A law student’s academic life can be summed up in three words: lots of studying. Whether in lectures, in libraries, or researching at home, law students find themselves consistently buried in piles of data and history. But there are a few online tools that can help law students everywhere juggle class notes and outside research, possibly even freeing up some time for a social life.
1. WorldCat (http://www.worldcat.org )
Lexis may be the primary go-to research database for law students, but WorldCat helps makes finding specific physical books and documents easy. The online catalog has records of books in libraries around the world. Simply type in an author, title, or subject into the search bar, and enter the desired zip code. WorldCat will look up libraries in the specified area that have the requested materials in stock. The catalog makes even searching for topics in the law library easier and more efficient.
2. Evernote (http://www.evernote.com)
A sharpened pencil, hornbook, and loopy longhand may be the law student’s weapons of old, but these days, note-taking has gone digital. Get rid of yellowing spiral notebooks and turn on a laptop. Evernote’s handy free program is a note-organizing wizard that can capture any legible writing and turn it into a searchable text document. This means that students can use their cameras or phones to capture a professor’s PowerPoint presentation or whiteboard scribbling and Evernote will turn it into a Word-like document for them, so that they can focus on what is being said and not worry about scribbling down what is on the board. Word documents can also be integrated into the student’s Evernote account, where he or she can add additional tags and labels to make specific notes easier to find, or search within the content for specific pieces of information.
3. Google Docs (http://docs.google.com)
Students barely have enough time as it is, and having to figure out everyone’s schedules to host a group meeting can be near impossible. With Google Docs, group projects and collaborations are much easier and efficient. Any group member can create documents or upload them online, and other members can collaborate from the comfort of their own homes. Groups can host real-time e-meetings, or add to the project separately. The application also allows individual users to organize their own files, making team work and organization a breeze.
This post was contributed by Hannah Watson, who writes about the university online courses. She welcomes your feedback at HannahWatson84@yahoo.com