Struggling with that Lengthy Writing Assignment? 7 Practical Strategies to Help You Get It Done!

Legal Research/WritingPlease welcome back Jennifer Warren, attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law. She’s talking about how to survive a legal writing assignment you may be struggling with (or just to offer some encouragement).

I have a love/hate relationship with writing. While it’s extremely satisfying to finish a writing assignment, the process of getting to that point can be a real struggle. Most law students seem to feel similarly about the legal writing assignments and research papers assigned in law school. These assignments tend to be time consuming, complex, and require a significant amount of concerted effort (unlike, say, passively highlighting your case book). On top of that, law school writing assignments aren’t even necessarily that interesting. But as frustrating as these assignments may be, they’re actually a fairly realistic preview of what you’ll likely be doing as a lawyer: researching, writing, and writing some more. Whether it’s drafting a brief, a contract, or even just a memo, nearly every practicing lawyer has to write on a regular basis. So it’s helpful – no, necessary – that you develop some strategies to manage lengthy writing assignments and avoid procrastinating. Below are a few techniques I’ve relied on to help me complete difficult projects and that may help you manage your own lengthy assignments. [Read more…]


The Difference Between 1L vs. 2L Stressors

The Difference Between 1L vs. 2L StressorsPlease welcome back 2L guest writer Jaclyn Wishnia to discuss the differences between the stress of 1L and 2L year.

As duly noted by the majority of law students, the first year of law school carries a notoriously dreadful reputation that spans continents, even decades. It is characterized by infinite amounts of reading, a highly stressful, anxiety-inducing environment, and often referred to as one of the worst educational gauntlets that a student could scarcely fathom conjuring until personally immersed in the experience. What most law students eventually learn, however, is that this myth is quickly displaced by the juggling acts required to actually survive the second year of law school. Keep that in mind as you read through the discussion. [Read more…]


Handling Stress Before the Bar Exam: One Person’s Journey

Handling stress before the barThis week we welcome Bar Exam Toolbox bar tutor, Sara O’Connor, to discuss some tips for managing stress before the bar exam.

If this article tempted your fancy, you’re feeling stressed about your upcoming bar exam. And, to be clear, “stressed” might be too soft of a word. You might be feeling things you’ve never felt before, like experiencing physical manifestations of your stress (such as a twitching eye, a cramping stomach, or a fun, new nervous tick). Whether you are feeling a mild-but-nagging concern or near-overwhelming anxiety, you’re in great company! Law students across the nation and the world (hello to you foreign lawyers joining our legal system) feel your pain to some degree during bar prep. In fact, even lawyers who have practiced for years in their home jurisdiction experience some level of stress if their future career prospects depend on them passing the bar in a new jurisdiction.

This article pulls back the curtain into my own experience with my two main causes of stress and the steps I took to combat them when I prepared for the bar. The purpose is twofold: (1) to show you through specific examples that your feelings are normal and (2) there are ways for you to deal with your stress in healthy, positive ways.

[Read more…]


How to Combat Stress and the 2L Law School Slump – Top Ten Suggestions

A 2L's Top Ten Suggestions on How to Combat Stress and the Law School SlumpPlease welcome back our 2L guest writer Shirlene Armstrong! She discusses the 2L perspective on combatting stress and the inevitable law school slump.

You are an overstressed, overworked law student. You have worked hard in order to get into law school and now you are in the middle of your legal journey with the work continuing to come with no end in sight. You’re slowly losing steam, and it is beginning to affect your social, work, and school life. You are in the middle of your “law school slump.” This is a period of time when a law student has been in school long enough to become comfortable but not long enough to see the graduation finish line in sight. This time is plagued with procrastination, apathy, and longing for freedom. However, there is a way to combat this slump and help you push through to the end of law school. Here are my ten suggestions on how to get out of the grind and back into a better mindset: [Read more…]


New Years Resolutions: Law School Edition 2018

New Years Resolutions: Law School Edition 2018Please welcome back 2L guest writer Jaclyn Wishnia to discuss her plans for the new year and making a fresh start for spring semester.

For law students, the holiday season is often a blur. By the time finals end, there is no recuperation period, the actual holidays have arrived, and family is knocking at your door. Moments later, the new year has begun and right around the corner is spring semester. This leaves law students no time to reflect on the past year to determine what parts of their life need improving; in other words, no formation of a “New Year’s Resolution.” While this phrase commonly connotes a pledge or promise to either commit or refrain from conducting a particular action, in essence, it is simply another synonym for the term, “goal.” Since law school plays such a dominant role throughout a typical law student’s year, aside from personal resolutions, law students should also strive to create one primary law school “goal” to focus on for the year as well. [Read more…]


Is 3LOL a Myth? 3 Ways to Handle A Stressful 3L Year

Is 3LOL A Myth? How to handle a stressful 3L Year.This week we welcome back guest writer, Christen Morgan, attorney and Real Estate Specialist at a wireless infrastructure company, to talk about how you can manage 3L year, even when it’s not the smooth sailing you expected – and you’re actually stressed out!

When I started law school there were three things I looked forward to more than anything; 1) landing a summer job, 2) the Thursday afternoon keg and 3) my 3L year. By the time I received my 1L summer job offer and realized that I was far too busy as a 1L to attend the Thursday keg, the only thing that kept me going was my dreams about 3L year. I fantasized about being a 3L who had it all together; a permanent job offer in place, a light class schedule and an exciting social life complete with being in attendance at all the kegs my heart could desire. Fast forward two years later to the start of my 3L year – reality struck. No, I did not have a permanent job offer, my class schedule was busier than ever and, although I had a social life, it was not as free flowing as I would have hoped for. My initial thoughts were that 3LOL is clearly a myth. A phrase coined specifically for 1Ls and 2Ls to dull their angst during stressful periods. However, once I got into the swing of things, I realized that 3LOL isn’t a myth but more of a relative term. Some students may experience the joy of being a free, lighthearted 3L throughout their entire final year. Some, like myself, will only experience the joy of 3LOL during their last semester. Whereas some students may not experience the joy of 3LOL at all. [Read more…]


Social Life SOS: I Have No Social Life Because I’m in Law School

Social help SOS: I have no social life because I'm a law studentPlease welcome back 2L guest writer, Shirlene Armstrong, to discuss how law school has impacted her social life, and how she has managed to find (some) balance.

Forgotten are the days of fun and excitement. Forgotten are the late nights with friends and bar nights. Forgotten are going out and enjoying other’s company. Forgotten are the days of making memories and trying new experiences. Forgotten are the days and nights of youth and undergraduate. This is the life of a typical law student. Hopelessly searching for ways to break the chains that tie them to their casebooks and escape the confines of the law school library. It is a sad and tragic time in the law student’s life. But, does it have to be? One of the most common complaints of law students is that they have no time for what they want to do – that they have “no social life.” This is attributed to the law school experience (re: craziness). However, law school and your social life are not mutually exclusive. [Read more…]


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…]


The Case Against Dating in Law School: 5 Antagonistic Arguments

The Case Against Dating in Law School: 5 Antagonistic ArgumentsPlease welcome back Jaclyn Wishnia, our now 2L guest writer from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She discusses the counterpoint to her previous dating post, and offers reasons why you may want to hold off on dating in law school.

When it comes to law school, the topic of dating often conjures up cringe-worthy images such as potentially facing a loath some ex as your future adversary; or becomes associated with words like, unprofessional. Despite the unsavory connections that dating in law school brings to mind, law students, no strangers to a challenge, dismiss these notions and forge ahead confidently assuming their relationship will be an outlier or that maybe their relationship is the stress reliever they deserve. While the chances are slim for accidentally running into your ex as opposing counsel in court (only a small portion of cases result in court per year), there are much stronger reasons available that build a case for why it might not be the best idea to date someone in law school. [Read more…]


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…]