There are two reasons why a law student might choose to enroll in an independent study and research course: 1) as an opportunity to research and write about a topic of interest; and 2) to shore up a credit deficiency in the last semester of law school. On the first day of my last semester, I discovered that I was one credit short to maintain my full-time status. The most convenient option was to register for an independent study course. After lots of contemplation about possible topics, finding a member of the faculty to supervise my work, and a cursory glance at the literature to make sure it was a viable topic, I was ready to get to work. Almost immediately, I recognized the challenges associated with focus and being disciplined. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track.
In this episode we discuss:
- What going to class teaches you that books, outlines, and supplements cannot
- Why paying attention to what your professor thinks is important is very important
- Why in-class hypotheticals are so important to your understanding of the law, and to preparing for the exam
- How class can help you learn to live with ambiguity and think like a lawyer
- How learning the policy behind the laws can help you piece together what you learn into a coherent whole
- Ways to enhance your listening and note-taking to set you up for success later
- Why you should strongly consider handwriting your class notes
- How to handle distractions and why you should really unplug in class
Thanks for listening!
When applying for any position out of law school – a clerkship, a law firm, a government office – the name of the game is making your resume stand out in the pile. Everybody knows the drill, right? Good grades plus glowing recommendations equals strong candidate. But there are, of course, plenty of other ways to ensure your resume, and thus your candidacy, stands out among the crowd. At the top of this list is publishing a student note or comment in a law journal. Whether you are on a journal or not, you should absolutely consider this opportunity, which not only showcases critical thinking and writing skills, but also demonstrates initiative and interest in a particular area of the law. So, the million-dollar-question: what are journals looking for when they select for publication? The four steps below are designed to help you write an article that fits the bill and will bring you one step closer to getting published. [Read more…] about Writing to Get Published
A common piece of advice regarding law school is to attend a school in the city or state where you’d ultimately like to work. I don’t disagree, and doubt anyone would tell you that being in or near the location where you’re searching for a job doesn’t make that process much easier. However, the reality is that (1) this isn’t always an option, (2) you may not know where you want to be, and (3) plans can change in the course of law school. You might also decide that you want to do a specific type of work – criminal prosecution, for example – where some geographic flexibility can open up more job opportunities.
I’ve helped many students successfully search for out-of-state summer clerkships and post-graduate jobs. Although it often requires more initiative and effort on the part of the student, it can certainly be done. Fortunately, there are a number of mechanisms in place or at your disposal that can help the process along.
Welcome back to the Law School Toolbox podcast! Today, we’re talking with ex-BigLaw recruiter, Sadie Jones, about how to make people hate you at work, so that, basically, you can avoid doing these things.
In this episode we discuss:
- Things to avoid, such as being late on your first day of work!
- How to make a good impression at social events (and how to make a bad one)
- Why there is almost no excuse for not showing up or notifying a host that you can’t make an event
- Why treating everyone with respect, always, is so important
- Why you need to treat summer jobs as the start of your professional reputation
- Why first drafts aren’t really drafts
- That it’s your job to make your boss look good
- Why you need to do your homework, and then ask good questions, to avoid surprises
- How important communication is to success at work
- What to do if you do mess up at work
Thanks for listening!
Your 1L summer should be a very exciting time! After all, you are taking your first step towards becoming a real lawyer. For many students, this will be their first introduction to a legal work environment –which will be an invaluable learning experience. However, finding that first summer job can be a challenging and stressful process that continues throughout the spring. Fortunately, there are still plenty of jobs available (even if they aren’t your dream job), and there are a number of things you can consider doing to improve your applications and expand your search. Remember, the important thing about your 1L summer is that you get SOME legal experience – so keep an open mind and put your best foot forward! [Read more…] about Tips for Finding a 1L Summer Job Late in the Game