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Ms. Pre-JD: The Gap

I had planned to write an extensive article on how to network this month (find another amazing article about networking this summer here), but in line with last month’s post, I’m offering a step back from the constant career talk. Instead of thinking about my career trajectory, I want to extend the definition of pre-law to include the years after undergrad and before law school. Now that I’m headed into my junior year, I have only two types of pre-law friends: the ones ordering copious numbers of LSAT books and the ones still smiling because they plan to take a…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Setting Summer Internship Goals

With Summer right around the corner, I thought it was time to discuss what to do at your internship versus how to get in the door. I’ll admit that, at my first internship, I did not speak to anyone in the office outside of my boss, the internship coordinator, the secretary, and the security guards. Of course, if anyone else greeted me, I would smile and return in kind. But I never made conversation, or asked if I could help with any of their projects…and I certainly didn’t ask about their kids, their weekend, or anything personal. Why? For the…

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Ms. Pre-JD: How Important is ‘Fun’?

At a panel hosted by the Columbia Undergraduate Law Review, I had a chance to hear from two attorneys and a law school student about their respective professional journeys. All three, unsurprisingly, commented that law school was challenging and fulfilling. They also all found that they owed their success to a degree of good fortune during their undergraduate, law school, or job searching years, something that I’m sure we all hope to experience. Surprisingly, though, they all also remarked that their undergraduate years could have done with more of one thing: Fun. Of course, different internships or classes may have…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Becoming a Frequent-Applier

Around this time in the year is when, as a pre-law student, I really start feeling the pressure. If you don’t know why this is, I imagine you haven’t delved headfirst into the pre-law internship search yet! The excitement at seeing a posting, even an unpaid one, from a major law firm is always tempered five minutes later with irritation at the words “Marketing Intern”, or “Accounting Intern”. Even so, I do have a list of places that I usually try when on the hunt for an internship. While you are probably not going to get paid (in money) for the…

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Ms. Pre-JD: “Don’t Go to Law School!”

As an overenthusiastic pre-law student, I can be prone to mentioning that I want to go to law school. Every five seconds. When someone asks about my major, I tell them, but I quickly add, “and I want to go to law school, so it’s more for personal interest!” If anyone asks me about my courseload, I immediately inform them that the political science class is “to be more aware because I want to go to law school”, and that the reason I dropped that GPA-killing elective was because “I have to get into law school!” I don’t think I…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Unsolicited Advice from an Undergrad

Welcome to 2017! Even though January 1st isn’t inherently more meaningful than any other day of the year, I think it’s useful to use the turn of the year as a time of reflection on our past goals and preparation for our new, or continuing, ones. I figured that to start off the year right, I would offer some advice that you didn’t want (or, most likely, need). I’d like to think that, by again not fulfilling my new year’s resolutions, I have once and for all learned the importance of committing to my goals. This probably isn’t true, and come…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Success on the Pre-Clarity Track

The path of a pre-law student is always a bit ambiguous. Add in being a woman, and your place in the field becomes blurry as well. To really compound the issue, pick a major that doesn’t relate directly to any field of law, and you can call yourself a student on the pre-clarity track. Without undergraduate internship programs or, at most institutions, majors specific to our field of interest, pre-law students are left to join pre-professional organizations and do research on their own. But with demanding coursework, it is difficult to justify attending a firm visit when you know you…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Soft Skills and Meeting Delida Costin

Just last week, I had the incredible opportunity to hear Delida Costin, a Ms. JD Writer-In-Residence, speak to a group of pre-law undergraduates at Columbia University. Delida has worked as general counsel at lynda.com, where she assisted with their sale to LinkedIn, and at Pandora, where she also built the legal team that took Pandora public and served as the first senior vice president and secretary. Most recently, she founded a law firm. Hearing her share with us some of this wealth of personal experience served as an amazing learning opportunity. She spoke extensively on the difference between working in-house and…

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