and hornbooks are available in the Stauffer Reserve Collection, unless a professor has placed the title on course reserve.  You can search for either hornbooks or nutshells in OSCAR, the library's online catalog, by searching by title for the phrase: hornbook series or nutshell series.  Other series students may find of interest are:  Black LetterLaw School Exam SeriesExamples & ExplanationsSiegel'sExam ProLegal Text SeriesQuestions & Answers Series, or the Understanding Series.   Please check with the reference staff if you need assistance in finding a title.

The library also has old SCU Law exams on file, but only those exams that the faculty have agreed to include in our collection.  These published exams normally include only essay questions and do not include multiple choice or true/false questions. Please see the research guide, How to Find Previous Exams to find exactly what you need..  Some professors may place multiple choice exams on course reserve in the library or professors may place exams, multiple choice questions, sample answers, or other special exam materials online on 

The library staff recommends that you utilize the exam indexes first to locate exams.  If no exams are available for your course or professor, check the Course Reserve Lists on OSCAR Finally, you should check the personal website of the faculty.

Articles to Get You Started in Law School

Essential Reading

Practical Advice


The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction is a non-profit consortium that creates tutorials for first and second year law students.  They are typically Flash-based and include quizes, examples, and interactive illustrations.  Some students find these to be very helpful for preparing for exams.

Other Guides for New Students

Heafey Law Library Research Team