Thursday, August 16, 2018

Throwback Thursday: T. Gerald Treece becomes Director of Advocacy

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist

Today's throwback post is an article from the August 1978 issue of Annotations, the student newspaper. In it, staff writer J. G. Trichter discusses the newly hired T. Gerald Treece: his background, his education, and his views on how to produce the best advocacy program in the nation. Happy 40th anniversary, Dean Treece!

Annotations, Vol. 7, no. 2, August, 1978. Fred Parks Law Library,
College Archives: Student publications. Available online here.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Surviving Law School: 95 Years of 1Ls

By Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist

     September 2018 marks the South Texas College of Law Houston’s 95th fall semester. That’s 95 years of excited, determined, and confused students. Through the years, our student body has gone from being all part-time students who had full-time jobs and families to mostly full-time students fresh out of undergrad. The College changed with the students, albeit probably slower than some students would have liked (we didn’t start having classes before 2 pm until the 1980s). What has not changed is our commitment to student success. However, in order to succeed, first you have to survive.
     There have been many books written about how to survive law school – in fact we always have a display of them up at the beginning of every fall semester (head to the short reference shelves by the puzzle, on the second floor. The rest of the year, you can find these in on the 4th floor of the library in the KF 280s). They are full of helpful tips on studying, how to maintain school-life balance, and reminders that your family members are going through this ordeal adventure with you, so please try to not disappear on them or turn into crazed loons when it’s time for finals (I may be paraphrasing a bit). 
     South Texas has always assisted students to survive and navigate law school. Through the years, there have been countless programs, activities, and seminars created for the sole purpose of helping students not only get through law school, but also thrive in the legal profession. Starting with orientation, students learn to look around at their section mates. Over the next three years, you will spend more time with your classmates than your family. The relationships you forge with them will continue long after law school, into your careers. Find your place, and your study group, within them.
     Explore the different student organizations. It’s important to meet students outside your section and area of interest as well as to mingle with upperclassman. Student organizations are a great way to network within the school. Take advantage of all the workshops and seminars that take place within the school. It’s never too soon to attend events put on by the Career Resource Center. Attend resume writing workshops, seminars on how to outline, and the library’s legal research workshop series (which will be starting up again soon).
     Socialize! For the most part your life, from now through the bar exam, is law school. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Those same student orgs that you are investigating are going to have mixers – go to a few of them (at least one of the orgs should have a Game of Thrones watching party in 2019 – go to it and try to figure out how you would defend Cersei from murder). Take in trivia night and go to a Halloween party. Take the family to see Night Court. Law school is serious business, but you have to have some down time.
     Those are the big things. What about the little things that will make your law school life a little easier? A few tips from your friendly law school librarians:
  • Set up the wireless on your laptop now.
  • Set up printing from your laptop now – it’s called webprint, and the directions are on the Technology page in STANLEY. 
  • Do you type your notes on your laptop?  Back them up to the cloud! Use Microsoft 365 (available to you free using your email address), Google Drive, iCloud, etc. Use whatever service you like best, but do it. Laptops have been known to crash, die, get stolen, or otherwise stop working.
  • Eat healthy and exercise when you can. It’s good for you.  
  • SLEEP (at home, not in class. Nor in the Library).
  • Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors and remember you can go to the offices of Student Academic Affairs and Academic Success at any time.
  • Review your notes weekly, don’t just cram at the end of the semester.
  • Go to the Library. Attend our workshops and events as often as possible (you can always ask for a quick refresher course on any of our workshop topics).
  • When in doubt, ask.

     In honor of our 95th anniversary, an exhibit, “Surviving Law School: 95 Years of 1Ls,” is now on display in the Library lobby. This exhibit contains materials from the College Archives detailing student events including photographs, flyers, catalogs, and articles written by students for students through the years. This exhibit will be up through December 13, 2018.