May 16, 2006

A 2L Gives Back

Austin, a 2L at Chicago-Kent, is working for CALI (The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction) and has started a blog to post some of his experience/advice for incoming law students. Topics so far have included: laptops in law classes, dealing with the socratic method, moot court, and the curve in law school. He'll be adding more as time goes by, focusing primarily on the first year experience and sharing what he learned to help make the process easier for others. Kudos to Austin—that sort of giving spirit is exactly what Blawg Wisdom is all about!

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May 12, 2006

Advice for the Incoming Class of 2009

3L Epiphany offers a nice collection of Advice for the Incoming Class of 2009:

This advice is from members of the graduating Class of 2006, Ohio State University (Moritz Law School), and is intended as a gift to the Moritz Class of 2009. The majority of the advice is also applicable to other law schools.

If you're headed to law school you'll probably find something interesting there...

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April 10, 2006

Looking Back On 1L

Kristine of Divine Angst is almost done with her first year of law school and offers a look back at things she wishes she'd known before starting law school. Those lessons include:

  1. Law school is no harder than any other school.
  2. If you make law school the only thing you do, you will not be happy.
  3. Even if it's hard, you have to keep your perspective.
  4. Finally, enjoy yourself as much as possible.
She explains each lesson in her post—something anyone starting 1L in the future should definitely read.

Kristine's exercise is one we might all try to mutual benefit. What lessons do you wish you'd known before starting law school? Before starting 2L? Before starting your job hunt? Etc?

Posted by mowabb at 07:24 AM | TrackBack

March 04, 2006

1L Summer: Judicial Externship or Firm?

An enquiring mind wants to know:

Which job should I chose? I am a first year and have been put in the very lucky situation of accepting between a firm and a judicial externship for my first summer job. But I am not sure which one I should take. I really like both offices. The ppl were really friendly in both cases. I met with the judge and with the managing partner in both situations and they were very likable and seemed like they'd give me lots of substantive work... any advice? Honestly I am really dumbstruck.

Hm. Like you say, yours is a good problem to have, but I don't see any clear way to resolve the dilemma. Your answer may depend on what you hope to do long-term (after you graduate from law school) and what sort of judge and firm we're talking about. If this is a prestigious federal judge you'd be working for, that makes the externship more attractive. If this is exactly the firm (or the exact type of firm) you'd eventually like to work for, the firm might be the best choice.

If you don't know what you want to do long-term, I'd personally lean toward the externship b/c you might get a better introduction to a wider variety of law there. On the other hand, odds are high that the firm is going to be more fun in terms of having a good time w/other summer interns, getting free lunches, etc.

So that's not much help, eh? Can anyone else offer some perspective?

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March 01, 2006

All About Law School

Jeremy Richey offers a short review of All About Law School, “a DVD which gives insight into the law school experience and gives tips for law school success.” In brief, he recommends it for those who have not yet started law school, but doesn't think it will offer much insight for those who have already enrolled and been through a few weeks of the regular law school rigmarole.

Posted by mowabb at 09:19 PM | TrackBack

February 12, 2006

“1L Blues”: Advice and Encouragement for 1L's

New law student blog 3L Epiphany offers all you 1Ls a loose transcript of advice and encouragement from three law profs at Ohio State U. Moritz College of Law. The advice has a special emphasis on keeping your first grades in perspective and making the best of them, whatever they happen to be.

The complete notes from this info and advice session are also available for download.

Posted by mowabb at 01:38 PM | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

To 1Ls: Don't sweat your first grades

Scoplaw offers a very timely and helpful word to the 1Ls:

As much as I have problems with Stoicism, please remember, there’s an arbitrary element to grades, and all they’re really telling you is what you know anyway – that you’re in the same ballpark as your peers; better on some things, worse on others.  They don’t measure your worth as a person.  (So don’t act, positively or negatively, as though they do.)  They also don’t measure your knowledge of the law against an objective standard.  They also don't measure your future ability to be a lawyer or even begin to assess the myriad of skills that you can bring to bear on lawyering.  Grades are just points on a curve relative to your peers. 

If you find yourself freaking out, have a beer (or two), sit down, and think about all the worthwhile things you accomplished on your way to this point in time; you're going to accomplish just as many, if not more, great things after you leave here.  And whatever psychological impact grades have, it's already come too late - it can't undo who you are, what you've done, or what you can do in the future. 

So rock on, 1Ls. Keep that bigger picture playing in technicolor on your mental screen and all will be well. Scoplaw and I and countless others before us are living proof.

Posted by mowabb at 01:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 22, 2006

Grab Bag

I've linked to Stay of Execution before as a great source of legal advice, but it's been a while. Apparently its author is no longer practicing law, but she still writes about the profession from time to time and has helpfully collected her posts on the subject here. There's some great stuff there, including some thoughts about whether to stay at a lower-tier law school with links to some of her other related posts, as well as her roundup of advice for studying for the bar. There's lots more there so if you have some free time it's a great place to browse.

Also, those thinking about law school or if you're unsure whether to stick with the legal profession, you might find some good food for thought in How to Do What You Love by Paul Graham. [Link via My Shingle.]It's got a kind of tough-talk but inspirational conclusion:

Whichever route you take, expect a struggle. Finding work you love is very difficult. Most people fail. Even if you succeed, it's rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or forties. But if you have the destination in sight you'll be more likely to arrive at it. If you know you can love work, you're in the home stretch, and if you know what work you love, you're practically there.

Again, if you have 15 free minutes, it's definitely worth a read.

Posted by mowabb at 03:20 PM | TrackBack

November 16, 2005

just in time for exams

Are you ready for exams?

If you're not, the Law School Academic Support Blog has a nice little post up about how exams are different from legal writing.

I myself am preparing for my first set of exams, so I don't know how helpful this will be, but this little bit sounds terrific:

I teach them the exam mantra: "the issue is...the rule is....here we have....therefore..., next." I think I hear students muttering this during exam week, or I'd like to think that's what they are saying as they pass me in the hall....

Posted by kristine at 09:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

JD Jungle: Law Review 101

JD Jungle provides an overview of Law Review—how it began, what it does, and why you might want to consider trying to be on it. This could make a nice bit of spare-time reading for 1Ls in the spring who have to decide whether to compete for a journal/law review spot. Maybe you should use FutureMe.org to send yourself an email next spring just before your journal competition to remind you to read this article so you can go over the pros and cons at that time. Sure, you could just set a reminder on your desktop calendaring program, or on your PDA (does anyone use those anymore), or maybe on your phone, but none of those things offers to “sic a pack of cute angry girl lawyers on you. for real.” Is that a threat or a promise?

Posted by mowabb at 05:30 AM | TrackBack

September 18, 2005

Patent Bar?

Reader “Civil Inactivist” sent in a request almost a week ago now. He'd like your thoughts on the value of the patent bar fro a 1L:

I have been wondering as to the relative worth of taking the patent bar? Being a first-year, and being told to take it as soon as possible, despite the ticket of the test itself and study materials, I wondered if anyone has an opinion. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to take it as soon as possible? Will it help with summer internships etc.?

Your help is appreciated!

I have no clue about this, but I'm sure someone does. All I can say is I'm sorry it took me so long to get this up!

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August 28, 2005

Hoya Slapsa!: Use this form...

Many of you starting law school about this time might enjoy this little bit of humor from Hoya Slapsa! about all the paperwork you've recently been required to file with the various offices of your school. The post is specifically geared toward Georgetown Law, but I saw much the same thing at my own school and I imagine the experience it mocks is a common one. [via the Scoplaw]

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August 23, 2005

WonL: What exactly is “success” in law school?

After recently participating in a “Law School Survival Skills” panel, WonL reflected on her first year and what makes it so hard for many students. Summary: It's hard.

Law school is another world, one in which hard work does not always pay off. That can be a really hard thing to accept. You can put in hours upon hours of work or preparation and not make that skills board or not do well on an exam. You sit there, stunned...so sure that you had nailed it this time. Then, you begin to question things and the worst part is just not understanding what went wrong. I am not even sure there is an explanation most of the time. You wonder if it's even worth putting forth the effort anymore. But then, you turn around, start the cycle over again and just keep on trucking. That's why you are in law school in the first place, your ability to keep on trucking. Everyone talks about “succeeding in law school”. Perhaps success is just getting through it.

This may not be true for everyone, but for a lot of law students, WonL might have hit the nail on the head—success is just getting to the finish line. The post also ends on an up note that's worth checking out. Thanks for the candid reflections, WonL.

Posted by mowabb at 08:15 AM | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

Scoplaw: Off the Cuff Advice

Some Off the Cuff Advice from the Scoplaw on starting law school:

Part of that first year overwhelming feeling is that at the very beginning you’ll be trying to learn several things at once: you’ll be learning about the institution you’re in, it’s various written and unwritten rules; then there’s the way the law is organized and presented; then there are the “big issues” that the law touches up on.  It gets much easier as you go.  Keep telling yourself that.

The post is specifically for those starting Section 3 at Georgetown, but just about any 1L at any school could benefit from the advice it contains.

Posted by mowabb at 07:10 AM | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

The Machiavellian Law Student

Blogger, podcaster, and general troublemaker has started a series of posts called The Machiavellian Law Student which contain exactly what the title suggests—a Machiavellian approach to success in law school. The tips so far are probably especially appropriate for 1Ls, so if that's you (or soon will be), check it out. I wish I could say that these tips are just jokes, but these strategies would probably work pretty well in many cases. I especially like this line:

Law students are easy to manipulate and gravitate towards excess.

So true. How else could we be suckered into paying $150k for three years of law school?

Posted by mowabb at 02:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 25, 2005

Law Review -- Should You Even Try?

Group blawg De Novo recently wrapped up a symposium on the subject of law review. The final post in the symposium links to all previous posts, making it a good place to start. The discussion includes many different perspectives and many of them garnered some spirited discussion. This is definitely great preparation for those of you who still have to decide whether to compete for a position on law review. For those of you who have already competed, you might want to check it out anyway. If you made it, the posts in favor of law review will be helpful; if you didn't make it, there is plenty of discussion of reasons why you're better off w/out law review, anyway.

Posted by mowabb at 07:56 PM | TrackBack

2L Scheduling

This is now weeks late, but Armen at De Novo recently sent out a request for advice about planning his 2L schedule and he received some good responses. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the scheduling land of the lost.

Posted by mowabb at 07:50 PM

April 10, 2005

How to get onto Law Review

Although it may come a little late for some, a little early for others, the 2005-2006 Managing Editor Executive Articles Editor (or Editor in Chief, or something; I'm not sure of her official title) of the Michigan Law Review discusses How to get onto Law Review. The short version? Follow the directions, silly. UPDATE: For a little perspective on whether Law Review is actually necessary, see The Numbers Game: A Team I Decline to Join at WonL. Of course, if you're interested in this topic, you should also check out the now classic Why Law Review Is A Waste of Time From Stay of Execution.

Posted by mowabb at 11:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 27, 2005

Landmark Supreme Court Cases

New groupblawg Objective Justice points to Landmark Supreme Court Cases, which claims to offer “one-stop shopping for activities related to key Supreme Court cases and concepts mandated by state standards.” The site is a product of Street Law and the Supreme Court Historical Society, which would suggest it's geared for people teaching these cases and concepts to junior high and high school students, as well as adults outside of law school. However, that doesn't make the materials any less useful for law students. For example, hypothetically speaking, if you were supposed to be prepared to talk about Mapp v. Ohio tomorrow but didn't have time to actually read the case, the materials at Landmark Supreme Court Cases might be really really helpful. ;-) Objective Justice is collecting bits of information like this so check back there regularly for more helpful study tips along with discussion of legal, political, and other issues.

Posted by mowabb at 08:22 AM | TrackBack

March 25, 2005

First Day of Law School Tutorial

Also via JD2B comes the Southern Methodist University Dedman Law School First Day of Law School Tutorial which claims to be “designed to help prospective law students understand how the Socratic method of instruction used in US law schools differs from the method of instruction used in most US undergraduate education or legal education outside the US.” This tutorial looks interesting, and possibly worth an hour or two of your time if you're starting law school this fall. It shows you cases and sample briefs for those cases, which is definitely helpful. It also tries to tell you what a professor is thinking when she asks a certain question and helps you find the “right” answer she's looking for. As JD2B noted, it's all a little bizarre, but law school is bizarre, and this is free, so, um, why not?

Posted by mowabb at 06:44 AM | TrackBack

First Day of Law School Tutorial

Also via JD2B comes the Southern Methodist University Dedman Law School First Day of Law School Tutorial which claims to be “designed to help prospective law students understand how the Socratic method of instruction used in US law schools differs from the method of instruction used in most US undergraduate education or legal education outside the US.” This tutorial looks interesting, and possibly worth an hour or two of your time if you're starting law school this fall. It shows you cases and sample briefs for those cases, which is definitely helpful. It also tries to tell you what a professor is thinking when she asks a certain question and helps you find the “right” answer she's looking for. As JD2B noted, it's all a little bizarre, but law school is bizarre, and this is free, so, um, why not?

Posted by mowabb at 06:44 AM | TrackBack

March 09, 2005

1L BigLaw Interviewing

WonL offers a detailed account of her recent interview at a BigFirm as she attempts to land a job for her first law school summer. Check it out for tips on preparation (along with links to research sources), as well as an inside look at the process.

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February 18, 2005

Outrageous Things Professors Say

Tony of Parenthetical Statement recently posted a list of comments he and his classmates received on their contracts exams, which Tony describes as “some of the most blunt, outrageous and snarky comments ever to grace a bluebook.” If you're planning to go to law school, you might want to read these comments and the discussion that follows them where Tony's readers (including some law professors) exchange opinions on whether these comments are typical or helpful. If you're a 1L or beyond, the comments might show you that you're not alone in receiving crazy comments or in thinking that professors can be, um, a bit lacking in empathy.

Posted by mowabb at 07:23 AM | TrackBack

January 29, 2005

Grades Perspective and 1L Summer

Buffalo Wings & Vodka joins the chorus of blawggers consoling themselves and each other about the disappointment that too often comes with grades. Mr. Buffalo—who has an impeccably stellar GPA himself and is only joining this chorus out of a desire to help those less fortunate*—offers advice aimed at 1Ls who are concerned that their low grades might prevent them from getting a job, to which he says: Don't worry, you've got a semester to raise your GPA and the first summer job isn't all that important, anyway. Mr. Buffalo concludes:
Mainly, remember that it's only law school. Have some fun. Hell, after a semester, you probably don't even want to be a lawyer anymore. So why stress? 
* This post has been modified at the request of Blawg Wisdom's vast audience. Please see the comments for more details.

Posted by mowabb at 07:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 13, 2004

First Rule Of Exam Club

Matt Schuh has just finished his first semester of law school and he has a tip for current law students and law students to be: “quit talking about exams after they're over.” [link via Notes from the (Legal) Underground]

Posted by mowabb at 09:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 11, 2004

More Study and Exam Tips

Sapre Aude is living up to its promise of being generous with the study and exam tips this week. It didn't quite manage one per day, but hey, it's good to aim high. The tips were: And for fun, Sapere Aude also offers this picture to perfectly capture the feeling of finals. Hats off to Sapere Aude generally for being a great resource for law students everywhere, and particularly for the students at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. I don't see evidence that Sapere Aude is related to the student government at IU, but law school student governments would still do well to take a hint from Sapere Aude and put up their own blawgs for both the entertainment and edification of their peers. And, hey, they can host those student blawgs at blawgcoop, so it would be an easy thing to do...

Posted by mowabb at 10:11 AM | TrackBack

December 06, 2004

Message to 1Ls: It Gets Better

Jeremy Blachman offers some unsolicited advice for 1Ls heading into their first round of finals:
Right now is the hardest point, because there's all of this material and no way of knowing where you stand. If you're just worried that you can't do this for three years, that you can't handle it -- you're mere weeks from the end of the semester, and, really, truly, honestly -- the spring is so much better, and 2L and 3L are nothing. No matter how you're feeling now, it's not like that forever.
Meanwhile, Stay of Execution has kindly linked up her past advice on the topic of finals, including: Both Jeremy and Scheherazade are quite right: Your finals will probably never feel like this again. You may never feel like this again. So enjoy the craziness, if you can, and best wishes for a sane and successful finals season.

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December 05, 2004

Schedule time coming right up

While many a law student is thinking finals these days, others are looking ahead. In that vein, the latest Letter to Wormwood over at Three Years of Hell details some strategies for 1Ls facing their first task for 2L year: picking courses.
The joy of 2L classes is that you get to choose the particular brand of torture you will undergo over the course of the semester. Unlike the 1L year, when all students are squeezed into the same Procrustean bed (with the same Socratic pillows), you can now choose seminars, clinics, or more giant lecture rooms. This gives you a couple of strategic choices.
Possible strategies include Misery in November, Misery in December, and contingency plans in case you find yourself doing journal duty.

Posted by mowabb at 04:04 PM | TrackBack

December 02, 2004

Writing Appellate Briefs

Reader “Dan” writes: Here is a pithy article (well, ok it's rather long) on writing a good appelate brief. I saw this linked at Ernie the Attorneyand figured it would be good for boning up on brief writing or for One-Ls.

Posted by mowabb at 09:55 PM | TrackBack

November 26, 2004

Request: Finals Preps

One-L “uhoh” writes:
Ok, so now I'm hopelessly behind in the reading. And when viewed in the cold light of day, after a night of purported inspiration, my outlines have revealed themselves to be the product of a very disturbed and caffine-crazed mind. Given that it's probably too late in the semester to actually learn the law, on what skills should I focus in order to mitigate the damage?
And given that it may be too late for advice at this point, can anyone offer any concise finals prep tips for all of us heading into finals in the next few weeks? If you could pass on one single secret of your success, what would it be? (Feel free to offer more than one, but since we're all pressed for time...) UPDATE: This should probably be in the “what not to do to prepare for finals” file, but Jeremy Blachman offers a few of the best things you can do when you're supposed to be studying but would just prefer not.

Posted by mowabb at 12:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Request: Williams v. Walker

“Dissenter” writes:
Hi, remember Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co. from first year contracts class? Just wondering if anyone knows what happened to this case after the case was remanded to trial court? did walker-thomas furniture co settle? (subsequent history not reported).
Anyone?

Posted by mowabb at 12:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Request: 1L Looking for Work

A reader wrote in a couple of weeks ago with the following request:
Nov. 1 is officially behind us. I can now start looking for work. The question is where? I go to a regional school in a major metropolitan area. I have no idea what kind of law I'd like to practice but personal bias suggests that criminal law and insurance defense are probably out. How do I find out about superior court judges who will accept my free labor? Any other ideas?
One easy answer is to talk to your school's career office — they should be able to tell you about good best for judges to talk to and that sort of thing. They should also be able to help you go through the options for your particular region. You probably knew that, though, so two books I'd recommend: I have both, and think both should be required reading for 1st semester of 1L simply because they can help you make better-informed choices as you explore what to do with your J.D. Any other great tips out there?

Posted by mowabb at 12:51 PM | TrackBack

October 17, 2004

Evil Socratic Method: Least Likely to Succeed

Jeremy Richey offers a brief glimpse at law school teaching methods. Make sure you check out the comment for alternatives to the evil socratic method, such as the "scheduled grilling method" and the "pepper the crowd" method.

Posted by mowabb at 11:23 AM | TrackBack

October 07, 2004

In Defense of IRAC

As 1Ls start to get back their legal writing this year, Three Years of Hell writes a partial defense of the not-much beloved IRAC method. If you're not sure what IRAC is or why it might be a useful way to approach legal writing tasks, this is for you!

Posted by mowabb at 09:00 AM | TrackBack

September 27, 2004

Request: Extracurricular Reading?

Neo Tokyo Times is wondering if there's any reading a good law student should be doing outside of what's assigned. He writes:
Now, the big question I have to ask myself, and you fair reader, is what kinds of outside reading are the most useful? I've been skimming through some of the referenced law review articles in our casebooks, but oftentimes the longer and more extensive articles start discussing increasingly obscure minutia well beyond the scope of my classes. And some of the professor's articles are similarly obscure. Should I be spending extra time on treatises? Headnotes, or those sort of commercial guides? I'm definitely going to start progressively outlining every week, so that the material is fresh during my outlining process, but I don't think that'll take much more than a few hours on the weekends. Anyhow, I think my next minor project is to research and discover the processes people use to achieve excellence as law students.
Hm. That's a puzzler. I don't recall having enough time as a 1L to do a lot of "outside" reading. I couldn't even keep up with the "inside" reading. So I'm obviously not the person to ask, because I'd say that the only outside reading that's useful is any that you need to help you understand the inside reading, but if you can do all the inside reading and get in your head in an easily accessible fashion, you're good. Save the outside reading for the summer, or ... later, anyway. But like I said, I'm not the person to ask. Anyone have any ideas for NTT? If so, you can leave them here, or in the comments on his post. Oh, and NTT, as you discover the processes people use to achieve excellence as law students, please share!

Posted by mowabb at 10:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 26, 2004

Legal Theory Lexicon

What's the "reasonable man" all about? What are hypotheticals and why do law professors use them so much in class? What is "textualism," anyway? Law Professor Lawrence Solum explains these topics and many more in his Legal Theory Lexicon. I can't believe I'd never seen this before—it's an incredibly good resource! Thanks to Professor Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy for the tip.

Posted by mowabb at 03:27 PM | TrackBack

September 23, 2004

Outline with an Outliner!

Have you ever felt like MS Word is a little less than an ideal application for note-taking and outlining? If so, Preaching to the Perverted offers a review of outliners and note-taking software for One-Ls:
There are several products marketed towards the law student, designed to make you more productive in note taking, outlining, briefing, etc. There are three products that I looked at for this exercise, all are “outliners” if we use that term liberally. For this review, I looked at StoreLaw Outliner, Juristudents, and NoteMap.
Read the full review for pros and cons of each package. If you use a Mac, I've also written a few thoughts on Juristudents and note-taking software for the Mac generally.

Posted by mowabb at 07:12 PM | TrackBack

September 19, 2004

If they only knew then...

Although not a direct response to CP's request, lawgeekgurl recently posted some thoughts for those considering whether to go to law school. An excerpt:
So you want to be a lawyer? Are you insane? Check that, you ARE insane if you are thinking of a law career. Have you sought treatment? If you've already decided treatment is not the answer, well, okay, here are my tips on what to expect upon entering law school, and some websites that might be of use to a newbie law student.
The rest includes links to some other helpful sites (including Blawg Wisdom—thanks!) and lots of tips that really seem geared more toward those who have already decided to go to law school and want some attack strategies for the first year. Speaking of attack strategies for the first year, don't miss If I only knew then... by the Uncivil Litigator. Great advice about getting practical experience while in school and why you should think carefully about picking your classes. Includes helpful comments from readers, as well. See also: A good strategy for those thinking about law school but still unsure is to just read blogs by lawyers for a few days, explore the archives, get an idea for what they talk about, how they talk about it, and see if that seems like something you'd want to do and be and think about, etc.

Posted by mowabb at 11:03 AM | TrackBack

September 12, 2004

Top Five Tips for First-Year Students

Law.com offers a list of Top Five Tips for First-Year Students, "simple rules every law school newbie needs to know to get ahead." They include:
  1. Make upperclassmen friends.
  2. Research the course evaluations.
  3. Research the grade distributions.
  4. Intern for credit.
  5. Be confident.
Check out the whole post for more explanation of each tip. [link via JD2B]

Posted by mowabb at 10:25 AM | TrackBack

September 07, 2004

Legal Times Special 1L Section

It's that time of year again, and Legal Times has a special section dedicated to stories and advice for new and returning law students. You probably need to register for a free trial to view the articles (unless you're lucky enough to still be using the free subscription from the firm you worked for two years ago), but if you get in you will find the following:
  1. General advice for OneLs from a recent GW grad (mostly lame, like "be confident," or obvious, like "talk to upperclassmen," but not altogether useless)
  2. A couple articles about women and what they've done since they started attending law school in greater numbers, and why there still aren't enough of them
  3. A story about that online law school and how they conned Justice Scalia into teaching a class
  4. What seems to be a Georgetown press release about their new moot court, disguised as a fluff piece
  5. A few other assorted musings
[Wisdom via Scott at L-Cubed]

Posted by mowabb at 10:51 PM | TrackBack

August 26, 2004

The First Week

In another generous gift to 1Ls, Jeremy Blachman presents Ten Unsolicited Off-the-Cuff Pieces of Advice for the First Week of Law School. My own favorite:

Relax. Don't be insane. Please. Your fellow students will be insane enough for everyone.

Let the insanity begin! It can even be fun, so long as you're a spectator, not a participant in the insanity.

Posted by mowabb at 08:56 AM | TrackBack

August 24, 2004

Ten More 1L Tips

Justin at J. Concurring in Dissent offers Some Unwanted Advice about getting started as a 1L.

Posted by mowabb at 04:09 PM | TrackBack

Choose Your Seat Wisely

Scherezade, practicing attorney and author of Stay of Execution, offers some advice for 1Ls: choose your seat with care. Go there to see why.

Posted by mowabb at 11:17 AM | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Series: Menagerie's Advice to New Law Students

In addition to her retrospective on her second year of law school, SCM of The Menagerie has written an excellent three-part series of Advice to New Law Students. Her advice comes with the following preface:

Bear in mind that I can't speak to what it's like to be 22, single, and starting law school -- this is my advice for people like me, who started at 29 and had a lot of commitments. But maybe some of it can crossover.

With that in mind:

Posted by mowabb at 06:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Top 10 Things Lopez & Kahane Learned About Law School

Michael Lopez at Highered Intelligence offers The Top 10 Things I Learned About Law School. His bottom line:

You don't need to be the top of your class -- you need to do the best you can, to be balanced and happy, and to be fair and just to your fellow students. You need to respect your professors, and learn the law.

Professor Eugene Volokh especially recommends tips 1, 2, 4, 5, and 10.

If that's not enough for you, Lopez's co-blogger Jeff Kahane offers 10 tips of his own . I'm not sure about tips 4, 5 and 6; but everyone's different. My experience is that law school is as about as hard as you make it, I'm hoping that first semester grades don't determine anything more than first semester grades, and yes, the social pressure to get a firm job can be intense. If that's not why you're in law school, you might just avoid those interviews with firms that you'd never want to work at anyway. That's what I'm trying, anyway. I'll let you know how it goes.

Posted by mowabb at 06:08 AM | TrackBack

August 09, 2004

Not Advice

Heidi at Letters of Marque completes her "not-advice series" with Exam Tips 3: What you should get out of practice exams. The previous entries in this series cover nearly all the other critical aspects of getting the most out of your first year.

In the preface to her latest entry, Heidi explains that her posts do not contain advice so much as discussions of possibilities, suggestions, things to consider. She makes excellent points about the weaknesses of trying to collect "advice" about an experience that is different for everyone, and "the only piece of actual advice" she actually gives is this:

many many people have successfully approached law school in a large number of ways. Trust yourself. If you've never learned well by working in groups, don't join a study group. If you learn best by discussing with other people, do that. Know what you want, and do what you have to to get it. Because ultimately, even the people who write big expensive books that charge lots of money are not really giving advice. They're just saying, "hey, this worked for me!" Hopefully you'll learn to trust yourself. And next year, maybe you'll be able to say "Hey, this worked for me!" too.

She's right, of course. Which is why, even if what she offers cannot be properly called "advice," it's still well worth your time to learn how she did it, and to understand what worked for her. Who knows? It may work for you, as well. Or, it may not. Either way, you've learned something, and that's really the idea, isn't it?

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August 08, 2004

Surviving Law School, Dodd's Way

Although blogging is a relatively new thing, law students and practicing attorneys have been doing it for years now. In fact, two years ago practicing attorney C.D. Harris of Ipse Dixit offered his advice to law students: Surviving Law School, Dodd's Way. It includes seven big-picture tips to help you through your three years.

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More Transfer Tips

In addition to Sua Sponte's transferring FAQ, Schteino.com offers a category of posts tracing his own move from Miami to BC Law. Included is a bit of advice to those just starting law school:

give your law school a chance. Don’t come in to law school saying, in effect, I don’t want to be here; I’d rather be somewhere else.

Posted by mowabb at 11:37 AM | TrackBack

August 07, 2004

Letters to Wormwood

Anthony at Three Years of Hell to Become the Devil is now entering his second year of law school at Columbia. He offers an extensive series of commentaries and tips for getting through law school, all of which he's kindly collected into a category of its own. It's called Letters to Wormwood (cf. The Screwtape Letters), and it contains bits of wisdom on a variety of topics, including new student mixers, the Socratic Method, public interest requirements at Columbia, feeling overwhelmed, and much, much more. Read the whole category to get it all.

For pre-law readers, don't miss Anthony's tips on preparing for the LSAT and applying to law school, and what to do in your last summer before school.

Posted by mowabb at 10:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Liable on beginning 1L

After just a month in law school, Liable offered her first impressions and tips for success in the first few weeks. Detailed tips on briefing cases, notetaking, socializing, and backing up your work. As for backing up, do it. Often.

Posted by mowabb at 10:22 AM | TrackBack

15 1L Tips

The ever-modest Ditzy Genius has collected 15 Tips for 1Ls, ranging from how to use study aids and dealing with grades, to staying organized and maintaining a life. I like Tip #3:

Do not be a stress bunny.

Excellent advice!

Posted by mowabb at 09:57 AM | TrackBack

Schteino's 1L Wrapup

Just as he finished up his first year, Matt at Schteino.com collected his thoughts in a 1L Wrapup:

The three most important things I found for my first year were class preparation (as in, be prepared), getting enough sleep, and having a sane morning routine.

The wrapup offers some thoughts specific to the University of Miami (Matt has since moved to BC Law), as well as general thoughts that apply to any school.

Posted by mowabb at 09:39 AM | TrackBack

Mixtape Messages:

As a rising 3L, Bekah at Mixtape Marathon has been offering tips about law school for some time now. The hits begin with a series of memos to law professors, mostly about final exams, but also about the content of class:

But the hits don't stop there; they keep on coming with Read Between the Outlines, in which we learn that:

an outline is not a mere study aid. It is nothing less than a physical manifestation of the fundamental malevolence that pervades law school.

Bekah also offers a more sociological perspective on law school with her analysis of the Population of the reading room at study time, and what it feels like to finish your journal write-on/Bluebook competition.

Posted by mowabb at 09:26 AM | TrackBack

August 06, 2004

Five Quick Pearls

Tommy at Carolina Law offers Five Quick Pearls of Wisdom to get you through 1L. The pearl w/in the pearl (IMHO):

grades are so arbitrary and capricious, that it's of no use to try and obsess about them.  Just do the best you can and let the chips fall where they may. 

Posted by mowabb at 06:13 AM | TrackBack

August 05, 2004

DG on 1L

Ditzy Genius has been sprinkling her posts with bits of advice for law students throughout the past year; however, the following posts contain highly concentrated doses of ditzy goodness:

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August 04, 2004

Advice Category & How To Read A Case

Not For Sheep has a terrific feature—a category of posts containing advice just for 1Ls. It includes a nice four-part guide to reading a case:

If more people would put their advice posts into categories like this, it certainly would be easier for readers to find. (It might also help in the automation of Blawg Wisdom....)

Posted by mowabb at 06:09 AM | TrackBack

August 03, 2004

Transmogriflaw series: What I Did

Transmogriflaw is currently writing a series of advice posts entitled, "What I Did." The series' introduction offers a few general tips in overview form. So far the series includes:

  1. What I Did: Notetaking
  2. What I Did: Outlining
I'll update the list as she adds more tips.

Posted by mowabb at 09:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 01, 2004

Comprehensive Guide to 1L

Heidi at Letters of Marque has spent the summer compiling an excellent and comprehensive guide to making it through the first year of law school. The series is ongoing; I'll update this list as she adds more. For now, check out the following I believe the series is now complete and consists of the following:

Posted by mowabb at 06:37 PM | TrackBack

1L: To Buy and To Know

For those of you just starting law school, Beanie (of Screaming Bean) offers a list of "things you should know/do/buy before coming to law school," including this novel gem:

Take stock now in a highlighter company.

Posted by mowabb at 06:23 PM | TrackBack

Series: How to Annoy Others

Also from Jeremy Richey, another series in what not to do in law school. Parts one, and two.

Posted by mowabb at 05:38 PM | TrackBack

Series: How To Fail Law School

Jeremy Richey brings us a four part series on some things you shouldn't do in law school:

  1. Don't be Steve
  2. Don't be John
  3. Don't be Sara
  4. Don't be Oscar
Hmm. Steve, John, Oscar.... Does this mean more men than women are doing poorly in law school?

Posted by mowabb at 05:32 PM | TrackBack

Pimpin'

The Larry the Longhorn Guide to Law School offers over 15 great tips on adjusting to law school and making your way through the first year. Who knew Pedialyte could be part of success in law school? See especially Larry's tips on what she calls "impression management," aka, how not to be hated by everyone who meets you. My favorite tip:
Don't tell classmates that black people don't go to Texas or that people who take public interest jobs were at the bottom of the class (#1 and editor of Kentucky Fried Quarterly of class 2002 is working at Legal Aid). Oh hey, and don't suck.
That last part really sums up this whole law school advice thing: Just don't suck, ok?

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