My Law School Morning Routine

My Law School Morning RoutineThis week we welcome back guest writer Cathlyn Melvin to talk about her morning routine to get ready for law school.

My earliest class this semester is 9am. Hallelujah. I like to have time to myself in the mornings: I’m happiest when I can accomplish a few things before I get started with my work or school obligations.

Oh, and also: before I look at my phone (gasp!).

That’s right: when I go to bed at night I plug my phone in and put it face-down on my nightstand. And in the morning, I try not to touch it until my “morning routine” is complete, and I’m ready to work.

So here’s what I do instead.

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3 Lessons From Quarantine I’m Taking to Law School

3 Lessons From Quarantine I’m Taking to Law SchoolThis week we hear from guest writer Cathlyn Melvin to discuss what she’s learned from her time so far in quarantine and what she will be taking the law school as a lesson from that time.

We’re more than halfway through 2020, and I think we can all agree on at least one thing: this has been a year of creative solutions, building new systems, and forming new habits.

After a couple of weeks quarantined alone during Second Winter (Chicago’s third of 11 seasons, which comes just before “Spring of Deception”), I knew I’d need to make some major adjustments to my initial quarantine schedule. (For clarification, my initial quarantine schedule included a lot of snacks. And not much else.)

With a few weeks of experimentation, I finally found a groove that allowed me to tackle tasks and complete projects that had been languishing earlier. Now I’m preparing to start my first year of law school, and there are a few lessons I’ve learned in quarantine that I’ll be taking along with me when I move across the country this fall. [Read more…]

Young Lawyer Perspective – How To Keep Yourself Organized

Young Lawyer Perspective - How To Keep Yourself OrganizedThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about staying organized as a newly admitted lawyer.

Are you a newly admitted or “young” lawyer? Are you overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do? Are you not even sure where to start or how to get yourself organized? You’re in luck! I am a young associate who has a passion for organization. I am an attorney at a small-medium law firm that specializes in personal injury. I started at the firm in my first year of law school as a law clerk/paralegal (the only one for quite some time too) and became an attorney after I graduated and passed the bar. Because of this, I was able to learn how to manage assignments and cases and figured out very quickly I had to keep myself VERY organized. When you first get into practice, you are kind of just thrown into things. No one sits you down and tells you, “hey this is how you should keep yourself organized” or “here is a comprehensive guide on how to manage your caseload.” While I may not know everything there is to know about practicing law (yet), I still want to use my experience to help you keep yourself organized. Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me in my practice. [Read more…]

Use Your Law School Skills During COVID-19

Use Your Law School Skills During COVID-19This week we welcome guest writer and tutor Elizabeth Knox to talk about how to give back as a law student during the pandemic.

If you ask the members of a 1L section why they chose to enter law school, you will get a solid mix of answers. Among those answers will certainly be desires to impact their communities and the world. It may feel like COVID-19 has robbed you of the ability to keep that momentum going this summer because of job and internship cancellations, but with a little bit of creativity, you can still make significant contributions. [Read more…]

How to Decide Whether To Take A Gap Year Between College and Law School In Light of COVID-19

Whether To Take A Gap Year Between College and Law School In Light of COVID-19This week we hear from guest writer Mihal Ansik to discuss how to handle a gap year in the midst of COVID-19.

In a pre-COVID-19 world, the short answer about whether to take at least a year before law school would have been “Probably.” There are so many benefits to working before going to law school, which we’ve discussed before, including positioning yourself to be a more holistic candidate, building a resumé that tells a story, developing perspective around grades and law school success, creating lasting connections, and contextualizing the law. [Read more…]

Motherhood as a Law Student

Motherhood as a Law StudentThis week we welcome guest writer Rigien Bagekany-Jackson, a recent law school graduate, to talk about how she has balanced motherhood and law school the last three years.

Do you ever reflect on how you got to where you are now? I do.

Sometimes you can pinpoint that moment or decision that brought you to where you are. For me, that moment was in June 2016. I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first child working at a bank when an armed man walked in and held me up at gunpoint. This was the point when I decided to start law school. I had initially thought to postpone my offer of acceptance, but at that moment, I knew that there had to be a way to make law school work with having a newborn child. [Read more…]

How To Deal With COVID-19 Disrupting Your Plans, Career and Everything In Between

How To Deal With COVID-19 Disrupting Your Plans, Career and Everything In BetweenThis week we’re hearing from guest writer Shirlene Armstrong about how to handle the changes and upheaval due to COVID-19.

If you are like me, you are a planner. You think ahead to the future and have a plan of what you want to do and how. I am a very “Type A” kind of person, and I constantly have a well thought out plan. I have numerous short-term and long-term goals, which I have taken methodical steps to reach. However, COVID-19 has completely altered my plans for 2020. Instead of killing it in the office and courtroom, I am working from home and worried about the safety of my loved ones. I am obviously not the only one affected by this pandemic. People’s lives have been turned upside down because of COVID-19. Your life has also been affected by this pandemic. While I don’t have all of the answers, I am hoping to help guide you in how to deal with the pandemic disrupting your life by sharing how it has affected a big portion of mine and what I have done to get myself through it. [Read more…]

Young Lawyer Perspective – A Day in My Life, Working From Home

Young Lawyer Perspective - A Day in My Life, Working From HomeThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about starting out as a new lawyer and working from home in the age of COVID-19.

If someone told me that I would spend my first year in practice working from home for numerous weeks (potentially months), I would think they were trying to pull my leg. However, this is the reality that we are living in. I have been working from home for several weeks now due to the current health crisis. Personally, I am fortunate that I am able to work from home and continue to advocate for my clients. However, this is a new world for me (and I am sure it is for you as well). In an interesting turn of events, my bar prep period kind of prepared me for this. During that time, I had to find a balance between studying and my personal life in order to maintain my sanity. However, how do you find a work-play balance when you are stuck in your home for both? Here is a look into my life working from home as a first year associate. [Read more…]

Doing a COVID-19 Media Diet

Doing a Covid-19 Media DietThis week we welcome guest writer and tutor Ariel Salzer to talk about disconnecting somewhat from media coverage of the coronavirus.

“The Coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” “the Rona” if you’re trying to make light of things, or, even scarier, just “the virus”… It’s all anyone is talking about. And it makes sense, right? We are worried—worried for our friends and family members who staff hospitals, worried for elderly relatives and kids with health problems. Worried about our own lives and futures. And you know what? This pervasive and all-consuming uneasiness is skyrocketing our stress levels. And worse, it’s affecting all of us. [Read more…]

Falling in Love With Law School (Again) – Mindful Reminders to Get Through the Semester!

Falling in Love With Law School (Again) - Mindful Reminders to Get Through the Semester!This week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about keeping up your momentum during second semester of law school.

Do you remember the start of the school year or even the start of law school? When you were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? When you were excited for what this school year would bring you? When you were looking forward to the next steps of your legal journey? Ah, those were the days, right? Now you are a seasoned law student, hardened to the outside world and just chugging away to the end of the school year. It is the law school slump. The time of year when the end of the semester seems so far away, but you are already burnt out. I get it, I have been there too.

Law school is a stressful and difficult time. There are so many cases to read, activities to be a part of, and classes to attend. You fall into a pattern of just trying to make it until Friday (trust me, that doesn’t end with law school either) But there is a reason you went to law school, and you once had joy and excitement about being a law student. Allow me to give you some mindful reminders and tips on how to keep yourself going and help you fall in love with law school again!

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