Textbooks, everyone’s favorite back to school item. Not only do they cost an arm and a leg, they are crucial to your survival in law school. Many professors utilize the books they require heavily, taking large portions of the material for the exams. After all, the classes are designed to help you pass the bar so all the information is important for getting your license. This does not negate the fact that textbooks can be very expensive, especially for a struggling law student. This guide will help you not only save your bank, but also provide some useful pointers when purchasing or searching for your books.
How To Find Your Textbook List
Each law school has different professors that assign various textbooks for their classes. Thus, each student typically has a unique textbook list for the classes they are taking. Most schools have an interactive list via their bookstore website. This is where you can find the title, author, and ISBN for all your textbooks which will assist you in your search.
What Sites To Use?
Fortunately, there are many different resources out there to assist you in your textbook hunt. Use this guide to find the best deals and save yourself money on your materials. Each site is unique, so it is important to shop around and search the various web pages.
This website serves as an online bookstore for any sort of textbook. Their search engine guides you through independent sellers around the world in order to ensure you get the best deal. You also can sell your textbooks on this site.
This website actually serves as a search engine for textbooks. All you need to do is put in the title, ISBN, or author and it will compare prices for over 40 websites. This is the easiest way to get different prices from various sites, but sometimes you are able to find a better deal by searching through the individual websites with their promotions and deals.
This website searches through fifteen popular book retailers in order to help you afford your textbooks. They have a specific section just for law textbooks.
This online bookstore has many different types of textbooks including a law section. They offer promotions to those who subscribe to their emails such as discounts or free shipping.
This website is a catch-all for students. For textbooks, they typically offer reasonable deals for students. Also, you can sign up for an Amazon Student account to get free two-day shipping.
You can either visit the store or order them through their online portal. Some law schools utilize Barnes and Noble as their campus bookstore as well. If you are a member then you can get a certain percentage off on your purchases.
This website is an online discount bookstore that specializes in law books. They offer free shipping on a certain amount per purchase and even have a rewards system called LawRewards that helps students collect points for more savings.
This website allows you to rent or buy used textbooks or sell your own books for profit.
This website partners with Chegg to provide rental textbooks at a discounted price to students. They allow you to write notes and highlight in their books.
This website rents textbooks to students for certain periods of time. They even let you highlight in the books which is helpful for students who like a visual aid when reading.
This website allows students to sell, rent, or purchase textbooks at the lowest price. They claim to save individuals up to 95%.
This website is a main site for renting textbooks and tutoring. They claim to help students save up to 90% on their textbooks by renting through their site. They also offer free shipping on certain amount of orders.
This website allows individual sellers to post items and services for sale. You can purchase or sell your textbooks on this site. Since they are individuals and not a registered bookstore or retailer, be sure to use discretion when collecting payment and items.
Similar to craigslist, this website allows individuals to post items and have others bid on the specific price. You are able to sell and purchase textbooks and a range of other items on this site.
This website allows you to rent, buy, or sell any of your textbooks. They claim to have textbooks fast and cheap. They also have an ‘ewards’ rewards program where you can earn points for discounts. They also offer free shipping on a certain amount of textbooks.
This company is a sub-branch of Ebay that specializes in books, movies, and music. They offer textbooks at a discounted price. They typically have deals and codes you can use for discounts and free shipping.
This website offers textbooks for law students at a discounted price. They claim to accept all financial aid and have all casebooks available. They also offer free shipping on orders $49 and over.
Why It Is Important To Shop Around
If possible, would you not want to get the best deal? Not all sites are created equal, especially if the site allows individuals to sell their textbooks independently. Some websites may have lower prices than others, while some may even have promotions and discounts that will save you money! Ultimately, law school is very expensive to begin with, thus, if you are able to save on your materials, you will save yourself headaches to come. If you can lessen your expenses that might mean taking out one less loan that you would have to pay back in the future.
Do Not Wait, Buy Your Books Before Class
Many people try to wait until classes begin before deciding to purchase their books. This way, they can determine if they actually need the textbook to be successful in class, or see if they can share with a classmate. While this may have worked for undergraduate, it is very important to have your own set of books. If a law professor requires a textbook, then more than likely you will utilize it heavily in class. Depending on the source, you may be able to return or replace books within the first couple of weeks of class if you discover you really do not need a textbook or decide to rent it instead.
What To Keep, What To Rent
Since textbooks are expensive, there is always an internal battle to determine what to purchase and which books are more beneficial to rent. It is important to understand the difference between textbooks and casebooks when making this decision. Typically in entry-level law classes, professors require a textbook and some sort of supplementary material such as a casebook. The textbook is where you will get terms, facts, and information required to learn the subject. Casebooks are supplements to the textbooks and are typically a collection of cases that are relevant to the topic you are covering. Textbooks normally stay contextually the same, plus or minus some edits. Casebooks tend to vary throughout the years. If you are struggling to decide what to keep between the two, think about if you’ll need to reference the specific case later or if you want to check a legal concept. Also, think about the specific law you intend to practice. For example, if you are required to take contracts and do not see yourself pursuing a career in corporate law, it might be better to rent that specific book. Renting will save you money but if you do happen to purchase any books, there is always another incoming class who will buy your materials.
Why Are Textbooks So Important?
Textbooks are vital to your success in law school. Some books are required, while others are ‘recommended’ by the bookstore or professor. You should definitely purchase the required books, as you will be getting a good portion of the information from these resources. However, some of the recommended books may be helpful as additional resources, especially if you are having trouble understanding a topic. Ultimately, textbooks are your guide for getting through law school, especially if you miss something from your lecture. Like all resources, they will be beneficial to your success in law school and help you engage yourself in law school itself.
You Do Not Have To Break the Bank
Like a law school education itself, textbooks are an investment to your future. Many of these books could become resources for future cases, projects, or jobs that you may have throughout your career. While they are expensive, law textbooks tend to depreciate less than other disciplines. Although they are initially very costly, they are beneficial not only throughout law school but for your legal career as well. The financial burden is difficult for the new law student, so it is important to shop around and find deals that suit your budget.
Ultimately, you can save yourself money while also gaining the necessary tools to be successful on your legal journey.
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