imkaereie wrote:Hi! I will be at UNC next month (Tarheels!) and I have a few questions.
Is there any kind of special notetaking software that Carolina Law either offers to its students or that you use/you have seen a lot of students use? Or is something like MS Word or Pages OK?
There's no special note taking software. I just used Microsoft word, and I know a lot of other people used OneNote.
imkaereie wrote:How good is the UNC bookstore for getting used books? Do you buy from there?
It can be good, and I sometimes buy from there. You can also get used books at Ram Book & Supply off Franklin. I tended to spend a lot of time sitting on the floor in those two book stores looking through the used books trying to find one that was in decent shape. (I actually met jackattack while I was sitting on the floor at Rams doing this. Jack, do you know who I am now? :] ) Looking back on it, though, I think I made too big of a deal out of finding a used book without writing in it. Second semester I ended up having to buy two books with other students' writing in them. The person who had written in one of them was pretty smart, so I enjoyed having her notes when she would catch things that she thought were important that I almost didn't notice. The person who had used my property book was kind of an idiot, and erasing or marking up his comments made me feel better about my grasp on the material. So as long as the bindings are in okay condition and the person didn't highlight every single sentence, I think used books are fine, and you can find a lot of them at those two bookstores (and also on Amazon, sometimes for really cheap!). No matter where you're getting used books, though, don't wait until the last minute!! Then you'll end up picking through a pile of rejects.
imkaereie wrote:Did you use any kind of extra supplements during 1L and do you recommend them?
I definitely used them, and I think they helped. The RRWA suite has supplements that you can use within that room, and I tried using those for as long as possible to avoid buying my own, but I ended up caving around exam time when I didn't want to be around the school anymore. Second semester I bought my own right off. I would recommend asking older students (like your dean's fellows) which ones they recommend, checking Amazon reviews, and glancing through some of the supplement in the RRWA suite to see which format you like best (e.g. outline format versus just normal text) and then getting your own off Amazon early in the semester. It's easy to keep putting off using them, but I really do recommend using them earlier in the semester if you feel like you don't understand something. It will save you a panic attack at the end of the semester when you realize you still have the whole semester of material to learn.
And another recommendation: pay attention to the way your professor organizes the course. If he/she gives you a syllabus, pay attention to it. If he/she goes in order of what's in the casebook, look back at the table of contents. It will help you understand the bigger picture of the course. It can also serve as the skeleton of your outline.
Your dean's fellows will give you a ton of advice like this. Don't do what I did and say "pttf, no, I don't want to do that" and then end up freaking out around exam time. Listen to them!! They've already been through this, they know what they're talking about!
imkaereie wrote:What do you recommend about extracurricular activities and first year (just don't? in moderation?)
I wholeheartedly recommend pro bono. It lets you apply the stuff you've been learning (since it tends to feel abstract and kind of useless when you're learning it in class) and makes you feel great in the process.
Also, if you think you're interested in a certain kind of law, there will probably be a student organization for it. Join that organization, because they do stuff like bring in speakers, and it'll help you decide if you're still interested in that practice area or if it's just not for you and you need to move on. If you decide that you really like that practice area and that you'd like to do something in that area over the summer, you might want to consider running for some kind of leadership position (secretary, etc.). It will help you catch the attention of employers who specialize in that area.