alisonmonahan

An Invitation to the Catapult 2013 Conference!

We'd like to extend a special invitation to the Ms. JD community! You're invited to attend Catapult 2013: Tools for a 21st Century Legal Career, an innovative new conference happening on April 13th in San Francisco at the Bar Association.And, because you're awesome, we've set up a special Ms. JD discount code:"MS-JD" for 10% off student/non-attorney tickets"MS-JD-CLE" for 10% off attorney tickets What is Catapult?Catapult is your chance to develop the skills you'll need to launch your legal career, and take it to the next level. It covers all the stuff you're probably not getting from your law school: marketing,…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go To Law School: Big Brother is Watching!

I’m not saying this to make you paranoid, but – in law school – anything you say can (and will) be used against you. Particularly if you say it publicly!This can play out in a number of different ways: How will your classmates remember you? What sort of reputation are you building for yourself in law school? Are you the competent, friendly person who stays calm in the face of pressure? Or are you the nitwit who raises your hand in every, single class to talk about your experiences “working on the Hill” (as in, your three month college internship in…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go To Law School: They Really Are Speaking Greek (Okay, Latin)

Have you ever tried to learn a foreign language by immersion? I have, and I’m terrible at it! A few summers ago, I had a meltdown in a Barcelona shoe store (after making myself understood) and ended up buying shoes that were too small, just to get out of the store before I started crying. And, yes, every time I try to wear these shoes I’m reminded of the event. It’s pretty annoying. Welcome to LegalLandWell, law school’s a lot like foreign language immersion. It’s totally normal to feel like you don’t understand much of anything, and always say the…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: It Helps to Know What Job You Want on Day One

Editors Note: Ms. JD is pleased to be sharing some of our favorite posts about success in law school as part of our commitment to helping you start the school year off right.  If you're enjoying these tips, sign up for Ms. JD's National Women Law Students Organization.  You'll get Ms. JD's top blog posts delivered to your inbox every Friday, special notification about Ms. JD events in your area, and a once-monthly newsletter designed specifically for law students all for free! To join, click here.When I went to law school, I thought I’d have a good couple of years…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Got to Law School: It Might Be All In Your Head!

I’m afraid what I’m about to say might offend some of you, but bear with me. The truth is that you’re probably making law school harder than it needs to be! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying law school’s easy. But…it’s not THAT hard, if you can figure out how to keep your s**t together, and spend your time and energy on learning the material. (Rather than wasting it trying to pull yourself out of the pit of despair you fell into a week ago when you were cold-called and your answer wasn’t perfect.)   It’s Okay if You’re…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: You Actually Have to Teach Yourself “The Law”

I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when I showed up to law school and purchased my textbooks. One glance revealed that these were quite different from my undergraduate books. What was up with all of these long cases, followed by a string of questions with no answers? Weren’t these books supposed to teach me “the law”? I definitely wasn’t seeing too many answers! Here’s a little secret: You basically have to teach yourself “the law” in law school! How in the World Can You Teach Yourself? I’ve been thinking a lot about law school pedagogy lately, and reading…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: You’re Entering a Sexist Profession

Maybe I was hopelessly naive, but it really never occurred to me that I'd be treated differently in the legal profession because I was a woman. I spent the several years before law school in a heavily male-dominated profession (software), and never had any issues. I'd done a previous graduate degree, same thing. All my life, I'd been "one of the guys" and I'd never had much interest in stereotypically female pursuits such as shopping and talking on the phone. Frankly, I decided at a young age it was a better long-term plan to be smart than to be cute,…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go To Law School: It Doesn’t Have to Be That Hard

When I look back on my law school "career," I realize I made things a lot harder than they needed to be. Sure, I did some stuff right, but I did a lot of stuff wrong! To help you avoid such a fate, I offer 10 suggestions for making law school easier: Worry less about class. Do I think you should go to class regularly? Sure – it’s a useful way to figure out what your professor is thinking. But try to stress out less about it! If you’ve done the reading, and are generally prepared, that’s enough. You’re not…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: This Might Be a Bad Financial Decision

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: This Might Be a Bad Financial Decision Thankfully, word’s starting to get out that law school might not be the way to make the big bucks (or even to make enough to eat while paying back your student loans). But let’s break it down. If you’re a prelaw getting ready to accept an offer of admission, what do you need to consider? The school might be cooking the books. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that a bunch of law schools have been sued over their supposedly misleading…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go To Law School: It’s Impossible to Know If You’re Making “The Right” Choice

A lot of people go to law school because they think it’s “the right” thing to do. Maybe they’ve always been argumentative, or never really liked math, or have a vague idea that a career in law would be exciting and lucrative (just like on TV!). Social pressure starts building, no entry-level jobs materialize, and – before you know it – you’re sitting for the LSAT! Things go pretty well, fee waivers appear, and, just like that, it’s time to start classes. Whoa, what just happened?!? Let’s take a collective deep breath, shall we, and back up. How can you…

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