Saturday, October 28, 2017

How 2L year is Better than 1L Year


Hello hello to all you lovely law nerds! If you haven't noticed, I've been blogging a hell of a lot less lately. I guess you could say it's writer's block, or maybe I'm just busy, or maybe I just haven't felt like blogging. Either way, I apologize for my absence and I promise I'll try harder to better... but then again, we all know how law school takes over every aspect of life. So who knows what will really happen?

Setting all that aside, I'm about 2 and 1/2 months into my 2L year. How did that happen? At this time last year, I was just starting to get this whole "law scthool" thing figured out. And by that, I knew how to study and was no longer completely terrified of getting called on in class. Now one year later, the nerves have eased substantially, and I think I'm as settled into law school as well as I'll ever be. Throughout these last few months, I've definitely noticed some big differences between 1L and 2L year, so I thought I'd share these differences with you.

First of all, I am way less nervous. I remember being a little afraid of about everything that happened. I was nervous that a professor would call on me and I wouldn't know the answers. I was nervous that I wasn't studying in the right way for finals. I didn't know the right places to study, or where to go for financial aid help, or what questions to ask my professors. Luckily, over time I started figuring these things out, and now I barely have any nerves. I pretty much roll into school, do my work, go to my classes, and just sort of do life without thinking too much. It's so nice to be able to just go to school and feel settled, rather than worry about everything all the time.

Next, I spend less time studying. Honestly, I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I studied so much last year, and I ended up getting really good grades and being so proud of what I accomplished. Now, I feel like since I know how to do law school better, I don't have to study as much because I've learned how to study more effectively. One of my law school friends said we're all learning to study smarter and not harder, and I think that is definitely true. Thus, because of this more effective studying, I've spent less time reading, taking notes, and studying all together. The extra time I've had from not studying has been so nice, which brings me to my next point...

I'm going to the gym... like, regularly. Part of my fitness enthusiasm is likely due to the fact that I have more time, since I haven't been studying as often. Part of it is that I've spent all of last semester getting my mental health to a good point, and now I feel like it's time to focus on my physical health. I'm going on walks, going to yoga a few times a week, and recently just signed up for a personal trainer. Is this what being a healthy, fit individual is like? Because I kind of dig it. 

Another thing I've noticed with my extra non-study time, is that I have time to read for fun again. As a kid, I always loved reading for fun. It's probably why my reading skills are up to par for law school. My most recent read is a book written by two of my favorite podcasters, Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. The title of the book is literally F*cked, so as you might expect, the material is a little explicit. But it's been a fun read that definitely takes my mind off law school. Another one of my go-to recommendations is this book that teaches people how to be better adults - something every law student will have to do soon. 

When I'm not filling up all of my free time with reading or going to the gym, I spend my time planning ahead. While everything is a mystery 1L year, it's hard to really think about the future. However, now that I've got the first year under my belt, a little bit of work experience, and more time to think about the future - I'm trying to make life plans. Although it's impossible to have everything figured out, I've noticed that I'm thinking more about my goals, where I'd like to be, what I'd like to be doing, etc. It's nice to be able to look toward the future and have an idea of what I want. 

And of course, I am having so much more fun than I did during 1L year. Listen, it's not like last year was awful. But it definitely wasn't the most fun year of my life. This year, the tides have turned. I'm going on vacations, hanging out with friends, and living without a mountain of stress on my chest. Here's the real deal - 1L year is going to be stressful. It's inevitable. But if you use the entirety of 1L year to just settle into law school and figure everything out, you might just find that 2L year and beyond could be so much fun. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Why I Gave Up Facebook In Law School


Two days ago I was at a McDonald's after I finished my yoga class - yes, this is my version of living a balanced lifestyle. However, as I went to pay for my Happy Meal - because again, balance - I realized that I didn't have my debit card with me. I of course couldn't help but feel a bit of panic. All I wanted was to purchase my nuggets and shame-eat them in peace. And I felt my life flash before my eyes as I realized I might not be able to get those delicious bites of chicken. But then I had a thought occur to me. Bailey, I said to myself, This is 2017. We are past debit cards! And just like that, I used my iPhone's Apple Pay to successfully purchase my nuggets and continue on living my dreams. Crisis averted!

I know that might sound a bit dramatic, but the truth is, it's just one example of why I absolutely LOVE technology. Unfortunately though, technology is far from perfect. Sometimes there are as many detriments as benefits. In my first year of law school, I started to notice some of these detriments of technology, espeicially with social media. Now you might be surprised by this. After all, by nature of being a blogger, I am very active on social media. I love Instagram, Twitter, and my Snapchat streaks mean more to me than my actual friendships at this point. But at a certain point, something about social media seems too invasive. 

As you might know if you've been a reader of my blog for awhile (or just creeped through my posts), during my first year of law school, I had some mental health difficulties. The truth is, for a duration of my 1L year, I was not doing so great. And by being active on social media, I had to make a choice from two options: 

1. Stay active on social media, and give everyone an inside look into a dark period in my life
2. Leave social media while I work on feeling "normal" again.

And out of these two choices, I chose a mixture of the two. If you're a twenty-something like I am, you probably understand that different forms of social media have different functions. For me, I use Twitter for human, Facebook to maintain connection and relationships, LinkedIn to be professional, Instagram because pictures are pretty, and Snapchat for communicating with my best friends And of course, I have this blog to talk all things law school. So therefore, I chose which of those to keep and which of those to get rid of. While I kept most social media and just decided to stay moderate inactive for some time, I did decide to make one drastic change.

I deleted my Facebook account.

Facebook was the first social media platform I ever used (unless you want to count a short stint on MySpace that I abandoned after about 6 hours because I was afraid of my parents finding out). I registered for my Facebook account when I was 13 years old in eighth-grade, the day after I won the state science fair, because I wanted to share pictures of my awards (yes - I was really cool in middle school). Ever since then, I built a network of family, both extended and immediate. There were friends from school, dance, work, church, clubs, etc. People I met on vacations, or at conferences. or friends of friends were all added. You know how it goes. 

About halfway through college, I did a major friend purge and limited my Facebook friends to close friends and family. I used Facebook as a fairly personal social media platform, and wanted to limit who saw my posts. As I went to law school, Facebook became one of the go-to ways for my friends and family from back home to keep up with me. But as I started dealing with depression and anxiety, I wanted to shield all of my friends and family from that side of me.

So I made a decision to cut Facebook out of my life. At first it was difficult. What was I supposed to look at when waiting for class to start, or when I was bored? To be quite honest, I probably looked at Instagram and Twitter more than ever before during this time. But after awhile, I noticed myself enjoying it. I would hear friends have conversations, saying things like "Did you see what so and so posted on Facebook? So immature!" or "I scrolled through Facebook for three hours last night!" And every time I heard something like that, I realized I was so happy to not be dealing with that.

It might sound cheesy, but my relationships got more authentic. I didn't have to "check in" online with friends any time we did something. I didn't know about what was going on in my friends' lives from their posts, I knew because they told me. And I didn't waste hours of my life mindlessly scrolling. And more than anything else, I didn't feel like I had to keep up my own social media facade.

As time has gone by, I've dived back a little deeper into social media. Admittedly, I love Twitter and I have three accounts on it: my personal one, one I keep for professional/school tweets, and one for Caffeine and Case Briefs. But I don't base my relationships on my Twitter friendships. I also still love Instagram - who doesn't love sharing pictures of their life (I even posted a picture of my post-yoga Happy Meal). But for some reason, I feel no draw back into Facebook.
A post shared by Bailey (@brosecrans) on

We live in a world where it's so easy to become consumed by social media. But it also can be a wonderful tool to connect. Like anything else, balance is key when it comes to a social media presence. If you find yourself spending too much time or being overly invested in one platform, I highly recommend taking a step back. Every day I am thankful that I did.

But don't worry - I won't give up blogging any time soon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

5 Ways to Make Law School Suck Less


So, I don't think that it's any big secret that law school sucks. The good thing is, law school can actually be amazing, fun, and one of the best experiences of your life. But in order to make that happen, you need to be able to do some things to make law school suck a little bit less. Although I'm still learning these things myself, I've found a few things that make law school way better. So if you're at a point where law school just absolutely and completely sucks, try out some of these things to make law school suck even less.

1. Find a Hobby

This sounds like the most simple thing, but you need to have something that you enjoy outside of law school. Although it may seem like you need to spend every waking hour in the libary, the truth is that is the exact opposite of healthy. Not only do you need to stand up every now and then (trust me, you will get back problems if you study too much), but you need things in your life to care about other than law school. Do you like to play sports? Most graduate students are still able to join university intramural leagues. Are you crafty? Set up a paint corner. If you like playing board games, host a board game night with your friends. Take a cooking class, go for walks, or join a volunteer league. Personally, my biggest stress relief is crocheting, and I have made so many blankets out of this yarn for my friends and family!

2. Find Your Support Network on Campus

All of us have friends and family that love us and support us. But when you move to a new environment or first start law school, you might not have that readily available in your law building. So try hard to establish and grow that support network. I recommend having at least two or three close friends that you trust, as well as a professor or school administrator. I personally have a handful of professors that I trust, and a couple of friends that I would consider best friends at this point. Having that network is key, because spending time with people you love makes life suck less. And when life sucks less, law schoool sucks less.

3. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To

For some reason, law school semesters seem endless. Like I don't know why a week in law school seems like a month in real world time, but it does. One of the best things I've done is learn to break up my semester by planning something fun to look forward to each month. This upcoming weekend I'm taking a quick trip to Disney World with one of my best friends. Next month is a brewery tour with some of my friends. After that I'll go home for Thanksgiving in November. Having these little things each month really keeps morale high. Plan concerts, day or weekend trips, have friends or family visit you, or look for a really cool festival in your school town. Doing this will make the semester fly by, and you'll feel rewarded for your hard work every time you do something fun.

4. Manage Your Finances

Law school may suck, but being broke sucks even more. So it's time to adult up and manage your finances. I wrote an entire post on being financially smart in law school, so go check it out if you need more tips! Mostly, it comes down to writing a budget, sticking to it, and shopping the sales. One recent thing I've been doing to save money is by using my Discover credit card to get up to 5% back on my purchases. Then I use my reward money to pay my bill. I seriously make over $50 a month in cashback bonuses. Check out awesome cards like this to help you save money by spending on the same stuff you already by. 

5. Read Something Unrelated to Law School

Does everyone else keep a tally of the record number of pages you've had to read in a week? I know I do. In law school, we read a lot. So much that it can make you hate reading. One way to avoid this hatred of the written world is to read something that's not related to law school. Recently I picked up this book and could not put it down. It was so funny, and I couldn't put it down. I forgot how much I loved reading when it doesn't relate to the law. So read for fun one day, and it will make the reading you do for school seem a lot better. 


These are just a few things that you can do to make your law school adventure feel a bit more like adventure and a bit less like torture. Do you like these ideas? If so, let me know in the comments below and I'll do a part two!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

New School Year Goals: Law School Blogger Edition


Well, folks, it's the beginning of yet another year of law school. As I embark on my 2L journey, I realized that this is a new beginning, another chance to accomplish whatever I set my mind to, and to take on new challenges as a law student. With each new school year, I always like to think of my goals for theease r and what I would like to accomplish. I guess I tend to look at these goals like a New Year's resolution - but for the new school year.

As I was thinking about my goals for the upcoming year, I was wondering what goals other law students might have. Luckily for me, there is an amazing community of law school bloggers out there that love to share their thoughts. So I reached out to several of my favorite law school bloggers and asked if they would be willing to share their goals for the upcoming year. After all, there are so many law students out there and you never know who might have similar goals. So without further ado, here is what law school bloggers want to accomplish this school year:

Brazen and Brunette - Nikki

  • Review my 1L and 2L outlines
    • I have a few friends who just took the Bar and from their whining snaps I have become terrified of Bar prep. You study so hard for each class that you’re sure that you’ll never forget it but then just a year later you’re like wait what’s the difference between collateral estoppel and judicial estoppel again?? So I plan to review, review, review, so that hopefully by the time I get to Bar prep, it won’t be too bad. FYI- even if you’re only a 2L it’s still a good idea to keep reviewing because a lot of concepts from 1L year will overlap with your 2L classes.
    • To keep myself accountable, I’ve gone ahead and penciled in “review old outlines” for every Sunday from 5-6. I’m sure at some point I’ll get sloppy and miss a week or two, but having it already scheduled in my planner for every week this semester will help me not forget about it completely just because I missed a week. I also chose Sundays at 5 because from my own personal experience, I’ve learned that this is usually when I get out of weekend mode and get in to tackle-the-new week mode

  • Keep up my GPA
    • I’ve been blessed enough to have a pretty decent GPA so far, so I’m trying to work hard to make sure that it stays that way and I don’t ruin any career possibilities at the last moment.
    • One of my friends got really good grades last year and she said the only difference she did was that she reviewed her notes right before class. It sounds insignificant, but re-reading them just one extra time a week really helped burn the information into her brain so she was ready for cold-calls and didn’t forget the information as easily a week or a month later. 

  • Do all readings
    • I know this is such a typical answer, but right now I’m 4 for 4 semester of law school and I haven’t slacked yet. I’m pretty proud of that and I’m almost done so I’m trying to stick it out and not get lazy yet.
    • I did really well last semester about studying during the daytime so my plan is to keep that up again. Not falling behind in any classes is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re not screwing yourself over in the long run.


  • Find a professor bff
    • Besides wanting to go to office hours to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to get the best grade possible, I want to find a “mentor” professor this semester. not only will I for sure be counting on them as a rec letter if I need one, I also want someone that I actually know to hood me at graduation (only people with doctorate degrees can hood you none of my family or family friends could hood me). 
    • I’ve already taken one professor from my 2L Spring again in Summer 1 and I’m taking another professor from my 2L Fall again for my 3L Fall. Two strategies behind this— one take the professor not the class, and two make sure your professors know you. The first piece of advice I got from my Civ Pro professor and it’s turned out to be true. If you make good grades in one of professor’s class, that means you’ve got his teaching and testing styles down well enough that if you take another class from the same professor you’ll probably do good again (it never hurts to have a good GPA). The second is because even if you participate in class and drop by office hours a couple of times, it’s still easy for your professor to confuse you with one of the other 300 students on campus. And if they teach you for more than one class, they’ll have more to mention in any recommendation. 

  • Save more money
    • My summer job turned into the ideal job and yep, they offered me to stay on through this fall. Thanks to summer classes, my Fall class load is light enough that I can work 20 hours a week so I’ll still be getting a good pay check. As tempting as it is for me to spend money buying clothes for my internship or getting manicures more often, my goal is to try to save at least half of that to ramp up paying off the interest on my student loans.
    • I’ve been truly moved by Bailey’s post on the Big Law Investor, so my plan is to take all of her advice from that post to make sure that I’m saving as much as possible so I can pay off my loans as soon as possible.

  • Read for fun
    • I started doing this last year as a way to help me fall asleep, so I’m hoping to continue this. law school has so much reading in it that if you’re a reader it can quickly burn you out and make you want to say no thank you to any more reading. but I’ve realized that instead of hurting my brain more, this actually relaxes me and helps me remember that not all reading has to be studying.
    • Since I still have some downtime before school starts, I’ve been searching for great suggestions and downloading them on my Kindle as I find them. My plan is to have a nice little collection ready for the Fall so that even on the days that I’m not in the mood to read, I can look at all of the books I’ve been dying to start to get me more excited about sitting down for some me time.

The Legal Duchess - Brandy

I have many goals as I embark on my 2L year. My biggest goal is to be successful in my new position on the Moot Court team. I, along with a few other students, was selected to represent our law school at Moot Court competitions around the country. I hope to learn as much as I can about public speaking and to be able to make my school proud at the competitions and live up to the honor of being on the team. Additionally, I hope to continue to improve my legal skills and keep my GPA on the rise. 1L year was a little rough to start off but I know I can improve my GPA- I just have to buckle down and do it. 

Also, I hope to become more involved in the organizations offered at my school. I was so busy trying to survive 1L year that I did not take the time to look into joining the organization. Now that I am feeling more comfortable with the law school routine, I hope to join some organizations that interest me. I will also be working in my law school admissions office which will be a fun addition to my school days and help me to get to know more people. Moreover, I want to get more involved in our local Bar association and the local legal community. Through my summer internship, I made many connections in the area and I would like to continue to foster those connections and network. 2L year is going to be exciting and I am ready to take on the challenges!

Justifiably Blonde - Heather

This year is a bit different for me in terms of goals. I am spending my fall semester in DC completing a clerkship with a federal judge but in the spring I will return to the “normal” law school routine which will come with a whole new set of goals – I really don't know what those are yet other than to stay organized, focused and determined to push through the semester.
While in DC I am taking a virtual course. My goal for that course is to stay on top of the readings, go back and listen to the class recordings, compile an outline and use MPRE materials to help prepare for our final. Now PR is short for Professional Responsibility which is a required course before taking the MPRE. My professor teaches to the MPRE and previous students have said to study for the course as if you were studying for the MPRE which is why the study guides come in handy.
            Now my goals for my clerkship are different. I’m trying to stay on top of things – deadlines, new assignment requirements, research, meetings, trials, etc. I guess it really all comes down to organization and time management. But as far as work product goes, I’ve been able to intertwine my English background with my legal one (which has made the transition easier) and really making sure that my drafts are error free, concise, and meet my Judge’s guidelines. Being meticulous is important. There’s also a networking aspect to my position, I have a ton of opportunities to meet people from all sorts of areas here. In these situations, I’m trying to force myself to come out of my shell with the hopes of making some long-lasting connections. Most importantly though, my goal while in D.C. is to just give everything my all. This is a once in a life time opportunity for me, I want to make the best of it and the only way to do that is to put my best foot forward and give this my best shot.   
            Looking to hear more about my time in D.C? Be sure to check out my blog – https://justifiablyblonde.blogspot.com 

Blondegalese - Libby

This semester I have two main goals.  Learning from last year, I don't want to set too many goals to overwhelm myself and not achieve any of them.  My first goal is to be very proactive about my school work and be ahead on my assignments because I have to go home at lot for events this semester, including two weddings.  I don't know about you guys, but I never get work done at home so getting it done before I go home will make me way less stressed.  My second goal for this semester is to start memorizing case names and working on my outline for Con Law once we finish the first section.  Con Law I was one of my toughest classes last semester so I really want to do better with it this semester.  I hope everyone else has a great fall semester!

  • Keep it up. After a fairly succesfful 1L year, my biggest goal is definitely to keep consistent and not let my grades slip. I was very happy with my grades last year. They were able to land me an excellent job, let me feel pride in the work I did, gain respect from my peers, and make me feel accomplished. In order to accomplish this goal, I'm going to revisit some of my study habits from last year and make sure I follow the same routine I did last year in order to bring me the same success as before.
  • Prepare for my internship. I was lucky enough to secure a summer internship before the school year started. But just because I already have a job doesn't mean that I want to ignore my career during the school year. I want to work on my research and writing skills and take classes that will help my work at the law firm. 
  • Take care of my health. It's not a secret that last year I had some health problems during the year - both mental and physical. Half of these problems were because I wasn't proactive in taking care of myself and making sure I was healthy. Thus, I want to make self-care a priority. This can include taking breaks when needed, eating enough food and drinking enough water, getting sleep, and exercising more. Learning to make this a priority is something I still struggle with, but I plan on improving.
  • Make a difference in my school. My last goal is the one I am probably most passionate about. After having a difficult 1L year, I learned what I wish I would've had available from my professors, friends, and family. When it comes to school, I have ideas on how to improve it and how to make it better. Thus, my plan is to work with faculty, staff, and other students to make the law school a positive place for students to learn, grow, and take care of themselves. 

What are some of your law school goals? Put them in the comments below!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

How to Be Financially Smart in Law School



Anyone who's read my blog probably knows that I'm not shy about the fact that law school is hella expensive. Luckily, being a lawyer can be a pretty lucrative career. But that doesn't mean that while you're in school you can just ignore your finances. Let's face it - if you made it to law school, you're smart. But that doesn't mean your financially smart. And honestly, being able to manage finances well is a skill that you have to work at. However, if you listen to a few tips here, you'll be on your way to being a financial genius before you get your J.D.

Minimize Debt

The first thing you can do to be financially smart in law school is minimize your debt. But it would take a whole other post for me to explain that. Luckily, I wrote one! Go check it out at Biglawinvestor.com. While you're there, check out the rest of the posts Josh has written to learn even more about managing money while you live the lawyer life.

Create A Budget

I think the biggest mistake young people make is not sitting down with a pen and paper to create a budget. Which is insane! I've saved so much money by a little bit of simple planning and writing out my expenses. Again, this is a pretty big topic to tackle in just a small paragraph. Luckily, I've already written another post about it - so go check it out too!

Go Where the Money Is

A lot of people like to judge people who chase money. But let's face it, sometimes that's what you have to do to be financially smart. I would highly reccommend trying to go to a law school where you can get a good scholarship. After all, no matter where you graduate from, you'll be getting a J.D. So get a good scholarship, and go to that school. It's not that hard, I promise!

Cut Down Spending - Learn How to Say No

One of the easiest ways to be financially smart is to not spend too much. The best way not to spend too much? Learn how to say no. I know that sounds easier than it is, but it can help you so much in the future. Do you really need to go out with friends every weekend? Do you really need that new shirt, when all you're going to do is sit in a classroom? Do you need to go on an extravagant spring break trip? No. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's not as fun. But neither is debt. 

Remember It's All Temporary

In the end, law school is just a few years. And then you make money. So buckle down on finances now, and remember that just in few years,  you'll be making money and everything will be okay. It might be difficult for now. But it's temporary for sure.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What to Expect at Law School Orientation


As July comes to a close, and August draws nearer, so many of you are about to embark on the incredible journey that is law school. While it's so exciting, it's also a little bit scary and there are so many questions that you probably have about what it's going to be like. I probably had all of those same questions a year ago, and now that I'm a seasoned law school veteran, it seems to be my duty to inform future 1Ls what it's like. Orientation is the first thing you'll do in law school. It's a nice way to ease your way into law school in theory, but in reality it can be a totally nerve-racking experience. Although there's nothing I can really do to calm your nerves, I can tell you what to expect in law school orientation.

First things first, expect total information overload. You'll have information sessions about classes, how to study, student panels, meeting your professors, etc. My orientation was only two days, and I remember being totally and completely overwhelmed by all of it at the end of each day. Take a notepad and pen with you to jot down the important things. That way, you don't have to struggle to remember everything and you can just enjoy taking in the information.

Next, expect to have to introduce yourself at least one hundred times. You'll be meeting all of your future classmates, school administrators, professors, and probably some people you're never going to see again. Start practicing your handshake and saying "Hi, I'm [insert your name here]. I'm from [insert hometown here]. The reason I came to [insert your law school] is because [insert reason for coming to said school]." Because it will feel like that's all you're doing all day. You'll be meeting Claire from New Jersey who came to the school because her parents are alumni, Jeremy from Nevada who came because he likes the football team, and Marcus from Maine because he got a good scholarship. So have you're answers ready, because you're going to go over it a million times that day.

While you're going to be so excited to learn about law school, some of the things they go over might absolutely terrify you a little bit. I remember we had a presentation on addiction in law school, where an attorney told us the story of her alcoholism and painkiller addiction in law school. It's a little overwhelming to hear all of these law school horror stories before you even start. My best advice here is to not let any of these warnings get in your head. They're just telling you because they want you to be prepared, but it doesn't mean every horror story will happen to you.

Everyone will be dressed professionally - this may be the first and last time you see everyone looking nice. Most law schools inform you about your orientation dress code before it starts. Mine was business casual and I wore slacks, a button-down shirt, and a blazer. Some schools have a business professional dress code, which means you should be in a suit. Some law schools don't have a dress code, or even have a casual one. My best advice is when in doubt, go business casual. And flats. Wear flats. You might be walking all over campus and the last thing you want to start law school will is blisters all over your feet.

One of the best parts about law school orientation is that you'll make lots of friends. Chances are, the people you meet at orientation will be some of your closest friends during your first year of law school. I definitely hung out with a lot of people from orientation first semester. By second semester, I had different friends, but it was nice to meet a few people to bond with during the first few months. So don't be shy, and make lots of friends so that your first semester of law school won't be lonely.

These are just a few things to expect during law school orientation, but the truth is that each experience will be different. Any questions? Ask me in the comments below and I'd be happy to answer!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Things to Read Before Law School


It seems like I constantly get asked, "Bailey, what things should I read before I go to law school?" People that are asking this question are clearly on the right track for law school. After all, you're going to be reading so much in law school, you might as well get some practice now. Normally, I like to tell people to just read something fun before law school - because you're about to spend three years reading case books and won't have much time for reading books you actually want to read. However, that doesn't help people who want to get an edge up on the law school competition, and want to read things that will actually help them. Thus, I've compiled a list of things you can read for before law school to help you prepare.

1. Law School Blogs

Alright, of course I have to throw a shameless plug in here. If you're about to start your first year of law school, I've documented my first year and compiled some things that I think incoming students absolutely need to know. So check out the rest of my blog if you want some law school tips and tricks. And of course - there are so many fabulous law school bloggers out there! I made a list of some of my favorites, so definitely go check out these other amazing bloggers if you want to learn even more about law school.

2. 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor's Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School 

This is the book literally everyone reads before going into law school. And if you're going to only read one book, make it this one. It's a good, comprehensive guide without being too scary. Plus, your classmates have probably all read it, so you might as well too. In fact, your school might have assigned you this book or recommended it to you before you start 1L year. So that's how you know you absolutely should read it. 

3. Getting to Maybe: How to Excel On Law School Exams

Although it's the summer before law school and you may think taking exams is a far-off task, your first set of finals will be here before you know it. I highly recommend checking out this book that gives you tips and tricks for taking law school exams. Learning about exams now will take some of the stress off of you as the semester drags on. One of my professors actually recommended this book to me, and I was beyond glad to have it as a resource. 

4. Biographies of Supreme Court Justices

You're going to be learning a lot about the United States judicial system, and the justices of the Supreme Court will soon become familiar names to you. Although this isn't necessary, some background knowledge of the justices might be nice to have and help you understand why opinions are written the way they are. Although there are so many biographies out there, here are some of my favorites:

My Own Words - by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

My Beloved World - by Sonia Sotomayor

Scalia's Court: A Legacy of Landmark Opinions and Dissents - by Antonin Scalia and Kevin A. Ring 

Friday, July 7, 2017

School Supplies for Law School


Well, it might be hard to believe it - but summer is already half gone! Now that I'm in the home stretch toward 2L year, it's time to start preparing for the upcoming school year. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite part of starting a new school year was buying new school supplies. Who doesn't love brand new pens to write with in empty notebooks that live in a clean, new backpack? It's one of the best feelings in the world. Although anyone who's going to law school has been to college before, you may be wondering what type of school supplies you need for law school. Luckily, it's pretty much the same stuff. But here are my recommendations for the best school supplies for law school!

LAPTOP - HP Spectre x360

So obviously for law school, you're going to need a laptop. In college, you could probably get away with using a computer in the lab if needed or borrowing from a friend, and getting by without having your own laptop if that was what you wanted. In law school - that's not an option. Laptops are required by most schools, and even if they weren't, you'll want one for taking your notes.

A lot of people buy MacBooks for law school which is a great choice. They're reliable, sturdy, allow you to use iMessage on your computer, and can often have the prestige of owning Apple products. Overall, this is a great option.

I prefer PCs for my computer (although when it comes to phones, give me an iPhone anyday), so I don't have a MacBook. What I do have is an HP Spectre x360 and I LOVE IT. It's super lightweight, which is so nice for carrying in my backpack. It also has a battery that lasts for twelve hours (no - I'm not kidding) which is amazing, because it means I don't have to lug my charger back and forth. I highly recommend this whole laptop. 

[Note: I know these are expensive choices. But when it comes to laptops, I'm a big believer that you should invest. Besides - if you spend the money to invest in a good laptop now, it's less likely that you'll have to buy a new one halfway through your 2L year]

BACKPACK - The bigger, the better

These days I see so many school supplies blog posts talking about their backpacks, and I always laugh. They show off cute, fashionable backpacks. Which, I'm sure look amazing walking through the hallway. But law school textbooks are big. And heavy. So you need a large, sturdy backpack that won't kill your shoulders or rip under the weight of your law school textbooks. I recently bought this new backpack and I am so excited to use it during my 2L year. It's meant to be used as a travel backpack, which means it has a lot of room to carry law school books, lots of pockets to easily throw in my phone, pens, notebooks, textbooks, etc. It also has a padded laptop pouch, which is essential for law students.


PENS - Lots of them 

I've mentioned before that I handwrite my notes in class, so pens that I love are absolutely essential to my school supplies list. I want pens that write smoothly and easily, don't bleed, and don't smear. Ever since I started college, I have been in love with the Pilot G2 Retractable Gel Pens, and I refuse to use any other kind of pen. Seriously - I bought a giant pack to keep in my office this summer because I am so picky about my pens. 

Another common favorite I see are the Staedtler fine-point pens. Every blogger raves about them, so I had to try them out. I do love these pens - and all of the fun colors they come in. But I don't necessarily like them for everyday writing, because they don't flow as easily. I do like them for filling out planners or making flashcards, so I still keep a set around.


HIGHLIGHTERS - Get even more of these than pens

I think I used an entire highlighter every week of law school. I joked that I really should keep track of how many I used and tell everyone - but I stopped counting after 15. So get a ridiculous amount of highlighters. 

I remember having to get more during finals week, and one of my friends still in undergrad asked why I was buying school supplies right before the semester ended. "I'll use them all up," I told her, and she didn't believe me. A week later I gave her the dried-up highlighter, casually saying "I told you," as I dropped it in her hand. Moral of the story: buy a lot of highlighters - and you'll probably have to buy more.

I'm particular to the Sharpie brand of highlighters. Specifically, I like the fine, pocket-style highlighters and use them in bulk. However, I just bought a pack of the clear-view highlighters which several of my friends have recommended to me. This allows you to see the text you are highlighting, so you won't have any of that messiness of highlighting extra words.

STICKY NOTES AND TABS 

You never know when you're going to need an assortment of post-its. I literally could not survive without these Post-It Flags. I use them from everything including tabbing books, marking important things in my notes, to organizing things like important files or flagging favorite quotes in some of the classic books I love to read. I love these so much that my friends have bought them for me for birthdays and Christmas - it's amazing. And of course, you can never go wrong having classic sticky notes around for when you need to write yourself a note, make a quick bookmark, or organize a stack of papers.

NOTEBOOKS - Go Basic

You guys know that I take reading notes on my computer and then my in-class notes by hand. So obviously I need notebooks to take notes with! I used to be so excited to get cool notebooks, but then I realized - that is totally unnecessary. My best advice is to get a bunch of basic, sturdy, college-ruled notebooks that aren't anything special. I usually get one notebook per class, all with the same color of cover, and label them for each class. This makes everything simple, easy, and totally functional for class. If you're going to take notes by hand - just get some basic notebooks. 

A PLANNER

A planner is absolutely, positively one of the most essential supplies for law school. I have to have one that has space to plan out both my days, and my month at a glance. Also, some planners don't have that much space to plan on the weekends and that is totally a deal-breaker for me. Just because I don't have class doesn't mean I cease to stop planning every second of every day. I recently found this planner, and I absolutely love it. It has so much space to plan each day, a priority list for each day, and an inspirational quote just for something extra. It is a little bulky - but totally worth it for the amount of space you have to plan all of the things!


Saturday, July 1, 2017

My First Law Firm Internship


In a career counseling session early in my 1L year, our career services counselor told us, "Most of you will be working unpaid public interest jobs this summer."

Law students know that one of the most important things that you can do over the course of your legal education is to secure quality internships during your summers. However, a lot of these internships are public interest jobs that pay either very little or not at all. While these can be good learning opportunities, they can also be disappointing for people that want to work in law firms, corporations, or just make some money during the summer. I knew that I was a person who eventually wanted to end up in a law firm, so I figured it would be much more beneficial to try to intern in a firm. 

I was lucky enoght to get a summer associate position at an incredible firm, which was essentially a dream job for my first summer. But all my friends that are working in public interest consistently ask me what it's like in a firm. By now I've become an expert at describing my job, and I love gushing about how great it is. So, I thought I would share some of the highlights of working in a firm with all of you!

  • The pay is great. Most summer associate programs pay somewhere around the starting attorney salary. Depending on the market, this can be $1,000-3,500. Of course, some do more and some do less. But if you land a job in a firm, you can probably expext a decent paycheck. 

  • Expect to work long hours. I've heard horror stories about summer associates sleeping on cots in their firm offices and only getting a few hours of sleep per night. I got told to expect to work 50+ hours per week if I ended up in a law firm rather than public interest. Luckily for me, I've only been working around 45 hours per week, which is a pretty average full time job. But definitely expect to be working at minimum 40 hours per week, and probably more. 

  • You'll work on a variety projects. I work in a full service law firm, so I've done everything from writing memos about family disputes, researching property values, writing a brief for a motion to dismiss, or researching advisory matters for a small town city council. You might get a chance to work in several practice areas, which is great if you don't quite know what you want to do yet.

  • They'll wine and dine you. . . a lot. At my firm, they take us out to lunch a minimum of two times per week. Probably more on an average week. We've also had firm dinners, outings to baseball games, and several happy hours. They want to spend time getting to know you, and you want to take advantage of it. This is definitely one of the most fun parts of a summer associate program.

  • They might be really competitive. My firm distributes projects equally. Some tend to be more of a competition to see who can get the most work. Depending on what your drives you, a more competitve atmosphere could be appealing.

  • You'll learn more than you did all school year. Doing actual work has been so much more informative than actually attending classes. This is probably typical for most internships, but overall it has been a great learning experience.

  • Stock up on suits. You have to wear one every day. The downside of working in a firm is you will probably have to wear a suit most days, if not every day. Not only is the dress code more formal, but you never know when an attorney will ask you to come to a client meeting, or a trial, or who knows what kind of event. So be ready to rock the suit every day.

  • You'll feel like a real attorney. Becuase you're doing real work, for real clients, billing all of your hours, and attending client meetings, depositions, and trials - you'll start to feel like a real lawyer. And it's pretty awesome. 

If these things sound appealing to you, then I highly recommend checking out some summer associate programs at local law firms. Remember, these positions are highly competitive, so boost that resume, get good grades, and cross your fingers. Good luck

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to Have a Successful 1L Year



Although my 1L year was quite the adventure, I'd have to say that it was a successful year overall. I
made friends, got good grades, and overall enjoyed the time that I spent in law school. However, looking back there are things that I wish I would've done, and things I definitely could've done better. As always, it's important that I share what I've learned with all of you. So here is my short guide on how to have a successful 1L year.


STUDY HARD

Firstly, make sure you put your academics at the forefront of your priority list. I got told over and over again that grades are the only thing that matters 1L year. While that does have slight merit to it, I contend that this is an absolute and utter lie. While I do think that schoolwork should be the main focus for first-year law students, this does not mean that it should be the only priority. 

That being said, make sure that you study hard. This may seem absolutely obvious, but it is an essential part of being successful. Law school is essentially a full-time job, and thus expect to spend that much time on it. 

CREATE A ROUTINE

Like I said, law school is a full-time job. Thus, you settle into a routine, as if it were any 8-to-5 job. I'm not saying that you have to follow any particular time frame - there are a variety of law school study schedules that people follow. Whatever schedule you choose, just make sure that it works for you. Sometimes things in law school get rather difficult, and a routine makes it easier to go into autopilot and still get things done. Not to mention, the environment of law school is extremely stressful, and it's nice to be able to rely on a routine every now and then.

MAKE FRIENDS


Again, this may seem rather obvious. But some law schools are rather intensive and competitive, and people tend to look out for themselves rather than make friends. Other times, you may not feel like you have time to make friends, or you may not want to get attached to people that you'll leave in three years. To be honest, I spent the first semester actively rejecting friendship with my classmates (aside from my wonderful roommates, who are two of the best friends I have ever had). Second semester, I made it a mission - with the advice of my therapist - to make some close friends. It made law school a lot more enjoyaa ble, and my quality of life improved.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH


I recently read a statistic that 30% of law students have some level of depression. While I don't know how accurate this statistic is, but I completely and totally believe it. Law school takes a toll on your mental health - I openly admit that I struggled with depression and anxiety this year.  However, I learned how to take care of my mental health and I ultimately got much mroe successful as I did. Self-care is one of the best ways to be successful in law school. Whether you take the time to get professional counseling, simply set aside an hour a week to treat yourself, or medicate for existing mental illnesses - make sure to priortize your mental health to have a successful 1L year.

TAKE A VACATION

Finally! A fun way to be sucessful. The semesters in the law school can get long while you are studying, and before you know it, it's December and you never left the libary. Get out every now and then, whether it's a day trip to a nearby city, or a week at the beach for spring break. Sometimes the best way to focus on school is to take a bit of time away and come back. I didn't do this nearly enough 1L year and I am actively trying to fix that for next year. I booked a trip to Disney World in the fall, Thanksgiving in the Rocky Mountains with my family, and a couple of ideas for fun trips during the spring. You'll thank me for this one. 

KEEP YOUR EYES FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE

Law school can be terrible. They call it he1L for a reason. But remember, in the end it will all be worth it when you get handed that Juris Doctor. So just keep your eyes focused on the future, remember the reason why you came to law school in the first place, and think about all the goals that you have for yourself. 

Before you know it, you'll also be finishing your 1L year and thinking back on what a huge success it was!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Essential Apps For Law Students


One of the blessings and curses of living life in 2017 is the availability of technology. I love the fact that at any moment, I can pull a tiny device out of my pocket and connect with people across the world. At some points, technology can be a bit distracting. But let's be real, we couldn't survive without it. The most prominent technological device for most milennials is the smart phone. I don't even want to know how many hours a day I spend looking at my iPhone. And as we all know, there's an app for everything! Being a law student, I found some apps that are absolutely essential to my daily life!

(all apps are linked to make things easier for you - you're welcome)


MY STUDY LIFE

I have talked so many times about how making a study schedule is extremely important. But sometimes, a study schedule can be a lot to remember. I have a gigantic planner that I keep in my backpack, but sometimes that's hard to manage when I'm on the go. My Study Life is a digital planner that is absolutely essential to my sanity! It allows you to put in your class schedule, and keep track of different tasks and exams you have. This is perfect for when you're grabbing drinks with your friends and someone asks "Hey, what do we have to read for criminal law tomorrow?" You might not have your planner - but with My Study Life, the answer is right in your phone. 

SPOTIFY

So by now almost everyone knows about Spotify. But I needed to put it on this list, because I SWEAR I would not have made it through my first year of law school without it. Every day in the libary, I have my headphones in and I'm listening to one of Spotify's "Focus" playlists while I study. I'm the type of person that needs to have background noise, needs to drown out the noise of other law students, and these playlists are perfect for studying because they're usually soft, simple tracks that don't distract me. Plus, as a student you get Spotify Premium for only $4.99/month, which is no ads, all the music you want to listen to, and unlimited downloads. Talk about amazing!


VENMO

In the world of credit and debit cards, nobody carries cash anymore. Which is fine, until you're out for dinner or drinks with your friends and the restaurant won't split your bill for you. Then nobody has cash to reimburse whoever puts it on their card, and things get messy. So how do you transfer money to your friends? Venmo! It lets you easily send money back and forth, and is totally safe and secure. My roommates and I use it to pay each other for our bills, my friends and I all use it when we go out to eat, and our school even uses it for event tickets! I highly recommend it!


theSkimm

I love keeping up with current events! The problem is, in law school, my time is very limited. I don't have an hour to spend on the New York Times website every day, or to watch the news every evening. Luckily, I don't have to. I get a summary of the news in my email inbox every, single, weekday. If you want the news, but in a condensed form, I suggest you try theSkimm. Each morning, it will send you a quick-read, need-to-know summary of the news, that helps you stay informed without having to try. Seriously - I can read this on my elevator ride up to the floor of my office each day. Check it out!


QUIZLET

Ever wonder how you're ever going to remember all of those cases you're supposed to know for exams? Flashcards are the way to go. But don't want to make all of those flashcards? Quizlet is your solution. I've used this website for years, but now I have the app and it is absolutely amazing. Perfect for a quick review in line at Starbucks, study sessions with your friends, or just regular old studying. 

CANVAS (Or whatever online platform your school uses)


Technology has made education about a million times better, and every school has a site like Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, or Angel. These are great for communication, turning in assignments, accessing class materials, or looking at the class calendar. And to make things even better - most of these have an app! I use the app to takes quizzes often, check the calendar, or access notifications when I'm on the go. Although I still prefer the computer version, it's nice to have mobile access. 

COUNTDOWN

Sometimes it feels like the semester drags on and on in law school, and like all you have to look forward to is yet another day stuck in the law library. But if you plan out vacations, fun events like Barrister's Ball, spring break, or even the end of the semester - use the countdown app so you always know how many days you have left! Sometimes that countdown can be what gets you through the semester and an app to make the math easy on yourself is absolutely amazing. 



These are just a few of my favorite apps for law school, but there are so many more that I use. Let me know if you have any great app recommendations, and I might do another post with more!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

6 Things You Should Be Doing the Summer Before Law School



For incoming law students, it's about two months before you start your career as a future lawyer and embark on all the pain, joy, and wonder that is law school. When I was sitting in your shoes, just a year ago, I had no idea what I should be doing. Do I try to read about law school? Should I buy textbooks and get ahead? Should I just wait for it come? I had no idea what I should be doing. Now that I've made it through a year of law school myself, I only think it would be fair to share some things that I think would be useful for incoming 1Ls. So here are 6 things you should be doing the summer before law school.

1. RELAX

Listen, out of all the things that you should be doing the summer before law school, this is the most important one. Law school is hard. You'll spend more hours than you can imagine in the library. The curriculum will be hard. And the days will pass by faster than you know. So make sure to spend some time relaxing, doing absolutely nothing this summer. Chill by the pool. Lay in bed and watch Netflix. Hang out with friends. Just make sure that you feel relaxed and refreshed.

2. READ

In law school, the majority of your days will be spent reading. And reading. And reading some more. Thus, it might seem counterproductive to read all summer as well. But you might as well get used to the amount of reading you have to do. You don't have to read textbooks. Or law school prep books. Or blogs about law school (although I welcome here whenever you do). But do some reading. The summer before law school I spent the summer re-reading the entire Harry Potter series. It was fun. Juvenile even. But it helped me getting in the habit of reading again, and I was so grateful for that. It made 50-page reading assignments seem like nothing.


3. BUDGET

Law school is expensive. I have a full scholarship to my school, and somehow it still feels like I am just throwing money away. One thing you should try to do before starting law school is set a budget. The last thing that you want to worry about when you have a Civil Procedure reading to do and your first legal writing memo to finish is money. So set yourself up for success and set a budget. Now, I know budgeting can be hard - after all, it's a lot of math and most of us went to law school to avoid math. So I wrote a post all about it. Go check it out!

4. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY

About two weeks before law school, my school sent out and email that gave a list of things our families should prepare for and do when sending off a person to law school. One of the items on the list was "Adjust your communication expectations." I, along with all my friends, consistently laughed at this. Turns out - it was necessary. Time flys by in law school, and it's hard to communicate with people as often as you might've once. So spend time with your friends and family this summer, while you'ves till got the time.

5. BUY A SUIT

In law school, you'll need a suit. Job interviews, networking events, moot court, and many more occasions will require you to be in proper courtroom attire. Because suit shopping can take time, and finding the perfect fit is hard. This is why it's probably best to find a good suit before you start law school, rather than waiting until you need one.

6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Last, but not least, make sure you take care of yourself. You want to be in your best health when you go to law school, both physically and mentally. Spend the summer before law school taking care of yourself and getting your mind and body ready for the challenges that await you. Law school is hard, so you need to make sure that you are your best self. Therefore, get in a habit and take care of yourself now, so you can make a habit to continue through law school.


Before you know it, the fall semester will be here. Enjoy your time before going to law school, and get ready for an adventure in the fall!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

1L Year in Review



Hello, hello to all my favorite law students, law school hopefuls, casual blog readers, or new friends stumbling across this page for the first time. It's been about six weeks since I've posted, but I took a little break to take finals, study, move for my summer internship, and reflect back on the first year of law school. But now I'm back, ready to get back to posting, and excited for everything the blogging world has in store for me. So without any further nonsense, I want to take some time to reflect back on 1L year and my experience as a whole.

It's crazy to think that at this time last year I had just finished my undergraduate degree. I had a brand new Bachelor of Science in Political science (an attorney I work with recently commented that this only qualifies me to work at Starbucks) and I was planning to move halfway across the country to start on my law school adventure. Like many incoming law students, I was excited, a little nervous, and unsure what to expect. I browsed blog after blog, scrolled through online forums, read all the books I could, and tried just a little bit to relax before I started on my new adventure. And before I knew it, it was August and I was a 1L!

Moving to law school was such a terrifying thought - after all, I was going to be 1,000 miles away from anyone I knew, embarking on the most difficult challenge in my academic career thus far, and trying to keep my head above water. So of course, life threw some extra challenges my way, just to make sure that I really wanted to do this whole "law school" thing. For example, my apartment wasn't ready until a week after classes started - meaning I was effectively homeless for a week. I couldn't do laundry, or sleep in my own bed, or even cook through my first days at orientation.

And orientation was a challenge of it's own. Although it was good to meet my classmates, explore the school, and get accustomed to all my school had to offer, the presentations from everyone terrified me. It was two days of hearing how rigorous the curriculum is, how so many students abuse drugs and alcohol, and how the search for our post-grad jobs would start right away. Talk about pressure! But after orientation and looking for a quiet moment, my roommate and I went to Starbucks to do our readings for the first day of classes. About an hour into our study session, I looked up at my roommate, and we had an epiphany together.

"We CAN do this," I said to her.

After a rough couple of days from moving and orientation, we had been feeling so discouraged. But in that moment, between the two of us, we finally felt like we might be able to make it through the year.

"Yes we can!" she said to me. And then we went back to studying.

Turns out, both of us were right. Before we knew it, we had settled into a routine of school and classes, with a few extracurriculars here and there. Of course, having an actual apartment helped with the whole routine thing. I was able to wake up around 6:00 every day, eat breakfast, get ready, then head to school around 8:00 A.M. Then, after a full day of classes with studying in between, I headed home around 5:00 P.M., made dinner, and then hung out with my roommates, went to a club event, or just relaxed a little bit. The semester flew by before I knew it.

Of course, this semester wasn't without it's challenges. There was a good amount of homesickness. I had a friend pass away in October, and had to travel back to my hometown for a funeral. A classmate of ours tragically took his own life due to the pressures of law school. And I watched my friendships and relationships change. But despite all of that, I made it through.

My first law school finals were an experience in their own. I discovered that finals were actually my favorite part of the year. Studying throughout the semester helped so that during finals, I got to relax, say goodbye to my friends for the semester break, and earn great grades. And then finals were over, and I made it through my first semester of law school! There might not be a better feeling in this world - but I'm sure law school graduation will beat it eventually.

Second semester started off rough. I was diagnosed with stomach ulcers, an anxiety disorder, and depression. My car got totaled in a massive accident due to a freak snowstorm.  But the friends I made in the first semester, comfort with my surroundings at school, and a strong will helped me get trhough all of that. By April, I was happy again, and the girl that was having a hard time was just a part of my past.

Before I knew it, 1L year was coming to a close. After feeling homesick all year long, that started to disappear as the year came to a close. I didn't want to leave my friends, my school, or this new town that was my home. Despite all of the challenges, I love law school. And as my last final wrapped up, I jumped in my car and drove back to my hometown with tears in my eyes. I wasn't sad, I was just going to miss it.

But lucky for me, I get to go back next year. I'm sure it will be another year full of challenges. I'm sure there are days where I'll feel discouraged, and sad, and like I don't know what the hell I'm doing. But after I made it through this year, I feel like I can do anything. Law school is where I'm supposed to be. This is what I was meant to do. And I'm so happy I get to share it with all of you.



Oh... and this is what 1/3 of a lawyer looks like.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Finals Study Schedule




If you haven't noticed, I've been pretty absent these last few weeks and that's because the last few weeks of April and the first few weeks of May are FINALS season in law school. My last day of class was about a week and a half ago, and now I'm in the middle of finals. I actually have a final this afternoon, but I needed to take a study break and decided to write a quick blog post. So buckle up and enjoy, because this might be a mess because of finals-induced stress.

I decided to write about a finals study schedule, because the first time you study for law school finals can be a pretty daunting task. The questions will start flowing in your mind. How do I study? When do I study? How much time should I spend on each class? When should I finish my outlines? Etc. Everyone studies differently, so I cannot answer all of these questions for everyone. I'm a person who thrives on structure, so in order to keep myself organized, motivated, and on-track, I make a study schedule that I follow during finals. 

My school gives us a week off before finals to study, then we have two weeks of the actual finals period. The way they structure 1L finals is basically twice a week, one on Monday and one on Thursday each week. Some professors have optional review sessions or office hours, and then the rest of the time is a study free-for-all. As you can see, there is very little structured time, so I decided to build in a little bit of structure, and plan what I was going to study each and every day. Then, I put all of this into a calendar, which I printed and laminated and have hanging above my desk. Is this a little bit crazy? Maybe. But if it helps me stay organized, I'm not complaining. 

On this calendar, I include pretty much everything, from what I'm studying each day, to my therapy appointments, to when I'm going to be moving for the summer. But the most important thing that I schedule in is a couple of "Break" days, where I don't study at all. On those days, I typically clean, relax, pack, or whatever - but I don't let myself study. It helps give my brain a break. Sometimtes stepping away for a day helps me retain information more, so I make sure that I have at least one full break day a week. And on days where I have a final, I don't study at all - I do nothing but the final, and take a break before and after.

On my study days, I try to study for two classes each day. This helps makes the material less boring, and helps me stay focused. I usually focus on the upcoming final most, and then either review or work on outlining for other classes. I make my outlines as a way to study, but some people outline all semester and study from their outlines. Do whatever works for you. I try to have my outline done at least two days before the final to review, so I can mostly focus on test preparation.

When I'm studying, I try to do a few hours in the morning and a few at night, with a break in the afternoon. I don't want to overwhelm myself by trying to sit in the library for ten hours at a time, and this makes me feel like I'm dying a bit less. Overall, I probably put in about six to eight hours of studying per day, which is totally manageable. And if you space out studying enough, you can have shorter days instead of spending sunrise to sunset (and after) in the library.

Overall, that's pretty much how I break up my time studying for finals. What are your best finals study schedule tips?
 
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