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A Letter to My 22-Year-Old, 1L Self (Or, What I Wish I Had Known Back Then)

Dear 1L Kristine, Welcome to law school!  That goal you have been talking about since you were nine years old - you finally made it.  Congratulations!  But do not revel in your accomplishment for too long, for there is a lot of hard work ahead of you. Law school is an intimidating place.  You are going to be a little (or a lot) scared, especially in the first year.  That’s okay.  Everyone else is scared, too.  They are just better at hiding it than you are.  You are going to have doubts.  You are going to think everyone is smarter…

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Your Brain, Law School, and Law Practice: Present and Future

August is a fresh start for students as well as graduates starting new jobs.  Before you lose that feeling of excitement, let’s consider how to plan for a better future in small steps.  The Power of the Present I have talked before about the brain’s inability to engage in accurate forecasting of our future selves.  It leads us, for example, to procrastinate because we think that our future selves will magically be able to handle the task later (on the weekend, after the weekend, tomorrow, next week - just not today).  Of course, that inevitably leaves us with the same skill…

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What should I read to get ready for law school?

“I’m starting law school in the fall.  What should I read before I start?” At about this time each year, future 1Ls might ask a friend, relative, or lawyer whom they happen to know:, “What should I read to prepare for law school.” My co-author Barry Friedman (NYU) and I have three answers: one that may surprise you, one that we hope will amuse you, and one that is … well … a bit self-serving.  (Yes, we’ve written a book to prep students for law school.) The last answer also comes with an offer…. First, the surprise. You don’t need to…

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Life in the Law School Lane: 3 Unspoken Law School Rules

As my second year comes to a close, I have been reminiscing a lot on what it has meant to be a law student. This was mostly sparked by a discussion I recently had in one of my classes, in which we discussed the “norms” of being a University of Virginia School of Law student, and whether those same norms would apply at any of the other 200+ law schools in this country. Apparently, life here at UVA is truly unique, between our “collegiality” and softball and Thomas Jefferson motifs. However, I am certain that these rules can and should…

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Not fLAWless but Fearless: The V Word

Vice? Victory? No, I’m talking about validation. That 10 letter word that pretty much all of us are guilty of seeking almost every day.  One of the hard parts of law school is that we don’t really get any validation, or measurement of success, until the very end of a semester. It can be compared to actors in a play, who have to wait until the very end of their performance for a standing ovation, or a review. However, even in this situation, the audience might clap for an actor during the performance, if appropriate, or laugh at a funny line…

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5 Lessons For #SuperwomenJDs From The 2016 Ms. JD Conference

On February 19, 2016, I attended my first Ms. JD Conference as a Ms. JD Fellow. The eighth annual Ms. JD Conference at New York University School of Law offered a wonderful opportunity to network with inspirational attorneys, law students, and pre-law students. Additionally, I learned a wealth of information from the esteemed speakers, regarding topics such as intersectionality, social media presence, and the advancement of women in the profession. As I reflect on the Ms. JD Conference on Women in the Law: Superwomen JDs, there are five lessons that I would like to share.   1) Strike your superhero pose. We…

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A Parliament of OWLs (Older Wiser Learners): Bramble Bush, Thoughts for Winter Break

I am waist deep in winter break.  In the past ten days, I have driven 1400 miles, sorted bank statements and health insurance paperwork, visited the school where I taught, walked my favorite beach, baked bread and cookies, wasted hours online, and celebrated Christmas.  There are appointments scheduled for the car, the dentist, and the doctor, and the Heir flew back to Boston early yesterday morning.  By noon, I was bored. Bored?  No kidding, bored.  I have multiple knitting projects going; I’m walking every day, exploring the city and the campus beyond the law school, and I’m reading three books. Two are not…

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The One Time You Should Believe the Hype

You've decided you want to go to law school. First step? Comb through a bevy of information from myriad sources. It's your first lawyer-ing task as you try and sort out all the facts that come your way. The information pours forth from the depths of the internet, to the LSAC, to practicing attorneys. Tips about studying for the LSAT, what schools you should consider, what to do in your remaining days before school begins, and so forth. There's a lot to wrap your head around. In my case, the period of time between deciding I wanted to go to law school to subsequently preparing…

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Journey to a JD: Friends, Fun, and… Finals?!

Thanksgiving may have come and gone, but it is always a good time to give thanks and appreciate the finer things in life.  I felt this firsthand on Thursday, while celebrating Friendsgiving with my fellow friends and 1Ls here in Philly.  Between the 11 of us, we had over 20 dishes and desserts, along with a giant turkey, and plenty of room for seconds (and thirds).  We spent the evening eating, laughing, relaxing, and eating some more.   This was such a welcome and well-deserved break from our casebooks, because we had all been studying for finals over the past…

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Journey to a JD: It’s Crunch Time

As the final remnants of Halloween fade away, the autumn breeze settles in.  Outside, the leaves are changing into vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange, and the days are getting shorter.  November is slowly rolling in.  Which can only mean one thing: it is time to get down to business. Here at Penn Law, we have been trading in our weekly Bar Review trips for weekly study group sessions, extracurricular lunches for outlining panels, and 1000-page casebooks for even more supplements and subject guides (because you can never get enough of torts and civil procedure).  The arrival of November…

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