You know you are a 1L when . . .

November 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm (Law School Life)

1. Assuming you didn’t, you now wish you had taken advantage of the “opportunity” to slack off in undergrad. How nice it would’ve been to push back a reading assignment or two with little repercussions.

2. You read an “article” (which is now a “fact pattern”) about a fun opportunity to have wild animals come to your home (sort of like a petting zoo coming to you) and instead of thinking about how great it would be, all you can think about is the various legal issues.

3. When someone babbles-on, taking forever to get to the point, your first instinct is to “brief” the dialogue into a short, concise, compartmentalized document in your head. Your second instinct is to calculate the time wasted which could have been better spent studying.

4. Your non-law family and friends avoid you and you realize you have nothing interesting to tell them. You aren’t just alienated, you are literally, an alien.

5. When someone talks about an “unconscionable” act you try to figure out what part of the “contract” they are talking about . . . only to find they meant someone did something really heinous.

6. You LUST over sleep. And feel guilty for giving-in.

7. Everything you thought you knew before . . . is now questionable.

8. Everything has now the potential suddenly to become tortious conduct.

9. When class is cancelled your first thought is “Yes, I have time to shower today!”

10. You either love what you are doing or you hate it. There’s no in between. . .

. . . . and FYI – I still LOVE it. Every-minute-of-it.

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My Favorite Things: Law Student Edition

November 3, 2011 at 1:48 am (Law School Gear)

Writing this, I’m reminded of Oprah’s infamous “Favorite Things” episodes in which she surprises her audience with announcing (and gifting) her favorite things . . . sorry, no giveaways here – but I am announcing my favorite law school gear/swag/tools, without which, my life would be slightly less organized/sane/happy.

  1. Gel Highlighters by Sharpie. Law school casebook pages are super thin and even the dullest, most dried-out highlighters bleed through. I am too OCD to handle that anxiety-inducing ickiness. These highlighters are amaaazing! Because they aren’t liquid, they don’t bleed through the page. Two drawbacks: 1) They aren’t super accurate and they take some getting used to and though they have a chiseled-tip, it dulls (which makes it even less accurate); and 2) They are gel, so its sort of like laying a residue on the page, which feels kind of funky.
  2. Pens by Sharpie. Okay, Sharpie is in no way a sponsor of this post nor am I a paid spokesperson (BTW, you will likely find cheaper prices at your local office supply store – the Sharpie website sells these items outrageously overpriced!). BUT it just so happens my second favorite thing are these amaaaaazing pens which do not bleed through thin pages, come in a variety of colors (good for book-briefing in technicolor which makes it easier to type up briefs later), the pens are retractable so I can extend the life and not keep track of a cap, and the tip is super fine! Also, I’m a lefty so I have to be careful about the “wetness” of ink pens because they tend to smear – but never fear! The ink dries fast enough it doesn’t smear. Hey! A Rhyme!
  3. A Sturdy Adjustable Bookstand. Seriously. I even have a friend that brings a collapsable/travel one to class and props her book up next to her laptop. Mine (which I’ve linked to) is not as portable, but it is super sturdy and since I do most of my studying at home, it is perfect for me. Just make sure it is wide-enough for ginormous casebooks.
  4. Hall’s Mocha-Flavored Cough Drops. Okay, I admit, this is random, but I’m getting over a cold and happened to come across these (my husband actually found them!) They are delicious and I am convinced the mocha-flavoring (which is my favorite coffee flavor) creates a placebo effect for me; so I trick myself into thinking I’m getting some much needed caffeine!
  5. Crunchtime Outlines. I am preparing my outlines for my classes now (yikes!) and am absolutely amazed by the usefulness of the Crunchtime books. Not only do they provide the black letter law, but they also provide flow charts (which I love, because I’m a visual learner) AND exam tips with a few sample questions and answers! I’ve linked to the publisher’s website but I strongly recommend looking at Amazon.com or another online bookstore to purchase them much more cheaply.
  6. General on-the-go essentials like instant coffee packets, granola bars, etc. Time is limited and when I’m in study mode between classes and don’t want to spend time running down sustenance, it is super handy to just grab what I need out of my backpack. GASP! Yes, I said backpack.
  7. My backpack. Seriously, I’m so glad I opted to go with a backpack rather than my usual mode of book-transportation which consisted of a) oversized handbags; b) professional-looking laptop totes; c) messenger bags. Honestly, I’m carrying 20+ pounds everywhere I go every day. Had I opted for a one-sided option I think my back would be totally out of wack. Plus, I really appreciate being able to navigate the stairs and halls of my law school without worrying about swinging a bag into something, etc. A backpack really is super convenient, even though it isn’t my usual style.
  8. Halloween Candy. Hey, it is not my fault I’m a stress eater.
  9. Law Students who are even crazier than me. It makes me feel more normal, seriously. Okay so the article I linked to (about an anxious 1L seeking advice from his/her upperclassmen peers) isn’t maybe that crazy. But this one (Mercer law student who heinously murders another classmate) is seriously insane (and NOT one of my favorite things).
  10. Law Students requesting therapy dogs to lighten spirits. Additional law schools are following Yale’s “Lead” (get it? “lead” haha) by incorporating therapy dogs as stress relievers for students. I am fortunate enough to have my own but believe all should be so lucky to have this benefit!

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