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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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Innovation in the Law

Dear Readers- I hope that your October is off to a great start. Over the past year or two, we have been hearing more and more about innovation. While it is most often in the context of technology and medicine, we have no choice but to acknowledge its importance in all aspects of the legal profession - from the way in which our law schools teach their students, to the way law firms train their associates, and how they package and deliver services to clients. We as lawyers have a lot to learn from the engineers and scientists among us. In March…

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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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