New Student Orientation
Welcome to Widener University School of Law. The Legal Information Center is here to help with your information needs. This web page contains links and information that will be useful to you during your first weeks of law school. Preparing for Class
Although you will not get a password until classes start, Westlaw contains some information you can use without a password.
  • Westlaw's First Year Center contains several useful and short articles about the law school experience.
  • LexisNexis has some information for new students, including capsule summaries of several legal topics.
Study Materials Available in the Legal Information Center
  • Hornbooks A legal treatise setting forth the basic principles of law for a given subject area and considered the most in-depth type of material geared to the law student market.
  • Nutshells A series of paperback volumes published by the West Publishing Company designed to give a clear and concise overview of the subject area written for law students.
  • Understanding Series Provides clearly written and authoritative coverage of every major concept in a subject area. The titles of these books begin with "Understanding". So for legal topics you will have Understanding Civil Procedure, Understanding Contracts, etc.
  • Examples and Explanations Available for a number of subject areas including criminal law, administrative law and constitutional law; these books not only summarize the law, but also analyze and explain rules and doctrines.
  • CALI the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, is a collection of over one hundred interactive, computer-based lessons covering 27 legal education subject areas. These can be used on CALI's website (see a reference librarian for the Widener authorization code). A CALI CD is also available at the reference desk. Useful CALI lessons for first year students include:
  • There are numerous commercial study aids available which vary widely in their ability to help you prepare for class and exams. They range from succinct subject outlines to more in-depth works. Your legal education requires that you thoroughly prepare for class by briefing assigned cases, but you may find these supplemental study aids helpful in developing an understanding of a given subject area. Most of these can be found in the reserve collection and can be checked out for three hours. The bookstore has study aids available for sale. Before making a purchase, we suggest you borrow it from the Legal Information Center to determine if it is a worthwhile investment.
  • Legal Dictionaries
    • Black's and other legal dictionaries are available in the Reference section of the library.
    • Findlaw has an online legal dictionary.
The Legal Infomation Center facilities are ready for your use.
  • Computers
  • Quiet study areas
  • Group study areas
Reference Librarians
Experienced information professionals are available to assist you. Exams
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