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Women Leading Change: Transforming the Law School Classroom

“Schools are the garden for leadership- the places where seeds are planted and first green shoots spotted, tended, and encouraged.” John Adair, How to Grow Leaders: The Seven Key Principles of Effective Leadership Development As the new school year approaches, parents are filling backpacks, college students are buying textbooks, and teachers are finishing their final lesson plans. In the haste of preparing for back to school, a time for reflection is often missed. This leaves questions unanswered such as: What is the purpose of education? What skills will students develop in the classroom? What is in the hands of students…

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What a New Lawyer Should Know

Hi Everyone- September is quickly approaching, and many of us are now knee deep in on-campus interviewing. We are also getting ready for new associates to begin their careers at our firms. In keeping with the season, I thought it would be helpful to share a column which is timeless in its message - what every new lawyer needs to know. This video and print installment of our monthly "Inside Out" column originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Chicago Lawyer magazine. We address topics such as how legal education has evolved over the years, the most important skills…

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Bar Exam is Like a Hocus-Focus Game

One of the reasons why people fail the bar exam is because they do not READ CAREFULLY.  Henry Boltinoff was a cartoonist who drew Hocus-Focus puzzles involving two similar panels with six differences between them. The bar exam is like a Hocus-Focus game.  Reading for the bar exam requires attention to detail, concentration, and observational skills. To improve in identifying the differences between the two panels in Hocus-Focus, a player has to split the photos into smaller parts, such as drawing a cross to turn the photos into four squares, and then comparing the differences between each of the corners,…

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Students Take on Sexual Assault Law and Policy in New Course

This spring, students at Columbia Law School took part in a unique course offering for the first time: the Sexual Assault Law and Policy Reading Group, organized by fellow students. The reading group covered the history and theory of sexual assault law, Title IX, and pedagogy in criminal law courses. The group also explored alternative approaches to the criminal law framework, sexual assault in prisons and the workplace, revenge porn, and the use of rape as a war crime. Structured with an intersectional focus, the syllabus addressed the dynamics of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation as they pertain to sexual assault. Sexual Assault…

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Ladies of the House (and Senate): Q & A with Rep. Beth McCann

This month I’m including a Q&A with Colorado State Representative - and fellow Georgetown Law alumna - Beth McCann. She gives great advice about being a law student, government lawyer, legislator and District Attorney candidate. Q: What made you decide to go to law school? A: From the time I was in high school, I knew I wanted a career. It didn’t seem right to me that women would spend a lot of time getting educated and not use the education. I participated in debate among other activities and enjoyed it. My mother always said I could argue about anything!…

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Law School Lessons: A 3L’s Pointers for Law School Success in a New Environment

I am graduating from law school in less than three weeks. My experience has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, yet I wouldn’t change it for the world. Close to three years ago, this Latina from Miami, FL decided to leave everything she knew for the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, WI. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but soon realized that I was mistaken. Law school is difficult enough on its own, but couple that with culture and climate shocks, and you are in for quite the challenge. Now that I am…

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Free Agency & Partnership Review Lectures for Law School and Bar Prep

This semester I taught Closely Held Business Organizations, which is Agency & Partnerships with a LLC component, at FSU Law.  I created three review lectures for my students which are based off principles from the Restatement of Agency, the Revised Uniform Partnership Act, the Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act and the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act.     Since these lectures are brief but comprehensive overviews of subject matter that is tested on most state bar exams and in many law school business organizations classes, I though the readers of Ms. JD would benefit from access to these videos, so…

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Comfortable with Uncomfortable

I don’t believe in fads. Usually, I’m too tuned out from them to notice, but even if I were aware, I think I’d still turn the other cheek and let the trends roll off my face like rainwater sloshing off impervious surfaces and into the gutters. For this reason, I avoid all diets and “get fit quick” pledges and opt instead for routine fitness. But after a recent injury set me back from my regular cardio, I found myself falling vulnerable for a free personal trainer consultation at a local SF gym. This soon felt like a huge mistake. From the…

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The Most Important Lesson I’ve Learned in Law School : Humility

It is a fact of life that everyone has their own story.  And while that may seem simple to say and read, it is often very hard to remember, especially in law school. From my first semester, I have found that everyone desperately wants to tell their own story, and that's only natural.  Everyone knows it - law school is competitive. Some schools demonstrate it more than others, but that competition is always there whether you like it or not. We all had to take the LSAT, write that perfect personal statement, and send the most stunning resume containing only our…

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11 Tips For Taking Law School To the Next Level

REVIEW COURSE MATERIAL OVER AND OVER. Even if you do not have exams till next semester, waiting until the next semester and the reading period is a bad time to wait to review. Cramming before final exams is not a good way to get yourself good grades. Make time to review frequently over the semester. REVIEW SESSIONS. Some law professors or Academic Fellows set up review sessions before exams. Clarifying the issues during these review sessions can be helpful to keep you from staying confused about certain issues. The professors also often give tips regarding exam answers and how they prefer the…

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