Blog Entry 42
February 18th, 2010
One day to go…
I was able to get a little bit of my ALTA accomplished last night. I have stuff I want to include in my paper written on random pieces of paper, highlighted in cases and my stack o’ research was incredibly sloppy and nonsensical. I was able to get my thoughts incorporated into the appropriate parts of my paper…now those thoughts just need to actually be written.
I should have plenty of opportunity to work on my paper tonight. My civpro professor cancelled class for tomorrow, which was quite a treat. It means I get to sleep in! (That class is usually at 10am, which means I have to be up by 8…) Then, our property professor is out of town with one of the moot court teams, so she scheduled a guest speaker for our class tomorrow. We have a few cases to read for the speaker, but beyond that my sole focus tonight will be my paper (and that’s a good thing because I have a meeting with my ALTA professor tomorrow).
Since I began this blog at the beginning of November, none of the prospective law students who read my blog (who I hope actually exist…) have e-mailed me with any questions. I’m hoping this is just because everyone is so captivated by what I come up with on my own, and not because people are shy or feel stupid asking questions. I was in your shoes (metaphorically, of course) just last year, and I would have jumped at the opportunity to ask some random student all sorts of questions that I felt weird asking the admissions staff. Maybe that’s just me…this is your chance, so ask away. If I don’t have the answers for you, I’m sure I can find out.
My tip of the day? Get over your aversion to writing in your textbooks. It is incredibly useful to highlight while you are reading or when your professor notes an important passage, and margin notes can be very beneficial as well. In classes like contracts with the Restatement and Uniform Commercial Code supplement, and civil procedure with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure booklet, refusing to mark up these books with definitions and cross-references will be rather a disservice when it comes time for exams (particularly if they are open book!). Read any law school prep book (i.e. Law School Confidential) and they will all tell you different things about highlighting. My advice? Keep them all in mind, buy a bunch of multicolored highlighters and then figure out what works for you.
Let me just share my own method for highlighting...you can take it or leave it. I have four highlighters, yellow, blue, pink and green. The yellow is my primary highlighter (let’s face it, it’s easier to read through yellow…), which is used to highlight case names and general facts in the case. The blue is the magical tool that identifies the legal issue in a case. The pink is used for headings (which I think is more for aesthetic purposes than anything else…). The green is probably the most important; it is used to highlight new concepts that are introduced, or words I don’t understand. (I then look up these words and write the definitions right in the margins.) Again, this is what I’ve found works for me; everyone’s different.
Anyhow, I talk too much…happy Thursday!