New digital casebook series

Law school casebooks may finally be entering the 21st century. Wolters Kluwer Legal Education’s recent launch of Connected Casebook is the first casebook series to take advantage of a digital platform.

“A digital environment can be responsive to how the student is doing but it’s not an all digital approach — it’s a digital first approach,” said Vikram Savkar, vice president and general manager of Wolters Kluwer Legal Education. “Our hope is to provide something for students that makes a huge positive difference and helps them succeed.”

There are 10 titles available for the 2014-2015 academic year, most focused on first-year courses. With a one-time purchase, students receive lifetime access to an electronic casebook as well as a print copy on loan for the term. They can also have the option of purchasing the print textbook. Students can use their tablet or computer to study, answer practice questions and use ready-made editable outlines taken directly from the user’s notes and highlights in the digital ebook.

Wolters Kluwer developed the digital casebook for the new generation of law students.

“We heard a few things loud and clear from law students,” Savkar said. “One thing was that given that they grew up with digital tools, they really are expecting and looking for digital tools that can help them learn. But they’re not ready to move away from print textbooks entirely. They find great value in them and see themselves continuing to use them.”

Multiple choice questions, flashcards, essay prompts, video tutorials and a progress tracker all make up the Study section of the program, providing students with a wealth of resources. Connected Casebook utilizes the publisher’s traditional editorial and pedagogical strengths in a new digital platform to provide users with maximum opportunities and results.

Price points vary with rates starting as low as $150 for lifetime access to the program and casebook. That is about 30 percent cheaper than regular textbooks, Vikram said. Users can also purchase additional titles from barrister Books on the Connected Casebook app.

The company plans to relaunch the program every six months as it adds new features. Connected Casebook is currently accessible through a browser. The company is working towards developing an app for tablets and making the program available offline.

“This is not a generic kindle ebook,” he said. “Connected Casebook can do things that are very specific to law books.”