Looking back on 1L

Well, I’ve survived the work portion of 1L, now I just have to hope I survive the grades of 1L (it takes about a month to get grades). It was certainly a journey but looking back on it I’m incredibly glad I did it. Yes, it was incredibly hard at some points. Yes, it was incredibly stressful at some points. Yes, it was one of the harder things I’ve done. Yet, I feel like I’ve grown a ton. Not only do I feel like I’ve gone through a process that let me grew, but I feel like I know more about myself now. I know where I can excel and where I really had to dig in and shore up my drive.

As for lessons that I wish I had known.

Work smarter, not harder.

By this I mean really sit down and try to figure out how you learn best. When I got to law school I really tried to change my studying habits. I knew I needed to ramp them up, that’s all anyone talks about once you get to law school. What a lot of people don’t tell you though is that you shouldn’t change how you study, just kick it up to a post-grad level. I won’t know for sure how well this worked until I get grades back in about 3-4 weeks but I can attest to the fact that fall semester was a chaotic mess of trying to go through all the material and figure out the best way to retain it all. This past spring semester I really sat down with a clear head and tried to ensure that the means achieved the right ends. I think it worked out well, we’ll see and I’ll write more on it later.

Secondly, don’t stress.

The fall semester everyone is trying to one-up another and stressing over “doing well”. You’ve just got to relax and breath. Law school grades have nothing to do with how well you do. They’re strictly on a curve. It’s all about how well everyone does. You don’t have to beat your professor in an analytical analysis. You have to analysis the specific material on the exam better than the other people in the room with you. That’s it. It’s not how much do you know. It’s how well can you speak to what the question asks and can you do that in a more clear manner than the other people taking the exam.

I’ll have more once I know if my revised ideas worked. Suffice to say, if you’re questioning whether you should go to law school I’ll be one of the few to say do it. True, you probably won’t get rich but if you’re in it for the money go get a job on Wall Street. If you legitimately want to be a lawyer and if you want an intellectual challenge then law school will do that for you.

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1L Summer Jobs

So the summer is almost here and that means a handful of things. Dreaded finals are quickly approaching for everyone and people have been on the frantic search for summer legal positions. Luckily I started my summer job search way back in February and received an offer by March. Keep in mind I’m not working for a Biglaw firm this summer but any legal job is better than a non-legal job.

If you haven’t landed anything yourself yet I highly encourage everyone to look into some of the more public interest or governmental agency type of work. It’s not a big New York City corporate litigation style firm but it’ll offer practical work experience and it’ll give you something to talk about at your on-campus interview next year when the pressure’s really on to land something that pays well.

There are a ton of grant opportunities as well as Federal Work Study that students who work in the non-profit legal sector are eligible for. You won’t become rich but it’ll keep you going through the summer and like I said before, it’s all really about getting work experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find you really love a legal field you didn’t even consider before.

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New U.S. News and World Report Rankings

Well, the new U.S. News and World Report rankings have been released. I urge everyone to not buy into them too much. They rarely include anything about a law school that you’ll actually care about on a day-to-day basis while there.

Here they are.

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A New Leap

So there are some things I’ve posted here on Wanna Be Lawyer that I’ve really felt could and have helped people. Things like my post on ranking law schools your own way. Well I’ve spent the past few weeks working on a little Kindle book that takes some of the more highly viewed posts here on Wanna Be Lawyer and compiles them and adds a good deal of content too. You can find the Kindle book here.  Continue reading

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Second Thoughts on Bar Exam Prep

Well this weekend was Barrister’s Ball, a huge prom-like event for most law schools. It was a pretty fun affair and I’m looking forward to two more years of it.

Getting into the nitty-gritty of some law school stuff though, I’ve been contemplating what bar prep service to use. I know, I know, the bar exam is two and a half years away. Well, at the beginning of the school year I bought into the Barbri “lock in your price” routine. I put $250 down to make sure the price wouldn’t rise on me. Since it’s already $2,900 for the Connecticut Bar Exam you can imagine why I was so worried.

However, after reading a recent National Jurist piece on bar prep courses, I’m having my doubts that Barbri is the way to go. There are easily a dozen plus bar prep courses out there and not one of them carries the same price tag as Barbri. Kaplan looks like it’s probably the second most expensive and most others run in the $500-$1,500 range. Considering even the most expensive of these alternatives are about half the cost of Barbri, even factoring into account the fact that I’ve already sunk a few hundred dollars into Barbri I think it’s safe to say I’m going to be doing some serious thinking over where to invest a decent chunk of money in the next two years.

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Challenges of the Legal Profession

So there’s always a lot of doom and gloom about practicing law out there. One of my colleagues from undergrad who is a practicing attorney has a nice piece that’s been posted in North Carolina about overcoming these challenges for young lawyers. Go check it out here.

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Blizzard of 2013

So here in New England we got quite a lot of snow. Quinnipiac Law had all of its classes cancelled yesterday in anticipation of how bad it was going to be. I think it was a good move. We’ve had over 34 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. take a look.

SNOW

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