Six Misguided Law Students You’ll Encounter

StressWhen it comes to law school, I think Tolstoy’s got it wrong. The types of “unhappy” law students (or at least those who are unhappy when grades come out) are pretty easy to categorize.

Recognize yourself in any of these archetypes? It’s not too late to change course:

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What Should You Take Notes on When Your Professor Won’t Discuss the Law?

Note taking in law schoolAt some point in your law school experience, you’re likely to encounter a professor who — brilliant though he or she may be — just isn’t that interested in discussing “the law.” Sure, they’ll go on for hours about their pet theory of justice, or an esoteric research problem they’re working on, but good luck getting them to explain how Rule 4(k)(2) works.

This can be a frustrating scenario. (After all, you are paying for LAW school.)

Chances are good they’re not going to change their teaching style (hooray, tenure), but you can develop some coping mechanisms.

Handling Professors Who Don’t Teach “The Law”

With the right mindset, all is not lost.

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How Much Time Should You Spend Preparing for Class as a 1L?

TimeI’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about a common 1L concern: How much time should you spend getting ready for class?

It’s going to vary a bit, of course, depending on how much reading your professor assigns in each class, but we can come up with some reasonable guidelines, I think.

How Much Time is Too Much?

One school of thought says you can never spend too much time preparing for class. More is always better, right?

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“I Hate My Classmates” and Other First-Week Problems

Camp Law SchoolAwesome, you’re starting law school. It’s gonna be so cool! Like, new BFFs all around, right? OMG, I can’t wait!

Yeah, probably not so much. If you’re one of the many 1Ls who shows up to find out things aren’t exactly what you expected, don’t panic. It might just be a temporary glitch in the system. (And, if not, that’s okay, too. You’ve got options.)

Here are some common 1L problems, which you might encounter:

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5 Non-Obvious Things to Do When You Start Law School

BasketballThere’s a ton of (virtual) ink being spilled these days over what to do as a new law student. Everything from “buy all your books and read ahead” to “hire a tutor to explain the Rule Against Perpetuities.” (I only wish I was making that last one up. For the record, don’t do it.)

Since I don’t like to be boring, here are a few less obvious things you can do, to make your life easier and better later on. Trust me, I learned most of these the hard way!

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The Story of My (Almost Disastrous) Second Semester of Law School

LibrarySome of you might be laboring under the misconception that I was a model law student. Let me assure you that was NOT the case!

If you’re in the middle of a massive flip out about your impending exams, trust me, I’ve been there.

Let me tell you about my second semester of law school…

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Are You Looking for a 1L Summer Job? Some Tips From a Law School Career Expert

Philip GuzmanAre you looking for a 1L summer job? Lots of people are!

We’ve brought in law school career expert Philip A. Guzman, Director of Public Service Programs at North Carolina Central University School of Law, to share his expertise on the topic. If you’ve got questions, leave them in the comments, as we’ve got plans for another post or two on the topic!

Remember Your Goal

As the clock continues to tick toward finals and the end of your first year in law school, the first thing you need to do is give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. You have made it through, perhaps, the most challenging academic experience that you have had to date! You did it and now know that you belong here in law school!

But wait. What if — even given your best efforts to date (or maybe not!) — you still don’t have a summer job/internship?

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10 Things to Consider When Picking Law School Classes

Picking law school classesDo you have to select your classes soon? Here’s a great guest post from Lee Burgess on what to think about as you’re deciding!

If you are a 1L (or a 2L) it is that time of year when you are starting to decide what classes to sign up for for next semester.

I remember when I was presented with this decision for the first time:

I had no idea where to begin.

Here are 10 tips to help you with the decision process:

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Want Better Law School Grades? Take an Iterative Approach to Learning

LabyrinthIt’s a fresh semester, a new year, and you’ve resolved to get better law school grades. Great! How are you going to do that?

If you’re like most people, you resolve to “work harder.”

For a few days, or maybe even a couple of weeks, you spend extra time in the library, making sure you’re well-prepared for class and don’t fall behind on the reading. Inevitably, however, things get in the way and you start slipping. Maybe your favorite TV show is on, or a big ball game, and your study time gradually drifts back to about what it was before.

There’s nothing really wrong with this approach, except for the fact that it’s unlikely to improve your outcome. What will improve your results is a new approach — iteration.

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Help! My First Semester Law School Grades are Really Bad.

The HustleOkay, you’re getting your first semester law school grades back and they’re — shall we say — not exactly what you’d hoped for. What now?

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