Essential Law School Supplies You Never Thought You Needed

Essential Law School Supplies You Never Thought You NeededThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about some of the supplies that you should get going into law school – that you might not know about!

Whether you’re just starting law school, you’ve been there for a few years or you’ve already graduated and started prepping for the bar, you can’t deny the necessity of having the right supplies. The right supplies can make the difference in keeping you organized, more efficient and I’d even go as far as saying they can keep you well rested. Not sure what to get? I’ve put together a handy list of eight essential items that could be super helpful throughout your law school experience. Some of these items are non-traditional supplies that I either swore by during law school or wish I had during my time there. So read below and start stocking up!

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Five Ways To Prepare For Fall Semester

Five Ways To Prepare For Fall SemesterThis week we welcome guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about easing into fall semester after that summer off from law school.

Transitioning from summer break to fall classes has its challenges. For some, the summer was spent at a law clinic practicing one area of law or at an internship maybe touching on a few legal subjects. For some, especially incoming 1Ls, the summer may have been spent working a retail job or simply taking time off.

No matter how you spent your time this summer, law school will be a big change come fall. Even if you spent time practicing law in a clinic or internship, the type of cases you’ll read in law school and the subjects covered will likely be different than what you experienced over the last few months.

So how do you prepare for fall classes?

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Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy in Law School

Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy in Law SchoolWe welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss mental health  in law school and some advice for keeping yourself mentally healthy during the stressful time that is law school.

Nothing about law school has stayed with me more than the comments I got when I was applying to school. My roommate’s response was, “Why? It’s like supposed to be…awful.” Then, a few weeks after I sent my application in, I spoke to a friend who was a first year, and she told me she was dropping out after one semester. The anxiety and depression had just become too much for her, and she wasn’t willing to continue the downward spiral.

To say these remarks scared the crap out of me, and added to the fear I had about starting law school, is an understatement. I don’t think I can actually do it justice. My first year was fraught with anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. It’s hard for me to admit that my mind spent time in that dark place, but I think it’s important to be upfront about the emotional struggle I went through in law school because it ultimately led me to the path I’m on.

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Tips for Applying to Law School with a Non-Traditional Background

Tips for Applying to Law School with a Non-Traditional BackgroundThis week we welcome back guest writer Briana Borgolini to talk about how to position yourself in your law school applications when you are not a “traditional” candidate.

Applying to law school can be intimidating for anyone, let alone someone who may have been out of a school setting for a few years, or more. Those who studied something seemingly unrelated to law, or spent a significant period of time working between undergrad and law school may be considered “non-traditional” compared to their counterparts applying directly from undergrad with more traditional pre-law majors. While non-traditional applicants may have to do some extra explaining to convince an admissions committee that they will be a successful law student, there are a number of things that can be done to make the application process a bit easier. [Read more…]

Be the Next Great Trial Lawyer

Be the Next Great Trial LawyerThis week we welcome guest writer Jordan Dickson to talk about how to set yourself up as a law student to be a trial lawyer later on in your legal career.

The first kind of lawyers almost all of us are introduced to are trial lawyers. On those TV shows all aspiring lawyers seem to watch, we see trial lawyers yelling “objection!”, pointing determinedly at the defendant, and (improperly) telling juries to “send a message.”

For those of you who want to pursue a career as a trial lawyer, be it as a prosecutor, defense attorney, or some other kind of litigator, there are steps you can take in law school to prepare. These practical steps can help prepare you to come into the courtroom ahead of the game. [Read more…]

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…]

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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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…]