“Plus, I’ll be honest: law school has caused me to lose what few brain cells I had. They were all like, “we quit this bitch,” and ran off to Cancun to go get drunk and do body-shots off of cute co-eds. They’re so dumb, my brain cells are.”—
“I feel like a lot of people get super-crazy-stressed and don’t take time to be human. I, personally, enjoy being human, and I try to find time to breathe here and there.”—Mariel, who is setting herself apart as one of the best 1L bloggers
“5. Do not worry about minutiae. Minutiae includes memorizing case names, judge names, the name of the court in which was heard, the state in which the court sat, and so forth. Some professor may or may not bust your chops over this in class some day, but I promise - PROMISE - you it will not be relevant to the exam. The exam will test your facility with the rules and your ability to apply them to the facts. It will not ask for nor will it reward trivial details that do not bear on the core rules and principles the cases for which you read stand.”—The Shark with 8 study tips for 1Ls, most of which I agree with
“Blogging is fun! Or, at a minimum, it is an exercise in creativity and expression that has very little to do with actually being in law school. And that, frankly, is pretty nice.”—Thanks, But No Thanks with a massive post on the ins and outs of law school blogging
“We don’t think you’re stupid. You just got caught on the one thing you didn’t know. Or you got flustered. Or you misunderstood the question. Or any number of things that don’t involve your intelligence. Law school is hard–for all of us.”—Laura on why you shouldn’t sweat the Socratic Method
“Being a 3L was supposed to be easier. Being a 3L was supposed to mean fewer classes, fewer commitments, no more job worries. Freedom from highlighters and those goddamn colored plastic tabs.”—Virgin In The Volcano on the lies they told us
“3) Study rooms are not soundproof booths. Less shrieking, less screeching, less squee. Many of you have not yet figured out that you are staring down the barrel of a buttload of work, and that you would do well to use less time gossiping.”—Laughing on study room etiquette
“As lawstudents, I think we often view laws as the Ultimate Truth- this is because outcomes turn on what the laws say and how they are interpreted. But we shouldn’t forget that those laws establishing “justice” and “order” are often merely what the majority of people (or even just a handful of people) think are “just” and may be a far cry from what they should be.”—Starting to Melt on seeing law school for what it really is
“And despite the bi-annual sighting of unusual lights, sounds, and figures around law school libraries it has never been confirmed that evening law students are actually descended from a superior alien race of robots that accidentally landed at the North Pole more than century ago and are part of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil.”—Casebook Sherpa on how part-time law students get it all done.
All of these are great for law school. This one is the best:
9. Call to action. The content of documents that are simply informative are rarely retained very well. Most business communication is meant to achieve some purpose, so make sure they include a call to action – something that the reader is expected to do. Even better, something the reader should do right now. Don’t leave it to your readers to decide what to do with whatever information you’ve provided – most won’t even bother, and enough of the ones who do will get it wrong that you’ll have a mess on your hands before too long.
Remember that all legal writing is persuasive. A memo or brief should always be telling someone what’s what or asking for something.
They actually aren’t all great for law school. #12 will get you kicked out.
“I think of time in law school as something that is made and not “had.” I make time to blog because it forces me to take a step back and think about my day.”—Jansen with some of the best tips on blogging you’ll ever find
“I think it’s frustrating because there are so many interesting people in my class who’ve done and studied so many amazing and interesting things, and yet….we talk about class….or the test…or outlines.”—Mariel with another reason why having a social life in law school is so hard … people don’t cooperate
I realized yesterday that after five days of Civil Procedure, the above four words plus the two symbols represented the sum total of notes I’ve taken during class. In case you’re curious, that’s 28 letters, or 30 characters total if you count the equal signs.
”—law school ninja, who has figured out the central point of Civ Pro quicker than most
“The downside is that reciting information from memory is slightly more verbose than a tightly-worded issue statement in a brief.”—TDot on briefing from memory. You would be shocked how effective talking to yourself is as a law school study practice.
“Law students are not misguided or irrational. Law schools may not be giving them the full scoop, but I think students are seeing through these stories and making pretty sophisticated judgments about the costs (including opportunity costs) and benefits of legal education.”—Larry Ribstein on why contrary to popular belief, you aren’t crazy for going to law school.
“Legal writing professors often tell first-year law students that one only becomes a good legal writer through practice and hard work. This is of course a lie that is meant to keep 1Ls from realizing that they are paying thousands of dollars in tuition for a class that in effect teaches them a citation format which may arbitrarily change at any given point in the near future. The truth is, like anything else, legal writing can be learned through tricks, short-cuts, and the latest in cutting-edge methods of obscuring plagiarism.”—My Legal Fiction, on some of the dirty little secrets of legal writing.
“Let’s clear up something about networking: networking is not beaming your peers with business cards or mass-adding people on facebook and LinkedIn. Networking is simply building a base of meaningful acquaintances. A meaningful acquaintance is someone who is aware of your talents, goals, reputation. This is the difference between someone who knows that you are another law student, and someone who knows that you are interested in asylum law. The acquaintance aware of your interests is more likely to remember and recommend you if an asylum law related opportunity comes up.”—Jansen writing for The Shark on networking in law school. I probably need to do some version of the definitive “networking/reputation/social life in law school” post sooner rather than later.
“Who cares if the kid next to you wrote five briefs of every case and puts everything on note-cards for back-up? Who cares that the kid next to him didn’t do anything? Mosey on along your merry way, and do what helps you best retain the information.”—Mariel on worrying about yourself
“The more I learn about this lawyering deal, the more I think I’ll become aware of just how much it can suck to be a client and why I should pay attention to what I’m doing.”—Mariel on why law school matters
Huma shares some thoughts on dressing for law school. Law school does take all types, but some of my best memories from law school were studying in the library during the winter after I had tried just a little bit harder to look put together.
“Many of you 1Ls will find out that law students love to give advice. The motives for the advice givers are mixed (cue the Eurythmics). Some upperclassmen are condescending or just want to see how long it will take to make you cry, but I suspect that most students genuinely want to be helpful.”—Jansen posting at The Shark on why you need take all law school advice with a grain of salt.
Another example of how self-help is becoming more common in courts. If all you’re investing $100K and three years to help someone do something they could learn to do themselves for $25 in a couple weeks, that’s not a good deal. Decide to do something special with your J.D.