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Outlines and Exams by Subject: 2L

The second year of law school allows a bit more flexibility than the first in choosing courses. This means that students can begin to tailor their legal education to the skills and knowledge needed for a particular area of practice. But there is a downside to freedom; more choices mean that it can be harder to find high-quality study aids that can help you succeed. The following article highlights some sources for 2L outlines and exams.

Legal Ethics

Most states require that bar applicants pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) prior to their admission to practice. Most law students will take the MPRE in their second year of law school, so a course in legal ethics is a likely choice and a firm requirement in some schools.

Your school's ethics or professional responsibility course may refer to either multistate or state-specific ethical obligations. State-specific materials are typically available through your state bar association's website. Multistate ethics materials are available either for free or relatively cheaply from a variety of organizations, as outlined in our article on MPRE review courses.


Evidence is a complicated subject that also appears on many state bar examinations. This makes it a common requirement or popular elective course. The rules of evidence are also fundamental to legal issues in a wide variety of contexts.

The Examples & Explanations series of supplements by Arthur Best are popular among law students and their Evidence book can help deepen your understanding of this complicated area of law. Another resource that can provide a different kind of engagement with the material is the Glannon Guide to Evidence, which provides multiple choice questions and answers that include analysis.

Corporations or Business Associations

The law that regulates business relations impacts nearly every other area of law. Whether you intend to be a corporate attorney, enter into politics, start your own law firm or a nonprofit organization, you'll benefit from knowing how business is conducted and regulated.

West Publishing, a Thomson Reuters business like FindLaw, publishes several summaries of this and other areas of law. The Concepts and Insights series provides condensed overviews of various legal topics. Their Corporate Law text can serve as a concise guide to a complicated area of law. The Nutshell series includes the title Business Associations in a Nutshell, a brief explanation of core concepts.

Criminal Procedure

Criminal procedure involves the intersection between criminal laws and constitutional rights. It includes questions about property rights and involves a great deal of statutory interpretation. The intersection of legal theories makes criminal procedure a common bar exam topic.

Fortunately there are some materials that can help you prepare for criminal procedure fact patterns. The Questions & Answers series of texts includes a volume on Criminal Procedure and Police Investigation that provides hypothetical fact patterns, model answers, and analysis of the application of the law. The Gilbert Law Summaries series offers a more straightforward summary of core concepts in their Criminal Procedure text.

More Tips to Help Succeed at Law School

Looking for advice about how to find your first law job? Need help figuring out how to pass the bar or looking to improve your exam scores? FindLaw gathers materials to help with these and other issues in its Law Students section to help you find the information you need to excel.

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