Blog Entry 8

Posted by Meagan Hanna
Meagan Hanna
Meagan is a May 2012 graduate of UDM Law. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar i
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on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Student Blogs

Could my weekends get any shorter?!

This morning, I had a holiday sales meeting at Bath and Body Works. (Right now, I’m a floorset and seasonal associate, so I work at least every 60 days…). After that, I went to breakfast and then home to work on my ALTA client letter. I then ended up at Panera (where I discovered peppermint mocha lattes…), after the distractions at home became excessive. Once I got home, I spent some time cleaning my room and putting away clean laundry. I am now planning to put in some more time on my client letter, and then I will be working on my contracts reading for Tuesday.

While I was sitting there with my laptop at Panera today, I decided that it might be a good idea to talk a bit about the use of technology in law school. Going in, I was convinced that I would be using my computer for all of my work…and that really hasn’t been the case. There certainly are people who rely on their computers for every piece of work, and then there are those who don’t really use them when they don’t have to. In class, there seems to be about half of my section who takes notes on their computers and the other half hand write their notes (except in classes where the professors do not allow laptops). With briefing cases, a lot of students seem to type them up, but hand writing them works too. (Personally, I hand write my briefs…I’m always on the go, so it makes it much more convenient to drag around a book and a clipboard with looseleaf than a book and my computer.)

If you are anticipating using a computer to take notes in class, there are a few etiquette tips that will keep you in good standing with those sitting around you:
1. Avoid taking out your aggression on the keyboard. I once had someone sitting next to me in class who apparently had some sort of bone to pick with the space bar and it drove me absolutely insane to hear the clack, clack, clack, CLACK all class long…
2. For goodness sakes, class is not the time to check your e-mail, Tweet or look at someone’s pictures on Facebook. If you do foresee yourself giving in to such temptation, sit in the back row where you won’t be distracting those behind you who can’t help but see your screen…
3. If your computer battery won’t last the entire class, make sure you plug in your charger before class begins. There is nothing more frustrating than having people reaching over/around you in the middle of a lecture to attempt to access the electrical outlets.

Sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised…

If you are planning to get a new computer for law school, I highly recommend purchasing it a few months before classes. Give yourself time to get the settings just how you want them, figure out the funky new operating system and programs (gah, I had to transition from Windows XP to Vista and Word 2003 to 2007…) and become very comfortable with it. Trust me, you will be very thankful to not have to deal with such nonsense once classes are in full gear.

And with that, I am going to go figure out something for dinner and then it’s back to the books…

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About the author

Meagan Hanna

Meagan is a May 2012 graduate of UDM Law. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November, and she recently joined the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

During law school, Meagan was active around the School of Law as the Law Review's Executive Editor of Outside Articles and the Vice-President of the St. Thomas More Society. She participated in the Criminal Trial Clinic, and took advantage of two internships with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and a summer internship with Judge Stephen Murphy of the Eastern District of Michigan.

In her free time, Meagan also serves as a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, enjoys tap dancing, and can't resist reading a good book.

Meagan genuinely enjoyed her time at UDM Law and she is passionate about talking to prospective students about her experience. Please contact the admissions office to obtain her contact information.