We were intrigued to find law school course materials on the Web, hosted on the Lexis-Nexis site. Lexis-Nexis is of course one of the "Big Two" legal publishers in the U.S.
We also found a series of "capsule summaries" of various legal subjects. They range from 40-70 pages in length, but are well hyperlinked. Published by Emanual Law Outlines, they also appear on the Lexis-Nexis web site. The outlines are written for and marketed to law students but available to anyone with a web browser.
Learn more about the capsule outlines.
There are outlines on the following topics:
You may also want to look through the ILRG Law School Course Outlines Archive. Law school course outlines contributed by law students or recent graduates are offered for personal or academic use.
There are outlines for typical law school subjects, including:
- Business Associations
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Federal Income Tax
- Insurance Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Professional Responsibility
- Property, and
We have not reviewed or evaluated any of these outlines.
ILRG cautions: "Use them at your own risk, and do not rely on them for legal advice." (See additional disclaimers and limitations at ILRG as well.)
We know there is a great need for real people, i.e. non-lawyers, to be able to identify and understand generally applicable legal principles. Just remember, to really grasp all the arcane language and esoteric concepts, the exceptions, and to develop a feel for the give and take of legal reasoning and argument, you still do actually have to go to a real law school.
So let us say: we aren't advocating that you should try these things out on your friends. We are advocating the idea that knowing more about almost anything is good -- and especially something as critical and pervasive as the law.
The web is changing the amount and immediacy of information we have at our fingertips. These materials on the Lexis-Nexis and other sites are illustrations of the increasingly rich tapestry of legal knowledge that is becoming available on the Web.
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