Search Results for: syllabus

Trigger Warnings: What Are They?

Trigger Warnings: What Are They?This week we welcome guest writer Emma Case Beasley, a tutor with Law School Toolbox, to discuss what trigger warnings are and how you can navigate this issue in law school.

Unless you’ve been ignoring the news for the last few years, you’ve probably heard the phrase “trigger warning” or “content warning.” A trigger warning is defined as “a statement cautioning that content (such as an assigned text, video, or class discussion) may be disturbing or upsetting.” The original intent behind these warnings was to avoid triggering emotional or physical reactions (such as panic attacks) in people who suffer from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although they are sometimes used more generally to label material that contains difficult or potentially offensive content.

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Riding the See-Saw: Maintaining Support at Home and Finding School/Life Balance

Riding the See-Saw: Maintaining Support at Home and Finding School/Life BalanceThis week we welcome back Mark Livingston, current 3L, to discuss how to balance your personal life with your law school career.

I knew from the start that law school was going to be a long and arduous journey. There are innumerable articles on the internet in which law school survivors detail the demise of their friendships, marriages, and romantic relationships because the weight, stress, and burden of law school place too much strain on most relationships. I started law school in the second year of my marriage to my third wife. Already, the odds were stacked against us. Despite that, we agreed that law school as a mid-life career change was a good idea. As I race through the last seventy days of law school, my marriage remains intact. There have been rough patches at times, but we have managed to survive the gauntlet. We definitely have battle scars, but even battered and bruised, I think that we are stronger as a couple because of the challenge. This post is an attempt to help all of my law school colleagues preserve their most important relationships throughout the law school journey and beyond. [Read more…]

There Is Never Enough Time: Tips to Manage What Little There Is

There Is Never Enough Time: Tips to Manage What Little There IsThis week we welcome back guest writer and 3L Mark Livingston to talk about how to manage your time in law school.

Life is not easy. There is never enough time for everything that needs to be done on any given day. Time commitments are more acutely felt when in law school. I am a non-traditional law student with a wife, one pre-teen and one infant daughter, a big dog, and I live two-and-a-half hours away from home at law school during the week. My wife and I often embark on our weekends with grand designs of getting so much accomplished: meal prep, family time, grocery shopping, a date-night stroll through the Super Target, housework, and (if we are lucky) some romantic time. Without fail, by the time we get to Sunday night, we realize we have failed to complete most of the planned activities, have to scramble to get ready for the week, and inevitably ask where all of the time went. This article is designed to help the beleaguered law student manage his or her time a bit more effectively, both in law school and in life. [Read more…]

Avoiding The “Slings And Arrows” Of Outrageous Case Briefing Misfortune And Getting To What’s Important

Reading/briefing casesThis week we welcome guest writer and 3L, Mark Livingston, to discuss how to get started with case briefing as a new law student.

I remember, not so fondly, the first case I tried to brief in law school. It was Todd v. Danner, 17 Ind. App. 368, 46 N.E. 829 (1897). I remember briefing this case, and because it was from 1897, it involved an incident with an unruly steer, and I had no idea how to brief it. The language used by the court was archaic and convoluted. I had no idea what was important or what I needed to include in my brief.

That first brief was awful. Despite the brevity of the court with its two-and-a-half-page decision, my brief weighed in at a cool six pages! I was way off course, and if all of my case briefs had turned out like that one, I would have been briefing my 1L cases after my retirement. I have since developed a few skills and approaches that have helped me streamline the process and cut through my cases like a champ.

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Making Your Notes Work for You

Note TakingPlease welcome back guest writer John Passmore to discuss some great tips for note taking in law school!

Everyone agrees that note taking is important in law school. But are you getting as much out of note taking as possible? After a semester or two of struggling to find value in my class notes, I finally started to think more critically about my note-taking style. I realized I was just playing the stenographer—writing down as much as possible with the hopes of understanding it later. This is a very bad approach. As you develop your personal note-taking style, think about what you hope to get out of your notes. Once you have a clear idea of your objectives, you can take notes with purpose and be more effective. The tricky thing about law school note taking is accomplishing multiple objectives at once. Here are some of the key deliverables you might want from your notes — [Read more…]

The Ultimate Guide to the Law in Pop Culture Part II: Movies & Documentaries

Ultimate Guide to the Law in Pop Culture Part II - Movies & DocumentariesPlease welcome back 2L guest writer Jaclyn Wishnia to discuss the best movies and documentaries to look for when you want to find some legal entertainment.

In the first installment of our ultimate guide to the law in pop culture series, we curated a list of top TV shows that involve various legal themes and span multiple genres. For law students who either prefer full-length films to hour-long episodes, or are simply looking for some good legal entertainment during a law school break, the second part of our series focuses on the law found in the forms of movies and documentaries. [Read more…]

The Difference Between 1L vs. 2L Stressors

The Difference Between 1L vs. 2L StressorsPlease welcome back 2L guest writer Jaclyn Wishnia to discuss the differences between the stress of 1L and 2L year.

As duly noted by the majority of law students, the first year of law school carries a notoriously dreadful reputation that spans continents, even decades. It is characterized by infinite amounts of reading, a highly stressful, anxiety-inducing environment, and often referred to as one of the worst educational gauntlets that a student could scarcely fathom conjuring until personally immersed in the experience. What most law students eventually learn, however, is that this myth is quickly displaced by the juggling acts required to actually survive the second year of law school. Keep that in mind as you read through the discussion. [Read more…]

Three Things I Learned in Law School That Weren’t in the Curriculum

Three things I learned in law school that weren't in the curriculum.As we start off a new year, please welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan, attorney and Real Estate Specialist at a wireless infrastructure company, to discuss what three major lessons she learned from law school (and no they were not on any class syllabus).

It has almost been two years since I’ve graduated law school, and I kid you not, my experience is beginning to become a blur. An experience that was essentially the cornerstone of my life for three years, is beginning to become nuggets of memories that I struggle to piece together. I’m forgetting the names of former classmates and don’t even get me started on the course curriculum, that vanished right after taking the bar exam.

Now don’t get me wrong, my faded memory is by no means an indication that law school was a waste of time. While I can’t recite the Rule Against Perpetuities Theory, law school completely restructured the way I think. Law school taught me more than the nuts and bolts that were embedded within the 90 credits of coursework I completed. It taught me more about myself and the personal limits I had to institute for survival. It taught me that law professors aren’t necessarily the dry, authoritative characters that are portrayed in tv/film, but that they are in fact normal human beings with incredible minds and great senses of humor. Law school taught me that it is in fact possible to balance a social life in what seems to be a period of optimal stress and it gave me the inexplicable feeling of what it means to be an advocate for someone regardless of whether it was in a mock simulated setting or just a one-line contribution to a successful motion during a summer internship. It’s probably evident that I could go on and on with this list, but I’ll spare you and just cover my three favorite takeaways that weren’t included in the curriculum.

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The Types of Professors You’ll Encounter in Law School

The Types of Professors You’ll Encounter in Law SchoolPlease welcome back Jaclyn Wishnia, 2L guest writer from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She discusses the different types of professors you will inevitably meet in law school.

Society has assigned a stereotype for the majority of industries within the workforce. For example, the legal profession is considered notorious for breeding individuals who run the gamut of pejorative adjectives: aggressive, conniving, snobby, conceited, serious, boring, etc. Hopefully, most of you are striving to discredit these labels for our industry. Those inside the profession, however, understand that different types of law are better suited for individualized personalities. For instance, someone who enjoys dynamic discourse, public speaking, and writing briefs is more likely to be found working at a litigation firm, than a person who cares deeply about solving environmental issues, likes writing policy as opposed to briefs, and rather educate others about the relevant laws, and consequently, will instead probably be found working for a governmental agency, such as the EPA.

Since many law professors practice law before they teach, and often teach the subject they have already practiced in, it follows that their personalities will resemble those associated with their chosen legal sphere. Thus, certain characteristics will transfer from the workforce into the classroom, which is why there are specific archetypes of professors that every law student will recognize; predominantly identifiable in 1L courses.

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What Should You Be Doing to Prepare for Class as a Law School Upperclassman?

What should you be doing to prepare for class as a law school upperclassman?

Today we welcome Christen Morgan, guest writer and foreclosure attorney, to discuss what you should be doing to prepare for classes as an upperclassman.

During law school I remember how excited I was to begin 2L year. I was excited about the fact that I was no longer a lost 1L, unsure about how I would navigate law school. Now don’t get me wrong, I did experience some anxiety about the upcoming school year, however, this was by no means the same level of angst I experienced throughout my entire 1L year. As I came upon my first 2L semester, I felt like I had finally found my footing. I figured out a schedule that allowed me to fit in time to prepare for class. Also, during my class preparation, I was completing my case readings in about half the time it took me during 1L year. Despite this strong sense of confidence, I was quickly knocked off my horse. As I began 2L year, I quickly realized that my law school experience would be completely different than what I experienced the year before. As a 2L, I was in control of selecting my classes and although I chose classes that piqued my interest, these were not all traditional classes that had case reading assignments. Additionally, I was now a member of the Moot Court Society and had to jump straight into researching for my moot court competition brief. I also had to juggle a three credit externship in addition to two on campus part time jobs. I now knew that having all these responsibilities on my plate meant that I would need to change my class preparation techniques. [Read more…]