Self-Care During Exam Preparation

Self-Care During Exam PreparationThis week we welcome back guest writer Briana Borgolini to talk about how to get through exams and keep your mental health and personal well-being on track by continuing your self-care!

As relieving as it can be to know that the end of the semester is near (and a break is inevitably impending), it can also be a very hectic and stressful time as finals are approaching. The end of the semester can sneak up on many students, and the realization that there is a lot to do in a relatively short period of time can be overwhelming. It can be all too easy to let self-care fall to the side when things feel so busy, but there are certain things that are very beneficial to make time for. [Read more…]

The Myth of Time Management: Why We Can’t Manage Time. We Can Only Manage Ourselves

The Myth of Time Management: Why We Can’t Manage Time We Can Only Manage OurselvesDon’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

– H. JACKSON BROWNE

I talk to lawyers almost every day about time management. We all use the phrase “time management” because we’ve been conditioned to do so over the years. But time management is a myth. There really is no such thing as time management. Once you understand that you cannot manage time – you can only manage yourself – you’ll begin to think differently about time. And when you begin to think differently about time, you’ll begin to act differently. And until you begin to act differently, you’ll never be able to take control of your calendar or your life. [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…]

Handling Stress Before the Bar Exam: One Person’s Journey

Handling stress before the barThis week we welcome Bar Exam Toolbox bar tutor, Sara O’Connor, to discuss some tips for managing stress before the bar exam.

If this article tempted your fancy, you’re feeling stressed about your upcoming bar exam. And, to be clear, “stressed” might be too soft of a word. You might be feeling things you’ve never felt before, like experiencing physical manifestations of your stress (such as a twitching eye, a cramping stomach, or a fun, new nervous tick). Whether you are feeling a mild-but-nagging concern or near-overwhelming anxiety, you’re in great company! Law students across the nation and the world (hello to you foreign lawyers joining our legal system) feel your pain to some degree during bar prep. In fact, even lawyers who have practiced for years in their home jurisdiction experience some level of stress if their future career prospects depend on them passing the bar in a new jurisdiction.

This article pulls back the curtain into my own experience with my two main causes of stress and the steps I took to combat them when I prepared for the bar. The purpose is twofold: (1) to show you through specific examples that your feelings are normal and (2) there are ways for you to deal with your stress in healthy, positive ways.

[Read more…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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

Photo of a timer Of the three methods of time management awesomeness, The Buzzer is definitely the easiest. But that’s not to say it’s without its charms!

How to Implement The Buzzer

Using The Buzzer technique couldn’t be easier – simply find something with a timer (your smart phone is a good starting point, or you can download programs for your computer or even get an old fashioned egg timer) and set the timer for 45 minutes. Start working. Don’t move until the buzzer goes off. Take a break and repeat as needed.

You’re probably scoffing at the idea that this could be effective, but, surprisingly, it is.

[Read more…]