Support Materials: This is Where the Rubber Meets the Road


   The commercial outlines (both Emanuel and Gilberts), nutshells, audio content, flashcards, and Casenote Legal Brief’s mentioned in this section are all available through their respective publishers and may also be found at your university’s bookstore or at the law library.  All of the aforementioned are also available for purchase at (once at the site click on “complete legal topic list”).  Below are explanations of the various products and a conclusion wherein I make recommendations.

    Commercial Outlines (also referred to as "gouges"): These are topic based outlines available in all of the 1st year curriculum subjects, as well as selected 2nd and 3rd year courses.  The two major producers of commercial outlines are Emanuel Law Outlines and Gilbert Law Summaries.  The two products have a very similar layout, and are user friendly.  Both have case Indexes, Capsule summaries and numerous other helpful features. 
    Emanuel's Outlines have been incorporating a feature called "Exam Tips" that is a very helpful cut sheet of what to watch for on the exam.  Emanuel’s recently released a new addition to their outline products called Crunch Time.  Crunch Time, as the name implies, is designed to be used in the final days before exams.  I think Emanuel’s may be selling this product short by inferring that it is to be used for late stage studying.  Crunch Time has many of the same features you’ll find in the regular commercial outline version.  But Crunch Time also includes a treasure trove of flow chart style learning aids that will be a life saver to visual learners.
    Publisher’s are increasingly gearing their gouges toward specific casebooks.  So, before you make a purchase, check to see if the gouge is directed at a certain casebook.
    Commercial outlines are easily the most used of all the support materials available. Both Emanuel and Gilberts offer a package covering all of the first year subjects:
    The first year Emanuel set located at Amazon: Emanuel Law Outlines: First Year Set
    Gilberts Law Summaries are available at WestLaw.  In the Search form next to "Books & CD ROM's" input "Gilberts" then click "Go".

     Amazon also carries Crunch time for Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure, Torts, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Law.

     You'll notice that the publication dates of these products are oftentimes 1 - 4 years old.  This isn't a concern -- publishers don't do updates every year.  Case law doesn't change sufficiently in only a few years to warrant a reprinting.