Monday, April 12, 2021
On Friday, I shared my standard response when students ask me for advice regarding outside material they can consult in preparing for exams. Today, I supplement that response with suggestions culled from the contracts prof listserv.
The most important suggestion was to point students to the Restatement, with its illustrations. The fact patterns provided therein are great illustrations of the rules. Up until now, I have always assigned an edited version of the R.2d, which does not include all of the comments and illustrations. If I can find a suitably-priced volume, I will assign a more comprehensive edition next year. Blog contributor Sid DeLong recommends James Byrne's book, which also includes Article 2 and the CISG, and I will certainly adopt that so long as students do not have to pay the official price for the volume, which is north of $500!
That said, some contracts profs warn that students must be introduced to the R.2d with caution. We are training them in common-law reasoning, which involves synthesizing rules from case law. The R.2d does that for them, and there is a danger that students will treat the R.2d as a statute without recognizing that it is an attempted synthesis and not a statement of uniform law.
The following study aids come recommended by contracts profs who know:
- Scott Burnham's Contracts Law for Dummies (I was an outside reviewer for the book and was surprised that it was not for Dummies at all -- it was a study guide for law students and a very good one;
- It follows that I am confident that Burnham's Q&A and Glannon Guide to Sales are also reliable;
- Others have recommended Bob Brain's Exam Pro;
- Like other profs, when I have a question, I reach for my single-volume Farnsworth treatise on contracts, but not every first-year student is ready for such strong medicine, and they would have to borrow it, as it is very expensive;
- Others recommend Perillo or Hillman;
- At least one prof recommended Chirelstein's hornbook, which brought back fond memories, as I read it as a 1L, attracted by the good ship Peerless on its cover. Unfortunately, Professor Chirelstein passed in 2015, so the book might not be best for recent developments, especially in the realm of electronic contracting.
Friday's post generated some discussion on Twitter. This much is clear: Quimbee is not reliable. I understand that many students find it helpful in preparing for Socratic exchanges, but it has subtle mistakes that can be very harmful if committed to memory and regurgitated in an exam context.