Why Learning to Be Positive is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Law School Career

Why Learning to Be Positive is the Best Thing You Can do for Your Law School CareerWe welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat, to talk about positivity in law school and why it can help you in your law school career.

Even before law school starts, you will have been inundated with messages from people in your life telling you how hard law school is – how hard the curve can smack you down, how scary cold calling is, how grades can make or break your career, and how ridiculous the bar exam feels. Then you start school, and it’s just as hard as these people made it out to be. [Read more…]

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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Trigger Warnings: What Are They?

Trigger Warnings: What Are They?This week we welcome guest writer Emma Case Beasley, a tutor with Law School Toolbox, to discuss what trigger warnings are and how you can navigate this issue in law school.

Unless you’ve been ignoring the news for the last few years, you’ve probably heard the phrase “trigger warning” or “content warning.” A trigger warning is defined as “a statement cautioning that content (such as an assigned text, video, or class discussion) may be disturbing or upsetting.” The original intent behind these warnings was to avoid triggering emotional or physical reactions (such as panic attacks) in people who suffer from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although they are sometimes used more generally to label material that contains difficult or potentially offensive content.

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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…]

How to Use Your Summer to Reset for the Following Year

How to Use Your Summer to Reset for the Following YearThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss how to use your time during the summer to start out on the right foot in the fall as a law student.

In undergrad, we generally spend our summers working and relaxing, but when you get to law school, you learn that your summer should be used more wisely. I don’t know if “wisely” is really a good way to put it – what I mean is, summers should be used to reset for the following year.

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Advice for Your 2L Summer

Advice for Your 2L SummerThis week we welcome back guest writer Kala Mueller who offers advice for managing your 2L summer.

I have such fond memories of my second law school summer, which I spent clerking at a district attorney’s office. From the adrenaline rush of appearing in court for the first time to lunches spent bonding with fellow clerks, it was the highlight of my law school experience. Having gone on to a full-time gig as a prosecutor, I know now that summer clerkships allow you to experience a lot of the really fun aspects of being a lawyer (especially if you’re certified under your state’s student practice rules) without all of the not-so-fun aspects like managing a huge caseload or meeting billable hour requirements.

My advice for you is to work hard, but also relish this moment in time. Live it up! Next summer you’ll be deeply immersed in bar prep and after that, most of you probably won’t have another “summer break.” Below you’ll find some advice on making the most of your last summer clerkship experience along with a reminder about the judicial clerkship hiring process.

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Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Dealing with Imposter SyndromeThis week we welcome back guest writer Kathryn Blair to discuss what Imposter Syndrome is and how you can deal with it if it’s something you’re facing.

“Imposter Syndrome” is a term that many of us have heard in recent years. And many of us that have heard of it, regardless of age, race, gender, or educational accomplishments, have had an instant “Aha!” moment. It is especially common among women and minorities, and it is prevalent in high-stress, high-achievement environments like law and academia. [Read more…]

How to Balance Screen Time as a Law Student

How to Balance Screen Time as a Law StudentThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about how to make sure you’re not overdoing it on screen time as a law student.

Immersed in an era of recurrent tech developments, it’s no secret that we’ve transitioned from a point where screen time was optional to a point where it’s a mandatory portion of any school curriculum and workplace agenda. I recall my time in college where my laptop spent most of its time in my dorm room mainly to be used for additional research or the final draft of a class project. I rarely saw a need to bring it to class because all of my notes were handwritten, and as much as I enjoyed the independence it gave me from being tied to the library desktop computer, its clunky and slow pace was oftentimes more of a nuisance than anything. Needless to say, too much screen time wasn’t much of an issue. Fast forward just a year later to law school, with a new laptop and smartphone in hand, I arguably spent more time on my screen than interacting with actual people. Complex course lectures pushed me into typing my class notes and my case briefing, memo writing and brief writing assignments resulted in my spending endless hours on Lexis Nexis and Westlaw. My increase in screen time had not just become more of a reality, it was now a requirement bordering on the wall of obsession. [Read more…]

Riding the See-Saw: Maintaining Support at Home and Finding School/Life Balance

Riding the See-Saw: Maintaining Support at Home and Finding School/Life BalanceThis week we welcome back Mark Livingston, current 3L, to discuss how to balance your personal life with your law school career.

I knew from the start that law school was going to be a long and arduous journey. There are innumerable articles on the internet in which law school survivors detail the demise of their friendships, marriages, and romantic relationships because the weight, stress, and burden of law school place too much strain on most relationships. I started law school in the second year of my marriage to my third wife. Already, the odds were stacked against us. Despite that, we agreed that law school as a mid-life career change was a good idea. As I race through the last seventy days of law school, my marriage remains intact. There have been rough patches at times, but we have managed to survive the gauntlet. We definitely have battle scars, but even battered and bruised, I think that we are stronger as a couple because of the challenge. This post is an attempt to help all of my law school colleagues preserve their most important relationships throughout the law school journey and beyond. [Read more…]

Does your Law School Supplement Spark Joy?

Does your Law School Supplement Spark Joy?

This week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss how the KonMari Method of tidying can be applied to law students.

If you’re a Netflix addict like myself, you’ve likely heard of the popular new series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The hit series based on an international best-selling book, brings the decluttering Japanese technique, KonMari, into American homes. Throughout the series, Kondo enters the home of several families, gets to the root of core issues that influence the mess in their home, then walks them through the five KonMari steps aimed to declutter their surroundings and give them peace of mind. The series most definitely triggers emotion, as we witness firsthand how this method benefits a family whose hectic schedule, complete with caring for two toddlers, causes a rift in their marriage. We see how this method helps a grieving widow who finds it difficult to say goodbye to the items of her loved one who has passed on.

However, the episode that I connected with most deeply was episode five. This episode titled, “From Students to Improvements,” surveys the mess of two recent graduates, now turned writers whose personal libraries have become overwhelming. As a recent graduate myself, I’ve admittedly held on to books and papers trailing all the way back to my junior year of college. Therefore, I personally felt the frustration of this couple as they struggled to discard books or papers. However, I was amazed at how freeing the KonMari method was in improving their home and benefitting their lifestyle. So this got me thinking. More specifically, it got me thinking that if this method can be effective for former students, how much more so could this method benefit current law students? Well, let’s find out.

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