Young Lawyer Perspective – A Day in My Life, Working From Home

Young Lawyer Perspective - A Day in My Life, Working From HomeThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about starting out as a new lawyer and working from home in the age of COVID-19.

If someone told me that I would spend my first year in practice working from home for numerous weeks (potentially months), I would think they were trying to pull my leg. However, this is the reality that we are living in. I have been working from home for several weeks now due to the current health crisis. Personally, I am fortunate that I am able to work from home and continue to advocate for my clients. However, this is a new world for me (and I am sure it is for you as well). In an interesting turn of events, my bar prep period kind of prepared me for this. During that time, I had to find a balance between studying and my personal life in order to maintain my sanity. However, how do you find a work-play balance when you are stuck in your home for both? Here is a look into my life working from home as a first year associate. [Read more…]

Being a More Effective Communicator

Being a More Effective CommunicatorThis week we welcome back guest writer Stephanie Nweke to talk about learning to become a better communicator, a crucial skill for any lawyer.

“Communication” is a word we throw around all the time, especially when it comes to the job search. At one point, I used to think that communication meant my ability to get in front of a crowd and give a presentation on a topic I wasn’t passionate about. But I’ve learned that’s not an accurate depiction of communication. What does it actually mean to have good communication skills, and why is it that communication is a skill that seems to pop up in every application? In this post, I explore six different aspects of effective communication and how to incorporate better communication into our everyday lives. [Read more…]

Five Different Time Management Methods: Getting More Done Without Feeling Overwhelmed

Five Different Time Management Methods: Getting More Done Without Feeling OverwhelmedThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about coming up with a system for time management that works for you!

I have a unique love affair with time management and multitasking. It started as a child and crescendoed as an adult when I became a nanny to a high level executive’s three rambunctious, adorable, intelligent boys. There is nothing quite like figuring out how to juggle graduate school courses (I had a stint attempting an MLA in Gothic Literature), working on your own novel, and meeting the needs of a two year old who constantly attempted dangerous trapeze acts.

It was during that time that I figured out how to manage my days in blocks of time, and I took that efficiency method into law school and bar exam prep. Having your time blocked out, or following any of the time efficiency methods below, gives you structure and allows you to not feel overwhelmed, which in turn, helps you get more done.

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Thinking Ahead to Winter Break

Thinking Ahead to Winter BreakThis week we welcome back guest writer Briana Borgolini to talk about what to do to make the most of your winter break.

For most law students, the thought of winter break approaching provides much needed relief during the hectic time at the end of the semester. No matter which year you are in law school, the semester was likely somewhat stressful and exhausting, and it is nearly time for some well-deserved rest. While the most important thing you can do over the break is to recharge for the next semester, there are a few things students may consider doing to effectively and efficiently utilize winter break. [Read more…]

Self-Care During Exam Preparation

Self-Care During Exam PreparationThis week we welcome back guest writer Briana Borgolini to talk about how to get through exams and keep your mental health and personal well-being on track by continuing your self-care!

As relieving as it can be to know that the end of the semester is near (and a break is inevitably impending), it can also be a very hectic and stressful time as finals are approaching. The end of the semester can sneak up on many students, and the realization that there is a lot to do in a relatively short period of time can be overwhelming. It can be all too easy to let self-care fall to the side when things feel so busy, but there are certain things that are very beneficial to make time for. [Read more…]

Highlighting: A Feel-Good Waste of Time

Highlighting: A Feel-Good Waste of TimeThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about why highlighting might not be the best strategy when trying to memorize in law school.

What’s your favorite study strategy? Do you delve deep into using flashcards or do you plaster note tabs and sticky notes by each important point to create a roadmap for your brain? Do you outline diligently throughout the semester or entirely procrastinate then cram it all at the last minute and pray that through some magnetic force the information will ultimately stick? Regardless of your study style, I’m sure that you may have relied on highlighting at some point or another as a way to quickly remember the most important points in your dense case law reading. However, if highlighting is your chosen study technique, I have some bad news for you, “highlighting doesn’t actually help you remember anything.” In fact, research shows that highlighting is simply a waste of time because it fails to embed knowledge into your brain. [Read more…]

Why it’s Okay to Study Differently than Your Classmates if You Have a Learning Difference

Why it’s Okay to Study Differently than Your Classmates if You Have a Learning Difference

This week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about how to manage a learning difference as a law student (and why it’s okay to be different).

I don’t like the term “learning disability,” instead I prefer to use “learning difference.” There is nothing about the way that my brain (or your brain, if you’ve come searching for this post) works that is disabled. It’s just different.

When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with deep dyslexia and double vision. Deep dyslexia is different from developmental dyslexia (which is what most people envision when you use the term “dyslexia”). With developmental, a child often has a hard time learning to read or mixes their letters or numbers up. But deep dyslexia is caused by a traumatic brain injury and leaves the individual with the inability to read aloud and causes them to use words incorrectly. [Read more…]

The Myth of Time Management: Why We Can’t Manage Time. We Can Only Manage Ourselves

The Myth of Time Management: Why We Can’t Manage Time We Can Only Manage OurselvesDon’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

– H. JACKSON BROWNE

I talk to lawyers almost every day about time management. We all use the phrase “time management” because we’ve been conditioned to do so over the years. But time management is a myth. There really is no such thing as time management. Once you understand that you cannot manage time – you can only manage yourself – you’ll begin to think differently about time. And when you begin to think differently about time, you’ll begin to act differently. And until you begin to act differently, you’ll never be able to take control of your calendar or your life. [Read more…]

There Is Never Enough Time: Tips to Manage What Little There Is

There Is Never Enough Time: Tips to Manage What Little There IsThis week we welcome back guest writer and 3L Mark Livingston to talk about how to manage your time in law school.

Life is not easy. There is never enough time for everything that needs to be done on any given day. Time commitments are more acutely felt when in law school. I am a non-traditional law student with a wife, one pre-teen and one infant daughter, a big dog, and I live two-and-a-half hours away from home at law school during the week. My wife and I often embark on our weekends with grand designs of getting so much accomplished: meal prep, family time, grocery shopping, a date-night stroll through the Super Target, housework, and (if we are lucky) some romantic time. Without fail, by the time we get to Sunday night, we realize we have failed to complete most of the planned activities, have to scramble to get ready for the week, and inevitably ask where all of the time went. This article is designed to help the beleaguered law student manage his or her time a bit more effectively, both in law school and in life. [Read more…]

Advice from the Trenches for Incoming 1Ls: On Outlining and Exam Preparation

Advice for Incoming 1Ls Part III (Studying and Exam Prep)This week we welcome back Kala Mueller to finish up her series offering advice to incoming 1Ls from those who have gone through it already. She’ll complete the series with a discussion about studying and exam prep.

Now that you’re all well-versed on the rigors of law school and the importance of self-care, we’ll round out the series with a discussion of study habits. It’s worth noting that of all the feedback I received from students on what they wish they had known before starting law school, very little of it pertained to studying. At the risk of stating the obvious, I think this is, perhaps, an indication that it’s not the most important thing for you to know as you embark on this journey.

As I said in the first post in this series, you’ve likely read or received a lot of different advice on what does and doesn’t work, how and when you should outline, the best way to approach exam preparation, etc. It can be overwhelming and hard to determine at this stage which strategies are actually going to be the most effective for you, so in one regard, I am hesitant to heap more advice of this nature on to the pile. However, I thought the feedback regarding outlining and exam preparation was relatively general (and good) advice that should be helpful for most students. And, of course, you have the ability to decide whether or not to use it.

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