Friday, December 20, 2013

Ten-Minute Break

By Nareen, 1L

Yup, I am using a whole five minutes out of my ten-minute study break on YOU! Just wanted to drop a few lines, and share my stress and anxiety. No biggie. :-) 

Two final exams down, two to go! In approximately 118 hours I will have my freedom back. I can actually see the light now...a few days ago it seemed impossible! I’m going to have to be honest with you though—the rumors are true—first year law school exams will be the most difficult time of your life. I don’t know how I managed to not get dumped and not get kicked out of the house.

Actually, I know how…the pity card. It works miracles! My friends and family feel so bad for me that they’re willing to do anything to accommodate my law school insanity. It’s kind of great. So I guess there is a plus side to all of this. Well, you’ll see me on the other side a new and improved woman! Here are the 3 things I’m looking forward to the most…

1. Movies

2. Dressing up (with a little less attitude)

3. And of course, the beautiful holidays

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Staying Sane during Law School Finals: It Can be Done

By Gillian, 3L

Everyone has their own study strategy – and I won’t bore you with mine right now – but what I will share is how to stay sane during the period between Thanksgiving and when that last final is over. 

This finals period I'm all about the
gingerbread lattes and the peppermint cake pops.
Keep Your Routine As Much As Possible
I remember getting this piece of advice from a 2L mentor when I was a 1L – during finals, try to keep to your normal routine as much as possible. If you read a novel every night before you fall asleep, keep doing that and don’t feel like you need to replace it with your Civil Procedure flashcards. Exercise is my big thing, so I make sure I still break a sweat 5-6x a week during finals. Having a small amount of “you” time will go a long way during finals.

Build in fun breaks
During finals, my friends and I spend way more time in the library than normal – but one thing we started doing during 1L (and have kept doing ever since) is we take an afternoon Starbucks break every day. The 10 minute walk over to LA Live’s Starbucks is the perfect break - we get our legs moving, and come back refreshed, caffeinated, and ready to knock out another practice test. It sounds silly, but having something to look forward to every day is huge – and it reminds you that there’s a world outside of the LLS library.

Study-break last year to check out the tree
at LA Live.
Allow yourself a small celebration after every exam.

Catch your breath after every exam. During 1L, you will have four exams your first semester – and it is easy to think you need to finish one and immediately head back into the library to continue studying for the next one. I have found that taking a few hours off to grab a meal (or a beer depending on the time of day) goes a long way in keeping me sane and charged to power through the next one. Luckily, Yardhouse is also at LA Live and that has become the go-to place for my friends and me post-exam.
Cheersing to a successful evidence final with my friends Connor
and Black at the end of 2L.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest blog: Law Review at Loyola

By Andrew, 2L

Law review is one of the most unique law school experiences. The process begins with the write-on competition where students read 150-200 pages of source material on a specific topic and use that material to compose a 10-page article. This 10-page article is then read by the current law review staff who decide whether to extend an offer based on the quality of the writing. Seems simple enough, except you only get 10 days to complete the assignment, and the entire process is immediately on the heels of a brutal 1L finals period. It’s really as much a test of your stamina as it is a test of your analytical skills or writing ability.

As my first semester on Loyola Law Review winds down, I feel fortunate to have been chosen, and I feel that I am learning and developing from this experience. Each semester law review staffers are required to produce a 25-30 page note about a legal topic. I have chosen to write about the conflict against al Qaeda and its classification under international law, a topic that really interests me. Being on law review has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with a professor who is an expert in the field of international law and produce an article on a topic that I am deeply passionate about. 

One of the best parts is the potential for publication. Each semester, several students’ notes are chosen for publication. Beyond that, students can seek out other avenues to publish their articles. For example, I recently had an article published on the Jurist, a leading source of legal news. I encourage everyone to complete the write-on competition because choosing to join law review is a decision you will not regret!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Finals week = not the end of the world.

By Jessica, 2L

For this entry, I have decided to write about finals at Loyola, because that is what is on my mind right now. Before you assume this is going to be an I-hate-life-get out-while-you-can type post and stop reading, let me assure you that it is not. Don’t get me wrong, finals suck and they are stressful but they’re not the end of the world. It’s not like you didn’t know you were going to have finals, it is law school after all. But there are some silver linings to the rain cloud that is finals. 

First, I have come to appreciate (and by appreciate, I mean rely on) the free coffee that the Student Body Association provides to us. There’s also tea for the two people that don’t drink coffee (that’s a joke; I’m sure plenty of people drink the tea also). Along with that, the Student Body Association also gave out free fruit this year. That’s good since many students have been surviving on diets of fried potato products, pre-packaged meals, and McDonald’s. 

Lately Los Angeles has been hit with an out of character cold front and it has been unseasonably cold. For people that are not from Southern California, that means highs in the 40s to 50s. I know this is a joke to most of the country, but our coats are for show, not warmth. We wear boots for the fashion statement they make and no other reason. I do not own water-proof clothes or shoes. When it’s that cold we just don’t know how to function. It’s been quite a fashion show here at the library. I have, however, been thankful for being able to come to campus instead of huddling in a corner of my apartment for warmth (because I’m obviously too cheap to turn on my heater).

In case you didn’t know, Loyola is walking distance from LA Live.  So when I’m putting in 12 hours at the library (sad but true) I don’t feel at all guilty about taking a 2 hour dinner break to go to happy hour. It’s important to keep your sanity after all. Plus, last week, when I went there they were setting up for the Hunger Games premiere and I felt super fancy!

In all, no one likes finals but I have been able to make the best of it at Loyola. You’ll be mentally exhausted and non-law school things will seem irrelevant, but I feel that’s true anywhere. At least here you get free coffee, central heating, happy hour, and feeling fancy. That’s gotta be hard to beat.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Learning by Doing

By Yungmoon, 2E

I feel pretty confident in asserting that law school fosters the scientific phenomena otherwise known as time warp. I swear that I was just in my first week of lectures, blinked twice, and am now in my last week of class. While the fact that the weather in August is remarkably similar to the weather in November, these past three months cannot have gone by eventless. So, what really happened during Fall semester?
Just another sunny 70-degree November afternoon on-campus.
 First, I survived my first semester as Evening Student Bar Association ("ESBA") President. Among other things, ESBA hosted a networking panel and mixer with evening division alumni, implemented a student mentor/mentee program, and organized separate events for each class year. One of the things that really struck me about ESBA is how many funding requests we received from clubs. If you check out our Student Events Calendar, the sheer magnitude of on-campus extra-curriculars that happen every single day is staggering.

Next, I was able to start mediating at The Center for Conflict Resolution ("CCR"). In total, I participated in four mediations with a co-mediator. Besides gaining practical legal experience such as learning about eviction and divorce, I gained invaluable experiential practice by calling parties, communicating with very emotional people, and thinking on my feet during mediations. Above all else, the staff at CCR was wonderful - they truly mentored the student volunteers by providing guidance and encouragement. It has been a wonderful two semesters for me at CCR, topped off by impromptu ice cream on my last day from my amazing supervisor, Matias. Yum!!