Legal Essay Contest Catalog

Do you love to research and write?  Did you know you can get paid for it if you have the winning submission to one of the many legal essay competitions that happen each year?  Some contests provide a specific topic or hypothetical for students to respond to, while others simply want an essay on a general field of law, leaving the specifics up to the prospective authors.  There are monetary prizes and the winners often also get the opportunity to attend a conference or be published in the hosting organization’s publication.

Our friends at Richmond Law keep the Legal Essay Contest Catalog, a comprehensive list of all the essay competitions out there targeted at law students.  You can filter your search by topic and contest deadline.  There are lots of contests open this spring and summer–on topics from maritime law to constitutional law to labor & employment law, so get researching and writing!  Don’t forget to come see a librarian if you need help coming up with a topic–we can get you started on the right path!

Bring a Friend to PB&J…and a Demo & Win a Prize!

pb and j friend contest rev 022416Wednesday, February 24th at the Library’s biweekly PB&J . . . and a Demo program, you can win a prize just by showing up with a friend.  So grab your law school bestie and stop by the Collaborative Commons for a delicious, FREE sandwich.

In addition to regular old creamy and crunchy peanut butter, and grape jam and strawberry jelly, recent PB & J sandwich offerings have included these tasty fillings:

  • Nutella
  • Almond butter
  • Honey
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Apple butter

It’s so much more than just plain old PB&J, so come check it out on Wednesday!

Students will also learn about an awesome study tool, CALI lessons!

Laptops in the Classroom

The most recent in a string of articles discussing the effects of laptops in the classroom was recently published in the Winter 2016 volume of The National Jurist. The study referenced in the article, entitled “The Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of coffee-apple-iphone-laptopLonghand Over Laptop Note Taking,” compared performance between students taking their notes by hand versus those who typed their notes. The study concluded that, while the efficiency of typing appeals to many students, computers are a detriment to student absorption of information.

According to another study by the University of Louisville Law Review, nearly 90 percent of students using laptops during a class are engaging in online activities unrelated to the class at some point during class—whether it be email, instant messaging, shopping, or checking out their fantasy football league standings. But, even when internet is not an option and they are just using their laptops for note taking purposes, their learning may still be impaired because they are not processing the information. By taking handwritten notes, students are forced to listen carefully and analyze what the most important pieces of information are. This process is called “encoding” and is the key to cementing learning—and it doesn’t happen when students are just transcribing what the professor says.

So should we ban all laptops? Not necessarily. Some classes make use of technology during class and many students get nervous trying to take notes without their computers. However, it might be worth informing students that they may be doing a disservice to themselves by choosing to use their computers in the classroom.