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Author Topic: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?  (Read 1613 times)

crimlaw222

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Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« on: June 08, 2006, 11:21:28 PM »
Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library and all the stress/competition that goes on in there? I would much rather prefer to study somewhere else quiet, hopefully this will be possible? Or am I missing something here?

queencruella

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 11:34:34 PM »
I plan on avoiding the law library as much as possible. From what I understand, it's not really necessary to be in there other than for legal research/writing. I talked to quite a few students where I'm going who did not spend much time in the law library at all and either studied at home or elsewhere on campus. I actually talked to several students who recommended studying outside of the law library around exam time.

LawSchoolHopeful2009

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 11:40:50 PM »
I'm all for that. In undergrad, I never got any work done in the library. Two of our major libraries on campus were pretty much considered hangout spots instead of places of study. I can't, for the life of me, concentrate on work when I see a lot of other people around me- too many distractions. I'm sure the same will hold true for me while in law school. The competitiveness/stress in law school libraries is extremely intense and not something I want to subject myself to.For the most part, I plan on either studying in my apartment or finding a quiet spot in town to do so.

J D

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 11:43:57 PM »
One thing to keep in mind with the library is that you don't want to be a complete stranger to it, even if you'd rather do your studying somewhere else.  When you get assignments in legal writing it may be tempting (once you've been trained in Lexis and Westlaw) to skip the library and do all the research somewhere else.  I'm not sure this is a good idea.  Even if you can use the electronic services, you should still try to do some of the research in print (first of all, for many problems it's actually faster than stumbling around trying to construct a good search; second, it keeps you in practice with the print resources so that you don't forget how to use them if you end up in a summer job where you have to limit your Lexis and Westlaw use). 

Also, get to know your librarians.  They're paid to help you, and will do so gladly.  So, if within 10-15 minutes into your research you're not finding very much, go to the reference desk and ask for help.  They'll point you in the right direction, and often direct you to sources you might not have considered that will give you a better way into the the primary sources of law.  Also, if you talk to them often, and attend whatever training workshops they offer, you'll gain insight into what kind of resources are out there, which will make you a much more efficient and resourceful researcher.
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queencruella

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 11:55:19 PM »
I've been doing tech writing for a while now, researching topics on which I have zero previous knowledge, so I am pretty comfortable working both inside and outside a library and am quite efficient. In grad school, I went to the library when it was more convenient for me to do so and otherwise avoided it.

greengrl

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 11:58:07 PM »
i got a two bedroom apt so I would have an 'office' of sort--i've got a couch, desk and plenty of lamps and bookshelves to make it the perfect little study cubby. i hate the stress and distractions of libaries--i feel stress is a communicable disease :)

kmpnj

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2006, 12:11:03 AM »
I'm planning on spending Sundays at the library doing whatever research I need to do for that week.  During the week, I'll probably hang there between classes or after class for a bit.  Depends how much I have to do or if I choose to go the study group route.

fainana

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2006, 01:00:58 AM »
Can someone elaborate on the whole "competitive" and "stress" aspect of the library? I never thought of the library in that way, but maybe there's something I'm missing?

Stacie

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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2006, 08:39:07 AM »
I don't intend to be in the law library unless I actually need the resources specific to the library. 

If I'm studying from my own books/notes, it'll be elsewhere. Quite possibly on my couch or bed or when it's nice out, on a log at the big park near my house.   

It's not so much avoiding the stress or atmosphere, but I'm in control of my environment at home.
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Re: Is anyone else going to try to avoid the law library?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2006, 10:30:20 AM »
Come exam time, or about three weeks before it, the library and study rooms will be full of people. Some will be really stressed. They wonít feel good unless your stressed too. So if you donít look stressed they will come up to you and say ď I just finished my contracts outline, is 637 pages, and in English and Latin, just in case. How long is yours?Ē

I avoid the library like the plague. I HATE studying at school, I am too easily distracted, any one walks buy with in 100 feet and I know it. And they always want to talk to me. So I have a nice office set up in my extra bedroom. Everything where I need it, a super comfy office chair, a HUGE desk, book shelves, computer desk. Its command central. So I study 99% of the time at home, unless I have a study group planned.

If you get on a law review however, expect to spend countless hours in the library. My last article edit I spent at least 25 hours in there looking for the most inane stuff this guy cited too. You do get to know the library well though, because you canít use electronic sources.
That might be school specific.  I studied in the library all the time, less so around finals week though (I'll admit second semester I only entered the law school during finals weeks to get books and take exams).  I never had someone do something like that to intentionally stress someone out.

The stress thing wasn't malicious, it was just people not being mindful of what they were doing to you.  During finals week, what I found was a lot of "don't disturb me" signals were ignored.  People had no trouble walking up to someone engrossed in studying at his or her carrel, with headphones on, and interrupt them. You might have AIM on, with an away message specifically stating you did not want to be disturbed, and you would get messages that sound like when someone gets the answering machine but knows the person is home.  Basically, a lot of people assume that if you're at the library, you're available.  I've heard stories about people being at the library, not being on AIM, and getting e-mails from people asking them why they would be on the library without being on AIM.

Once a person did get a hold of you, they would want to discuss something or ask you a question.  And the question would always have this undercurrent to it, like "This is the most important thing for this class, and I don't know it, and if you don't know it, we're both gonna fail."  The only way to study at the library was to completely isolate yourself, which can be difficult when a lot of people are at the library because they assume that being there entitles them to free advice and tutoring.

That said, the law library isn't evil.  Know it, love it, but know when to get away from it.  I mgiht have a different view of the law library, because IU's is gorgeous, while a lot are not even great places to study.  But don't throw out the idea of studying there altogether.  If it works for you, then by all means use it, but remember to leave as soon as it becomes less productive.