The sign of a hard-working law student

Checked my LLM folder on my computer today, you know, just for the hell of it.

My LLM folder

Was surprised to see it had reached the mammoth size of 283MB and had 862 files with 66 folders. Wow. And I’ve still revision work and the full fury of my dissertation to be thrown at it yet.

The fact the folder houses 862 files doesn’t really surprise me. The size is certainly an eye-opener and is due in large part to all of the journal articles I’ve used for assignments that I’ve downloaded in PDF format. The downside of open standards I guess!

While on this topic, I thought I might share my back-up and syncing strategy with the blawgosphere. Law students, in my experience, tend to be lousy at backing-up, but with the wide range of free automated backup and syncing tools available today, there really isn’t an excuse any longer.

My precious LLM folder is backed up (and synced) to a USB key using Microsoft Synctoy 2.0. Creating a folder pairing between the folder on my PC and the USB key means that syncing is just a one-button-click job – just as it should be. You could even automate the process via Task Scheduler in Windows. My LLM folder is also backed up (and synced again) to the cloud and a laptop using the fantastic Microsoft Live Mesh, though I guess MS haters out there can make use of services like Dropbox instead which works well across Windows, Mac and Linux. Technically, Live Mesh is still in Beta but I’ve been using it for virtually a whole year and have had no problems with it. Overall, I’ve found this happy back-up and syncing arrangement to serve my needs well for the past year or so.

I also perform random backups to external hard disks and the web. I’ve been a user of BT digital vault (their free service, that is) for a couple of years or so and find it adequate. I’ve used a variety of web-based back up services over the past few years (a few which have since disappeared from cyberspace) but with Live Mesh and BT’s digital vault, plus my variety of on-site backups, I think I’m reasonably well prepared. Still, there’s room for improvement, I guess: I might add a Networked Attached Storage (NAS) solution or a Home Server to my computing arsenal. After all, it’s the type of thing you can’t have too much of - when it comes to backups, more really is more.


  1. Wow that really is a whole load of back up!! I only have a usb stick, external hard drive and another 2 computers with some of my work. After the LPC I don't really need more back up...unless its those darn spanish assessments! But it definitely is a great idea to back up more because you nver know when you'll need it!!

  2. Before your student online access to Lexis, Westlaw etc., is terminated, remember to download any and everything for future reference, especially case reports.

  3. Wise words, Poonam! Are you learning Spanish then.

    And re. downloading stuff that might be useful in the future, its a question of knowing how wide to cast the net I guess. Tough one!

  4. Hey, I am indeed learning Spanish! It keeps me busy and the thought of it sounded appealing at the time (and still sorta does)

  5. Good stuff, Pooni.
    Are you going to classes or 'going it alone'?

  6. It's all online, I have tutorials every Monday in the evening and then random assessments. I'm thinking of turning it into a degree...but not too sure yet!

  7. Sounds good. And being particularly conversant in a second language always looks good on your CV! ;-)

  8. Definitely, Spanish spoken well sounds really good too! ;)

  9. I'll have to take your word for that - I don't speak any Spanish myself. :-/ My Swedish is not bad after studying for a year out there and know a bit of German (plus tiny bit of French that I can remember from GCSEs).

    How long have you been studying Spanish?

  10. I remember French from GCSE's too but keep getting it mixed up with Spanish now! I have been learning Spanish since last November with the Open University. The beginners course ends in November this yr and thats when I may decide to take it further.

  11. I learned about the importance of backing up the hard before an essay is due in my computer decides to die causing me to loose all my work (including essay due in the following day)

  12. I can't believe I missed this post! I noticed your blue folder and immediately recognised Live Mesh! I use it too, along with backup to an external hard dish. I love the simplicity of Live Mesh to keep everything in sync. Looking at my law notes folder (all 3 year of the LLB) it clocks in at 247MB, but it only represents material that I've needed to have digitally or typed up.

    Also noticing the Spanish stuff- I did it at GCSE and its a beautiful language! I'm thinking of picking it up again when I have the time.

    Great post Michael!


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