Confessions of a Law School Nobody Online

Confessions of a Law School Nobody Online -

Tech Tips: Preserving the iPhone Battery Life

Try these simple tips to maximize your iPhone’s battery life:

Turn off the bluetooth when not in use.
Swipe up on the iPhone screen and unhighlight the bluetooth icon. (iOS 7)
OR Settings –> Bluetooth –> Off

Disable location services.
Settings –> Privacy –> Location Services –> Off

Opt out of the “Background App Refresh” function. (iOS 7)
Settings –> General –> Background App Refresh –> Off

BT PrivacyBGRefresh

 

Making the Most of Online Legal Research

Online legal research databases are arguably the greatest and most under appreciated resources  available to law school students. While in school, what you do know is that you can use your online legal research database to research cases and statutes for your classes and major research assignments. Representatives of the database companies visit regularly and hold lunches to educate you on more effective ways to research. However, little emphasis is made on the fact that after law school those wonderful databases may not be as readily available. While in law school it is easy to get comfortable with the idea that LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law will always be free and accessible. What is not emphasized is that your access to the databases will end after graduation, and depending on your post-law school place of employment either as a law clerk or a first year associate, the databases may be limited or unavailable. Becoming efficient in online legal research is an invaluable asset in law school and, even more so, once your an attorney. Below are some tips and ideas to help you make the most out of online legal research.

Save everything
During law school plenty of opportunities arise to research cases, statutes, and secondary materials. Rather than just printing the document for momentary use and later throwing it away, be sure to create a digital folder for the subject and save the document there. By the end of your three years of law school, you’ll have multiple file folders based on subject or topic that contain several cases, statutes, etc. You’ll quickly find these folders are useful in practice because you’ll be spending less time scouring through Westlaw and more time actually drafting. This is important because once you no longer have a student Westlaw account, every minute spent researching is costing money. The less time it takes you to research, the more money the firm saves.
Become familiar with all the databases
I’ll be honest. I did not go to very many of the Westlaw and LexisNexis seminars. The few I went to were extremely helpful and I wish I had attended more. Believe me when I say that you should try to attend the research seminars as often as possible. Both companies hold the meetings during lunch time a few times a month and they even provide food. Gaining familiarity with all of the online research databases will help you become a more efficient researcher and, once again, save you time and money. Taking the time while in law school to just sit and play around on the databases is another great way to get used to them and figure out how you best research. Also, there are quite a few not so hidden gems within the databases. For instance, Westlaw has Trial Documents. As my supervising attorney always reminds me – “Someone has done this before.” The Trial Documents tab that shows up along the left side of the results page every time you do a search in Westlaw Next provides pleadings done by other attorneys that reference your search criteria. I have found this especially helpful when I have absolutely no idea where to start when writing a pleading. You can get great ideas as to form and other case law to reference in your own motion. [Remember to save them!]
Remember: Time is money, friend. 
Literally a few months after you take the bar, all of the online research databases start to wither away. While it is a shock at first, you quickly learn to make do. If you are hired by a firm that has access to any one of the databases, it is imperative that you quickly and efficiently gather the research you need when you use online legal research. If you take the time to get to know the databases then most of your research assignments will be a breeze.
[As originally written and posted on MS JD by this writer]

Do this, NOT that: 4 Do’s during Thanksgiving Break

2009-12-25 18.33.48

A Thanksgiving Dinner Past…can you tell I’m a little excited?

Recalling my law school experience, I can remember the period before Thanksgiving Break as being a mixture of relief and anxiety.  I knew I would be able to see my family soon, eat really good food, and just generally turn my brain off.  At the same time, I knew I couldn’t turn off the fact that I was a law student and I would start final exams the 1st day break concluded.  So what is there to do? Well, let’s see…

1) DO enjoy the time spent with loved ones.

It is still a holiday, so be sure to take advantage of this time that families come together. Be sure to show some love to the family and friends who have supported you during your law school career. Definitely be thankful for them listening to all your complaints about the process too :-)

2) DO start outlining if you have not already.

Now I am sure I have many opponents to this idea. People might say it is way too late in the game to even think about composing an outline. However, I think Thanksgiving Break is a fairly good time to start putting together your final exam outlines simply because of your mind state. Being around family and friends, may bring a sense of calm (I said “may”) and in turn be a way to get the juices flowing. In the alternative, being able to escape by doing an outline or two could be the perfect excuse to avoid an awkward conversation with Aunt Sarah about her potential divorce with Uncle Charles. “Sorry, I really need to get back to some note-taking Auntie!”

3) DO “search and seize.”

In conjunction with #2, be sure to check out your student organizations because they may have outlines already created for you to glance over on that plane ride home. If you are staying on or near the law school campus, grab some sample exam questions/answers from your law library as many librarians may keep a file of past professors exams. Also, there are hundreds of great legal bloggers who offer great information about outlining and finals prep. I even have a YouTube video about getting through Thanksgiving Break as a law student. Plenty of resources at your fingertips.

4) DO give the keys to someone else.

Pretty self-explanatory, but it is important that you remember you have school to return to once break is over. You don’t want to start the finals season with a court date hanging over your head.

Good luck to everyone this winter. As always, you may contact us here at LawSchoolNobody.com if you have any questions!

Don’t unplug just because you’re in law school…

Courtesy of HubSpot.

Courtesy of HubSpot

As I sit here on this cool Thursday afternoon, I was thinking about my law school journey.  I was also reflecting on recent current events such as the Navy Yard shootings, unrest in Syria, and the growing disparity of income in the United States.  Now you’re probably asking, “How does this have anything to do with law school?”  Well, in law school I probably would not have known very much about these issues.  That’s because I had “unplugged” from the world.

I believe many students can share in the sentiment that during those three years of school, you tend to become disconnected from your surroundings, your family, and just humanity in general! Countless hours spent in the law library outlining and prepping for classes. Extra-curricular groups to boost cool points on your resume. Occasional four to five hours of  a “good night’s” sleep.   Law school is definitely a grind. Law students sometimes get lost in the shuffle of studying and forget for what we are actually doing the studying.  The endgame is to be a productive global citizen in one of the nation’s oldest and most respected professions.
via brandwatch.com

via brandwatch.com

However, you cannot be an informed global citizen in this profession without having some type of knowledge of what is going on.  How do you expect to properly network when you are not abreast on current issues? I know, I know; you don’t have time to tweet, watch the news, or read a newspaper (yes, people still do this!).  But, I believe it is truly necessary in the 21st century to be informed. Try to tie in current happenings with the case law that you are reading in class. Shoot, it might make the lecture a lot more interesting!

Law School News round-up

Wondering what is going on in the world of law school and law students? No fear, we have a pretty fiesty round up for you…

 

Obama says law school should be two years, not three – via NY Times

Ivy Leaguers are not applying to law school these days - via NY Times

Behaving Badly: Law Schools are still toying with job stats – via The National Law Journal

What they don’t teach you in law school – Marc Luber via HuffingtonPost

The “Practice-Ready” Law Grad = fantasy? – via Wall Street Journal

 

A lot of these articles were pretty interesting! We encourage you all to get involved in the conversation. Be the change you would like to see :-)

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