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Free Case Briefs

Written by Brett McKay

During the middle of last semester, I stopped briefing cases. It was taking too much time away from doing practice exams and the such. I still read the cases and make a few notes in the margins, but I have not done a full length brief in months.

Instead, I go to Lexis Nexis and use their Case Brief service. Just type in the case number and select brief, and Lexis brings up a nice little case summary. Some summaries are better than others, but overall I’ve been happy with them. I’ve had no problems answering my professors’ questions using them.

Westlaw also has a case brief option, but I don’t like them as much. All they do is give you the West head notes as the brief. Sometimes there can be 20 or 30 head notes to sort through to find the issue that you need for class.

Another option is using 4 Law School’s case brief bank. These are briefs done by other students, so quality does vary. However, you can find some good ones. Briefs done by a guy named Bram have been useful in class.

Top Law Student also has a page with links to several free outlines. Many of these outlines incorporate case briefs. This is another great free resource.

What do you all do about case briefing?