Law School Materials for Success

Table of contents
Law School Materials for Success
1st Edition
Barbara Glesner Fines
© 2018 CALI eLangdell Press, www.cali.org. Subject to an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA
Table Of Contents
Law School Materials for Success

Barbara Glesner Fines

Associate Dean & Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law

University of Missouri Kansas City





CALI eLangdell® Press 2013

Introduction.1. About the Author

Barbara Glesner Fines is the Ruby M. Hulen Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where she has taught since 1986. Professor Glesner received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her masters of law degree from Yale Law School. She teaches Professional Responsibility, Family Violence, Divorce Process, and a Seminar in Ethical Issues in the Representation of Families and Children.

Her recent publications include Ethical Issues in Family Representation (Carolina Academic Press 2010); Professional Responsibility: Collaborative Approach (Context and Skills Series) (Carolina Academic Press 2012); Fifty Years of Family Law Practice - The Evolving Role of The Family Law Attorney, 24 J. AMER. ACAD. MATRIM. L. 601 (2011); Lessons Learned About Classroom Teaching from Authoring Computer-assisted Instruction Lessons, 38 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 1094 (2012).

Professor Glesner has held leadership positions in many organizations devoted to legal education, including the AALS Section on Teaching Methods (Chair 2012-13); the AALS section on Professional Responsibility (Secretary 2012-13); the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (Board of Directors, 1998‐2005; President 2002‐2005; Editorial Board 1998- current); and the Institute for Law School Teaching and Learning (Advisory Board 2003-date, Acting President 2006‐2008).

Introduction.2. Notices

This is the first version of the first edition of this chapter, updated June 11, 2012. Visit http://elangdell.cali.org/ for the latest version and for revision history.

This work by Barbara Glesner Fines is licensed and published by CALI eLangdell Press under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. CALI and CALI eLangdell Press reserve under copyright all rights not expressly granted by this Creative Commons license. CALI and CALI eLangdell Press do not assert copyright in US Government works or other public domain material included herein. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available through feedback@cali.org.

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This material does not contain nor is intended to be legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a licensed attorney in their jurisdiction. The editors have endeavored to provide complete and accurate information in this book. However, CALI does not warrant that the information provided is complete and accurate. CALI disclaims all liability to any person for any loss caused by errors or omissions in this collection of information.

Introduction.3. About CALI eLangdell® Press

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Introduction.4. Preface

Dear Law Student,

The first year of law school is, for many people, one of the most significant transitions of their adult life. Law school demands a lot as it helps you make the transition from your prior identity as student (or as some other occupational role) to your new identity as an attorney. To meet the demands of law school, it is often helpful to have the big picture before you begin – a sense of what it is you are trying to do as you prepare for classes, participate in those classes, review and prepare for exams, take exams, and then begin the cycle once again.

Law School Materials for Success is designed to give you the essentials of that process. It is purposefully brief – most law students do not have the time for an extensive examination of the study of law school. Rather, they need a source for some basic, critical advice and some pointers on where to go for more if necessary. That is what this book and the accompanying podcasts are designed to provide.

Each chapter of the book focuses on a different aspect of law school learning. I have observed that many students who have not performed as well as they would like in law school are missing some key academic rung on the ladder of academic skills. For example, they are preparing for and participating in class very well, but they haven’t learned how to effectively translate that learning into the review necessary to perform well on exams. Or they do quite well in all the stages of law school learning up to the crucial exams – where they are missing some fundamental skill or understanding of what is being asked of them. By working through each of these chapters and comparing your approach to law school learning to the suggestions presented here, you can master law school learning and achieve success.

I hope that you find these materials helpful as an overview of law school method before you begin your first year, or as a refresher resource you can consult quickly and easily as you proceed through law school. I am always interested in your ideas and feedback. My email is glesnerb@umkc.edu.


Barb Glesner Fines



A Note from CALI:

Professor Glesner Fines has created several podcasts to accompany the material in this book. The Lawdibles, Your Audio Law Professor, are available from lawdibles.classcaster.net

Titles related to material in this book include:

  • Factors that Influence Law School Success
  • Exam Writing and Briefing Cases
  • Outlining for Law School Exams
  • Improving Exam Taking Skills by Reviewing Last Semester’s Exams
  • The Relationship Between Law School and Jobs




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