Final Exam Season is upon us and with that comes plenty of preparation, stress, and excitement. We’re in the home stretch. The Zief Law Library is here to help and support you through it all and have a variety of study spaces to meet your needs.
We know that sometimes you really need to buckle down and focus on your work and the slightest noises really throw you off your game. We’ve designated Club ’59, a large silent study room on the upper-floor, just for you.
Just look for this sign:
If silent study isn’t your thing, please choose a different area to study so your quieter classmates can get things done. There are other areas of the library that are still quiet but where your classmates won’t be bothered by the occasional clickety-clack of your keyboard or whispered exam tips from your study buddy. These spaces can be found on the library’s upper floor.
Just look for this sign:
We understand that sometimes you want to work in groups or you just need a break from all of the quiet awesomeness that is happening in other areas of the library to catch up with your friends. These spaces can be found on both the main and lower floors of the library.
If you see this sign, you know you’re in the right place:
The bottom line is that there is a place for everyone here at Zief. We invite you to find a great study spot that fits your needs.
This summer, in collaboration with the Office of Career Services, Zief Research Librarians curated a collection of materials and resources to best help you prepare for your legal careers. From landing a job interview to navigating your first workplace conflict, the Career Services Collection can be a source of advice for your future legal professional journey.
Where is it located?
The print materials are currently available on the first floor of Zief Law Library, near the research librarians’ offices.
Here are some of the newest titles added to the Career Services Collection:
Mastering time management in law school is essential for accomplishing your goals and lowering stress levels. There are people and tools that can help you organize your academic schedule in effective and rewarding ways. Try this strategy here to maximize your time and success in law school!
Write down your required commitments for this semester.
This includes: your class schedule, club meetings, and work. This will work as a skeleton for your calendar.
Write down goals you want to achieve this semester.
Be uncomfortably specific. Do you want to get to the library earlier? Do you want to learn a new skill? Balance working out and school? Read more for pleasure?
Don’t make any changes just yet. Write down your goal on a slip of paper and keep it at your desk.
At the end of each day, ignore the to-do list you made and look at how you actually spent your time. Instead of “getting ready took 2 hours” look at what you did in those two hours. Did you brush your teeth, brush your hair, and eat? Did you scroll through Instagram for 30 minutes and then get out of bed? Without judgment, write down how you spend your time for one week.
Find your system.
Test out if you prefer digital or print planners. Don’t be afraid to try something new! If you’re looking for a new system, you might discover something you didn’t know existed or find your needs now are different from before.
Apple and Android phones come with apps for notes, reminders, and calendars. Carve out 15 minutes in your day to play around with the tools you might already have at your fingertips! You might learn a function you didn’t know about.
If you’re looking for something more tailored to classes and assignments, there are apps designed for saving resources, creating mind maps, and more!
Screen time limits on your cell phone:
Look at your most-used apps on your phone. Are these helping you achieve your academic or career goals? If not, use your Settings app to limit the amount of time you spend on distracting apps.
Priority Lists vs. To-Do Lists
Each day, write down tasks you need to do.
Review your to-do list and select a maximum of three tasks you absolutely have to accomplish day. This is your priority list.
The rest of the list consists of things you need to do but that do not necessarily have to get done that day. These can carry over to the next day. This is your to-do list.
If there is a big project or task, plan ahead and break it down into smaller parts that can be completed each day.
Personal Due Dates
By planning ahead, you can schedule personal due dates to achieve your goals and allow a grace period before the actual deadline. Life happens. External or internal pressures throw plans off. Give yourself time to adapt.
Make your workspace at home or in the library something you look forward to occupying. Whether it’s fun stationary, a favorite coffee mug, or simply organizing the space, studying in a space you actually enjoy will help you stay on track with your goals.
For one week, write down what you did again. Compare to how you spent your time before (refer to Taking Stock).
Did anything change? Where are you spending the most time? Are there other ways to accomplish these goals?
For example, maybe writing your briefs takes longer than you expected. Try meeting with a research librarian to find different approaches or tools. Research librarians have a J.D.; they are well-equipped to help you!
Keep it Sustainable
Find the patterns that stick.
Don’t force yourself to commit to any system that does not work for you! It’s okay if it doesn’t work out the way you expect it to the first time. Don’t give up and try again! Ask around, especially someone either farther along in law school or a research librarian, what works for them. It could inspire something for you!
One thing at a time.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, try making one small change and slowly build up from there. You don’t have to make the perfect system overnight. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Don’t forget about your health!
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sleep hygiene affect how well you are able to focus and perform in class! If you find yourself lost on how to manage self-care, explore USF CAPS resources for students. They offer therapy, recommend mental health apps, and direct you to free/affordable resources to maintain your mental and physical health.
Hi all! Summer is upon us, and you’re probably gearing up to tackle your summer internship placements. As an important reminder, there are certain limitations on using certain research platforms over the summer. Here, we’ll take a look at the big three – Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg – and run through what you’ll be able to use them for. And don’t forget, your librarians are also here to help support you throughout the summer
This post reflects a change from the original published event date of Wednesday, Oct. 12.
In celebration of Wellness Week at USF Law School, our pal Brixton is back! Stop by the Zief Law Library on Friday,October 14th from 1:00pm-2:00pm for some playful stress-relief and tail-waggin’ fun with one of our favorite golden retrievers!
Brixton is a golden retriever with several years of experience as an SPCA therapy-assistance volunteer. Brixton loves belly rubs, making new friends, dressing up in holiday-themed costumes, and smiling for the camera.
The SPCA is one of San Francisco’s leading animal welfare nonprofit organizations. The SPCA is dedicated to matching animals with loving homes, providing access to high-quality veterinary care, and promoting programs such as adoption, animal assisted therapy, and behavioral training. Explore the SPCA website for more information on upcoming events.
Need help with your research assignments? Your research librarians are just a click away! Whether you’re navigating a 1L LRWA memo, tackling an upper-division or directed research paper, or even completing an assignment for a clinic, externship, or internship, the librarians have one-on-one research consultation appointments available to you.
Having also been through law school, the research librarians know how tricky research planning can be, especially if you’re diving into an area of law that you’re unfamiliar with. Plus, there are lots of resources in our databases, our catalog, and across the internet that can be really overwhelming to navigate alone. So, you can book a research consultation with Suzanne, John, and Mike at the beginning or even throughout your project, to make sure you’re staying on target and getting to the sources you need (or didn’t know you needed). Plus, we’re available to meet in Zief or on Zoom, so you can make an appointment whether you’re on- or off-campus!
Need other research help but don’t necessarily need a full consultation? The librarians also hold regular hours for live reference assistance. You can stop by the library to see us or send us a question via instant message or email! Visit our Zief Research Help page for more information and instructions!
Are you looking for a new place to study? Try one of our nine Group Study Rooms or our Virtual Office Hour/Interview space on your next visit to the library. Our study rooms offer a variety of features to help you and your colleagues work or study collaboratively.
The “Five-A’s” of Zief’s Group Study Rooms:
Access: Our group study rooms are available to all current USF law students, faculty, and staff. Each offers a variety of essential resources. Group Study Rooms can accommodate 2 to 8 people for up to two hours at a time and are equipped with large tables, whiteboards, power outlets, and big screen TVs suitable for screen sharing. Our Virtual Office Hour/ Interview space offers students a private, professional environment for virtual meetings.
The Zief Law Library team welcomes our new 1Ls and returning upper-level law students to a brand new school year! We hope you’ve had a restful summer and are ready to start the semester off strong. Stop by and let us know what you were up to!
We would also like to introduce you to the new-and-improved ZiefBrief Blog! Here, we’ll be providing regular updates and articles about our hours, services, collections, research tips, and technology tricks to help you. Of course, we also have many other great resources at Zief to help you, such as: