Tag Archive: law school

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Building Your Law School Application: The Personal Statement

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about the first step in the law school application process–collecting letters of recommendation. If you thought that sounded terrible (and believe me, you’re not alone in thinking that), then you’re in for a rude awakening. This post is about a far worse part of the application process–the personal statement. As if writing a personal statement for undergrad wasn’t bad enough, you have to write another, more heavily scrutinized personal statement for your law school applications ( “hello darkness my old friend…”).

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Is the California Bar Exam really that hard?

California has always had a reputation for having a very tough bar exam, perhaps going beyond a test of minimal competence. In fact, the passage rates on the California bar are so low that now it seems that the cut-off score for passing the bar in California will be lowered by the Supreme Court of California (the legal profession in each state is regulated by that state’s highest court) sometime in the fall or winter. What’s more, the new, lower cut-off will apply retroactively to people who fail the bar exam this July.

The reason for this score shakeup is that the California bar exam is too tough. Let’s see how tough it really is.

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What to do the summer before 1L?

For those who are done with the LSAT and have gotten into law school, congratulations! At this point, you’re probably starting to think about how you should spend the summer before 1L, the dreaded first year of law school, begins. I had the same question three years ago. I talked to a lot of law students and lawyers about it, and I’m going to share their insights and my thoughts here.

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Building Your Law School Application: Letters of Recommendation

For those of you who are happy with how the June LSAT went, it is time to start thinking about getting your application materials together. If you’re thinking, “Wow, I just got done studying and taking a stressful exam, the last thing I want to do is start jumping through a bunch of application hoops,” well…this is just the beginning. Strap in for three years of academic hoop-jumping, culminating in a much worse examination (excuse my negativity, bar studying is taking its toll on me).

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Going Above Above the Law: What to Take from Above the Law’s Law School Rankings

The new Above the Law ranking of the top 50 law schools in the U.S. is out again. And so is a self-critical review of the ranking, which is very fair, though a bit too in love with Yale. Want to know whether these rankings are the definitive rankings of law schools? Whether you’ll be a slightly less accomplished person if you attend, say, UCLA Law School (ranked #25) as opposed to, say, University of Illinois Law School (ranked #22). Here’s my take.

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A Rant Against the Bar from Someone Who, Unrelated, Just Started Studying for the Bar

The bar exam is a waste of time. I’m not sure why it exists. So here goes my rant against the bar exam.

Sophisticated parties like corporations, government departments, and law firms don’t need the bar exam to tell them who can handle their legal work. These organizations have both the self-interest and the ability to do their own vetting. In fact, pretty much everyone at these organizations is hired out of law school years before they sit for the bar exam. So who’s the bar exam supposed to protect?

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Looking Back on Law School, Upon Graduation

In two days, I am going to graduate from law school. This post, like Yuko’s from last week, is going to provide some reflections on my experience over the last three years.

Looking back, the first year of school was exactly as bad as everyone says. The first semester, in particular, was extraordinarily stressful. I often felt lost, I dreaded cold calls, and I never felt like I was on top of the material. Not even rose-colored glasses can improve the situation. If you’re planning on going to law school, you shouldn’t expect anything different—you’re in for a trial by fire.

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Some Real Talk on Student Loans

Student loans are in the news again. This time, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has announced that her department is rescinding some policies issued by the Obama administration. It’s all a bit complicated, but the rescinded policies were aimed at changing how student loans are serviced, with some emphasis on protecting borrowers by ensuring adequate customer service.

It’s hard to tell exactly how the new approach will shake out. But let this be a reminder: student loans are something to approach very carefully. Lenders aren’t on your side. In today’s environment, only you can protect yourself.