Featured Resource: The Library’s Online Study Aids

By Gilbert Morales, Spring 2020 Reference GRA

It goes without saying that understanding the law is hard work, but you’re not alone in this endeavor. The library has many resources to chart your path to crushing those pesky law school exams. One of the most invaluable resources is the library’s online study aids. Students anxious to begin exam prep can access online the West Academic Study Aids and the Wolters Kluwer Study Aids by visiting the GSU Law Library website and clicking “Online Study Aids” in the Services tab.

Blog Study Aid

In West Academic Study Aids, students can take advantage of the newly added Exam Pro quizzes. To find this tool, simply search the Exam Pro Series then filter by “Quizzes” under “Type” in the left navigation bar. Exam Pro quizzes allow students to immediately see correct answers and problem explanations. It also breaks down law school subjects into subtopics so students can focus on specific areas.

West Academic also provides access to the entire Acing Series. Like Exam Pro, the Acing Series also dives into subtopics and provides easy to understand explanations. However, it focuses mainly on short answer essays. Students can also benefit from double-checking their outlines by using Acing’s easy to follow topic checklists. Line by line students can understand the logic and sequence of contract formation, civil procedure, and rules of evidence.

Moreover, for the podcast generation, West Academic has the Sum and Substance Audio series where every major law subject is broken down into bit size audio clips ranging from 3-20 minutes. Listening to audio clips offers flexibility that can be used most effectively during exam crunch time.

Students can also access the Wolters Kluwer Study Aids that has a range of accessibility features. One notable feature is the ability to download study aid content. Downloadable materials make it easier for students to quickly access study aids on their desktop. Wolters Kluwer also offers audio and video content. For the visual learners among us, the “In Other Words” video series provides understandable material explained by law professors and legal practitioners from nearly all major areas of law.

Additionally, Wolters Kluwer offers invaluable content like Examples and Explanations (E & E) and Emanuel Crunchtime. Much like the Acing Series, E & E provides easy to understand explanations of topics and subtopics but also includes more short answer hypotheticals. So if your exam includes short answer questions, E & E is your go-to.

Emanuel Crunchtime is another terrific study aid because it’s among the most comprehensive. To give you an idea, this study aid typically includes short answer questions, multiple-choice questions, and essay exam questions, all with answers included. Emanuel Crunchtime even has flowcharts!

It’s important to remember when reviewing study aids that explanations will differ from your professors but as one 3L advised me, “use study aids to fill in the gaps.” Meaning where a professor was ambiguous, use a study aid to clarify. With that being said, it’s best to sample study aids to see what suits your study style. Remember you’re not alone on this journey, use study aids to reach your goal and crush your exams!

Time Management Suggestions for 2Ls+

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Image from Google

By Maggie Garrett, Fall 2019 Reference GRA

We’ve hit the Mid-Year Slump!

Things we forget from first-year but are still wildly important.

  • Make a schedule;
  • Complete class readings;
  • Organize class notes by topic (for future outlining);
  • Review each class; and
  • Quiz yourself throughout the semester.

After making it out of your first year of law school alive it may be tempting to ignore, or at least avoid, the academic commitments listed above. Especially if you were lucky enough to perform well. But – don’t sleep on schoolwork. It will pile up, stress you out, and 2L coursework is no joke.

But if your goal was to keep up from day one, and you happened to fall behind, don’t worry. Just move forward. Get a friend’s notes, meet with your professor, make a time-management plan or checklist – but the most important thing is not falling further behind. Don’t let a cycle begin where you try to “catch up” but don’t have time to keep up. Personally, I like to make a weekly check-list. If I don’t get to something, I note what I missed. When finals arrive I just remind myself that I need to review those things more closely.

Remember, balance is key my friend. Remember balance? That thing they preached during first-year orientation (in a galaxy far, far away)? Yeah, it’s still very, very relevant. If you sacrifice time spent cooking, exercising, hanging with friends, or even Netflix-ing you will implode. Make room for these things, or you will regret it.

Also, hate to break it to you, but it’s time to make a finals game-plan. Or at least decide when you’d like to start and finish outlines. But keep in mind – these are just personal deadlines. No need to beat yourself up for not meeting a self-imposed deadline. Instead, just get an idea of when these things should be done to keep you somewhat on-track. This tip is meant to prevent anxiety, not create tension.

Feeling stressed because you’re “not doing enough?” Relax. We (2Ls) have three semesters to figure our futures out (sorry 3Ls). We have time. Don’t overextend yourself now or you’ll be burnt out.

And uh, guys – prioritize. We can do some things, but we can’t do all the things. Unless you happen to have a time-turner – in which case please @ me. Extracurricular activities and part-time jobs are solid resume builders but don’t sacrifice too much academic time. You’ll thank yourself later.

ALERT PROGRAM: SPRING 2020 LINEUP (UPDATE)

The spring ALERT program topics and dates:

ALERT Spring Update 1.29 Digital Sign (002)

What is the Alert Program?

ALERT (Applied Legal Experience, Research, & Technology) is a non-credit program that provides law students with additional opportunities outside of the College of Law’s curriculum to learn legal research and technology skills.

By completing the ALERT Program, students can demonstrate to potential employers that they have obtained practice-ready skills. Students will earn digital badges, as well as a certificate upon graduation at Awards Day. Students have their entire law school term to complete the program.

Levels of Completion:

With Distinction: Complete 6 Topics
With High Distinction: Complete 8 Topics
With Highest Distinction: Complete 10 Topics

For more information, or to RSVP please see http://lawlibrary.gsu.edu/services/alert-program/.

MLK Holiday, Library Hours and Display

The Law Library will be closed on Monday, January 20th, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. To learn more about the origins of the holiday, check out our post on the topic.

As the birthplace of Dr. King, Atlanta has many events planned where you can commemorate the holiday, including free events at the MLK National Historic Site and an MLK Day 5K Drum Run. Here are a few articles that list some things to do in the area:

If you’re wondering what’s open or closed during the holiday, here’s an article that might help: MLK Day 2020: Here’s What’s Open, Closed In Atlanta by Andrea V. Watson, Patch Staff.

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Last (but not least), be sure to drop by and check out our current display of resources about Dr. King just past the Reference Desk. We have multiple resources that you can check out, such as A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65, and Martin Luther King Jr. and the Morality of Legal Practice: Lessons in Love and Justice.

We hope you enjoy the holiday!

120 Days?

Flickr Photo by ChatWithMatt.com

As some students have come to realize their time is up, or more so their CampusID password’s time is up.

Georgia State requires its users (faculty included) to change their CampusID password every 120 days. The application of this time limit is unfortunate, to say the least. It means that students that changed or created their account passwords in mid-August—say at the beginning of the fall semester—found their CampusID password expiring in the middle of December. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of anything going on in December that might cause a problem. Oh, I almost forgot students were taking finals in December. Silly me.

Please avoid the headache and panic of learning your CampusID password has expired at an inopportune time. Before finals come back around, take a moment and change your password now or when you are procrastinating studying for that next exam. Directions on how to change your CampusID password can be found here.

Your new passwords must:

  • Be between 10-32 characters in length
  • Start with a letter
  • Not be one of your previous passwords
  • Contain at least one lower case letter, upper case letter, and a number
  • Not contain one of the following characters: @ / () “ * ‘

It makes it awfully difficult. For help on creating a strong password take a look at these sites:

McAfee
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Finally do not forget to update your CampusID and password on your various devices, e.g. laptop, mobile phone, tablet, etc. Some directions on updating devices can be found here.

CampusID accounts allow students to sign in to the majority of the online systems at Georgia State University including Campus Email, PAWS, iCollege, and InsideLaw.

Winter Break!

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Starting Saturday, December 21, 2019, the Law Library will be closed until January 6, 2020, for Winter Break.  The Law Library reopens on Monday, January 6, 2020, at 8 am.

Winter Break/Spring Semester Hours:

  • Thursday, December 19, 2019 – Friday, December 20, 2019:  8am – 5pm
  • Saturday, December 21, 2019 – Sunday, January 5, 2020: Closed
  • Monday, January 6, 2020 – Friday, January 10, 2020:  8am – 6pm
  • Saturday, January 11, 2020 – Sunday, January 12, 2020:  10am – 6pm
  • Monday, January 13, 2020: Spring Semester Begins, Regular Hours

For a complete list of library hours, including the list of hours we are open to the public, check the Law Library’s Hours.

Thanks for a great semester. If you’re looking for something to read during break, check out our post on winter reading suggestions!

We hope you all have a wonderful break!

Winter Break Reading Suggestions

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Finals are a stressful time for law students(Duh.)  I remember wishing in law school that I could just take a nap one day and wake up with the entirety of my finals season completed (with excellent grades on my exams of course.)  While that may not be possible, or probably healthy, it can be useful to look forward to the relaxing holiday break that is a few short weeks away.

For the first time in almost four months, you’ll probably have a little time on your hands.  You may want to sleep in or catch up with friends or family, or maybe, just maybe, read something for fun.  For this reason, we here at The Georgia State College of Law Library thought it might be fun to offer up a few non-law reading suggestions for winter break.  Here we go!

Patrick Parsons

Working  by Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel is maybe the most famous interviewer in American history.  He’s interviewed thousands of people and ran a longstanding interview program on WFMT Chicago between 1952 and 1997.  He also wrote a number of oral histories detailing everyday people’s accounts of World War II, The Great Depression, and in this case, what they do to earn a living

Meg Butler

Bad Feminist  by Roxanne Gay

I recommend Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. Although it is not read by the author, I enjoyed it as an audiobook. In addition to providing a thought-provoking and self-aware narrative, Gay has a gift for description. One of my favorite parts is the chapter describing her relationship with Scrabble. I checked this out from the library (afpls.org) and will return when I’m done! It’s also available in print form if you want to request it through GSU.) If you prefer fiction over essays, I recommend her collection of short stories Difficult Women.

Cassandra Patterson

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough. In Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

Terrance Manion

Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

– coincidentally was named Entertainment Weekly’s Best Fantasy of the Decade just the other day

The Hike by Drew Magary –

“a surprisingly rewarding piece of fiction ”

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

” stirring in that it is both troubling and hopeful” (which in all honestly I read at the behest of my wife who works for a non-profit organization whose platform includes international women and girl empowerment programs)

Movies and Other Things by Shea Serrano

is like arguing with your buddies (who know a lot more about film than you) at a bar and letting the debate go do whatever tangent the person who bought the last round wants.

Gerard Fowke

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

With a propulsive murder plot set in an insular academic environment during a season of bitter cold, Donna Tartt’s The Secret History is clearly the perfect diversion for any law student on winter break.