Category Archives: General

Library Week Survey and Scavenger Hunt – Reminder

Reminder – Friday April 17, at 5:00 p.m. is the deadline for students to participate in the survey on library services and scavenger hunt, as part of our Library Week celebration. You can find the anonymous survey at, and game cards for the scavenger hunt on the Fourth Floor near the reference desk. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to win a goodie bag from Westlaw or one of three study aids from Lexis!

Happy Library Week!

Happy Library Week!

We will be celebrating National Library Week at the TJSL Library this week with a few events. On Monday, 4/13, at 2:00pm in the library lobby, please join us for cake to celebrate both National Library Week and Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. While you’re there, take a look at our display of U.S. currency featuring Thomas Jefferson, generously on loan from Professor Steve Semeraro.

Starting on Monday and going on all week, there is a scavenger hunt open to students. A correct entry in the scavenger hunt enters you to win a goodie bag from Westlaw. Game cards will be available at the Circulation Desk on Monday.

Also starting on Monday and lasting all week, we will have a student survey on library services. After completing the anonymous survey at you can enter to win one of three prizes of a gift certificate for a free Lexis study aid. Thank you for helping us improve our Library services!Lib Week 2015 graphic

American Bar Association Membership is Free for Students

Did you know that students at ABA accredited law schools are eligible for free ABA membership? Member privileges include access to the ABA job board, career advice webinars, member discounts and more.

For more information see this article from ABA Journal.


Celebrate Single-Tasking Day: Here’s Why and How! By Elizabeth Scott, M.S. Stress Management Expert


“I knew this last week! Why can’t I remember this?” – Every law student, ever.

Even at the best of times our memory can fail, leaving us hopelessly fumbling for that case name or trying to remember who had the onus of proof.

Fear not though, as studying for my secondary degree in Psychology has given me great insight into the best ways to remember things and how to avoid forgetting. Here are just a few tips on how to prepare for exams based on what psychology tells us about memory…


Well, not completely.

According to the “Deep Processing” theory, just listening to a lecturer without engaging in the material is one of the weakest ways of storing something to your long term memory. By only just repeating the analyses others have done, you are not thoroughly understanding and thus not processing the material with any amount of depth. To allow for deeper processing:

  • Stop reading your friends’ notes on the subject. Instead, make your own and put them in your own words.
  • Try and explain the concepts to a friend.
  • Do more practice questions.


No, I’m not joking.

If you’re the boozy soon-to-be lawyer who stumbles home at 2 am and does their readings half plastered, you will better remember the content you have learnt if you try and recall it when drunk (that’s not to say that alcohol won’t have other negative effects on performance).

This is all based on “Context-Dependent learning” or “State-dependent learning”. Essentially, information recall is significantly better if you are in very similar circumstances to what you learnt it in.

So if you have to take exams at your university, in silent room, sitting alone, you will probably be better off studying at your university, without noise (sorry guys, no music), completely alone.

If you drink coffee right before studying for Criminal Law, drink it right before your Criminal exam. If you don’t have any particular precursor to study, introduce one (such as chewing gum or wearing a particular fragrance) and use it right before your exam.


At least not in the way you are probably using them.

Typically, students stare at each card for as long as it takes to remember the information on it and then move on to the next, but for flashcards to be useful they must follow the “Say All Fast Minute Each Day Shuffle” (SAFMEDS) method. All or as many cards as possible should be looked at as fast as possible for a minute. The cards you cannot remember instantly should be taken from the pile and then reviewed. This needs to be repeated each day, having been shuffled into a new order.

This method is effective because:

  • The rate at which you complete this forces you to think quickly while under pressure – a  crucial skill for exams.
  • Repetition is important in memorizing anything.
  • In shuffling them, you are not learning the information in a particular order that can be pre-empted or act as cues to the correct answer.

Note: Flashcards should have no more than a few words on it otherwise they become ineffective.


Psychology tells us that instead of trying to just memorize information, students should utilize the technique of mnemonics to increase the amount they can remember and their recall accuracy. This is done by coupling new piece of information, such as the elements to a contract, with something you are quite familiar with, like how to get to university. So if you visualize a man offering you a deal on shoes on your street, you should be able to recall that an offer is the first element to a contract by calling forth this imagery.

Building on this technique, attaching things you need to remember to things you are already familiar with, you could:

  • Visualize your friends in the legal situations you are learning about
  • Relate the case names back to things or people you know. For example I remember the case of Holland v Hodgson better than all other fixture cases because one of my close friends came from Holland to Australia.

These little known facts are just teasers to the great expanse of things we know about memory, so take a look at some psych textbooks and see how you can develop your memory even more. What are your tips for memorizing law content?


Why Law Students and Job Seekers Need Business Cards

Well, in general, why does anyone need a business card?

I use them as a logical, manageable way to communicate my contact information to another person. It’s a physical object that someone can refer to at a later time to either get in touch with me, or pass my contact information to another.

By distributing them wildly, I hope that, paired with my stunning good looks, and engaging, humorous conversation, my card will leave an unforgettable impression on people and they will reach out to me to further their end game of giving me their money.  Or maybe even just follow up on something we talked about.

A business card expands your network and ups your professionalism by making it really easy to get a hold of you, and represents that you are serious about what you represent. Anyone can say that they are a snake oil salesman, but if you don’t have a business card to prove it, I’m getting my snake oil from the next guy (disclaimer: the next guy who has a card as awesome as the guy in the video below).

Law students and job seekers:

You may not be affiliated with any specific commercial venture right now, but having a generic card with your contact info is critical! In fact, “in between” times may be the most important times to have a card.  I pretty much never remember the people that “don’t have one on [them].”  But if I make a real connection with a person and they hand me their card, I’ll be more likely to follow up and see how we can help one another.

It doesn’t matter who it is, or what their lifestyle, people who take themselves seriously do so with their words, their appearance, their mannerisms, and all of their actions (Tweet this).

Now, here is something practical.  Simple, but hopefully helpful.

For those unfamiliar with the “generic card” notion, here’s the primer.

Layout and general look:

Pick something boring.  Seriously.

You don’t need a logo, and you don’t need personal colors or shapes.  Remember that you generally give this card after you have engaged someone.  Any distraction on your card takes peoples’ eyes and brains away from the text.

Why do you think legal documents are so boring?  Focus on the words, esquire.

Only put the information that needs to be on there:

The card I used when I was “in between.”

(1) Name:  Use the name you put on your resume.  If you have earned letters after your name, use them.  I lean towards giving more information.  (But I also talk a lot.)

(2) Tagline: Optional. I chose something relatively vague that sort of represents somewhat of a world view for the world I’m seeking to attract.  In some instances, people wanted to follow up with me on intrigue alone.  

(3) Professional email address: This is the most common method people will use to reach out to you.  If you’re still holding onto “”* it’s time to decide to never use that again.  Ebay, maybe?  Regardless, you can’t wear that here.  Try “” or a similar combination if you have a common name.

(4) Phone: I used my cell phone number before I figured out Google Voice.  But you need a phone number people can call and text.  Remember, the best thing about the “generic card” is its versatility.

(5) Linkedin profile URL or personal website:  I like Linkedin because it’s basically an online resume.  Someone can take your card and look you up to confirm for themselves that you are who you said you are.  Also, when it’s printed on this card you’re handing out everywhere, it’s motivation to keep your Linkedin profile updated.

(6) Twitter handle: Optional.  I like twitter, and have it set so that if someone mentions me or DM’s me, I get an email.  Does anyone think putting a Twitter handle on here is more harmful than helpful to your cause? (reply in the comments, please)

(7) Geographic location:  Optional.  I love Maine and I’m proud to live here, so … you’re damn right I’m in Portland, ME. 

Three words: R. O. I.

Go buy 250 business cards. It’s pretty cheap to make substantial steps toward steering your future.

Chelsea  and Zeke Callanan are the founders of Happy Go Legal, a multi-media resource for new and aspiring legal professionals.  Mrs. Callanan is a 2008 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, and currently practices at Murray, Plumb & Murray in Portland, Maine, focusing on corporate and intellectual property needs of business of all sizes.  Mr. Callanan is an attorney and founder of Opticliff ESQ,


Basic Legal Citation

An introduction that aims at building a basic mastery of “legal citation” as codified in the two major references – a level of mastery that should enable you to do all of your legal reading and much of your legal writing without having to reach for them.

By Peter Martin, Cornell University