Valuable Websites for First Year Law Students

websites for 1Ls

First day of law school is coming right up. We’ve compiled one more resource for 1Ls, a list of valuable websites for first year law students, to make the process a little more intuitive. Book mark this page — you’ll need it for the coming years.

Tips for managing your time in law school, especially 1L

All about the Socratic Method of teaching, which you’re going to run into in class after class. Might as well know what it is!

U.S. News on understanding LSAT score evaluations

Westlaw on Surviving Law School

Succes in Your First Year of Law School

On paying for law school

Law Journals - you’ll need them!

Law Review/Journal search engine from the ABA 

Care packages your friends and family can send you. Give them the link!

Free legal research sites from George Mason University

Free classes at Harvard, online

Free online law classes 

Law school is a challenge, any tool is helpful! If you know of more good websites for first year law students, please put them in a comment! Thanks.

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Surviving Law School 1L—First Year Fears

Surviving law school 1L

Win the 1L prize!

2014 Law school sessions begin in the next three weeks. Are you law students ready to buckle down in the quest for the elusive JD degree?

Think of surviving law school 1L as a real-time game of thrones. You have a goal to accomplish—maintaining accecptable grades and graduating on time, ready to begin your law career. There are monsters out there , but you can, with the right weapons and support, conquer all and take the throne.

Ok, it’s not that colorful. Here’s what to expect as a 1L, first year law student.

Surviving Law School 1L Studies and Grades

1. You have little choice of 1L classes at most law schools. Expect Legal Research and Writing, Torts, Civil Procedure, Law (Property, Constitutional, Criminal) Contracts, Criminal Procedure. Sometimes you’ll get an elective in the 1L second semester.
2. There’s an enormous amount of reading with this staggering course load. These are concepts and information you’ve not seen before, so don’t even consider trying to skim, skip over boring parts, or speed read at the last moment. Set aside at least one hour of reading time for every hour of class time (often, even more than that will be needed) and DO THE READING like it’s your job.
3. Understand the grading system. It’s all on a bell curve. By this time, you know what that is. The best scores get the A’s, the worst get the F’s, and most fall in the B range. You must, then, keep up with your fellows in order to pass. You are competing for grades.
4. Your grade will likely be the result of one exam, a final. No quizzes, no homework grades, no points for teacher’s pet. You’ll do a lot of writing, but mostly in the writing course.
5.. The class environment is fast-paced and most instructors engage all students by calling on anyone, at random, in a discussion. No daydreaming or texting—you’ll end up terribly embarrassed when your name is called.

1L Social Life

  1. Pretty much forget about parties, dances, and goofing off; though law school is notorious for a work-hard, play-hard point-of-view, you won’t have much time for playing.
  2. You’ll do best in surviving law school 1L if you reserve time for one extra curricular activity (good for resume building and for developing a small support network). You’ll need consistent downtime, but you won’t have much time available. Try for Sunday afternoons, and really relax.
  3. Keep in touch with your family, they can be invaluable for decompressing when things start to close in on you. Vent to your mom, best friend, or whoever has an understanding, non-judgemental ear. Then get back to work.

First Year Law School Health

In law school, especially 1L (first year), stress is high, rest comes at a premium, and the tendancy is to skip meals and grab sustenance in a hurry.

  • Watch your nutrition.
  • Get adequate rest.
  • Consider a flu shot.
  • Hydrate.
  • Don’t forget some exercise every day.

You cant afford to be under the weather. Might want to keep a distance between you and anyone who is sniffling, sneezing, or displaying other signs of some yucky bug. See health services at the first sign of any health issue.

1L Bottom Line

You’ve commited to preparing for your law career, so you have to be ready to handle the workload. Take advantage of every tool offered to you, and budget way ahead for critical expenses like your bar exam review and tutoring.

One of the best weapons you’ll have is free. Reed Bar Review offers a terrific 1L review that’s totally free. All you need to do is register at our website and download the online course. Do it right now, and use that course, it will make all the difference.

Let us know how else we can help you as you move though your 1L. You’ll make it!

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How to Set Up Your Law Student Blog

Law students can blog

Law students and new lawyer/entrepreneurs can benefit by knowing how to set up a blog without paying a web designer a ton of money and without knowing a whole lot about web mastering. Here are can’t-fail tips for getting up and running with your blog in no time.

Be sure to make a commitment to keep up your law student blog, it will propagate itself as you add content, and you can share it with people by a variety of social sites. If you build it, and you write quality, they will come. However, Neither Rome, nor good blogs were built in a day.

What’s the Best Way to Set Up a Blog?

One elegant solution is WordPress, self-hosted. You get almost total control without needing much in the way of tech knowledge. There IS a learning curve, but it’s quite do-able. You’ll need your own domain, also known as a url. Like www.mybartutor.com, our domain for this blog.

  1. First thing to do is to come up with a url that suits your topic. Maybe it’s your name.com or maybe a key phrase that represents your theme. Something like, SurviveLawSchool.com You can check availability here: http://www.whois.net/
  2. Type the domain you’d like to have (including the .com or .net portion) into the box at WhoIs and click to check if that url is available.
  3. Once you find one you want, you’re on your way and can set up an account at WordPress.ORG – that’s where MyBarTutor lives.

Now If hosting your own domain seems like a big step at this point, go go WordPress.COM and start a free blog hosted by WordPress. Piece of cake. You don’t need your own domain. The instructions are clear and easy.

Blogger by Google is as easy as WordPress.com, though I find that Google’s documentation can sometimes be incomplete or hard to follow. Just go to the site and follow the directions. Some people like Blogger better than WordPress, some don’t. Try both, using two blogs and adding content little by little. You have nothing to lose and can always discontinue one or the other and port the content to the surviving blog.

If this still feels too challenging for your first outing, the very simplest thing to do is to sign up for a GooglePlus account (free) and blog directly into the posting sections. You will quickly find out if you want to commit to frequent writing or not. Our Google plus is here. 

You can use Facebook as a blog, too, but it’s best to keep those entries on the short side.

This is a lot of info. Check out all the sites and see what you think. Above all, get yourself in to writing about your law school experiences or your legal career and entrepreneurship; it’s good for the soul and for the mind. and as a fringe benefit, when you head out to look for law jobs, the blog is a terrific resume addition.

Comment below and tell us what your experiences have been, or ask any questions you have. Once you get blogging, you’ll have a perfect outlet for your thoughts on law as a business or as a career — you can share your journey with readers and encourage others to put their work out there, too! You’ll be surprised at how much you learn by sharing information that matters to you.

 

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Odd, Funny, Strange Law School Stories

strange law school stories

If the ABA Journal can use their space to talk about the weirdest things seen at #BarExam sittings, then we can look for a couple more sites to give you comic relief. Many of you law students are approaching your July 2014 bar exam, and many of you readers are about to begin your first year of law school. Take a break and spend less than five minutes reading some pretty funny stuff.

American Bar Association Journal Strange Bar Exam Happenings

Sighted on Twitter, this was ABA Journals headline a few days ago: Strangest Things You Saw at the Bar Exam. Teasers? ok, how about a woman who went into labor, but apparently delayed her trip to the hospital until she finished her MBE? Woah!

Or this one—during the lunch break, one exam candidate spent his time pulling weeds outside the testing center. Hmmm.

LawHaHa.com’s 1L Humor and Follies

We like the site called LawHaHa for two reasons. 1. It’s really funny to say the site’s name over a few times, fast. 2. Their humor is often actually amusing.

Read about: A professor compels a student’s boyfriend to declare his intentions, and a 1L declares a guilty verdict in a civil case.

Law Street Journal Outs Law Students’ Embarrassing Moments

After a too-big lunch, you sit in class wrestling with intestinal distress, and to your horror, your intestines win. Do you really want a national website to retell the story? Ugh!! Read embarrassing law school stories at Law Street Journal.

Enjoy these humor sites. Enjoy a rolling belly laugh. Then regroup and buckle down to studying again. MBE is two weeks and counting. Your legal career looms in your near future!

 

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Black Law Student and Latino Law Student Associations

Law student associations

Browsing the web this week, our staff blogger found a couple of valuable websites for law students to book mark. Among these sites that value diversity, The National Black Law Student Association and the National Latina/o Law Student Organization, offer a weath of resources and outstanding networking opportunities.

You can find the NLLSA and NBLSA on the web here:

National Latino/a Law Student Association website 

National Latino/a  Law Student Association Facebook Page

National Black Student Assoc website

National Black Law Student Facebook

These sites offer a variety of information for law students embarking on legal careers. For example, their sites talk about job fairs, important people profiles, internships, scholarships, and a lot more. Worth book marking and referring to once in a while!

We also found the Asian Law Student Association website and the North American South Asian Law Student Association, as well as local Asian Associations on variouses campuses. Check your school’s website.

We didn’t find an American Indian Law Student Association, but we did locate the American Indian Law Center, where students can find legal career info. This organization hosts a pre law summer session each year, too.

You can visit the National LGBTBar Association site, too.

Let us know in the comments section if you know of other specific or general law student associations that you like.

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Hugh Reed Offers the Best Law School Advice You’ll Get

1L help

ReedBarReview founder and CEO, Hugh Reed, was asked by National Jurist to formulate some thoughts on how law students succeed in law school. He put together some of the best law school advice you’ll ever get — legal career success begins at 1L.

• Don’t get lost in the forest — start with an overview of the subject matter.

• Throughout your school career, develop the habit of memorizing and recalling major points using memory devices such as mnemonics, acrostics, and checklists.

• Use a commercial outline in Word and insert your class-notes in the appropriate sub-part. Stay organized!

• Supplement your studies with an attorney/coach/ tutor to guide your success, i.e., don’t waste time in peer-led study groups.

• Learn examsmanship techniques on how to beat multiple choice exam questions and how to properly style essay questions for law exams. Where do you learn  such MBE techniques? Call (800) 852-EXAM (3926).

• Take advantage of a FREE 1L course at Reed Bar Review.com or call 1(800) 852-EXAM (3926) as soon as you finish reading this post.

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Prepare for Law School 1L this Summer

1L prep

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

So you’ve made the decision to go to law school. A big undertaking, but a law career is certainly something that is within your reach, especially if you prepare for your law school challenges and keep on top of law school preparation from this moment, your summer before 1L, to the last year when you hit bar exam prep in earnest.
There’s a helpful website (besides Reed Bar Review, of course) that law students should probably book mark and refer to from time-to-time. It’s Reddit Law School. Have a quick look at their post on preparing for law school1L — very useful info.
One of the ideas they address in the 1L prep post caught our attention, so we’ve excerpted it for you.
Question:

What should you read the summer before  law school 1L?

Reddit Law School blog’s answer:

First, I would not recommend reading Law School Confidential, or at least taking it with a grain of salt. A lot of that stuff is outdated and most of it is based on what worked for the author. No two law students study the same. A big part of 1L year is figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t. Also, there’s a lot of stuff in there that can just add to your anxiety at a time when you don’t need it. I can’t speak to similar books, but I’d wager they are similar.
Second, read technical non-fiction, but not necessarily “law” books. Don’t try and read cases or statutes, you’ll quickly learn how to do that and you won’t be any better off than your classmates after about a week. Don’t read fiction. Don’t read “fun” non-fiction (i.e. a Kurt Cobain or John Elway biography, Malcolm Gladwell, Chelsea Handler). You want the subject matter to be more engaging than a text book but not necessarily something you’d read for pleasure.
I read People’s History of the Supreme Court (more of a history book than a “law” book) and since I know very little about economics I read opposing books about the Chicago School “free market” theory one pro and one con. Stick to history, economics, political science (NOT Glenn Beck, NOT Al Franken, you want serious theory), law books that aren’t theory or practice (see above, or books like The Nine) etc. The key is to challenge yourself without boring yourself.
Third, if possible, try to read at least three hours a day five days a week. Reading is going to be your job, make sure you’ve kept your reading speed and comprehension up. You want to start the semester at a peak so you you’re not trying to catch up. This will also help to condition you to the workload. I started doing this the month before school started and I really think it helped me avoid “reading shock” during those first few months. If you really want to maximize your “conditioning” wake up, exercise, read and go to sleep as if classes had started (so if you’re going to have to get up at 8 to make that class at 10, start getting up at 8). The earlier you start forming good habits, the harder it will be for law school to derail them.
There’s really good advice in here, and we advise you to at least consider what the author had to say. IA lot of this can be done at the beach, right?
You can get an incredible amount of help from Hugh Reed Bar Review 1L program, including How to Excel in Your First Year of Law School. If you enter this code when you register, tuition is free for the 1L online program — TCFREE1L. Register now and begin preparing for 1L
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Bar Exam Candidates Need 11th Hour Study Help

Reed bar exam prep

Bar Prep Time is RUNNING OUT!

Bar Exam Candidates Take Heed in Your 11th Hour!!

The MBE will largely determine whether you pass (or fail) your bar exam…

and Hugh Reed’s experience in taking the MBE will provide you the points you need to pass your bar exam.

Warning! Many lecturers for BarBri and Kaplan, including BarBri’s national lecturer, Conviser, have never taken and passed the MBE.

Hugh Reed has taken and passed almost 30 Multistate Bar Exams (MBEs)…and counting; who else can make that statement? Hugh Reed has compiled repeatedly tested concepts, with examples, for your 11th hour bar review. With these testable caveats, you can reinforce often tested MBE concepts. Enroll now for the edge you need!

Affordable Tuition:
Call to Enroll
Only $195 — electronic format
or $275 for the printed format

Can you afford to overlook this essential tool? Keep reading!

The former Director of Testing for the National Conference of Bar Examiners says — 

that the MBE will largely determine whether you pass or fail your bar exam. Further, she said, in an article published in The Bar Examiner, that most candidates who fail most often had this complaint:

MBE questions presented by their chosen bar exam review were
nothing like what they experienced on their actual MBE.

We’re not surprised by this common complaint from failing students—students who have NOT signed up for Reed Bar Review.

Don’t waste one more moment on materials that fail to reflect the subject matter you will encounter on your bar exam. PASS YOUR BAR EXAM WITH CONFIDENCE! GET THE MBE TESTING CAVEATS YOU MUST KNOW from the people who DO know! Contact Reed Bar Review right now…

Affordable Tuition:
Call to Enroll
Only $195 — electronic format
or $275 for the printed format

Armed Forces Veterans Always Receive Special Discounts

REED BAR REVIEW

Toll Free (800) 852-3926

Chicago (312) 496-3948

360 W. Illinois St. Suite 509, Chicago, IL 60654

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Law Students Must Understand Social Media as Evidence

social media as evidence

Facebook posts, tweets on Twitter, comments on Google+, photos on Instagram, and yes, even archaic additions to MySpace — social media as evidence figures increasingly in law cases across the country and throughout the world. Would you have any idea how to use that content? Could your tweets be used against you?

For years, courts have allowed lawyers to present content from social media as evidence. These personal sagas have weighed heavily in ll sorts of law suits and in criminal cases. Think about it—people post whatever wild-ass idea comes to mind as they sit bleary-eyed—in front of computers, tablets, or mobile devices—and mindlessly spew.

That spewage can be fascinating, edifying, amusing, and extremely damaging. Here are some ways  hsocial media evidence has come into play in recent years:

  1. Divorce cases—who’s doing whom online or in real time?
  2. Child custody—people brag about all kinds of unacceptable behavior
  3. Criminal—police use social media everyday to locate and shadow perpetrators and persons of interest
  4. Copyright cases
  5. Wrongful employment termination
  6. Discrimination
  7. Hate crimes

If you’d like to see specifics, here’s an amazing table of cases from a single year.

And the list grows everyday.

What Law Students Need to Know about Social Media

  • First, it can’t be said often enough that you must be extremely sane about what you put out there. Yeah, it’s seems real funny now to talk about how often you get drunk or are hung over, but how funny will that be when, as a law graduate, you’ve passed your bar exam and are out in the legal community looking for a law career?
  • Second, you would be prudent to begin now to study up on how social media works, what information can be obtained from those social accounts, and how to obtain it in a useable form.

Posts, tweets, pictures, comments, blog posts—all are trackable. All leave a trail, sometimes as slimy as a snail’s path. Reputations can live and die on those trails, and even if one slams the edit or delete button till the cows come home, that content may live on in the inner workings of Facebook or Twitter.

Privacy settings aren’t fool-proof. Ask anyone who has ever had their social media content crop up in discovery or has lost an opportunity because of a casual, dumb remark they made on Twitter.

If you want specifics, here’s a social media as evidence article we found at BowTieLaw, a decent blog about unusual legal issues. It explains how social media evidence can be collected and used. Best recommendation? Get friendly with social media professionals who know the inside scoop.

Review and Govern Your Own Social Media Content

The kiss of death in law career terms can come from random social media activity. For example, would you be comfortable making some of those witty social media remarks on national television, or at a board meeting in the law firm looking to recruit you?

Do you get that whatever you put out there is there forever? Experts, those social media archaeologists, can dig out what you said online in middle school, folks. The Internet and its content is open to all. It is not private, and there is no expectation of privacy when you post stuff. None.

Law students just have to understand how such info is used, and it’s essential that you understand the consequences of your social media activity now and forever. Your law career may depend on it. It’s kind of like seat belt laws.

You can ignore them and get away with it for a long time. It’s unlikely you’ll get a ticket just driving around without you seat belt fastened; but how about the one time when not buckling up results in a fatality?

Buckle up and use caution with that keyboard. It’s great if you can turn someone’s social media mistakes tin a client’s favor, but it would be an uncomfortable dance when you end up facing the Facebook music.

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Sure-Fire July 2014 Bar Exam Strategies

bar exam hero hugh reed

For law students studying for the July 2014 bar exam, putting a solid strategy in place is critical to your success. The most fool-proof way to develop such a strategy for the 2014 bar exam is to visit ReedBarReview’s website and sign up for free study tools. While you do that, here are a few important MBE hints.

  1. Always start with Multistate Bar Exam subjects. NEVER LEAVE MBE STUDIES, even as you start studying for essays, because your MBE score will be the determining factor as to whether you’ll pass (or fail).
  2. Take plenty of diagnostic exams to determine apparent weaknesses! Don’t assume you know where you need to focus.
  3. There is a plethora of information on our website on how to PASS the first time!

Recently, BTW, our founder, Hugh Reed, had this to say about another bar exam review service:

OMG WTF I just saw the BarBri schedule and Conviser—whom I spent 17 years working with—is still teaching Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) subject of Torts even though he has never taken a MBE, much less passed one. I’ve taken and PASSED 26 times and counting.

There is a big difference in prep courses and in law tutors. In March, Hugh took and passed his 26th bar exam. He says there were many new concepts on the exam, so he gives you test tips on our Facebook Page. This July, 2014, will Hugh Reed’s 27th MBE. He’s looking forward to it and to helping you match his success.

Register on our website—there’s no cost to you, you can download lots of extras, and our methods are soundly based on actual material presented on actual bar exams. Hugh Reed encourages you to phone him directly if you have concerns or worries about your upcoming bar exam and need professional, personal help. Ask him any questions! (800) 852-3926

 

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