December 31, 2018

Top Blog Posts of 2018

Happy NYE everyone!! The one thing I really miss about being a student is the extra long Christmas/NYE break that you get. I'm working a half day on NYE but at least have the first off so Ryan and I are doing a little staycation in a nearby town (it's so cute so I'll post where we go on my Instagram stories). 

Anyways, I can't believe it's been a full year since I did my Top Blog Posts of 2017! This has been a whirlwind of a year and I'm so grateful for what 2018 brought me. This year I spent a semester interning as corporate counsel, graduated law school, passed the Bar exam, became a licensed attorney, and got a job!! It has been a long, long journey to get here but I am so blessed to finally be where I knew I was supposed to be all along. I'm getting sentimental so I'll stop, but I truly do what to thank all of y'all for coming back week after week, following along with my road-to-lawyer story, and sharing yours with me. Honestly, this blog will forever be my favorite part about law school and I have y'all to thank for that!! Okay so now here's a recap of the top 10 posts that y'all loved this year....

To summarize this post, look for a backpack that is sturdy, spacious, and strong. It's funny because I spent 3 years of my life rolling my eyes at people who used the briefcase-on-wheels as their backpack but guess what Christmas present I got really excited for?? Yep.... a briefcase on wheels. But I still stand by my opinion that these are better for carrying a huge case file into a hearing than taking with you to class every day.

Not much has changed between what I bring into work every day now as an actual lawyer and what I brought in as an intern. I definitely don't have time to bring a Kindle and read anymore because my lunches are spent either watching daytime court TV shows with my coworkers and being grateful that our clients aren't like that and actually doing work for my clients because lunch time is when a lot of them have the free time to communicate with me. I originally intended to use my first big-girl paycheck to buy a new purse as a present to myself for this past year, but student loans happened first so instead I'm putting away a little each month.

One of my most-worn work tops is included in this post! This post is actually one of my favorites from this year because it features affordable pieces that a broke law student can afford to help get her lawyer wardrobe going. We've all been there when you have your first interview or 1L competition where you need some professional clothes, but your bank account is saying "bitch, please." If you missed this post, I promise you it'll be worth it to go check it out.

This is advice that I received in 2018 that I still try to live by every single day because it really is super important. As we're starting out our law career, we're establishing a reputation that will follow us for the rest of our career, and you only get one chance to make a first impression. I take this to heart because I want to be respected in the legal community. If you'e a 3L, I highly recommend that you consider what you want your personal brand to be.  

Hopefully you don't need this post, but this is actually really perfect timing to reshare this. If you do need this post, just remember that plenty of successful lawyers were on academic probation at some point and you really can turn your GPA around. But even if you have anything less than a 4.0, this post has some tricks I picked up on how to slowly climb your way up the GPA ladder. 

If you're a pre-law reader, please please please go read this! All the time I'm asked for LSAT advice and while this isn't the advice you wanted, it's the advice you didn't realize you needed. I promise I have plans to do another LSAT related post, but for now read this and send it to your other pre-law friends because it's probably something y'all hadn't thought about yet. 

If last semester started to be a big overwhelming for you, then this post is for you!! I'm a firm believer that the right lists can keep your life on track. I still use every single one of these lists every single day and I swear they help me stay on top of my clients, my apartment, and my budget. I realized that five is probably overkill, but maybe pick just one and make it your 2019 goal to use it daily. You can thank me next December!

This is actually a two-in-one post with the first half giving you some basic tips on how to do your makeup that doesn't scream I'm a millennial!! but still is your style and the second half is some great ways that I organize my makeup. I stayed in a little studio apartment during my internship and finally figured out how to make the most of a small space.

Moment of sadness because I just realized that I will literally never get to graduate again. Followed by a moment of guilt because I just realized that I never blogged about my law school graduation, so I guess that's a post for 2019. Funny story about what I wore to graduation, another one of my classmates wore the exact same dress in the same color and everything! I wasn't annoyed in the slightest because 1) no one would see our dresses anyways and 2) someone wearing my dress just reaffirmed my decision that it was a perfect dress to graduate in lol. 

I have one law school graduation to attend in 2019 and I'm already starting to shop around for what I'm going to wear. What I love about this post is that it's similar to #3 on this list and everything is from.... Amazon! It seems like there's always another graduation to go to for one of your friends or family members. And who else remembers the scene from the Lizzie McGuire movie where Kate screams out "Lizze McGuire you are an outfit repeater!" at graduation?? Still to this day I won't rewear an outfit to two graduation ceremonies lol. So if you're like me and need a bunch of cute outfits for this spring, this post has lots of affordable options.

And we're done! Thank you guys for making these posts your top 10 most read posts! Like I've mentioned already today, I have lots of post ideas that I'm working on for 2019, but the most read posts are the ones that y'all requested because you know what you want to read. So please if you have anything you want to see, go ahead and comment on this post or use the "questions and suggestions" box on the bottom right to email me an idea.

December 10, 2018

Preparing for Law School While in High School

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Lately I've been getting emails from high school juniors/seniors who are already setting up their 5 year plans which includes law school as the end goal. Good for you! I really can't stand the people who tell teenagers "oh you'll probably change you mind about being a lawyer.'' Sure, there's a chance that you might end up realizing that law school is for you, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared in case *gasp* you actually do end up applying to law school. So pause the How to Get Away With Murder or the Law & Order because I'm going to show you things you can do that will actually help you, right now, as a high schooler to prepare for law school.

Take AP (or any advanced) research/writing classes

A very, very important part of law school (and being a lawyer) is researching and writing. If you want to be successful in law school and eventually get a high paying lawyer job, you're going to need to be excellent in research and writing. By starting in high school, you'll be ready to take on researching or formal/business writing classes each semester in college. Then by the time you get to law school you'll have a really strong foundation to build upon. Look for classes that have you learning how to use a research database and have a persuasive writing aspect listed in the syllabus. Your 1L self will be so grateful if you show up on day 1 already knowing the basic components of how to write a memo.

Related: College majors that are helpful for law school

Get help with test taking skills

The great thing about high school is that a lot have a testing counselor available for you for free. Even if you have a 4.0 GPA, it's still worth it to go here. College is harder than high school so if you are already improving how this skill now, you'll be setting yourself up to get great grades in college (which are necessary to get into law school). Always strive to be improving yourself academically.

While we're on the subject, get really really good at standardized tests. I thought the ACT and SAT weren't fun, but they also didn't seem like this huge challenge to me. The LSAT is much harder than the ACT/SAT, costs way more, and LSAT prep takes a lot of money and time. Take advantage of any free standardized testing help that your school offers. Even if it's not free, it's still probably a lot cheaper than standardized testing help you can find after high school. Oh and remember that you'll have one last standardized test- the Bar. And if you don't pass this one, you don't become a lawyer. 

Be involved

Not only will this help your college applications go smoother, it will prepare you for law school. You need to learn prioritizing and time management skills now so that you'll already know how to get good grades while having a busy schedule before you get to college and then eventually law school. Your 1L year will have you so busy at times you don't seem to have a moment to yourself. This can be very overwhelming if you're not used to it and has been the downfall for more than one 1L. 

A lot of people try to join debate teams or mock trial teams at their high school because they think it's necessary to be a law school contender, but it just isn't. If you're interested in that then definitely go for it, but don't waste your time doing something you're not interested in just because you think it'll help. It's better to do something you're passionate about and form hobbies than to sign up for something just because you think you should.

Shadow as many lawyers as possible 

Judges, practicing attorneys, non-practicing attorneys, criminal, civil, private, government. There's so many different areas of the law and the best thing you do is exposure yourself to as many legal fields as possible before law school, starting now. Hopefully you have a family friend or distant relative or even just that one person who graduated in the same grade with your older sister years ago who you don't really know but somehow are Facebook friends, reach out to these people and I'm pretty sure they'd be flattered to let you shadow them for a day. If you don't know anyone, just Google for lawyers in your city and start cold emailing them explaining that you're in high school interested in becoming a lawyer and want to learn more about it. 

Pay attention to questions you've started getting ever since you started talking about going to law school: what made you want to be a lawyer? what kind of law are you interested in? why law school? Ask these questions to those you shadow! This will help you realize your own answers to these questions you'll be getting a lot and will give you sample answers of how to explain yourself and your goals. Other questions to ask them: what they do/don't like about being a lawyer, why they got in to their particular area of the law, how law school/being a lawyer is different than what they expected, what do they wish they would've known before law school, etc. Knowing this can maybe help you decide what kind of law you're interested in and can help you make sure that you're making an informed decision regarding your future career.

Take notes about what kind of law you're shadowing and things that stand out to you. This will help you later on when you try to talk about your legal interests and goals in your personal statement. And learn the magic word of the legal profession— networking. Meeting tons of lawyers will help you when you want to try to find a summer job while in high school and college, a clerking job while in law school, and a post-graduation job. Speaking of...

Get a job

If you can, try to find a legal job. This can be legal assistant, legal secretary, or even a receptionist at a law firm. This exposure and experience will help you so much during the next 7 years when you need a legal job. However, I know a paid legal job can be hard to find if you only have a high school diploma (or not even that yet). Now is a great time to suck it up and take an unpaid internship (or offer to help out in an office for free) because you still live at home with your parents so concerns like rent or groceries aren't really on your radar yet. Taking these unpaid internships now might help you out later when you do have bills and need a paid internship.

Alternatively, just take any old high school job. Getting a paycheck is really nice so you can go to the movies or mall with your friends, but it's better to be boring responsible and save up as much as you can. Having a few thousand dollars saved up from years of working while in high school will really help out future you. This can mean you'll end up taking out less student loans for college (or if you get help with college, less student loans for law school). Remember tuition for law school is about double that of college, and all together someone's going to have to pay for 7 years of schooling. This is how many law school grads end up with $100-200k in student loan debt.


This is another thing that will look good on your college applications and also will really help you out. When people come to lawyers, usually they're at the lowest point in their lives— whether it be because they've been arrested, their house is getting foreclosed on, the need a divorce, their personal company is going bankrupt, they've been severally injured... the list goes on and on. You have to be compassionate to be a lawyer (despite what TV might tell you) but you also have to be strong for those who come to you at their worst. Almost anywhere you volunteer, you're going to build these skills.

Want a good place to start volunteering? Google [your city] legal aid center or [your city] free legal help. Then call those places, let them know you're in high school and interested in the law, and ask how you can help. It might just be handing out intake forms to a crowded waiting room, but this kind of volunteering will expose you to the real challenges that lawyers face every day. Then when it's your turn to be a lawyer, you'll be ready to spring in to action helping people in ways that you've been watching other lawyers do for years.

Make college choices wisely

Remember how I was talking about the crazy amount of debt that most law grads are in? I could have a lambo for the amount I've paid for schools! The best way to minimize your post-law school debt is to have little to no college debt. How do you do that? Work really, really hard on getting scholarships for college. Do this by having the highest grades possible, being close to your teachers for scholarship recommendation letters, and applying for every scholarship you can find. Even if your parents are going to pay for all of your college, the more you save them in college tuition the more they'll have still in that college fund leftover to pay for your law school. 

Also, put some thought into the colleges you'll be applying for. Don't go to a college that you don't think you can succeed at. Remember, the closer to a 4.0 college GPA you have, the easier literally everything about the law school application process will be for you. Law schools don't really care where you went to college so they'd be much more likely to admit someone who got a 4.0 from a Division II state school than a 2.9 from a prestigious private school. And if your parents can't pay for your college, consider going to a cheaper college so you'll have less debt. Because remember, law schools don't care where you got your college degree from so it's a smarter move financially to go to a cheaper state school and also load up on summer classes from a community college.

I guess to sum up this post, the way to prepare for law school while still in high school is to just start being intentional about the choices you're making. Yeah you have 8 years from freshman year of high school until your first year of law school and this may sound a long ways off, but by planning ahead you can make things a little easier down the road. Once you're a senior and you're getting ready to go to college, come back to this blog and I'll help you with Phase 2 of Operation Go To Law School. Lastly, enjoy high school and don't try to grow up too fast because you have your whole life to be an adult!

let's be friends!