You know the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”? Well, believe it or not, the same is true for law school. Over the years, we’ve seen several students who, for whatever reason, just aren’t very coachable. Now, this isn’t a personality flaw or something immutable. It’s not that they lack the intelligence or desire to do well. What I mean is that some students just respond better than others, some are more committed. So, let’s talk about why that is. Whether you’re getting advice from your professors, your tutor, or your academic advisors at school, here’s how to make sure you’re being as coachable as possible: [Read more…] about Are You Coachable?
How Helicopter Parenting Is Hurting Law Students
We’ve all heard of “helicopter” parents—the moms and dads who hover a little too close and swoop in to assuage every discomfort. You may think that this sort of well-intentioned behavior stops at the graduate school level once these “children” become full-fledged adults, but I assure you, it doesn’t always. In fact, things seem to be getting worse. As a law school and bar exam tutor, I’ve seen my share of helicopter parents and the effect this type of hand-holding is having on young adults who are learning to become lawyers. And I’ll tell you this: it’s not good. [Read more…] about How Helicopter Parenting Is Hurting Law Students
Mindfulness for Law Students
Most of us stay as busy as possible all the time—whether we realize that’s what we’re doing or not. We are texting, we’re on social media, we play games on our phones. We even multi-task and check emails in several accounts, while pinning pictures on pinterest, updating our statuses on facebook, our photos on instagram, and tweeting about all kinds of things. We are online all the time—for school, for work, and even in our private lives. We might even feel really uncomfortable with silence or the idea of sitting around and purposely thinking of nothing. As Alan Watts, a philosopher whose work you may recognize from youtube or his many books, says, we have become addicted to thoughts. [Read more…] about Mindfulness for Law Students
How To Choose Which Job Offer to Accept After OCI
If you participated in OCI (on-campus interviews) this year, you are probably in the process of deciding where to go from here. Maybe you have a bunch of offers that you need to decide between (good for you! That’s a great position to be in). Perhaps you didn’t get a job offer, and you need to think about branching out in other directions. You may have even decided that you don’t want to work for a law firm at all and would rather do something else entirely (which is fine too!).
Either way, there are some important things to consider when you’re deciding which organization you want to work for. [Read more…] about How To Choose Which Job Offer to Accept After OCI
How Do You Cram for Law School Midterms?
Law school midterms… Are they a helpful barometer to see how you’re doing before we have to take finals, or are they just more stress to heap onto an already too-busy schedule? Maybe they’re a little bit of both. Many of you may be facing midterms and find out a few days before an exam that you’ve been preparing in all the wrong ways (or perhaps not preparing at all!). If this sounds familiar, here are some helpful tips for salvaging and getting through the next couple of weeks.
Focus on Your Own Class Materials
A bunch of students I’ve talked to recently want recommendations for supplements, online materials and commercial flash cards to help them “cram” for midterms. Why is this a bad idea? Well, midterms fall at an odd point in the semester when each professor has covered different topics to varying degrees of depth. If you start bringing in outside sources of information, it’s really easy to go beyond the scope of what you’ve learned in your class, and what will actually be on your midterm exam. [Read more…] about How Do You Cram for Law School Midterms?
How to Struggle Through Law School in the Right Way
If you ask most law students, law school can be really tough, especially during your first year! As a 1L in particular, you’ll probably feel like you struggle on some level on a daily basis. That’s good! Struggle is crucial to this kind of learning. After speaking with many, many law students over the years, though, we at the Law School Toolbox have found that many people are struggling, but in all the wrong ways.
Let me be clear. Law school should involve some discomfort with material. If you’re doing it right, there should be days where your brain physically hurts from wrapping your head around new concepts, new questions, and re-training yourself to be a student in a way you probably never have before. That’s not to say that the actual substantive material in law school is impossible to understand — it’s not! You just have to know how to tackle it. [Read more…] about How to Struggle Through Law School in the Right Way