How to Keep up with the Law

How to Keep up with the LawThis week we welcome back guest writer Zoila Sanchez to discuss how to keep yourself informed about what’s going on in the legal field.

If you are interested in going to law school, you have likely learned about the various steps you need to take to successfully get there. For example, you must take the Law School Admissions Test (“LSAT”), write a personal statement, and obtain letters of recommendation.

While you are in the pre-law process of exploring the possibility of attending law school and familiarizing yourself with the requirements to be a successful applicant, it can sometimes feel like you are not engaging with the reason why you wanted to attend in the first place. For example, in my own personal experience, I spent so much time carving out hours to study for the LSAT aside from my full-time job and other commitments, that I did not have the time to connect with the social justice issues that inspired me to attend law school. I discovered through an incredible pre-law program that there are easy ways to quickly plug into legal issues in the world today.

You might be asking yourself why this is a good idea. Once you make it into law school, a lot of time in your first year is dedicated to core courses such as tort law, criminal law, civil procedure, evidence, property, contracts—that you probably won’t be able to start digging into the issues that led you to law school until your second or third year. For example, my graduate school experience in Arizona and the opportunity to work on issues negatively impacting unaccompanied migrant children inspired me to make change as a lawyer one day. However, during my first year, I was so busy keeping up with courses that are heavily tested again after law school on the bar exam, that it was not until the second half of second year as a law student that I finally got the opportunity to write about legal issues impacting migrant children.

Take from my experience that you don’t have to wait to be a law student or lawyer to start learning and engaging with the law!

To help you get started, below are resources I found helpful to connect with the law.

1. Scotus Blog

The Scotus Blog is a great way to stay connected to legal news and legal analysis.

Before law school, I started learning about the U.S. citizenship process for immigrants and how it can be adversely affected by the likelihood of their utilization and dependence on government assistance. I saw this as a deterrent for immigrants seeking citizenship from seeking government health care and nutrition benefits for themselves and their loved ones. Fast forward to today, the Scotus blog is covering this issue at the Supreme Court level.

As you read about legal issues of interests, you may not understand why the analyses emphasize which justice weighed in on an issue, but in law school and especially in courses like Constitutional Law, you will learn about how specific justices tend to rule on issues.

2. Student Blogs

Law School Student Blogs

If you are interested in specific laws schools, several publish student blogs on the law school experience. Be sure to check these out and if you find students that you could potentially learn a lot from and connect with—go for it! Some of the things you may learn more about include reflections on clerking for a judge or working for a big law firm. The great news is that you don’t have to wait until you are in law school to learn what the experience is like and the kinds of legal issues you will confront.

ABA Law Student Blogs

The ABA for Law Student Blog is run by a division within the American Bar Association of law students. Reading through the topics gives you a strong sense of the issues that law students face and need support with. The great benefit to reading these topics and staying up to date is that you don’t need to be in law school or a law student. Some of these topics would be interesting and relatable now such as “What is Justice?” and in preparing to pay for law school, it would be beneficial to understand “Student loan policy: Where do we stand now?” and if you are figuring out whether you see yourself practicing social justice or public interest law, you can check out “So you want to work in the public interest?


You never know where networking can take you! In my experience, I was not shy about networking and would even contact the student via the blog, the respective admissions team, or LinkedIn. Students were eager to share their personal journey with me and even maintained contact with me. Two students from Columbia Law were my 1L mentors while I attended Hofstra Law! This connection which started with me seeking out law student experiences led me to visit campuses across the country to see where I saw myself. Here, I got a chance to meet more students and professors, and observe law school courses as a visitor.

3. Oyez

If there is a case you are interested in following, and you haven’t quite had the experience of sitting in a courtroom, it is so thrilling to hear the audio of actual supreme court cases! Oyez allows you to access the supreme court! You can hear how the attorneys on both sides approach the justices and execute their arguments and hear questions from the justices as though you are in the room.

One famous landmark Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, decided that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples. You can get a sense of how a supreme court case is decided by listening to the audio of the actual case. Another benefit is that you will already be familiar with the details of the case when it comes up in Constitutional Law!

Staying engaged in these ways and others you find along your pre-law journey can help you get a sense of what lawyers do, the kinds of issues that lawyers can significantly impact, and can even point you in the direction of your niche – or the area you may want to focus on during law school.


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About Zoila Sanchez

During law school, she served as a Legal Clerk with the federal government at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Counsel to the Inspector General in Washington, DC. Currently, she works for a health and business law firm. She enjoys spending down time mentoring students sitting for the bar exam through the American Bar Association Council on Legal Education Opportunity program and taking it easy with her three poodles.

Ms. Sanchez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stony Brook University, a Master of Public Health from the University of Arizona and Juris Doctor from Hofstra University.

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