Now, as you might know, legal education is a difficult task to perform. Many students don’t know where to start, how to start, and where to end. We are here to help you with that. In this article, we have listed down some of the most important and useful resources that will help you achieve success. So, without any further ado, let’s begin.
There are a lot of resources out there, and you’re going to try to use them all. But what are the ones that make the biggest difference in law school? What’s worth spending your time on? What will make your life a little bit easier? Pick one or two of these and you’ll be ahead of the game.
Use a physical paper planner or a digital one, including Google Calendars and Microsoft Outlook. There can be a difference between an exam where you know what you’re going to study and spend half the time flipping through your outline trying to figure out what’s next and one where your sink into procrastination.
Good folders have tabs and pockets. You can use them to their benefit. Write down all of your assignments, and put them in the appropriate pocket. Some students are homebodies and don’t go to class too much, and you can’t go wrong with a good folder for organizing that work as well.
Microsoft Office. Word, Excel, Outlook. Buy the download student version for cheap and get Office 365 while you’re at it.
- If you use a Mac for legal research, get an app like Parallels or VMWare Fusion so that you can run Microsoft Office on your Mac as well (be advised: you can do this for free if you are using a Windows Live Email account).
- If you’re using Word, learn about Styles. You can make words that insert drop caps at the start of each chapter, or indents on every paragraph. Learn to use tables and columns in Excel to Organize your outline.
- Use OneNote (if you have a Microsoft device) or Evernote (crowd-favourite) to capture any other information or notes from your classes.
Law Review/Moot Court/Journal Club
You won’t get on Law Review if you don’t try. Get comfortable with using a laptop for law school. If you have a professional-grade laptop, you might as well get Office 365 and buy the Student Academic edition so that you can use the cloud to store your documents (check out Microsoft OneDrive for free storage).
Set a goal of doing at least one law review each semester. Consider it part of your grade; if you get on, it’s worth more than an hour per week in class. Stay up to date with the decisions of the Supreme Court, appellate courts, trial courts in your state, and any other case law that is relevant to your courses.
For Moot Court, get a laptop with a good microphone, make sure Skype and Google Docs are working on it. Plan to spend an extra hour per week on this in addition to any class time you have (but don’t make it more than 1-2 hours per day. Don’t burn out).
And if you get involved with a journal, look at their website for instructions on the submission process. Generally, you’ll be asked to submit original research through an online system. Look for one (or more) of these:
- Lexis, Westlaw & Bloomberg Law (online versions of the primary legal research databases used by lawyers).
- Blackbook or Casemaker (If you have access to either or both… use it.).
Runners Up for Resources:
- Free Resources – the whole internet is at your fingertips if you have a laptop and access to the internet. You’ll need to use the library for more serious research, but there are a lot of free resources out there that can help you along your way. Start with these:
- Aids (on the web or in print) – These are like Cliff’s Notes, but online. Web-based study aids save you the time of printing them out, and they’re pretty good at getting to the heart of what’s important. You should look into them… just put in the effort to make sure they’re right before you cite them as a source in class.
- Class Notes – Some students take awesome notes and others don’t. If you’re the former, you’re going to want to get some of these.
- Course Reading List – I’m sure there’s someone who writes a legal blog, but if not, check out this list and see what catches your eye. A lot of the books are on sale on Amazon; look for them when they go on sale (at least 10% off).
- Cheap Resources – If you’re strapped for cash and need to save your money, try searching for free online resources. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a free PDF copy of the casebook, for example. Otherwise, here are some other options:
- Harmon Case Briefs – a free database of case briefs for most major law schools available by subject matter. They have practice questions and supplemental materials available as well.
- Open Access Law Books – A lot of these are out of print, but they are still in copyright and freely available on the web (they might be on Amazon, but their prices tend to be high). When you’re ready to cite something, look it up in Google Scholar or another public domain database and give them credit.
As a law student, there are a lot of things that you need to do. If you are wondering where to go to find a list of resources that will help you succeed as a law student, then you came to the right place! We hope you enjoyed our article about some of the best resources every law student in India needs for achieving success in law school.