Alisha’s declassified law school survival guide

A few weeks ago, I was studying with a friend and we started discussing the essential items that make our law-school lives (somewhat) easier. She said she wished she had known what to buy before 1L year started, so I thought I would share my favorites.

  • Book stand: These are pretty affordable and most people I know order them from Amazon. It will definitely help your neck after hours of reading!
  • Erasable pens and erasable highlighters: These are great for note-taking, book-briefing and just about everything, especially if you use a color-coding system. They also make erasable markers, which I like to use in my planner.
  • Post-it tabs: These are especially useful to add reference tabs in your Bluebook, which you will use frequently.
  • Bluebook Online: Speaking of using your Bluebook, you can also purchase access to the online version. You can search for terms and rules in the online version fairly quickly.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs: It’s much easier to study at school with foam earplugs, white noise or music. I stash earplugs everywhere to have on hand for days when I forget my headphones. Most professors will also allow the use of headphones and earplugs during finals.
  • Layers: The temperature in Green Hall varies considerably, so keep extra layers around. Last year, my locker-buddy brought a blanket for our locker and I used it all the time. It may sound extra, but now I keep a “study blanket” in my study carrel.
  • Locker: You will probably need to share one, so find a friend and sign up for a locker at the beginning of the semester. My locker-buddy and I didn’t use our locker for books. Instead, we kept K-cups, coffee mugs, snacks, layers, Tylenol, extra earplugs, notebooks and anything else that we needed for long days at Green Hall (including a blanket!).
  • Whiteboard: I don’t have a good place to hang one, but I know a lot of people who use a large whiteboard for studying. I use poster paper for the same effect because I like to make flowcharts for review.

You will be studying and reading a lot in law school, so you should also ask around and get advice from your fellow classmates.  Hopefully some of these suggestions will help!

— Alisha Peters is a 2L from McPherson and a KU Law Student Ambassador.