Tag Archives: tips

Tips & Advice for the Bar Exam

30 Nov

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Bar Exam Tip #2

30 Jan

When you get to the Multiple Choice Questions, always follow this method:

  1. Read the Answers first and mark off those you know are legally incorrect or that don’t make sense.

  2. Read the Question second and mark off any more wrong answers you notice here (i.e. answers that are true facts but that don’t actually answer the question).

  3. Finally read the Facts.  

Why do this?

Historically, this is the easiest, fastest, and most accurate way to solve any Multiple Choice question. I recomend it to students taking the LSAT, TESOL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT and other exams as well.

There are many reasons for doing the first step at the beginning.

  1. You avoid some of the test traps. Test questions often play mind games. For example: they give you opposite answers, they alter the time limits for a statute of limitations, they add an exception, they change one word. And the facts will point to the wrong conclusion. Don’t let them get to you; You’ve studied the law. Just go with what you remember from your studies and take out any answers you know are legally incorrect before letting the facts distract you.
  2. You avoid the dreaded moment where you think you have the answer and then it isn’t on the list. Your mind blocks up, you can’t get that first solution out of your head, and you bomb it. Know the possibilities, the real possibilities, and read the question to figure out which one fits.
  3. You can now easily ignore any irrelevant facts or details (also a reason for doing steps three and four next) in the fact pattern itself and move more quickly to the relevant information.  These questions often through in irrelevant information and ask you to sort through it to figure out what was important. Knowing the answers helps you move through the question quickly. If all the answers are about whether or not the person is guilty because the crime was in private property, you know to ignore the fact that the suspect gave different answers about their age.  

The second step mainly keeps you from falling into the mistake of getting lost in the facts and failing to answer the right question. Fact Patterns can actually depict a couple of legal issues, while only one is relevant for the question. Nonetheless, one of the answers will solve or be related to that irrelevant legal problem trying to trick you. Often, that “correct but wrong” answer is higher than the right one on the list because we will instinctively go with the first “correct” answer we see. But that is not our job on the test. We are not required to solve all the legal errors, we are asked to answer the question given.  So to avoid falling for the red herring (correct, but not the right response, answers), do step two to erase all possible distractors that fail to solve the question.

I’d say for about 1/4-1/3 of the test, these first two steps will actually lead you to only one remaining answer. 

For the rest of the test, you’ll need to pick between 2 (sometiems 3 on a tough question) remaining solutions.  But at least you have narrowed your options down and the odds are better!


Magic Tricks!

19 Jul

7 Tricks for Making Your Study Abroad Experience Pop

13 Mar
"In front of Pudong Skyline" by leniners

“In front of Pudong Skyline” by leniners

In 2012-2013, the United States saw 289,396 students studying abroad. (1) While that is still on 1% of the student body population, the number is ever increasing. Add to that the students and people who are traveling via vacations, volunteer missions, immigration, military, and other international-related events and you have a surprising number of people with experience travelling abroad. In fact, in 2012, one billion people travelled abroad as tourists, and that doesn’t include those who go on a different type of VISA, such as teaching or business.(2)  

Studying abroad is a highly advantageous experience; offering a wide number of benefits from increased confidence and self-determination to broader understanding of how the world works.  Still, perhaps the #1 reason why most students go abroad is the concept of resume-stuffing.  When launching ourselves into a new career, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd; especially when most students have little practical work experience to fall back on.  Study abroad is one of the ways we give ourselves an edge over other candidates.

But now the word is out – Studying internationally offers excellent opportunities, builds your qualifications, and is fun to boot. So more and more people are joining the group of college and high schoolers stepping on planes  every summer, winter, spring, and fall.  

When the goal is to make yourself stand out, it’s starting to be more difficult to achieve this with study abroad. Too many people are doing it along with you. So how do you make your Study Abroad experience POP! What will help you rise above the crowd, pushing you in front once again?

1. Try a long Summer or Semester

Many programs in the Winter or Summer are actually pretty short. The two to three-week jaunt is pretty popular for universities, more like a small tour than classroom experience. While the shorter programs have a lot to offer (easy to fit into schedules, allows time for other experiences, lower costs), there is something to be said for taking a month or semester long program.  Attending a foreign university, taking actual classes with substantial assignments, getting more time to make the most of your trip and all the trip has to offer.  It will add to the legitimacy of you program in the eyes of Interviewers.

2. Step Out of Your Box

I say this quite frequently, but don’t just follow the program guide. Try planning your own adventures; adding friends or locals is even better. Too many students want to follow the schedule and then hang out at the hotel or nearby club. While the clubbing may certainly be fun; neither of those things adds to your hire-ability.  Instead, use the time to visit a museum, check out the main sights, try to get new and unique experiences. Feast at a random, untested food stall on the street. Go to an unmapped area in the city and wander the streets to see what you find. Employers who  look at study abroaders are significantly looking for people who show initiative, adventurousness, and adaptability. The best way to demonstrate that is to offer examples of times when you struck off the main roads and did something new and daring.  

3. Choose Well-Known Schools

One of the surprising things about Study Abroad is that it is usually easier to study with a reputable university for a short term than a long one. A lot of universities that would overlook you as a full-time student will gladly accept you as a student in their global program.  There is also the opportunity to pick a program at one of the hundreds of internationally recognized universities with ranking similar if not equal to US Ivy Schools. The international world of education has a lot to offer. Studying abroad is an easy way to study at a somewhat better (or more well-known) school than you otherwise might have.  

4. Pick Up a Internship

For some reason, most students don’t take internships into consideration when studying abroad. However, adding on work experience is one of the best ways to boost your resume.  You can find a lot of programs that offer an internship as part of the program itself (e.g. I studied with Fordham who organized a month-long internship with Samsung’s Legal Team in Seoul at the end of their summer program).  But you can also go out and find your own internship. Contact local companies; get ahold of your university’s career office and see if they have any contacts. 

5. Build Connections (and communication skills)

One of the worst mistakes Student Abroaders make is to hang out with fellow internationals and ignore opportunities to meet the locals.  It’s easier and more reassuring to sit and chat the night away with fellow English-Speaking members of your group than to stick yourself out there. But one of the skills to market to Employers on your return is that very skill – The ability to communicate with people regardless of background, culture, or language. Plus, you’d be amazed at the fascinating people you might meet! By opening up to the locals, you’ll meet expats who have had superstar careers or travelled to 150+ countries, local businessmen who own cool companies and invent awesome things,  maybe even some connections to help your career. Speaking of which, deliberately seek to meet and introduce yourself to people in your career field – ask for appointments, request interviews, and keep in touch with all the people you meet via LinkedIn or Email.

6. Take time on your Own

Having tested out several different types of study abroad programs, I found that the best and most beneficial experience were the trips I struck it off for a few days on my own. Maybe it’s just for a weekend trip from Madrid to Paris or jetsetting off for the holiday down to Shanghai. Or even just scooping out the little village an hour out. Planning and successfully completing a trip on your own in a foreign country is an amazing opportunity, and it grows you somehow. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it shows you and your hirers that you have it to go. Dump you in a complex, difficult situation, and you can thrive. That’s not something a lot of students abroad do, but it sure helps you move out from the crowd.

7. Don’t slack on the Grades

Don’t use the study abroad trip as a chance to slack off and grab easy grades. Did you know that a lot of schools offer “Highest Grade in. . . . ” even for study abroad classes?  It looks great on your resume if you can grab something like that. Plus, this is a good chance to boost your grades since Study Abroad classes tend to be more laid back and relaxed.  Use this as a chance to show people that you can adapt and succeed in any situation, even classes in a totally different country, maybe in a second language.


50 Simple Health Tips

23 Jun

50 Simpler Heath Tips via “Whole Living Wellness”

Sip Oolong Tea

Sip Oolong Tea

Research suggests that people with mild eczema who drink oolong tea three times a day may show improvement in itching and other symptoms. Compounds in the tea called polyphenols appear to be responsible.


Go Herbal

For varicose veins, try horse chestnut, an herbal extract that’s been shown in studies to strengthen veins and reduce swelling. The herb is also available in topical creams, though there’s not as much evidence for these.

Rub Your Temples

Tame tension headaches by rubbing peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples. All three remedies contain menthol, which has analgesic properties.

Enjoy Ginger

The volatile oils in ginger have long made it a useful herbal remedy for nasal and chest congestion. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a 1-inch piece of peeled, grated ginger; steep for 10 minutes; and strain. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the water and drink as needed.


How Many Times Have You Been Shared on Facebook?

9 Jun

If you are interested in finding out how many times your website (or any website) has been shared or drawn comments on Facebook, it’s simple.  

Just type http://graph.facebook.com/yoursiteaddress into the URL bar on your browser.  It will then tell you how many times that page has been shared and how many comments have been posted.

Replace “yoursiteaddress” with the exact url (Http:// and www. included) of whatever page you want to look up. NOTE: If you add in www. where there isn’t one or remove www. where there is one, the results will change.

For example,


looks like:


Whereas, one of my posts on Students Ramblings appears like this:



Cool Link: Kuler by Adobe

5 Apr

Confession: I am addicted to changing colors, styles, themes, and fonts on stuff.  Powerpoints are my favorite things ever, purely because it promotes playing with the appearance of your product.  

For fellow amateur designers, I wanted to tell you about the amazing thing that is Adobe’s site ‘Kuler.”  The professionals already know about it, because it is pretty much the best-thing-since-sliced-bread invention of web designing.  

The way it works is you pick a base color you particularly are interested in, and it gives you at least four other colors that it would go with.  For example, you can chose from “monochrome” and it gives you varieties of the same shade.  Ask for “complementary,” it pulls from opposite sides of the color wheel to make your swatch.   Here is an example from the “pink” I had chosen as my base (“cf135e”)













There are even a ton of sample swatches for you to start with or choose from!


You don’t even have to know your base color at the beginning; just drag the circles around the color wheel until you find a color. The nice part about this is that it gives you both the HEX code (#000000) and the RGB code.  I’m just upset that WordPress.com doesn’t let you use the codes anymore, instead you are limited to the first color samples.  But, it still works with Tumblr! 🙂


Bar Exam Tips

26 Feb

I haven’t gotten my score back, so I can’t offer any advice as to how to pass the bar. But I can tell you what let me survive the bar. 🙂

  1. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST! Line up everything you’ll need for the exam days, as well as orientation. Verify what proof of identity is required and whether anything else is needed for registration. You cannot arrive without the stuff needed to sign in.
  2. Look at what you can and cannot bring into the exam. It does you no good to orient yourself to a highlighting system in practice if highlighters are against the rules.  
  3. Practice Test with the tools given in the bar.  If you have pencils, then use pencils.  
  4. Give yourself an extra 15-30 minutes to arrive the first day of orientation. There will be plenty of people around to chat with, and it allows you the potential time for recovering if you get lost.  Make sure you know the route you’ll take to get there on time each day.
  5. Check out where food is located. In Iowa, the only nearby food is the Starbucks food cart, but it can run out of food after a while (or at least any options).  Everything else is a fair distance away.  
  6. Find out where to access drinks. Especially drinks at lower prices than the Starbucks. They wanted $3.50 for the same bottle that was $1.00 in the machine.
  7. Don’t eat stuffy foods. You’re going to be sitting for the next 6 hours in one spot with limited movement. Don’t eat anything that will stuff you up and make you sick.
  8. Don’t drink too much. You’re going to get 1-2 trips to the bathroom max. . . don’t drink too much water. 
  9. Don’t drink alcohol. Wait until after the exam–you cannot afford a hangover or to feel groggy the next day.
  10. SLEEPI know that everyone is already aware of this, but you need a decent night’s sleep.  The stress starts letting up the closer you get to finishing the bar, and by the end you’ll start feeling tired. It’s even worse when the rooms are warm and the multiple choice questions hit the boring stage.  Try to be as well rested as possible.
  11. Stop Stressing. It’s done; you have no more time to study or re-call anything else. Whatever happens is going to happen regardless of what you’re going to do.  Not worth extra stress that will only make you more tired.
  12. If possible, bring someone with you. They don’t want you to bring in anything, so having someone on hand to make sure you arrive safely, have money for food, watch over your bags, etc. can be a big help. The moral support isn’t too bad either.
  13. Time Everything. The biggest complaint I heard was that people ran out of time–many failed to answer some of the questions at all.  The test is set up to be easy to divide into portions. Essays get 30 minutes each; Multiple choice gets 3-4 minutes each; MPT essays get 90 minutes each. Promise yourself that you won’t spend any more time. If you have a chance at the end, go back, but otherwise try to put something down for everything. 

SD Memory Card Locked

12 Nov

I’ve run into this problem several times with photographers (particularly amateur with the little cameras), although I’m sure other people have had the same problem.  You plug in your SD Memory Card and it says something like “Memory Card Locked” or “Memory Card Unavailable.”  Don’t freak–your card isn’t necessarily unrecoverable!

If you look at the picture of the card above, note the notch on the left side. If you look carefully, you’ll see a part that’s a light grey.  You can see it more clearly in this picture.

What you may not know is that this is a little button–it slides up and down. And it is what locks up a memory card.  Basically it’s a key that protects your information from being hurt, so it locks the information down. You cannot access it, and you cannot change it.  Unfortunately, this is going to bring up error messages when you plug the card in. This is especially an issue for photographers who frequently pull the cards in and out of the camera. A lot of times, you’ll accidentally trigger this little button without realizing 

All You Have To Do Is Re-Click The Button.  

That’s it. Real Simple, no hassle, no computer-wizards necessary.  🙂

Academic Tools Law Students Should Know: Commercial Study Aids

25 Aug

The others in this series are (in order):

Law School is starting, has started, or will start for all those newbie 1Ls who are arriving on the scene. On behalf of all of your seniors, I offer you welcome. To HELL. Okay, so I promise it won’t be like that forever, but the first few weeks are probably going to seem like you have entered the ninth level of Dante’s Horrors.  Or perhaps they’ll start you off really light and leave you unsuspecting only to be thoroughly traumatized by greater difficulties later in the semester.  So as a gift to you, I offer you a few tools that will help you on your way.  They won’t take all the agony out of the process, but hopefully it will lighten your load at least a bit.  I have at least 7 ready to post but I’m splitting them up for readability. The rest will come out staggered over the next few days. Good luck!

 Commercial Study Aids

You’re going to hear a lot of people talking about commercial study aids, and without an explanation they can be kind of confusing.  This title is given to a wide category of study guides published and sold by the major law-publishing companies. They can be everything from outlines to exam guides to flash cards and more.  Usually they are intended to help you study for exams or offer general overviews of major legal subject.  They won’t be specific to your professor, but they can help you better understand the topic when your prof goes off on tangents or just doesn’t explain himself/herself well.  Since there are hundreds Continue reading

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