As the midpoint of the semester has come and gone, many are beginning to feel the pressure from the approach of finals. Those who have not been using commercial outlines, briefs, and overviews all semester begin wondering if they should include these into their routine, and if so, which ones. Westlaw is offering a new option to students interested in having access to multiple different types of study aids right from their laptop. Through the Westlaw Study Aids Subscription service, students can have access to over 300+ study aids at a cost of about $20-$25 a month (depending on a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month term). Obviously, the study aids available on this service are the ones published by West Publishing, so students will not find the Examples and Explanation series or any other product from Aspen Publishers. However, Westlaw provides the Nutshell series, Gilbert Law Summaries, Acing Series, and High Court Case Summaries keyed to multiple subjects and authors, and pretty much any other study aid published by West.
Once registered, students can select study aids by subject, series, material type, or a search bar that allows students to type in specific case names or elements, and the aids that contain those topics will be listed. Once a study aid is selected it will open in a new window, as shown in the image below, and the student can highlight, take notes, copy text, and print individual pages. One of the downsides of this is that the e-book cannot be saved as a PDF (for obvious copyright protections) so if you have a Kindle, Nook, or iPad you cannot transfer the study aids to them. After using this service for the past few months I think there are definite benefits in having access to multiple different study aids, especially for students who did not get passed down study aids from the previous class. I would definitely recommend this option to students who are not quite sure what series they want to use for their classes and do not mind reading books off their computer screen.
-Monica Willian (1L)