Law school is tough, and this couldn’t be truer than for 1Ls. 1L readings are exceptionally heavy, and many students struggle to complete all of their readings. I know, I was there, and oftentimes you wish there was a simpler way to complete your readings but without all the “fluff”.
Well, there is a solution and it has become an extremely popular tool among law students. Quimbee is a service that specializes in offering summarized case briefs and outlines to law students for a monthly membership. But is a subscription service like Quimbee really worth it for law students?
Yes, Quimbee is an excellent tool for law students packed with case briefs and videos on cases. Although, Quimbee is an additional cost for cash-strapped law students, the time you will save is well worth the monthly subscription.
That being said, there are some important caveats in relation to Quimbee that you should be aware of. In this article, I will discuss the benefits of a Quimbee subscription, which membership you should get, and how to use Quimbee responsibly.
What makes Quimbee useful?
So I have had a Quimbee subscription for every semester of law school except my 1L fall semester. I started using Quimbee more heavily during my 2L year when I got tired of reading Admin Law cases.
But what makes Quimbee so helpful for 1Ls in particular, is that oftentimes you may miss an important point or two when you read through a case in your textbook. That is perfectly normal, as a fall semester 1L it is beyond expectations to be able to dissect all of the arguments and conclusions in a lengthy case. This is one of the reasons why 1L year is so difficult and it is also why Quimbee is such a helpful tool.
The vast majority of cases you read your 1L year will be featured in Quimbee’s case brief library. I have found Quimbee’s case briefs to be extremely accurate, to the point, and easy to read. I also appreciate that many of Quimbee’s case briefs have an accompanying video that usually serves as a helpful visual aid.
Quimbee can be a lifesaver when you want to confirm that you have an understanding of a case you just read or you want a refresher before class starts.
That being said, Quimbee is not a necessity, I lived without it during my first semester of law school and my grades were pretty good. It is a helpful supplement, but I know lots of 3L law students that never purchased a Quimbee subscription and they got along just fine. It probably took them longer to understand all of the major points in most cases because they didn’t have this supplement, but they still got through law school.
Which Quimbee membership should I get?
There are three different subscriptions available with Quimbee. You can choose a Bronze($15), Silver ($22), or Gold ($24) membership. They are all sold as monthly subscriptions and each subscription comes with access to the case brief database.
Where the subscriptions differentiate is that the Bronze subscription does not come with anything in addition to the case brief database. The Silver subscription comes with the case brief videos that I mentioned above and numerous video lessons. The Gold subscription comes with all of that plus outlines and practice questions.
I never had the Gold subscription and I do not think that it is a necessary additional expense. I never found commercial outlines to be very useful in the first place, and during my 1L year I received all the practice exams I ever needed from my professors. The old exams offered by your professors are far more valuable than any commercial practice exams.
My recommendation is that you go with either the Bronze or the Silver subscription. I initially started off my Quimbee subscription with the Bronze, but I later upgraded to the Silver because a few of my friends told me that the videos were helpful.
I think that you can certainly get a lot out of Quimbee without the videos, but the videos are helpful. An issue with the Silver subscription is that there are lots of case briefs that do not have accompanying videos. Typically the really famous and influential cases will have accompanying videos whereas lesser known/influential cases will not.
My suggestion is that you try out the 7-day free trial that Quimbee offers to figure out if the videos are in fact helpful for you. If the videos prove to be less than helpful than I would suggest going with the Bronze subscription.
Is Quimbee worth it 2L and 3L year?
Quimbee certainly continues to be a valuable resource during 2L year, in fact, it becomes even more important for many law students as they juggle with more and more time demands outside of class.
I began to rely more heavily on Quimbee during my 2L year because I grew sick of reading countless Admin Law cases. I am certainly not recommending that Quimbee is a great alternative to reading the cases, but that is what I did for many of my readings and I saved a lot of time.
That being said, Quimbee becomes less useful in your 3L year because students tend to focus on internships, clinics, and niche topic classes. The more niche the class the less likely its cases will be represented in Quimbee. Therefore, if you find during your 3L year that Quimbee is far less useful than it used to be, I would suggest terminating your subscription.
Do not substitute case readings for Quimbee during 1L year
The biggest caveat I can give you concerning Quimbee is that during 1L year under no circumstances should you substitute your readings for Quimbee case briefs. Quimbee is designed to be a supplement, as useful as it is it is still no replacement for your casebook!
Too many of my peers in law school fell into this trap during 1L year. They started using Quimbee, got addicted to how easy it was to read the summaries, and eventually began to skip reading from the casebook all together.
This is a horrible idea because as good as Quimbee is it does not teach you how to dissect arguments and read dense cases. Quimbee is a shortcut and those that rely on it entirely risk performing poorly on exams!
Quimbee is an excellent tool in my opinion and I have personally used it throughout law school. There are a few issues with Quimbee such as the fact that most cases do not have accompanying videos or some of the case briefs miss important points, but overall it has made my life easier and made my law school readings far less demanding. For $15 a month I would say that Quimbee is an exceptional tool for most law students.