My Encounter with Canned Briefs

The Pillar (Thomas M. Cooley Law School) May, 2012, p. 5

1 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2012 Last revised: 1 Jan 2013

See all articles by Norman Otto Stockmeyer

Norman Otto Stockmeyer

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School


Briefing cases is an integral part of the learning process in the first year of law school. Despite the near-universal advice of law professors and law school guides to “brief the cases yourself,” students may be tempted to rely on commercial “canned” briefs instead.

This author’s accidental encounter with canned briefs while preparing for a Contracts class reinforced his opinion that his law school bookstore was right to ban canned briefs. No only do they impair the learning process, they are unreliable and can cause misunderstandings. They also have the potential to embarrass students who rely on them when reciting in class. Students who want to maximize their success should shun canned briefs.

Keywords: legal education, briefing cases, law school success, contract law

Suggested Citation

Stockmeyer, Norman Otto, My Encounter with Canned Briefs. The Pillar (Thomas M. Cooley Law School) May, 2012, p. 5, Available at SSRN: or

Norman Otto Stockmeyer (Contact Author)

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School ( email )

1352 Hickory Island Drive
Haslett, MI 48840
United States
517-339-2246 (Phone)


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