Is the Secret to Acing a Job Interview Passing the Happy Hour Test?

Is the Secret to Acing a Job Interview Passing the Happy Hour Test?Please welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to discuss some important skills to work on when preparing for job interviews (including some you may not have thought about).

How do you prepare for a job interview? Do you set aside a block of time to review every nook and cranny of your prospective employer’s website, or do you run through the set of situational questions you’ve pieced together from numerous Google searches on career preparation? Although these are both very highly recommended preparation techniques that will certainly prepare your mind for the toughest questions thrown your way, have you considered polishing up on your social skills during this preparation? [Read more…]

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…]

Tips for Living Your Best Winter Break Life

Tips for Living Your Best Winter Break LifePlease welcome back guest writer Kala Mueller,  Director of Public Interest Programs at the University of Nebraska College of Law, to discuss how to make the best use of your winter break during law school.

Now that you’ve (hopefully) emerged from your post-exam stupor, let’s talk about what to do with yourself during the glorious respite known as winter break. I’ve provided some guidance below and, personally, would strive to strike a balance between fun/relaxation and productivity. However, a different and equally good approach is to think about what you need from your time off to feel as good as possible going into the next semester, and then do it. [Read more…]

It’s More Than Presents and Overeating: How to Make Winter Break Work You

It’s More Than Presents and Overeating: How to Make Winter Break Work YouPlease welcome back Mark Livingston, guest writer and 3L, to talk about some strategies for making the most of your job search during winter break.

As we approach the pain of finals and the euphoria of the end of the semester, it’s time to think about the big picture. Of course, you have earned some R & R (rest & relaxation) after a challenging semester, but don’t miss the opportunity to make some invaluable connections and start positioning yourself for work during and after law school. It’s time to push away from that sticky-figgy pudding and start networking over the winter break.

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5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Letters of Recommendation for Clerkship Applications (and Beyond!)

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Letters of Recommendation for Clerkship Applications (and Beyond!)Please welcome guest writer Kelsey Russell, a recent clerk for the Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York, to discuss how to get letters of recommendations, an important aspects of clerkships applications.

If you are considering a judicial clerkship, you are likely well aware that your letters of recommendation are an essential component of your application.

As someone who decided to apply for a clerkship pretty late in the game, getting quality recommendations felt like a tall order. Many of my classmates had already taken advantage of opportunities such as research assistant positions, which led to relationships with professors who, in turn, could write personalized recommendations. By the fall of 3L year, no single professor stood out in my mind as a natural recommender. So I started brainstorming: Should I start with the professor who gave me my highest grade? Or the professor who ran my pro bono project? What about employers prior to law school? Given that I was trying to compile my materials in relatively short order, I was also working against the clock. [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…]

What To Do If You Start 3L Year With No Job – Advice From a Fellow 3L

What To Do If You Start 3L Year With No Job – Advice from a fellow 3LPlease welcome back guest writer and current 3L Shirlene Armstrong to discuss some options if you find yourself in your 3L year without a job offer.

You did it. You finally get to your last year of law school and you are already looking forward to never going back to classes. You are excited about the next step in your journey and can’t wait until this last year is finished. All you need to do is survive this year, study for the bar exam and sit for everyone’s favorite two-day exam then you will be on your way to becoming an attorney. (Right??) However, something else lingers in the distance: you have to get a job. It is great to have that “Esq.” after your name, but you have to find some sort of placement beyond law school to utilize it to its full extent. But what happens if you don’t have a job when you start your 3L year? Should you panic? What should you do to make sure you snag a position for after graduation? Here are some tips from a fellow 3L in order to help you in your job search at the beginning of your 3L year. [Read more…]

5 Benefits of Having a Career before Law School

Post about the benefits of having a career before law schoolPlease welcome our guest writer and 1L Briana Borgolini to discuss why having a career before starting law school could be beneficial and how to use what you have learned in the workforce to be a better law student.

The decision of if and when to attend law school is a highly personal one, and often only becomes more difficult the further away from undergrad you get. After spending just a few (or many more) years in the workforce rather than in the classroom, it can be daunting to think about returning to a student lifestyle. If you’re anything like me, you might wonder how you managed to learn so many different things in such a short amount of time in college when it took you nearly two years to (almost) fully understand the nuances of your current job. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that your previous career likely prepared you to handle the rigors of law school, even if you don’t know it. [Read more…]

3 Skills of Top Lawyers that You Can Start Developing as a Law Student

3 Skills of Top Lawyers that You Can Start Developing as a Law StudentOur guest writer this week discusses some skills you’ll need as a practicing lawyer and how you can start working on them as a law student.

Here’s the bad news and the good news. The bad news: law school doesn’t show you how to be a real lawyer. The good news: top lawyers have three skills that you can start developing in law school, so you can hit the ground running. [Read more…]

Alternative Careers – Investigator for Workplace Complaints

Please welcome Joanna Sattler, Law School Toolbox tutor, to discuss her alternative legal career as a workplace investigator.

I’m the child of no fewer than three lawyers (if you count my stepmother, that is). All three practiced law upon graduating from law school and pursued “traditional” legal careers (two at large firms, the third in-house). As such, I had a certain view of what lawyers did and a (fairly) certain path I planned to pursue: work at a large law firm after graduating and then, maybe, try to work in-house. (At the time, I didn’t realize I could go in-house straight from law school; I truly thought there was one path and one path only!)

A planner by nature, I followed my plan. I worked hard in law school. I summered at a large firm and received an offer of post-graduation employment. Although I didn’t take that job (I didn’t love the firm’s satellite office in the city where I planned to live), I took another firm job soon after passing the California bar.

[Read more…]