jspitznagel11

Raising the Bar: The Fiscal Cliff

The fiscal cliff is looming as a result of a deal made last year between the President and Congress. What it is, is an agreement to increase taxes while cutting spending (in areas such as defense and education) that will come into effect on December 31st. The prevalent economic analysis shows that the economy, which is slowly starting to edge out of a recession, will be plunged backwards under the strain of such a change. As of now, the President and Congress have not been able to reach an agreement to prevent the US economy from falling off of the…

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Raising the Bar: the UBE

The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is a standardized bar exam that is currently being considered as a revolutionization of the traditional Bar Exams administered in each state. As of now, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, Alabama and Arizona have all adopted the UBE. The UBE was originally considered due to the economic recession and the subsequent difficulty that recent law graduates faced looking for jobs. States that have adopted the UBE have done so to give new lawyers new opportunities to move around and pursue job opportunities. It makes the difference between having to wait for an…

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Raising the Bar: Gaslighting

This article, "A Message to Women from a Man: You are not crazy," is a great summary of challenges that still exist for women in our personal and professional lives. It describes "gaslighting", a phenomenon where men invalidate a woman's emotions. A woman will confront a man about her anger or sadness about something that a man has said or done, and the man will respond with some variation of "You're overreacting. You're crazy. Is it that time of the month again?" Every woman will experience gaslighting at some point in their life: whether at work, at home, or even…

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Raising the Bar: Tips for Interviews

For many recent grads, even if we have a job that pays the bills, we're looking for a job that can provide better experience or benefits. The job search process is exhausting, time-consuming, and can take a lot of work for what feels like little or no reward. Not to mention cover letters are a pain to write. When you hear back and get that interview, it can feel like the pressure's on. Taken from Inc.com's "5 Questions Great Job Candidates Ask" (http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/5-questions-great-job-candidates-ask-interviewers.html?nav=pop), here are some things potential employers are looking to hear: 1. What should I accomplish within 60-90 days? Both you…

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Raising the Bar: Getting the most out of LinkedIn

Social networking is becoming an accepted fact of life. The person who doesn't have facebook or twitter is about as rare as a unicorn. But professional networking is also becoming accepted as a way to keep connections and get your resume out there. Here are 5 steps to maximize your LinkedIn account: 1. Take the free webinar. LinkedIn offers free webinars that help you build your profile and attract offers based on data they've collected on what's worked for other users. 2. List all of your accomplishments, and give as much detail as you can. Whenever you publish a paper or achieve…

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Raising the Bar: What I tell friends who ask my advice on going to law school

... don't do it!! Even if the Bar, the clients, and the insane hours you'll have if you're lucky enough to get a top-level job don't deter you, these things should: Debt. College graduates are struggling with debt; law schools leave their students with a crippling amount of it. According to an NPR article, the current loan setup for college and graduate schools will create what is known as loan perpetuity: getting a higher education degree will guarantee debt, but not a job. Such debt impacts both the debtor and their families and partners, and can even determine long-term decisions such…

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Raising the Bar: In Defense of Document Review

Document review: a task performed by attorneys in anticipation of legal proceedings. The type of review can vary from hour to hour, and usually involves contract attorneys. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Document_review). It's definitely not a sexy post-law school job to have. I know, because I'm working as a document review attorney for a firm right now. The hours can be long, especially if there's a big rush to get a project done, and it's probably the most tedious aspect of any litigation. It's also a temporary position, and pay can depend from month to month on the caseload of the firm. So, it won't…

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Raising the Bar: Pulling out the stops in a rough economy

In today's economy, it's becoming increasingly difficult for lawyers to find jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, projected employment statistics for lawyers suggest that the numbers of new graduates looking will exceed the number of jobs. I've been asking friends what they've been doing in the meanwhile to find employment. Hanging your own shingleAccording to the BLS, 26% of lawyers are currently self-employed. Self-employment gives new lawyers an opportunity to make a name for themselves and gain experience. However, the lawyer won't have the resources that an established firm could provide, and will not have guidance on avoiding the pitfalls…

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Raising the Bar: Final Strategies and Preparations for the February exam

Happy Valentine's day to a group of people whose main thought is probably "Aaaahhh f*ck, the Bar exam is exactly 2 weeks away!" Hopefully by this time you've gotten a chance to practice enough essays, multiple choice questions and MPT's to feel like you have a hold on them. I would highly recommend building up your stamina for the duration of the exam by taking full-length multiple choice practice exams and devoting a day to MPT's and essays. I'd also recommend adjusting your sleep and studying schedule so that you're used to being awake and using your brain when the exam…

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Raising the Bar: When you have to retake

October 6th, 2011 was the day that they released the pass list for those of us that took the July Bar in Colorado. I'll never forget scanning the list, excitement and anticipation building, then scanning it again, wondering where my name was. However, the next ten minutes are blurry- I vaguely remember that I was calling my mom, clutching the cat, sobbing, and trying to eat a cupcake all at the same time. For those of us that are facing another Bar exam, it's easy to get discouraged. Or pissed off that we'll have to unwrap all of our food and…

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