Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: How to HALT and Reverse Before Getting to Work

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: How to HALT and Reverse Before Getting to WorkThis week we welcome back guest writer Cathlyn Melvin to talk about how to get back on track with your work when you’re having a tough time – and sometimes that means taking a break first!

It’s been a long day of classes and reading. You’re not finished with the cases that are due tomorrow, and it’s been awhile since you’ve been on call, so you just know you’re due for it.

You’re feeling burned out, and you’re having trouble concentrating, but you’ve just gotta push through, right?

Well, not really.

It might seem counterintuitive, but if you’re feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, the best thing to do, actually, is to take a break.

When your brain is flooded with hunger, anger, isolation, or exhaustion, your ability to concentrate decreases, as well as limiting your capacity for critical thinking and retention.

So before you force yourself to push through, HALT. Take up to 30 minutes to regroup and reverse those overwhelming emotions so that when you get started again, your mind is clearer and more ready to work. [Read more…]

Personal Mission, Vision, and Values Statements in Law School

Personal Mission, Vision, and Values Statements in Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Cathlyn Melvin to talk about finding a personal mission and figuring out your values as a law student and future lawyer.

Standing at a gas pump, your eyes glaze over at a posted paragraph about the fuel supplier’s mission to be “the world’s premier petroleum company.”

Okay.

Corporate mission statements, according to former Forbes contributor Len Sherman, “all say the right things about management’s deep concern for customers, employees, shareholders, communities and even planet Earth.”

Since they all sound kinda alike, and we’re all kinda jaded, business mission statements just don’t matter that much to consumers. [Read more…]

Emailing Your Professors for Help with Work-Related Projects: Proceed with Caution

Emailing Your Professors for Help with Work-Related Projects: Proceed with CautionThis week we welcome guest writer and tutor Raneta Mack to talk about getting help from professors with work projects.

You’ve just finished your first year of law school, and you’re about to embark on your first legal job: a coveted summer clerkship. You did well in your first year classes and now you’re eager to make a good impression on everyone in the office.

On your first day, shortly after getting comfortable in your new office, you’re given your first research project. You vaguely remember hearing something about the research topic in your Contracts class. Or was it your Torts class? During the meeting, you were a bit too intimidated to ask the senior attorney any questions, and if you go back now with questions, maybe she’ll think you’re not up to the task. [Read more…]

4 Ways to Seek Feedback in Law School

4 Ways to Seek Feedback in Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer and 2L Tiffany Lo to talk about how to get feedback in law school.

In law school, a final exam is often the sole determinant of a grade in a course. For many students, this is an uncomfortable shift from undergraduate classes in which there are multiple assessments, whether as quizzes, group projects, or short papers. I have felt exasperated by not knowing whether I was grasping the materials, whether I was applying concepts correctly, and whether my legal analysis is on point. Unfortunately, the burden falls on us students to take the initiative and seek feedback. Here are four of my ideas for how to do that: [Read more…]

How Empathy Can Increase Your Success in Law School

How Empathy Can Increase Your Success in Law SchoolThis week we welcome guest writer Cathlyn Melvin to talk about developing empathy as a law student.

Law school is competitive.

Shocker, I know.

Put 75 mostly-Type-A personalities into a “small section,” tell them that the students who score the highest reap the rewards, and see what happens. (Hint: there won’t be a lot of meditative chanting and handholding going on).

The competitive culture of law school is strengthened by the structures it upholds: the on-the-spot Socratic method makes us judge ourselves and others, “relentless public competitions” rank students from “success” to “failure,” and there is a severe lack of feedback and growth-minded communication. And then, of course, the culture “is locked in by its resonance with the currency of success—money.” [Read more…]

3 Tips for Socializing During Remote Law School

3 Tips for Socializing During Remote Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about how to still socialize during a global pandemic.

Many law schools have announced that the upcoming term will be fully remote or partially remote—or what is called “hybrid instruction.” In light of this, students are understandably grappling with many decisions: whether to take a hybrid course, whether to move to the area of their school, how to ensure a stable internet connection during live classes, and whether they can fully focus on their studies in their family home. [Read more…]

Two Ways to Begin Prioritizing Your Mental Health Over Productivity During a Pandemic

Two Ways to Begin Prioritizing Your Mental Health Over Productivity During a PandemicThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about why keeping your mental health as a priority is important in this time of COVID-19.

When you’re stressed about something, how do you react? Do you: a) face the stressor head on, determine the cause of this stress and try to relieve it through mindful or various other therapeutic measures; or do you, b) avoid the stressor completely, simply pretend as though it does not exist and instead justify your ignorance by filling your calendar with an overload of tasks that give you the false sense that, “you’re doing just fine sweetie?” I for one fall right into the latter category. I do try my best to make it to category A at some point, but my default is undoubtedly category B. In fact, I’m doing it right now. This morning I learned some news that wasn’t so great, so I filled my day with the most random tasks to avoid facing the stressor head on. I went and bought a new rug for my bedroom because the rug I had for the past two years for some reason just didn’t work anymore and then I got to work cleaning my front porch. A porch that I never use because of my fear of bugs, but it just had to be cleaned today. However, here I am hesitantly venturing into category A and writing this post. Slowing down to face our stressors head on is never fun. But it’s necessary. Where do you land on this spectrum? [Read more…]

Motherhood as a Law Student

Motherhood as a Law StudentThis week we welcome guest writer Rigien Bagekany-Jackson, a recent law school graduate, to talk about how she has balanced motherhood and law school the last three years.

Do you ever reflect on how you got to where you are now? I do.

Sometimes you can pinpoint that moment or decision that brought you to where you are. For me, that moment was in June 2016. I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first child working at a bank when an armed man walked in and held me up at gunpoint. This was the point when I decided to start law school. I had initially thought to postpone my offer of acceptance, but at that moment, I knew that there had to be a way to make law school work with having a newborn child. [Read more…]

Doing a COVID-19 Media Diet

Doing a Covid-19 Media DietThis week we welcome guest writer and tutor Ariel Salzer to talk about disconnecting somewhat from media coverage of the coronavirus.

“The Coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” “the Rona” if you’re trying to make light of things, or, even scarier, just “the virus”… It’s all anyone is talking about. And it makes sense, right? We are worried—worried for our friends and family members who staff hospitals, worried for elderly relatives and kids with health problems. Worried about our own lives and futures. And you know what? This pervasive and all-consuming uneasiness is skyrocketing our stress levels. And worse, it’s affecting all of us. [Read more…]

Why Therapy Should Be Embraced in Law School

Why Therapy Should Be Embraced in Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about why therapy can be an important aid for any law student.

There is a certain kind of person that goes to law school. They want to change the world, they hope to make a lot of money doing it, and, or, they want to impress their family. They are hard workers, very driven, and meet the demands of law school with outward ease and inward anxiety. Now, there are always a few outliers – those who went to law school to change the world and are calm and collected, outwardly and internally, without a care for grades or the bar exam. [Read more…]