Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Coping with Stress Triggers

Submitted by Sara Wilmot, 2L, Gonzaga University School of Law, Class of 2020

Camesha Little is Assistant Dean of Students at Gonzaga Law. While her responsibilities within the law school are expansive, she serves an essential role to the success and wellbeing of our students. Her dedication to support makes Dean Little the perfect person to help students identify and cope with the pressures of law school.

“Stress triggers are different for every student and they change as you make your way through law school,” said Little. For entering 1Ls, adjusting to the structure and process of law school is the first big hurdle. Undergraduate students are used to structure and feedback. “We strip all of that away, while simultaneously increasing the expectations,” said Little. For 1Ls, the key is conquering the unknown.

The 2L hurdle shifts to balancing your time. 2Ls are more involved in school actives like clubs, moot court and law review. Many are balancing internships along with class loads. “It’s a matter of juggling responsibilities with exhaustion,” said Little. “But it’s all possible!” 
3L year brings about the wonder of what life after law school will look like. The bar is looming. The financial pressures of student loan debt make finding a job essential. With the finish line in sight, 3Ls must make that final push.  

Students deal with external pressures of the outside world as well. “It can be difficult to keep and maintain relationships with people,” said Little. “We all have to balance our school lives with what happens outside of this building.”

Dean Little’s advice for managing it all? Perspective.
 “Remember your whys,” she said. “Why are you here? What are your goals? We often do more than we need to accomplish our goals.” Little emphasizes the importance of evaluating and assessing ourselves. “Check in with yourself, and ensure you’re heading where you want to go,” said Little. “Give yourself the grace to shift.”

Law and stress go hand in hand. Little’s advice is to practice responses to stress now. “Law school is different from legal practice, but regardless you’re always busy,” she said. So, treat law school as a training ground to practice your response and learn stress management.
If your 1L year is full of uncertainty Little suggests doing things to build your confidence. “If you’re worried about exams, do practice questions, use your tutors. Lean into the learning curve and do your best,” she added.

The 2L remedy is a little different. “Remember the end result is to be a lawyer,” said Little. Practicing law requires competency. “This means being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually present for your client. So, you can’t spread yourself too thin,” she said. Little’s best tip? Learn to say no when you have too much on your 2L plate.

As the end approaches, the best advice for 3Ls is to be prepared. For the bar and the job hunt Little’s says start early. “Trust what you know about yourself. How you study, and where you want to work,” said Little. She also reminds 3Ls to appreciate their hard work as law school comes to an end. “It’s important to process the big moments in our lives,” she added.  

Regardless of where you are in your law school journey, Little reminds us to be kind to ourselves. “Give yourself permission to mess up. Don’t judge yourself. Realize you are human,” she said. “It’s okay to have big dreams. But be consistent in your practice and be consistent with yourself.”

Dean Little provided a list of student resources for a little extra help in coping with the pressures. All support groups are for GU students and free of charge.

There are several support groups including:

Adjusting to Life At GU
Aug. 28, Aug. 29, Aug. 30, Aug. 31 & Sept. 4 @ 12noon

Level Up Your Life: Gaming Group
Wednesdays | Sept. 19 - Nov. 28 @ 3:15p

Positive Psychology Workshop & Support Group
Tuesdays | Oct. 9 - Dec. 4 @ 12:15p

LGBTQ+ Support Group
Tuesdays | Oct. 16 - Dec. 4 @ 4:15p

Coping with Difficult People
*details coming soon*

Grief Support Group
*details coming soon*

Support for Students on the Autism Spectrum
*details coming soon*
All support groups are for GU Students and free of charge. Groups are led by a licensed staff therapist at Heath & Counseling Services.
All groups are held at 704 E. Sharp

Grief Support Group for GU Students
Gonzaga Health & Counseling Services’ Grief Support Group provides opportunities for learning and coping with the loss of a loved one. The group generally meets Tuesday 12:15 – 1:30. The group will meet at Health & Counseling Services, 704 E. Sharp. It is no cost and students can join anytime. Lunch will be provided. Visit https://gonzaga.campuslabs.com/engage/event/1760758 for more information.

Online Resources
Our online wellness toolbox is available to you with various resources whenever you think you might want or need it.https://www.gonzaga.edu/Student-Development/Wellbeing-Resources/Wellness-Toolbox.asp There is also a grief toolkit.

Health & Counseling Services
704 E. Sharp
A full team of mental and physical health providers are available for one-on-one and small group counseling.  Students can walk in any time or make an appointment, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, Thursdays, 10am-5pm.

University Ministry
Hemmingson Center, 1st Floor, Suite 104
The University Ministry team is available to meet with students, faculty, and staff to provide support, including spiritual and pastoral care.  This office is open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm.

Center for Cura Personalis
729 E. Boone
Case managers are available to meet with students to connect them resources, provide support, and assist in navigating challenges that arise.  This office is open Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm.

First Call for Help
This resource is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide a supportive listener, immediate assistance for individuals in crisis, and connection to community resources.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How Westlaw and LexisNexis can help on your next interview

Law students use online legal research services such as Westlaw or LexisNexis for research tasks at school and work. These resources make research fast and efficient but oftentimes students do not use the full range of services that these platforms offer. Tip: use an online legal research service to prepare for your next interview. While preparing for an interview is already stressful and time consuming, this research can be what sets you apart from other interviewees.

Use Westlaw or LexisNexis to research cases involving the attorney(s) conducting the interview. Take the time to read available briefs and resulting judicial opinions to have a general understanding of writing styles and legal arguments. This will give you ample discussion material for the interview. The interviewer will likely be impressed with your research and you will stand out as a strong candidate.

To access this information: 

On LexisNexis - Click on Litigation Profile Suite in the top left hand corner. Filter by attorney, state, city, and employer. 

On Westlaw - Click on Tools under Browse and find the Profiler link. Filter by attorney, state, city, employer, and practice area. 

While I generally use Westlaw for research, I prefer LexisNexis when using this feature! Try both to find your preference. 

If you need further assistance researching an employer, do not hesitate to reach out to a Westlaw or LexisNexis representative, Center for Professional Development staff member, or Chastek Library Reference Desk Assistant! 

Submitted by Holli Higgins, 2L Gonzaga University School of Law

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Zag Law Library News - September/October 2018

Click image to view newsletter


Judge Kavanaugh Confirmed

After a highly contentious confirmation process and a 50-48 vote, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as the 114th Supreme Court Justice for the United States Supreme Court on October 6, 2018.

He was sworn in later that day by Chief Justice Roberts and the Judicial Oath was administered by retiring Associate Justice Kennedy. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

CRS Reports Now Available Online

The Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, has announced that Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports are now available to the public online. CRS reports provide authoritative and confidential research and analysis for Congress' deliberative use.

To search CRS reports, visit https://crsreports.congress.gov/

To read more from Carla Hayden about CRS reports becoming widely available online, visit https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2018/09/trending-congressional-research-service-reports-now-available-online/

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Change in Access Policy in the Chastek Library

This week, the Chastek Library implemented a new access policy. This change affects all users of the library, including the general public.

Our general public hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. We are closed to the general public on Saturday and Sunday.

Our hours for Gonzaga Law Students are Monday - Thursday 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 

Each Monday through Thursday, at 6:00 pm we will be clearing out the library of all library users (general public, law students, undergraduate students, et al.) and only law students, faculty, and staff will be allowed back into the library. The front doors to the library will be locked and you will need your Gonzaga ID to enter the library.

Gonzaga Law alumni and attorneys who wish to have access to the Chastek Library should contact the Circulation Desk (509.313.5792) for information about access.

The primary reason the Chastek Library is implementing this new access policy is that we are committed to having a safe and secure building for Gonzaga Law School students, staff, and faculty.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Objection! From ClassicReload

TBT - Old School Video Games - Objection! from ClassicReload. This 1984 courtroom video game is available online for free at https://classicreload.com/objection.html

Step into the virtual courtroom with the Objection! game series. The first video game to ever become professionally certified. Increase your aptitude and speed in identifying objectionable questions. Fun for everyone from professionals looking to sharpen their skills, law students or anyone interested in law. There is usually less then a second from the time a prosecutor asks the question to when the witness answers. So speed and accuracy counts toward your score. Many states also offer professionals CLE credits where home study of continuing education is available.

In Objection! you deal with a murder trial. With your virtual consciousness at ease you know your client is innocent and have the opportunity to defend the prosecutor's line of questioning by using one of the 12 objectionable categories. The game is not based on memorization, but on learning to identify and understand the proper responses. Many questions are also legitimate and you specify that the question is proper in order to maintain your silence. After every question you can press x or z to get a legal explanation as to the ruling of your objection. They also keep a chalkboard reminder of important tips to remember. As seen below some questions are also worth partial or full credit because a variety of objections may be suitable for the situation. Rulings are regularly updated and it has correct rulings for all 50 states, dc and federal court. You also get the opportunity to cross examine the witness in level 2.