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

1Ls: The Library Can Help You Through Your First Year

1Ls will soon discover that law school classes are different than undergraduate classes.  In an undergraduate class, you typically have a textbook which sets out what you need to know in a fairly straightforward manner.  Law school classes use case books composed of judicial opinions.  It is up to you to read the cases, figure out the rule of law set forth in the case, and then arrange all the rules of law, from all the cases, into an outline (For more information on this—see yesterday’s post on How to Read a Legal Opinion).  At exam time, you apply your outline of the law to fact patterns written by your professor.

Study Aids (books and audio CDs) can help you identify the important points in a case, and synthesize the body of law.  Study aids contain discussions of the cases in your case book, outlines and sample exam questions.   You can check out study aids at the library!  Take a look at our Study Aids Guide or come to the circulation desk or research services office (LL112) to ask for help.   Study aids are in Room A066, (one level down from the first floor.  The first floor is the floor where you enter the library) and in reference on the 1st floor.  Digital study aids are available for some titles as well.

Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) can be of great help to 1Ls as well.  CALI contains interactive lessons—over 1,000 of them covering all years of law school and most topics.  CALI access is free but you will need to sign up using the school’s authorization code.

The librarians can also help you with your legal research assignments.  We look forward to helping you this year!  Librarians are available during Research Services Hours and can be reached in person in LL112 by the circulation desk or by phone (216) 687-6877, email, or
chat .  For more in depth projects, you may want to schedule a research consultation.

CALI Has Lots to Offer

What is it?  CALI (The Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction) is a non-profit consortium.  Most members are law schools in the US.  CALI focuses on computer legal instruction.

Where can you get access to CALI?  The easiest way is from the law library’s homepage.  You can access under “Quicklinks” then click CALI.  You will need to create your own CALI login if you haven’t already.  To create a CALI login click on the link for “Authorization Code” under “Quicklinks” and follow the steps.

What can I use CALI for? All 1L classes are covered via CALI lessons as are the vast majority of upper level ones.  You can also look for lessons based on a casebook or author (professor).  By searching by casebook, you can be assured that the lesson will be based on the same casebook used in your class.

CALI also offers a large number of ebooks.  The ebooks are free and authored by many law school professors.  In fact you may see books from C|M|Law professors available (e.g. Deborah Geir and Browne Lewis).

Finally CALI also has a great search feature.  The search box is located in the upper right hand corner of the screen.  Your search will bring up lessons, ebooks, and blog posts on the appropriate topic.

As always, if you have any questions about CALI, ask your friendly librarians.

October’s Law Library Contest Is Here: “The Other Guys” CALI CONTEST


October’s Law Library Contest Is Here: “The Other Guys” CALI CONTEST


October’s library contest focuses on CALI.

The winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Here are the rules:

  • Answer the questions below;
  • Email your answers to Brian Cassidy (  by 11:59 PM, Sunday, October 30th;
  • Winner chosen by random drawing of correct entries on Monday October 31st and notified by email the same day.




Here are the contest questions:


  • List 3 courses on CALI for 2L and 3L students;
  • Besides lessons, name one other useful feature that CALI offers;
  • List two ways to find a CALI lesson.




Reminder: There is also still time to enter September’s contest (enter that as well by 11:59 PM, Sunday, October 30th).

CALI: More than Lessons

CALI has a lot to offer.  Use the search box at the upper right corner of your CALI screen to explore everything they have on your topic.  For example if you type in “offer” you receive a lot of result.  Not only would you receive hits for lessons but I also received hits from CALIs blog, podcast, and case correlations as well.  Next time you are looking for a CALI lesson try the search box to see what else CALI has to offer.


CALI Time Trial: Learn While Playing a Game

CALI Time Trial (you can also access once signed into CALI) is a fun, interactive online card game that will increase your US Supreme Court knowledge.

How does it work?  You start with one card revealed on your screen.  Each card represents a significant case, amendment or Supreme Court Justice.  From the clues on the card you determine the year of the case or the year the Justice was first appointed.

Next, drag the card to the right or left of the card above. Put the cards in ascending date order from left to right by dragging and dropping them left, right or between the cards in the top row.  Every ten cards you place increases your points per card.time-trial