February 27, 2017
February 24, 2017
Hey guys so today my "guest post" comes from a collaboration between me and Chance from Law School Outlines! Recently he reached out to me and invited me to be apart of his weekly podcasts (find those here) and obviously I was super excited to do it. Some things we talked about:
February 20, 2017
Hello again! Today I finally decided to share with y'all my story of why I decided to go to law school just for any undergrad who is still considering signing up for this major life change or anyone out there who was just generally curious.
Why Law SchoolMy "why law school" story actually isn't all that great so I hated trying to work it in to my personal statement and still kinda hope that no one asks me about it in an interview because truthfully, I just kinda decided law school on a whim. It wasn't exactly like a Legally Blonde "I think I'll go to law school today" whim but also I definitely am not one of those people who had this great moment in my life that impacted my decision to come here.
My freshman year I was an extreme type-A person who had my whole life planned out. I was going to be married by 21, a doctor by 26, a mom before 30, and have my own practice by 35... But by the end of the first semester of my freshman year, I was heartbroken and had failed chemistry so my life plan kinda fell apart. I realized that the only reason I was upset was because I had set all these unattainable goals for myself so I decided to become a go with the flow kinda of person.
The next semester I was complaining to a friend about retaking chemistry and she told me that she didn't have to take that class because she was going to be a lawyer and there were no prerequisite classes for law school (ironically she actually ended up switching to pre-med). My mom had always joked that I'd make a great lawyer because I'm very argumentative so I started to consider law school a little more seriously.
I joined the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta and loved it when we had lawyers come talk about what they actually do. One day we had a panel of current law students come talk to us and I remember this one 3L talking about how she decided to go to law school because she's a lesbian and one day decided that participating in rallies wasn't enough for her so she decided to be a lawyer to work for her cause from the inside. Obviously my story isn't as great as hers, but I loved the idea of the real power that comes from being a lawyer.
And that was kinda that. By the time that I was applying to law schools, I just had this gut feeling that I was doing what I was supposed to be with my life and that being a lawyer was meant for me. Two years later, I'm still just going with the flow and have kinda decided that I want to do business/commercial law but have absolutely no reason except for that I just like it so why not.
Why I Stay in Law School
February 17, 2017
Today I'm back with another guest post! I'm especially excited for this one because its actually by my DG little (yes obviously I had to find the pre-law girl lol). I've been bugging her to guest post on here ever since I found out that she was going to be taking a law class and I'm glad she finally caved! If you have a great law school experience you'd like to share, use the contact form (on the bottom right) and let me know!
- I started by reading every night, which got me ahead in the early weeks where my prof was going slow and I didn’t have a lot going on. Just keep doing the assigned reading- it’ll pay off.
- I read each case all the way through and did nothing
- Next, I go back and highlight with a color coded system and read the case notes along with the cases.
- Next, I added a sticky note to every case with the issue and conclusion. If your teacher cold calls, the highlight system with a sticky note will be pretty foolproof.
- Last, I go through and brief every case. (At this point I’ve read or skimmed each case about 4 times)
- Make your outlines as you cover each topic. Not only are your notes fresh, it is a good way to review before moving on to the next section. Also, if you want to wait to make your outlines in November… well good luck figuring that out.
- This last step seems excessive, but I found it EXTREMELY effective come finals time: take all of your briefs and your outlines and organize them in a binder as you go through the course. I had my outline, then all of the cases I briefed that related to the outline topic after for reference. Then I added tabs so I could navigate quickly from battery to negligence.
- Over Thanksgiving break I went through the binder and highlighted (again by a system) the important info and any cases that would be pertinent to reference on the final.
- After this, I flipped through the binders MAYBE twice a week and sort of forgot about Torts since it was pass/fail and I wanted an A in my other classes. By this time I legitimately knew the material, all I had to do was memorize my attack outline and I killed it.
February 12, 2017
To be honest with y'all, last semester was probably the easiest semester I'll ever have in law school. For two of my classes there was practically no reading. If you're a 1L, you'll know how amazing and rare that is. And for the other two classes, the reading was very light and only took about an hour and a half each day. In case you don't know, that's way below normal. On top of that, I didn't even have Friday classes at all. It was so easy I kinda regret not saving it until my last semester, but I was grateful to have this as an easy transition semester into my new school.
This semester is completely different. I realize that the "work you to death" of the saying is referring to more extra circulars than classwork. I know a girl who is on a journal and in a clinic. And another girl who participated in a national competition for the Board of Barristers and also is on a journal. How they do it, I have no clue but I feel bad for their sleep schedule/social life. But my semester is still kicking my butt. I'm taking two procedure classes and just like Civ Pro all class consists of is rules, rules, rules. And I have two other classes that are really rule heavy. Only one of my classes is just a normal, read the case and find what you should know. In case you're keeping track, yep that's 16 hours that I'm taking.
So all of this has made me into a more responsible person. I am now one of those people who gets to the library at 9 am and reads before class, then spends her lunch break in the library eatings and reading before my next class, and then staying after my last class to do a little more reading. For the past year and a half I just couldn't stay at school and focus on studying for so long at once and instead would go to class, come home and have a break from the law, and then would study before going to bed. But now as a 2L, professors expect me to cover a lot more readings each night. One of my Tuesday/Thursday classes goes through a chapter a class! On top of that, all of my classes but one require me to have a statute book and a case book so this semester I'm lugging around 9 books!
New semester, new study habitsI realized that I had too much reading to use my old study schedule so I switched it up to fit this semester and I'm very happy. Here's why I'm glad that I switched from class-relax-study to study-class-relax. First off I've noticed that once I just accept the fact that I'm a nerdy try hard and embrace the library, I get a lot more done because my motivation is higher when I just keep studying rather than allow myself to slack and then try to find motivation again. Also I can enjoy my chill time a lot more when I know that I'm not about to have to start reading again. I also sleep better now because instead of procrastinating and staying up late reading, as soon as it hits my bed time it's lights out. For sure tho the best part is just being done in the afternoons and not having to think about school for the rest of the day!
Since this is an update, I decided to show y'all what my typical day is now because it's changed a lot since I was a 1L. Specifically, because I get to the library early and read during my breaks, once I leave the school I'm usually done with studying for the day and have the rest of my evenings to myself. If you're curious how my daily schedule was when I was doing a class-relax-study schedule, here's my previous post A Day in the Life of a Law Student. And since I haven't posted a "snapchat of a law student" in a while, journey with me through this Wednesday and see what it's like to go from 9-4 without a break. Studying = major key.
Reading - Trial Procedure
Reading - Evidence
My local book store sells notebooks with an extra-wide margin and I'm really starting to love it because I can use the "Cornell method" to take my notes. The bookstore calls this "law margin" but you can find them as Cornell notebooks if you're interested in getting one. On the left side I'll put the black letter law and on the right side I'll elaborate more and add cases and examples.
Related: How I Take Notes
Class - Trial Pro
One thing that I've noticed that I like about reading an hour or so before class is that all of the information is still fresh in my mind so if I get cold called to go over a case, I'm not as likely to get it confused with any of the other cases.
Lunch/ Reading - Criminal Procedure
Last semester when I was studying mostly at home, I just used my study carrel as a locker to store all of my statute books. Now that I spend all day at the school, my carrel has become my own little room so I've started storing the essentials there. Here's what I keep in mine (besides the obvious 20 books) -
Book stand - after reading for a few hours in a row, my neck will start hurting from looking down so this sets my book up so I can read without straining my neck
Travel Tylenol - for the rough days
Jacket - I made sure to get one that's a full zip instead of a pullover so that it won't mess up my hair. I also went ahead and got one that's a size too big so that I can use it as a little blanket when I don't want to full on wear it
Small hair brush - since I'm at the school all day I always end up needing this. I also keep a spare hair tie and a few bobby pins as well
To-go eyeshadow and travel-sized mascara - ok not going to lie already once this semester I was running late so I had to quickly do my makeup at school since I had a meeting with a professor and didn't want to look like I just woke up. This eyeshadow is surprisingly good!
Snacks - I usually alternate between trail mix and peanut butter crackers for the days when I'm extra hungry
Pro Bono/ Reading - Professional Responsibility
Class - PR
Class - Crim Pro
Weekends - Review
Related: How I Study on the Weekends
February 10, 2017
Recently one of my readers emailed me asking about what to put in her resumé and I realized that I haven't talked much about the application process so I figured I'd share what I put on my resumé when I was first applying and then applying to transfer. Application resumés can be hard because they're a little different than a job resumé and I know from experience that if you Google law school resumé all they have as examples is someone who was super involved in undergrad and when they got their masters and oh yeah they have like 10 years of experience working in the legal field. This is a little more realistic post.
From Undergrad to Law School
Just like everything you put on a job resumé
My school name and location, graduation date, degree, minors, and GPA
Honors and Scholarships
Scholarship I was awarded because of my ACT score and the GPA I maintained to keep that, and that one time I made the deans list (with dates)
I tried really hard to make being in a sorority and pre-law fraternity sound like I was really involved when really I just chose what flowers we'd use one day during recruitment (dates again)
This is where I put those organizations that you get in to based on your GPA but only meet like once ever and that I was a part of my school's pre law program too (dates)
Where I studied abroad and where I worked during my internship for one of my classes. a friend of mine hard participated in our school's DC internship at the Capitol so she put that here and I just kinda copied that section of hers :)
Basically just all of the philanthropy participation I had to do because of my sorority and fraternity
If I had any legal experience like working at a law office or shadowing a judge, I definitely would've added that in here and put it towards the top because it is the second most relevant part after my education. If you have it, good for you. If you don't, just know that it's not going to ruin your chances. You also might consider having career services take a glance at your resumé before you submit it to get any tips on how to improve your wording.
On this note I'd like to add that a lot of people tend to get super involved their junior/senior year once they decide they want to go to law school so they try to make their resumé sound great. My word of caution is don't get too involved and sacrifice your grades for it. Grades & LSAT > rec letters > resumé Just to put things in perspective. Also it looks better to be really involved in a few things than barely involved in a ton of things.
Related: 0L Advice
From Law School to Law School
Related: 6 Steps to Transferring Law Schools
February 6, 2017
These past few weeks back at school I have been busy applying and interviewing for summer clerk positions because here at my school it's time for Spring OCIs (on campus interview). I missed out on the Fall OCIs because a lot of those were nabbed during the summer, so now I'm trying to play catch up. Since I'm broke right now, I'm slowly trying to build up my wardrobe by buying like one or two things every couple of months so that when I do get a job I'll have everything I need.
Related: Internship Interview Prep
The most traditional color is black but navy and dark gray are generally accepted and are even okay for court. Light gray is sometimes okay but wait to see the vibe of the firm first. I take my suit jackets in to get hemmed so that the sleeves aren't too long because that's not as professional. One tip that I've been given on suits is don't dry clean it until it gets dirty because it'll help it last longer.
Pants generally come in flare fit or slim fit around the ankles and while slim fit is more trendy and flattering, you should stay with flare fit for your suit. Don't get a suit to be "fun" or "show your personality" or stand out." The suit should say "I'm a professional" and your attitude and personality can show the rest. I know this sounds strict, but lawyers are generally expected to be one of the most conservative in the business style.
Business Professional Dresses
Related: The Difference Between Business Professional and Business Casual
Black HeelsMy black heels were the first thing I added to my business professional wardrobe because they can go with almost everything. Make sure that the heel no more than 3.5 inches. Stay away from heels that have a platform because it's not very professional. Also, don't get open-toed shoes. Most importantly, make sure that the shoes you get are comfortable! It's worth it to invest a little more for shoes that you can work long days in while you run around the office.
Nude HeelsNext after the black heels, you need a pair of nude heels. Technically I have a pair of nude heels from my recruitment days, but they're a little too high for the business world and are in pretty rough shape after years of stacking. Nude heels are great for dresses or other colorful outfits so a new pair is the next thing on my list.
Black FlatsWarning: I've been told to avoid flats for interviews and the courtroom. I saved up for a pair of Tory Burch Reva flats and love them! I wear them on less dressy days to work or on dressy days will wear them walking from my car to the courthouse and then will throw them in my bag and change into heels when I get there. They also look great with skinny jeans for class!
Nude FlatsNext on my shoe list after I get a new pair of nude heels will be nude flats. I still haven't decided if I'll save up for another pair of Tory's or if I'll just get a cheaper pair yet, but I know that whatever I end up with will get a lot of use!
Professional BagI love my Louis Vuitton bag, don't get me wrong, but the traditional brown monogram doesn't exactly go with a black suit so I'm saving up to get a work bag and just use my Louis as an everyday bag. So if you're needing a new bag, learn from my mistake and get one that is in a versatile color (I'm thinking black since it goes with everything). Make sure that it's plenty big so you can fit a portfolio, planner, wallet, and even maybe a change of shoes in. There's lots of tote bags that are the perfect size for this! I personally think that bags are worth the investment because they last you years, so it might be worth it to use up a Christmas or Birthday request on a quality bag.
Subtle JewelryThe key word here is subtle. I have a pearl necklace that I got for my birthday in college and I wear it all the time because it's just so classic! If pearls aren't your thing/not in your price range right now, look for simple necklaces that compliment rather than distract.
And although I love my Kendra Scott Danielle earrings, I would never wear them to work! Make sure that you stick with studs at first because a lot of employers aren't fans of any dangly jewelry. Gold is the most traditional, but silver is fine if that better compliments your skin tone. Rose gold is iffy because it might be considered too trendy, so if you do wear it, make sure to stay subtle.
Last but certainly not least are watches. Even if you're not a watch person, you might consider putting one on for an interview because watches give off this "I'm punctual" vibe. yAlthough I love my Apple Watch, I still swap it out for a traditional watch for interviews because the sport band isn't exactly professional and I don't want it to be distracting.
Lawyer-esque NailsIf you did recruitment with your sorority then you should be familiar with this. I always try to get my nails done or at least do them myself before an interview and keep them polished. Pale pinks and nudes are perfect but French tips are fine too! Although red is a classic, I've always been told it's too bold for interviews. If you don't like polish, then you should at least get them buffed.
Don't try to get trendy with pointy or almond shapes. In fact, some employers don't even like squared edges. I get that a lot of this is picky stuff but that's just something you have to embrace to work in the business professional world.
- ▼ February (7)
- ► 2016 (67)
Ahh this is it! It's so exciting for me to see a lot of y'all starting your 1L year after spending almost a year trying my best t...
In my search for law school blogs, most seemed to be either written by schools or people who had turned their blogs into professiona...
I intended to wait until closer to the new semester to talk about planners, but I just got my new one in and I'm so excited that I ca...
If you haven't gone in to full on panic mode about getting everything together for law school, then beware my friend because class st...
These past few weeks back at school I have been busy applying and interviewing for summer clerk positions because here at my school it&...
Happy Good Friday, everyone! As excited as I am for this 4 day weekend, honestly a little bit of me died on the inside when I realized th...
Hello lovelies! Now that it's after Memorial Day, the summer has unofficially started. If you're anything like me, this means tha...
This time last year, I was a mess. I had finally realized that I couldn't just wait around all summer to see if I got pulled from the...