Book Preview: “Careers in IP Law” by Sharra Brockman

“If you get a law degree you can do anything you want.” That is a phrase often heard before, during, and after attending law school. How much valuable information ever follows that sentence? My guess is not much.

Image courtesy of the ABA-IPL.However, Ms. Sharra Brockman aims to bring real answers to that token phrase in her new book, “Careers in IP Law,” published by the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law.

Keeping A Professional Image Online

A recent segment on ‘The Ellen Show’ got me thinking about the importance of your online image. In the clip, you can watch as Ellen DeGeneres surprises members of her audience by showing embarrassing photos they posted on Facebook. Some are mortified, others are strangely proud. Below are a few take away points from Ellen’s mischief.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/SCaKuAdKumA?rel=0

Legal Blogging for Reputation 101

Have you been thinking about starting a blog, but don’t know how? Or, do you have a blog, but can’t find the time or inspiration to update it?

Image credit: Sue Richards (via Flickr)I highly suggest you check out Ernie Svenson’s new book, Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers. The book was recently released by the American Bar Association (ABA) and offers advice for attorneys looking to blog.  The book provides entire chapters on setting up a blog for attorneys that might not be tech-savvy. At one point, Ernie talks about a blog providing attorneys a way of standing out in a competitive world. The book starts off by encouraging readers to “Google” themselves. Have you done this recently?

Legal Tech News Sources For Law Students

Finding the time in school to complete the assigned reading and projects is hard enough. That’s why efficiency is critical when it comes to staying informed about the latest developments in your legal field. I’ve put together a list of technology-related legal news sources for the general public as well as attorneys and law students. I’ve attempted to organize the list based upon the weekly commitment it takes to stay updated:

I recommend making a folder on your bookmarks bar for quick access to your favorite news sources.

 

Essential Law School Apps – Part IV – WestlawNext

This is the fourth part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student. The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign while at home.

“Whether you find yourself at a court bench or park bench, WestlawNext can produce results unlike any other legal platform available.”

1: Westlaw Goes ‘Next’

Learning to research effectively. That is one of the many goals all law students will have during their time in school. Effective research techniques will continue to become refined through practice. When new technologies are developed to help the research process, they are certainly welcomed.

WestlawNext is known as the “Google”-like approach to legal research.  This is because the service offers a simple, unified search bar which delivers powerful results, much like Google itself. The searches can be limited to specific jurisdictions, sources, dates, and more. A WestlawNext search is optimized for plain language as well as the classic Boolean operators. Therefore, Westlaw Classic users will feel right at home in the use of Boolean operators, while new students will become familiar with their plain language counterparts. Both are necessary and helpful in researching on WestlawNext.

Essential Law School Apps – Part III – Dropbox

Welcome to the third part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student! The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign outside of class.

“Backing up your data is one of the most essential steps in using technology today.”

1: What Is Dropbox?

When first telling someone about Dropbox*, I explain that the service is a USB stick or thumb drive that you never have to carry with you. Dropbox and the files you choose to store with the service are easily accessible from any computer or device, provided you have an Internet connection. Dropbox is free at the base level and gives you 2 GB of storage space. I will discuss later how this can be increased.

My Dropbox folder is stored in ‘My Documents.’

I recommend starting with the installation of the Dropbox program on your main computer after creating an account. The installation will automatically create a Dropbox folder wherever you choose. I use a Windows laptop and created my Dropbox folder in “My Documents.”

Essential Law School Apps – Part II – Evernote Mobile

This is the second part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student. The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign while at home.

For more on Evernote, see my previous post on the desktop clients available.

3: Evernote for iPhone/ Evernote for Android

Evernote is a powerful little tool to carry in your pocket. I currently have an iPhone 4S, but had an HTC Eris and had Evernote installed on that as well. It appears as though there is a new version of Evernote for Android, which you can read more about at the official Evernote blog. For the most part, I never used the phone version of Evernote during class. It just doesn’t look great to be on your cell phone during class, despite the fact you know you’re using Evernote.

Bullet list on Evernote for iPhone.

 

Essential Law School Apps – Part I – Evernote

Welcome! This is the first part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student. The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign while at home.

I encourage you, as Apple would say, to ‘Think Different.’

Evernote.

Evernote is a note taking service that goes beyond just text input. Evernote allows for pictures, documents, recordings, and more. To start, I created notebooks for each of my courses. Evernote allows the user to save notes, but they are logically organized into notebooks for storage. Evernote saves the data to your device (i.e., your computer) while also automatically syncing throughout the creation, or editing, of notes. The best way to think of Evernote is as one of those huge spiral notebooks with the different subject divisions. Evernote provides the notepaper and the pockets to store your notes as well as any handouts or slides the professor will post or share online (along with the occasional audio or picture note you capture).

I’ve seen a lot of my peers using Word or OneNote to take notes in class. One of the most beneficial uses I find with Evernote is the automatic online back-up of my information. I don’t have to worry about losing my notes with my computer. There are a large number of other benefits which I will get to with each of the individual Evernote clients.

If you don’t already have an account, I highly recommend taking the time and setting up an account. It is FREE. Evernote offers a variety of tiers for different services, but I find the basic (free) tier to be more than enough for my needs. Evernote has a web interface, desktop application, iOS app, Android app, and plenty of extensions to further the functionality of their services.