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Outlines and Exams by Subject: 3L and Electives

The third year of law school is much less highly structured than the first or second years. The following article provides an overview of resources for outlines and practice exams for 3L courses and popular elective classes.

3L and Elective Goals

At this point you will likely have already taken the majority of your core requirements and are now focused on developing the skills that you'll need in your intended area of practice and starting to prepare for the bar exam. You may also be taking an opportunity during your last year to try out an area of practice, or to get some practical skills representing a client.


Law school clinics are offered in an ever-broadening array of practice areas. They provide valuable early experience dealing with clients and handling real legal issues as well as critical experience for those who intend to practice as litigators or represent individual clients in a small or solo firm. Although clinics are time-consuming, they are also highly rewarding. They can also provide a break from intensive book study.

There are some books that can help you succeed in your clinic, however. Essential Lawyering Skills offers tips on interactions with clients, opponents, and case analysis. Students involved in clinics that involve emotional cases and clients may benefit from reading Client Science, which offers advice on counseling clients through bad news.

Federal Courts

Federal clerkships hold an enormous amount of prestige and can open up excellent opportunities. If you are thinking of applying a federal clerkship you'll want to be able to show that you've already taken some courses in federal courts' process and procedure. Many law schools provide their own outlines of their federal courts class. There are also commercial outlines such as the federal courts package offered by Oxbridge Notes.

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 start a nonprofit organization, you'll benefit from knowing how business is conducted and regulated.

West Publishing, like FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business, 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.

Administrative Law

Admin law covers the law governing the activities of administrative agencies. This course is particularly important for those who expect to practice in areas of law that interact with government agencies, or those hoping to work for the agencies themselves. Several commercial outline providers offer admin law outlines, including materials from Emanuel Law Outlines, Examples & Explanations, and the Nutshell Series.

Get More Tips to Plan Law School Success

After finishing your last year of law school you'll need to get tips on interviewing, the job search, passing the bar, and other aspects of transitioning into a career in the law. FindLaw's Law Students section offers articles and links to materials to help you get the information you need to succeed.

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