1L Tips & Advice from a 2L

by Dania Saleh, Library Student Worker

The start of law school is certainly intimidating. Like most things in life, much of law school will become easier with time and practice. This article will hopefully serve as a cheatsheet to get you to the easy stage a little faster.

I aim to give incoming students a little insight into some of the unspoken realities of law school, specifically 1L*. Everything is written from my personal experience. My perspective may very well differ from other law students.

*not sure what 1L means? Scan below to the Law School Vocab section!
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A More Perfect Union – Second Annual Racial Justice Writing Competition (2022)

A More Perfect Union
Second Annual Racial Justice Writing Competition – 2022
Sponsored by the Chicago-Kent Law Library

As pledged in the 2020 Faculty Antiracism Statement, Chicago-Kent College of Law
presents the second annual writing competition to encourage and honor excellent
student scholarship on racial justice. The Law Library is excited to be the new sponsor
of this writing competition.

Papers on any topic related to racial justice may be submitted for consideration.

Any current Chicago-Kent student may submit a paper written inside or outside of class
on a racial justice topic. Entries may be either individually or jointly authored, and must be the author(s)’ own work. Papers should explain the issue or thesis well; be well-organized, creative, and persuasive; and be well written. There is no page limit for entries.

The winning entry will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The prize money will be equally divided among authors if the winning entry is a jointly authored paper. In addition, the winning submission will be published on the Chicago-Kent Diversity webpage.

The submissions will be judged anonymously by a panel of Chicago-Kent faculty.

Please email your submission to Jayde Rose, Faculty Scholarship Academic Assistant, at

Submissions will be accepted until midnight CDT, June 1, 2022. Judging will be complete and the award announced by July 1, 2022.

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2021 Summer and Post-Grad Access to Westlaw, Lexis & Bloomberg (Updated May 28, 2021)

Can you access your Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg accounts over the summer?  What about after graduation? The answer to both is yes, but with some restrictions for Westlaw and for graduates.  See below for more information.

Westlaw Access


You can use Thomson Reuters’ products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, over the summer for non-commercial research.  You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client.  Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Internship/Externship sponsored by the school


Students will have 6 months of post-grad access. This includes access to Westlaw and Practical Law for noncommercial use. 

Lexis Access


Law students will automatically have free unlimited use of Lexis this summer. This includes workplace related research though students should check with their employer. No registration required, just sign in as usual and start researching.

Lexis offers on-demand Prepare to Practice Resources that include tips and Practice-Ready Certification. The Prepare to Practice program includes 3 modules and an exam to test your knowledge related to researching unfamiliar topics, litigation and transactional drafting, and legal analytics.

Lexis offers the following practice-oriented training and support:

 See Lexis’ program page for more information.


Graduates are invited to continue using lexisnexis.com/LawSchool with their student ID for ongoing free use of Lexis, including all of the products and features available as a student, through December 31, 2021. All law grads have automatic access until this date. No registration is required, there are no restrictions, and no limits on your research time.

See Lexis’ Grad Access page for more information and about grad access for non-profit work. 

Bloomberg Law Access


Current students will have continued access to Bloomberg Law over the summer.  This access is automatic (no registration required) and is unlimited except for dockets access.

Bloomberg Law also allows students to use Bloomberg Law in their summer positions at law firms, etc. with no limit, as long as the employer does not mind that they use their personal BLAW accounts.

(UPDATED May 28, 2021)

Graduates will have continued access to Bloomberg Law for 6 months after graduation (until November 30, 2021).  This access is automatic (no registration required) and is unlimited except for dockets access.

See the BNA Law School Resources page for more information.


If you have any questions regarding access to any of these services, please feel free to contact our account representatives:

  • Westlaw – Elan Kleis, Elan.Kleis@thomsonreuters.com
  • Lexis+ – Alexander Peck, alexander.peck@lexisnexis.com 
  • Bloomberg Law – Vrenda Cain, vcain@bloombergindustry.com
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Student Legal Writing Competitions Guide

Did you know there are more than 150 writing competitions, across 60-plus subject areas, that are open to law students and/or incoming law students? If you’ve written a paper, such as for a seminar, and/or would like to submit one to a contest, the library has a new guide, “Student Writing Competitions,” to help you to identify competitions to which you may be able to submit your work. Please use this link, https://guides.kentlaw.iit.edu/writingcompetitionsto access the guide.

The guide lists competitions by subject matter and alphabetically by subject, running the gamut from Administrative Law to Women and the Law. 

Deadlines vary, depending on the contest, and may occur at any time throughout the year. Please visit the competitions’ websites for the most up-to-date information about the competition. Many competitions take place annually, so be sure to check back for future deadlines. 

Some competitions are open to recent alumni, so if you will soon graduate, or have recently graduated, from Chicago-Kent, there may still be an opportunity for you to submit your writing to a “student” competition. 

While most are open to only J.D. students, some are also open to L.L.M. students and/ or J.S.D. students, so read each competition’s rules carefully. 

One category, “Scholarships,” contains competitions intended to help law students to offset their law school expenses. A few are open to students who have not yet begun law school. Some are diversity-oriented; please see the “Diversity” section for additional competitions that may be relevant.

Best of luck to you! If you have any questions about legal research or writing, please email the Chicago-Kent College of Law librarians at refreq@kentlaw.iit.edu.

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Current Events: Find News and Research Background

Are you interested in tracking news stories covering current events or finding background sources on issues such as social justice, the executive branch, and COVID-19 and the law? The Law Library can help. We subscribe to several major newspapers and curated research collections covering current events. Continue reading

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Improving your Internet Connection at Home

When I wasn’t working at home, my internet connection was just fine in my house.  However, with two kids and me all competing for bandwidth, we realized we needed a faster connection.  

We went from 200 MBPS (megabytes per second) download to 1 GBPS (gigabyte per second).  We can now download files quickly, and our access to the internet is very fast.  We also improved our “upload speed” (how fast we could upload files to the internet – e.g., attach a document to an email or upload an assignment) from well under 100 MBPS to 1 GBPS. 

I live in a house in the suburbs, so I did this by:

  1. Upgrading our internet from broadband to fiber (this reduced what I was paying for internet)
  2. Moving our modem/router to a central location
  3. Creating a mesh network
  4. Connecting some computers to the router using network cables

Not all these solutions will work for all users due to cost, availability, or other issues. I live in a high-coverage area where fiber is relatively affordable.  Below are some suggestions for making your internet work better, from things you may have on hand (such as network cords), to new equipment (e.g a new modem/router), to upgrading your service.

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REVISED – Law Library Reopens Monday, August 24

Welcome, 1Ls, and Transfer Students! Welcome back 2Ls and 3Ls! With the move to remote instruction until at least September 8, the hours for the law library hours have changed due to changes in the building hours.

Law Library Hours (starting Sunday, August 23)

Sunday: CLOSED
Monday-Thursday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: CLOSED

The Law Library is CLOSED for the Labor Day Holiday (September 5 – September 7).

Although the Library space is closed, our services continue. Please contact refreq@kentlaw.iit.edu with your questions. Continue to check the Law Library Blog for updates to hours and other announcements.



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Welcome 1Ls & Transfers: New Library Resources

Welcome to Chicago-Kent!  Below you will find the information you need to access library materials including Westlaw, Lexis, West Academic Study Aids (WASA), Procertas, and CALI.

Please set up your accounts now and let us know if you experience any problems.   Continue reading

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Managing your New York Times account

Current Chicago-Kent College of Law students, faculty, and staff may create individual accounts to access the online edition of The New York Times through the Law Library’s Databases page. 

We’ve updated the instructions on how to create and/or to renew a New York Times account using the Law Library’s page, which can now be done off-campus! Continue reading

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Congrats to our Procertas Winners and Keep on Learning Legal Tech!

Congratulations to our Procertas Word Brief Raffle winners:

  • Ricardo Santiago Juan
  • Elizabeth Camilo
  • Destiny Collins
  • Mariana Purpura
  • Emily Dybas
  • Elizabeth Cannon 
  • Samantha McHugh

If you didn’t get a chance to try out Procertas yet, you can still work on learning legal tech over the summer.  Get your Word, Excel, Acrobat, and PowerPoint skills up to speed quickly and easily using Procertas’ videos and assessment tools.  If you forgot your password, contact dginsberg@kentlaw.iit.edu.

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