• Law School

    Overcoming Frustration: Building New Skills in Law School

    Law school makes you a new person. There are many ways that it changes you, good and bad, but its main goal is to provide you a new way to think, write, and argue. And you’re thrown into this situation without much awareness of what’s to come. And when you’re in those classes, it can be really frustrating because all the ways you used to think, write, and argue are not necessarily wrong, but they’re just not right for this setting. Learning new skills is frustrating in general (hello, all my impatient Aries bebes!), but law school makes it worse because it also plays people against each other and makes…

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  • Law School

    What I did Right in Law School

    Surprise, not everything I did in law school was a mess LOL. Though I often share all my mistakes and upsets in law school, I did, in fact, manage to graduate on dean’s list after 1L year and snagged some cool experiences that helped me land employment post-graduation. But I rarely share that mostly because the overwhelming stress and chaos of law school seems to reign supreme. But as many are about to start another semester, I figured it was a good time to share some things that I did right when I was in school. And by “right” I mean that despite the internal doubt and external barriers, I…

  • Law School

    Summer Series: Discovering Public Interest Law

    It’s another Summer Series post! The series where law students, law grads, and pre-laws share what they’re doing for the summer. Today we hear from Amanda, a rising 3L who has not one, but two, roles this summer—working for a major public interest institution and researching for a profession. Learn about her summer and how one class opened up so many more professional opportunities. Hi everyone! My name is Amanda McElfresh, and I am a rising 3L at the University of Kansas School of Law. This summer I have been working for Kansas Appleseed and for a professor at my school as a research assistant.   At Kansas Appleseed, my role…

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  • Law School

    Summer Series: Making it in Big Law

    It’s time for Summer Series! The series where law students, law grads, and pre-laws share what they’re doing for the summer. I’m THRILLED to kick it off with Maria, a rising 3L in Chicago. A point of privilege, is that I’ve had the honor of knowing her before she started law school and have been blown away by how she has mastered this system. Get to know a little about her here and what a day in the life of a summer associate is like! Unlike many of my high school peers, I never considered higher education a realistic aspiration. Between financial instability and navigating the immigration system, I genuinely…

  • Law School

    Three Gentle Truths to Remember A Month Before the Bar Exam

    “It’s going to be the worst summer of your life,” that’s what my trust and estates prof told me one night when our class went out with some professors. She made me so scared for bar prep–here I was a barely making it by as a student (at least that was the vision I had of myself) and here she was, this super successful professor telling me it was going to be horrible. If it was horrible for her, how could I make it? I don’t begrudge the professor’s blunt warning because it did help me prepare for a mental storm that many of us experience during Bar prep. And…

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  • Law School

    Adjusting to Office Work: What Every First Gen Needs to Know

    As summer is getting closer and closer, I’m thinking a lot about my summer experiences in law school. My 1L summer was also the first long-term exposure I had a professional/office setting and I’m so grateful it was in a small social service agency, focused on Latino community because it let me “ease in” to those office standards and it didn’t feel so jarring. Looking back at my other experience, I do think one reason I always felt out of place in the other internships—and thus, didn’t really make the most of my experiences—was because I felt like I was playing a role of a professional rather than being one.…

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  • Law School

    Prepping for Your Summer Internship

    As many of you celebrate the end of the semester, take a sigh of relief to be done with finals, one thing you may also be looking forward to is starting your summer internship! My 1L summer internship was a complete fluke and yet it changed the entire trajectory of my legal career. It opened doors to new opportunities and helped reignite my passion for law and justice after a somewhat turbulent 1L year. I hope that whatever you’re doing this summer, you love it and it adds to your professional development. Thankfully there is not much to do but wait for the internship to start, but, if you’re like…

  • Law School

    Self-Motivation In the Face of Discouragement

    We are on the cusp on making history. Hopefully soon, a new SCOTUS Justice will be confirmed and we’ll have the first Black woman on the bench. If you watched the confirmation hearings you saw that Judge Brown Jackson was grace under pressure and one response was a beautiful description of what it was like to feel so out of place in distinguished spaces. I encourage you to watch it here, which starts around 17:08. But today I want to talk about what happened a few minutes before (around 14:50). Senator Padilla starts his question with a comment about when he was a in high school a well-meaning counselor discouraged…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    The Magic and Panic of Post-Bar Life

    If you took the February Bar, I have one thing to say–CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT!   Ok, I actually have more than one thing to say (obvi). It is such a relief to be done but the reality is that even after putting in all that work, you don’t know the results for weeks and the anxiety of what if can really drag you down. Life post-bar is filled with both the magic of what is possible–your entire career ahead of you. And the panic, “what if I didn’t pass?” It’s a horrible predicament. I remember, still, the weeks after the test where I’d have moments so excited about what…

  • Law School

    How to Prepare if You’re Not Taking a Gap Year

    When you’re in undergrad and know you want to be a lawyer,  there’s a fork in the road where you have to decide whether you’re going to go straight through or take a gap year. I have spoken before on why a gap year is helpful and I do encourage folks to take one. But maybe you’re like me and won’t. In those instances, being in your early/mid-twenties and going into law school does require a little extra preparation to ensure you go in steady on your feet. If I could do it all over again (I’d take a gap year lol) ok but if I was going straight through…

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