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Guide for First Year Law Students   Tags: first_year, law_library_guide, law_school, law_students, study_aids, ucla_guide  

This guide provides resources to help first year law students get started with Law School and become more familiar with the Law Library, UCLA and Westwood.
Last Updated: Jul 23, 2014 URL: http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/firstyearguide Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Intro to Law School Print Page

New FREE Resource Available from CALI!

  • Law School Materials for Success
    This helpful resource is available as a PDF and Word document, but also has a Kindle and iPad version! It can also be purchased in paperback for $5.14!

Financial Aid

CALI Lessons

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction offers online tutorials on legal research, legal writing, all substantive topic covered in this guide and more. Most lessons are an hour or less. To get a student authorization code to set up a CALI account, email lawlibrary@law.ucla.edu.


  Planning for the Bar During Your First Year of Law School

 NOTE: 1Ls who intend to sit for the California Bar Exam must register with the California State Bar as a student within the first 90 days of beginning law school. The fee for law student registration is $97.00, effective January 1, 2010. The Registration Application is not the same as the application to take the California Bar Exam. Once you register as a student, make sure you make a note of your registration number: you will use it on all subsequent applications and correspondence with the State Bar.

If you plan on taking a commercial Bar review course such as BARBRI, consider signing up for the course during your first year if you are concerned about price increases in the following years.

Your required first-year courses will provide coverage for 6 of the 12 Bar Exam subjects: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Property, and Torts. Make sure you pay attention in these classes, as their subjects will be tested twice--in the MBE and the Bar Exam.

Visit the Guide "Preparing for the California Bar Exam and MPRE" for more information.


REQUIRED Reading for all UCLA Law 1Ls


Introduction to Law School

For more true tales of the Law School experience, see the Law School Memoir section.

Cover Art
The Bramble Bush: The Classic Lectures on the Law and Law School - by Karl N. Llewellyn
Call Number: KF272 .L55 2008
ISBN: 0195368452
Originally published over 70 years ago, this is the classic book on the Law School experience.


Succeeding in Law School

All titles below are in the Stacks unless otherwise indicated.

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Starting off Right in Law School - Carolyn J. Nygren
Call Number: KF273 .N97 2011
ISBN: 1594608253

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A Woman's Guide to Law School - by Linda Hirshman
Call Number: KF283 .H57 1999
ISBN: 014026437X

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How to Succeed in Law School - by Gary A. Munneke
Call Number: KF283 .M86 2008 (Location: Reference Reading Room)
ISBN: 0764139797

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The Zen of Law School Success - Chad Noreuil
Call Number: KF283 .N67 2011
ISBN: 1611631211

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Succeeding in Law School - by Herbert N. Ramy
Call Number: KF283 .R36 2006 (Location: Reference Reading Room)
ISBN: 1594601895

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Law School Labyrinth: a guide to making the most of your legal education - Steven Sedberry
Call Number: KF283 .S43 2011
ISBN: 1607148617
Publication Date: 2011-05-03

Cover Art
The Law School Buzz Book - edited by Diana Senechal and the staff of Vault
Call Number: KF285 .L363 2004 (Location: Reference Reading Room)
ISBN: 1581312962

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Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success - by Helene Shapo and Marshall Shapo
Call Number: KF386 .S44 2009 (Location: Reference Reading Room)
ISBN: 1599414198

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Courtroom View Network: AudioCaseFiles

The Library has purchased a subscription for your use to AudioCaseFiles from Courtroom View Network, which provides MP3 audio versions of over 1,000 cases, many of which are in your assigned casebooks. It also provides over 4,000 hours of trial video from over 130 cases.

You can view the videos online, and you can either listen to the audio files on your computer or download them to an iPod or other MP3 player. The audio case database includes cases from the casebooks of our own Professor Yeazell (Civil Procedure) and Professor Grady (Torts), among others.

Register today at AudioCaseFiles Registration 

Step 1: Select University of California at Los Angeles from the dropdown list
Step 2: Complete the form (be sure to use your law school email address) 
Step 3: Check "I have read and agree to the terms and conditions
Step 4: Click Sign Up.

You will then receive a verification email. Click the link to complete registration.

Want to Learn More about UCLA Law History?

Visit the Law School Docket Archive!!  Learn about fashion shows sponsored by the "Law School Wives" and parking problems in the '60s (some things change and some things stay the same)! Be sure to read Professor Edgar Jones article about how computers will revolutionize the legal profession (April 1960).  The Docket was published off and on from 1956 - 1994.

Law Student Blogs

There are many, many law student blogs out there.  Below are a few that are regularly updated and seem to provide real subtantive assistance to new law students.


Important Note About Access to Databases

Be sure to read the Database Access Guide carefully before beginning your research.


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