Friday, May 8, 2020

Using Social Media in Law School (Dealing with Distractions)

If you want to do well in law school, there is one piece of advice that really shines above the rest, and that is to minimize distractions.  That's not just true with law school, that's true in all of life.  There will always be things out there that will work to distract you from what you are working on.  But, if you want to get the top rank in your law school, the art of dealing with distractions is something that you are going to have to master.

Check out for some startling realities about social media use. 

What is the biggest needless distraction in law school?  It's social media.  There's no question about it.  Social media is not only law school's biggest distraction, but life's biggest distraction.  In the end, when you log off social media, you must realistically ask yourself, "did this do me any good?"  For the law school student, the answer is likely going to be a loud and resounding "No."

It's no doubt that social media is sometimes super fun and interesting.  There's no doubt that it's addictive.  There's no doubt that it's something you can check and, when done, realize that you've blown an hour or more on looking at the most inane and ridiculous posts that have done nothing to elevate or improve your mind.

So, should the law student use social media?  I touch on the idea of distractions in my third edition of "How to Win at Law School:  The Ultimate Law School Strategy Guide."

"During my first year of law school, I sat next to an individual who basically used Facebook and Google chat during every moment of every class. Whenever he was called on by the professors, he was never prepared in the slightest. He had canned briefs of every case and tried to use those instead of reading the actual cases. Seeing him struggle through the Socratic Method was entertaining, but it was obvious he would not do well in law school. With that being said, he didn't do very well, and he wasn't shy in saying so. Perhaps he didn't mind getting below-median grades. However, that was not my goal, and I am sure it isn’t yours. If you want to spend time surfing the internet during class that is your choice. However, if you are aiming for top grades and the possibility of transferring schools, you must not allow yourself to be distracted."
During my second and third years of law school, this issue became even greater.   Many students opted to look at social media rather than listen to their professors.  I was blown away, having previously read about how competitive law school was.  Yet, while the professor shared knowledge of what would appear on the law school final exams, many were neck deep into Facebook or Instagram!
"[Talking about the book The One Thing] Doing the most important thing is always the most important thing. What is the most important task in law school? That’s where many get tripped up, because it’s not that obvious. The most important thing in law school is understanding what you are there to learn. It is understanding case law. This understanding will result in higher grades and a better class rank.  But, you won’t succeed in law school if you don’t understand what you are there to learn. In my own studies, and researching the students who did the best in law school (and life), the top achievers are those who loved what they did and took it seriously."
 Many people are distracted from the "most important" part of law school.

In the third edition of "How to Win at Law School: Third Edition (2020)" I touch on dealing with distractions, setting up law school-friendly boundaries, memorization techniques, and habits for real life, as well as other real-life ideas that will help you do amazing in law school, the bar exam, and in the real world.  Even if you don't pick up a copy of this amazingly inexpensive book that is LOADED with information, I hope that you consider how you use social media as a law school student.  My recommendation: don't use it in the law school building at all.  Even better: deactivate!  

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