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In addition to informing consumers about their rights and helping attorneys build their careers, Justia provides resources to assist current and prospective law students. Recently, we expanded our US Law Schools Center with case law outlines covering a broad range of topics. These include not only the first-year core curriculum and common bar exam subjects but also numerous electives.
As summer turns to fall, law schools across the U.S. welcome new and returning students for the academic year. While first-year students complete a relatively standardized curriculum, students in their second and third years can explore more diverse options. This can help them identify areas in which they may want to practice.
Whether introductory or advanced, most law school courses integrate analysis of key cases. Understanding these cases is essential both to learning the law and to law school performance. Thus, a student typically will compile an “outline” for each course as a personalized study guide. Justia aims to complement these resources by providing case law outlines. From these outlines, a student can reach the full text of nearly every case covered, available for free on our site.
The case law outlines span 32 topics and over 2,600 cases. Over 1,050 cases come from the U.S. Supreme Court, while over 550 cases come from U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and over 500 cases from state supreme courts.
Numerous other cases come from U.S. District Courts and from intermediate appellate courts at the state level. Finally, dozens of cases come from beyond U.S. borders, including cases from British courts, Canadian courts, and the International Court of Justice. (While foreign and international cases are not binding on U.S. courts, they sometimes influence the development of U.S. doctrine).
How the Outlines Work
Once they select an outline, a student will find a table of contents near the top of the page. This lists the sub-topics into which the outline is divided, permitting easier navigation.
A student can click on the topic of their choice to see a list of related cases, or they can simply scroll down the page. Each sub-topic is introduced by a brief explanation. After each case comes a description of one or more takeaways.
By clicking on a case, a student will reach its full text.
This allows students to easily read the entirety of an opinion online, providing an alternative to a casebook for those who prefer digital resources. Moreover, casebooks often include only excerpts of an opinion. By reading the full text, a student may find useful context that helps them better understand the legal principles.
Currently, the outlines cover the following topics:
These outlines are intended only as a guide to students, rather than attorneys. They illuminate the trajectory that the law has followed over time, rather than summarizing the current state of the law.
Explore the US Law Schools Center
The US Law Schools Center at Justia contains additional resources for prospective and current law students. For example, a student hoping to attend a law school in a certain state (such as California) can click on that state to find a list of ABA-accredited law schools there. Each law school has its own profile page, providing information about topics such as admissions, faculty, financial aid, legal clinics, and law journals. A prospective student also can explore law school FAQs to find more details about what to expect and insights on whether the law is the right path for them.
As students approach the end of their time at law school, they search for the right place to start a legal career. Getting a first job after graduation can be daunting, especially in a challenging economy. Justia offers resources related to jobs in law, including a free legal jobs newsletter to which a student can subscribe.
Most people probably think of Justia as a provider of free legal content to consumers and a provider of marketing strategies to attorneys. By expanding the US Law Schools Center, Justia reaches a third audience: students who will form the future of the legal profession.Related Posts
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