Dealing with the Stress

Alan_Cleaver

flickr photo by Alan Cleaver

By Andrew Vazquez

We’re in the final stretch of the spring 2015 semester. Finals start on April 30, a mere twenty-three days from now. This is both exciting and terrifying. The end of the semester is a very stressful time because it seems that everything is due at the same time. Nevertheless, there are several things you can do to reduce stress during this period. The Mayo Clinic offers four tips that they have coined as the “4 A’s.” These stand for Avoid, Alter, Accept, and Adapt.

Avoid, according to the Mayo Clinic, means to plan ahead better. If you have a deadline, start it earlier than you normally would to ensure that you finish in time. Being able to complete tasks with enough time will help reduce stress because you will not feel as rushed. This tip is especially helpful when studying for finals. Don’t wait to start studying for finals too late.

Alter means to avoid negative things in your life. Identify the things that make you stressed and figure out why they make you stressed. You cannot change some things, but make the best out of them. When studying for finals don’t think to yourself that a topic is too tough and that you can’t learn it. Instead, flip it and use it as a motivator to learn it better.

The next tip is to accept the things you cannot change. Dwelling on things that cannot be changed is counterproductive because, well, you cannot change it. Instead focus on the positive things that you can control and you will be less stressed. You can’t change the grade you got in Contracts or Property last semester, but you can do better this semester. Learn from those mistakes and you’ll do better this time around.

The final tip the Mayo Clinic suggests is to adapt. Keep your expectations reasonable and keep the big picture in focus. This is important because if you focus too closely on the minute details of one particular subject, it will be to the detriment of everything else. Keep everything in focus.

Additional suggestions that I would add is to remember to keep up with friends and family. Moreover, make time to go out and have fun, like going to see a movie or a Braves game (although that may more frustrating and stressful than school).

Things to do in the Springtime in Atlanta

by Murtaza Khwaja

atlanta by flickr user laceybordeaux

image by flickr user laceybordeaux

Springtime in Atlanta! One of the most beautiful times of year in the city is marked with not only a re-blossoming of flowers and return of color but also a vast array of events, festivals, shows etc. From the time-honored traditional festivals and sites to the newer up-and-coming, there is something for everyone to do.  While this is definitely not a full list, here are just a few things to get you started as you look for ways to enjoy the warmer weather and take some time away from work and studies. Go with a group of friends, your kids, family, or even by yourself to enjoy all of Atlanta’s finest food, music, culture, artists, and exhibits while also getting to spend time outside in the warm spring weather.

Atlanta Film Festival (March 20th- 29th)

“The Atlanta Film Festival, now in its fourth decade, is one of the region’s largest and longest-running preeminent celebrations of cinema in the Southeastern United States and one of only a handful of Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the country. More than 25,000 festival attendees enjoy independent, animated, documentary, and short films each year.”

Attendees can immerse themselves in the Atlanta Film Festival experience through Festival Genius, which allows participants to watch movie trailers, schedule screenings on the their personal film festival calendar and rate them after they have been viewed.

In addition to top notch independent films from around the globe, movie enthusiasts can mix and mingle with filmmakers and industry professionals during a variety of Atlanta Film Festival events including awards ceremonies and workshops. Past honorees of the IMAGE Film Award Gala include Cicely Tyson, Spike Lee, Burt Reynolds, Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee.

The Atlanta Film Festival is held in the historic Plaza Theatre located in the Poncey-Highland area, 7 Stages Theatre in Little Five Points, Goat Farm Arts Center and Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.”

Via: http://atlantafilmfestival.com/2015/films

Atlanta Dogwood Festival (April 10th-12th)

dogwood festival by flickr user bruhsam

image by flickr user bruhsam

“Originating from a showcase of blooming trees and accomplished artists, the Dogwood Festival has evolved into one of the largest events in the Southeast. You’ll find the country’s best painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelry makers and glass blowers, as well as live performance art exhibitions, interactive music workshops and a food.”

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is Atlanta’s annual celebration of the blooming of its native dogwood trees. For more than 75 years, the Dogwood arts festival has filled Midtown Atlanta’s Piedmont Park with live music, arts and crafts, food booths and family-friendly activities. In 2012, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival was ranked No. 35 in the Sunshine Artist Magazine Best 200 fine arts festivals in the United States.”

A juried art competition recognizes artistic achievement in such categories as sculpture, painting, jewelry and photography. The Kid’s Village features arts and crafts, face painting, rock climbing and huge inflatables that are sure to please kids of all ages.

Another highlight of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is the U.S. Disc Dog Southern Nationals, a world-class competition starring the top Frisbee dogs in the nation. Musical entertainment at the Dogwood arts festival ranges from bluegrass and country to rock and soul. Food options include funnel cakes, kettle corn, gyros and more.”

Via: http://www.atlanta.net/events/festivals/spring/

Inman Park Festival (April 24-26)

“Widely regarded as Atlanta’s most spirited and eclectic event, the Inman Park Festival offers wild and crazy experiences. Visit Atlanta’s biggest street market, offering everything from antique furniture to handcrafted wares. The city’s quirkiest parade kickstarts the weekend of family fun and a juried art show, live entertainment and dance festival are just a few more of the things you’ll find.”

Via http://www.atlanta.net/events/festivals/spring/

Taste of East Point (April 26th)

“Think local on the last Saturday in April when the soft spring air blows in tasty good times at Taste of East Point. The event showcases the food, art and music created in the south metro area. Patrons arrive hungry to nosh at tents hosted by area restaurants, local artists show off their handmade wares and a host of singer-songwriters perform a mix of funk, soul, blues, dance tunes and folk.

Each year downtown East Point comes alive for one of the most premiere cultural events in Georgia – the Taste of East Point and the South Metro Area. Hosted the last Saturday in April, this event is a leisurely stroll past local art displays and talented musicians, while partaking in an array of wine and food “tastes”.

Taste selections from area restaurants that take pride in their annual display. View the work of artists that live and work in the East Point, Hapeville and College Park area. Find paintings, prints, handmade jewelry and more! Kick back and relax to the sounds of bands from the Tri-City area. From rockin’ blues to high energy funk, there is something for everyone!

“Local restaurants, local artists, local bands and local flavor-the Taste of East Point and the South Metro Area and the South Metro Area is more than a cultural event in Georgia, it is a ‘can’t miss’ occasion!”

Via: http://www.downtowneastpoint.com/tasteofeastpoint/

Atlanta Jazz Festival (31 Days of Jazz +May 22-24)

“THE ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL is regarded as one of the country’s largest FREE jazz festivals. It is an annual musical showcase that celebrates jazz legends and up-and-coming jazz greats in venues throughout metropolitan Atlanta during the entire month of May. The festival culminates each Memorial Day weekend with show-stopping performances at Piedmont Park.”

“Celebrating more than 35 years of soulful expression, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is the perfect way to start your Memorial Day weekend. Explore Piedmont Park and visit vendors displaying some of the city’s finest arts and crafts, food and drink and merchandise.”

Via: http://atlantafestivals.com/

Decatur Arts Festival (May 23rd-May 24th)

“An annual tradition, the Decatur Arts Festival celebrates culture, community and creativity with a weekend exploding with artistic expressions. The weekend starts with the ArtWalk, a leisurely stroll through the city as local shops host free receptions for new art shows. Throughout the day you’ll find music, performance art, dancing and special events just for kids and teens.”

Via http://decaturartsfestival.com/

Georgia Renaissance Festival (Open Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day)

joust by flickr user foleymo

image by flickr user foleymo

“Join hundreds of colorfully-clad characters for a medieval European Country Faire. Stroll through the multi-acre kingdom while feasting on hearty food and drink, shop for hand-crafted treasures and become mesmerized by artisans at work. Ten stages of music and comedy keep you enticed well into the night, while performing animals and games ensure fun for the entire family!”

Via http://www.atlanta.net/events/festivals/spring/

‘Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds’ exhibit @ the High Museum of Art (Till May 24th)

“This exhibit will be a retrospective of the work of Wifredo Lam, featuring more than 40 paintings and drawings and prints as well. Visitors will trace Lam’s career from his time in Madrid and Paris to his return to Cuba. Lam’s work was known to be a strong influence on artistic figures like Picasso, Federico Garcia Lorca and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among others.”

Via http://www.atlanta.net/events/festivals/spring/

Braves Baseball Game (Opening Day April 10th)

Visit picturesque Turner Field to enjoy America’s pastime in the heart of downtown!

Biking the Beltline

beltline by flickr user laceybordeaux

image by flickr user laceybordeaux

 

A relatively new but already hugely popular addition to Atlanta, the beltline has several different walking, biking, and running trails fresh for you to explore from the Old 4th Ward to Midtown to the Eastside. While the trails themselves are ever expanding, they already go straight through some of Atlanta’s most interesting and hip neighborhoods (not to mention are right next to many of Atlanta’s newest and most popular restaurants, markets, bakeries, and other eateries).

Stone Mountain

While you are enjoying the outdoors, don’t forget to visit Stone Mountain for a great workout and equally great view (whether by yourself or with a group). After hiking up and coming back down bring a Frisbee or football to throw around while you wait for the start of the Laser Show. You can set out your blanket in front of the mountain for a picnic as you enjoy some tunes, the lights and some great company.

 

Clinical Opportunities

10419609_10155143114463125_6181435800920296402_nBy Andrew Vazquez

Starting in the 2015 Fall semester, the in-house clinics will expand from 3 credit hours to 4. This includes the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Legal Services Clinic, and the Investor Advocacy Clinic.

On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, from 12 PM – 1 PM and 5 PM – 6 PM, the College of Law will be hosting an experiential fair to inform students about the clinics. This event will be held in the second floor lobby and will feature representatives from each of the clinics. This is a good opportunity to ask the professors and students any lingering questions you have about the clinics.

As a former Tax Clinic student I can attest that it is well worth the time to join. Clinics are great because they allow you to put to practice what you have learned in the classroom and put it to actual use. Also, you are able to help real life clients and make a real difference. In the Tax Clinic, for example, I was able to help resolve tax issues that my clients had with the IRS. This included writing legal briefs, negotiating with representatives from the IRS, learning how to interact and interview clients, and file and time management. Even if you realize that you have no interest in tax or health law, the clinics still help you develop the skills that are important to being a lawyer.

When you get into the clinic and have to start doing research, make sure you check out the Law Library’s Research Guide to help you through it!

 

Upcoming Events

Clinic and Experiential Course Awareness Fair February 11: 12 PM – 1 PM & 5 PM – 6 PM
Tax Clinic Information Session February 12 : 12 PM – 1 PM
HeLP Clinic Information Session February 17: 12 PM – 1 PM
Tax Clinic Open House February 19: 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM
Investor Advocacy Informational Session February 25: 12 PM – 1 PM

Smile!

by Meghan Starr

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Photographers will be making the rounds next week (February 9th – 15th) in an effort to document how the law school building is being used.  Student volunteers will be taking approximately 100 pictures each hour.

This Photographic Survey is part of a 3-year research project to evaluate the impact of the new building on law students and faculty, as well as the community in general.

We’re still in need of law student volunteers too, especially after 4 p.m. on weekdays and on the weekend. If you are a law student and wish to volunteer, each shift will follow a set route which takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.  You will be provided with a map that reflects each photograph location.  For each shift you take, your name will be entered into a drawing for a (yet to be announced) prize. To volunteer, submit your name on the Google spreadsheet linked to in your email from Dean Sobelson.

For more information about the project, you can also contact Prof. Doug Yarn.

Articles of Confederation

 

flickr photo by annalynnc

flickr photo by annalynnc

By Nirvi Shah

On January 30, 1781, Maryland was the thirteenth and final state to ratify the Articles of Confederation, which took effect on March 1, 1781.  In comparison to the current U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation designated less control to a central government, leaving most of the power with state governments.  Due to the need for a stronger central government, the U.S. Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.

Here are a few books in the Law Library where you can learn more about U.S. History and the Articles of Confederation:

Here are some additional links to online sources:

Origins of the Martin L. King, Jr. Federal Holiday

flickr photo by Julian Fong

flickr photo by Julian Fong

By Darius Wood

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is one of the ten federal holidays, and only one of two federal holidays that is for an individual – Washington’s Birthday is the other. “President Ronald Reagan signed the King Holiday Bill into law on Nov. 2, 1983,” but the foundation for the bill was laid in the decade’s prior, spearheaded by King’s wife, Coretta Scott King.  As most know, Martin Luther King, Jr. rose to national acclaim for his nonviolent civil disobedience approach to racial and social justice issues facing the African American community. Shortly after Dr. King’s assignation on April 4, 1968 Congressman John Conyers Jr. introduced the first bill to make King’s Birthday, January 15, a federal holiday.  This attempt failed, but the effort persisted; in 1971 the Southern Christian Leadership Conference presented a petition to Congress containing 3 million signatures.  Unfortunately, this attempt too failed. In 1979, Mrs. King, testified before the Senate and a joint session of Congress in support of the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday leading President Carter to urge Congress to pass a bill making Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday.  This bill fell short by 5 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, the momentum continued and in 1980 Stevie Wonder released a song, “Happy Birthday,” celebrating Dr. King’s legacy.  Later in 1982, Mrs. King presented another petition containing 6 million signatures to their representatives.  The next year, in 1983 the House of Representatives finally passed the bill by 338 to 90, making the third Monday in January a national holiday.  The Senate then passed the bill by a vote of 78-22. President Reagan signed Public Law 98-144 establishing the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday, beginning in 1986. Sources:

Interview Season is Upon Us, or Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

by Murtaza Khwaja

image by flickr user petur-t

image by flickr user petur-t

The Judicial Clerkship Job Fair and the Public Sector Job Fair are both coming up in the next few weeks, and 1Ls are finally able to join the rest of us in applying for upcoming jobs, internships, and/or other positions.

While this will be the 1Ls’ first foray into the legal job market, the rest of us have a little more experience.  However, all of us are faced with the same questions: What do we want to do with our law degree? Where do we want to work? Where do we see ourselves after graduation?

Now, I am sure several of us may have answers to some and maybe all of these questions but for many of us, myself included, internal conflict over a variety of issues remains.

Some of these conflicts come from seemingly having too many interests — from criminal law to international human rights to family law to intellectual property to health law, etc. Any experience I have had in the study or practice of any of these fields has been both exceedingly informative and enjoyable. In the long run however, it seems prudent to become more specialized or at least make my job search more specific instead of feeling as if I am haphazardly applying to too broad a scope of positions.

Other questions exist as well.  Questions like: Is this organization/firm/group the best fit for me individually? How far is too far for a commute? Are there snacks? Okay maybe the last one is just me, but in all seriousness I know that we all must have some uncertainty as we prepare to take the next step in our legal careers.

And that’s okay! I might still be figuring it out, but I know that with self reflection, consultation with both family and friends, and a degree of chance I will end up in the right place for myself.  Or at least that’s my own belief borne out of my faith in things working out the way they are meant to as long as I do my part.

For those facing similar dilemmas, please feel free to share your own experiences and how you are dealing with them/are planning to deal with them. For those unsure, definitely reach out to GSU’s Career Services, professors, and/or your own family and friends. Career Services will give great professional advice but do not discount advice from loved ones. At the end of the day, these are the people that know you best and thus, in all likelihood, will remind you of who you really want to be and what you really want to do. Professors are also great to talk to due to their vast amount of experience in a wide array of fields. All of these resources can help in their own way, and ultimately you will forge your individual path.

In the meantime, best of luck with the new semester, and any upcoming interviews or applications. With hard work, faith, and the right people in our lives, I am sure we will not only find the best fit for us but also create our own place in the world as we set out into the next stage of our lives.