Law Students Can Rent Their Casebooks with Online Access for Less

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 19, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Know anyone who would rather not spend $150 for a Civil Procedure textbook they will only end up using a doorstop? Ever think about buying digital study guides? Or how about renting casebooks?

In addition to being able to access digital copies of most legal study aids on the market through publisher sites and Amazon, West Publishing is now offering the majority of its casebook catalog for rent.

With law school costs skyrocketing and the job market in the dumps, it's certainly something to consider, potentially saving you more than would buying used.

Casebook rental is unique in that it provides you with both an online and hardcopy of the text.

While waiting for your book to arrive, you are given access to an electronic copy, which you can markup and highlight until your heart's content.

You're also free to highlight the actual casebook so long as you don't destroy it.

Then, when you're done, you send it back, and no longer have to pay the monthly rental fees.

A novel idea, there are both some benefits and pitfalls to renting casebooks.

As for the positives, West states that you can save at least 38%, and also promises to deliver a casebook that is in "acceptable used" or new condition.

It's also nice to have a digital casebook for those days you don't want to drag around a heavy text.

However, it appears as though you can't print out your e-casebook, as it is 100% online. That means no PDF file, and you can't read it unless you're signed in.

This may become frustrating when it's time to switchover to your hardcopy, which may not arrive for a few weeks.

In the end, whether renting casebooks is a good decision comes down to how you study, and whether the financial benefit is big enough to take a chance.

Note: West Publishing is owned by Thomson Reuters, which also owns FindLaw.

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