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My Bar Exam Journey: From Pregnant to Pissed to Passing

It felt good to have the Bar Exam on the calendar, even if it was four months away. Lilli was nine months old; she had slept through the night about three times. I looked forward to using my brain to master legal subjects I never learned in law school. And then I discovered I was pregnant again. So began the winter of endless, excruciating, pregnant drudgery. I pulled myself out of bed and spread Cheerios on the high chair so I could get dressed. I schlepped to the conference room on the second floor of a beige building next to…

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App Happy: The Personal Statement

Que the Sports Center theme music.  This critical portion of the application often draws looks of panic from applicants and many ambiguous answers from admissions departments. The Personal Statement should seemingly be simple. Who has a better understanding of who you are and why law school is right for you right now than you? Unfortunately, it often does not feel this way. What It’s Not: A personal statement is not a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose, typically used for graduate school admission, provides a summary of your experience in the context of your professional aspirations. It essentially sums…

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15 Top Legal Defenses to Criminal Charges: Tips for New Lawyers

There are many ways to fight criminal charges and win. Here are some of the most successful legal defenses we use at Chudnovsky Law when defending our clients. The defenses are presented from the perspective of a crime charged under California law, but the same defenses apply in most states.   1) Mistaken Identity Incorrect witness identification is a major source for incorrect accusations. This can happen if a person’s description is similar to a criminal perpetrator or if a witness assumes someone committed a crime due to circumstances or they are trying to cover for a crime they committed. 2) Accident Most California…

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Do What You Love, But Be Open to Doing It Anywhere

“You can always come back,” my professor told me. It was my third year of law school, and I was stressed out about clerkships. My only clerkship interview was in Phoenix. But I lived in Los Angeles, the city that had become my home. My professor was helping me prepare for the interview. We were figuring out how I would explain why I wanted to live in a new city. I didn’t want to move. I wanted to start my legal career surrounded by people and places I knew. My professor told me that if I received an offer, I…

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More Law Schools Plan To Accept GRE Scores.. What are the Implications?

Once Harvard announced it’s no longer requiring the LSAT for admissions, a rash of law schools across the US have either followed suit or plan to in the future. Still too early to fully understand the potential impact this change is going to have for prospective law students, we can explore a bit more as to why this shift from the LSAT to the GRE is occurring and what, exactly, you can be planning for if you intend on taking one of the tests for law school. Why the Change? Harvard’s official response to shifting to the GRE for admissions…

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I am still like you, just a little different

There are times in every person's life that can leave them feeling so different than everyone around them that they don't quite fit in. This is perhaps the one thing that we all have in common - we have all experienced this isolation on some level. Law school has left me feeling that on numerous occasions, but most certainly during my 4L year and second pregnancy. I have been thinking a lot lately about how law school can make you feel isolated from your pre-law school circle of friends, and your family. And, unique to my own situation, pregnancy can…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Reflections on Becoming a Ms. JD

Now that we are so close to the year’s end, I thought it might be time to reflect on what I’ve learned about becoming a woman with a JD this year. Through conversations with attorneys, both candid and hyper-professional, personal experiences, and discussions with other pre-law students, I’ve found that the personal is often the political, and many of the things I’m struggling with now are not unique to my path. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten this year from other women with JDs… Plan for where you want your life to go, both personally and professionally – that…

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He Touched My Life and then He Vanished-The Best Advice I Ever Received…

“Know the issue to the core of its scintilla”, was advice given to me by, what I believe to be a homeless man, who made his way into my law school via the lower level entrance.   My law school campus is an urban campus, and if you wanted to avoid the scrutiny of the main entrance, which is upstairs, you entered through the unmanned lower level. I was sitting alone at a table doing what I do best “contemplating life” and he sat down.  If he told me his name, I don’t remember it.  All I remember is a rather…

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Microaggressions Experienced By Women in Law School

Having just finished my first month of classes as a 1L at law school, I see now how classes, cold calls, and reading assignments can really wear people down and precipitate impostor syndrome. While we fight off self doubts, it is particularly disheartening to also have to defend ourselves from microaggressive commentary—little hints here and there that suggest people’s surprise that I am Harvard material. For example, sometimes when I said I was going to Harvard Law, my conversational partner of the moment would ask, “But did you get accepted?” In response, my internal monologue was usually something like: Ah,…

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Want Career Advice? Look Within First

Most likely, we are all familiar with Robert Frost’s famous opening stanza:             “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,             And sorry I could not travel both             And be one traveler, long I stood             And looked down one as far as I could             To where it bent in the undergrowth.” And most likely, we have been confronted by analysis paralysis at one point or another in our lives. It oftentimes casts a shadow on the plethora of career advice received from various sources – fellow students, professors, seasoned attorneys, mentors who…

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