One law student writes, “What should I do in the summer to prepare for law school this fall?” In general, law students will want to » FULL STORY
As a law student, what is the most challenging aspect of law school for you? What makes life during law school difficult?
Is it that you have no time, you have little money, the competition in law school is stressful, relationships are difficult during law school, attorney job hunting is competitive, or the constant criticism in law school becomes too much to bear? Here is a list. Which one has been your biggest challenge? » FULL STORY
One of the secrets to success in law school is knowing where to find an answer, and find it quickly. Lawyers aren’t expected to know the answer to every legal question, but they are expected to know where to find the answers.
Hours of legal research can be wasted if law students look in the wrong books. One key to success in law school studying and legal research is knowing where to look for an answer.
To find an answer quickly, a law student must (1) know the resources in a law library, (2) know which resource is best for a law student’s particular question, and finally, know how to use that resource.
I learned this approach from law review editors when I served on law review. I still use this approach as an attorney today.
Where to Start
Some law students start their research by searching cases in WestLaw. Normally this is a big waste of time. Law students can spend hours reading through cases that match a search criterion without ever finding a case that answers their question.
Although research should end by finding a primary authority (case or statute) that answers your research question, the best place to start is » FULL STORY
The following is an interview I had with a graduate of Concord Law School, which is an online law school now affiliated with Kaplan University. I have broken the interview into sections so you can jump to the section that interests you most. » FULL STORY
The holidays are almost here! Many of you are already done with finals. It’s time to relax, sit back, and enjoy the break. You’ve worked hard; you earned it.
As you kick into relaxation mode, here are some news stories that don’t require any thinking. While you were preparing for finals and in finals, some law students and law schools were making the news. » FULL STORY
You want to save money buying law school books? I’ve searched the internet and talked to countless friends to find the best ways to buy law school books for cheap without compromising value. Here is what I found. » FULL STORY
A while back, I asked why some law students decided to start a blog.* Two law students posted excellent answers to the question.
I had spent months combing law student blogs trying to find blogs by part-time law student mothers with kids. The only great blog I found existed through the author’s first year before she ended it. I decided that I would start a blog in order to both chronicle this adventure and also to help other mothers who might be considering law school in addition to a full-time job.
After a few years of being an avid blog reader, I decided to start my own. Because I was big fan of personal finance blogs and law school blogs, I thought I would marry the two and create a blog dedicated to helping law students mitigate their crippling law school debt. I figured it would be a good way to keep track and hold me accountable for how I managed my finances in during law school
My reason for starting a blog was similar. I wanted to read a blog by other law students and couldn’t find any. In particular, I wanted a blog with tips for doing better in law school.
Learning Law School Success from Others
As a 1L, I was constantly finding ways to improve my performance. I wished I could have learned these law school tips from the beginning rather than through the “school of hard knocks.”
Law School Tips
Since that time, I have happily encountered many law student blogs. Some of those blogs had law school tips, but none of them focused exclusively on law school tips. If you search the archives here, you will find many of the law school tips I found along with some of my own.
Publicize Your Law Student Blog Here
If you want your law student blog featured here, stay tuned. My next plan with Law Student .TV is to find a way to promote the blogs of other law students.
You can already promote your law school blog posts at School Blog Vote using its law school student section, but I’m working on another option that could further promote law students’ blogs. Come back soon for more details.
In the meantime, you could add some more interesting blog posts to your law school blog, so that when visitors arrive in a few weeks, they have more interesting material to read.
*NOTE: I promised to link to the blogs of whoever answered. My delay is inexcusable, but it relates to having a baby and taking the bar exam. I am finally making good on that promise. Thanks to the authors of these great law school blogs for their patience.
Regent University School of Law has a web page listing its law students’ blogs. This was the first time I had seen a law school that published a list of blogs run by its law students.
Does your law school have a blog directory listing law students’ blogs? If so, please leave a comment here with the link for other law students to enjoy.
Legal Andrew just launched a contest that might be of interest to law students. Through a partnership with Law Study Systems, law students can get free licenses to their Essentials review courses (a $90 value).
There are two ways to enter:
- write a blog review (you must have a blog) OR
- post a comment response (anyone can do this)
Every blog review wins a license to all 3 of the courses. A random winner will be drawn from the comment entries.Here is the blog review post: Free Law School Review Courses – Calling 1L Bloggers
Here is the first comment post (3 others coming soon): What 1L Contract Topic Worries You? – FREE Review Course
Wonder how much you can earn when you graduate from law school? NALP surveyed law school graduates from 1992 to 2006 and published what the average attorney was paid.
The numbers are interesting. In 2006, the average starting salary for an attorney at a small firm (2-10 attorneys) was $50,000. The average starting salary for an attorney at a large firm (over 500 attorneys) was $135,000.
It is worth noting that the survey covers a large geographic area, so some adjustment is necessary for your local region. If you are in a small city, rural area, or city overpopulated by law schools, the average salary for your area may be less than the survey average. If you are starting in New York, or some other top paid city, the average salary for your area may be more than the survey average.
I suppose the results could be further criticized for being unscientific in one way or another. However, as a general guide to new associate salaries, the survey results are enlightening.
To see the survey results, visit NALP’s What Do New Lawyers Earn?
11-23-07 Update: This article has been updated. Please read Many Law Graduates Disappointed: Few Jobs, Low Salaries, High Stress. For help finding the law job that is right for you, visit our law jobs section.
A note from a reader:
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To get good grades, do you have to read the cases? How much should I use law school subject outlines? These are questions that many law students wonder.
Curious about these questions, I did an informal poll » FULL STORY
Welcome to school first-year law students!
You are about to experience a surge of conflicting emotions: excitement, fear, insecurity, intrigue, stress, pride, and ultimately, relief when it is all over. The worst part may be not knowing how to handle every challenge that is thrown at you.
However, the reason law school is like this is probably because the practice of law is like this to some degree. That is, practicing law, at least most areas of the law, requires constant learning. The bad new is, some people do not enjoy life-long learning. The good news is, the longer you work, the more you have learned and the more valuable you become.
But if you don’t like law school, don’t give up hope, because most attorneys agree that law school is much less enjoyable than the practice of law. In fact, law school is down-right painful, especially around the time of law school exams.
As you begin your law school journey, congratulate yourself for having made it this far. To equip you for the ride, here is a large collection of good law school tips and a few law school blogs that might be of interest to new law students. I also recommend these law school books.
Law school tips:
- Things I Wish I’d Understood on Day 1 of Law School
- First-Year Law Students: Resources for 1L’s
- Tips for 1Ls From Around the Blogosphere
- Tips and advice for the newest law students
- Law School Goal Setting
- 1L Question: Do Smart Law Students Sit in the Front Row?
- Free Law School Outlines – 1L, 2L, and 3L
- 1L Advice: Ways a 1L Can Prepare for Law School
- Terms and Phrases New Law Students Must Know
- New Law School Students: Frequently Asked Questions
- Law Students Share Their Tips and Advice
- Tips and advice for the newest law students II: Outside
- Tips for Pre-Law Students Preparing for Law School
- More 1L Law School Tips
Law School Blogs:
- Law Student (The site you are currently reading)
- The Rising Jurist (Be sure to check out this humorous post: The Most Interesting Cases You Will Read as a 1L)
- New at Law
- Mac Law Students Blog
- Old Law Guy
- Legal Andrew (he graduated from law school in 2007)
- The Frugal Law Student
- and check out the other blogs listed in the right column under “Law School Blogs”
UPDATE: The website referenced here, SchoolBlogVote.com, no longer exists.
If you have a blog and you are a law student, medical student, seminary student, or MBA student, maybe you posted your blog posts on Digg.com in hopes of getting thousands of visitors to your blog, getting filthy rich, and retiring to Silicon Valley.
Unfortunately, Digg caters to geek topics, and despite the fact that most graduate schools have plenty of geeks, it’s really tough to get a popular post on Digg.
A possible solution has arrived: School Blog Vote is a new site where students can post their own blogs and vote on other students’ blogs.
The benefit of School Blog Vote to student readers is—students can find great websites, blogs, and blog posts of interest to students.
The benefit of School Blog Vote to student bloggers is—more people will find their blog. And that means increased visitor traffic, something every student blogger desires.
Categories for Various Post-Graduate Students
School Blog Vote is categorized into sections for law students, medical school students, MBA students, seminary students, and undergraduate students. This is nice because seminary students probably have little interest in res ipsa loquitur. Of course, seminary students can always check out the law student section for juicy gossip, such as the law student who got naked for Playboy (news story).
One nice feature of School Blog Vote is that the site allows voting without having to create an account first. Once you’ve voted, you can’t vote again (and artificially drive up the votes). This appears to be tied to your IP address, so in theory, students could login to mulitiple computers and vote multiple times. But seriously, how many students have that much free time? Okay, maybe some do, but I presume the administrators at School Blog Vote have a way of taking care of that. Anyway, I like that you don’t have to login to vote.
However, you do have to login to post to the site, which I suppose is necessary to prevent spam (no, I don’t want to read about “Buy Viagra Online” or “XXX Paris Hilton photos”).
School Blog Vote is a great idea. It is also a new idea. The problem with new ideas on the web are 1) they may not have much traffic for a while and 2) they may never have much traffic.
Still, I think it’s a great idea for a few reasons. I have a hard time finding other law students’ blogs, and I presume that medical students, MBA students, seminary students, and undergrads might have the same problem. It’s even more difficult to find good blogs. At School Blog Vote, the good posts rise to the top based on reader’s votes.
Also, a site like this gives students an incentive to start a blog, since students can see the best of what other students are writing.
Finally, School Blog Vote rewards students who blog by driving traffic to their blogs, which often generates income through Adsense, Chitika, or other blog advertising programs.
See For Yourself
So if you you support the idea of encouraging students to blog, or if you are a blogger who wants more visitors, check out School Blog Vote.
Often, law school apparel is not the most stylish (but as we all know, that isn’t a problem for most law students). But these clothes are funny and interesting, and are sure to amuse family and friends, and maybe make a law school professor smirk when she sees them.
Pre-law students are getting ready for their big day, the first day in law school. Here are a few tips to be prepared for that first day of law school.
- Learn How to Make a Good Impression at Law School Orientation
- Learn How to Read a Case for Law School
- Learn How to Outline a Law School Class
- Learn Important Terms and Phrases
- Listen to Audio CDs to Preview Course Subjects
- Learn How to Cope with Law School Stress
- Consider Take a Law School Prep Course
- Read: New Law School Students: Frequently Asked Questions
- Read: Advice about law school preparation: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- Read: Ways a 1L Can Prepare for Law School
Buy what you need for law school:
- Buy a Backpack and buy stuff to put in it
- Save Money Buying Law School Books Online but don’t get Old Casebook Editions
- Buy Essential Law School Books
- Consider Buying Law School Study Guides
- Consider Buying “Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams”
- Buy a Laptop, Select the Right Sized Laptop, or Consider Buying a Tablet PC
- Buy the best Law School Notetaking Software (for PC)
- Mac Law School Students Check Out These Great Resources
- Prepare a Computer Backup Plan and Consider Free Online Backup Options
- Set Your MySpace Page to ‘Private’
- Reduce Your Time Online with an RSS Reader
- Get the CALI CD in your law school library
- Consider Whether to Join a Study Group
- Learn to Use WestLaw and Lexis
- Prepare for Legal Writing in Law School
- Learn About Free Law School Outlines – 1L, 2L, and 3L
- Get Free Lexis Study-Aid Outlines
- Get Advice from Upperclass Law Students and Law Students Online
- Make a Schedule to Prepare for Law School Exams
- Read More Law School Tips Here
A note from a reader:
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There are a couple ways to save money when buying law school casebooks and study aids.
Second, see if some of your friends have taken your upcoming law school course and buy or borrow their books.
In addition, here are a few coupons:
If you’re considering attending part time law school, here’s a short list of things you might want to consider first. Read more.
After my first law school semester, a friend tried to convince me to leave Microsoft Word and instead take notes with Microsoft OneNote 2003 (Old Version). I refused. Finally, I decided to give OneNote a try as a 2L. I had no idea it would be this good.
OneNote has every feature that a student would use in Microsoft Word plus so much more!
Record Your Professor Synchronized to Your Notes. One of the coolest features is how it can record your professor while you take notes. Then later when you click on a note, you can play the audio of your professor talking exactly when you typed that note. So on take-home exams, you can just scan your notes for key concepts on your exam and re-listen to your professor discuss those concepts.
Do you have friends who are hoping to apply to law school? Here are a couple good websites that pre-law students often miss:
- CALI Pre-Law Blog – This is a great blog with useful information for pre-law students. In particular, check out its posts answering reader questions and posts with news and discussions related to pre-law students.
- Law School USA (Video Blog) – This is the only video blog I’ve seen related to law school. This blog is provided by a girl in the law school » FULL STORY
During the summer, some law students listen to Sum & Substance CDs to prepare for fall classes. Others let their ears take a complete break from the law. For law students who find themselves somewhere inbetween, here is a list of some thought-provoking lectures from some of America’s top law schools. They are available for download to listen on your computer or iPod.
For more information on podcasts or podcasts of interest to law students, visit these articles:
- How and Why Law Students Use Podcasts
- Law School Blog Posts You Might Like #1
- Law School Blog Posts You Might Like #2
A note from a reader:
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