I’m not ashamed to admit I love being inside Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library. I terribly miss being able to go there and turn off the “real” world. I have spent the majority of the last two and a half years crammed in a corner, using a study room, or working the reference desk. Anybody who knows me will tell you that if you are looking for me, odds are I’m in the library. Yes, I realize I’m in the minority here. But for me the library was the place where I could tune out distractions and actually get my work done. It’s hard to imagine studying for the bar exam anywhere else, but at this point it appears that will be my reality.
After two weeks of the “new normal” I have come to a realization, your library is what you make of it, so make the best of it. I have adapted. I have figured out another way to study. Another way to learn. This is not a lesson I am learning for the first time. More than once in law school I thought I had it all figured out, such as the best way to outline, the best way to study, or the best way to prepare for class. More than once I realized I was wrong. That is because each class, each professor, each subject of study is unique. Because of this, the way each class is approached must be similarly unique. More simply put, don’t pigeonhole yourself into one way of doing things. Be prepared to constantly adapt and change.
Our library has such an amazing amount of resources available online. (Westlaw, Lexis, WestAcademic, Bloomberg, Cali, LibGuides, ect.) Not to mention an amazing library staff that is more than happy to assist you if you have any questions.
It is hard to truly quantify how much I have learned and accomplished inside the library. I have learned from faculty, study groups (shout out to section D and my 1L room 123 crew), and books I have found. Most of all I have learned from other students. It was a true pleasure for me to pass on what I learned to 1L’s and 2L’s. So many times I was saved by an upper-class student who already had the professor I had taken or pointed me to the study guide that helped them.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that reaching out to others around you is not a sign of weakness. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because odds are you will find someone with an answer or another classmate trying to figure out the same thing you are struggling with.
Work together, work better, succeed as one.
By: Matt King, 2019-20 Library Research Fellow