August 30, 2017

August Winc Review

Winc wine subscription review. How I get 4 bottles of wine delivered each month. Why Winc wine Wednesdays are the perfect broke date night, date night meal prep, date night at home, cheap date night, date night meal ideas, date night menu | brazenandbrunette.com

Hey hey hey! I'm back with another Winc Wine review for the August wines that I got. If you have no idea what Winc is, here's a post of my full review over Winc. The TL;DR is that it's a subscription box where you get 4 bottles of wine each month

Since getting my first box, Ryan and I have become huge fans and tell everyone about it! When I was picking my wine up from my apartment's mail room (update from last month, I found out that everyone in the office is over 21 so I don't have FedEx hold it anymore) the manager and I got to talking because she saw that the box said Winc. I basically sat there for like 10 minutes raving about why I love it so much. And then Ryan and I went to his cousin's wedding in Branson and we went to a winery there and the whole time Ryan was comparing the wines we were tasting with the Winc wines. And then after the winery tour he spent the whole drive telling his sister that she should sign up for Winc.


What I got

The first month I just let Winc send me whatever wines they wanted. But for this month, I got so excited while I was on the Winc app rating wines that I went ahead and just picked out 4 bottles that I wanted. A heads up, some of the wines I chose were more expensive so this month did exceed the $30 but I thought it was worth it and loved all of the wines! One thing that I realized as I unboxed the wines is that they all matched really well so I thought that was pretty cool. One thing that I was really into this month is that this Winc Journal came with wine and ice cream pairings! 

August Winc Review | brazenandbrunette.com

And again I got an email with food pairings for each of the wines right ahead of when the wines arrived. Every time I get this email, I get so excited for all of the Wine Wednesdays to come! I'm signed up to get the Winc notifications and I got so excited adding their number to my phone that I changed the picture for the contact information to a bitmoji and now it's literally perfect hahaha.


Winc wine subscription review. How I get 4 bottles of wine delivered each month. Why Winc wine Wednesdays are the perfect broke date night | brazenandbrunette.com

Week one - Field Theory Albariño

This is one of the wines that I paid extra for but it was so worth it! I lived in Spain for 5 months and the only wine choices they have are red or white. That's it. All the time I'd order the white wine and try to ask them what kind of white wine it was and the server would just tell me that it's white wine. It wasn't until I was at a local winery doing a wine testing that I tried Albariño and instantly recognized it as the wine that I was getting in Seville. So of course when I saw that Winc offered albariño I had to get it!

The meal that was paired with it was scallops but both me and Ryan aren't scallops fans so I just substituted it with boiled shrimp. Another substitution that I made is that doubled the amount of radishes because after the last month we realized that we both really like these. This had a sauce that was just like the sauce from the Thai salad we had in July with our riesling and I loved it. 

Winc Field Theory Albariño wine and Scallop Crudo with Coconut Milk and Lime recipe | brazenandbrunette.com


Let me warn you about this wine though, it is strong! It's 14% and normally I can hold my wine just fine but after only two decent sized glasses I was feeling this wine. Normally between Ryan and I we will finish the bottle that night, but with this bottle we left like 1/4 of it for the next day. This actually made me really happy because a few nights later I had myself a little Spain night and finished the bottle off with some manchego cheese drizzled in olive oil. Another warning with this wine is that the cork is really long so definitely make sure you use a hand corkscrew instead of an electric one and go really slow or else you'll end up just drilling a hole into the cork and then you'll be screwed.

Week two - Funk Zone White Blend

The meal that was suggested with this wine was sweet potatoes, but I hate potatoes so we definitely did not cook that. You can get the recipe here if sweet potatoes are your thing. Instead, we went to a BYOB Italian restaurant here in town and had that instead. 

Our waiter was complimenting us as he opened it because it's such a pretty bottle and the cork is really cool. So of course we went on and talked his ear off about how much we've loved getting the Winc wines. 

Wine Funk Zone White Blend wine and Shrimp Alfredo | brazenandbrunette.com

I got shrimp alfredo and Ryan got a chicken parmesan sub and we both thought the wine went great with that. But another warning, this bottle also was 14% and when we stood up after dinner we both definitely felt it. 

Week three - Brethren of the Road Gewürztraminer

Ok so to be honest I really just got this wine because I have never heard of this wine so I was really intrigued by it. But it was my second favorite wine so far! It was really like and easy to sit and sip on.

The recipe that paired with this wine was another scallop one that we replaced with shrimp. But it turned out really good! It was another fresh salad that really just reminded me that it's still summer (even though it feels like summer's over with school starting). We also used my little George Foreman since my apartment doesn't allow grills, so the grapefruit definitely cooked faster than the recipe said it would. I also learned how to juice a grapefruit thanks to this recipe so that was definitely a first.


Winc Brethren of the Road Gewürztraminer wine and Grilled Scallops Skewers with Ruby Red Grapefruit with Chile Glaze recipe | brazenandbrunette.com

This was one of Ryan's favorite meals because the sauce tasted amazing with the shrimp. You can get the recipe here.


Week four - Vinyasa Muscat Canelli

This was another wine that I knew I'd love before I even tried it because I love my moscato! But this meal ended up being both mine and Ryan's least favorite meal that we've tried so far, but that was partly my fault. You know the chips and salsa you get at a TexMex restaurant? Yeah that salsa is too spicy for me. So when this recipe included a bunch of spicy ingredients and said to feel the BURN in all caps, I was like nope, nope, nope, nope hard pass

So I ended up cutting out half of the ingredients so that my mouth wouldn't be on fire. The end result was basically a brothy spaghetti. The broth and noodles were good but the meat was really bland. Also we had wayyy too much noodles because Ryan is a pasta-holic. To make up for my bad cooking, we decided to just finish off the bottle right then and get a little drunk. This was a good backup plan! 

Wine Vinyasa Muscat Canelli wine and Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles recipe | brazenandbrunette.com


If you can handle spicy foods, then you can get the recipe here.


Wino favorites 

As you might've noticed throughout my posts over the years, I love wine. I'm talking for my senior queen night in my sorority, my twin and my little and my grandlittle all got me wine glasses or accessories! And it's become my mom's go-to stocking stuffer at Christmas 😂 Needless to say, I now have a lot of wine favorites that I thought I'd share with y'all to either get yourself or as a present idea for the Nikki in your life!

First off, every wine lover could always use another set of wine glasses because it's the worst when you run out of clean glasses. You've probably noticed in the pictures that I personally prefer stemless wine glasses because they feel more chic and girly. Another one of my wine musts are silicone wine glasses because then you can take them to the pool! This set comes with silicone wine glasses and a foldable bottle bag so it's perfect to take on a picnic (which I also love). Or if you want to travel with your actual bottle, I have a wine carrier sleeve that keeps it protected and chilled that I use when I bring a bottle over to chill with my friends.

Another one of my favorites that I use alllll the time is this electric wine opener. I bought this thing before my 1L year and for the first couple of days I kept it on the base plugged in on my counter, but then unplugged it and moved it to my bar shelf. It still has a charge! Plus it's just super easy and really quick and you don't have to worry about accidentally stripping a cork. But if you prefer the old-fashioned way or want a backup, this corkscrew is a great choice. I actually had to use a corkscrew on one of these bottles because the cork was too long for the electric opener. Of course you're going to want a place to display all of your corks, so I recommend this glass vase as a simple yet cute decoration to fill up.

I have a bar shelf to store all four of my Winc bottles, but you could also just as easily keep them all on your kitchen counter or table with a small wine rack. Speaking of wine storage, I highly recommend these silicone wine caps. These are one of the stocking stuffers that I got and I ended up loving them since they don't make the bottle too tall to fit in my little apartment fridge. They also are  better at protecting from accidental spillage if the bottle ends up on it's side. And if all else fails, this guzzle wine glass attached to the bottle and then you can turn any wine bottle into a giant-sized wine glass!

Also, if you love wine as much as me, then you can use my Winc link (ha it rhymes!) to sign up and get your first box for only $22! Obviously it has truly changed my life for the better 😍



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August 28, 2017

How to Find Law School Scholarships

If you're concerned about law school student loans, law school debt, or how to pay for law school, I'm here to help! Here's 4 different places to look for to find a law school scholarship. Even if you don't have the highest GPA or LSAT score, you can still find a scholarship for law school! I have information on scholarships from law schools, local Bar association scholarships, ABA scholarships, and a scholarship match service. Plus, I have three free scholarship binder printables! | brazenandbrunette.com

This weekend Ry and I watched the movie 21 and if you've never seen it, it's basically about a guy who got in to Harvard Med but can't afford it so he counts cards to pay for school. What really got to me though, is that the whole movie is all about how smart this guy is and how he gets good grades and professors love him and yada yada. So when he didn't win a full ride scholarship I was practically yelling at the TV about how he could still get other scholarships to at least help him pay for it! I think it would be such a shame for someone to put their legal career on hold because of money, so here's how you can get some free cash money for school.


Your school

Even if your acceptance letter didn't include a scholarship, don't give up! My 1L year a bunch of us were talking about how we all got at least $1,000 a semester scholarship from my school when one girl mentioned that she didn't get any scholarship. After we all shared our GPA/LSAT scores, she told us that she had the same as us! We hyped her up and she went in and talked to our school's financial aid advisor and got her $1,000 too!

Even if you don't want to be a litigator, you still will need to get good at negotiating and this is the perfect excuse to practice. It probably did help that she could go in there and point out that her application was about the same as X, Y, and Z, but you should still at least try even if you don't have this information to back you up. I mean ya never know so it's worth it to at least try. And any semester after your grades improve, go back and see if you have earned yourself a liiiitle bit more. Even if you get a measly $100, everything helps! 

Here's two articles on negotiating law school scholarships— Law School Advice and Pre Law Guru

Bar Associations

I actually just got $2,000 from the Bar association that's closest to my hometown. Writing the application was also super easy because I could just take a little bit from my personal statement about who I am, a little bit from my clinic application about my personal goals in the legal field, and a little bit from my externship application bragging about myself. Then all I had to do was give a good way that I'd use the money, which for me was relocating to Dallas for my externship but you could just as easily mention casebooks since everyone knows how expensive that is.

You also might look into the Bar association for whatever city your law school is located or if you have a job lined up in another city, you could try their Bar, too! Just make sure that within a week of receiving the check, you write them a personalized thank you letter. Remind them again of who you are and how much their support means to you. Definitely don't forget to do this and for sure don't make it sound generic or half-assed because if you get in these people's good graces, you might be able to network your way to a job!

Here's two ways to find national Bar association law school scholarships— ABA and ABA law student division 

Local scholarships 

Every now and then (especially in the Spring) my school's daily email will have an announcement about a local scholarship to apply to. Some of these are by alumni, some are from different Bar associations (Women's Bar, Criminal Bar), and some are in memory of a student who passed. The application for these are usually not too much effort and again just want you to have decent grades and a paper telling them who you are and how you can benefit from the money. 

Even if a thank-you note isn't required, it's best to go ahead and send them. You can type them, but a hand-written note is always a nice touch. My grandma actually got me these thank you cards and I get a lot of use out of them! I love that they're nicer than just store-bought cards and show that I put a little effort into genuinely thanking them. These are also handy to use for writing thank-you's after an interview, too.

Here's three lists of local law school scholarships— US News and Yale and LendEDU

Scholarship match service

My school suggested that we use FastWeb scholarship matching. What you do is give them information about yourself and it gives you a list of scholarships that you could apply for. For example, since I'm a girl I would get matched with scholarships for women. It also matches by location so I would get matched with scholarships for Texans. You get the picture. It's just a way to keep you from having to just go through tons of Google pages.

Make a scholarship binder

If you're applying for lots of scholarships, it's super important that you have a system to keep yourself organized so that you don't end up missing deadlines or accidentally send the wrong application to the wrong scholarship organization. I recommend getting a 3 ring binder to keep all your paperwork in. Get some page dividers and make sections for important information, the applications themselves, the essays, recommendation letters, copies of your transcript, and your resumé. 

I also made you some printables to keep all of your scholarships organized! The first one is a scholarship checklist so you can keep track of what you have and haven't applied to. The next is a monthly scholarship tracker so you can mark what scholarships are due when. The last one is a weekly scholarship tracker so you can check off your scholarship progress.

August 25, 2017

Online Law School Class Tips

Whether you're taking law school online or just enrolled in an online law school course, don't think it will necessarily be easy. I took two online law classes and lived to tell the tale (and tips). 5 tips for an online law class | brazenandbrunette.com

Happy Friday my friends! This past summer I took 2 online classes so I thought I'd share some of my wisdom for any of y'all taking an online class this semester. Online law school classes are a totally different animal than normal law school classes and while they're not necessarily harder, they do require some special effort to make sure you don't accidentally end up with a bad grade. 


Planner, planner, planner!

If you thought you needed a planner for a regular law class, you really need a planner for an online class! In just one of my classes, for each "class" during the week, we had 3 modules. Each module contained 2 videos, a quiz, and either a 3-page assignment or another video and a discussion board for that video. Multiple that by the 2 other modules and that's a LOT of little assignments all due. And to keep you from waiting until the last week to get all of your assignments done, your professor will probably be like both of mine where your access to the videos, quizzes, discussion board, and assignment upload page all go away at the end of the week. That means if you miss one little assignment and don't realize it until after 11:59 on that last day, you're screwed.



My tip to you is that on that last day (ours was always a Sunday), go through and double check that all of your videos show 100% completion or else you're going to miss out on easy "attendance" points. And if you have an assignment where you have to respond to everyone on the discussion board (ugh I did), make a list of all of your other classmates in a Word document, then use the square bullet points, and print that out. Now you have a checklist for each week to make sure that you don't accidentally skip someone and lose out on easy points. 

Don't underestimate the time commitment

The very first week of my online classes, I went with Ryan to a wedding in Branson and I put off doing some of the videos and quizzes until last minute. I thought it would be fine because I could just do these on the road using the LTE on my iPad, but then I realized that when you're on the road, you go through a lot of areas that don't have LTE so the videos won't load and you risk losing internet connection before you can submit a quiz. This led to his whole family all meeting up for go-karting and I had to stay behind in the hotel doing school work. 



Also, I was only working 20-hour weeks when I did this, so I had plenty of time in the afternoons and evenings to get all this done. You might be able to squeeze in one online class if you're working full time or taking other in-class classes during the semester, but I wouldn't push it because you have a lot of busy work to get done. 

Still take good notes

Just don't rely on Google. Laws vary from state to state and through research for my job I've learned that there's a lot of incorrect legal information on Google. Also, it's not uncommon for quiz questions to be very specific to see if you're paying attention, like "what did I mention as being one of the hardest parts of discovery" and if you Google that, the answers are going to be all over the board.



Besides the multiple weekly quizzes, I also had a midterm for one class and a final for both classes. While most of the quizzes were easy enough that I could have just listened to the videos and instantly taken the quiz and still remembered enough to do well, I would have been seriously screwed on the tests if I hadn't taken notes. And a little tip from personal experience— also take notes over the quiz questions and answers too because there's a good chance some of those will get recycled into the final.

Get clarification as soon as you're confused

One hard part about being in an online class is that you can't whisper what is she talking about?? or go up to your professor after class if you don't understand what's going on. Don't guess and instead shoot your professor a quick (but polite) email explaining what you think you understood and asking for clarification, or write the same in a class discussion board. Or if all else fails, find some of your classmates on Facebook and send them a WTF is going on message.

I made this mistake on a paper that we were assigned and wrote my motion in limine on excluding mentions that my client was fired from his job or was cheating on his wife. Turns out we were just supposed to write them to get the opposing party's expert testimony excluded. Yep, I missed out on a few points there because I didn't take the time to clarify and wrongly assumed what the paper was supposed to be over just from my own knowledge about a MIL. 

Don't take a really hard subject

I, a girl with a degree in Spanish who has taken basically 0 science classes since I was 18, thought that I would be fine taking nanotechnology law. I struggled the whole semester just to understand the different components of nanotechnology so that the policies, regulations, and laws behind it could make sense to me. This ended up being super stressful and was a hard life lesson for me to learn.



Even if your class isn't as niche as nanotechnology, definitely message some of your older classmates to find out how hard the in-person class was. If it was hard for them to learn a subject with a professor right in front of them and classmates to turn to right beside them, it might be an uphill battle for you. One saving grace for me in this class was that I took it with a friend of mine so I at least had someone to compare notes with and talk to. 

But the best part about taking an online class is that you can do your classwork while in your comfy bed and still in pajamas! This might have been the inspiration behind my How to Turn your Bed into a Study Space post.....

August 21, 2017

5 Habits for a New Semester

One key to law school success is having good habits. 5 law school habits to get in now are to stay on top of your emails, study schedule, life schedule, procrastination, and relationships | brazenandbrunette.com

Happy first day of school!!! Well, for me at least. Guys some how I have ended up as a 3L and trust me I'm just as surprised as you are that we've made it this far! Since this is my very last semester of school ever (I keep saying that because it still doesn't feel real yet), I only have one goal for this semester: stay productive and don't let senioritis get the best of me. To keep me on track with this goal, I'm trying to develop some new habits that will keep me productive.


Stay on top of emails

I always check three things first thing in the morning: school email (in hopes that class is canceled), the Skimm (to stay updated and be a smarty pants), and the weather (it helps knowing if it's going to be cold all day or get hot after lunch). But one thing that I'm really bad about is not reading through the rest of my emails that don't have a subject line of Class Canceled. 

I recently came across a blog post mentioning the "touch it once" method where essentially instead of reading an email and then flagging it and coming back to it later, right then and there you reply to it if necessary or add the event to your planner or whatever. The touch it once method applies to more than just emails, but I'm taking baby steps to get my life in order and once I can get this down, I'll start applying it to more aspects of my everyday life (hopefully).

Stay on top of study schedule 

Every semester, I come up with a general study schedule for how I'm going to study every day and make little goals of how much I want to study before finals.


This semester, I want to make basically a spreadsheet and keep up with how much I've studied. I hope this habit of tracking how much I study helps me be in the habit of studying a little each weekend. I know that a big part of this is learning how to prioritize what needs to be done for each class and when it needs to be done. I'm making a study spreadsheet for each class to hold me accountable on working on my outlines, flashcards, and practice problems. I'm still not sure if I'll end up having an outlines day one week and a flashcards week another, or if I'll have a banking day one week and a tax day another, so we'll see which works best after I experiment a little!

Stay on top of life schedule

Speaking of schedules, this semester's going to be a toughie for me. This will be my first semester working while in law school so I'm super nervous about making sure that I don't overcommit myself. On top of class and work, I've also got to make sure that I block out time to participate in all of my mediations for my clinic and be a good law school senator at my university's SGA (which is separate from SBA). 

I also always have post ideas in my head so my goal is to at least keep up with 2 posts a week but I'd really like to squeeze in 3 posts if I can. This is my last semester being able to live-blog my struggles so I got to get it all down while I can! My plan for this is to think out realistically how much I can get done in each day and put that in my planner, because I've realized that if I have way to much on my planner, I just end up ignoring it all completely.

Stay on top of procrastination

Y'all this one is a biggie for me. I always aim to do a load of laundry a day but then end up pushing that all until the weekend. And I mean to write my papers a little each week so I can have time to revise and edit, but I always end up waiting until the weekend before it's due. I'm right at the edge of being in the real world so I know I have to rein this is in quick before I end up blurting "my procrastination" when I get asked "what's your biggest weakness?" in an interview.

To get this habit started, my plan is to first make a general to-do list of everything that I need to get done in my life and then break that up into lots of little manageable tasks. I set an alarm in my calendar for every Sunday evening to update my planner and throw a few of these little tasks in throughout my week. The goal here is to just stay mindful of what I can start getting done now.

Stay on top of relationships

If law school has done one thing, it's made me a terrible friend. I end up ditching my friends way more than I should simply because by the time hanging out with them comes around, I'm exhausted and just want to do nothing. I'm also really bad at responding to texts because I'm such a procrastinator. 

Luckily for me, my friends are understanding and don't hold this against me, but I know that I could be a better friend. It sucks when I finally do meet up with them and realize how much I've missed out on. Even if I have to put it in my planner to text one different person a "hey what's up!" text each day, I'm going to try. Law school is a very good excuse to get a little sloppy with your friendships, but it's no excuse to be a neglectful friend!


I've heard that it takes 28 days to form a habit, so I created a habit tracker to help you keep up with your good habits :) Click here for your free habit tracker!

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August 18, 2017

What's in My Law School Backpack

law school backpack essentials, what I keep in my law school backpack, what to take to a law school class, what to carry in a law school backpack, what to keep in your law school backpack, law school back to school, law school tips | brazenandbrunette.com

I officially start my last day of school on Monday 😱 but that hasn't stopped me from getting all packed and ready now (I'm that person who is completely packed 3 days before the flight). As I was running around my apartment trying to find all of my supplies and pack them just right, I just was so giddy I figured I should write a post about it!


The big things

Every single morning, I make sure to throw my laptop in my bag. I've had my MacBook Air since college and it's my whole world. It has my notes on Evernote and my case briefs on Quimbee. I love how light and thin it is so it doesn't take up much room in my backpack.


The next important thing that every law student always needs is your books! I seriously can't stress this enough because I know in undergrad I rarely took my book to class, but in law school if you don't have your book then you might get kicked out of class. To save my back, I only keep the books for my next one or two classes. My 1L year I kept my spare books in my car and made a quick trip between classes, and my 2L year I kept the extra books in my study carrel.


I personally prefer to take notes on my laptop, but I've come to find out that it's common for law professors to ban all electronics for their classes. If I get more of my notes information from class than my book, I'll bring a Cornell Method notebook and usually I'll write down the black letter law on the small side and the rest of the class notes on the big side. If I get more of my notes information from my book than my class, I'll just bring my padfolio because it's just enough paper for me to keep my quick notes and has slots for handouts.

And of course I always have my planner in my backpack. Law school has seriously turned me into a planner addict and I'm always finding new ways to use it to keep my life organized. TBH, sometimes when a fellow student is going on a long-winded rant, I'll get out it out and start writing down to-do's that I need to get done after class!

Related: Law School Planner Reviews Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 (was not kidding about the planner addict part)

The little things


One thing that I use the most in every single class is my pencil bag. I always keep a set of pens in there, a few pencils with a giant eraser and extra lead, a small set of highlighters, page markers, a flash drive and of course an EOS egg. Truly I think this is all you need and I definitely use all of these at least once a week.

Because I always end up referencing my book in class, I'm extra and keep this bookstand in my backpack at all times. It actually frees up a lot of space on your desk and really helps your neck. The one I use folds up completely flat and takes up practically no room in my backpack.

I also keep a GridIt full of chargers for my laptop, iPad, and phone, and a pair of earbuds. This is sooo handy to keep everything from falling to the bottom of my bag and I've noticed that a few of my classmates have gotten some mid-semester after they ask about mine.

I always bring a water bottle to class because True Life: I'm Addicted to Water. It's not uncommon for me to go through 24 ounces in one class, so I have to have a reusable water bottle that's big enough to keep me from having to leave class to refill it. My favorites are Tervis, S'well, and CamelBak.

I have a keychain wallet that is on me constantly that keeps my car, apartment, and carrel keys, student ID, driver's license, and debit card all together in one place. Since I have my whole life in one place, it'd be absolutely terrible if I lost this so I make sure that there's a Tile on there.

I used to keep a little makeup bag in my backpack, but once I got a carrel it just made sense to keep it in there since I usually don't touch up my makeup mid-class. I have this makeup bag that I keep full of ColourPop lip stain, Better Than Sex travel mascara, a few hair ties, a travel hairbrush, travel lotion, a Tide to-go pen, and Advil. I also keep a minimergency kit in my carrel just in case I need something quick.

The backpack


One thing I learned my 1L year is that you will need more room in your backpack than in college. I actually had to buy a bigger backpack in the middle of my first year because my undergrad one could only fit one or two books and that just wasn't cutting it for me. I don't worry about having a "professional" backpack because the only people who see my backpack are other law students and idc about impressing them. I've seen some people use a small backpack for their notebooks/laptops and a tote bag for their books, but I just can't do this because putting the weight of 5 books on one shoulder kills me. Another big plus for my backpack is that it's waterproof. Literally the worst thing that could possibly happen to you as a law student would be that your books and laptop get water damaged. I can't stress this enough to consider rain when getting a backpack. 




August 16, 2017

Using iPads in Law School

Laptop vs. iPad for law school: can you use an iPad for law school? Here's why I think you can use an iPad for law school and the iPad accessories for law school! Plus, how to get $300 off an iPad Pro AND get a pair of Beats Free! I also weigh in on iPad Pro vs. Microsoft Surface, and whether you can use a Microsoft Surface for law school. | brazenandbrunette.com

As a reiteration from last week— I love emails from y'all! Bare minimum they make me feel better about myself because even if I didn't get around to doing the dishes and I still have some readings to do, I can be like yeah well at least I helped a reader today and then I can count that as a productive day! Today's post is another answer to a reader's question about my thoughts on using iPads in law school.

iPad Pros and Cons

That's an iPad Pro pun, in case you didn't get that haha. Anyways, it's becoming a thing for people to use an iPad Pro in place of a laptop. In fact, my 1L year I remember a girl got started using one when we came back after Christmas break, and there was a guy in my family law class who did this too last year. 

One of the prelaw students that worked with me this summer has one and he let me play around on it so I could write this post. His was super helpful at work and I'm sure it's just as handy in class. I have an iPad Air and a lot of times will just bring that to class, so you don't necessarily need the big 12.9 inches. But either iPad is still cheaper than a MacBook. iPads are great because they're super light and compact, which is what you need because the last thing you want is anything adding any more weight in your backpack. And they can do a split screen just like a laptop so you can easily have a copy of your professors' slides pulled up on one side with your notes pulled up on the other. And if you get the Apple Pencil, then you can also draw any diagrams that your professor has used and have that in your notes. Another big plus is that if your school's wifi is every super slow, you can always just switch it over to LTE so you're not waiting. 

I will give you one big warning that you need to consider before buying an iPad for school. As far as I know, every law school uses Exam Soft for tests. Yeah that's right, in law school you can write your essays in a standard blue book or you can type them. Exam Soft is a program where you can download your test and only can enter the test during the time of your final, it shuts down everything else on your computer so you can't leave the app, and it will email your essays to your professor at the end. I personally prefer this method because I type faster than I write and I'm always running out of time for finals. But you need to know that Exam Soft is not available for an iPad. Ok, well technically iPads are compatible with Exam Soft, but your school would have to make an iPad-compatible test for that and I've never seen one do that so it's functionally not available. That means you'll either need to keep your old laptop and use that just for tests or borrow one from the library or hand write. Before you make the decision to get an iPad for law school, make sure you've got your back up plan set!


A note on eBooks


I've never used them for casebooks (which are basically textbooks). 1. I highly doubt you'll find them. 2. Most law professors don't allow any electronics in their classroom. 3. Sometimes they're actually more than a hard copy because you're paying the charge for them to digitalize it and rarely are ebooks available to be rented so you have to buy the full new price and can't later sell it. So I would only get a casebook on my iPad 1st if I had my syllabus and knew that my professor would allow this, and then 2nd weigh the literal costs and benefits of carrying a book versus having an eBook. 

But if in the end you decide it makes the most sense to get an eBook, I think it'd be perfectly fine. You should still be able to highlight and add notes on an eBook. 

But some books that I have gotten on my iPad were little books that I was required for class. This summer I took a nanotechnology law class and we had to read a fictional book that had to do with nanotechnology and then we had to represent a character from the book in a lawsuit. That book I did get on my iPad just because it was easier. I liked being able to search the whole book for a word I was looking for when I couldn't remember what page it was on and having all of my notes in one place. For another class we had to read this like 150 page book by a lawyer and that was another one that I just got on my iPad because we didn't have to bring it to class, we just had to know about it for when we took quizzes on it. 

How to make an iPad work for class 

If I were you, I'd get some accessories for your iPad. In college, I could get by with taking notes using the little keyboard on the screen because I had the app Swift Key. But in law school, that just won't cut it because professors go over a lot more material a lot faster so you need a real keyboard to keep up. I would for sure say that you'll want to get the Apple Smart Keyboard for your iPad so you have enough room to type (but off brands work too). 

Another thing you'll need is the Apple Pencil or a stylus. A lot of professors draw diagrams or illustrations on the board so that you can understand the concept better and it'll help if you'll be able to copy these down into your notes. Another great use for if is if you're a visual learner, you can draw out spider maps or flowcharts in your notes.

Probably the most important this is to always make sure that your iPad has power! One time in undergrad my iPad died mid class so I got out my phone to continue taking my notes on Evernote and my professor called me out for texting in class and I'm pretty sure he wasn't satisfied with my explanation on what I was doing. For sure always bring an iPad charger with you! But one thing that I've learned over the past two years is that the outlets that are built in to the desks don't always work. So if all of the outlets around you don't work, your iPad will definitely die if you don't bring a battery pack. I got this battery pack for study abroad because it holds a really long charge and is powerful enough to handle recharging an iPad.

Also, I would really download Evernote if I were you. This way, you can switch between taking your notes on your iPad and laptop and they'll sync automatically. 



What about Microsoft Surface?

I am an Apple fan because their shit lasts. I got my first MacBook my junior year in high school and it worked perfectly until I asked for the MacBook Air before my junior year of college because I wanted something lighter. I got my first iPad my freshman year of college and I kept it until my senior year of college when I got the iPad Air because again I just wanted something lighter. I gave my original iPad to my dad and he still uses it! Here's a great post about why another law school blogger switched from a PC to a Mac for law school

But to be honest, you totally can use a Surface just as well as an iPad for law school. My best friend has a surface and I actually wrote this post on it because my laptop died and I didn't have a charger. Keep in mind, though, that you need to make sure it's compatible with Exam Soft's PC requirements. If you were looking at a Surface solely for price, I hear ya, but just FYI as a student you qualify for Apple Education Pricing so they have iPads for up to $300 off plus they come with a free pair of Beats so maybe for law school it's worth the investment.

August 14, 2017

How to Turn Your Bed into a Study Space

Whether you're in a dorm, a small apartment, or just prefer to stay in bed, here's 5 things you need to turn your bed into a study space. Here's how to comfortably study in bed | brazenandbrunette.com

Hi and welcome back to my ramblings :) After my post about redoing a study space, I got to thinking about how not all apartments come with desks. My 1L year I technically had a desk but it was in a little corner and I ended up spending most of my time studying in bed. So today I figured I'd write a little post with some ideas for those of you who either have no desk or who prefer to study in bed— this one's for you! 


Lap desk

This is the first thing you'll for sure need! I got one of these pillow lap desks for my high school graduation and I still use it all the time! You can use it while in bed or even on the coach to hold your laptop and it's great because it'll keep your laptop from burning your thighs. This is actually better for your laptop too because it allows it to ventilate which keeps it from dying on you. 

But if you know for sure you just need something for your bed, then this adjustable lap desk would really be better. It'll keep your laptop from falling off your lap and is a lot bigger so it can hold more stuff. And then also on the weekends it can double as a little tray for breakfast in bed :) 

Book stand

I mention this all the time because my life has truly been revolutionized since I got one! If your lap desk is big enough, you can use it to prop up your book beside your laptop. And if your lap desk isn't big enough for this then no worries because you can just set it up on your night stand and look over at it. Just a warning it doesn't really work on super soft surfaces so if you just try to set it up on your bed, it's going to keep falling over. This is the book stand I have and I personally prefer how it folds because not only does it mean it fits perfectly in my backpack but also I can adjust the arms to be wider for super thick books or bring them in for smaller books and then it's a one size fits all.

Reading pillow 

This reading pillow is one of the first things that I bought for myself once I started studying in bed all the time. It's way better than just piling up a bunch of pillows because eventually those will start falling apart so you'll be constantly stopping to fix them. Plus, I really like having the little arm rests for when I'm typing. And for lazy days bingewatching in bed, this is absolutely perfect. I also got a bedside caddy in college that I keep my remotes in by my bed when I'm watching TV, but it's also really great to store all your 50 pens and highlighters so you aren't accidentally coloring on your sheets.

Swivel USB outlet

I actually got this outlet for study abroad because I thought it'd be easier to just run one plug through the adapter. Turns out I was wrong about that, but I've definitely got a lot of use out of it back here. It's great because it swivels so you can turn it horizontally and have room to plug in your laptop and phone and iPad and lamp. The swivel part really is more handy than you'd expect. 

Plus it actually has two USB ports on top of it so I have my phone charger in one and my watch charger in the other and still have 4 empty outlets! This is really handy because one of the worst things when you're all set up in bed and then have to go move your night stand to unplug your lamp just so your laptop and phone won't both die at the same time.

Lamp

This lamp is actually something that I originally included in that study space redo post, but it really works just as well here. The worst part about studying in bed is when you get so comfy that you just slowly start to fall asleep while trying to study. What you want is a lamp that can be bright when you need to keep yourself awake (cool white mode) but then can dim down for when you're not studying and don't want something waking you up right as you're going to sleep (warm yellow mode). Extra helpful if you get an echo dot so that you if you do start to fall asleep, you won't have to sit up to turn off your lamp.


And that's all I need! Comment below and let me know if you have anything that you love to have with you when you're studying in bed!!


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