Three Things I Would Do Differently In Law School

Three Things I Would Do Differently In Law SchoolThis week we welcome guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to discuss some changes she would make if she were going through law school again.

I still remember feeling like I was on the brink of something great the day I walked into my law school for my first day of classes. My whole career was ahead of me. The possibilities were endless.

I went to law school wanting to be Atticus Finch or Erin Brockovich. I was going to work for a nonprofit or move to Washington, DC and lobby on Capitol Hill for animal rights or children’s rights or the environment. Who needed to know estate planning or business law? Estate planners and business attorneys, not a future philanthropic advocate like me.

Turns out I was wrong about a few things. Here’s what I would do differently if I could go to law school all over again.

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Kicking Up Your 1L Reading List

Kicking Up Your 1L Reading ListThis week we welcome guest writer and Law School Toolbox tutor Natalie Holzaepfel to talk about what to read the summer before 1L year to get ready!

With the summer before law school in full swing, you’re probably going and back forth between being both thrilled and terrified about law school starting in a few months. Your summer before law school is a great time to relax poolside with some reading that will not only remind you why you decided to go to law school, but also what it’ll take to get you through. [Read more…]

Using Your Law Degree for a Career in Social Entrepreneurship

Using Your Law Degree for a Career in Social EntrepreneurshipThis week we welcome Natalie Holzaepfel, bar and law school tutor, to talk about how you can find an alternative legal career path in the area of social entrepreneurship.

During law school, we’re primed to walk the traditional path into a role as an attorney, whether that’s at a law firm, in government, or at a non-profit. But there are many other options worth exploring, whether you’re still in law school or already in practice. Right now, an increasing number of attorneys are using their law degrees in the growing field of social entrepreneurship. [Read more…]

How to Know When a Job isn’t for You: Tales of Terrible Interviews

How to Know When a Job isn’t for You: Tales of Terrible InterviewsThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about some bad interview stories and why you should remember you are also interviewing your future employer, as well as being interviewed.

I sometimes wonder why the veil of naivety was so strong with me when I was in law school. I assumed, like many outsiders, that I’d go to law school and come out with a job. It was that simple. It didn’t really dawn on me until I graduated that finding a job might be harder than I thought – especially since I had no idea what area of law I wanted to go into and (at the time) was feeling quite repulsed by a career as a lawyer in general.

Since passing the bar in April of 2018, I have gone on a number of terrible interviews. Looking back, I understand that all of them taught me a valuable lesson – especially the two I’ve laid out for you below.

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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…]

Notorious RBG: Los Angeles Museum Exhibit Celebrates Trailblazing Supreme Court Justice

Notorious RBG: Los Angeles Museum Exhibit Celebrates Career of Trailblazing Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgA new exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles explores the life and legal career of iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” which coincides with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justice Ginsburg’s appointment to the nation’s highest court, is on display until March 10, 2019.

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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…]

I’m Sorry to Say This but We Need to Stop Saying I’m Sorry

I’m Sorry to Say this but We Need to Stop Saying I’m SorryPlease welcome back guest writer and attorney, Christen Morgan, to talk about the ways that women find themselves apologizing more than they need to in the workplace and knowing when to really say I’m sorry.

If you walk through the halls of many office environments, you can almost count on hearing the buzz and the ding of all the office machinery and stationery. If you listen even closer, you’re bound to hear the clicks and the clacks of shoes tapping through the hallways and the whirrs and creeks of portable chairs and office doors. Amongst all these familiar sounds, it maybe difficult to make out the defined statements within the conversations of passersby. However, pay close enough attention to these conversations and I’m sure the words “I’m sorry,” will emerge as a frequent repeated utterance. Whether, it’s an apologetic employee who is sorry for messing up an assignment, a supervisor who’s sorry for sending out the email request that she had every intention to send or the nervous intern who’s sorry for spilling coffee on the floor in the mere presence of others, “I’m sorry”, is the uniform verbal tick of many human beings. Furthermore, and, I hate to say this, but the words I’m sorry are even more of a verbal tick for women. [Read more…]