Ideas For Staying In Touch With Summer Supervisors and Mentors

Ideas For Staying In Touch With Summer Supervisors And MentorsThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about how to stay on top of your connections from your summer jobs.

You had a fantastic summer working at your judicial externship, law firm, nonprofit organization, or government office. You shadowed attorneys, observed meetings, wrote memoranda, pleadings, contracts, merger documents, whitepapers, maybe even argued in court or presented at a client conference, and much more. You made connections with attorneys at different stages of their careers and heard many war stories from practicing lawyers every day. You learned a lot from your supervising attorneys and summer mentors. You made an excellent impression. At the end of the summer, you wrote a note or email thanking everyone you met for a wonderful experience, and then returned to your busy life as a law student, as attorneys do to their normal, law-student-less schedule.

In the back of your head, you think, will they remember me one year later if I return full-time? How can I keep these relationships strong? What do I need to do and how much do I need to do it? I certainly asked myself these questions during and at the end of my summer jobs.

Whether you end up returning to that workplace or not, knowing your fellow attorneys in the profession will be helpful in many ways. So, here are some ideas for staying in touch with the attorneys from your summer.

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How To Balance Your Child While You Work

This week we hear from guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt about balancing parenthood with a legal career at home.

Covid has brought significant attention to the need for childcare for working parents. Many of us have been trying to tend to work while simultaneously tending to children at home, and the result has been massive burnout, frustration, and chaos (at least at times in my household).

At the start of the pandemic, it was wonderful having my two-year-old son home with me. I don’t begrudge parents who happily rely on daycare, but for me, I struggled leaving my son with a caregiver. I wanted to be with him. I wanted to watch him learn and grow and play and laugh. I wanted to be there to comfort him if he fell and scraped a knee.

Despite my idealistic expectations for caring for my toddler son while building a virtual law practice, the reality of trying to manage both roles, mother and lawyer, at home at the same time proved more challenging than I anticipated.

Nearly eighteen months into this new lifestyle, I’ve learned a few tricks to keeping now both of my children (age 3 and 1) entertained while also keeping my law practice afloat. Here’s what you need to know:

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Bookkeeping For Law Students

Bookkeeping For Law StudentsThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about keeping your expenses in order as a law student.

With the frequent use of online banking, it’s easy these days to put our finances on autopilot. We create automatic payments for our bills. We get billing statements sent to inboxes and probably move them directly to the trash without even opening them. In short, we’re not paying attention to our money or our budget.

That can be a big problem down the road. As a law student (especially if you’re going to law school straight from undergrad), you probably aren’t worried yet about buying a house or perhaps getting a business loan to open your own practice.

There are numerous expenses and financial goals that can be impacted by poor financial habits in law school.

Trust me, I understand how completely time-consuming law school can be. Sometimes I feel like I’m still briefing cases, and it’s been more than ten years since I was in law school! However, your future is waiting for you. It’s important to establish good financial habits now before you start making the big lawyer dollars later.

Here’s how to manage your money now to set yourself up for success later.

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How To Save Time On Meal Prep To Have More Time To Study

How To Save Time On Meal Prep To Have More Time To StudyThis week we’re hearing from guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt about how meal prep can be a useful tool to save you time during law school.

Truth be told, my idea of a great Saturday afternoon is spending the entire time in the kitchen rustling up some quality grub. I’m talking scratch-made biscuits baked with real butter, sliced open while still steaming to spread a layer of homemade tomato jam, then finished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs from my garden.

Sadly, there are days, weeks, heck sometimes whole months when life doesn’t afford me the opportunity to spend so much time experimenting with recipes and concocting scrumptious three-course meals for my family.

Multitasking can take a little of the stress out of preparing food while also being able to study, but sometimes it’s not the most practical or desirable option. Instead, here are a few ways you can simplify your meal prep in order to spend more time on your studies. [Read more…]

Create a Care Package for the Law Student in your Life!

Create a Care Package for the Law Student in your Life!This week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about some ideas for care packages to make a law student in your life feel appreciated and cared for!

It is no secret that law school is hard and the legal profession has a serious mental health issue. I have experienced and seen first-hand the stress and anxiety that law students face, and have admired students’ and law schools’ efforts to alleviate these challenges, such as organizing study breaks or providing a therapist.

With many friends starting law school this fall, I started reflecting upon what would have made my transition into law school life more painless. And recently, in preparation for lunch with a dear friend and incoming 1L, I assembled a care package for her.

Now, I would like to share a list of things that could go into a care package for the law student in your life. Some of things are practical, while others are fun, but they all are important in my book.

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Law School Perspective – Tips to Help You Transition from Summertime to Studying

Law School Perspective - Tips to Help You Transition from Summertime to StudyingThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Brown to discuss how to get back into school mode after a summer off.

Summer is the best time for law students. You can earn money through your summer jobs, catch-up with family and friends, and just relax! Unfortunately, summer went by so fast and the Fall semester is just around the corner. Now that the summer is winding down, it is time to get prepared for the school year to begin! I have been through three years of law school and thus I have lots of experience transitioning from summertime to school time. I have created a list of some tips that helped me get through the summertime sadness and get ready for the grind of a new school year. I hope these help you feel prepared for what another year of law school brings!  [Read more…]

How To Have A Social Life That Doesn’t Interfere With Your Studies

How To Have A Social Life That Doesn’t Interfere With Your StudiesWe’re welcoming back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to discuss keeping a social life going, even when you’re busy in law school.

While getting to know your law school classmates is not only socially beneficial but also good for networking, socializing can easily and quickly get out of hand.

My first year of law school, I had just turned 21, and I was enjoying being legally able to join friends at local bars. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was spending too much time out on the town and not nearly enough time in the library.

I also joined study groups that spent an abundance of time chit chatting. When I was ready to get down to business, my study partners were rehashing school gossip or discussing other personal matters.

It can be challenging to find a balance between hanging out with your new law school friends while also ensuring you’re getting the most out of your tuition.

Here are a few tips to help you find that balance.

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Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: How to HALT and Reverse Before Getting to Work

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: How to HALT and Reverse Before Getting to WorkThis week we welcome back guest writer Cathlyn Melvin to talk about how to get back on track with your work when you’re having a tough time – and sometimes that means taking a break first!

It’s been a long day of classes and reading. You’re not finished with the cases that are due tomorrow, and it’s been awhile since you’ve been on call, so you just know you’re due for it.

You’re feeling burned out, and you’re having trouble concentrating, but you’ve just gotta push through, right?

Well, not really.

It might seem counterintuitive, but if you’re feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, the best thing to do, actually, is to take a break.

When your brain is flooded with hunger, anger, isolation, or exhaustion, your ability to concentrate decreases, as well as limiting your capacity for critical thinking and retention.

So before you force yourself to push through, HALT. Take up to 30 minutes to regroup and reverse those overwhelming emotions so that when you get started again, your mind is clearer and more ready to work. [Read more…]

5 Takeaways from My In-House Legal Internship

5 Takeaways from my In-House Legal InternshipThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about her experience at an in-house internship over the summer.

Over the summer, I had the great fortune of working as an in-house legal intern at a multinational computer software company. With this opportunity, I made it a priority to understand what it means to be an in-house lawyer, especially in contrast to working in private practice.

Here are some of the lessons I learned through shadowing and chatting with in-house lawyers:

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How To Avoid Burnout

How To Avoid BurnoutThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about what to do if you’re facing burnout as a law or bar student.

Going to law school, studying for the bar exam, and practicing law (or doing much of anything, frankly) has been a stressful experience since 2020 began over a year ago. To say the least, right? Law school and the bar exam are stressful enough to begin with let alone without the added issues 2020, and now 2021, bring to us.

I can relate. Since the end of 2019, I have taken the bar exam, changed jobs, almost lost my brother to a mysterious illness, renovated a house, started my own law practice, moved into a new house, been pregnant, gave birth, had my stepson move in with my family, and had a newborn…all during the pandemic, and all while caring for a toddler.

Honestly, one thing I can say with certainty is I fully understand stress.

Here’s the thing about stress: when you don’t even realize it, it can become too much. It piles on incrementally until one day you don’t feel like doing anything. Not one thing. But, that stack of papers, those practice exams, none of that goes away so easily. You still have to do your job, take care of your family, and get through your day. Now into 2021, stress is still going to be around.

But, there are healthy ways to deal with stress so you don’t get burned out to a crispy crunch.

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