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…]

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…]

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…]

Handling Stress Before the Bar Exam: One Person’s Journey

Handling stress before the barThis week we welcome Bar Exam Toolbox bar tutor, Sara O’Connor, to discuss some tips for managing stress before the bar exam.

If this article tempted your fancy, you’re feeling stressed about your upcoming bar exam. And, to be clear, “stressed” might be too soft of a word. You might be feeling things you’ve never felt before, like experiencing physical manifestations of your stress (such as a twitching eye, a cramping stomach, or a fun, new nervous tick). Whether you are feeling a mild-but-nagging concern or near-overwhelming anxiety, you’re in great company! Law students across the nation and the world (hello to you foreign lawyers joining our legal system) feel your pain to some degree during bar prep. In fact, even lawyers who have practiced for years in their home jurisdiction experience some level of stress if their future career prospects depend on them passing the bar in a new jurisdiction.

This article pulls back the curtain into my own experience with my two main causes of stress and the steps I took to combat them when I prepared for the bar. The purpose is twofold: (1) to show you through specific examples that your feelings are normal and (2) there are ways for you to deal with your stress in healthy, positive ways.

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Social Life SOS: I Have No Social Life Because I’m in Law School

Social help SOS: I have no social life because I'm a law studentPlease welcome back 2L guest writer, Shirlene Armstrong, to discuss how law school has impacted her social life, and how she has managed to find (some) balance.

Forgotten are the days of fun and excitement. Forgotten are the late nights with friends and bar nights. Forgotten are going out and enjoying other’s company. Forgotten are the days of making memories and trying new experiences. Forgotten are the days and nights of youth and undergraduate. This is the life of a typical law student. Hopelessly searching for ways to break the chains that tie them to their casebooks and escape the confines of the law school library. It is a sad and tragic time in the law student’s life. But, does it have to be? One of the most common complaints of law students is that they have no time for what they want to do – that they have “no social life.” This is attributed to the law school experience (re: craziness). However, law school and your social life are not mutually exclusive. [Read more…]

What Should You Be Doing to Prepare for Class as a Law School Upperclassman?

What should you be doing to prepare for class as a law school upperclassman?

Today we welcome Christen Morgan, guest writer and foreclosure attorney, to discuss what you should be doing to prepare for classes as an upperclassman.

During law school I remember how excited I was to begin 2L year. I was excited about the fact that I was no longer a lost 1L, unsure about how I would navigate law school. Now don’t get me wrong, I did experience some anxiety about the upcoming school year, however, this was by no means the same level of angst I experienced throughout my entire 1L year. As I came upon my first 2L semester, I felt like I had finally found my footing. I figured out a schedule that allowed me to fit in time to prepare for class. Also, during my class preparation, I was completing my case readings in about half the time it took me during 1L year. Despite this strong sense of confidence, I was quickly knocked off my horse. As I began 2L year, I quickly realized that my law school experience would be completely different than what I experienced the year before. As a 2L, I was in control of selecting my classes and although I chose classes that piqued my interest, these were not all traditional classes that had case reading assignments. Additionally, I was now a member of the Moot Court Society and had to jump straight into researching for my moot court competition brief. I also had to juggle a three credit externship in addition to two on campus part time jobs. I now knew that having all these responsibilities on my plate meant that I would need to change my class preparation techniques. [Read more…]

Managing Time in Law School

time management

Please welcome guest writer Alexa Galloway, a current 2L in the San Francisco Bay area! Today, Alexa shares with us some practical tips for time management in law school.

Time is always of the essence in law school, and how you spend it can determine your success. Below are some ideas on how to utilize time to your advantage. [Read more…]