Friday, October 31, 2014

TGIF, Happy Halloween

I hope y'all have had a great week! Here's a quick look at mine!

1. New Dresses

So I might have gone a little crazy on Sunday and ended up coming home with five new dresses. BUT they were all on sale, I mean I really would have been losing money if I hadn't bought them, right?


left | middle (I got this one in blue)| right 

2. Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Moonshine

Woah. I tried this combination on Friday night and it. was. delicious. If you can get your hands on some peppermint moonshine (yes, it's a thing), I highly suggest you give this a try. The combination of peppermint and chocolate definitely helps to take the bite out of the moonshine. I've definitely had my fair share, but I still can't drink it quite as smoothly as the boyfriend does.

3. JavaPro

I discovered JavaPro sometime this summer thanks to a friend and I am so glad I did. It is a protein powder that you can mix with your coffee. It has protein and caffeine, so combined with coffee it gives me a so much energy in the morning. I finally ran out of my supply, but I ordered a couple more bags of it from Amazon and they came in this week. I am back to full speed! (and more!)

4. Productivity 

After weeks of thinking I was going to start my outlines, the day has finally come. While it is certianly not my favorite part of the semester I am glad to get this process started. I've found over the past couple of years the hardest part is figuring out exactly how you want to organize the information and get started. Well, that part is done so the hardest part is behind me. (jk jk, I have plenty of challenges ahead of me) I'm hoping to get a post out soon about the process of outlining and different methods that have worked, or haven't worked, in the past.

5. It's Halloween!

Last weekend our law school had the annual Decedent's Ball and we missed it because of the football game, but luckily some of our friends are throwing a party tonight and I am so excited to go. I'm still not 100% sure what I'll be dressing up as - such a procrastinator - but I'm thinking Leslie Knope.

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How has your week been?

Have a Great Weekend, Y'all!
xoxo

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Favorite Fall Staples

As it starts to get cold I find it harder and harder to get dressed. I just want to throw on a pair of jeans and a sweater and be done, but sometimes even that just feels like too much effort. I know this sounds so lazy, but I'm going to associate part of these feelings with it corresponding with the end of the semester as well.

Despite not wanting to make the effort for whatever reason, I still refuse not to look at least somewhat put together on a daily basis. I've found that pairing a vest with almost any outfit can really make you look put together, and the same goes for a scarf. Even if it was something I just threw on, it makes it look like I tried. At least I think so, maybe no one is honest enough to tell me that I still look as exhausted as I feel. The best part about these pieces is that they add a warmth and layering factor, which can be especially important during this transitional weather.

I have also become obsessed with boots in the last few years. Maybe it's because prior to law school I was in South Carolina most of the time and the weather there was much warmer and there was less of a need for boots, or maybe I just didn't know what I was missing. Having a great pair or two of boots can make all the difference in the fall and winter. Not only do they look cute, but they can really help keep you warm as well!

Here are a few of my favorites: 

1|2|3|4|5
I like the idea of having some neutral scarves that go with everything as well as colorful ones to brighten up a dreary winter day. I tend to have a lot of color in my wardrobe already, so I've been "collecting" scarves that are neutral in color, but still have some kind of pattern or design to them, like the black chevron one. It will go with pretty much everything!
Check out some other great ways to style scarves here - Spotlight of the Week: Scarves


1|2|3|4|5
Like with scarves, I tend to be drawn toward neutrals when it comes to vests as well. This makes it ten time easier to just throw one on and not have to worry about if it's going to match whatever  you're wearing. 

1|2|3|4|5
When it comes to boots I pretty much stick the same style - just below the knee, and about the same color - a brown/cognacish color. I have the monogrammed boots featured here and pretty much wear them everyday. I really like the quilted ones as well, they look so nice and also so comfortable!
for more southern inspired posts check out Celebrate Southern
What are some of your favorite fall staples? 

Have a Great Day, Y'all! 
xoxo

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wear-to-Work Wednesday

If I haven't mentioned it already, y'all should know that I love shirt dresses. Love, as in I have no fewer than eight or ten of them. I just think they are so comfortable and versatile and can be dressed up or down. Because I have so many, it isn't uncommon to wear a couple in one week. I have two that are similar to the ones below. I like having navy as an option because it is neutral and let's me play with fun jewelry, but I also love to have colored options like the pink one to brighten up a Monday.

Now that the weather is cooling down, I pretty much always wear boots with these dresses, but in the summer and on warmer fall days they also look great with the sleeves rolled up and paired with flats. 

What is your favorite outfit to wear to work? 

Have a Great Day, Y'all!
xoxo

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Bucket List

I know, I know, it's been Fall for over a month now, but there is still plenty of Fall left to get your favorite Fall activities in. And, if you are dealing with the same weather that I am it doesn't even quite feel like Fall right now. I mean really, a high of 82 yesterday and 70 today? It is SO hard to dress for! 
Anyways, here are a few things I'm hoping to check off my bucket list this season - 

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Most of these are very traditional, but sometimes if I don't think about it in time I don't get to do it! Not only does Fall mean that we are approaching the big holiday season with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, but if you are a student of any kind it means exams are fast approaching. Doing some things on this list are a great way to take a break before and during exams to hold on to your sanity. 

What is on your Bucket List this season? 

Have a great day, Y'all!
xoxo

Friday, October 24, 2014

TGIF, go Vols!

Happy Friday, Y'all! This has been such a crazy week, but it has also been so great - let's get started!

1. Tailgates

When we were planning out which UK games and which UT games to go to we planned for mostly games at the beginning of the season so that we would have more time on the weekends as it got closer to exams to study. Well, this is the last game of the season for us and I am so excited about it! Not because it is the last, but because it is going to be so much fun. As you may have gathered from yesterday's post, I love tailgating. What's not to love? Great food, drinks, and company! This was the scene a few weeks ago -




2. Writing Requirement, almost Done!


I'm sure all law schools have some kind of writing requirement so those of you in law school are probably somewhat familiar with it. We have to write a paper that is about 6500 words, which works out to somewhere between 25 and 30 pages. Let me say, that is a lot of writing. I finally turned in a first full draft this week and it is such a relief!

3. My BareMinerals Arrived 


Way before (okay, a few years before) Birchbox and Ipsy and all of the other boxes were around I started getting my BareMinerals make up delivered to me. This was mostly out of necessity because there was not a Sephora or Bare Minerals store where I lived, but I have come to love it. Apparently some people don't know this even exists - even some of my friends who wear Bare Minerals - but it is great! Every 4 months, I receive the powder foundation, mineral veil and primer. I wear make up somewhat regularly, but I don't make my self late just to put it on. Every 4 months works great for me because of that, but you can also get it every 2 months or every 3 months if you wear makeup more frequently. Because I only get it ever 4 months it is always such a great surprise and my October shipment finally came this week :)


4. The Shopping Freeze is OVER


As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I put a self imposed spending freeze on myself. For no real reason I put this weekend as the dead line (it was over a month), and it is finally over! Sometimes I get in a routine of ordering a lot of things online or going shopping - what girl doesn't, right? So every now and then I just put a spending freeze on myself to force me to stop and think about what I actually want and what I actually need. Since it is over, it means I will probably be ordering this jacket verrrrry soon!

5. Payday!


I mean, let's be real - who doesn't love payday?? Lucky for me that my shopping freeze just happens to be over too!

How was your week?

Have a Great Weekend, Y'all!
xoxo

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tailgating Essentials

We're about halfway through the football season and I have already been responsible for four tailgates. "Responsible" makes it sound like a bad thing, let me clarify, I have already been able to enjoy planning four tailgates. Not to mention the dozens and dozens I have attended and planned in the past.
Let me tell you, it takes some planning, but it is all SO worth it. Here are a few things that I never go without.

Large Tote Bag or Basket

At some point I may include a true "Tailgating Checklist" which would include a lot of small things like napkins, forks, trashbags, etc. and you need somewhere to put all of those things. I have a big Lilly tote/cooler or an LL Bean tote that I usually stick to. I think the Large or Extra Large is ideal for the LL Bean totes, I use the Large and have never had to worry about having enough space. You need something that is big enough to hold all of the paper products and miscellaneous items you need as well as any day-of odds and ends you want to toss in. A bag or basket would be fine because ideally this will remain in or near the car, so it doesn't need to be super easy to carry or anything like that. Here are a few options that I think would be perfect.

1 | 2 | 3

Cooler

There are literally hundreds of coolers, but some are better than others. My boyfriend has a Yeti, well actually he has two, and we always use those. They are definitely on the more expensive end, but those suckers work. They work so well that we can actually pack the cooler the night before with ice and it will still be cold for the entire day of tailgating.
If we are going to grill and have frozen/cold food we try to take two coolers. It's not that I'm all that worried about cross contamination, but sometimes we just need the extra space.
I also have a Lilly tote cooler that I will occasionally put my champ and OJ in, mostly because I want to take any excuse I have to use it. Depending on what else we're bringing, sometimes this serves as our catch-all bag as well.

Hand Sanitizer

One Word. Port-a-Potties. Some do have that weird hand sanitizer foam in them, but that is not something you want to count on. This is one easy item to toss in your bag and one that you will definitely be glad you did!

Food

Recently we have been plagued with noon kick-offs which makes it much more difficult to plan food wise. Depending on how early we want to get up is really the deciding factor. Last year for the Tennessee-South Carolina game we were in Knoxville and started tailgating at 7am. This tailgate included breakfast sausage, biscuits, and hashbrowns - all on the grill - and it was great. One game this year we just picked up a couple dozen donuts and some beer cheese and that worked out fine as well.
When the game is set for a 3:30 or 7:30 kick-off it is much easier to plan out what kind of food and how much to bring. It is important to make sure you have enough food to go with all of the drinking that is probably going to occur. We always tend to overdo it on food, but I would much rather that be the case than to have too little.


Drinks

This is also something that definitely depends on what time the game starts/what time you want to start tailgating. As I mentioned, we have had a lot of noon game this year so I have been having a lot of mimosas and bellinis - no complaints here. We generally try to have a small variety of drinks, usually some beer and occasionally bourbon, but again, it really depends on the length of the tailgate.

Water 

Because duh. But seriously, you need to bring water or gatorade or something that isn't alcohol. This is good for hydration, but also sometimes you just want something else to drink and this is often forgotten when you are picking up things last minute.

Layers 

Tailgating and football games are an all day affair. At least in Kentucky, Tennessee, and most of the South that means the temperature can change by twenty degrees from the time you start tailgating to the time the game is over - especially towards the end of the season. Enter: layers. A vest will be your best friend. I have found that as long as it is not forecasted to be literally freezing, a vest is generally enough as long as you are dressed relatively warm otherwise.  It is so much easier to take a vest off and on when you get hot or cold and it is much lighter to carry around. Scarves can also be a key player in dressing for the day and keeping you warm when the sun is coming up and when the sun is going down.


Check out some other great southern traditions at: Celebrate Southern Link-Up!
What are your tailgate essentials?

Have a Great Day, Y'all!
xoxo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wear-to-Work Wednesday

I used to feel like I struggled on a daily basis with what I wanted to wear to work and/or school. I've recently started planning my outfits a few weeks out - sounds crazy, I know - and it has made so much of a difference.
I work in an office with two men, so it took me a while to figure out how to dress on the same "level" as a female. I'm starting a new series called "Wear-to-Work Wednesday" with a few of the outfits (or similar ones) that I wore to work that week. I'll do my best to link up the following items - please forgive me if I can't find the link.


I tend to have a love/hate relationship with pencil skirts, but right now I am totally in love.  A lot of my dresses are not geared towards cooler weather, and are less practical right now. However, a pencil skirt is so easy to pair with a long-sleeve shirt, an oxford, or a sweater and allow me to be totally comfortable all day. 


A black dress is also a great staple to have. I love one like this that is modest enough to wear without a cardigan if it is warm outside (or even in the office). 

What are some of your go-to items? 

Have a Great Day, Y'all!
xoxo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to Study More Efficiently

Make a Plan 

This might be the best advice that I've been given in terms of getting a good start on your studying. Make. A. Plan. Personally, I like to plan in increments of about 30 minutes because that is the most realistic way to do it. I don't mean only thirty minutes at a time, but there is no reason to decide you need 22 minutes to work on something, that is ridiculous.
That being said, when you make a plan it is easier to know what you need to do and what you have left to do. Like I mentioned in this post, there are plenty of times that you will have over or under estimated how much time you need for a particular task, but at least you have a basis of something to follow and you aren't spending time in between trying to decide what to work on next.


Set Goals

In keeping with the first tip, setting goals gives you an big picture idea of where you "need" at certain points. For general reading this could be a certain place in the book, or a certain number of cases. For outlining, you could set a goal of x amount of chapters for the day, or a certain day in your notes that you want to get through. If I have printed my notes out, I like to put tabs every so often and use those as my goals that I want to reach. The key to this is to set realistic goals. Trust me, it feels a lot better to set a relatively easy goal and exceed it rather than to set a far reaching goal and come short.

Organize Your Material 

Organizing your material can really help streamline your studying and outlining. I struggled initially with getting all of my information together before the semester was over, but as you know, or will know shortly, it is very important to start your outlining before classes are actually over. I think the best way to go about it is to print your notes through the day you start and then within your notes make some kind of notation like, "PRINTED THROUGH OCT. 20." That way when you print the rest of your notes at the end of the semester or some other time, you know where to start.
Doing these things will make sure you only have the material that you need and makes it easier to find what you need instead of wasting time filtering the important information and relevant class notes.

Limit Your Use of Social Media

This might seem obvious, but if you actually do it you will notice a huge difference in the amount of work you can get done in such a short time. I understand you need to take breaks, but schedule those breaks or allow them to coincide with goals you set. When you can work for 45 minutes to an hour without distraction you are going to get a lot more done. I will be the first to say that this is hard, everyone's first instinct when they start to get bored is to grab their phone and open up Twitter, Facebook, etc. But, after you see how beneficial it can be, you will appreciate the limited use while you're studying. Sometimes I try not to use my computer at all so that I'm not tempted to open up Facebook, Pinterest, or other non-school websites, but obviously most of the time you need to use your computer.

When I was in undergrad I discovered an App you can download for your computer called "Concentrate" and with this App you can block certain websites from yourself for a certain period of time. Maybe you have more self control than me and you don't actually need an App to keep from getting on those websites. But if you are as easily distracted as I am, this is a great tool. I'm sure there are others like it - and turning WiFi off can be enough sometimes, unless you need Lexis or access to your email - but I have used this for a few years and it is really helpful.

What are some things you do to study more efficiently?

Have a Great Day, Y'all!
xoxo

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Autumn Tag

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Over at Makeup Pixie there is an Autumn Tag going on and I wanted to join in on the fun! I am definitely more of a summer girl, but this is my second favorite season and I am always ready to pull out my favorites scarves and sweaters. 

1.  Ok we're talking coffee's - what's your favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks/Costa/Cafe Nero etc?
Confession: I tried my first Pumpkin Spice Latte this year and I did not love it. My go to drink in the fall has to be the Salted Caramel Mocha at Starbucks. Usually I don't allow myself to "drink calories," but I figure if I limit myself to only enjoying them in the fall it's okay :). 

2.  Accessories - what do you opt for, scarf, boots, gloves?
I have some monogram boots from Marley Lilly that I am obsessed with. I just started getting into boots last year and I haven't turned back since. 

3.  Music - what's your favourite music to listen to during Autumn?
I don't know if it is the leaves changing or the constant tailgating, but in Autumn I always am in the mood for folksy/country music even more so than normal. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Avett Brothers and Sundy Best

4.  Perfume - what's your favourite scent for this time of year?
I really only perfumes for Winter and Summer, so Autumn is an in between time where it really depends on that day's weather, since it is every changing. My go to summer is Este Lauder, White Linen and in the Winter it's Dior, Miss Dior. I'll be honest, the first reason I even picked up Miss Dior was because of the bottle, it's pink and it has a bow, but I really love it. 

5.  Candles - what scents will you be burning this season?
In a very traditional way, I love the "Autumn" scented candles. Pretty much any candle that has an Apple Pie scent to it is welcome on my coffee table anytime. 

6.  What do you love most about Autumn?
Football Season. Tailgating. Leaves Changing. Road Trips. Pumpkin Patches. Apple Picking. Apple Cider. Christmas Anticipation. Hot Chocolate. Curling Up Under a Blanket. Crisp Mornings. Cool Evenings. Sweaters. Boots. Scarves. Corduroy. 

7.  Favourite makeup look?
Well, I am working on it, but I don't usually make the conscious effort to change my makeup routine with the seasons. That being said I tend to go for warmer look in general, but especially so in the Fall. I do pay quite a bit more attention to the colors on my nails depending on the seasons and these are a couple of my favorites lately. 
Doutzen's Nude
Take It Outside


8.  What are you looking forward to most in Autumn?
I am running a 10K in November and have started training for it. It has been so great to spend time outside and really enjoy the leaves and the weather and I am so looking forward to doing that regularly for the next couple of months. 

What is your favorite part about the Fall?

Have a Great Weekend, Y'all!
xoxo 

Friday, October 17, 2014

TGIF, but really

Yet another week that has be dragggggging. Maybe its because I'm going to see the Avett Brothers tonight and I SO excited, or maybe its because school is speeding up and I am feel like I'm falling more and more behind. That being said, I am still lucky to have more than enough positives in my life to balance out the crazy day-to-day happenings.

1. The Avett Brothers

Y'all. I. Am. So. Excited. Call me crazy, but I have seen the Avett Brothers in concert four times already and I would see them four more times (and lets be real, I probably will). This time they are coming to my town and are playing in a relatively small theater, which I am thrilled about. If you don't listen to them, you should. I get that not everyone likes the same stuff, but they are just soooo good and put on a great show. I've literally been looking forward to this for months. One of my favorite things about their shows is that they rarely (if ever) play the exact same set list twice. I know a lot of people like to look up past set lists so they know what to expect, but I prefer to be surprised and with the Avett Brothers that is even easier to do. I will definitely let y'all know how the show goes. (Spoiler Alert - it's going to be great!)

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2. My mom is coming to visit! 

My mom and I have never been "best friends" in the way that a lot of girls and their moms are, but my mom is awesome. She is so fun and I just really like hanging out with  her. I got to see her a few weeks ago for about an hour when we stopped through my hometown on the way to a football game in Tennessee, but it wasn't nearly long enough. She is coming up on Friday to go to the concert and spending the weekend here and I'm so exited to show her around some more and take her to my favorite places!

3. 10K training, major strides

No pun intended, but I have made way more progress than I'd anticipated for just being two weeks in. And let me tell you, it feels great. I knew that if  I was already able to run 30 minutes comfortably, I should be able to work my way up to 65-70 in seven weeks. And by "I knew" I mean I read a dozen articles with training schedules that seemed to reinforce this. However, I was still a little unsure of my actual abilities and honestly, my dedication. This week I was already able to run four miles straight, without feeling like I was going to die and that was a major accomplishment for me, so it has given me a lot of confidence for the next few weeks of training.

4. Margaritas on a Tuesday

Just so y'all know, I am a major planner. Like down to the minute, every day. It sounds obsessive, and I will be the first to admit that it is, but I just really like to know what I'm doing next so that I can be prepared. Well, Tuesday after my first class my plans were thwarted by an attempt to go running during my class break, which I perceived as a disaster (again, I realize not true, I'm working on this) because I didn't have running clothes, I would have to go home and get ready for the day again, and probably most importantly, I was starving. After some discussion, we (my boyfriend and I) decided to go to Starbucks and do work (my original plan), but of course there weren't any tables available at a Starbucks half a mile from campus during lunch hour (duh). So, when he asked me what I wanted to do I realized my honest answer was that I wanted to go to the Mexican restaurant across the street and have a margarita and quesadilla, so we did. And it was great. So great I might just suggest making it a weekly tradition. I definitely suggest a mid-day margarita to all of you when the stress is starting to build up. It is well worth it.

5. Gilmore Girls 

Last week I started re-watching all of the episodes of Gilmore Girls (thank you Netflix!) and as of now I have already watched an embarrassing amount. Y'all I had forgotten how great of a show it really was. I only watched the last two seasons live, but thanks to ABC Family reruns I've already seen all of the episodes at least once. Now that I'm a little older, they are even funnier, if you can imagine that. If you looking for a way to waste relax this weekend, you should add Gilmore Girls to your list of things to watch.

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How was your week?

Have a great weekend, y'all!
xoxo


Thursday, October 16, 2014

6 Long Sleeve Workout Tops

I have never been one for wearing anything with long sleeves when I run, although that might be because I've never been one for running when I would actually need long sleeves. I am eight days in to my 10K training schedule and haven't cheated yet - I know, still a long ways to go. But, I figured if I can keep up with the schedule I would reward myself about half way through with a new long sleeve running shirt that I can wear on race day. I think I would probably want to try these on in store, or at least be able to return them because comfort is number one when I'm running, but below are a few favorites that I've got my eye on for now. 


1 2 3 4 5 6 
What do you wear when you work out?

Have a great day y'all!
xoxo 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Things I Wish I'd Known: 3L

The final countdown. 3L year is finally here for me and I can't even tell you how excited I am. I know that 3 years might not sound like a lot, especially compared to medical school (+residency) and other graduate programs, but it certainly feels like a long time. I know you know the feeling, you have been in school since you were 5 and you just want to be DONE. Your friends have "real life" jobs, they're getting married, starting a life, and you're still doing homework, but not for long! 3L year for me has already been in full swing since mid-August and let me tell you, it is not all its cracked up to be. There are already things that I wish I'd known and I'm sure by the end of this year the list below will have tripled. 


1. It's not as Easy as Everyone Says
1L year we always heard, "1L year they scare you to death, 2L year they work you to death, and 3L year they bore you to death." Now I will say that is generally true. However, do not confused "bored" with "easy." A lot of my friends, myself included, were under this assumption that 3L year would just be sooooo easy and fly by. Well, it is certainly flying by, but I feel like I am falling more and more behind as the days go by. It is important to remember you are still in classes with 2Ls, 2Ls who like you last year are working hard to undo the damage of their 1L year or maintain the coveted top spot they achieved Either way, you are not in classes with a bunch of carefree 3Ls and you need to be aware of that. This is not to say that 3L year is miserable, but just be prepared for what lies ahead.

2. Be Aware of Your Actions
This should go without saying, and really applies every year in law school (and thereafter), but especially in your 3L year. You have finally made it, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize the work you've put in the last three years. Not only that, but your classmates are soon to become colleagues. You want them to be able to recommend you to clients and friends without hesitation and that might be hard to do if all they remember about you is that keg stand you did at homecoming.

3. Get/Stay Organized
As I mentioned, 3L is not as easy as you think it is going to be. However you can make it a lot easier on yourself by staying organized. Ideally you have gotten pretty good at this by your 3L year, but it can be so important as the days come to an end. You have a lot of things going on, work, school, papers, deadlines, etc. and it is so important that you are aware of all of your commitments and deadlines.

4. Triple Check Your Graduation Requirements
Seriously. The last thing you want to do is tell your parents and friends that you aren't graduating this year because you forgot to turn in a paper, or forgot to take a perspective class, or forgot to go to a required 3L meeting. You get the point, there are a lot of things that go into graduation requirements, some easier than others, but all of them have to get done. If your school is anything like mine there are "Graduation Checklists" that list out everything you need, even your 1L classes. It is such a relief to have that piece of paper and check everything off with confidence that it is done.

5. Make Time for  Yourself
The. Most. Important. Thing. This is the last year that you are going to have the chance to really make time for yourself. Ideally we are not all going to be stuck in 80+ hour work weeks, unless thats your thing, which is cool, but my point is that when you are in law school you might think you are busy, but you have no idea. It is a lot easier to skip a class than to not show up for work. So just take some time for yourself, whatever that may be for you. Make a date with yourself to go for a run every week, or just to hang out at home and relax, whatever you prefer, just do it. It can make a world of difference just to have some time that is yours,  you can lounge, you can run, you can binge watch Gilmore Girls, just let your mind relax.

This is so bitter-sweet. As I said, it is so nice knowing that I am going to be starting a "real job" and can finally make a five-year plan without so many unknown variables. On the other hand, it is terrifying. I have no idea what the next 8 months hold for me or how I will really cope with having a full-time job that is so challenging and demanding. It is definitely going to be a new chapter and a new adventure, but I can't wait to start!

Let me know what advice you have as a recent graduate, or just for life in general post school, I'm sure it will be a benefit to us all!

Have a great day, y'all!
xoxo

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Things I Wish I'd Known: 2L

By 2L year you might feel like a seasoned pro, but there are more differences than you might realize when it comes down to it. You've probably (hopefully) worked over the summer and had first hand experience with much more than what you might have ever been able to learn in class. However, there is still a whole world of information for you to learn, and eventually be tested on. Below are a few of things that I either wish I'd known or that I implemented into my plans during my 2L year.


1. Meet With Your Professors
This is still so important. I would say its more important to meet with your professors in 2L, rather than 1L, but I think the information and knowledge you get from the meetings as a 2L is more valuable. As a 2L you are generally much better at spotting issues and identifying the key information in a case, so when you meet with your professors you can ask deeper questions to really understand the material and the law. You have the ability to create realistic hypotheticals to discuss with your professor that will give you the ability to apply what you are learning to more situations that just what the case or book covers. I think this is extremely important because in the end almost every exam is a set of hypotheticals, so discussing hypos with your professor will help prepare you that much more.

2. Don't Over-Commit Yourself
I'm not sure about every school in the country, but I know the majority of law schools allow minimal if any involvement in groups, journals, and moot court teams as a 1L. So by the time you get to your 2L year you want to do everything. It is definitely possible, but just keep in mind the necessary balance. For example, if you are on a journal that has a note due in the fall, consider applying for moot court teams that are primarily active in the spring semester. You will talk to dozens of 2Ls and 3Ls that tell you it is possible to be involved on a journal and a moot court team, while also working. And it is, but I would just suggest remaining realistic about the activities that you commit yourself to. This is one (of many) times that it can be very helpful to talk to an older student. Some moot court teams and journals might require more or less work than others and that can be very important to know when you are considering what you want to apply for.

3. Keep Having Fun
The saying that they "work you do death" as a 2L is partly true. But luckily as a 2L you have gotten much more efficient in your reading, so the work increases, but so does your ability to complete it. I know a lot of people who have let Law Review or more difficult classes take over their lives. While it is very important to continue applying yourself and meeting the commitments that you have made, it is still important to maintain a balance. If you let classes and work bog down your entire 2L year, I can guarantee you will regret it. Even if it just saying yes to a Friday night movie or drinks on a Saturday, just say yes and work hard during the week so that you don't feel guilty going out. It is possible, I promise.

4. Start Looking for a Job Earlier than You Think You Need To
Ugh. The dreaded job search. Aside from grades, this might honestly be the most stressful part of law school. You start talking about it from day one, but there are rules that don't let you really talk to any one at school about it until November, so you're left with tons of questions. By 2L hopefully you've had a summer job, or at least an internship that has given you a) a feel for what you like and don't, but also b) some experience. It always seems to be this Catch 22, everyone wants you to have experience, but no one will hire you to give you experience. Obviously everyone has their own opinion and ideas on what works, but I think it can be so important to do your best to get some kind of law related job as soon as you get a chance. Even if it ends up not being what you want to do for the rest of your life, it is something, something that gives you experience, something that gives you a line on your resume, and hopefully something that gives you a reference for future jobs. It can seem like a daunting task to add to your list of things to do as a 2L, but the summer after your 2L can be make or break and lead to a great opportunity post law school. All of that being said, don't stress your year away worrying about it. Be smart and use the resources at your school.  I've found making your professors and faculty aware that you are looking for a job can be so important because when one of their colleagues asks for a recommendation, they can point that person to you. I had more than my fair share of interviews, but something finally panned out and I couldn't be happier.

5. Take Classes You're Interested In
Taking classes you are interested in can be a life saver. When classes and journal and the job search start to become overwhelming it is really nice to know that there is at least one class that you are looking forward to reading for, well kind of. 1L year was difficult for everyone because we all went in pretty much blind, but by the time you're a 2L you have choices, you can choose to take a professor you really liked and, perhaps more importantly, choose not to take take a professor you didn't like as well. Or take advantage of that History major you had and take Legal History, or a Finance major might enjoy Business Organizations and Tax Law more than those who don't love numbers. Just think about what you like and obviously what works best for your overall schedule, but take something that you just might enjoy instead of necessarily taking what all of your friends are taking, its worth it.

There are dozens of other things I might tell a rising 2L, but those are really the things that I wish I'd known, or appreciated during my second year of law school. It is definitely hard, but it can be so fun and rewarding as long as you plan carefully. Plus as a 2L you don't have the fear of the bar exam - yet!

Have a great day, y'all!
xoxo

Monday, October 13, 2014

Things I Wish I'd Known: 1L

For those of you who are planning to attend law school or are still in your first year, I thought I would share a few of the things I wish I'd known in the beginning. I'm not saying I'd go back and start over, but there are definitely things I might have done differently.


1. Meet With Your Professors
I know you've probably been told (will be told) this a thousand times, but seriously. Even if you think you understand the material, find something to go ask them about. You never know what information they might "leak" to you, i.e. "Well on the exam I might ask it this way," kind of thing. My 1L year I went to see each of my professors maybe once, and that was great, but I really wish I had gone more often. My grades turned out fine, but they could have been better and I honestly think that going to see my professors could have made a difference.

2. Choose Your Friends Carefully
You're probably thinking, "Duh." However, let me be the first to warn you, this may be easier said than done. During orientation and even the first few weeks of school you will probably be drawn to the same people, whether it is because you are in all of the same classes or because you're stuck together in the alphabet. Maybe nine times out of ten that will be fine, but just be cautious in the beginning that you are not the one time out of ten that it goes south. As you are hanging out and studying with people try to be aware of how serious they really are about school, if they are people you plan on spending a lot of time with, you want to be sure that they spend their time well.

3. Choose Your Friends Early
This goes with the previous one. As much as I hate to admit it, Law School can be very much like High School, especially in your first year. You have lockers, you're told which classes to take, the drama is off the charts, and cliques start to form. Now I am not saying that you need to form a clique, but do not underestimate how difficult it is to break into a group of people who have already established a strong bond through their first week trials and triumphs. Picture Elle Woods when all she wanted to do was join a study group, not everyone is going to be as bitchy as Vivian, but law school is deceivingly competitive and everyone else is just as guarded as you.

4. HAVE FUN
I cannot reiterate this enough. If your law school has a social event, go. If someone invites you to go play trivia, go. If everyone is going bowling, go. You get the point. My first year one of the upperclassman told us that her only free time during the week was about 6 hours on the weekend. That is, one HALF DAY of the entire week. We. Were. Terrified. Luckily as the semester went on, I realized that I needed to take her advice with a grain of salt. Don't get me wrong, it is very important to stay on top of, and ahead of your assignments and readings. However, don't become a recluse in your first semester f law school. The first year is when solid friendships are formed and memories are made,  you don't want to miss out on those. So take advantage of the invitations you get, who knows what great stories you will have to tell years later!

5. Make a Schedule
The same said upperclassman who terrified us, also gave us the hearty advice to schedule our time down to the hour. I realize this sounds a bit intense, and it was, but it really helps put into perspective what you are doing with your time and how many hours you actually have in a day. The key to this tip is not to get down on yourself if you don't follow the schedule exactly. In your first year of law school, and especially the first semester there is a steep learning curve to reading cases and the related material. Sometimes it is difficult to acurately schedule the appropriate amount of time to prepare for each class. My advice there would be to schedule what you think it will take you to complete a task and ideally it will balance out. Contracts might take longer because there are a lot of new vocabulary words, but Criminal Law might be quick because the cases are interesting and "fun" to read.

6. Take Practice Exams
Whether you have an old exam available via a data base or your professor gives you the option to submit an answer to a practice exam, do it. It may seem time consuming, and you may feel like it isn't worth your time, but it is. Trust me. This is especially true if your professor gives you the option to do one. There is no better way to prepare for an exam than to have your professor read over an answer you prepared and critique or grade it, it is an invaluable opportunity. Also, even if you are just using an old exam that you found, you still might be able to take your prepared answers to the professor and at the least talk through them, even if you are not able to receive specific comments. I have done this since 1L year and I can say with certainty it is what has really helped me get the grade.

I hope these tips are helpful, even as a 2L and 3L they can come in handy. Please comment with the things you wish you'd known as a 1L!

Have a great day, y'all!
xoxo

Friday, October 10, 2014

TGIF, seriously

Y'all, this has felt like the longest and shortest week ever. I feel like Tuesday was weeks ago, but yesterday I still hadn't quite realized that we were so close to the weekend. Anyway, here are my five Friday highs for the week!

1. This Blog!
I have been considering starting a blog for a while now and Sunday/Monday I decided to finally go for it. Maybe its just the procrastination from school talking, but I'm really excited about what this can become.

2. Quilted Jackets
I simultaneously put a shopping freeze on myself and discovered the most wonderful quilted jacket. My boyfriend got me a Barbour jacket for Christmas last year and I LOVE it, but I have still been on the hunt for a more in between and a slightly nicer looking jacket for fall/early winter. Enter: Quilted Jackets. After much searching and comparing I have decided that this jacket from L.L. Bean is the one I need. My self imposed shopping freeze is over in a few weeks and I am fairly sure I will be purchasing this immediately. I allowed an exception if the jacket went on major sale during this "freeze," but of course that hasn't happened. If y'all have any jackets you absolutely adore please let me know, I am still looking just in case!


3. Kickball is Over
This is a little bitter-sweet. For the last eight weeks some of my law school friends and I have been planing on a rec league Kickball team. Let me tell you, we. were. terrible. As in we finished the season 0-8 terrible. So after about halfway through the season, lets just say no one really looked forward to the games. However, it was a great time spent with friends and occasionally we would head to Tin Roof after for a few drinks. I am definitely relieved to have another night available to do other things, but I did enjoy the time we all spent together outside of school/bars.


4. Kentucky Football
In case you haven't noticed, Kentucky is 4-1 this year. 4-1! I know, I know, there are still plenty of SEC games left on the schedule. But after beating South Carolina last weekend, things in the Bluegrass seem just a bit brighter. The game tomorrow is against Louisiana-Monroe, so hopefully we can pull out another win. Either way, the season is off to a great start and better than anyone would have imagined at this point.
Source: AP
5. 10K
So I've recently realized that maybe I don't hate runnig as much as I thought I did. I mean there are still a dozen things I would rather be doing, but as far as exercise and efficiency, running has become a new favorite of mine. So much so that this week I decided that I really needed to find a race so that I had something I was working towards. I generally only run for about 30 minutes each time I go out, but as that has gotten relatively easier and I needed another challenge. I'm really looking forward to pushing myself, but also just a littttle anxious about pretty much doubling my current run time. I'm sure I will blog more about this as my training progresses.

That was my week, hope you've had a good week too!

Have a great weekend, y'all!
xoxo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Do What Works Best for You: Outline As You Go

A final way that I've used to take notes is essentially to outline as you go. This works really great, but only if it works. What I mean is that this will only work for certain classes, but when it does it makes things a lot easier at the end of the semester.

I have found this style of note taking works best for a class that you have a lot of little rules, rather than big over reaching ideas. For example, I used this method for Tax because each chapter and to a degree each subsection of those chapters contained a new rule. Now obviously with almost all subjects there are still "big picture" things that you need to get a grasp on, but if the majority of the rules are independent of each other, this method can be very effective.

The best way that I've found to begin this style of note taking is to simply go to the Topic Index/Chapter Index, whatever your book calls it, at the beginning of the book. From there, just prepare a typed version in a new document and you can insert the more substantial information as you go.

Most of our books included the cases within each section and I think it is important to go ahead and include those on the "pre-outline" as well as the topics. this gives you a place to go ahead and put the information that you draw from the case, such as the rule and potentially exceptions. If your professor says they don't care about case on the exam, thats fine, you can always go back and edit later. This is not intended to be your final outline, but rather a more efficient starting point.

As I said, either during your readings and/or in class, you can then fill in your outline with the more important and substantive information.  I am always of the idea that in the beginning, and with time permitting, you should include as much as you can. It is always easier to go back and take things out than to try and remember what you should have included in the first place.


The only real downside to this is if your class/professor doesn't teach in a way that it is easy to insert the information where it needs to go. The last thing that you want to do is to spend time searching for the "topic" that your professor is talking about, especially in a class with a lot of big picture ideas that might fit into more than one place. This would not be ideal for a class like Contracts where you spend weeks just learning what "Consideration" means.

Pros:

  • makes end of semester outline much easier
  • all of your notes for the class are in one place
  • seriously, EASIER OUTLINING (this is the secret!)
Cons:
  • doesn't work for every class
  • if you are generally nice and will share notes with someone who misses class, this makes it more difficult

I know I said I preferred Notebookt, but I think this really is my favorite, unfortunately it just doesn't always work for the class. I hope this has been helpful, as always please leave comments about what works best for you! 

Have a great day, y'all!
xoxo

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Do What Works Best For You: Notebook View (Microsoft Word)

After much trial and error, I would have to conclude that Notebook View is my preferred way to take notes. Although it still has plenty of drawbacks, Notebook provides the most of what I'm looking for - without as much hassle.

I checked on my work computer, and as far as I can tell this is not an option for PC users. Please correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm sure the Word Office package we have on here is not the most current.

So - if you are on a Mac, you can select this view at the top and depending on if you have already typed anything into the document it will ask you if you are sure (you are). Once you've done that a "notebook" will appear and you can begin taking your notes.

When I have used Notebook I've gone back and forth between using a single tab for all of my notes, organizing the tabs by Chapter, organizing the tabs by Topic, or organizing by Date. Honestly, for me, none has seemed to work much better than the other. I've found that it may vary for every class, which breaks my organizing heart, but its true.
 
BY TOPIC

If you take a lot of notes in a certain class, and by a lot I mean 4+ typed pages/day, I would suggest organizing by date. As you will find out, it takes foreverrr to scroll to the bottom of the page if you have a lot of notes, so if you split it up by day, you can just open a new tab each day. My roommate used to organize her's by week. That way you still have less content/page, but you don't end up with 25+ tabs at the end of each semester.

BY DATE
If you are still going to put all  of your notes on one page, and intend to do so for every class, I might suggest just using one "document" for each semester. That way it is much easier to find your notes and they are all in once place. Plus, if you are super paranoid about losing your notes, you would only have one document that you needed to backup/email to yourself/save on Dropbox.

Taking notes by Chapter or Topic has been the most useful to me overall because it keeps everything organized. It is difficult sometimes if you have a professor who doesn't necessarily teach with a clear divide among the Topics, but generally if you stick to Chapters it is pretty easy to keep up with that format.

I really like using Notebook because it just makes me feel so much more organized. I can access everything much easier, and still keep everything in its place. Plus, you can change the background of the notebook if you really want to spice things up! Haha!

Despite preferring this method, there are still a few things that I wish I could change. First of all, and this will make sense if you frequently, or even just occasionally, use bullets and/or automatic numbering, the tabbing of the bullets are not the same. If you are in a regular word document and you are using bullets/numbers and want to tab "back" to the previous hierarchy you just hit "Enter" and you can keep doing so until either the bullet/number is where you want it, or until it is gone. With Notebook you have to actually use "Backspace" to accomplish this. Now I know that this seems trivial, and it is, but after extensive use of both formats it is difficult to go back and forth and remember which one to use.

Another feature/side effect that I'm not so fond of is the "Print" output. Because it is "Notebook" it prints the lines much farther apart, and generally the font is a bit larger than necessary. This is only really a problem if you, like me, like to bring out all of your notes at the end of the semester to assist you in outlines. In a regular class this might just mean an extra 10-15 pages, but in a "note heavy" class, it can be as many as 30-40. I'm not sure how your schools work, but we have 500 prints/semester and I really hate "wasting" them on white space. Luckily this issue has a solution. With the "Formatting Palate" open on the side, you can change the distance between the lines, which best I can tell seems to correspond with the font size. Thus, if you make the font size 12, you should be able to change the distance between lines to "12" without any overlap of text. You'll see that this is going to change the way it appears, to the point that the text doesn't match up on the lines any more. I would suggest only doing this when you are ready to print, as there is essentially no reason to do it before then.

Pros:

  • easy to use
  • easier to transition into a regular word document
  • keeps all notes organized in roughly one place
  • ability to organize tabs best for each class 
Cons:
  • prints in an awkward format
  • irregular bullet/number formatting 
I hope this has given y'all another new way to consider organizing/taking your notes. Please comment with any Pros and Cons of your own or any questions that I didn't cover. 

Have a great day y'all!
xoxo 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Do What Works Best For You: Evernote

I remember those six words being the most annoying thing that I heard during our 1L orientation, and it seemed like a broken record by the end of the week.
How do we take notes?
Do what works best for you.
How do we brief cases?
Do what works best for you.
How do we most efficiently study?
Do what works best for you.

Seriously, it was as if that was the only thing that the orientation leaders and faculty had been told to say to us. I mean I get it, doing what works best for you is ultimately what is going to be the best for you. BUT we were in the position of not even knowing where to start. This series will go through some of the many trial and errors that I went through as I tried to figure out "what works best for you" for me. First up - Evernote.

Evernote is a free that is definitely available on Macs and iPhones, I am not sure about other devices - but I'm sure it is available on most others! You simply go to www.evernote.com and set up an account and start the downloading process.

I don't remember exactly how I came across Evernote, but initially when I started using it I really liked the ability to access all of my notes at one time in one place - and I could search among all of my documents.

A view like this one (above) is available at all times, depending on which settings you use of course, but it is the default setting to show this list.

I also had all of my classes divided into their own notebooks to keep everything straight. This is especially important for classes that are on the same day and you would have more than one "Class Notes 12.02.14." There is also the option to join certain notebooks into a larger notebook. For instance, all of my 1L Fall classes were grouped together to keep it more streamlined.



Additionally, you can "tag" the notes so that when you needed to look up a specific rule or topic, it was possible to narrow down the documents that included that "tag."



This was especially helpful to ensure that when I was making an outline I didn't leave out one of the cases that covered the rule I was outlining.

In terms of how I actually took notes - it was easiest for me to keep case briefs separate from the class notes for that day. I did this because if we didn't get to a certain case by the end of that class, it wouldn't be mismatched in terms of what day the case was covered.
In conjunction with this, I had a "Notes" section at the bottom of my briefs so that I could put information with the corresponding case and make it easier at the end of the semester to trace back where the rules came from.

As you may have picked up on, I did my best to prepare a written brief before class. Let's be real, it is very nerve-wracking to be called on or just think that you're going to be called on, so in my opinion it was best for me to be as prepared as possible. Because as a 1L I wasn't always sure what I needed to get from the cases, especially early in the semester when you are also trying to figure out each professor's preference, a lot of things would end up in my brief that weren't as important as I thought they were. To keep straight what I wrote and what what my professor said was actually important, I would highlight and change the color of the text if she, or he, identified it as an important lesson to take away - see below. The black text is what I wrote and the pink is what I already had and that my professor reiterated.


Generally I liked the idea of Evernote, but when it was time to outline I wasn't as sold. Again, this is a preference of mine based on the way I outline - which I will cover in a few weeks. But generally I like to print out all of my notes and get a big picture idea of how I need to organize them to make the most sense when I am studying. Because of the way that Evernote saves, when a document was last "updated," the documents can get a little out of order if you go back and forth looking for information among all of them. That being said, it is still possible to print each document separately OR combine them all in to one document, but the order it combines is not always the order that makes the most sense. 

Pros:
  • all documents in one place
  • easy to search
  • easy to use - not a lot of functions to get lost in 
  • saves on the Cloud, so you don't have to worry about losing notes to an unexpected disaster
  • accessible from more than one device 
Cons:
  • difficult to sift through in a reasonable order at the end of the semester
  • minimal formatting available (lists, bullets, bold, colors)
  • if you copy/paste to a Word document the formatting doesn't carry over well
I hope this has been helpful, please feel free to leave a comment about what works best for you or if you have any questions about Evernote that I didn't mention!

Have a great day, y'all!
xoxo 



find me on twitter @legallysouthrn

Monday, October 6, 2014

Welcome, Y'all!

A first post feels almost as awkward as the first round of rush, except in this case no one is getting cut. For those who have found my page, welcome! I am so glad you are here!
I am currently a 3L at a law school below the Mason-Dixon. I was born and raised in the South and I don't ever plan on leaving. 
I am from Kentucky and I will challenge anyone to have as much state pride as I do. I don't know what it is about the Commonwealth, but I am obsessed.
My goal with this blog is to chronicle my last year of law school, while focusing on tips for incoming and current law students, as well as what the transition is (and will be) like as I begin a "real" job. The posts will ideally range from study tips, outline strategies, and general advice on the law school side, to outfit options, job search ideas, and finding a balance on the transition end of it all. I am more than open to suggestions and appreciate any input regarding content or otherwise. 

Have a great day, y'all! 
xoxo

find me on twitter @legallysouthrn