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Keeping Your Peace the Summer Before Law School!

A quick guide on “How To and Things to Do” It still feels surreal! You’ve tackled the tedious studying of the LSAT. You’ve sent in your applications to your top schools. You’ve received the acceptance letter and it all seems to be happening so fast. Attending law school has been a dream of yours,-your whole life. Just like that you can now say that YOU ARE GOING TO LAW SCHOOL! But now what? The sun is out, the pools are open, and you can smell the fresh lemons from the lemonade stand indicating that summer is finally here, the time…

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Waiting to Exhale: How to Make Self-Care a Daily Practice

“And then I did it. I closed my eyes... and I exhaled—” Savannah Jackson, Waiting to Exhale (1995) A recent study found that approximately 25% of women are likely to leave the legal industry due to mental health issues and stress. Burnout, overcommitment, and work-family conflict were the most cited contributing factors. The study also found that in order to cope, women were more likely to engage in risky, unhealthy habits such as binge drinking, binge eating, lashing out, oversleeping, and prescription drug abuse.  It is that time of year when many women in the legal profession are awaiting the…

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Learning from Failure: Positive Affirmations for Bar Exam Retakers

“I don’t know what your future is. . .  But if you’re willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes . . . then you will not regret it.”   - Chadwick Boseman, 2018 Howard University Commencement Speech.    About 20-30% of bar examiners will fail the bar exam. If you are one of them, you are not the first nor will you be the last person to do so. At the time, it may be difficult to see this “failure” as a learning experience which can help you grow…

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A Guide to Coming Out in Law School

Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth, the decision to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is a brave and beautiful decision. My name is Erika Simonson, and I am a lesbian cisgender woman. While I vividly remember the first time I came out to my parents, I came out to myself long before that day, and I’ve been coming out to the people in my life, new and old, every day since.  Coming out is personal and it will look and feel different for everyone. The process even looks and feels different for the same…

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5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Week When it Seems Downright Impossible

Have you ever found yourself looking at the calendar, wondering where the time went? It feels like there are three days in the week, rather than seven. Every month I find myself saying something like, “There aren’t enough hours in the day!” or, “The weekend went by way too fast” (spoiler: I don’t think weekends will ever feel long enough). But twice a year, I’m genuinely shocked and befuddled that time literally jumped ship (here’s looking at you June and November). By the time we welcome June, half of the year has already gone by. June signals summer – we’ve…

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Resting Before Law School?

Coming into law school as a first-generation law student, I felt pressured to find out as much information as possible to prepare me for what was ahead. Within the first week of applying to law school, I was bombarded with information about expensive online prep courses that promised a "successful first year." I began to see book recommendations that swore they would guide me into the mindset needed for my first year of law school. Along with high-priced course recommendations and out-of-touch books, I began to receive unsolicited advice from people who had never been to law school. The first…

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You can be authentic AND get accepted into your dream law school

    Myth: You need to be the perfect applicant to get into your dream school.   Exactly one year ago, I locked myself in my room, deleted my Twitter, and avoided any outside interactions. There were two reasons for this behavior:  I had just began quarantining from the Coronavirus pandemic, and  I was studying for what I thought was the most important test of my life: the LSAT.  As I spent my days buried in my textbooks and laptop, I wrote the number “173” on a sticky note and placed it onto my mirror. This was the median LSAT…

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The Road Less Traveled: 10 Things to Remember as a First-Generation Law Graduate Sitting for the Bar Exam

“I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.” – Unknown This past year has been a year like no other.  A year full of social unrest, with an unprecedented global pandemic and an economic crisis.  Despite these circumstances, thousands of law school graduates are studying and sitting for the Bar exam.  Many of whom are first-generation law graduates.  Being the first is never easy.  When you are the first, you’re repeatedly in the position where you learn life lessons through "trial by error."  As a first-generation law student, you often create the course rather than have a path to follow. Sometimes the…

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The Neurodiverse Guide to Bar Exam Accessibility

It’s hard enough to study for the bar. It shouldn’t be harder if you learn differently.             I always end up reflecting on some form of isolated feeling during law school. As an autistic law student, I often felt alone. I didn’t know anyone else who had a similar disability until nearly the end of my 3L year and I spent law school accommodating myself in how I studied, took notes, and navigated the law school culture.             I’m hardly the only one who was neurodivergent in law school, in law practice, or in that…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: I did it!

Welcome to my final blog for Writers in Residence of 2020! I did it! As my Writers in Residence blog comes to an end, I can’t be prouder of myself. I stepped out of my comfort zone and blogged! I’m officially a blogger. Correction: a Ms. JD blogger. I have truly enjoyed this journey and I love my Ms. JD family! I have shared with you how I juggle wearing many hats, how it affects my daily life and how my A-type personality can be both a blessing and a curse. I have shared some of my personal experiences regarding my…

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