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…]

Tackling the MPRE as a 3L

The MPRE – 3L PerspectivePlease welcome back 3L guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to discuss what it’s like to take the MPRE as a 3L and how to prepare!

In case you did not know already, I am a 3L, and I am about to enter my last semester of law school (I’m not panicking, you’re panicking). Not only am I dreaming about post-grad life, I just took the MPRE last month. Unlike the bar exam, you do not have to wait until graduation to sit for this exam. To make life a little easier, many students take the MPRE in their 2L year or during the summer before their 3L year. For me, that just did not work with my schedule, and I had to plan accordingly. I am usually a futuristic and try to get everything situated so I don’t stress out over something simple. This time, my busy life got the best of me so I took the MPRE a little later than most of my fellow law students. This is the tale of my preparation and actually taking the MPRE. [Read more…]

Three Tips to Help Reduce Exam Panic

Three Tips to Help Reduce Exam PanicThis week we welcome guest writer Alexandra Muskat, a recent law school graduate, to discuss some important ideas for reducing that inevitable worry around exam time.

It’s that time of year again where law students around the country begin to fill the library, crammed together at desks, crouched over books, flashcards, and computers trying to absorb the last three months of nuances, technicalities, and teacher preferences. And with this time comes plenty of panic.

If you’re like me, you may be in the corner, panicking, possibly crying, about having to study/sit for the exam. Either scenario is okay. Law school exams and the bar exam are scary. But the panic does not have to control your life. Here are some tips to keep exam panic under control I wish I had learned prior to my second run at the bar exam. I promise, if you implement just some of these tips, you will not only feel better during the exam, you will get more out of the time you spend studying. [Read more…]

Transitioning to a Non-Traditional Legal Career

Transitioning to a Non-traditional Legal Career

Please welcome guest writer Kathryn Blair, law school tutor and PhD student, to discuss the transition from a traditional law career to something different.

It has been about two years since I left a successful career as an attorney and turned back to academia for the start of what I hope will be my third and final career. This was a difficult transition for me. The joke about law school being an escalator — seamlessly delivering you to a career in Big Law — is funny because it is true. But jumping off that escalator was a big and hard decision, and, despite the support of family and friends, it still felt a bit lonely. But it shouldn’t feel that way. Many attorneys face and make these decisions, and the shared experiences of others can be helpful as you think about these questions. [Read more…]

Losing the Fear of Being Stereotyped: Surviving as a Young Woman in a Position of Authority

Losing the Fear of Being Stereotyped: Surviving as a Young Woman in a Position of AuthorityPlease welcome our guest writer this week to discuss an issue than many women in positions of power in the workplace can experience – a fear of being stereotyped in a certain way.

“You need to look and sound intimidating and scary.” That was one of the most popular versions of advice I received when I accepted a position of authority as lead litigation counsel at a law firm at 26 years old.

[Read more…]

What I Did Differently my 2L Year and How I Raised my GPA by .5 – A Rising 3L Perspective

Rising 3L Perspective: What I did differently my 2L year and how it raised my GPA by .5Please welcome back 3L Shirlene Armstrong to discuss how she improved her GPA between 1L and 2L years and the lessons she learned.

At the end of my 1L year, I was a bit disappointed in myself. I had always been an overachiever and school came naturally to me. I enjoyed learning and studying, for which I was rewarded with excellent grades. Law school was a little different. In my first year I felt like no matter what I did, I was not capable of achieving all As or even one solid A. I was so overwhelmed. I am a first generation law student, so I felt completely lost and was trying to figure out the whole law school thing. However, my 2L year felt like a flip of a coin. I was enjoying classes, understanding the material, and despite being extremely busy, managed to increase my GPA by .5 by the end of the year. Here are my reflections on what I did during my 2L year in order to boost my GPA. [Read more…]

Tips to Boost Your Confidence and Release your Inner Extrovert to Speak Up in Class

Tips to Boost Your Confidence and Release your Inner Extrovert to Speak Up in ClassThis week we welcome back Christen Morgan to discuss some ideas for speaking up more in class – even if you’re a natural introvert!

There’s no doubt in my mind that one of the utmost fears that wrangles many law students is the fear of speaking up in class. If you’re an extrovert, this task may be a no brainer for you, but if you’re an introvert, the mere thought of engaging in the Socratic method may give you literal nightmares. Speaking from experience, I can tell you firsthand that being an introvert added an entire layer of stress to my first year of law school. [Read more…]

Items to Consider Adding to Your 3L Year To-Do List

We’re welcoming back Jaclyn Wishnia to talk about going into 3L year and how to be prepared and think ahead to post-grad as well.

An old law school adage states, “1L, they scare you to death; 2L, they work you to death; and 3L, they bore you to death.” This maxim isn’t entirely accurate. While the former two hold true for many law students, the latter certainly doesn’t. Each year of law school presents its own unique set of challenges. Though finals will no longer seem as daunting as they were during 1L, there are plenty of other obstacles that dispel the notion that 3L will be “boring” – like the bar. [Read more…]

Struggling with that Lengthy Writing Assignment? 7 Practical Strategies to Help You Get It Done!

Legal Research/WritingPlease welcome back Jennifer Warren, attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law. She’s talking about how to survive a legal writing assignment you may be struggling with (or just to offer some encouragement).

I have a love/hate relationship with writing. While it’s extremely satisfying to finish a writing assignment, the process of getting to that point can be a real struggle. Most law students seem to feel similarly about the legal writing assignments and research papers assigned in law school. These assignments tend to be time consuming, complex, and require a significant amount of concerted effort (unlike, say, passively highlighting your case book). On top of that, law school writing assignments aren’t even necessarily that interesting. But as frustrating as these assignments may be, they’re actually a fairly realistic preview of what you’ll likely be doing as a lawyer: researching, writing, and writing some more. Whether it’s drafting a brief, a contract, or even just a memo, nearly every practicing lawyer has to write on a regular basis. So it’s helpful – no, necessary – that you develop some strategies to manage lengthy writing assignments and avoid procrastinating. Below are a few techniques I’ve relied on to help me complete difficult projects and that may help you manage your own lengthy assignments. [Read more…]

The Positive Side of a Negative Outlook: How Embracing Your Natural Pessimism Can Work to Your Advantage in Law School

The Positive Side of a Negative Outlook: How Embracing Your Natural Pessimism Can Work to Your Advantage in Law SchoolPlease welcome back Jennifer Warren, attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law, to discuss how being a pessimist might not be such a bad thing.

I sometimes describe myself as a “glass half empty” type of person. I tend to be a little on the cynical side and generally assume the worst will happen. This sort of innate pessimism is often seen as a character flaw – something that should be stamped out with positive affirmations and an attitude adjustment – but I’ve often felt that my skeptical outlook can actually be beneficial in certain situations. As it turns out, there’s plenty of research showing that negativity does, indeed, have some positives. [Read more…]