Bibliography of American Law School Casebooks


New Online & Print Resource!

The first-ever topical arrangement of all published law school casebooks!

  • Enhance your legal studies with the second edition of the only comprehensive casebook index, containing nearly 10,000 entries (4,000 more than the first edition!)
  • Access online coverage from 1870 to current within the last year, with regular updates (1870-2018 in print)
  • Trace the topical development of legal education with the arrangement of 230 subject headings
  • Utilize multiple browse options, including an extensive author index listing more than 4,200 authors


In 1871, at Harvard Law School, Christopher Columbus Langdell introduced what would come to be known as the “case method” of legal instruction. Langdell wrote what is considered to be the first casebook, A Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts, that same year, collecting together cases that presented the then-current state of contract law for his students to study. The principle behind the case method is that students read a selection of assigned cases in order to comprehend the guiding legal principles. For nearly 150 years, this method has continued to spread and evolve, and today, some form of it is used in every law school in the United States. As such, casebooks remain the primary vehicle of legal education.


Although much has been written on the analysis of the case method and the evolution of the content of casebooks, no attempt had been made to identify all U.S. law school casebooks until the publication of Douglas W. Lind’s Bibliography of American Law School Casebooks, 1870-2004. This new second edition of the work supplements the previous edition by extending coverage through 2018.

A companion piece to the second edition, the new online database presents as extensive as possible a list of those casebooks intended for use in law schools and published in the United States from their inception in 1871. The incorporation of 4,000 new entries since the first edition make this resource the only comprehensive casebook index in both print and digital format.


While today a casebook can easily be identified by its binding or series designation, that was not always the publication practice. There is no Library of Congress subject heading dedicated to casebooks specifically, so identifying titles not included in a publisher’s casebook series required the editor to manually examine thousands of catalog entries. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that at the turn of the 20th century, there were many “casebooks” available that were collections of leading cases on a topic, but were produced for attorneys to aid in the practice of law. Because the intent of this bibliography is to provide a list of casebooks intended for instructional use in law schools, every attempt has been made to omit titles clearly not intended for classroom use.

This index also purposefully omits some supplementary titles to casebooks, including supplementary text and cases, teacher’s manuals, and concise or “black letter” student guides. Production of these materials rose dramatically in the second half of the 20th century, and today casebooks are systematically accompanied by some sort of supplementary material. Unlike more recent materials, many of the early supplements were often necessary companions to casebooks and are important to understanding the evolution and development of these publications and the case method. Because of this, supplements published prior to 1950 are included.

Lastly, this bibliography only includes casebooks produced in the United States. A casebook on the topic of international law published by Oxford University Press might very well have been used in U.S. law schools; however, without a clear statement that it was intended for such use, the title would be deliberately omitted from this index.


The Bibliography of American Law School Casebooks LibGuide features database-specific content, search tips, tools, features, training materials, and more. Using the guide, researchers can learn how to browse and search the index.


Douglas Lind is the Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law. He received a BA degree from Purdue University, a JD degree from Valparaiso University, and an MILS from the University of Michigan. Prior to his arrival at SIU in 2007, Professor Lind was the Head of Collections at Georgetown University School of Law Library, where he also taught Advanced Legal Research and Seminar Research Methods. His writing and research interests focus on the production and marketing of American printed materials in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. He is the recipient of the Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographic Award, a national award which recognizes a significant contribution to legal biographical literature, for his two-volume reference work, Lincoln’s Suspension of Habeas Corpus.


Online & Print Access:

This includes the print edition of the book and access to the online database with regular updates. Access will last until the next edition is published.

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