New Year, New Resources

As a writing fellow for the 1L class, one of the questions I get asked the most often is how I prepared for finals my first year. This is almost never the question I answer… mostly because it is an unhelpful one. I prepared for finals my first semester of 1L year largely by forgetting to eat, crying at least once a day, and refusing to wear shoes while at school. Yeah, not exactly role model of the year. So, instead, the question I normally try to answer is: What resources do you wish you had known about during your first semester of law school that you know about now? There are so many resources available to law students that it is easy for some of them to get lost in the shuffle. Here is a list of 5 things I wish I had taken advantage of my first year and how to access them.

 

Audio Lectures – West Library App

One of the hidden gems of the BU Law Library website is the section devoted to audio study aids. These study aids are typically an overview of the major topics in any doctrinal class. When I first heard about them during my 1L year, my first thought was, of course, “I already have so much to do. When am I going to find time to listen to extra class?” But that’s the great thing about audio lectures! You can fit them in at any point of your day. Whether you have a long commute to school, or you need something to listen to at the gym, or you want something to put you right to sleep, the audiobooks are available. Plus, West has an app (“The West Academic Library App”), which means you can access the audiobooks no matter where you go. It is a FREE mobile app for use on any Apple or Android device. The Mobile app allows you to read, highlight and take notes or listen to audio lectures while offline (without an internet connection). Simply to go the BU Law Library website, select “audio study aids,” click it the one you want, log into West Academic, and click “make available offline” for any lecture!

 

Pre-Made Flashcards

I’ve been surprised by the number of 2Ls who do not know about the doctrinal flashcards in the course reserve at the library. These short hypotheticals are a great way to practice applying skills for your doctrinal class. Each specific card can be hit or miss sometimes, given that all doctrinal classes cover different things, but they’re a fun alternative to practice tests, as well as something you can do with friends! Check the course reserves for them! Having trouble finding them? Ask a librarian – another fantastic resource.

 

Questions & Answers Books

If you’re like me and you are profoundly awful at multiple choice but also facing down a partial multiple choice final, Q&A books might just be your best friend. These books are available on the BU Law Library website. Simply type “BU Law Library Study Aids” into your Google browser, find the page, then click “study aids by series,” and select “Questions and Answers.”

 

Professors

As a 2L who had the fabulous Gary Lawson for Property last year as well as Evidence this year, and also used his fabulous Administrative Law textbook, I have come to realize how knowledgeable and overall phenomenal the BU Law faculty is. Gary Lawson is just one example of a teacher at BU Law who is happy to field any question you have about any law school class at any time, provided he thinks he can give a good answer to the question. If not, he’ll simply forward you on to someone else who can answer your question. I personally asked Professor Lawson a million questions about Administrative Law before and after Evidence class, and he never hesitated to make time for me. Take advantage of your professors, the knowledge they have to share, and the dedication they give to sharing it. We’re lucky to have them. Before class, after class, in office hours – use every opportunity.

 

Behavioral Medicine

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, I can’t stress enough how easy it is to get in touch with Behavioral Medicine. If you’re a 1L reading this post and you want someone with whom you can discuss this option, do not hesitate to reach out. Everyone gets stressed at points, at the staff at Behavioral Medicine are well-familiar with the struggles of law students. Counseling is free for graduate students. Simply call 617-353-3569 and set up your appointment!

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