Social Life SOS: I Have No Social Life Because I’m in Law School

Social help SOS: I have no social life because I'm a law studentPlease welcome back 2L guest writer, Shirlene Armstrong, to discuss how law school has impacted her social life, and how she has managed to find (some) balance.

Forgotten are the days of fun and excitement. Forgotten are the late nights with friends and bar nights. Forgotten are going out and enjoying other’s company. Forgotten are the days of making memories and trying new experiences. Forgotten are the days and nights of youth and undergraduate. This is the life of a typical law student. Hopelessly searching for ways to break the chains that tie them to their casebooks and escape the confines of the law school library. It is a sad and tragic time in the law student’s life. But, does it have to be? One of the most common complaints of law students is that they have no time for what they want to do – that they have “no social life.” This is attributed to the law school experience (re: craziness). However, law school and your social life are not mutually exclusive. [Read more…]

Can the Right Type of Music Help You Study?

Can the Right Type of Music Help You Study?Please welcome back Jennifer Warren, attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law, to discuss how the right music could help your studying.

Whether you’re in the middle of a marathon outlining session or just trying to get through the next reading assignment, maintaining your concentration can be a struggle at times. Distractions from family, friends, work, and social media, as well as our own tendency to procrastinate difficult tasks, can all impede our ability to stay focused. Academic success in law school requires consistent effort and concentration, so finding ways to stay productive throughout the semester is crucial. If your usual strategies for getting through your to-do list aren’t working, you may be ready to try a more unique approach to staying focused.

Two services, and Focus@Will, are offering specially engineered songs and musical compositions that they claim will sharpen focus, improve retention, and generally enhance your productivity. We’ve all had experiences where a particular song has influenced our mood, but can the right type of music also help you study?

[Read more…]

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…]

Managing Time in Law School

time management

Please welcome guest writer Alexa Galloway, a current 2L in the San Francisco Bay area! Today, Alexa shares with us some practical tips for time management in law school.

Time is always of the essence in law school, and how you spend it can determine your success. Below are some ideas on how to utilize time to your advantage. [Read more…]

A Novel Listening Technique for Law Students: “Professor Says”

DSC_0006-002-1It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of information (and the rather disjointed way it’s presented) in a typical law school class. Today, we’re excited to have Jennifer Murphy Romig — creator of the Listen Like a Lawyer website and instructor of legal writing, research, and advocacy at Emory Law School — here to share a very useful technique for cutting through the clutter!

Welcome, Jennifer.

[Read more…]

5 Tips for Getting the Best from Your Paralegals

Legal TeamworkIt’s no secret that young lawyers rarely get management training before setting off to work. So, I was delighted to receive this guest post from the experienced paralegals at ParalegalEdu, offering five useful tips on working with paralegals. (They’re broadly applicable to other support staff, as well.)

So, now you know!

You might feel good about having hired the best and brightest paralegals out there, but your real job as team leader and motivator doesn’t end there. As any litigator would attest, success is never a given, and a team of talented people does not, by itself, determine results.

It’s what you do with the talent and how that talent works as a cohesive unit that will determine your level of productivity, and ultimately, the level of success that you’ll achieve.

You’ve likely heard the terms team building, team dynamics and teamwork used ad nauseam (and with careless romanticism), but don’t give way to cynicism by letting yourself undervalue these powerful concepts. It’s the underpinnings of these concepts — collaboration, cohesiveness, communication and a common vision — that support a truly effective team experience.

Your talented team of paralegals is right in front of you, ready to be led and certainly ready to be motivated.

Here are five ways you can get the most from your paralegals:

[Read more…]

Why You Should (Probably) Read the Cases in Law School

BooksNow that you’ve been in law school for a while, you’re probably wondering if it wouldn’t be easier to just learn law from a hornbook, or a commercial outline. Isn’t reading cases a total waste of time?

Here’s some sage advice from my law school friend:

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1L Tip of the Day: Start Thinking About the Exam on the First Day of Class

Play-DohHere’s a little secret — what’s tested in law school bears little resemblance to what’s taught in law school. I’m not saying law school classes are pointless (we can debate that later), but the way they’re structured can lead to misunderstandings about what you’re supposed to be learning.

How Things Used to Be

Think back to your average undergraduate class. Either the professor would give a lecture on the relevant material, which you’d dutifully attend, absorb, and apply on the exam, or the professor would lead a discussion group, where the class discussion was about the material you’d been assigned and the exam expected you to parrot back parts of that discussion.

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Need to Get More Done in Law School? Try The Units.

People holding handsThe Units time management strategy is similar to The Circles method, with an added feature: peer pressure!

In a nutshell, you find a reliable friend or two, and collectively you work “Units.” Each Unit represents 45 minutes of uninterrupted work on a particular task. The twist is that you publicly announce your intention, before you start working. Ideally your friend will Unit at the same time, but that’s not an absolute requirement. What matters is that you announce your intention in advance, and confirm that you did what you said you were going to do when you finish.

How to Implement The Units

There are various ways you can structure this:

Need to Get More Done in Law School? Try The Circles.

CirclesIf you’re like me, you have a lot of days where you feel like you were working all day long, but you don’t really get much accomplished.

I find this happens for two reasons:

  • I’m not sure what I should be working on
  • I spend time doing things that feel like work, but aren’t actually productive.

Luckily, I came across a deceptively simple, but extremely powerful, technique that helps with both of these problems: The Circles.

[Read more…]