Case Western Law Prof. Foregoes Expensive Textbook, Hands Out His Own for Free

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A law school professor at Case Western University stepped in this semester to help his students with the exorbitant cost of their textbooks.

Jonathan Adler, director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University’s law school, decided to make a change to his Constitutional Law course when he found out that his selected textbook was selling for $275.

Adler decided to put the materials together for the students from his own resources. The decision amounted to a considerable amount of work for Adler compared to the simple task of asking students to purchase a certain textbook, but he maintains that his decision was justified.

“It’s increasingly hard to justify making students pay exorbitant casebook prices, so I decided to prepare my own materials for ConLaw this year. It’s lots of work, but will save my students (collectively) over $15,000,” he wrote on Twitter. “Going without a casebook means less note material, and more lightly edited cases, but avoids the need to require a $250 casebook. I hope my students think that’s a good trade (and I’d argue less case editing has pedagogical benefits of its own),” he added in another tweet.

Many professors are opting to take a similar route. Instead of asking their students to pay hundreds of dollars for their textbook, students are charged $20 so the university print shop can print the materials that their instructor has put together.

Several professors from other law schools chimed in on Adler’s Twitter thread, expressing similar sentiments about the increasing cost of textbooks. “This year, for the first time that I remember, I have a fair number of students who do not want to buy the new edition b/c of price & will use the library’s instead,” Kim Krawiec of Duke University School of Law tweeted. “Not sure whether prices have gone up, students are more price sensitive, or what.”


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