How to Balance Screen Time as a Law Student

How to Balance Screen Time as a Law StudentThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about how to make sure you’re not overdoing it on screen time as a law student.

Immersed in an era of recurrent tech developments, it’s no secret that we’ve transitioned from a point where screen time was optional to a point where it’s a mandatory portion of any school curriculum and workplace agenda. I recall my time in college where my laptop spent most of its time in my dorm room mainly to be used for additional research or the final draft of a class project. I rarely saw a need to bring it to class because all of my notes were handwritten, and as much as I enjoyed the independence it gave me from being tied to the library desktop computer, its clunky and slow pace was oftentimes more of a nuisance than anything. Needless to say, too much screen time wasn’t much of an issue. Fast forward just a year later to law school, with a new laptop and smartphone in hand, I arguably spent more time on my screen than interacting with actual people. Complex course lectures pushed me into typing my class notes and my case briefing, memo writing and brief writing assignments resulted in my spending endless hours on Lexis Nexis and Westlaw. My increase in screen time had not just become more of a reality, it was now a requirement bordering on the wall of obsession. [Read more…]

Dealing with Loss in Law School

Dealing with Loss in Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about how to handle loss as a law student.

Law school is hard. It’s exhausting, stressful, and time consuming, but life outside of law school doesn’t stop, and sometimes you have to figure out how to deal with unimaginable stressors. During my first year, my cousin passed away. We were a few years apart and hadn’t spoken in a long time – our ideologies being diametrically opposed – but we were family, and losing anyone, especially to suicide, is heartbreaking. [Read more…]

Dealing with Negative People in Law School

Dealing with Negative People in Law SchoolWe welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about some strategies for dealing with negativity in your life as a law student.

When you first start law school, you get instant friends. Generally, everyone is just as nervous as you are and somehow this fear bands us together. Before law school, I had worked for four years as a nanny and my friends were mostly under the age of five. The one thing I was really looking forward to when I started school was meeting people my own age. And that happened. I had the largest friend group I’d ever had, was included in countless group chats, inside jokes, and hour-long sessions of complaining about school.

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How to Use Spring Break to Catch Up and Still Have Fun

How to Use Spring Break to Catch Up and Still Have FunPlease welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about some options for using spring break to your advantage.

First year of law school is a dramatic change from anything you’ve ever done before. For most students, the amount of work is overwhelming (I should have said “all students,” but there’s always the few that handle the workload like they’ve been asked to simply make their bed instead of clean the house, watch five kids, and make Scotch eggs in a fire pit with a flint rock and twig all at the same time). So, by the time spring break comes around, we’d like nothing more than to dive into our beds and resurface nine days later. [Read more…]

Tackling the MPRE as a 3L

The MPRE – 3L PerspectivePlease welcome back 3L guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to discuss what it’s like to take the MPRE as a 3L and how to prepare!

In case you did not know already, I am a 3L, and I am about to enter my last semester of law school (I’m not panicking, you’re panicking). Not only am I dreaming about post-grad life, I just took the MPRE last month. Unlike the bar exam, you do not have to wait until graduation to sit for this exam. To make life a little easier, many students take the MPRE in their 2L year or during the summer before their 3L year. For me, that just did not work with my schedule, and I had to plan accordingly. I am usually a futuristic and try to get everything situated so I don’t stress out over something simple. This time, my busy life got the best of me so I took the MPRE a little later than most of my fellow law students. This is the tale of my preparation and actually taking the MPRE. [Read more…]

A Fresh Start…Getting Ready for a New Beginning Second Semester

A Fresh Start…Getting Ready for a New Beginning Second SemesterPlease welcome back guest writer and 3L Mark Livingston to talk about coming back fresh for a new semester and making the most of your preparation for it!

Law school is not easy. As a father, husband, and non-traditional law student, the pain of late-night study sessions, hours at the library, classes, copious amounts of reading, and the perpetual preparation for finals are all hurdles for both me and my family to overcome. Nothing leaves a worse taste in a law student’s mouth than a mediocre, or even bad, semester. It seems to me that you have two options: 1) you can blame everyone but yourself and play the victim; or 2) spend some time confronting yourself and choose to take steps to start fresh second semester. The great thing about law school is this: although material in a single class may be cumulative, the many classes you will take each semester are not collectively cumulative. This means that you have the opportunity to make adjustments and become a qualitatively different law student each and every semester of law school. How amazing is this? [Read more…]

Tips for Living Your Best Winter Break Life

Tips for Living Your Best Winter Break LifePlease welcome back guest writer Kala Mueller,  Director of Public Interest Programs at the University of Nebraska College of Law, to discuss how to make the best use of your winter break during law school.

Now that you’ve (hopefully) emerged from your post-exam stupor, let’s talk about what to do with yourself during the glorious respite known as winter break. I’ve provided some guidance below and, personally, would strive to strike a balance between fun/relaxation and productivity. However, a different and equally good approach is to think about what you need from your time off to feel as good as possible going into the next semester, and then do it. [Read more…]

Three Tips to Help Reduce Exam Panic

Three Tips to Help Reduce Exam PanicThis week we welcome guest writer Alexandra Muskat, a recent law school graduate, to discuss some important ideas for reducing that inevitable worry around exam time.

It’s that time of year again where law students around the country begin to fill the library, crammed together at desks, crouched over books, flashcards, and computers trying to absorb the last three months of nuances, technicalities, and teacher preferences. And with this time comes plenty of panic.

If you’re like me, you may be in the corner, panicking, possibly crying, about having to study/sit for the exam. Either scenario is okay. Law school exams and the bar exam are scary. But the panic does not have to control your life. Here are some tips to keep exam panic under control I wish I had learned prior to my second run at the bar exam. I promise, if you implement just some of these tips, you will not only feel better during the exam, you will get more out of the time you spend studying. [Read more…]

I’m a 1L/2L, Why Should I Care About the Bar Exam?

I'm a 1L/2L, Why should I care about the Bar?Please welcome back Shirlene Armstrong, guest writer and future bar exam taker, to discuss why it’s never too early to think about your bar exam preparation!

The bar exam is usually considered the most dreaded exam a law student must eventually face, but you also must pass in order to become a licensed attorney. This exam is usually taken after your 3L year following graduation. So, if I’m a 1L or 2L, why should I care about the bar exam until my 3L year? I have PLENTY to worry about law school-wise, worrying about the bar exam is just not on the top of my priority list. I have PLENTY of time to prepare, so it shouldn’t matter if I wait. Well, actually you don’t. Despite popular belief, law school does not last forever. Eventually you will finish and have to take the bar exam. Law school goes much faster than people think, which is increased by the craziness of all the projects and activities in between. Thus, the sooner you can accept the inevitable (i.e. the bar exam), the better. [Read more…]

Advice from the Trenches for Incoming 1Ls: On the Importance of Self-Care  

Advice for Incoming 1Ls Part II (Importance of Self-Care)Please welcome back guest writer Kala Mueller, Director of Public Interest Programs at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Kala has been talking to her upperclassmen students about advice they would offer incoming 1Ls, and, this week, discusses the importance of self-care.

This is the second in a series of posts exploring the themes that emerged when I asked some of the law students I work with to tell me what they wish they would have known as they prepared to enter law school or what advice they would give to new students. If you’ve already read the first post on the rigors of law school, you know that you’re going to be challenged in ways that you’ve likely never been challenged before.

The demands of law school can have a tremendous mental and physical toll, and unfortunately, self-care is often put on the back burner. The number of law students that struggle with anxiety and depression is staggering, so it’s important that you take care of your mental health. If you’re not convinced that self-care is something you should prioritize over the next three years or can’t fathom how you’ll do so, I hope the advice below will enlighten you.

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