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SAReimer

Recommendations of items - What should I buy to make my law school experience better?

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Hi everyone,

I've been trying to determine some of the items that law students would consider to be useful or even necessary for a smooth law school experience. I figure that I'll need things like a good laptop and maybe a well fitted suit but aside from that does anyone have any recommendations?

It could be anything from a worthwhile pricey splurge to a 5 dollar item that makes life a little easier. I look forward to your feedback!

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Buy a book stand. Metal, wood, doesn't matter. They make them for iPads too if you're an all-digital type of person. 

It's a nice quality of life upgrade to have something to prop up whatever you're reading at eye level so you don't have to hunch over your desk.

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If youre buying a laptop/tablet, make sure its compatible with your school's exam software (assuming you intend to write your exams electronically).

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2 hours ago, beyondsection17 said:

A good and sturdy wine rack.

When I was in law school, I drank it as fast as I bought it.  No need for a rack.

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Posted (edited)

Here are somethings you can do for free; some seem like common sense, or things that one would have tackled in UG, but that may not be the case so I'm offering them up here:

1. get a professional looking Gmail account (e.g., [email protected]); [email protected] doesn't look great on a resume. 

2. make an exercise routine, and you don't need to lift weights or start triathlon training; going for 30 min walk every night will a lot for your fitness and mental well being, and will make you perform better at school.

3. clean up your social media, and make a very simple LinkedIn account (don't add every job you've ever had and don't list all the clubs you joined in UG); ppl will google you.

4. learn how to make a few healthy meals; making a veggie chili on sunday night and freezing it for easy lunches and dinners will save you lots of time and lots of money. also, you'll be eating healthy.

5. make monthly budgets to help keep your debt low (and budget for fun stuff, whatever that is for you - video games, drinks with friends, a ski pass, whatever)

6. make your eye/dental/dr. appointments now; figure out if your school has a health plan you can use and actually plan to use it. most ppl don't do this and then go three years without getting checkups that they should get.

Edited by conge
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21 hours ago, conge said:

Here are somethings you can do for free; some seem like common sense, or things that one would have tackled in UG, but that may not be the case so I'm offering them up here:

1. get a professional looking Gmail account (e.g., [email protected]); [email protected] doesn't look great on a resume. 

Is there any difference between gmail and hotmail? I have a professional looking hotmail account that I've used for about 8 years now. Is gmail really that much better? 

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19 minutes ago, sucheese said:

Is there any difference between gmail and hotmail? I have a professional looking hotmail account that I've used for about 8 years now. Is gmail really that much better? 

Professional looking or hotmail account.

Pick one. 

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Get photos developed of good friends and family and buy a couple cheap frames. It will make your next digs feel more like home. 

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A good credit card. If you don't have one or are using one that gets you virtually no benefits now is a good time to change that.

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Noise canceling headphones were my best friends (and seemed to be popular amongst students at my law school)

i also endorse the book stand recommendation. Look on amazon 

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Book stand 100%. Good (not necessarily expensive) pens. Comfortable (read: expensive) dress shoes. 

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Echoing book stand and noise cancelling headphones. I also got an ergonomic seat cushion for my desk chair at home, a foot rest/stand (I’m really short so my feet don’t touch the ground when I sit in a chair properly), and a dual monitor. I work really well from home so setting up my “home office” was a godsend. Having a dual monitor was really good for putting together CANs and saving my eyeballs from my 12 inch laptop screen. 

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for everyone recommending book stands, is it so you don’t have to hunch over the book while reading or typing notes from it? Does it really make that much of a difference?

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Posted (edited)

@bigfudge2017 For me the biggest difference is having your computer screen and the book fully* in your field of vision simultaneously, so that you can switch from looking at the book to looking at the screen by moving only your eyes. I've also noticed that books lying flat on a table tend to produce glare from table or ceiling lamps, especially those with glossy pages. Finally,  most book stands will hold the book open to your selected page.

However, I find it a bit more challenging to neatly underline a book on a stand than one lying flat on a table.

Edited by Pete
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2 hours ago, whoknows said:

Good (not necessarily expensive) pens. 

Unibal 207s in .5mm are my go-to, those things write so incredibly nicely for a mostly cheap ballpoint, gel ink is amazingly rich on the page. Also highlighers. I absolutely hate highlighting in books, but I found them necessary when writing exams.

Buy your own printer. You'll end up shelling out a lot when printing outlines on campus, and this way you get the convenience of doing it at home.

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7 hours ago, RNGesus said:

Unibal 207s in .5mm are my go-to, those things write so incredibly nicely for a mostly cheap ballpoint, gel ink is amazingly rich on the page. Also highlighers. I absolutely hate highlighting in books, but I found them necessary when writing exams.

Buy your own printer. You'll end up shelling out a lot when printing outlines on campus, and this way you get the convenience of doing it at home.

I don’t think I used a single pen in school lol. Exaggeration, but I remember not having a pen/paper the rare time I did need to draw out a diagram. 

What are people writing by hand (assuming you also use a laptop)?

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Not for law school, but before. Get all your dental work, eye work, physio, and whatever else you need done to your failing body parts before (or soon starting if you want to take advantage of your school's health plan if it has one).

A written planner. Writing stuff down in a planner is a good way to remember deadlines - more so than an electronic planner.

I'll echo the printer sentiment and add that a scanner is good as well (a feed-scanner, not just a plate glass photo scanner). Even if you don't print your readings I would say enough job opportunities and other miscellaneous stuff arises that the scanner printer combo at home is still a good choice. For example, getting all the shit together to send in to the law society in third year.

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