How to Combat Stress and the 2L Law School Slump – Top Ten Suggestions

A 2L's Top Ten Suggestions on How to Combat Stress and the Law School SlumpPlease welcome back our 2L guest writer Shirlene Armstrong! She discusses the 2L perspective on combatting stress and the inevitable law school slump.

You are an overstressed, overworked law student. You have worked hard in order to get into law school and now you are in the middle of your legal journey with the work continuing to come with no end in sight. You’re slowly losing steam, and it is beginning to affect your social, work, and school life. You are in the middle of your “law school slump.” This is a period of time when a law student has been in school long enough to become comfortable but not long enough to see the graduation finish line in sight. This time is plagued with procrastination, apathy, and longing for freedom. However, there is a way to combat this slump and help you push through to the end of law school. Here are my ten suggestions on how to get out of the grind and back into a better mindset: [Read more…]


Law Students Deserve Better Than “Get Tough or Get Out”

ABA Report on high levels of depression, anxiety, and substance useThis week we welcome back guest writer Mihal Ansik, tutor for the Bar Exam Toolbox. She discusses the latest statistics on mental health issues and substance abuse in the legal profession.

In 1986, the year that I was born, Dr. Andrew Benjamin published the first in a series of studies focused on law student wellbeing and mental health. His widely cited reports found that “law students have higher rates of psychiatric distress than a contrasting normative population or a medical student population” and that 40% of surveyed third-year law students reported symptoms of depression. In 2016, the year I graduated law school and entered my first year of practice, a comprehensive study of law student wellbeing found that 42% of respondents thought they needed help for emotional or mental health issues in the past year, but only about half had gotten that help. In the same year, the American Bar Association commissioned a study of attorneys finding that “between 21 and 36 percent qualify as problem drinkers, and that approximately 28 percent, 19 percent, and 23 percent are struggling with some level of depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively.” [Read more…]


Memoirs of a Staff Editor: What They Don’t Tell You About Law Journals

Memoirs of a Staff Editor: What They Don’t Tell You About Law JournalsPlease welcome our 2L guest writer, who discusses her personal experience being on a law journal – the good, the bad and the things that you may not hear from others before you make the commitment.

Writing for a law journal is an intense experience. Aside from writing your actual note and conducting peer edits, there are many responsibilities attached to the role that often are not publicized until you are offered a position. Some of your tasks may include: attending mandatory events, holding office hours, and joining one of the journal’s subcommittees to perform relevant, specified functions.

The write-on process for a law journal varies by law school and sometimes, per journal. At my law school, law students partake in a legal writing competition, which is the event that initially qualifies individuals to be considered for one. It is a grueling three-day process that is held the day after your 1L finals have ended and consists of bluebooking, grammar editing, and crafting a written argument concerning a set topic, designated by the competition rules. [Read more…]


Law School Study Abroad: To Go or Not To Go?

Pros and Cons of Study Abroad During Law SchoolPlease welcome back Jennifer Warren, attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law, to discuss what you should consider when deciding if studying abroad during law school is a good idea.

If there’s anyone who appreciates the value of studying abroad in college, it’s me. During my sophomore year, I spent a semester in Madrid that was truly a life changing experience. For me, studying abroad turned out to be so much more than a chance to travel and live in a new place. I was in Madrid in spring 2004, when, just days before Spain’s general elections, al Qaeda inspired terrorists bombed four commuter trains. The bombings were so close to my apartment that the explosions woke me up. Over the following days and weeks, I not only participated in the deep mourning for the victims of the attacks but also witnessed the significant political reverberations that played out in the Spanish elections. It was a significant occasion for Spain – and the world – that influenced my own beliefs and views.

In addition to experiencing this historical moment, studying abroad had a huge impact on my personal and professional life. I met my husband (another American student) while studying abroad and found myself completely altering my plans so that I could follow him to his home state of Oklahoma. As a native Californian and recent New York City resident, this was a drastic change, to say the least. Studying abroad set me down a path that I never contemplated, but it’s one I have never regretted.

So, if studying abroad is so fulfilling and life changing, it only makes sense to pursue that same type of experience in law school, right? Well, maybe, maybe not.

[Read more…]


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…]


A Review of the Better Habits App

Better Habits App ReviewPlease welcome back guest writer, Christen Morgan, attorney and Real Estate Specialist at a wireless infrastructure company, to discuss the new app, Better Habits.

Does it really take 21 days to form a habit? I sure thought so. Although I’ve never completely followed through with any of my New Year’s resolutions and tried and failed at numerous fad diets, I’ve always thought this concept to be true; think about a habit you want to form, commit to developing it over a course of 21 days, then voila, the habit will become a part of you for the rest of your life. I just always thought that I struggled to develop habits because I could barely commit to it for 10 days, much less meet the 21-day requirement. [Read more…]


Law School Lessons from TV

Law School Lessons from TV

Today we welcome back Shirlene Armstrong, 2L guest writer, to discuss law school lessons that can be learned from TV.

Unless you are or have been a law student, it is difficult to demonstrate the life of law students and the legal world. Honestly, it’s difficult to even explain it to a “layperson.” However, Hollywood has attempted to tackle this issue and show the “typical law school experience” in the form of media. Television is great and it allows viewers to get a taste of what something is like. There is a difference though between “reality” and “reality tv.” Hollywood tends to dramatize everyday life and law school is no exception. Although these entertainment pieces may give you a perception of what law school is like, your expectations of law school will be very different from reality if you rely solely on Hollywood’s version. [Read more…]


The Case Against Dating in Law School: 5 Antagonistic Arguments

The Case Against Dating in Law School: 5 Antagonistic ArgumentsPlease welcome back Jaclyn Wishnia, our now 2L guest writer from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She discusses the counterpoint to her previous dating post, and offers reasons why you may want to hold off on dating in law school.

When it comes to law school, the topic of dating often conjures up cringe-worthy images such as potentially facing a loath some ex as your future adversary; or becomes associated with words like, unprofessional. Despite the unsavory connections that dating in law school brings to mind, law students, no strangers to a challenge, dismiss these notions and forge ahead confidently assuming their relationship will be an outlier or that maybe their relationship is the stress reliever they deserve. While the chances are slim for accidentally running into your ex as opposing counsel in court (only a small portion of cases result in court per year), there are much stronger reasons available that build a case for why it might not be the best idea to date someone in law school. [Read more…]


The Case For Dating in Law School: 5 Arguments of Advocacy

The Case For Dating in Law School - 5 Arguments of AdvocacyToday we welcome back Jaclyn Wishnia, rising 2L at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to discuss why dating in law school might be a good idea.

There are plenty of articles circulating the Internet that advise against dating in law school. I can personally attest to the fact that the authors of these articles were all spurned by their lovers during particularly harrowing Barristers’ Ball events (Kidding! As far as I know…). While realistically I cannot confirm whether this statement holds some partial truths or not, I can endorse the authors who contradict this advice by providing you with some insight into why it might actually be a very reasonable decision. [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…]