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Universities Should Encourage Teams to Create Casebooks: Professor Trachtenberg Proposes Free Casebooks Plan

July 25th, 2016

Prof. Ben Trachtenberg

Professor Ben Trachtenberg recently published an article in the Saint Louis University Law Journal’s “teaching issue” on reducing the cost of law school textbooks to the price of printing, which for electronic versions is zero. Professor Trachtenberg argues that law students spend far too much money on casebooks and argues that, at least in subjects such as criminal procedure for which most assigned materials are court opinions in the public domain, professors could be hired to produce high-quality books for much less. Law School Café then published an essay by Cornell law professor James Grimmelmann calling Professor Trachtenberg’s article “perceptive and persuasive” and describing various ways in which provision of free casebooks is not only feasible but also already happening.

Overall, Professor Trachtenberg suggests that universities should encourage teams to help create casebooks, thereby controlling costs for students while spreading knowledge.

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