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Forge Your Own Educational Path to Paralegal Career Success: Certificates, Degrees, and More

Do Paralegals Need a Degree? Seasoned paralegals may remember a time when a high school diploma or GED was enough to enter the legal profession. As the legal field evolves and employers seek to increase efficiency and decrease costs by hiring more paralegals, the job requirements also are evolving. Today’s paralegals not only conduct research and handle trial preparation—they are also responsible for filing patents, managing eDiscovery projects, and more. Most employers now prefer to hire candidates with solid education and experience to carry out these important responsibilities. Eighty-five percent of all paralegals obtain some form of paralegal education, whether…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Hope in the Aftermath of Harvey

To celebrate the end of the first week of school and the start of 2L year, Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston and wreaked widespread havoc on a city that houses a population similar to that of the entire state of Delaware. As a citizen of Houston, I saw firsthand the damage my childhood neighborhood took from a tornado and subsequent flooding that drove thousands from their homes. I watched on the news as flooding caused evacuations, explosions, power outages, and contamination of drinking water due to chemical plant and water treatment plants’ inundation. Each and every day, we woke up news…

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App Happy: Graduate School Edition

September is upon us. Many schools have officially opened their applications for the 2018-2019 law school admission cycle, and the LSAT is just around the corner. In this next App Happy post, we’re going to take a deeper look into application consideration for students with graduate school backgrounds. Note: This post is the result of a thoughtful question from reader KHAMILTON16. Thank you for reaching out! If anyone else has a pre-law question, please comment below or reach out to me directly.  Additionally, please note that I have not attended graduate school and thus am relying on other's advice. I…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: Failure is a State of Mind

Name: Ryan S. Ragland, Esq. Professional Title: Municipal Trial Counsel, Hamilton County Public Defender Sector: Public Law School: The Ohio State University Years Practicing: 1.5 years  Area of Specialization: Criminal Defense “I am passionate about making sure they are humanized.”  Full disclosure: the woman I am featuring in this month’s edition of Failure Turned Inside Out is one of my best friends in the entire world. And while I may be a bit biased here, I think that her poise, maturity, and depth as a human being is awe-inspiring because these characteristics speak to the qualities that true carriers of…

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The Fear of the Unknown

I started taking my son to an early learning center when he was three months old so that I continue going to law school. He has attended that same school since and is now two and a half. That first day was rough. So rough, that I made my husband drop him off and I still cried. I will never forget it. But the tears were short lived because I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew that I was doing something that would benefit my family in the long run. I also knew that I was…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Goals for a Successful Fall Semester

Fall always marks the beginning of school for me. I know the leaves change color and pumpkin spice lattes return to Starbucks, but as a college student in Manhattan, I don’t see the leaves and I make my own coffee to save money. What I do encounter often are the surface of my dorm room desk and the reading rooms of the library, places I haven’t had to visit in months. Students are lucky for many reasons, but I think this is one of the best parts about learning full-time: you get to have multiple New Year’s Days. One on…

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Conquering the Writing Competition & Law Review

If you’re a 1L, one of the last things on your mind right before this spring’s final exam period is probably your school’s upcoming writing competition.  You might not even know if you want to be on a journal, but I cannot stress to you enough how important it is, and how that crazy 48-hour writing frenzy will pay off in the long run.  Even though you’re definitely busy enough with outlining and study sessions, there are some things that you can do right now to help prepare you to conquer the writing competition. Learn about your school’s journals.  Most schools hold…

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App Happy: The Basics (Part Two)

Now that you've got a grasp on your LSAC account, let's get to work. After reviewing multiple law school applications, I've included this comprehensive list of information to help fellow applicants gather background material so that there are no surprises when you go to fill out applications. Biographical Information: Given and preferred name, birth date, gender, and place of birth. May also include Social Security or the Insurance number provided by LSAC. Contact information: address, email (the professional one you check often, not bossgirlsk8s) and phone number. Your current address is where you reside the day you submit your application, permanent…

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App Happy: The Basics (Part One)

Happy Women’s Equality Day! May your celebration of the 97th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment include recognition of the strong women around you and the strong woman you are!  I wanted to start a series that takes a deep dive into common law school application questions, concerns, and conundrums. To kick off this series, please find below a list of application components. For those of you looking to apply as close to the opening of the cycle as possible (some schools open applications on September 1) or those that just want to get a jump start, please use this series of posts…

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“They is starting law school next week:” Gender-neutral pronouns are awkward at first but worth it.

My Law and Public Policy class begins next week.  But before we jump into reading cases and writing briefs we will introduce ourselves and share our preferred pronouns.  I prefer “she/her/hers.” Every year I have two or three students who prefer “they/them/theirs.”  At first I thought this was a ridiculous waste of everyone’s time. We have legislative processes to learn!  Executive orders to scrutinize! But, I’ve come to appreciate the practice. It reminds me to be mindful of people unlike me and I hope it signals to the students that our class values inclusion. In 2015, the press was already…

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