Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 user reviews are a marvelous gift that the Internet provides. Ignoring that most of the reviews are probably posted by the author and his family, and the rest are posted by illiterate devil-worshippers with a personal grudge against the publisher, they can be quite useful. I wondered what Amazon reviewers had to say about law school casebooks and study guides. So I did some relatively random and unfocused clicking looking for review snippets I could take out of context. Here are the results of my exploration into the world of Amazon reviews:

"Overpriced garbage! This book is printed in very small print, all in one color (blue), on very thin (cheap) paper. How the publisher justifies the ridiculous price is beyond me!"

"This book is terrible. I thought I was purchasing an Administrative Law text book. This is not a text book. It is a book of this guy's opinion... Further, he says he's a professor at, according to US News, a fourth tier law school."

"Very dry for the interest subject. The book was edited in 1994 and does not reflect the latest changes in the law, especially European one (including Eastern Europe). In addition it is very dry."

"Horrible Book. This book was used for my constitutional law class. It is poorly organized and completely fails to relate any constitutional law concepts to each other. It contains little, if any, historical background. All in all, this book is BAD."

"Poor organization and explanations. Of all the textbooks I've ever had in law school and undergraduate classes, this book is likely the most frustating and the worst.... For those who say this book isn't that bad, have put the bar far too low and also miss the point. There is no requirement that legal textbooks be dry, unorganized, or unhelpful."

"Awful. This is a terrible book, but unfortunately you probably won't have much choice in whether or not to use it if it is required for your course."

"defective structure. The problem of corporate groups is the great problem of the corporation law . This book doesn't contain this subject,so I think the main defect of this book lies in the unreasonable structure."

"Confusing. Property is a difficult subject, therefore, any casebook on the matter should be clear. This casebook, on the other hand, did more harm than good. Every case was followed up by questions with a list of cases to "see." ...The notes seem to be in another language: Latin) are never answered by the student."

"Worst casebook I had in law school. They don't get much worse than this. The book is worthless, and made Contracts almost impossible to understand. The cases are sliced into strange, sometimes tiny portions, making it hard to elucidate anything from them."

"can't see the forest for the trees. I used this book for two semesters of contracts. It is the most unpleasant book I have had to read so far in law school. The authors themselves wrote very little. The book consists almost entirely of edited cases and excerpts from law review articles. There is essentially a case for every little iota of contract knowledge and it gets very tedious to parse a long case for what is in the end a simple rule. The law review excerpts are often very obtuse."

"very unclear. This is a very unclear book with horrible, dense prose. The authors seem to have an impressive grasp of securities law, and fill the notes with many meaningful substantive explications of various technical points, but they are basically just awful writers, which makes this text a serious chore to read."

"So if you choose a contracts supplement, use it w/ could go down a very bad road by choosing and relying upon the wrong supplement."