Law School Study Abroad: To Go or Not To Go?

Jennifer Warren is an attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law, In this article from the Girls Guide to Law School, she discusses if studying abroad during law school is a good idea for you.

If there’s anyone who appreciates the value of studying abroad in college, it’s me. During my sophomore year, I spent a semester in Madrid that was truly a life changing experience. For me, studying abroad turned out to be so much more than a chance to travel and live in a new place. I was in Madrid in spring 2004, when, just days before Spain’s general elections, al Qaeda inspired terrorists bombed four commuter trains. The bombings were so close to my apartment that the explosions woke me up. Over the following days and weeks, I not only participated in the deep mourning for the victims of the attacks but also witnessed the significant political reverberations that played out in the Spanish elections. It was a significant occasion for Spain – and the world – that influenced my own beliefs and views.

Famous People Who Failed The Bar But Did Okay In The End

This article from  Bar Exam Toolbox provides strategies for moving on and improving scores if you failed your bar exam. Here’s a post about famous people who also failed the bar, including the dean of Stanford Law!

Failing is not the end of your story: it’s just the beginning! Having taken the test once before can help you improve your studying and pass the next time. It is by no means a blemish on your professional record. In fact, if you fail on your first try, you are joining a distinguished list of successful lawyers who did the same. From Presidents to law school deans, many famous lawyers have not been stopped by bar failure. Here are just a few prominent attorneys who failed their first bar exam:

Fun with Black’s Law: 10 Unexpected Legal Terms

Early in my 1L year, a professor told us that you had to get a copy of Black’s Law Dictionary because every lawyer will have their law-school copy in their office for the rest of their career as some sort of bookshelf trophy. That may be one reason to get a Black’s Law Dictionary, but I have found actually using the dictionary has been very helpful in law school and beyond. Even though it is tempting to Google a legal term of art or Latin legal phrase – requiring a distracting search through two or three webpages – turning to Black’s Law first will give you a concise, authoritative definition every time. Some may prefer a pocket edition or the app, but for me, I still prefer the complete, hardbound, more than 50,000 term edition. Aside from being a great research tool and invaluable reference, there is another benefit to using the 2054 page version – the amazing legal terms you find by accident. Here are my top 10 unexpected legal terms you will find inside the august Black’s Law Dictionary:

1. Veal-money

2. Chinese Wall

3. Churn, Burn, and Bury

4. Veggie-libel Law

5. Damn-fool Doctrine

6. Yank-cheating

7. Dog

8. Wobbler

9. Logic Bomb

10. Zombie

Jurisprudence: Diagrams for Law Students (most popular last month)

Most Popular resource last Month:

This book contains diagrams and flowcharts as an aid to the study of Jurisprudence. Designed to help you get the big picture of the theories, jurists, and terms of the subject. Use them to see an overall picture of each before you begin reading your texts, to organize your own notes, and to review and revise. Prepare for your exams by using them to test your knowledge on the details.

Topics include:

  • The Imperative/Command Theory
  • Classical and Modern Natural Law Theory
  • Hart’s Concept of Law
  • Hart’s Defense Against Natural Law and Fuller’s Critiques
  • Raz, Practical Reason, the Authority of Law
  • Kelson’s Theory
  • Dworkin: Integrity and Interpretation
  • Marxist Legal Theory
  • Liberalism and the Law
  • Feminist Legal Theory

LONDON LAW LECTURES: UPDATE

New recordings by Gianni Vuolo and Anne Street added to London Law Lectures website.

PROPERTY LAW: Easements

For a right to be held as an easement it must, by its nature, be capable of amounting to an easement, and secondly, it must be shown that it was acquired in an appropriate way.

Characteristics of easements: This recording by Gianni Vuolodeals with the first of these matters: whether a right has the required characteristics to be capable of being held as an easement.

Acquisition of easements: This recording by Anne Street deals with the second issue – whether a valid enforceable easement was correctly acquired. Anne also gives advice on how to structure an answer to a problem question on easements.

For more information please CLICK HERE
MORE RECORDINGS

 

Is 3LOL a Myth? 3 Ways to Handle A Stressful 3L Year

When I started law school there were three things I looked forward to more than anything; 1) landing a summer job, 2) the Thursday afternoon keg and 3) my 3L year. By the time I received my 1L summer job offer and realized that I was far too busy as a 1L to attend the Thursday keg, the only thing that kept me going was my dreams about 3L year. I fantasized about being a 3L who had it all together; a permanent job offer in place, a light class schedule and an exciting social life complete with being in attendance at all the kegs my heart could desire. Fast forward two years later to the start of my 3L year – reality struck. No, I did not have a permanent job offer, my class schedule was busier than ever and, although I had a social life, it was not as free flowing as I would have hoped for. My initial thoughts were that 3LOL is clearly a myth. A phrase coined specifically for 1Ls and 2Ls to dull their angst during stressful periods. However, once I got into the swing of things, I realized that 3LOL isn’t a myth but more of a relative term. Some students may experience the joy of being a free, lighthearted 3L throughout their entire final year. Some, like myself, will only experience the joy of 3LOL during their last semester. Whereas some students may not experience the joy of 3LOL at all.

However, I truly believe that students face more stress in their 3L year because their experience is compounded by an expectation of sheer enjoyment that they were fed throughout law school. Once you can come to terms with the fact that your 3L experience will be relative to your schedule, I think this can help with handling the unexpected stresses of this year. Here are three ways to handle a stressful 3L year:

1. Block Out the Buzz

2. Apply Old Study Habits

3. Stay on Top of Your Schedule

The Types of Professors You’ll Encounter in Law School

From Girls Guide to Law School:

Since many law professors practice law before they teach, and often teach the subject they have already practiced in, it follows that their personalities will resemble those associated with their chosen legal sphere. Thus, certain characteristics will transfer from the workforce into the classroom, which is why there are specific archetypes of professors that every law student will recognize; predominantly identifiable in 1L courses.

While reading through the rest of this post, see if you can identify some of your own professors by matching them to the descriptions below.

Type-A

The Dinosaur

Egomaniac

The Favorite

Research-Climber

The Droner

Taking care of yourself during exam season

Lawyers – and therefore, law students – are already predisposed to addictions and unhealthy habits because of the nature of the careers they are undertaking. It’s a problem that the legal community is aware of and has been trying to reconcile for years. So how can you, as a law student approaching midterm exams, make sure that you don’t fall into the trap?

How Do I Make Sure I’m Prepared?

Preparation is the key to exam success, no matter when the exam takes place or what is on it. So how do you make sure you are prepared for a midterm exam? Here are some tips:

  1. Outline Early
  2. Practice Writing Answers
  3. Practice Writing Answers
  4. Study The Right Things

Tips For Self-Care During Exams:

  1. Eat Healthy
  2. Exercise
  3. Get Enough Sleep
  4. Practice Mindfulness And Relaxation
  5. Seek Help If You Need It

New Study: students learn better from printed books

A new study shows that students learn way more effectively from print textbooks than screens

As researchers in learning and text comprehension, our recent work has focused on the differences between reading print and digital media. While new forms of classroom technology like digital textbooks are more accessible and portable, it would be wrong to assume that students will automatically be better served by digital reading simply because they prefer it.

 

Our work has revealed a significant discrepancy. Students said they preferred and performed better when reading on screens. But their actual performance tended to suffer.

 

For example, from our review of research done since 1992, we found that students were able to better comprehend information in print for texts that were more than a page in length. This appears to be related to the disruptive effect that scrolling has on comprehension. We were also surprised to learn that few researchers tested different levels of comprehension or documented reading time in their studies of printed and digital texts.

Students judged their comprehension as better online than in print.

 

From these findings, there are some lessons that can be conveyed to policymakers, teachers, parents and students about print’s place in an increasingly digital world.

1. Consider the purpose

2. Analyze the task

3. Slow it down

4. Something that can’t be measured

First Hand Guide to 1L Courses – Criminal Law

From the excellent Law School Toolbox website:

Understanding what classes you will encounter in your first year will give you the one-up on the rest of your classmates. You do not need a full, in-depth understanding about what these classes entail, especially since each law school follows a different curriculum. However, it is a good idea to understand an overview of each course so you feel comfortable on your first day and comprehend the context of this subject of law. One of the first classes you encounter as a 1L is Criminal Law.

Different than TV??

Unlike many other 1L courses like Torts, most incoming 1Ls have had the most exposure to Criminal Law and feel the most comfortable with this subject. Why is this? Well, many legal dramas revolve around crime and the legal system (think Law & Order, any detective show, etc.). However, the “criminal law” you see on TV versus the Criminal Law you will see in class and in your casebook are vastly different. Yes, there will still be crimes of murder, theft, rape, etc. but how you study them and engage in the subject are much different that how Detective Benson solves crimes. It is best to keep this in mind at the forefront, that way you aren’t confused halfway through the semester.

Common Law Rules (!)

To make law school more confusing for 1Ls, Criminal Law is divided into two jurisdiction categories: MPC-based jurisdictions (more on this in a minute) and Common Law based jurisdictions. I highly (HIGHLY) suggest separating these in your mind and notes right from the get-go because you will need to know both come exam time, and it can be very confusing trying to figure out both. Common law jurisdictions are states in which their statutes are based off the “common law” or judge’s decisions from previous cases. Basically, the common law is based on how other cases were decided and set precedent.

The Good, the Bad, and the MPC

The other side of Criminal Law is based on the MPC. In 1962, a group of Criminal Law scholars came together to create the “MPC” or the Model Penal Code. This is a code that formulates all offenses, elements, defenses, and information on crimes in a concise, organized manner. The intention was to consolidate the authority on Criminal Law so that decisions would be more regulated and consistent, rather than the Common Law counterpart. However, many states did not completely adopt the MPC but have created their own penal code with MPC influence.

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