Category Archive: Law School Advice

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Maintaining Mental Health At Law School

Above The Law, a legal blog, recently published a fairly disheartening article analyzing a Yale survey study depression and poor mental health in law school. I first read the article shortly after attending a lecture where the speaker told us that February 1 of a student’s first year is, statistically, the most depressing day in law school. With that backdrop in mind, I, as a first year student in the midst of the (objectively) unhappiest period of law school, have some thoughts on the article.

I wish I could tell you I’m surprised by the findings discussed at Above the Law. But I’m not.

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Should You Attend A ‘Practice Ready’ Law School?

With law school enrollment at historic lows, today’s schools are competing harder and harder for a shrinking pool of applicants. Applicants who eventually want jobs. And some schools are trying to entice prospective students with “practice ready” programs. These programs are supposed to prepare you for the real work everyday attorneys do, and, more importantly, turn you into a more attractive candidate for prospective employers.

There’s some evidence that these programs may better prepare students for some practice areas. However, we don’t know whether employers will give any weight to the benefits of practice ready programs in legal hiring. Intuitively it makes sense that, all else being equal, employers would prefer a “practice ready” graduate over one who isn’t.

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How to Get Law School Scholarships

With law students in such high demand, it’s a better time than ever to be thinking about scholarships. Everyone knows that law school is expensive, so I’ll go out on a limb and guess that aspiring students would like to spend less on their legal educations if possible. But how does one obtain mythical scholarship dollars?

There are two rather obvious options: obtaining financial aid directly from your school, and obtaining it through outside organizations.

1. Scholarships From Your School
You’re probably already aware that schools might offer you financial aid when they accept you. However, many prospective law students don’t know that you can attempt to negotiate additional financial aid, or even ask for aid in circumstances where you weren’t offered any.

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Your First Legal Job: How Smart 0Ls Think About The Job Search

One of the most important things for you to think about before entering law school is the type of job that you want when exiting law school. You should begin planning your job search before you even sign up for the LSAT.

Why so early?  Because a successful job search requires a thoughtful, targeted approach.

Employers hire students who:
– Can thoughtfully explain why they want to practice law – not merely why they went to law school.
– Have interned in a legal practice setting to experience the actual day-to-day practice of law.

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1L: How the First Year of Law School Is Like an Avocado

The three years of law school are kind of like the three avocados I bought at the supermarket last week. The first was the most important. It turned into all sorts of fun stuff like guacamole and omelet toppings. I ate a bit of the second one from fear of wasting food. Finally, the third one is pretty moldy and I should probably throw it out.

Likewise, law school may take three years but only one year really counts: the first year. Here’s why…

After your very first semester at law school you’ll send out job applications for the following summer. Your chances of landing a job with a legal theme will depend almost entirely on these first semester grades. Going through your first summer without a legal job would be a disaster.

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From the Archives: Should You Take a Law Preview Class?

Many of you reading this post have either recently graduated from college or will be doing so in the coming days and weeks. While you’re probably concerned with arranging enough tickets for family members you barely know to attend your graduation, the fall season and the beginning of law school have no doubt managed to creep into that brain of yours.

I’m willing to bet dimes and donuts (as my sixth-grade math teacher Mr. Brown once said) that the prospect of your impending matriculation has caused you some worry. How, you ask, will law school be different from undergrad? Do I need to change my study habits? Will I delve ever deeper into an unending caffeine addiction?

Given your consternation, you may have considered taking one of those law school preview classes that seem to be all the rage with the cool kids these days (how do you like my dated slang?).

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From the Archives: Taking Time Off Before Law School is OK

People love to tell you how to land that nice, cushy, Big Law job after graduation. Get straight A’s. Go to a top school. Earn a spot on law review.

All good advice, even if significantly easier said than done.

But what if I told you there’s something you can do right now that would increase your chances of landing a job after graduation almost as much as anything else?

Well, there is! (I sound like Vince from the ShamWow! Commercials; imagine me screaming this last sentence at you.)

Get a job.

Seriously.

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Making Friends With Non-Traditional Law Students Pays Off

Today on the LSAT blog: a guest post by Law School Expert Ann Levine, the former director of admissions for two ABA-approved law schools and the author of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert and The Law School Decision Game: A Playbook for Prospective Lawyers.

You enter 1L Orientation and you look for someone to sit next to, hoping to strike up a friendship. Do you pick the guy your age in a baseball cap or the one who is 20 years older than you?

I recently had the great pleasure of meeting, face-to-face, one of my former clients who is a recent graduate of a law school consistently ranked in the Top 10. His post-bar trip with his wife brought him to Southern California, and my husband and I took them to brunch.

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4 Things You’ll Wish You’d Asked About Your Law School

If you’re going to be a 1L this year, it won’t be long before you’re on campus and drowning in a pile of casebooks. Before you decided on a law school, you no doubt read all the literature about the places where you were accepted. You probably even toured a few schools (travel schedule permitting). You know how impressive your school’s law review is and you know how many books are in the library and you know what your faculty-to-student ratio is. But do you know the things about your school that are actually important?

Here are some things you’ll wish you asked about your law school:

1. How many coffee shops are within walking distance of your domicile?

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Don’t Let Recent Law School Doom and Gloom Get You Down

If you haven’t heard about it yet, a recent study calculated the value of a law degree. The results? One. Million Dollars.

That’s right.

You can read an article on it at the New York Times, or check out Ann Levine’s related article from our LSAT blog a few days ago. And if you’re feeling really ambitious, check out the original paper.

So what gives? Recent reporting on law school has focused on how big of a mistake it can be. Doom and gloom have been the name of the game, and there hasn’t been much push-back. Even law schools have been reacting to sobering employment statistics by decreasing enrollments.