June 18, 2018

How to Save Your Law School GPA

What to do after a bad semester in law school and 4 strategies for if you're failing out of law school. How to get better grades in law school. Law school grades tips. 4 ways to raise your law school GPA. How to raise your grades as a a 1L. How to raise your grades as a 2L. What to do if you're failing law school. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

Surprise haha! I plan on doing a post about graduation and several posts about what I learned from my internship and about Bar prep, but today I'm taking a quick study break to write this because I feel like I need to say this now so here it is. 

Okay so look, literally EVERYONE in law school will have *that one semester* where they didn't do so hot (even yours truly). Even if you're on academic probation, I want you to remind yourself of that! Law school is hard and sometimes it can be too much at once and your grades can suffer, but that doesn't mean that you should drop out (unless you truly hate it). So here's some ideas to help you get back in the game and raise that GPA.

Related: How to mentally bounce back from bad grades


Take the professor, not the class

This was some advice that one of my 1L professors gave our class and he was so right. If you find a professor that you click with and did well with, take that professor again as much as possible. Each time you retake him, you're starting out a little bit ahead because you already know what to expect in class and on exams. This little edge can help you get repeat good grades to cushion your GPA. And, usually if you retake a professor a lot you get to know them and then wow look at you having a go-to person for scholarship or job rec letters or other opportunities. Even if you don't necessarily need these classes, take them if your schedule will allow it.


Take summer classes

I'm a huuuuge proponent of summer classes in law school. Not only are they normally cheaper than regular law school classes (so you're getting credits at a discounted rate and taking out less loans), you also are getting ahead on your credits so you can take less classes in during the regular year. This will help your grade during the regular year because you can take less classes so you'll be less overworked and will have less to study during finals and more time to study for your other classes. 

Anyways besides all this, the summer classes that I've taken are usually easier because you are taking only one or two classes at a time and generally the classes aren't as intense as regular law classes because they're shorter. Now a warning that summer classes are usually smaller and you know how that's not fun with the curve so try extra hard in these classes! I mean after all, it's a lot easier to take one class and throw yourself in to it and then put yourself in a position to beat the curve  than treat this like a regular class. Don't worry if you're working during the summer or gone, because you can still take advantage of this if there's some flexibility with your schedule.


Take the easy A

Now, there's some debate on whether this is sabotaging you with the Bar if you are taking pointless classes that aren't covered on the Bar or are taking Bar-covered classes but not really learning anything. I took an easy Wills class and while some of this stuff is new to me I don't really feel all that behind my classmates who took the harder Wills professor and learned more than me, because the Bar prep companies do a good job of catching you up. If your grades are fine then maybe you don't need to risk this, but I think if you're on the edge then it's worth it to chase the grade. I mean, after all, being prepared for the Bar is useless if you failed out of law school right? 

Try a new study style 

Each year of law school, I ended up having a totally different study style. Not because one was bad so I had to do another but just because I had to adjust to my circumstances and also I guess I wanted to experiment for the purpose of weighing in my opinion (just like Carrie Bradshaw's dating life right? haha). Anyways, here's some different styles for you to explore:

Breaking your day down into sections

If you were working or were in extracurriculars, then maybe it's time to cut back on those or even stop. I know you're probably trying to set yourself up to get a job, but again remember that you're not going to get a post-graduation job if you don't graduation. Also, it might be worth the investment to look in to getting some supplements to help you review and make sure that you're understanding the material like you need to be.


This is a short post, but I just wanted to give some of y'all out there some motivation and ideas to get you started on saving your GPA! If you got bad grades because you realized that you hated law school, then I totally support your decision to drop out (I mean hey at least you tried and now you know). But if you don't hate law school, don't think just that one bad semester or a few less-than-mediocre semesters should make you stop. If you have any other suggestions of how to help that GPA creep back up, leave a comment below (even if it's anonymous!) and pass on the knowledge. 
let's be friends!


May 9, 2018

Law School Graduation Gift Ideas

What to ask for as a law school graduation gift or what to get for a new law grad. Law school graduation gift guide. Law school gifts for her. Law school gifts for him. Law school graduation present ideas. law school blog. law student blogger | brazenandbrunette.com

Hello hello and welcome back to graduation week on the blog! Today's post is near and dear to my heart because it involves presents for law school grads (like me). When people ask you what you want for graduation, it can be really awkward because you have to keep their budget in mind, so I've included things for all kinds of budgets for you to get ideas from. Or if you wound up here looking for gift ideas for someone you know who's graduating law school, I've divided this up into work and play to help you find something that matches the vibe you're going for. 


Work

Starting with work because a very important piece of advice I was given before going off to college is that in the saying "work hard, play hard" there's a reason why work comes first. These are the more practical gift ideas, but are such a good idea because they'll get used a lot. I'm also just going to point out here that these are also more "safe" gift ideas so they're great if you don't really know someone's personality that well.


This is a simple, but great option! I swear lawyers are single-handedly keeping the printing industry in business. This adorable Kate Spade business card holder is professional but not stuffy, and for an added touch you can easily take it in somewhere and get their name put on the back.


Along those lines, a personalized card holder for their desk is a great gift for their big kid job.  I personally like glass the best because it goes with all different styles of offices.


There's lots of personalized suit hangers on Etsy that are great but I really like this one because you can add their school and grad date, and probably also their name. Now obviously this is just a jacket hanger and pants can't quite go on this, but it's okay. Usually law grads are broke anyways so they might just have one suit jacket.


Almost all law students already have a portfolio, but by now it's probably on it's last leg after being shoved in a backpack for three years straight. So an updated portfolio is a great tool for them to have on hand as they go into a million and a half job interviews.

Every guy who just graduated law school is about to need a tie almost every single day, so what a great gift idea! But instead of just getting them one tie or trying to figure out his style, a tie subscription box is the gift that keeps on giving because he'll get a new tie every month.


Want something that no one else has probably thought of but will definitely get a lot of use? Pay to have their diploma framed in a custom diploma frame! You can call their school to get the diploma dimensions before hand. Or this also is a great gift for procrastinators or people who forgot to get a gift because it's perfectly acceptable to give this to them later after their graduation date.


One of my classmates got a Montblanc pen for graduation and I'm in love with it! Nothing says "I'm a big shot lawyer" quite like signing your first job offer with a very fancy pen. Now obviously this isn't within everyone's budget, but a personalized pen will also do!

Literally THE most classic law grad gift ever, and for a reason! So if you're going to follow tradition, follow it well and get a timeless design yet excellent quality briefcase. This briefcase was actually designed by a former lawyer (who may or may not be on the blog very soon 😉) so you know it's well-thought out to what a lawyer will need! I have a notebook from this company and let me tell you, it is some very high-quality, sturdy leather! Like, this thing will last and last which is great because it means that it can be passed down to future generations. Or if you're not feeling the briefcase, they also have a high-quality laptop case, too. Which brings me to...


If they have the same laptop they got before heading off to college, chances are that it's pretty beat up after 7 years of being thrown across the library in frustration studying. A newer, lighter MacBook will be greatly used since so much of Bar prep (and the actual Bar exam!) is on laptops, not to mention how work laptops are usually old and so slow. 


The one thing that new law grads will need but can't afford is a new, nice suit. You can get them one off the rack from somewhere like Ann Taylor and get it altered or you can even order a custom suit from places like Sumissura. No matter what kind of law you do you'll need a nice suit, even if it's just for getting sworn in to the Bar.

Play

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right? These gifts are great if you already know that they're going to be getting lots of work-related gifts from other friends and family or if you want a gift that's a little more unexpected. Just know your audience so you don't spend a bunch of money on something that isn't their style.


A laptop and keyboard cover is a great and inexpensive gift because although it is practical, mostly it's just cute. 



Scales of justice stuff can get kinda "cutesy" and almost knick-knack-y pretty soon, so if you're going to go that route at least do something fun and useful like this wine cork shadow box.
An Amazon echo dot is probably the one gift I've received that I've used the most. You can get it with a smart plug so that they can easily turn appliances on and off with their voice or get it with an Amazon TV stick so they can save money on cable and take movies to-go with them. I actually have two Alexa's— one in my living room for turning things on and off and one in my bathroom so I can have voice-controlled music in the shower and while I'm getting ready.


 

Wireless headphones are great for everything from making commutes more bearable to gym-bag necessities. Noise-canceling headphones like the Beats headphones are also great for Bar prep. I personally have a pair of Apple AirPods and have convinced a few friends to get them because they're so handy to have.


Almost everyone I know is either taking a post-graduation or a post-Bar trip somewhere, so luggage is a great gift! It's also a subtle come visit more hint haha. 


Okay this is just wishful thinking on my part and if I hadn't already asked my parents for something else, I would absolutely request a pair of Louboutin pumps because nothing says I've made it quite like a pair of red-bottoms. Honestly, it's probably what I'll spend my first paycheck on as a treat for myself.


A Louis Vuitton Neverfull is so popular right now for a reason. Besides the timeless design and classy brand, it's also very practical. These things can hold a lot so there's plenty of room to stuff a laptop and legal pad plus tons of documents in to haul into a court house, or even enough room to stuff a change of clothes for a carry-on bag. Definitely worth the investment! 

Lastly, there's cold hard cash. I literally asked my parents to make a "sizable contribution to the 'Nikki is drowning in debt' efforts" because being able to pay off my loans a little faster is way more valuable to me than a scales of justice pendant necklace or something. It sounds impersonal, but money is what every graduating student could really really use. Even if they managed to have a full-ride scholarship, that can help with living expenses during Bar prep and so forth. But whatever you get them, make sure that you tell them how proud you are of them. Law school can be a rough 3 years and I can't explain how much those words are appreciated.
let's be friends!