Law School Exams
Updated June 2, 2015.
Originally prepared by Jean Dart, Reference Intern; updated by Cheryl Nyberg, Mary Whisner, Sherry Leysen, and Alena Wolotira.
University of Washington School of Law Exams
UW Law Exams Archive (UW law students only)
By agreement with the faculty, access to these exams is restricted to UW students. You must logon with your UW NetID and password.
Not finding your professor or course? The Law Library relies on professors to submit electronic copies of their exams for this collection. Please contact your professor to inquire about the availability of previous exams that are not posted in the archive.
Exams from Other Law Schools
Some law schools and libraries maintain freely available collections of their school's exams:
- University of Dayton School of Law, Past Exams. Arranged by course.
- Harvard Law School. Office of the Registrar. Annual Examinations, 1871 - 1995: Finding Aid. Arranged by year.
- University of Kentucky College of Law, Exam Archive. Arranged by course.
In addition to looking at old exams, a review of test-taking strategies can be helpful. Consult any of the following sources.
Patrick Wiseman, "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It," and Other Sage Advice for First-Time Law School Exam Takers, 22 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 653 (2006). Available at HeinOnline [UW Restricted]
Jerry J. Phillips, Thirteen Rules for Taking Law Exams, 72 Tenn. L. Rev. 797 (2005). Available at HeinOnline [UW Restricted]
John H. Langbien, Writing Law Examinations
Carol Nygren, Using Professors' Old Exams To Prepare
Carol Nygren, Confronting Your Final Exam - Torts
Another good review strategy is to look at a capsule summary or an outline of the legal subject before taking the final exam. Capsule summaries and outlines are linked from Findlaw Outlines & Exams.
The Law Library has several books on taking law school exams. The titles listed below are located in the Reference Area unless noted otherwise. For additional titles, search the Law Library catalog by keywords: law examinations.
Paul Bergman, Cracking the Case Method: Legal Analysis for Law School Success (2012).
Ira L. Shafiroff, First Year Law School Success: Law School Thinking, Essay Exam Writing, and Analysis (3d ed. 2012).
Richard Michael Fischl & Jeremy Paul, Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams (1999).
Charles R. Calleros, Law School Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win (2007).
Ann M. Burkhart & Robert A. Stein, Law School Success in a Nutshell: A Guide to Studying Law and Taking Law School Exams (2008).
Helene Shapo & Marshall Shapo, Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success (3d ed. 2009).
Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, Mastering the Law School Exam: A Practical Blueprint for Preparing and Taking Law School Exams (2007).
Barry Friedman & John C.P. Goldberg, Open Book: Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School (2011).
More advice is available at:
Top Law Student blog, How to Prepare for Law School Exams
Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground, A Law Professor Shares The Top Arbitrary Number (Turns Out to be Six) of Things Not to Do on Law School Exams
The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) Lessons and Classcaster (podcasts). Law students may obtain a password for CALI registration from the Reference Office.
- William R. Andersen, Writing Better Law School Exams: The Importance of Structure
- Exam Taking Skills, Outlines, and Advice for Law Students, panel 1 podcast, panel 2 podcast, and panel 3 podcast