Archives For Law School

hot newsHappy Friday! Here is a roundup of some of our favorite news articles and law school tips from the week:

Weigh the Benefits, The Risk of Attending a New Law School (U.S. News Education)

Some new law schools are experimenting with new curriculums that allow students to have concentrations. But what are the risks?

Law Schools Devise Debt-Free Path to Degree (Politico)

Some law schools are exploiting the loophole that could lead to billions of dollars in written-off federal student debt.

A Life Outside Law School—Just Breath (Ms. JD)

Next week law school classes start up again, so this week is 1L Orientation. Here are some great tips for making it through that first week.

Which Law Schools Have the Best Return on Investment (Above the Law)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the value of a law degree and ATL shares why degrees from some law schools are worth more than others.

Off the Beaten Path: First Lady Michelle Obama (jdMission)

Becoming a lawyer is not the only path you can take after graduating from law school. JdMission takes a closer look at Michelle Obama’s career path.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.

Happy FridayHappy Friday! Here is a roundup of some of our favorite articles from the week:

5 Reasons Why a Sense of Humor is Crucial to Grad School Success (Grad Hacker)

A sense of humor is crucial to grad school survival, and this is true for a number of reasons.

Which Law Schools’ Grads Run Biglaw? An ATL Infographic (Above the Law)

In honor of Shark Week, ATL has created a fun infographic that reveals which law schools’ graduates are the big fish in Biglaw.

Learn to Read, Write Like a Law Student Before Classes Start (U.S. News Education)

Entering 1L in the fall? Here are some tips for how to learn new vocabulary and practice your writing skills before classes begin.

Few Minorities in Law School? Don’t Blame the LSAT, Prof Says (Daily Report)

University of Virginia School of Law Professor, Alex Johnson Jr., says many minorities misapply to law schools that their grades don’t qualify for.

How to Avoid Losing Your Mind in Law School (Business Insider)

Impossible exams, tough professors, and all-nighters will permeate the next three years. Here are some tips for staying sane in law school

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.

For those of you who took the June test and for those of you taking October with plans to apply in the fall, you’re probably hard at work already on your personal statement, or will be soon. Here are the five most important things to keep in mind when it comes to writing a fantastic personal statement, if you ask me.

Personal Statement

1. Don’t skip brainstorming. The reason groups brainstorm, and the reason you should before you start writing your personal statement, is that it is the best way to get every idea “out there” instead of just going with the first thing that comes to mind. Why? Because believe it or not, the first thing that comes to mind is not necessarily your best idea. Before you pick up a laptop or pen and begin drafting, spend 15 minutes filling two to three pages with possible topics. Do not cross anything out. Don’t erase or delete anything. The point of this exercise is to come up with as many ideas as possible—however wacky, silly or strange it seems.When you finish, you will probably be surprised at how freeing the exercise felt. Now, you have a whole list of potential directions for your essay and are not locked into to any one or two.

2. It should be about you. Your personal statement is meant to be about you, not about your best friend, or your sister, or even how you think the world works. Of course you will include some discussion of the world around you and the people in your life to make your story clear and meaningful, but you should be writing much more about yourself than about anything else. Good questions to keep in mind are: how did you feel when X happened? How did it change you? What did you learn from it?

3. Talk about something that you learned. Stories about how you came to be who you are today are interesting. Stories about how you always were who you are today because you have not changed over the years are less interesting. “I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was three” may be true, but this kind of statement is not effective in a personal statement. Here is why. First, people like to hear about change, about discovery. They do not like to read about a lack of it. And second, generally, stories about how you came to realize your career choice do not take place in elementary school, or even middle school. You are just a kid then, and you think like a kid then. The only “kid” stories that should be featured in your essay are ones that help tell the story of how you became who you are today–and, for the vast majority of us, that’s going to include a heavy chunk of adulthood (or teenage-hood).

4. Look for connections that are not obvious. Have you had parallel experiences in your life that led you to a particular discovery, even though the experiences themselves seem unrelated on the surface? Or perhaps you expected Point A to lead to Point B, and it did. But then it turned out that Point B was not what you had anticipated. Rather than telling the first story that comes to mind because it feels like it has a nicely shaped beginning, middle and end, tell it the way it really did happen, and you could end up with something more honest, interesting and original. You will be shaping it in later drafts, anyway.

5. Don’t send it in without having someone else read it. Even if you are convinced it’s perfect, you should still have someone go over your essay with fresh eyes, because I would bet that it includes at least one typo you are missing. Once, in college, I pulled an all-nighter writing a paper. I submitted it at 9 a.m. the next morning then promptly crashed. I woke up a few hours later and walked to my desk, where the file was still open on my computer. I skimmed the first sentence. It had no verb. Are you thinking that means it was not a sentence? Yes. That is exactly what that means. My first sentence of my final paper was not actually a sentence. This is why you should have someone else review your work.

Check out the Telling Your Story column on jdMission’s blog for more.

LSAT NewsWe’re just over two short months away from the October LSAT! When you need a break from studying, have a look at some of our favorite law school news and tips from the past week:

Revenues Up at Larger Law Firms (The National Law Journal)

The revenue picture for law firms in 2012 was bright for large law firms — and bleak for smaller shops.

Law School Problems, Proposed Reforms Could Affect Colleges (U.S. News Education)

Extending gainful employment regulations could help ensure the federal government receives a good return on its investment in legal education.

Is Law School Worth it? The Debate is Reignited (Deseret News)

Deseret News shares some info from a recent draft paper, “The Economic Value of a Law Degree,” by a Seton Hall law professor and a Rutgers economist.

Ignore the Haters, Law School is Totally Worth the Cash (The Washington Post WONKBLOG)

The Washington Post discusses whether the amount of money law graduates make is greater than the amount they would have made if they hadn’t gone.

LSAT Sanity: But I Studied This- I Should Know How To Do It! (Part 1) (jdMission)

Manhattan Prep instructor Stacy Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.

news and glassesHappy Friday! Here is our weekly roundup of law school tips and popular news:

How Can We Fix Law School? Six Experts Opine (Above the Law)

Above the Law shares what six trusted experts have to say about the various law school reform proposals.

Law Schools Consider June Exam Scored for Fall Entrants (JD Journal)

Some law schools are now accepting LSAT scores from the June examinations when their previous exam deadline was in February.

Oh Wait, Is Law School Actually a Good Deal? (Washington Monthly)

New study shows that the law school earnings premium has not deteriorated since the economy collapsed five years ago.

Like Outside Law School: Run the Race (Ms. JD)

For all of those rising 1L’s out there, gearing up to start law school next month, this post is for you.

Are You Setting Yourself Up For a Résumé Red Flag? (The Girl’s Guide To Law School)

A rising 3L at an Ontario law school explains the unexpected pitfalls she encountered after following a side interest that BigLaw firms did not fully appreciate.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.

iStock_000018697230XSmallHappy Friday! Here’s another weekly roundup of law school news:

The Upside of Law School (Inside Higher Ed)

A new report tells a very different side of the recent tales of law school. It suggests that earning a law degree will, in fact, pay off.

Law School Enrollment Plummets, But Not at Harvard (Bloomberg Businessweek)

The crisis in the law school economy, long predicted, is devastating third-tier and some second-tier institutions, not the super-elite.

Debating, Yet Again, the Worth of Law School (DealBook)

DealBook presents some interesting stats and addresses the recent debate about whether law schools is worth what it cost students.

ABA May Ditch Law School Student-to-Faculty Ratio Rule (The National Law Journal)

The American Bar Associations’ rules governing the size of law school faculties may soon be a thing of the past.

Ten Competencies Law Schools Should Teach—But Don’t (Associates Mind)

Associates Mind reviews ten competencies that are essential for new lawyers to possess, yet are undervalued or just not taught in law school.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.

iStock_000006518705XSmallHappy Friday! Here’s this week’s roundup of great tips and news about law school and the legal profession:

LSAT Sanity: I Didn’t Get the Score…(Part 1) (jdMission)

Still bummed about your June LSAT score? Manhattan Prep instructor, Stacey Koprince, answers what you should do if you did not get the score you wanted.

14 Reasons Law Schools Must Teach Tech (Information Week)

As technology reshapes both the way law firms run and the law itself, Information Week shares why law schools must also morph.

Law School Grads See Increases in Salaries and Jobs (Birmingham Business Journal)

The law school Class of 2012 found more jobs and had higher starting salaries, but the large class size hurt the overall employment rate for those new graduates

Perfectionism and the Myth of the Law Student Superhero (Survive Law)

Are you a perfectionist? Here is some great insight from a law school grad who debunks the myth of the law school superhero.

How I’m Going to Law School for Free (The Billfold)

One current law student talks about how he is earning his JD on a 100% scholarship.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.

 

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Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Happy Fourth of July weekend everyone! We hope everyone who took the June 2013 LSAT received their scores and are excited to take the next step in the law school application process. Here are some law school tips and news that could help you out!

Smart Ways to Leverage Law School Forums (U.S. News Education)

Prospective students should review a school’s website before the forum to better tailor questions for representatives.

The Panic and the Madness…It’s OCE Time! (Ms. JD)

Ms. JD shares some helpful tips and strategies for acing the On Campus Interview.

The LSAT Retake Dilemma (Law School Podcaster)

June 2013 LSAT scores are finally here and maybe you’re not satisfied with your score. This podcast that features Manhattan LSAT’s Noah Teitelbaum addresses your questions about retaking the exam.

A Summer Associate Interview (Above the Law)

Want to learn more about summer associateships? Above the Law talks to a current associate about what it’s like to work in Biglaw.

VIDEO: Bar President: 3Ls Should Get Paid for Internships (Bloomberg Law)

John Thies, president for the Illinois State Bar Association, talks about his organization’s report on the impact of law school debt on the delivery of legal services.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.

Note: The following is a guest post by Alison Monahan of The Girl’s Guide To Law School.

Congratulations! You’ve mastered the LSAT and managed to get yourself admitted to law school. The world is your oyster, right? Not so fast! It’s easy to get caught up in the getting-into-law-school process and forget about what comes next….successfully getting through law school and becoming a lawyer.

Not to worry, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your 1L year, and beyond:

  • Know why you’re there. Presumably you had to come up with some reason you wanted to go to law school for your applications. Well, now’s the time to really get clear on why you’re going. There are no right answers to this question, but – let’s face it – law school is a three-year slog with an uncertain outcome. There will be times where you feel like chucking the whole thing and going home. (And, in some cases, that might not be a bad idea.) Keeping your eye on the end goal, whatever it is, can really help when times get tough and you’re not sure you’re motivated to continue.
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  • Go to class and keep up with the reading. I’ll argue with some of the goody-two-shoes advice that’s out there about law school (no, I don’t think you have to brief every case to do well), but there are two things I consider non-negotiable: class and the reading. Going to class is a no-brainer. You’re paying a lot of money to be there, and you need to figure out what your professor thinks is important. Doing the reading, particularly first semester, is similarly critical, because you’re going to learn how to “think like a lawyer” (to the extent that’s even a thing, see below) by osmosis. If you skip the cases and just read supplements or canned briefs, you might get the gist of the argument, but you’re missing out on a whole universe of understanding about how legal arguments are structured, how certain terms of art are used, and so on. Even if it’s a time-consuming drag, do the reading initially. You’ll thank me later.
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  • Think about what’s worked for you in the past. By the time you get to law school, you’ve gone through – what? – at least sixteen years of school. At some point, you probably figured out a bit about how your own brain works, and how you learn most effectively. You don’t have to forget all of this just because you’re starting law school. As the Dean of my school said at Orientation, “Thinking like a lawyer is really just thinking. Don’t make it more complicated than it actually is.” You already know how to think…so feel free to fall back on that when things get confusing.
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  • Experiment early on and track your results. On the other hand (you knew this was coming – I’m a lawyer!) it’s useful to experiment with different learning techniques early in your law school career. Everyone will tell you to brief cases and make outlines. Will that work for you? Who knows. (Neither one worked for me, because I’m a very visual learner.) When you come across a suggestion that seems reasonable, try it and see if you like it. Even better, try different approaches and track your results. Do you feel really prepared for certain classes when you brief cases? Fine, maybe that’s a worthy investment of time. But if your professor focuses on policy questions and barely touches on the facts of a case, it’s probably a waste to write out detailed briefs. (And in any case, never lose sight of the real task – preparing for exams.) Notice, too, I said to experiment early. By mid-semester, you shouldn’t be casting about for new ideas…just pick what seems most effective and go with it. You don’t have time to be switching horses at that point.
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  • Good confusion vs. bad confusion. I totally stole this from one of my favorite professors, because it’s important. In law school, there’s “good confusion” and “bad confusion” and it’s critical to understand the difference (because you’re going to spend much of your time feeling confused, one way or another). Bad confusion is when you have no clue what something means. Good confusion is when you understand all the arguments, but you can’t come to any firm conclusions. Good confusion is okay, helpful even. Bad confusion needs to be ruthlessly eradicated as soon as possible. Using a timely example, let’s take the Prop 8 case that was just decided by the Supreme Court. They threw it out on “standing” grounds. Bad confusion = having no idea what standing means. Good confusion = not being able to say with any certainty whether the appellants had standing in the Ninth Circuit. If you’re unclear about that, join the club. Maybe you should be a Supreme Court justice! There’s rarely a clear-cut answer in law school, so don’t panic about being confused. Just make sure it’s the right type of confusion.

There you have it! If you follow these suggestions, I think you’ll find law school isn’t impossibly hard, and might even be kind of fun. Best of luck.

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Alison Monahan is the founder of The Girl’s Guide to Law School and the co-founder of Law School Toolbox and Bar Exam Toolbox. If you’d like help getting ready for law school, check out her Start Law School Right Course, which begins in early July. 

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Hoping LSAT scores are released soon!

Still looking for something to do while you wait for LSAC to release  the June 2013 LSAT scores? Check out this week’s roundup of great tips and news about law school and the legal profession:

10 Things Every Summer Associate Needs to Know (The Careerist)

Here are 10 essential tips from Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In—Women, Work and the Will to Lead, that apply to lawyers (both men and women) and summer associates.

Vault Law 100 (Vault)

The 2014 Vault Law 100 is here. Nearly 17,000 law associates rated law firms based on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige.

Law Firms Hiring! (JD Journal)

Law School graduates can expect better returns, better job opportunities, and overall more hiring by larger firms, says JD Journal.

10 Surprising Things I Learned in Law School (Parade)

Attorney Vibeke Norgaard Martin and Matthew Frederick (creator, editor, and illustrator of the 101 Things I Learned series) offer insights into the world of law that can benefit everyone.

Can Law School Grading Be More Fair? (Above the Law)

Above the Law considers the proposals of one law professor who has thought through some modest ways to make grading exams “something less of a random crapshoot.”

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT.