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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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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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…]

Law School SOS: Help! I Might Fail My Final!

Law School SOS: Help! I Might Fail My Final!!We welcome back guest writer and current 3L Shirlene Armstrong to talk about dealing with finals approaching and what to do if you’re worried you won’t do well.

One of the most daunting parts of law school for many students are final exams. You spend an entire semester trying to learn the law and apply it to real life facts. However, the law is confusing, and it is very easy to be left frustrated at the end of the class, still trying to figure out what the heck you were just taught. So, what happens if you feel like you are going to fail your final exam? And what should you do? You probably are feeling extremely stressed and no matter how much you prepare, you believe your grade is a lost cause. While it is understandable to feel discouraged, you don’t have to give up and feel like you’re going to fail! Instead, here are some tips to help you through this exam season and help you get back on the success track. [Read more…]

Dealing with Loss in Law School

Dealing with Loss in Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about how to handle loss as a law student.

Law school is hard. It’s exhausting, stressful, and time consuming, but life outside of law school doesn’t stop, and sometimes you have to figure out how to deal with unimaginable stressors. During my first year, my cousin passed away. We were a few years apart and hadn’t spoken in a long time – our ideologies being diametrically opposed – but we were family, and losing anyone, especially to suicide, is heartbreaking. [Read more…]

How to Use Spring Break to Catch Up and Still Have Fun

How to Use Spring Break to Catch Up and Still Have FunPlease welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about some options for using spring break to your advantage.

First year of law school is a dramatic change from anything you’ve ever done before. For most students, the amount of work is overwhelming (I should have said “all students,” but there’s always the few that handle the workload like they’ve been asked to simply make their bed instead of clean the house, watch five kids, and make Scotch eggs in a fire pit with a flint rock and twig all at the same time). So, by the time spring break comes around, we’d like nothing more than to dive into our beds and resurface nine days later. [Read more…]

Why it’s Okay to Study Differently than Your Classmates if You Have a Learning Difference

Why it’s Okay to Study Differently than Your Classmates if You Have a Learning Difference

This week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about how to manage a learning difference as a law student (and why it’s okay to be different).

I don’t like the term “learning disability,” instead I prefer to use “learning difference.” There is nothing about the way that my brain (or your brain, if you’ve come searching for this post) works that is disabled. It’s just different.

When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with deep dyslexia and double vision. Deep dyslexia is different from developmental dyslexia (which is what most people envision when you use the term “dyslexia”). With developmental, a child often has a hard time learning to read or mixes their letters or numbers up. But deep dyslexia is caused by a traumatic brain injury and leaves the individual with the inability to read aloud and causes them to use words incorrectly. [Read more…]

How to Stay Resilient in Law School

How to Stay Resilient in Law SchoolPlease welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss an important quality for any law student – resilience!

When I started law school, I was incapable of taking any of the steps I’m going to lay out below. In fact, it took all of my first year and half of the second, to learn I was even capable of being resilient.

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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…]

The Myth of Time Management: Why We Can’t Manage Time. We Can Only Manage Ourselves

The Myth of Time Management: Why We Can’t Manage Time We Can Only Manage OurselvesDon’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

– H. JACKSON BROWNE

I talk to lawyers almost every day about time management. We all use the phrase “time management” because we’ve been conditioned to do so over the years. But time management is a myth. There really is no such thing as time management. Once you understand that you cannot manage time – you can only manage yourself – you’ll begin to think differently about time. And when you begin to think differently about time, you’ll begin to act differently. And until you begin to act differently, you’ll never be able to take control of your calendar or your life. [Read more…]