Experiential Learning in Law School: Presenting to a Tribal Council

Experiential Learning in Law School: Presenting to a Tribal CouncilThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about experiential learning in law school.

Before I was in law school, I remember hearing about stories of law students making a difference in the world, whether through exonerating death row prisoners, assisting small businesses, or working on immigration and deportation cases. Inspired and motivated, I wanted to do that myself someday.

Flash forward to law school now, and I finally got my chance. This fall, I joined a policy practicum where I had the chance to assist the Yurok Tribe’s Office of the Tribal Council with some of their current legal issues. The Yurok Tribe’s reservation is located in Del Norte and Humboldt counties in North California, sitting on a stretch of the Klamath River. I worked on two different projects: one, advising on a potential discrimination suit and two, preparing a whitepaper to describe the process of tribes contracting with the federal government in order to gain funding and coordinate in wildfire prevention and management. [Read more…]

3 Things I Learned From Writing My Personal Statement

3 Things I Learned From Writing My Personal StatementThis week we welcome 1L Justine Huang to talk about the process of writing her personal statement.

If you are applying to law school for the next cycle, chances are you’re working through or putting the finishing touches on your personal statement. For me, the personal statement was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but I can now appreciate the process as a continuous lifelong journey of growth and self-reflection. Here are three things I learned from the writing process.

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Misconceptions About Law School: What Law School Is Really About

Misconceptions About Law School: What Law School Is Really AboutThis week we hear from law student Justine Huang about what she’s learned in her first semester of law school about what law school really is.

The main expectation I had going into law school was that it was going to be a lot of reading. While that turned out to be true, life as a law school student wasn’t exactly as I had imagined. Having been through one semester of law school, I hope to give you a sense of what 1L year is like.

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Tips And Ideas For Commuter Law Students

Tips And Ideas For Commuter Law StudentsThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about life as a commuter law student.

I am a law student who commutes to school, and I know a few students who do so as well. While commuting can be challenging at times, it is also manageable. Having commuted both by car and public transit, I have picked up some tips and tricks along the way, which will be helpful for any student in the same boat, or who may be considering living off-campus in the future.

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What Ted Lasso Teaches Me About Succeeding In The Law

What Ted Lasso Teaches Me About Succeeding In The LawThis week we welcome back Tiffany Lo to talk about what the show Ted Lasso has taught her becoming a success in the legal world.

Who doesn’t love Ted Lasso? I am not ashamed to admit that I anxiously await every Friday for the new episode to drop.

The show constantly surprises me with new layers to its characters. They are complex human beings, all with admirable qualities that I hope to emulate. I think that law students can learn something from each and every character and apply these lessons to thrive in law school and in their careers.

Below are my thoughts on some of my favorite characters. Warning: spoilers ahead! [Read more…]

Ideas For Staying In Touch With Summer Supervisors and Mentors

Ideas For Staying In Touch With Summer Supervisors And MentorsThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about how to stay on top of your connections from your summer jobs.

You had a fantastic summer working at your judicial externship, law firm, nonprofit organization, or government office. You shadowed attorneys, observed meetings, wrote memoranda, pleadings, contracts, merger documents, whitepapers, maybe even argued in court or presented at a client conference, and much more. You made connections with attorneys at different stages of their careers and heard many war stories from practicing lawyers every day. You learned a lot from your supervising attorneys and summer mentors. You made an excellent impression. At the end of the summer, you wrote a note or email thanking everyone you met for a wonderful experience, and then returned to your busy life as a law student, as attorneys do to their normal, law-student-less schedule.

In the back of your head, you think, will they remember me one year later if I return full-time? How can I keep these relationships strong? What do I need to do and how much do I need to do it? I certainly asked myself these questions during and at the end of my summer jobs.

Whether you end up returning to that workplace or not, knowing your fellow attorneys in the profession will be helpful in many ways. So, here are some ideas for staying in touch with the attorneys from your summer.

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Nurturing Your Romantic Relationship With Your Non-Law Student Partner

Nurturing Your Romantic Relationship With Your Non-Law Student PartnerThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to discuss how to keep your romantic relationship going in law school, with a non law school significant other.

I have been with my partner through a lot of schooling. But when I started law school, I wondered how we could keep our long-distance relationship strong. I also wondered if both being graduate students in very different, but both demanding academic programs – I in law, and he in math – would change anything for the worse. Happily, 1L did not break us up, and after more than two years of juggling classes, teaching, work, research, internships, and other commitments, we are going strong.

I would be remiss not to mention that for couples, any strain that law school puts on the relationship is very real and valid. This would go for any other endeavor that is inherently time-consuming and taxing, My own experience is not representative of all, as my partner and I were lucky in many ways: we could visit each other once a month during 1L; we relied on technology when not physically together, we have dated through obligations in high school and college; we are both graduate students; and we spent a lot of time during work and zoom classes-from-home during the pandemic than otherwise possible. I am grateful for the circumstances that keep us connected, as well as the work we both put in to be understanding and loving. We tackled disagreements and mistakes with grace, and always supported each other.

Here are my thoughts on nurturing your romantic relationship with your partner, and especially one who is not a law student or a lawyer.

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Trailblazing As A First-Generation Law Student

Trailblazing As A First-Generation Law StudentThis week we welcome new guest writer Zoila Sanchez to talk about her experience as a first generation law student.

You made it past the LSAT and now you are taking law classes! It seems like a dream come true as you have come so far as the first in your family and/or community to pursue a legal career journey. Maybe your journey has been especially challenging and you left your home country to pursue an LLM, or you are a non-traditional law student. Sometimes the initial excitement deflates at certain points in law school, when you are overwhelmed, struggling to keep up, and/or find students who come from a family of attorneys or have siblings that provided them with tips or outlines. Being a trailblazing law student can be discouraging at times. Here are encouraging tips to embrace being a leader in this respect: [Read more…]

How To Balance Your Child While You Work

This week we hear from guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt about balancing parenthood with a legal career at home.

Covid has brought significant attention to the need for childcare for working parents. Many of us have been trying to tend to work while simultaneously tending to children at home, and the result has been massive burnout, frustration, and chaos (at least at times in my household).

At the start of the pandemic, it was wonderful having my two-year-old son home with me. I don’t begrudge parents who happily rely on daycare, but for me, I struggled leaving my son with a caregiver. I wanted to be with him. I wanted to watch him learn and grow and play and laugh. I wanted to be there to comfort him if he fell and scraped a knee.

Despite my idealistic expectations for caring for my toddler son while building a virtual law practice, the reality of trying to manage both roles, mother and lawyer, at home at the same time proved more challenging than I anticipated.

Nearly eighteen months into this new lifestyle, I’ve learned a few tricks to keeping now both of my children (age 3 and 1) entertained while also keeping my law practice afloat. Here’s what you need to know:

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Bookkeeping For Law Students

Bookkeeping For Law StudentsThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about keeping your expenses in order as a law student.

With the frequent use of online banking, it’s easy these days to put our finances on autopilot. We create automatic payments for our bills. We get billing statements sent to inboxes and probably move them directly to the trash without even opening them. In short, we’re not paying attention to our money or our budget.

That can be a big problem down the road. As a law student (especially if you’re going to law school straight from undergrad), you probably aren’t worried yet about buying a house or perhaps getting a business loan to open your own practice.

There are numerous expenses and financial goals that can be impacted by poor financial habits in law school.

Trust me, I understand how completely time-consuming law school can be. Sometimes I feel like I’m still briefing cases, and it’s been more than ten years since I was in law school! However, your future is waiting for you. It’s important to establish good financial habits now before you start making the big lawyer dollars later.

Here’s how to manage your money now to set yourself up for success later.

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