Legal Research and Writing Tips for Law School

 

The Volokh Conspiracy published tips from a number of readers on topics of interest to law school students:

See also Law School Legal Research Tips and How to Improve Legal Writing in Law School.

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Should I Save My Law School Books?

 

Law students often wonder if they should keep their law school textbooks and study aids. They think they might be useful for the bar exam or a helpful reference once practicing law. Law students may also feel bad that they are getting rid of textbooks with so many helpful notes in the margins. This article explains why law students should not keep their old books. Read more »

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Books to Improve Law School Grades and Exam Performance

 
If you are interested in law school books to improve your law school exam performance, grades, or legal writing, or if you are preparing to enter law school, you may be interested in these books at Amazon.com: Law school books.

 
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Encouragement and Tips for Jobless 3Ls

 

Gregory W. Bowman, a professor at Mississippi College School of Law, wrote an excellent post with encouragement and advice for 3L job hunting on his much loved blog, the Law Career Blog. For jobless law students, I also suggest the best law job-hunt book.

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Best Facebook Applications

 

If you are a Facebook.com fan who uses facebook applications, you will enjoy this blog launched by another law student: www.BestFacebookApplications.com.

The blog is run by Brett McKay, a law student who publishes the Frugal Law Student blog.

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Hope for Law Students Who Fail the Bar Exam

 

Law students who fail the bar exam can take comfort that they are not doomed to failure. It was recently reported on “Today” that Hillary Clinton once flunked the D.C. bar exam. Read more.

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5 Potential Pitfalls of Part-Time Law School

 

If you’re considering attending part time law school, here’s a short list of things you might want to consider first. Read more.

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Best Law School Notetaking Software (for PC)

 

After my first law school semester, a friend tried to convince me to leave Microsoft Word and instead take notes with Microsoft OneNote 2003 (Old Version). I refused. Finally, I decided to give OneNote a try as a 2L. I had no idea it would be this good.

OneNote has every feature that a student would use in Microsoft Word plus so much more!

Record Your Professor Synchronized to Your Notes. One of the coolest features is how it can record your professor while you take notes. Then later when you click on a note, you can play the audio of your professor talking exactly when you typed that note. So on take-home exams, you can just scan your notes for key concepts on your exam and re-listen to your professor discuss those concepts.

Search Your Audio Recordings. The new version, OneNote 2007, includes a feature to scan your audio recording for Read more »

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Advice for Pre-Law Students: Applying to Law School

 

Do you have friends who are hoping to apply to law school? Here are a couple good websites that pre-law students often miss:

Read more »

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Summer Listening: Law School Podcasts

 

During the summer, some law students listen to Sum & Substance CDs to prepare for fall classes. Others let their ears take a complete break from the law. For law students who find themselves somewhere inbetween, here is a list of some thought-provoking lectures from some of America’s top law schools. They are available for download to listen on your computer or iPod.

For more information on podcasts or podcasts of interest to law students, visit these articles:

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Why Do Some Law Students Have a Blog?

 

UPDATE: Real Lawyers Have Blogs says that one law school graduate landed a job with a large firm by blogging.

NOTE: If you are a law student or attorney with a blog, please see the offer to promote your blog at the end of this post.**

As blogging becomes more popular, it is inevitable that law students will increasingly become bloggers. Still, this may be a little surprising considering the immense time pressures that law students face. However, maybe it is exactly that pressure that entices law students to have a blog. That is, maybe writing to a blog is a release of tension, much like journaling used to be.

Marketing
Blogs can also be a form of marketing. For example, Andrew Flusche started his blog, Read more »

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Law School Trick for Massive Memorization

 

Law school isn’t supposed to be about memorization. Unfortunately, most law students encounter at least one closed-book exam that requires memorizing various elements (e.g. criminal law), standards of review (e.g. constitutional law), rules (e.g. property), or other information. Sometimes a student merely wants to memorize a checklist of key issues to spot.

If you are facing a closed-book exam like this, have no fear. The solution is using common memorization tricks that can help you store massive amounts of information, at least, for a few days.

These aren’t late-night television infomercial tricks. And you don’t have to pay for them. These are mnemonic methods frequently taught in bar exam preparation courses.

Just spend 2-3 minutes reviewing the techniques, and select the best one for your law school exam: Mnemonic Techniques and Specific Memory Tricks to Improve Memorization.

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How to Market Your Website or Blog with Zookoda

 

Law students and attorneys are increasingly recognizing the value of having blogs. Those with blogs or even just a website might be interested in a free, new service that enables bloggers to send a daily, weekly or monthly summary of the latest blog posts directly to visitors’ inboxes: Zookoda.com. Think of it as blog email.

Benefits for Website Owners Too
If you don’t have a blog, that’s no problem. Maybe you publish content directly to your website. For you, Zookoda’s free email service offers you an effective way of pushing content and attracting visitors back to your site. Although Zookoda is positioned for bloggers, Zookoda offers great benefits to Read more »

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Reduce Your Time Online with an RSS Reader

 

Law students, like lawyers, have busy lives and a shortage of free time. That’s why this little tip to save time online is so helpful.

You may have wondered what RSS or this symbol RSS Feed means. It means the website you are reading has an RSS feed, which can be read by Google Reader or another RSS reader. But what is RSS? Watch this short and entertaining video explaining how an RSS reader will save you a lot of time on the web. Read more »

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Lawyer Marketing Service: Top Lawyers of America

 

Marketing skills are important to law students and new lawyers. This article will review one online advertising option for lawyers providing legal services: TopLawyersofAmerica.com.

Top Lawyers of America.com is a website designed for lawyers to advertise themselves or their law firm. This website features a wide variety of categories that potential customers can search to find an attorney to Read more »

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You Can Listen to Law School Cases on Your iPod

 

Tired of reading your law school cases? Or maybe you just want to reinforce what you read. Now you can listen to cases on your iPod. Just download the audio file of cases in your law school casebook at AudioCaseFiles.com.

Even better, AudioCaseFiles.com has case briefs, so you can listen to an overview before you read a case, or you can listen to the case briefs as a review for final exams.

The quality of the audio files is excellent, with professional voices that make for easy listening—which is quite an accomplishment for boring cases.

This is a great tool for law students seeking to utilize time while driving, exercising, or sitting on a bus.

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Blog and Podcast for Law School Hopefuls

 

Do you have friends who want to go to law school? They may enjoy the new LSAT Blog or the Princeton Review Podcasts.

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Law School Exam Tips

 

It’s exam time again. Here are a few law school exam tips we previously published.  You may also want to do some law school practice exams.

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How to Send a Cell Phone Text Message (SMS) From Your Computer For Free

 

You are sitting in your law school class, and you want to send a message to a friend. The friend may not check e-mail for a while. What do you do? Send a text message using Google’s free “Send a Text Message” service. No login is required. Just go to the website and start typing your message.

Find 5 more free SMS services here

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Advice for Law Students Interested in Being a Public Defender

 

Law school teaches legal doctrines, but doesn’t necssarily prepare students for the practice of law. One public defender has decided to blog about his challenges, amusements, and the lessons he has learned.  Students interested in being a public defender may enjoy his blog–Public Defender Stuff–and in particular, this post discussing the joys, pains, legal environment in which this public defender lives: Monday Musings: Gideon Of A Public Defender.

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Backup Your Computer Before Final Exams

 

Losing your class notes before law school final exams could be tragic. Law students interested in free backup solutions can go here: How to Backup Your Documents Online for Free. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a current list of free online backup services.

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What is Your Online Reputation?

 

In the old days, a cowboy could ride into town and no one knew if he was honest or a bank robber. Today, anyone can Google someone’s name to see what has been written about or by the person, and possibly learn about their involvements.

AELR Blog recently discussed this when mentioning a Washington Post article, Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web: Law Students Feel Lasting Effects of Anonymous Attacks, which discusses how one Yale law student’s job hunt was stunted by what was written about her online.

Even more concerning is a website called The Gorb, which allows people to rate and review other people. The reviews are available online like an Amazon.com book review for anyone to see. This site has been criticized by internet commentators. It also raises questions about how libel and defamation laws will be applied.

It will be interesting to see how the reputations of law students, lawyers, and other professionals are affected by the “information age” being applied to personal reputations.

UPDATE 1: Read what one blogger has to say about the legal implications of criticising people online at the Life is Risky blog here: Defamation of Character.

UPDATE 2:A website similar to The Gorb is Rapleaf, a site for rating buyers, sellers, and others.

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Defer Your Law School Loans Until After the Bar Exam

 

Federal student loans include a six month deferment period. However, if you ever consolidated your law school loans, you probably waived your six month deferment period. This means your consolidated loan will become due immediately upon graduation and you must start making payments at that time. Most law students are studying for the bar exam during this time, so they don’t have money to make student loan payments.

The good news is, many student loan companies will still defer your law school loan for six months if you call and request it (they will probably provide a form that you must complete). If you do not qualify for a deferment, the loan company may give you a forbearance (deferment and forbearance defined).

If you graduated in the spring, you should call to request loan deferment now to allow enough time to process the deferment before your loan becomes due.

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See if Anyone In Your E-mail is on MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster, or Similar Services

 

Many law students use LinkedIn for professional networking and MySpace for social networking. Law students also use a number of other similar services. Wouldn’t it be great to view the pages of all your friends, family, and professional contacts? Now you can.

Using Upscoop.com, you just enter the e-mail and password to your Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail account. Upscoop compares your contacts and displays to you anyone with a page at these websites. It’s very easy and works great!

The process only takes about 30 seconds. If you have a lot of e-mail addresses, the service will e-mail you the results after it looks them up (which could take hours, or even days, if you have many addresses).

Upscoop will search Aim.com, Bebo.com, Classmates.com, Facebook.com, Flickr.com, Flixter.com, Friendster.com, Hi5.com, LinkedIn.com, MySpace.com, Ringo.com, and Tickle.com.

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Reasons Why Law Students Choose Government and Public Service

 

Have you wondered about becoming a public service or government lawyer after law school?  Legal Andrew gives some strong arguments for considering this type of legal practice: Reasons to be a Government or Public Service Lawyer

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How to Be a Bad Law Student

 

Interested in giving yourself and your law school a bad name? Just follow the example of these law students. Their actions are disgusting. Read the article.

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