News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

IT and Law Library Orientation Now Open for 1Ls

In conjunction with C|M|Law’s Jump Start program for students starting school in the fall, the Information Technology department and law library are offering orientation materials on a drop-in basis.

How it works:

  1. Come by the research services office (Room 112) across from the circulation desk during normal hours.
  2. You will meet and talk with one of our librarians, who will give you a scavenger hunt handout and IT information for your law school computer accounts. The scavenger hunt takes 20-30 minutes and will help you get orientated to the law library and IT services.
  3. Upon completion of the scavenger hunt, give your results to a librarian in Room 112, at which point you will be given registration information for Lexis, Westlaw, CALI, and Scholar along with information on our legal research seminars and digital badge program.
  4. All students who complete the scavenger hunt will be entered into a contest for a $50 Amazon gift card; the drawing will be held during the first full week of classes.

Take the Pledge and You Could get a $1000 Scholarship

money bagIn order to help make law education more affordable and to help spread awareness about Driving Under the Influence and Distracted Driving, the Arizona law firm of Cantor Crane is offering a $1,000 law student scholarship to help current, or soon-to-be, law students ease the burden of higher education costs. Cantor Crane specializes in personal injury law.

Touro Law Center Launches New Journal on Experiential Learning

The Touro Law Center on Long Island, New York has recently launched the inaugural issue of the Journal of Experiential Learning. Articles are available full text online. The inaugural issue addresses the definition of experiential learning, as well as importance, cost, integration, and management issues. The editors are soliciting submissions for a second issue on law firm incubators and residency programs. Submissions are due by March 15, 2015.

Legal Education Reform Resources in One Place

From the Carnegie Report to The Lawyer Bubble, legal education reform has been a hot topic in academia, the profession, and in the news for the past several years. Writing on the issue has started to pile up, making it increasing difficult to get an overall picture of the crisis.

Fortunately, a bibliography recently posted to SSRN by the Gould Law Library at Touro Law goes a long way toward gathering citations to the most salient books, articles, reports, and media coverage in one place. The bibliography starts with major books published within the past seven years, and continues with articles, reports, and news coverage. Reports are organized by organization (e.g., ABA) and by state and city bar reports. News articles are organized by topics such as two-year versus three-year education, experiential learning, and cost of education. It is the intention of the authors to keep the bibliography up-to-date.

See Laura Ross, Gould Law Library, Legal Education Reform Bibliography (last updated September 24, 2014). [Full text from SSRN]

Brain Cells Die from Law School Stress, Neuroscientists Say

Law school stress can take an enormous toll on cognitive capacity, literally killing off brain cells and inhibiting learning. The bad news continues into the workforce: as a profession, lawyers suffer from depression at three times the rate of non-lawyers.

A recent article published in Loyola Law Review by Debra S. Austin takes a look at the neuroscience behind education and suggests methods of neural self-hacking that can alleviate law school stress. The author identifies sources of chronic stress in the hidden curriculum of law schools, including competitive classroom environments and the grading curve. She then reviews the science behind brain structure, the neurobiology of cognition, and how your emotional brain reacts to law school stress.

The author suggests several methods of neural self-hacking that change the way your brain works and actually help create new brain cells and stronger neural connections. Neural self-hacking includes things like getting enough sleep, exercising, doing yoga, meditating, and practicing gratitude.

Sure, it’s easy for you to blow off these suggestions for neural self-hacking as gratuitous Zen baiting. This is probably the bazillionith time you’ve had some guru tell you that adequate sleep and exercise is good, and that yoga is better than a glass of Jack Daniels. The difference here is that this article explains the science behind what really happens in your brain when you sleep, exercise, or meditate, and how this directly affects your stress levels, learning ability, and ultimately your success as a law student and future lawyer. This is the science behind why you really should relax, go for a walk, and get some zzzs.

The article is heavy on neuroscience lingo like amygdala, hippocampus, parasympathetic nervous system, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, so much so that it includes an appendix at the end. But don’t let that put you off reading it—the insight into the neuroscience of learning and the brain-altering benefits of stress reduction is worth slogging through any sea of science terms.

See Debra S. Austin, Killing Them Softly: Neuroscience Reveals How Brain Cells Die From Law School Stress and How Neural Self-Hacking Can Optimize Cognitive Performance, 59 Loyola L. Rev. 791 (2013). [Full text in WestlawNext].