Making friends in law school creates an invaluable network. The friends you make in law school are valuable in terms of their friendship, support, and advice during law school. Those same friends, however, are even more valuable after school is over. Believe it or not, but you will need that same advice and support after law school I have only practiced for about six months, but I have already dealt with classmates as opposing counsel. I was not especially good friends with them, but I was certainly congenial, and that made our interactions that much easier. In addition, you can never predict what area of law you will end up practicing. You and your “close friends” in school might all think you will be prosecutors, and all end up in different career paths.
No matter how much material you think you can retain just by memory, note taking will be one of the most important skills to develop and perfect as you make your way through . Good notes will help you keep up during class discussions and will also become crucial when it's time to outline and study for final exams.
• DO choose a method of note taking and stick with it. There are now lots of options for law school note taking from software programs to the good old paper and pen method.
Try some out early on in the semester, but decide quickly which one suits your learning style best and then keep going with it. The link section below has some reviews of note taking software if you need a starting point. • DO consider preparing your own notes before class. Whether you do the classic or something more free-flowing and whether you're using computer software or handwritten notes, use a different color or entirely different pages to separate class notes from your personal notes.
As the semester wears on, you should see the two increasingly converging; if not, you're probably not picking up important concepts and what your professors want you to focus on, so get thee to office hours! • DO write down important concepts, rules of law, and lines of reasoning.
These things may be difficult to pinpoint at first, but you'll get better at this as your law school years go on. • DO take note of recurring themes in your professor's lectures. Does he bring public policy into every discussion? Does he painstakingly parse words of statutes? When you find these themes, pay special attention and take particularly copious notes as to how the professor's reasoning is flowing; this way you know what questions to prepare for both for lectures and .
• DON'T write down everything the professor says verbatim. This holds especially true if you're using a . It can be tempting to transcribe lectures if you have the typing ability, but you'll be losing valuable time in which you should be engaging with the material and group discussion. This, after all, is where learning takes place in law school, not simply from memorizing and regurgitating rules and laws.
• DON'T write down what your fellow law students say. Yes, they're smart and some may even be right, but unless your professor puts her explicit seal of approval on a student's contribution to the discussion, it's most likely not worth a spot in your notes.
You will not be tested on your fellow law students' opinions, so there's no sense in recording them for posterity. • DON'T waste time writing down facts of the case. All the facts you need to discuss a case will be in your casebook. If particular facts are important, highlight, underline, or circle them in your textbook with a note in the margins to remind you why they're important. • DON'T be afraid to go back through several days of notes at the same time to try to make connections and fill in gaps.
This review process will help you at the time with class discussions and later when you're outlining and studying for exams. • DON'T forego taking notes because you can get the notes of a classmate. Everyone processes information differently, so you are always going to be the best person to record notes for your future study sessions.
It's great to compare notes, but your own notes should always be your primary source for studying. This is why commercial outlines and those prepared by previous law students aren't always the most helpful either. Throughout the semester, your professor gives you a map of what the exam will be like throughout the course; it is your job to record it and study it.
best dating in law school classmates - 20 Tips for Success in Law School
There’s no doubt in my mind that law school is hard on relationships. In my time at law school I’ve seen at least three of my classmates go through a divorce and dozens of other relationships crash and burn. I’ve managed to tank two perfectly good relationships myself by paying more attention to law school than my then-girlfriend.
In the interest of trying to help others avoid the folly of hope triumphing over experience, here are some of my thoughts on dating during law school. 1Ls, sorry to burst your bubble. • On dating another law student: This is one of those things that seems like a good idea.
At first. In the first place, when your social sphere is largely limited to a 4-block area around the law building (which is mostly filled with undergrads pursuing lesser degrees) the majority of your dating pool is going to be other law students.
Secondly, if you’re a 3L in this economy you’ve probably come to appreciate the ability to commiserate with someone about the complete ineptitude of the Career Services Office and they’ll understand the time commitments that law students get themselves into. This is a trap.
Trying to sync the free time of two law students is more difficult than trying to get five people to agree on pizza toppings. By the time everything’s said and done you might be able to see each other once a month. Which, come to think of it, is probably the actual amount of time that most people want to spend with a law student.
• On dating someone who’s not a law student: Another one of those things that seems like a good idea. At first. Who better to help you stay sane during three years of surrealism than someone who’s separated from it? The problem with this is that normal people are going to want normal interaction, which, as a law student, you’re probably not really able to provide. And the chances of a normal person understanding why you’re drinking heavily at 11:45 in the morning after the MPRE are fairly small.
Plus, normal people ask inconvenient questions like, “Don’t you think there’s something inherently wrong about a profession where the ethics qualification is graded on a curve?” • On the effect of Law School on small talk: There is nothing that can kill a conversation faster than the phrase, “you know, that reminds of this case I read about . . . .” Normal people segue into comments about the latest episode of Castle (Okay, geeky people segue into comments about Castle) and not comments about what’s really interesting about Larry Hillblom’s alleged proclivity to deflower virgins is the probate issues that were caused when alleged illegitimate children kept popping up.
And god forbid you’re a tax guy; nothing drives people away quite like stopping to explain the intricacies of the corporate double-taxation system or the fact that the estate tax actually produces so little income for the government that it’s basically nothing more than a pointless wedge issue played up by both sides when they should be paying attention to things that actually matter.
I’ve probably lost my readers by now. Imagine how much worse that goes over in a bar. Basically, the most fundamental observation about dating in law school is this: Don’t. Unless you’re a masochist. And since you’re a law student, that means you’re probably going to anyway. Post image via
Free Form Book Carrying Is Not Recommended Law school is absolute hell on the back. Between lugging around massive tomes (casebooks) and spending most of the time hunched over a desk, you’re going to suffer a bit. If I was a chiropractor or a massage therapist I would, with zero hesitation, set up shop next to a big law school. One of the best ways for law students to reduce the strain is invest in a serious backpack. The Sisyphean task of carrying your laptop and books to and fro everyday gets a lot easier if you are properly equipped.
In this post we give you some backpacks big enough to handle the demands of law school without sacrificing too much style. Minimum Requirements for A Law School Backpack • A backpack for law school has to be big. Generally for 1L year you need to pack 2-3 casebooks in there along with your laptop. Things can’t be squished either- you need extra room so that your laptop doesn’t get destroyed and you can stow your school sweatshirt when it gets hot in the afternoon. • Law school backpacks need to be durable.
Those cute ones from LL Bean with your name embroidered on it? Those would fall apart under the strain. In law school you are better off with something that could work for trekking through Nepal.
• A law school backpack has to be somewhat waterproof. You are going to get caught in the rain. Protect your laptop and casebooks. • You don’t want to look like a massive nerd.
Too big, and you’ll look like a suffering turtle. We try to recommend backpacks that minimize this effect. BEST BACKPACKS FOR LAW SCHOOL Swiss Army Backpacks These (pictured left) was probably the single most common backpack I saw at UChicago. Part of the reason is they have extra capacity laptop carriers for the people with 17 inch screen laptops. I don’t have anything funny to say about these. It’s just a solid backpack that is going to do the job.
They are also seriously comfortable—I know this because I had to carry my girlfriend’s for her all the time when we would walk home. Something From The North Face The North Face always provides seriously durable backpacks. They were commonly sighted at my school, and for good reason: these things last forever. At left is the , a spacious backpack that contains an adjustable laptop compartment big enough for your 15 in.
computer. I like black because it tends to play down size, i.e. minimizes the turtle effect. Also, this thing is going to spend most of the time strewn on the floor of the student lounge, so black makes it harder to see all the grit that accumulates. (right) – This one has two huge compartments and a laptop compartment, as well a bungee on the outside to quickly stow a windbreaker or sweater.
Snowboarding Backpacks I saw a lot of these, mostly from the California kids, who always seemed to care the most about telegraphing the fact that they weren’t *just* law students. Nothing wrong with that! These backpacks look good, are durable, and will keep out water. They also tend to have extra padding on the laptop cases, presumably in case you fall off your skateboard while carrying a laptop.
As a bonus, I suspect these backpacks work pretty well for snowboarding. I really like the way the Burton ones look. This , pictured at left, will be perfect for lugging books while subtly rejecting the law school yuppie image in favor of a more “alt” look.
The Professional Look Backpack makers are catching on to the fact that it’s not just schoolchildren who use these things anymore. It you want to embrace your professional side to the fullest, go with something that doesn’t look like it could be hiding a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunch box. Here’s one of the nicest I’ve seen: (pictured at right) has kind of a classic mountaineering style to it.
I really like this bad boy. If I were forced to do law school again, I’d get this. I didn’t know a backpack could look distinguished, but this one definitely is pulling that off. It doesn’t look like luggage like a lot of “professional” backpacks. If you do like a more urban look, check out this . It’s got an actual frame along with a padded laptop case, so it probably provides the most protection for your laptop on bumpy bus rides to school.
The “I Won’t Ever Be Caught Dead With A Backpack” Look- decidedly elegant tote bags are a great option to have a lot of space without the backpack. I know many of our female readers might simply refuse to wear a backpack, or will want to have something nicer to wear on days where they are wearing a suit jacket. These were basically required for every stylish girl at my law school. I have to admit, they are pretty sleek looking.
I thought they’d be a lot more expensive than they are: it looks like you can get one for around $125 on Amazon, or about the price of a brand new casebook. The best way to lighten the load when using a tote is to find a service that rebinds your casebooks in to smaller sections so that you don’t need to carry the whole book at once. Frankly, I think everyone should look into this- your back will thank you. Many printing companies offer this service, so look around in your area.
A head’s up: it is expensive, but it’s tough to put a price on being able to skip lightly to school while your classmates trudge along behind you. Having tried Herschel, I vote for Incase. The problem with Herschel is getting all the books and notebooks in was a game of Tetris. Good luck getting to what’s in the bottom! The mouth of the Incase is wide which makes it easier to access the whole compartment, and it has two drink holders.
Because the Incase’s laptop slot separate from the main, you should use a laptop sleeze () for protection because it has padding than the Herschel. super helpful!! I have not used a backpack since middle school and did not know what to do for law school!! I would usually fit into your tote bag category however, after four years of university textbooks in handbags- I had back pain for months after graduating.. That Herschel bag is a beautiful compromise. Thank you!!! I’m in law school and am using the and so is another colleague law student friend of mine!
IVAR packs have this shelving design inside for proper weight distribution of our many books, notepads, and laptop. It’s a patented backpack design worth checking out.
Used to own a Herschel above. @JoshuaCraven – Check it out!
every law student ever™