Tag Archive: 1L

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LSAT Instructor: The Second Semester Blues

J. Peterman: Bad news, people. Peggy is home sick.
Elaine: Oh, please.
J. Peterman: She’s stuffed up, achy, and suffering from intense malaise.
Elaine: Oh, come on, we all have intense malaise. Right?

Second semester of 1L is notoriously rough.


You get your first semester’s grades. Back in November, a professor pointed out that none of us were used to being B students, but a fair chunk of us would become B students. The curve demands Bs, and a lot of ‘em. Even if you beat the curve, you’re bummed for your friends that didn’t, but deserved to.

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Logical Reasonings / 3.25.15

A) Which law schools got the most applications last year? I’m glad you asked. Above the Law

B) Ms. JD recently held their seventh annual conference aimed at increasing gender equality in the legal profession. Check out the recap from Eileen Conner.

C) Law School Toolbox on how to get comfortable before your first semester of law school. This is all good advice, but isn’t the real answer just SuperCouch?

D) Less than a year after his return from Taliban custody, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl faces court martial and life in prison. Wall Street Journal

E) Tom Cruise clinging to things is the hip, new meme. Uproxx

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What’s A Law Review?

Before I decided to seriously pursue a career in law or to attend law school, I had a lot of misperceptions about the process of attaining a law degree. I was particularly confused about one aspect of legal education: law review.

It seems like every successful politician or serious academic—assuming they attended law school—was, at one time or another, the editor-in-chief of his or her law review. I knew there was something prestigious about this mysterious position, but I had no idea what it actually entailed. So, now that I’m actually in law school, I’d like to shed some light on law review for all you prospective applicants.

First, what is law review? Law review is an academic journal that publishes articles by professors and other scholars in a variety of legal practices.

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What Kind of Summer Job Can a 1L Get?

For most people, law school is about getting a job. If things go well, you’ll probably have some sort of offer for permanent employment in the fall after your first year. But before you get there, you’ll need to get a job for your first summer. For many, this will be a first look at legal work. You’ll have several options.

Judicial Internships
During a judicial internship you’ll get to work in the chambers of a judge. You probably won’t have a lot of contact with your judge, but you’ll still get to observe cases and you’ll work pretty closely with the clerks.

The great thing about judicial internships is that you get to apply for them before your first semester grades come out.

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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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Logical Reasonings / 12.18.14

A) This essay written by a 3L looking back on her first-year law school self is a must read, and not just because she’s charmingly Austrailian. Survive Law

B) Some profs are dropping discussions of rape law from their criminal law classes due to complaints from sensitive students. ABA Journal

C) If the above story seems crazy to you because rape is a crime, you’re not alone. Above The Law

D) The lead guitarist from Blind Melon is now a legal associate with his JD from a T14 law school. Life is pretty strange, indeed. Wall Street Journal

E) Tonight is the last episode of The Colbert Report. Mourn with sixteen clips of him (hilariously) breaking character. Vulture

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Logical Reasonings / 12.16.14

A) First year enrollment numbers at law schools just hit a 40 year low. In the words of a terrible song, law schools need you like Uncle Joe in Oklahoma needs a rain. ABA Journal

B) A 4-week calendar for December LSAT takers, from friend of the blog Ann Levine. Above the Law

C) 7 higher ed stories to watch in 2015. Education Dive

D) A district court has declared parts of President Obama’s immigration policy unconstitutional, the first step in what is likely to be a long legal battle. Washington Post

E) Cards Against Humanity sold a bunch of shit on Black Friday. Literally. Daily Dot

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The Spooks and Scares of Being a 1L

With Halloween right around the corner, let’s talk about the scariest parts of law school. Now that I’m almost two months into the semester, it is starting to get downright terrifying here at Columbia, and here’s why:

The Ghostly Specter of Final Exams
Nowadays, the mere reference to finals is enough to send me into a minor panic attack. If you’ve ever been on a roller-coaster before, you know the tick-tick-tick sound that accompanies the steep incline that comes right before a sudden, heart-stopping plunge; that is exactly how everything feels right now—there is this slow, steady build-up to the furious intensity and all-consuming stress that will go along with preparing for and taking exams. Up until this point, it has been easy to push the thought out of my mind and put off worrying about it, but now I seem to find myself facing the malignant shade of impending finals at every turn.

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DIY: Spooky Law School Halloween Costumes

I’m halfway through my first semester at law school. I’m starting to think like a lawyer more and more. I look at every decision from both angles, and frankly it’s stressing me out…

I’m having a hard time deciding what I should be for Halloween.

How about a suit made entirely of statutes and cases? Get it? It’s a law suit! Or I could roll out a rug made of statutes and cases and walk on it everywhere I go. I’d be above the law!

Erm, okay. How about…

How about I get one of those toddler sized slides, oil it up, and tape it to myself? I’ll be that old stalwart legal argument: the slippery slope. I guess that could get a bit too messy; plus, I have a bad history with taping objects to my body (don’t ask).

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LSAT Instructor: My First Impressions of Columbia Law School

A few years ago, I watched The Paper Chase for the first time. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the entire movie is basically about the difficulties and stresses of the first year of law school. One of the most famous lines from the film, delivered by a stern and austere law professor is, “Look to your left, look to your right, because one of you won’t be here by the end of the year.”

After watching that movie, I dreaded my 1L year. And though my time at Columbia Law has confirmed some of my less-than-positive expectations, it’s belied others. Let’s start with what’s met my expectations:

Cold Calls
If you know nothing else about law school, you probably know that professors follow the Socratic Method in running their classes—they call on unsuspecting students to answer a variety of questions about that day’s reading.