How To

How to: Make effective To Do lists

Courtesy of dumblittleman.com
Courtesy of dumblittleman.com

I love my to do lists. They help me stay organized an stay on top of the massive amount of work I have to do for school and in my personal life. Having things written down allows me to “be where my feet are” instead of being scatterbrained and overwhelmed. There are a few ways to make to do lists and it really comes down to what you’re hoping to get out of a to do list.

The basics 

-Be specific!

Putting something like “clean kitchen” on a to do list doesn’t actually tell you anything. Cleaning the kitchen is a huge task and it’s hard to break down in chunks later. Instead, write “do dishes”, “take out the trash”, etc. This way, you can see exactly what task needs to be done.

-Break it down!

I always have tons of laundry to do and I’m very specific about how it gets done. I can easily put “Laundry” on a to do list but in my mind, it doesn’t give me direct enough tasks and an order to how to get the laundry done. Instead, write “wash darks” or “wash sheets and towels”. If you don’t need to get that specific, then don’t! Laundry is a perfectly fine task to have on your list if you don’t want it done in any specific order.

-Write it down!

Patrick is pro at not writing things down and saying he has a to do list. Hint: he actually doesn’t. Take a piece of paper and pen and write the list down. Don’t put it in your phone! It’s so easy to get distracted on your phone or forget a list is even there. Instead, just make a hand written list.

My favorite: a running to do list 

I started a running to do list about a month ago. Sit down and write every single task you have to do. As you think of things, add them to the list. As you finish things, mark them off. It’s very rare your list will ever get completely done but it lets you write something down and forget about it for the time being. Each week, I go through and transfer my list to a new piece of paper so I don’t have a book of lists, just one single sheet with everything I need to do on it. I like having the day I wrote things down on the list so I can prioritize what has been sitting on my list for days instead of just since yesterday.

The daily to do list 

A daily to do list is great if you don’t like to make too many plans or feel overwhelmed about the week. My father-in-law uses this system and has been very successful with it. Each morning, sit down and make a list of all the tasks that are non-negotiable for the day. Ex: Reading for classes tomorrow, walking to dog. Then add to the list everything you would like to get accomplished that day. Ex: Fixing the bathroom scale. Work on things that are on the non-negotiable list first then move on to the things you’d like to get done list.

The agenda list 

An agenda list is perfect for people who like to have whole days planned out but can’t or don’t want to plan more than a day in advance. For an agenda to do list, start with the things you have to do. Ex: classes, meetings. Space them out on a piece of paper so you can assign tasks to do between them if you have time. Then, go through and figure out what needs to get done during the day. Assign those tasks between the things you have to do. I used an agenda list when I had multiple classes a day so I could see what I needed to get accomplished and how my time needed to be used. Because an agenda list is difficult to visualize, here’s an example:

Small Business Planning

Peanut butter collection

MPRE lecture

Wills and Trusts

Lunch

Business planning reading

Walk the dogs

Wills reading

Dinner

With to do lists, it’s all about what works best for you and what you want to accomplish. An effective to do list is going to depend on your learning style, self discipline, and personal preference. Play around with these styles or come up with your own. What tips do you have for making to do lists?

How To

How to: ace multiple choice exams

Multiple choice

Multiple choice exams are the bane of my existence. I can write, even succinctly, on a million topics if I really try but something about having very black and white answers when the law isn’t black and white, is really difficult for me.

1. Time it out

I had an exam the other day that was 3 hours with 30 questions. Obviously, I had to do 10 questions in an hour to at least finish the exam. A 30 question test on Payment Systems sounds awful. But 10 questions in an hour about payment systems isn’t as bad. By timing out your exam, you can “check up” on your progress throughout the testing period. If you’re behind, it’s time to speed it up just a little while making note of potential wrong answers. If you’re ahead, you should have time in the end to go back.

2. Read carefully

Law professors like to be tricky. One of the tricks I learned freshman year of high school was to look out for key words that can eliminate wrong answers. The most obvious are “all of the following” and “none of the following” but words like “but”, “if”,  and “not” can be key words that there is more than one component to the answer.

3. Skip questions and remove answers

Unless it’s an exam that builds on the questions before it, the first thing I do is go through and determine if I know, 100% what the answer is or not. This completely goes against psychological research but works great for me. In the course of an exam, I’m likely to come across a few questions I absolutely know or can guess the correct answer just using logic. While I’m going through questions, I try to eliminate answers I know are wrong no matter what. If it’s clear a battery happened and two of the answers say no it didn’t, obviously those are wrong.

4. Take a break

Stretch, take a sip of water, or close your eyes. It’s perfectly fine to take a break for a few seconds before you move on to your next question.

5. When in doubt, use the clock method

I just had the clock method introduced to me by another 2L and it’s the funniest test taking strategy I’ve heard in a while. There are always questions that I know no matter what, I don’t know the answer to and can’t figure out what a decent answer would be. When you get to these questions, look at the second hand on an analogue clock. If it’s 1-3 the answer is A, 3-6 the answer is B, etc. Luckily, our testing rooms have a huge analogue clock with a seconds hand but if not, where’s the minute hand?

I’ve never done poorly on multiple choice. I use poorly for lack of a better word because I’ve definitely done well below what I find acceptable. Multiple choice is different than regular law school exams and different than multiple choice tests in undergrad and high school. Ultimately, the underlying success strategies are the same so when you’re stuck, figure out what you did in middle school.

How To

How to: Stay motivated

Do you ever just hit a point in the semester where your ability to care about anything goes out the window? Yeah, I’m about there right now. Even though I’d much rather lay around watching Netflix or reading for fun, life continues whether I want it to or not. Luckily, I’ve come up with fool proof ways to get through these dark times until I get back to my old ways.

1. Find something to look forward to every single day. 

Sometimes, having something to look forward to later in the day makes all the difference. Whether it’s a cookie or coffee or just getting to go lay back in bed, it really helps me get through the day to know I have something to look forward to later. Sure I always look forward to coming home to Patrick and the puppies, but something extra, something I normally don’t get or do makes me excited and want to get through classes and work.

2. Go to bed. 

When I get in these moods, the best way for me to beat it is to just go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. Obviously, don’t skip things you have to do to sleep but make sure to go to bed early and get enough good quality sleep. I use my Fitbit to make sure I’m getting enough good quality sleep and if for some reason I’m not, I adjust my sleep schedule.

3. Acknowledge your emotions. 

Acknowledging the fact that you don’t care about much right now is important. For me, it helps me clear my head and realize that I’m not just being lazy but that I don’t care and make the changes necessary to fix that. Maybe its an additional counseling appointment or re-evaluating if I’ve taken my medication per doctor’s orders. Maybe its taking a rest and relaxing for a few hours, I mean really relaxing not what I call “relaxing”. Maybe its a chip on my shoulder or some underlying irritation I have with something completely unrelated. Whatever it is, acknowledging how I feel only helps me process the feeling and figure out what I need to do to get back to my life.

4. Remember your goals. 

People don’t just go to law school for fun (at least most sane people don’t). Everything you do in life has a purpose and end goal in mind. Focus on the end goal. For me, I know in my heart 100% I want to be a lawyer. When law school absolutely sucks, which it does occasionally, focusing on being a lawyer and the reasons why I want to be a lawyer helps me get through the crappy stuff I have to do to get there.

5. Count your blessings and accomplishments.

I’m constantly astounded by the fact that I’m in law school. Not only in law school, but at a good law school with great friends. There are plenty of things in my life to be thankful for and focusing on those during rough times definitely puts things into perspective. When that doesn’t work, I have to take a few minutes to realize that I’ve accomplished a lot to get to where I am and to be proud of the things I’ve done. Being in law school is tough and getting there can be even tougher. Yet here I am, in law school and doing…..decently. Those are huge things to be proud of and taking a minute to focus on how far you’ve come makes the journey a little bit better.

How To

How to: Network, Part 3

The whole purpose of networking is to be able to use your connections when you need them. Networking in the legal community is critical to getting a job offer after graduation and being successful as a lawyer. Now, I’m not an expert on using your connections to get a job because I haven’t been in a position to need to get a job yet. I’ve used connections to get help with something specific or to get advice on something, but never for an actual job.

Figuring out the best way to use a connection is highly dependent on who it is and what your relationship is like. If you have a close, personal relationship with someone, asking about jobs available isn’t necessarily a bad idea. If you have a professional only relationship, it may be a little bit odd to just point blank as about a job. For example, two of my professors work for law firms in the area. I think I do pretty well in their classes and would consider them a network connection. But, as professors, I feel awkward point blank asking about jobs or resume help. That doesn’t meant I won’t apply to their firms, I’m just not going to go through them to do it. On the other hand, I currently intern for the public defender’s office and am very close with my boss. I would have no problem asking her directly about a job or for resume help.

Using your network connections in an interview is extremely helpful, too. I’d have no problem saying “Oh, I took X class with your associate/partner Y. I really enjoyed it…..”. It gives an employer someone to ask about you and your work ethic and it’s someone they know they can trust. Using your connections to get an interview is also helpful. While I’ve never done it because I don’t have a lot of connections in the type of law I want to practice, I’ve seen cover letters saying “My professor X suggested I reach out to your firm…” or “I spoke with Y about your firm and am very interested in….”. It’s a little name drop-y but hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Just because you use your connection to get a job or an interview doesn’t mean you get to slack off on everything else. If anything, it should be a motivator to work harder. It’s not only your reputation on the line, it’s your connection’s too. Imagine if a professor vouches for you as a person and says you have a great work ethic and you turn around and don’t work nearly as hard as you should. That makes you look bad, but it also makes your professor look bad too.

Networking is incredibly valuable in the legal field, as I assume it is in many careers. Create a network, maintain the network, and use the network. There is never a downside to knowing more lawyers or judges in the area.

How To

How to: Network, Part 2

Now that you have network connections, keeping a good relationship with them will ensure you can use the connection later if you need to. What’s the point of connections if you aren’t actually going to use them or maintain them? As a law student, I’m always a little afraid that I’m going about things the wrong way when it comes to connections but so far, everything has turned out fine.

Learning to talk to someone to make a network connection is not something that comes easily. I’m still learning how to perfect a conversation (though I don’t think you can) to make an impression on someone. There are usually a few topics I stick to when I’m talking to a potential connection regardless of where I’ve met them:

1. What is your job?

2. How did you get to your current position?

3. What do you like about law? What do you dislike about law?

Questions like these open up a lot of potential to further your conversation. If someone says “oh, I was in the military and decided after to go to law school”, you can ask about their military background and how it has helped them in the legal field. The sorority girl in me is really helpful for talking to connections. During recruitment we’re taught how to ask questions to hopefully get a person to open up. I use the same formula for networking, too. Another sorority rule that still stands is: Don’t talk about the 4 Bs: Booze, Boys, Bank Accounts, and Bush. Never talk about alcohol, relationships, money, or politics when making a network connection. The last one is a little bit more flexible depending on the situation. If you meet at a political event, you’re pretty safe to bring up non-controversial political issues.

After you have a connection, you have to maintain it. LinkedIn is great for maintaining network connections on a general level. It allows the connection to see what you’re up to and you can see what they are doing. I like to go with a more personal connection depending on what came out of the conversation. If I have a business card, I may thank them for meeting me. If we had a connection over practicing, or wanting to practice, a certain type of law, I may ask to have coffee. Maintaining connections is important because you don’t want to be forgotten when it comes time to get a job.

I think the most important rule to remember when you’re trying to make a connection is to be yourself. Don’t lie about who you are or what’s on your resume. Don’t lie about your interests or try to be who you think they want you to be. In the end, it doesn’t do anyone any good. In the professional world, it’s well known that people have different interests and beliefs and in my experience, those differences are respected. You’re more likely to be respected if you are truthful and yourself than if you are fake and lie. Never be ashamed of who you are and be proud of your accomplishments!

How To

How to: Take notes for effective studying

Besides reading, taking notes is by far one of the most time consuming things you’ll do during law school. I mean, you should be taking notes in every class so that’s a big chunk of your time. There are plenty of good ways to take notes and I see people do it all different ways. In the end, it boils down to two options: handwrite or type. You could try a typewriter or something along those lines but I doubt your classmates and professors would enjoy the clack, clack, clack noise all through class.

There are definitely benefits to taking notes on a computer. It’s quicker for a lot of people and lets you get more information down. The downside to computers for note taking is the endless distractions. I used a computer for part of my first semester and I could not focus on what was going on in class. There’s just too much shopping and too many cat pictures to be paying attention to subject matter jurisdiction. But, there are plenty of people out there who have much better focus than I do and use a computer to take notes. Most people use one of a few programs to help them with notes: Evernote, OneNote, or good ‘ole Microsoft Word.

I handwrite almost all of my notes now. Occasionally, depending on the class I use a computer and I still get really distracted by it. I definitely use a computer if I don’t feel good because my handwriting is terrible if I’m sick. My notes are still not as organized as I would ideally like them but I have a good system for each class to make sure that I keep things in order. Each class gets a binder with a printout that has the name, days, time, and location of the class. I, honestly, never look at them; I just know by color which goes to which class. I have reinforced looseleaf in each that I take a few sheets out for each class so I don’t do the annoying opening/closing a binder thing. A lot of people use notebooks or legal pads instead of binders. I can see the appeal to each but it’s just not for me.

Regardless of how you take notes, it’s important the notes be organized and complete enough that you can go back to review everything that you’ve learned. My notes for each class are different based on what I need to know for the class. My notes are usually color coordinated with black being the reading notes and blue being class notes. Class notes, though, are all completely differently. I have my payment system, admin, and adoption:

Payment Systems
Payment Systems
Admin
Admin
Adoption
Adoption

Payment Systems: For this class, we go over hypotheticals instead of cases so I don’t have to worry about holdings or anything but I do have to worry about which part of the UCC things come from. I make sure to completely write out the section of the UCC we are dealing with for that particular section. I wrote out 3-403(a) and highlighted what I didn’t understand it in so I would remember to go back to it later. All the section numbers are in green and I write notes on the margins to keep me focused on who is who in the problem.

Admin: We don’t focus a whole lot on cases but here Londoner was a big case. My professor consistently repeats what due process is and how it applies to admin law so I’ve made sure I highlight that to stand out. When I have something that applies “only” or “if” or “when” the word gets highlighted so I know what criteria I need to focus on for that to happen.

Adoption: Adoption is very case heavy. We learn a lot of words we’ve never heard before and focus a lot on what the code is for adoption in our state. New words are highlighted and so is the Ohio code for different parts of adoption. This way, it’s easy to go back and see exactly what the statute says in certain circumstances.

All the methods I use to take notes and review notes have worked for me so far. It’s a lot of work but ultimately that’s what law school is. I don’t mind taking notes because I know the hard work for when finals come around is already done.

How To

How to: Network, Part 1

Networking is a critical part of being successful as a law student, and eventually as a lawyer. When I started law school, I had no idea what networking was or how to actually network effectively. It took me until just recently to learn exactly what needed to be done and what benefits there are to networking effectively. I’ve divided my How to: Network into three parts since networking isn’t something you can do just once and be done. It’s a long term commitment and there’s always more work to be done.

1. The first thing I did to get an understanding of networking was to make a list of who my network currently was. I’ve held a lot of jobs in my life and have friends that live all over. My parents have introduced me to people and I’ve met people on my own. Not all my “contacts” at this point are law related; in fact, most aren’t. My list started a little bit like this:

1. Liz _______-Supervisor at _________

2. John _______-Professor at Ball State

3. Sam _______-Chapter adviser for __________

Absolutely none of these people are in the legal field even remotely. They may not be direct contacts to finding a job or figuring out things in the legal world, but they are still people to keep in mind.

2. I started thinking about what big built in networks I had just based on what I’ve done in my life. I’m a Ball State alumni, a Phi Mu alumna, I’ve held plenty of jobs, I’m a law student; there had to be something there. I did some research and found groups on Facebook and Linkedin that related to these things. I’m in a facebook group for Phi Mu alumnaes; I’m in a Linkedin group for Ball State Alumni; etc.  I recently decided to learn how to use these networks effectively, which I’ll discuss in Part 2. Joining networks you are already a part of is a very easy way to stay connected to network connections and make new connections based on what you’ve done in your past.

3. When you first get to law school, there’s a big activity fair (or at least there is for us) and a good chunk of it is Bar Associations and local legal organizations. My 1L year, I was too afraid to join a lot of these. This year, I decided to take as many offers that came my way as I was able to. I’m a member of the Dayton Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, and am in a mentoring group put on by the Ohio Women’s Bar Association. Frequently, these groups have networking events that students are able to attend and meet lawyers from the area. Even outside these professional organizations, organizations at school are a great way to make contacts. You never know when you’ll be in court against someone you were in law school with or when you may have a question that directly relates to their specialty. There’s also a chance that the organization you put on your resume may be the organization your future employer was the president of while he was in law school. You just never know.

4. Finally, you’ll find contacts in the most obscure ways. I’m the Executive Vice President of Administration for our school’s volunteer organization. I’ve gone to clinics in the area and sent thank you letters to firms who have worked with us. I’ve met contacts while I’m at work at my non-legal job just by having a conversation with someone about what is going on in their life. I’ve run into people at coffee shops who see me reading contracts and ask if I’m in law school. To find these contacts, you have to be observant of the world around you and not be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone. The worst that happens is you have a conversation with a stranger.

5. I had to add another to the list because it occurred to me but I haven’t actually tried this method so I’m not sure how well it actually works. I recently finished reading #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of NastyGal clothing (BTW: I LOVE her line) In her book she talks about how it’s completely appropriate to message someone on Linkedin and say something along the lines of “I saw your resume on Linkedin and am very interested in learning more about what you do. Would you be willing to meet with me to discuss your career?”. I’ve always wondered how this goes over when someone actually gets a message like this, whether it be through Linkedin or email. If you have any idea, let me know because I still don’t have the courage to try it.

How To

How to: Maintain non-law relationships

Relationship

Non-law relationships are the best! On a regular basis I can facebook message or text one of my non-law friends about things like grades and have them be really genuinely happy for me. In law school, there is always competition. Don’t get me wrong, I have great friends in law school. It’s awesome to have other people to talk about the challenges and problems of school, law related stuff, and how awful our lives are. BUT, that doesn’t mean sometimes you don’t need an escape.

Maintaining relationships with non-law people is really difficult and it’s hard for them to understand what you’re going through. I have three really close friends. One, Katie, I’ve been friends with since elementary school. We’ve both really independent people and sometimes we’ll go a few months without talking. Sometimes, it’s more like a week. Luckily, since we’re both fairly independent, there isn’t any animosity when we don’t talk for months. My two other friends are Sam and Marisa. We’ve been friends for a few years and were sorority sisters in undergrad. We’ve all graduated and have jobs, school, relationships, etc. I talk to them pretty much every day in one way or another. Outside of friends, I have Patrick and my family to keep me sane.

The best thing about Katie, Sam, and Marisa is they are all young enough and fresh enough out of school to understand that during finals, I will be busy and won’t be around to talk to much. They can be genuinely excited for me when I do well in a class and are still interested enough (or act interested enough) in my life to let me explain stupid law things to them.. We’re all so uniquely different in the paths we’ve taken that there is always something interesting going on in our lives. I don’t actively take time out of my day to talk to any of them really, it just kind of happens. I have a facebook message going with Sam and Marisa and I text Katie all the things I can’t say to anyone else. It’s just not hard to stay in contact with them or to have an interest in their lives.

With Patrick, well, that poor kid is stuck with me forever now. He’s such a trooper letting me go crazy and stress out, taking care of things when I need to study, and every single semester he learns more about law than he could ever care about. Maintaining a relationship with him is easy. We schedule in a date night when I don’t have a lot of studying and I’m not working. Date nights are cheap, we order in food and watch a movie on Netflix or we go out to dinner. Every night, I try to make sure we have a least a little bit of time to talk about our day or really anything. I get most of my work done at school so when I’m home, it’s family time only. He’s quite a trooper with the craziness of my life.

However, not all relationships are as easy to maintain. My family does not understand why I go MIA for a few weeks during finals and don’t always have time to come home or talk. I wish I could get them to come audit a class for a few days so they could see what I really deal with everyday. Sometimes, relationships like these may be easier to just cut your losses on. But in my case, they are family and I can’t and won’t do that. I try to make time for my family and make sure I’m calling home and seeing everyone while I’m home but it can be difficult.

Maintaining relationships is work. Regardless of if you are in law school, it’s hard to keep a relationship going. I remember reading somewhere the brain has a hard time balancing any more then 7 real relationships. Now imagine the limited brain capacity you have in law school. Sometimes the relationships are worth it and sometimes they aren’t. Trying to get others to understand law school is not going to work unless they are in law school but taking an active interest in someone else’s life can definitely help.

How To

How to: Live on a budget

One of the crappier parts of law school is learning to live cheaply. Each semester, I get a set amount of money for a loan disbursement and whatever I make from working. It’s a bit easier living with two incomes instead of one but it doesn’t mean we don’t have to use a budget.

Our budget is fairly set each month (though we are a little behind this month since I don’t get my disbursement until tomorrow). The budget is broken down into income, expenses, and savings/debts. I use excel to keep track of everything because I’m absolutely terrible at math and it’s so much easier. What we typically do is print a hard copy for the fridge and write down every single cent we spend during the month. About once a week, I put everything in the computer and make sure we aren’t over budget on anything too much.

Income for each month
Income for each month

This is how we lay out our income for the month. I get $1,000 a month in loans, plus I work about 20 hours a week. Patrick is hoping to have a full time (almost full time) job this semester so we guessed at his income. When we put something in the actual column it will automatically populate the difference.

Expenses
Expenses

These are our monthly expenses. Our rent is the only bill we have paid this month so far and because I don’t technically have income yet, we aren’t tracking expenses. Right now, we have no budget for eating out or going out to have fun because I’m living off of loans almost exclusively. Each month, I go through and figure out how much we can estimate to spend on things like groceries. Since we were able to get a lot of groceries from my parents and have giftcards to use at the grocery store, our grocery budget is significantly less than it usually is.

Savings/Debt
Savings/Debt

Saving and debt to us is a huge expense that we should be planning for each month. We hope to put away $100 each month into our joint savings (plus a little in our separate accounts). Right now, my school loans are in deferment and Patrick doesn’t have loans so we don’t HAVE to make any payments on those if we don’t want to. I also have an Old Navy card and Patrick and I both have credit cards that need to be updated and put on a repayment “plan” in our budget, though we try not to carry balances.

Outcome
Outcome.

Finally, at the end of the budget, we have our monthly outcome. The budget automatically generates the numbers at the end of the month and we can see how well we did in the grand scheme of things.

Living on a budget isn’t easy. It requires planning and attention to what is going on in our life. If you have two incomes and two people spending money, it’s even more difficult to get both people on the same page. I handle the budget at our house but I rely on Patrick to make sure he puts in all the spending on the printed sheet. In the end, I’m hoping we can reach our personal finance goals earlier than we expected by using a budget. Fingers crossed!

How To

How to: Survive the law school gossip mill

Gossip

 

Let’s be honest, law school is high school all over again but instead of who is wearing what outfit, it’s who failed a class or slept with another classmate this weekend. Sometimes, it completely sucks being around a gossip mill that churns out less than spectacular news items about classmates. I’ll admit, I’m a huge gossip and I love knowing what’s going on in everyone’s life. Not just the gossip part but the “how are you” “how’s your family” life too. Surviving the gossip mill of law school can be a lot to take on if you aren’t prepared for it and being able to recognize when you’re slipping into gossip mode is important.

Here’s a good example: every year the 1Ls plan a Halloween party at a local bar for law students and their family/friends. Patrick and I were there and met a man who asked Patrick what it was like to live with a law school and to tell him it gets better. We found out his wife is a 1L and has been struggling with the work, understanding things (typical 1L struggles) but also has a reputation in her class as being mean. Now, in the short time I had known this girl, I couldn’t imagine her being mean. She was so nice and grateful to have someone to talk to about her problem with the gossip mill and I still think it’s one of those reputations that is wrong. However, the gossip mill keeps feeding the idea she’s mean.

So how do you go about surviving law school when you have to worry about what your reputation is or what people are saying about you? It’s actually really easy. You just have to ignore, ignore, ignore. First off, remember if someone wants to gossip about you, they will find something to gossip about. You could be the most vanilla, nicest person in the world, they will find something. Don’t stress about everything and let them gossip about stupid things like how you looked stupid in that class or failed a test.

Next, don’t give them anything to gossip about. We’re all intelligent adults here. We know that if you go out one weekend, get trashed, and get arrested, it’s going to be talked about. Now, I’m not saying don’t have fun or do anything crazy but know that certain things will turn into gossip. If it doesn’t bother you, fantastic! Go do your thing.

When something in your life inevitably becomes gossip, just don’t play into it. Don’t comment on it, don’t spread it around, just let it be. Things move fast in law school and if you don’t make a big deal about it, people will move on. When I’ve had gossip going around about me, I lean on my few close law school friends and give them the whole 100% truth. Other than that, if Billy wants to think I did X,Y, Z then let him; it’s no harm to me.

The biggest way to survive the law school gossip mill is to stop it from continuing. If you hear gossip from someone else, keep it to yourself. I’m terrible at this and always want to share what I know. I try to be careful not to tell any other law students about it though so it can’t continue through the law school. If you absolutely need to talk to someone and tell someone what you heard, talk to a non-law school friend and don’t use names. I tell Patrick all kinds of crazy things I hear and he has no idea who did X and who did Y. Quite frankly, he doesn’t care either. If it’s something that can easily be connected back to someone with the limited knowledge Patrick has, I tell Louie. Who  is my dog going to tell that Sally went crazy this weekend and did X, Y, and Z and can’t sit for the bar? He can tell cone dog next door, or fluffy white dog across the hall a la 101 Dalmatians, I don’t care.