As bright eyed 1Ls getting ready to start law school, most law students are excited (and a little nervous) about starting this endeavor and hopeful that it will lead to new, fulfilling opportunities. But once a student is a semester, or a year, or even two years into law school, it’s not uncommon to feel disillusioned by the experience. Maybe you’re disappointed in your grades or ranking. Maybe you’re struggling to find a supportive social group. Maybe you haven’t been able to secure an internship or legal job. Whatever the reason(s), if law school is not going the way you imagined, it’s time to make a change. Of course, everyone’s situation is different, so it’s essential that you do some soul-searching and figure out the precise cause of your frustration or dissatisfaction. Once you know the cause, consider whether any of these resolutions may help you overcome the bad habits that led to your current predicament and rekindle your motivation. [Read more…] about 5 Resolutions For a Happier, More Successful Semester
Law school pedagogy can be slow to change, but it does change. With increased focus on cultivating a diverse legal community and supporting students in progressive ways, more and more law schools seem willing to experiment with new teaching methods. As a result, you may have noticed that some of your courses are relying on techniques that go beyond the traditional Socratic Method style of instruction. To be sure, the Socratic Method is still the foundation of most law school courses, but team-based or cooperative learning strategies are starting to gain some traction, and not just in experiential or elective courses. Even some core, substantive law classes have started to incorporate group learning into their curriculum. If cooperative learning hasn’t made their way into your law school classes, you may still find yourself incorporating these principles through your own voluntary study group. Whether cooperative learning is being forced on you through a mandatory assignment or you’re joining a study group of your own volition, you’ll get the most out of these learning experience if you understand some of the theory behind cooperative learning and follow a few key guidelines. [Read more…] about How to Make the Most of Cooperative Learning in Law School
Once you’ve made the exciting decision to attend law school, you’re faced with another dilemma: where should I apply? You may be tempted to apply to certain schools based solely on their ranking, but there’s more to having a successful law school experience than being admitted to a highly ranked school. While prestige and reputation are certainly an important factor when deciding where to apply, they’re not the only thing you should take into account. To increase the likelihood that you’ll have a successful (and enjoyable) law school experience, there are 6 factors you should consider when choosing a law school. [Read more…] about 6 Factors for Choosing the Right Law School
Think about what it really takes to be a lawyer. First, you spend months prepping for the LSAT, refining your personal statement, and submitting applications, just to get into law school. Once you’re accepted, you devote three years of your life, a substantial amount of money, and a lot of effort to graduate. Then there’s the constant studying and stress of passing the bar exam. Once you’re finally a real lawyer, you discover that the hard work isn’t over, as you labor for your clients, bill hours, and battle with opposing counsel. Think about the time, money, and personal sacrifice you must make to become a lawyer. Now think about what it would feel like to have made those sacrifices and achieved your goal, only to wonder whether it was the right decision. No one wants their career to be frustrating or unfulfilling, particularly after one has devoted so much to enter that career. Fortunately, there may be a way to avoid this dilemma. To help you find a profession that is fulfilling and best suits your abilities, consider taking an aptitude test. [Read more…] about Can an Aptitude Test Help You Find Your Dream Job?
Law school supplements are everywhere these days. There is an abundance of commercial outlines, canned briefs, readymade study aids, video lectures, and other resources that will purportedly help stressed law students understand the material. Whether it’s due to the increased availability of supplements, the ease of accessibility through the internet, or this generation’s unique learning style, it seems like more and more students are relying very heavily on supplements to get them through their reading, class, and final exams. Of course, law school supplements have been around for a long time – Seven L. Emanuel of Emanuel Law Outlines first started selling his handmade outlines when he was a law student in the mid-seventies! – and supplements can be a beneficial part of your study plan. But supplements have some serious flaws, and when you rely too heavily on these generic study aids, you risk hurting your chances for achieving your full academic potential. [Read more…] about Why Relying Too Heavily on Supplements Could Hurt you Academically
When winter break – that glorious four weeks between semesters – finally arrives, you’ll probably be worn out from final exams and ready for some rest and relaxation. You’ve earned a break, so don’t hesitate to set law school aside for a few days (or weeks) and enjoy yourself. Of course, winter break isn’t just about getting caught up on your Netflix queue; it’s also a great opportunity to reflect on the fall semester and think about how you want to approach the spring semester. If you’re wanting to improve your academic performance, critical self-reflection is a key part of the process. It involves evaluating what you learned, how well you learned it, and what adjustments need to be made. Although self-reflection often occurs intuitively, it’s worth taking a few minutes to explicitly and honestly evaluate your performance. Here are a few questions you need to consider as you’re evaluating your fall semester: [Read more…] about 6 Questions to Ask to Set Yourself Up for a Successful Spring Semester in Law School