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…]

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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…]

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Why Mental Health and Sleep Are Important for Law School Success

Why mental health and sleep is important for law school successPlease welcome back 2L guest writer, Shirlene Armstrong, to discuss why self care is so important in law school (she learned the hard way)!

So it’s the start of my 2L year, and I’m really excited to get the year going. I’m in my “work to death” year at law school, so I knew that I would be busier than last year and I would have to strategize how I tackle my work-school-life balance. However, I didn’t do a great job of that in my second week of 2L year. Unfortunately, I neglected my health and wound up sick. I hope you learn from my mistakes and realize that your health (and sleep) are important in order to be successful in law school. [Read more…]

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The Types of Professors You’ll Encounter in Law School

The Types of Professors You’ll Encounter in Law SchoolPlease welcome back Jaclyn Wishnia, 2L guest writer from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She discusses the different types of professors you will inevitably meet in law school.

Society has assigned a stereotype for the majority of industries within the workforce. For example, the legal profession is considered notorious for breeding individuals who run the gamut of pejorative adjectives: aggressive, conniving, snobby, conceited, serious, boring, etc. Hopefully, most of you are striving to discredit these labels for our industry. Those inside the profession, however, understand that different types of law are better suited for individualized personalities. For instance, someone who enjoys dynamic discourse, public speaking, and writing briefs is more likely to be found working at a litigation firm, than a person who cares deeply about solving environmental issues, likes writing policy as opposed to briefs, and rather educate others about the relevant laws, and consequently, will instead probably be found working for a governmental agency, such as the EPA.

Since many law professors practice law before they teach, and often teach the subject they have already practiced in, it follows that their personalities will resemble those associated with their chosen legal sphere. Thus, certain characteristics will transfer from the workforce into the classroom, which is why there are specific archetypes of professors that every law student will recognize; predominantly identifiable in 1L courses.

[Read more…]

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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…]

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A 2L’s Guide to 1L Year: How to Go From Surviving to Succeeding

SucceedPlease welcome back Gabriella Martin, our now 3L guest writer from Quinnipiac University School of Law. Now that you’ve got your bearings, she offers some great insight on what to expect and how to thrive!

So you’ve gotten through the first couple weeks of 1L year—you know where your classes are, you know what the professors are looking for, and you’re probably starting to breathe a little easier. But of course, because you’re a fast paced person like the rest of us, you’re probably thinking . . . now what?

Well now, baby shark, now that you’ve discovered your legal super powers, it’s time to start learning how to navigate the waters and begin your journey to becoming a legal superhero. To get you started, here are a handful of tips I wish I would have known just over a year ago. [Read more…]

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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…]

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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…]

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5 Things I’ve Learned as an “Older” Law Student From My Younger Colleagues

What I've Learned as an "Older" Law Student from my Younger Colleagues.

Today we welcome back Jaclyn Wishnia, rising 2L at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and aspiring entertainment law attorney, to discuss the generation gap at law schools and how to work together at any age.

Like most law students, I felt both nervous and excited on my first day of law school orientation. I also shared many of the same thoughts my colleagues have mentioned as well, such as would I make friends easily? Or would everyone be as cold and competitive as the rumor mill suggests? They were the typical questions of doubt anyone entering a new social situation, would ask themselves. Unlike many of my colleagues though, one major concern was dominating my nerves that day: my age.

It took me six years to finally apply to law school after college; the bulk of my twenties. I had lived through almost a decade of failures and triumphs, worked for prominent firms and attorneys, networked with top CEOs of reputable companies, and best of all, was now certain that I belonged in law school. Why was a petty number destroying my confidence? [Read more…]

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Personalized Admissions Packets: What’s in a Name?

How Law Schools are Personalizing Acceptance Packages

Today we welcome Jaclyn Wishnia, rising 2L at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and aspiring entertainment law attorney. Jaclyn tackles the question of how to choose the right law school to attend and personalization in the admissions process.

Choosing the right law school to attend can sometimes seem overwhelming. Often, decisions are based on future factors you may not even realize until your 3L year, such as the type of law you want to specialize in or where you intend to practice law. Alternatively, other issues may arise that are out of your control. For instance, maybe you were rejected from your top choice, or perhaps, you were accepted to two vastly different law schools that you favored equally. Although many decisions can be resolved by focusing on fundamental criteria like, which school is offering a better scholarship, there is one minor item you should consider when evaluating your choices: Personalization. [Read more…]

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