I’m On Campus and I Want Food!

Now that you are a month into the semester, you might be looking for some new dining options. You’re studying hard, spending long hours on campus, the student organization kick-offs that provide free food are dwindling, and you may be tired of the cuisine available within walking distance or in the law school. You could walk to your car, fight traffic, and drive in search of food more suitable to your palette, but with the study hours required for law school, ain’t nobody got time for that!

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by Jean Fortunet

There is a solution for bored taste buds. Downtown Atlanta is a foodie’s heaven. Although all of the tasty meals may not be in walking distance, the COL’s urban location offers a variety of delivery options. In fact, there are so many options that the delivery services compete with each other by offering discounts (sometimes FREE) delivery on initial orders, and many offer referral fees. Plan your meals as carefully as you craft a legal memo in Lawyering Foundations, and you may eat cheap for a few weeks!

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Event Management System: A New Way to Host Events

One of the College of Law’s numerous informative events put together by student organizations last year. This panel was organized by the American Constitution Society and discussed the passing of Justice Scalia.

by Veselin Simonov

If you are not a part of a student organization or club – then what are you waiting for?! The College of Law has over 25 different student organizations and one of them will surely catch your eye! From constitutional law to labor and employment – we have it all and you can check them out here.

If you are already part of a student organization, chances are your board will want to set up an event. To do that, you would need to reserve a room. Room reservations were previously done via email, however the College of Law recently began handling room reservations through the Online Event Management System (EMS). EMS is a simple, hassle-free way to reserve lecture halls and event space for speaker and panel-style events. This system is not for reserving library study rooms – you will still have to do that at the fifth floor desk or online.

To access EMS, go to the Events tab on InsideLaw. If you choose Internal Calendar, it will show you everything occurring in the College of Law on a particular day, including all the classes. If you choose Public Calendar, it will show you more typical “events,” like programs put on by CSO or by student organizations. To access EMS, select “Add an Event”. If you have not used the system before, you will have to submit an access request. You will typically receive permission to access the system within 24-36 hours of your request.

Once you have been granted access, you can request a room by going to “Reservations”. This will take you to a scheduling page where you need to enter some basic details about your event like date, time, expected attendance, etc. Once you complete your search, simply select a room from those shown as available and complete the booking (which formally requests permission to use the room). If you encounter any problems with the system, please contact College of Law staff by emailing lawevents@gsu.org.

Tips for Tackling Your First Semester of Law School

By Colleen Hampton

The first semester of the 2016-17 school year is underway and the building is buzzing with a special kind of caffeine-induced energy.  It’s the energy that comes with a fresh crop of 1L’s. Welcome to this wild, overwhelming world of legal education. 1L hell, as some call it, can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be the end of life as you know it.

Life in law school is all about balance and GSU COL has helpful resources to assist you in finding the ideal balance. Here are some helpful tips from those who survived 1L hell:

  1. Do your reading. Being prepared is a pretty big deal in law school (okay, it’s the biggest deal).  I wish I had a sassy quip to make light of this one but, no. It’s simply unprofessional to show up to class without having done the reading.  Read your cases.
  2. Start outlining earlier. You don’t have to know how the black letter law fits together in order to outline. Use your syllabus or table of contents in your book to begin. Both should have a useful framework in which you can insert your notes. This will help tremendously when November rolls around and exams are looming over you.
  3. Attend the Academic Success lectures. This law school stuff is new to you and that’s okay. Professor Kerew’s Academic Success Program includes a series of lectures covering subjects from ‘study groups’ to ‘exam strategies’ and everything in between. You can find the schedule for the Academic Success lectures on inside law.
  4. Take care of yourself. This is an absolute must. You are working hard to develop the discipline necessary to hack it in law school but don’t forget to recharge your batteries (yes, even if it means you take a break from reading). The Mindfulness in Law Society offers advantage of the Mindfulness Wednesdays beginning in September as well as Yoga classes on Wednesday morning (beginning September 20th from 7:20-8:20) and Tuesday afternoon (beginning September 21st from 4:30-5:30).  Contact Austin Charles, President of the Mindfulness in Law Society, for more information at austincharles08@gmail.com.
  5. Find a study group. Studying with others is important for a lot of students. Finding the right group may take time and that’s okay. When you found your study group start meeting sooner than you think necessary. Use your time to run over questions you have from the reading or discuss hypos from one of the study aids in the library. Working together early (before the exam crunch) will help you find the group that works best for you and give you a solid foundation when the panic of exams sets in.

Ultimately, there is no ‘right’ way to law school. Everybody learns differently and has different needs. If you are neck deep in your first semester of law school it can feel pretty overwhelming but do not despair. Try your hand at some of these suggestions, we hope they are helpful. Know that law school is survivable. You can do this.

Survived 1L hell? What worked for you? Share you tips and tricks with the incoming class.

 

 

 

We Also Have Fun and Games!

Grab some friends and have some fun!

by Veselin Simonov

Have you had a long study session recently? Have you been stressed out about classes? Do you feel like you would rather eat your casebook than read another long, complicated case? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you may have fallen victim to a particularly nasty case of study fatigue.

But fret not, intrepid soon-to-be legal scholars! If you’re looking for a fun remedy that’s close at hand, then look no further than the fifth floor library desk! Believe it or not, we’ve got stuff that’s even more entertaining than study aids and flash cards (though those certainly come in handy for exam prep!). We also have a selection of wonderful board and card games and we welcome you to grab some friends and try them out!

Feel like a nice, relaxing game of chess? We’ve got you covered! Chess not your cup of tea? You can use the board with the checkers set that’s also included! Or maybe you and a few friends would like to play some bridge. No problem – just check out a deck of Bicycle playing cards. We’ve got other card games too. Apples to Apples will entertain a crowd of 4 to 10 players. Or you could give something like Uno or Phase 10 a shot. Think you can beat all your friends at Dominoes? Just rent out the library set and show them what you’re made of! Would you rather dust off your vocabulary skills? Then grab our Scrabble set and check out a dictionary while you’re at it. And if cribbage is more your game, then you are in the right place!

There are plenty of ways to beat stress in law school. Board and card games are an especially effective method. They are fun, social activities that will build bonds with your classmates and help you relax after a brutal day of critical thinking and learning new legal concepts. We hope you consider putting this valuable library resource to good use!

The 2016 Presidential Race: A Chance for History

By John Evans

If you are anything like me, right now two sets of stories dominate your social media feeds; stories of the Olympics and stories about the presidential elections. With the Olympics already receiving a blog post, I figured I will focus on the presidential election.  What is a possible implication of the Electoral College?

 

1908The 12th amendment to the Constitution of the United States changed the Electoral College and in part established that in the event no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representative shall choose the president from the top three candidates. However, each state only gets one vote.

As of 8/15 the fivethiryeight.com forecasts Clinton receiving 322 votes and Trump receiving 216. 270 electoral votes are needed for a majority. If Trump is able to rally and win back Florida and North Carolina that would change the totals to Clinton 278 and Trump 260.

But what happens when a third party candidate breaks up the two party political monopoly?  The only candidate currently running who seems to have any chance would be Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party.  To stage this upset, Johnson would only need to take away 9 electoral votes from Clinton. Johnson’s home state, New Mexico, holds 6 votes and the “Free State Project”–New Hampshire–holds 4 more.  If Johnson wins these two states the final tally would be Clinton 268, Trump 260 and Johnson 10.  The election would then move to the House.

Many people, at this point, would say that the idea of a third party candidate winning even one state is impossible and not worthy of any analysis. However Gary Johnson may be the first third party Candidate even allowed to debate in modern history. Presidential debates are planned and sponsored by The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).  The FEC requires the CPD to choose the participants in the debates based on “pre-existing, objective” criteria.

The CPD’s criteria: “[c]onstitutionally eligible … appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations.”

Historically, many third party choices have met the first two criteria and are held out by the third.  Johnson has recently received his own bump in the polls.

Johnson media attention has also been significant, including large articles in Politico and Time Magazine. This additional media attention could lead to a last big push to the 15% mark and get Johnson on the big stage. Johnson could then use the momentum from getting into the debate to win some electoral votes.

With the likelihood the republicans retaining the house, and the unpopularity of Trump among house republicans, who knows the outcome.

 

WANTED: Class of 2016 Student Commencement Speaker

A speaker from the 2015 GSU Law Commencement

A speaker from the 2015 GSU Law Commencement

Calling all graduating 3Ls! Do you enjoy public speaking? Have you dreamed of giving the commencement address to your fellow classmates? Do you have something awe-inspiring to share? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE.

SBA is seeking applications from 3Ls who will be graduating this May to represent our class as the student commencement speaker. If you’re interested (and you should be), email your resume and a short description of what you would talk about if you were chosen to speak (a few paragraphs) to Dean Timmons (kctimmons@gsu.edu).

The deadline for submission is Wednesday, April 6. That’s tomorrow! So, take this afternoon and tonight to gather your thoughts and sum up your law school experience at GSU. What have the past three years meant to you? What do your classmates mean to you? What have you learned about yourself or the law along the way? Who would you like to thank for making this possible? We want to hear what you have to say!

Here’s Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde speech for some inspiration:

Summer Classes!

by Veselin Simonov

As summer veers ever closer, students – especially 1Ls – face the decision of whether to take classes during the summer. It’s a complicated issue and it’s ultimately up to how each individual student’s schedule shakes out. That said, here are some basic tips that might help you make up your mind.

  • To be a full time student in the summer and qualify for financial aid, you need at least six credit hours. That’s two three-credit courses.
  • If you’re doing a full time summer internship, it may prove tricky to reconcile that with your class schedule.
  • Luckily, the College of Law offers a variety of day and evening courses. There’s also a selection of online courses. This should offer you some flexibility when you’re figuring out your schedule.
  • If you’re participating in the externship program, those credits count towards the minimum you need to qualify for financial aid. That means that you can take an externship and only one class and still meet the six hour minimum.
  • You still have required courses as a 2L. Two of those are Constitutional Law I and Professional Responsibility. Both are offered over the summer. If you knock one of them out in the summer, that can leave you with more options to take electives in the fall and spring of your second year.
  • The College of Law has added some interesting new electives this summer. For example, there’s the mediation clinic and the brand new animal law course.
  • Be prepared for a somewhat more intense class experience. Because of the short time frame, courses are more condensed which means longer classes and potentially a denser workload.

If you’re still not sure whether you should take summer classes, try contacting your adviser or the faculty members teaching the courses you’ve got your eye on. They should be able to help you craft a schedule that makes sense.