In the words of Sun Tzu himself--the great strategist--as soldiers in the cruel and dangerous field of legal studies, we must be prepared to face the enemies head on. And by enemies, I don't mean the law professors (Lol!), although they may pose a threat—serious threat at that—especially during oral recitations. But, no, they aren’t the real enemies. The real enemies are ourselves, the limitations we barricade around our capabilities, and the insecurities we have of others. We must prepare to defeat ourselves, so we can be champions in the field!
Our enemies aren’t only ourselves. We also need to wrestle with harsh lessons/discussions, mindboggling cases, and nerve-racking recitations and examinations.
Okay, too much warfare blab, let’s get on with the weaponry and armory!
1. Law Dictionary: A dictionary is a must-have for law students. How can we fight when we can’t understand the enemy, right? I use the Black’s Law Dictionary (Android app version). I have found it reliable in circumstances wherein the jargon are not within the scope of my vocabulary and in times when our knowledge in Latin is tested. A knowledge which is scarce.
2. Backpack/Laptop Bag: Heavy luggage is imperative to soldiers traversing the field of legal studies. So, we need a sturdy backpack/laptop bag to carry this heavy luggage. I personally prefer and use a backpack because I am scoliotic, so I need the weight of my luggage balanced and not concentrated on one side of my body (as would be the case if I used a laptop bag or a messenger bag).
3. Notepad/Notebook:Some people learn more when they write what they hear or see, so a notepad or a notebook will come in handy when you are this type of learner and even when you’re not this type of learner. This is one of my grave mistakes in my first year (BTW, I’m in 2nd year). I relied heavily on my being an auditory learner and did not write my ideas and the teacher’s inputs down. Later on, during examinations, I had difficulty remembering those ideas/inputs because of the enormity of the lessons and tasks that we had during class.
4. Pens of Different Colors: We already have a notepad/notebook. Next up are tools to write on it. We need pens of different colors to organize our writing (or strategies, if you will). That is, categorizing the data we gather, by using different colors, is essential to a well-prepared arsenal of mental weapons to be used during examinations, recitations, and, ultimately, during the Bar Exams. Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword (I know, this isn’t necessary. But I can’t help it. Lol!).
5. Highlighters of Different Colors: Obviously, if we want to organize the intel we’d read on books or cases, we need the trusty highlighters! Different colors for different types of intel. For instance, yellow for names/dates, pink (who said soldiers can’t use pink?) for titles of cases, and so on.
6. Sticky Notes: Sometimes, the margins in the books aren’t enough for the notes we would like to add to the information, so we could use sticky notes to stick our brilliant ideas in the book!
7. Folders and Binders: Professors may give us handouts for intel not included in the book. Remember, these intel are confidential. Therefore, we need to keep these in folders and binders. Don’t ever lose it! You’ll need it in the field!
8. Daily Planner: Organize your day! Write your tasks in a planner. Never forget to study the cases assigned to you. If you do, prepare to play dead during recitations. I know, because I have played dead a lot of times. Do you want a daily planner? Subscribe now to get one! It's absolutely free!
9. New Book: Calm down. I know we already have a lot to read. But, breaking the monotony of war is important. It is important because we need to keep our sanity. Read a novel, but don’t replace your law books with it. Know your priorities!
10. Law Books: This is quite obvious, really. We can’t survive without these great information-ridden hardbound prints!
BONUS: We need an all-in-one smartphone which could be our portable library, scanner, or boredom-killer! This is when Oppo F3 demonstrates its prowess. With its 13 mp camera, we can take photos of the PPT presentations of our professors, or the notes of our comrades. It could also be used as a portable scanner for when we don’t have extra coins for photocopies. You could also take a selfie with your unknowing crush/comrade for added inspiration!
Goodbye for now, comrades! I’m off to the mall to hoard weaponry for my classes, which will start next week. Godspeed!