Nov 2013

As a law student (and future legal professional), try as you might, you won’t be able to avoid all that reading. As such, many people will tell you that if you don’t like reading, you’re not going to enjoy being a lawyer. Although I see what might be meant by this comment, I have to disagree. I love to read but I don’t always (if ever) love reading cases, legislation and other legal materials. What I have realised, perhaps far too late in my journey through law school, is that reading for law is a different story to reading for pleasure.

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy being captivated and drawn into the world of a good book and although some cases can be just as captivating (my inner law nerd showing himself) reading cases like novels is not an efficient way to study or work. So to help you out, I’ve put together a list of questions and helpful tips to assist you to read more efficiently and effectively.

Oct 2013

With so many assignments to do each semester, it’s easy for all those resources to get into a funky mess if you don't keep them in check. Academic misconduct is the last thing you want to have marked against your name at the end of your degree, so how do you avoid accidental plagiarism and manage your resource efficiently?

One of the worst things about doing an assignment is getting to the end rushing to footnote, only to realise that you’ve now forgotten where many of the quotes and ideas came from. When you start an assignment, work out how you will keep your resources and references organised. I'm a big fan of EndNote or any referencing software. Reference software seems like a hassle when you first start to use it, but in the long run it saves you time and reduces your errors.

Regardless of whether you use software or have another method, here are three steps that can help you to keep track of all those resources…

Oct 2013

We all know how it goes. You sit down at your desk, open your subject guide and tell yourself, “I am going to do all my readings, write that assignment, and update my notes today. I am going to be so productive!” Then you turn to your laptop and see that Facebook is open, and somehow the next 50 minutes disappear.

In the absence of strange smelling herbal teas and fish oil tablets, what are some things you can do to help improve your concentration?

Oct 2013

It's halfway through the semester. If you're the average law student, you're probably a bit behind on the readings, you have barely started your summary notes and haven't even thought about attempting practice problems. Then you see your exam timetable, and all hell breaks loose. You may be in a situation like I found myself in this semester, with two consecutive exams on two very different areas of law right at the beginning of the exam period.

My first reaction was anger and despair. How can the people who organise the exam timetables be so sadistic? How can they not realise that these units are usually taken concurrently? It maybe tempting to wallow in self pity but that definitely won't get you ready to take on the exam timetable from hell. So here are a few tips for handling the nightmare of a bad exam schedule…

May 2014

Although law students have a knack for legal things, our real talent is procrastination. We put things off until tomorrow, and if we can avoid doing something altogether, even better.

A little bit of procrastination is normal but when you’re consistently trying to do your class readings in the tutorial you should’ve prepared for earlier, maybe it’s time to change your habits.

Here are a few tips for beating procrastination…

Jul 2014

The first thing we all noticed about law school was the readings: hundreds of pages that take hours to get through each week. What if you could dramatically increase your reading speed and have more time to watch bad reality TV each night?

When we read our eyes normally dart back and forth across the page, often re-reading words and phrases. Training your eyes to scan each line of text smoothly is the secret to improving your reading speed. Here’s how you do it...


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