Why Law School Friendships Are Essential for Your Sanity

Why Law School Friendships Are Essential for Your SanityThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about the importance of friendships in law school.

If someone were to ask me what my absolute favorite memory of law school is, it would undoubtedly be the hours my friends and I spent on the first floor of our library, with our case books, highlighters and supplements splayed across the table, as we talked about everything under the sun besides the work we were actually doing. This ritual quickly became routine, the person who completed class the earliest would scout the ideal table, one with ample seating, close to the entrance but most importantly on the first floor. This was the only floor with limited talking restrictions and as loud as we were, we were tired of getting reported. [Read more…]

How to Have a Social Life in Law School

How to Have a Social Life in Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about balancing a social law and law school – it can be done!

It can be extremely hard to balance having a social life and being in law school. I witnessed this a lot in law school and found that there are two types of law students: those that party too much, and those that don’t let themselves have a break.

When I was in school, I fell somewhere in the middle. I was a bit older than my classmates, and I really enjoyed both my alone time and my family time. But I knew a lot of individuals who fell into both categories. My friends tended to fall into the “party too much” category, always attending every social function with the same fervor as they would have on a night out in Boston when they were 19.

I had a very regimented approach to balancing school and social activities: I micromanaged my time so efficiently that I knew how many hours I could take off to hang out with people and still get enough sleep to be able to study or go to school the next day. I micromanaged my balancing act, and it worked out very nicely. I rarely had FOMO (fear of missing out), and I always had all my work done. Win-win.

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Three Signs You Need To Slow Down

Three Signs You Need To Slow DownThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to discuss some obvious signs that you need to take a breather and slow down your pace in law school.

There’s no way around it. Law school is stressful and busy. You are expected to read more than you have ever read before. You are expected to analyze cases you’ve never heard of. You must plan to answer questions on said cases in front of your peers. You need to prepare for summer clerkships or internships. You should be thinking about the bar exam. Participate in extracurricular activities. Write for law review. Eat healthy. Get enough sleep. Volunteer. Exercise. Read for fun. Apply for jobs. Re-read your notes. Prepare for exams.

The list of things you are advised to do as a law student is truly expansive. But, sometimes? Sometimes you’re just sick and tired of law school and everything associated with it. That’s ok. We all need to slow down occasionally, even if it’s for a short sabbatical before we tackle our never-ending to-do list again.

Here are three signs you’re ready for a break.

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Having It All In Law School – At Different Times!

Having It All In Law School – At Different Times!This week we welcome guest writer Elizabeth Knox to talk about what it’s like to go to law school as a parent – an offers some advice for making it through!

She was beaming, thrilled by the pomp and circumstance. The crowd cheered for her as much as they cheered for me. Holding my five-year-old daughter’s hand as I crossed the stage to accept my diploma at my law school graduation was one of the proudest moments of my life so far. [Read more…]

Supporting Your Friends of Color in Law School

Supporting Your Friends of Color in Law SchoolThis week we welcome guest writer and 2L Stephanie Nweke, to talk about some of the best ideas for supporting your friends of color as a law student.

Discussions on race, diversity, and inclusion can make people feel really uncomfortable. As a female, first-generation, and African American law student, I’ve had experiences with people who have negative stereotypes and unconscious biases towards me.

The best way to respond accordingly to discrimination and prejudice is to address it upfront. The legal profession has generally been slow to change, especially regarding matters of diversity and inclusion. A misconception is that the responsibility to provide more diverse and inclusive spaces is only for law firms and companies. Law schools are part of the problem by not being intentional about cultivating these environments for students of color to feel secure and excel. Law schools must also prioritize recruiting a diverse pool of talent, so that the ultimate goal of delivering quality legal services is fulfilled.

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Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy in Law School

Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy in Law SchoolWe welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss mental health  in law school and some advice for keeping yourself mentally healthy during the stressful time that is law school.

Nothing about law school has stayed with me more than the comments I got when I was applying to school. My roommate’s response was, “Why? It’s like supposed to be…awful.” Then, a few weeks after I sent my application in, I spoke to a friend who was a first year, and she told me she was dropping out after one semester. The anxiety and depression had just become too much for her, and she wasn’t willing to continue the downward spiral.

To say these remarks scared the crap out of me, and added to the fear I had about starting law school, is an understatement. I don’t think I can actually do it justice. My first year was fraught with anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. It’s hard for me to admit that my mind spent time in that dark place, but I think it’s important to be upfront about the emotional struggle I went through in law school because it ultimately led me to the path I’m on.

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Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Dealing with Imposter SyndromeThis week we welcome back guest writer Kathryn Blair to discuss what Imposter Syndrome is and how you can deal with it if it’s something you’re facing.

“Imposter Syndrome” is a term that many of us have heard in recent years. And many of us that have heard of it, regardless of age, race, gender, or educational accomplishments, have had an instant “Aha!” moment. It is especially common among women and minorities, and it is prevalent in high-stress, high-achievement environments like law and academia. [Read more…]

Riding the See-Saw: Maintaining Support at Home and Finding School/Life Balance

Riding the See-Saw: Maintaining Support at Home and Finding School/Life BalanceThis week we welcome back Mark Livingston, current 3L, to discuss how to balance your personal life with your law school career.

I knew from the start that law school was going to be a long and arduous journey. There are innumerable articles on the internet in which law school survivors detail the demise of their friendships, marriages, and romantic relationships because the weight, stress, and burden of law school place too much strain on most relationships. I started law school in the second year of my marriage to my third wife. Already, the odds were stacked against us. Despite that, we agreed that law school as a mid-life career change was a good idea. As I race through the last seventy days of law school, my marriage remains intact. There have been rough patches at times, but we have managed to survive the gauntlet. We definitely have battle scars, but even battered and bruised, I think that we are stronger as a couple because of the challenge. This post is an attempt to help all of my law school colleagues preserve their most important relationships throughout the law school journey and beyond. [Read more…]

Does your Law School Supplement Spark Joy?

Does your Law School Supplement Spark Joy?

This week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss how the KonMari Method of tidying can be applied to law students.

If you’re a Netflix addict like myself, you’ve likely heard of the popular new series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The hit series based on an international best-selling book, brings the decluttering Japanese technique, KonMari, into American homes. Throughout the series, Kondo enters the home of several families, gets to the root of core issues that influence the mess in their home, then walks them through the five KonMari steps aimed to declutter their surroundings and give them peace of mind. The series most definitely triggers emotion, as we witness firsthand how this method benefits a family whose hectic schedule, complete with caring for two toddlers, causes a rift in their marriage. We see how this method helps a grieving widow who finds it difficult to say goodbye to the items of her loved one who has passed on.

However, the episode that I connected with most deeply was episode five. This episode titled, “From Students to Improvements,” surveys the mess of two recent graduates, now turned writers whose personal libraries have become overwhelming. As a recent graduate myself, I’ve admittedly held on to books and papers trailing all the way back to my junior year of college. Therefore, I personally felt the frustration of this couple as they struggled to discard books or papers. However, I was amazed at how freeing the KonMari method was in improving their home and benefitting their lifestyle. So this got me thinking. More specifically, it got me thinking that if this method can be effective for former students, how much more so could this method benefit current law students? Well, let’s find out.

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Coping with the Death of My Law School

Coping with the Death of My Law SchoolThis week we welcome guest writer Mark Livingston, current 3L, to talk about what it was like to find out his law school was closing.

In 1879, my law school opened its doors. In 2019, or possibly 2020, it will close its doors forever. Over the last nearly 139 years, many have learned the practice of law here; many have gone on to attain significant influence and important positions within the legal community, both nationally and globally. When I started my journey in 2016, there was no indication that the future of my law school was in jeopardy. When the announcement was made during my 2L year that the school was “not closing” but only looking for partners, or maybe a possible relocation to a less saturated market (we are just outside of Chicago) the feeling of panic began to settle in. This year, when a relocation out of state fell through, the hallowed halls seemed more like the decks of the Titanic post-iceberg. This post is about how I am coping with the realization that I will graduate from a law school that will soon no longer exist. [Read more…]