News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for November, 2012


Your Guide to Library Study Aids

Our Study Aids guide covers how to find study aids and the different kinds of study aids available. The Guide lists study aids by type and series, like Sum & Substance, Examples & Explanations, Understanding Series, and Emanuel Law Outlines. It also gives you the names and call numbers for study aids to specific topics, like constitutional law, torts, contracts or evidence. As you probably know, study aids that you can check out are located on the Atrium level in room AO66. There are also second copies of many study aids in the first range in the reference section – you can use these copies in the library. Good luck studying!

Listen to Study Aids on CD-ROM or iPhone

If you want a break from all that reading, you may want to try listening to your study aids. Sum & Substance is a very popular series of study aids that are available [for free] on CD-ROM from us or [not for free] for your iPhone from the App Store.

We have Sum & Substance CD-ROMs on subjects such as constitutional law, torts, criminal procedure, contracts, evidence, corporations, and many more – check the Scholar catalogue for the call numbers. They are all located in room AO66 on the Atrium level, and can be checked out for a one-week period, with renewals. Since they are very popular, there’s a good chance that the one you want may be checked out. If this is the case, stop by the access services desk and request that a staff person place a hold on the item. Then you will be notified when the item has been returned, and you will be next in line for it.

For iPhone users, you can purchase some titles from the Sum & Substance series from the App Store. Currently, the following titles are available: contracts, criminal law, constitutional law, criminal procedure, and real property. Prices range from $49.99 to $59.99.

Study Room Protocol in Preparation for Exams

As you ready yourself to take your exams, think ahead about where and when you plan to get in the necessary hours of study. Now that all study rooms are reserved online, this should be easier than ever. In addition, for the first time you will be able to reserve rooms a week ahead of time. Use this to your advantage. By planning ahead you will eliminate extra stress that you simply do not need to deal with.

If for any reason you have difficulties reserving a study space, please ask a librarian for help in person or by phone (216-687-2250). Problems could include anything from using the online system to requesting assistance to ask a student who has not made a reservation or is not a law student to leave a room. Please remember to be very considerate of all patrons using the library throughout the exam period. Every patron has a right to use our facilities and services. Try to keep noise levels down in study rooms as well as common areas.

Best of luck with your exam preparation!

Local Author Helps Lawyers Write

Kracker BookListen to the local news or read the newspaper for evidence that the English language is abused.

Know won no’s corect gramer and speling anymour, and they don’t seam to care (sic)!

As lawyers, we appreciate that a misplaced comma can change the meaning of a sentence. The comma misplaced in the following example could be costly: “Mr. Smith left $100,000 to Tom, Dick and Harry.” Did Mr. Smith mean to leave $50,000 to Tom with $25,000 each to Dick and Harry? That’s what was directed in that sentence. Simply adding a comma after Dick would provide equal distribution of the money.

The ABA Basic Guide to Punctuation, Grammar, Workplace Productivity, and Time Management by Jayne Kracker is a handy tool that should be on every desk in the office and on everyone’s holiday gift list. It covers basic rules of punctuation and grammar. It has examples of each rule as it is related to the legal office. This guide answers questions such as: Where do I put the comma in a sentence? Does the end-of-line punctuation go inside or outside the quotation mark?

Other useful information includes capitalization, quotation marks, subject/verb agreement, misplaced modifiers, letter styles and formats, tricky words, and spelling hints. Time management techniques and suggestions to improve productivity by utilizing practices such as “delegating and reporting” are available. This guide provides relief from the occasional “brain cramp” by having a useful tool at your fingertips.

Bring back the dinosaurs—those who understand and appreciate the English language!

Jayne Kracker, a graduate of Kent State University, has a long career in education and business. She was an adjunct professor at Ohio’s Kent State University, Lakeland Community College and Cleveland’s Notre Dame College. As an educator in business, Kracker knows people seek assistance with business writing grammar.Kracker may be contacted at krackerj@att.net.

Books to Help You Be A Better Exam-Taker

You probably know that room AO66 on the Library’s Atrium level houses an amazing collection of study aids that you can check out on substantive topics like torts, contract, property, any number of upper-level classes. If you’re smart, you’ve probably already picked out a few to take home.

But there’s also a good collection of all-purpose books in AO66 that can help you improve your exam-taking, regardless of the subject. These books offer test-taking strategies, analyze question and answer types, review IRAC, give pointers on essay organization, point out potential traps, and discuss time management. While you’re obviously busy with the “real” study aids on substantive subjects, it can be worthwhile to spend a spare hour or two browsing one of these all-purpose books. They’re all generally brief, and lend themselves readily to skimming.

Here are a few suggestions. You can find more on our Facebook page, in the album Law School Success.

  • The Zen of Law School Success [Find it]
  • Law School Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win [Find it]
  • The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School [Find it]
  • Strategies and Tactics for the First Year Law Students: Maximize Your Grades [Find it]
  • Open Book: Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School [Find it]