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…]

Does your Law School Supplement Spark Joy?

Does your Law School Supplement Spark Joy?

This week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss how the KonMari Method of tidying can be applied to law students.

If you’re a Netflix addict like myself, you’ve likely heard of the popular new series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The hit series based on an international best-selling book, brings the decluttering Japanese technique, KonMari, into American homes. Throughout the series, Kondo enters the home of several families, gets to the root of core issues that influence the mess in their home, then walks them through the five KonMari steps aimed to declutter their surroundings and give them peace of mind. The series most definitely triggers emotion, as we witness firsthand how this method benefits a family whose hectic schedule, complete with caring for two toddlers, causes a rift in their marriage. We see how this method helps a grieving widow who finds it difficult to say goodbye to the items of her loved one who has passed on.

However, the episode that I connected with most deeply was episode five. This episode titled, “From Students to Improvements,” surveys the mess of two recent graduates, now turned writers whose personal libraries have become overwhelming. As a recent graduate myself, I’ve admittedly held on to books and papers trailing all the way back to my junior year of college. Therefore, I personally felt the frustration of this couple as they struggled to discard books or papers. However, I was amazed at how freeing the KonMari method was in improving their home and benefitting their lifestyle. So this got me thinking. More specifically, it got me thinking that if this method can be effective for former students, how much more so could this method benefit current law students? Well, let’s find out.

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Highlighting: A Feel-Good Waste of Time

Highlighting: A Feel-Good Waste of TimeThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about why highlighting might not be the best strategy when trying to memorize in law school.

What’s your favorite study strategy? Do you delve deep into using flashcards or do you plaster note tabs and sticky notes by each important point to create a roadmap for your brain? Do you outline diligently throughout the semester or entirely procrastinate then cram it all at the last minute and pray that through some magnetic force the information will ultimately stick? Regardless of your study style, I’m sure that you may have relied on highlighting at some point or another as a way to quickly remember the most important points in your dense case law reading. However, if highlighting is your chosen study technique, I have some bad news for you, “highlighting doesn’t actually help you remember anything.” In fact, research shows that highlighting is simply a waste of time because it fails to embed knowledge into your brain. [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 Transition From A Career to Law School – It Doesn’t Have to Be a Painful Experience!

How to Transition From A Career to Law School – It Doesn’t Have to Be a Painful Experience!We’re welcoming back guest writer and 3L Mark Livingston to talk about the transition from a professional career to law school.

Most people agree, change is hard. Kakuzo Okakaura said, “the art of life is constant readjustment to our surroundings.” Gone are the days of working at the same factory, day in and day out, for your entire adult life, only to be rewarded for your life-long commitment with a cheap gold watch. There are moments in life when we must choose to change course and start anew. Transitioning from a career, benefits, steady paycheck, and relative stability to run the gauntlet of law school is a tricky proposition, but one that is manageable and rewarding. Here are a few tips from a fellow life-course changer. [Read more…]

Reflections on First Semester From a 1L

A 1L’s Reflections on First SemesterThis week we welcome guest writer Briana Borgolini, current 1L at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law, to discuss her experience going into second semester 1L year.

No matter how prepared you think you are, the first semester of 1L year is a challenge. Anyone who is beginning law school has most likely been a great student for most of their lives, but there is just something different about the pedagogy of law school that makes it a little bit harder to figure out. Even if you think you have the perfect plan, first semester will probably be a bit of trial and error. For me, this definitely held true – there are things that I will continue to do, and there are things that I will certainly change. [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…]

Looking Back at 2018

Happy New Year #LawDrinks

Hello 2019!

It has been quite a year! Thanks to all of our loyal readers (and podcast listeners) for making 2018 great!

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I’m Sorry to Say This but We Need to Stop Saying I’m Sorry

I’m Sorry to Say this but We Need to Stop Saying I’m SorryPlease welcome back guest writer and attorney, Christen Morgan, to talk about the ways that women find themselves apologizing more than they need to in the workplace and knowing when to really say I’m sorry.

If you walk through the halls of many office environments, you can almost count on hearing the buzz and the ding of all the office machinery and stationery. If you listen even closer, you’re bound to hear the clicks and the clacks of shoes tapping through the hallways and the whirrs and creeks of portable chairs and office doors. Amongst all these familiar sounds, it maybe difficult to make out the defined statements within the conversations of passersby. However, pay close enough attention to these conversations and I’m sure the words “I’m sorry,” will emerge as a frequent repeated utterance. Whether, it’s an apologetic employee who is sorry for messing up an assignment, a supervisor who’s sorry for sending out the email request that she had every intention to send or the nervous intern who’s sorry for spilling coffee on the floor in the mere presence of others, “I’m sorry”, is the uniform verbal tick of many human beings. Furthermore, and, I hate to say this, but the words I’m sorry are even more of a verbal tick for women. [Read more…]

3 Skills of Top Lawyers that You Can Start Developing as a Law Student

3 Skills of Top Lawyers that You Can Start Developing as a Law StudentOur guest writer this week discusses some skills you’ll need as a practicing lawyer and how you can start working on them as a law student.

Here’s the bad news and the good news. The bad news: law school doesn’t show you how to be a real lawyer. The good news: top lawyers have three skills that you can start developing in law school, so you can hit the ground running. [Read more…]