What I Wish I Knew Before Law School
- Nov 07, 2021
- Law School Advice
We hate to break it to you, but law school isn’t really like what you see in movies. Sure, it would be great if we could all be recruited to work on a big high-profile murder case as a 1L and then discover the one detail during the cross-examination that breaks the case and gets our client off the hook in a climactic description of the dos and don’ts of caring for permed hair….but that’s just the plot of Legally Blonde.
In reality, law school is three(ish) years of hard work, networking, long nights, and reading. A ton of reading. But that’s not the say it’s all work and no play either—we promise.
In fact, although every law school is different, there are still shared experiences nearly every law student will encounter. And there’s no better way to cement your success as a law student than by being prepared for law school before you set foot on campus.
Quimbee, the ultimate resource for law students and legal professionals, gathered a panel of current law students to dish on the things they wish they had known before starting law school. From how they prepped for the LSAT to navigating those competitive law school halls and how to have a school-life balance, no topic was off-limits. Hosted by Blueprint LSAT Academic Manager, Thom Dimmock, and Quimbee’s Erick Cervone, this is a must-watch session for anyone thinking about going to law school.
Watch the Blueprint and Quimbee panel, What I Wish I Knew Before Law School below!
Who is Quimbee?
Quimbee is dedicated to one thing: helping law students graduate at the top of their class and get a high-paying law job. It’s the leading study aid for all law students and legal professionals—think of it as Pro Tip #1.
Use Blueprint LSAT to start your journey to law school and get an acceptance-worthy LSAT score and then run to Quimbee to unlock the secret tools for law school—it’s the perfect formula for success!
What I Wish I Knew Before Law School Transcript
Eric: yeah awesome well again welcome everyone, this is the very first joint webinar between Blueprint LSAT and Quimbee. I’m Eric and I’m joined by Tom from Blueprint LSAT.
Eric: I think lebron James likes to thank you can put together good super team, this is really our super team, we can argue over who’s LeBron and whose A.D. but I think we can we can take the Lakers so i’m really excited about this. I’m excited about all of you guys being here and watching.
Eric: The subject of this is what I wish I knew before going to law school.
Eric: And because I, my law school experience can be described as mediocre, at best, we are joined by three excellent law students and will be introducing that panel here in a minute. I’m excited that they’re all here to join us. And it’s it’s just going to be a fun discussion I think so let’s start with the agenda for tonight really quickly here.
Eric: Again we’re going to start by introducing our pane. I’m going to let Tom do a quick overview of Blueprint. I’ll do a quick overview of Quimbee.
Eric: And then we’ll dive right into that panel discussion. We really are breaking the discussion down into three sections we’re going to be talking about the process before law school considering law school and studying for the LSAT.
Eric: We’re going to talk about the actual application process. And then we’re going to be focusing on the actual experience of law school and, hopefully, these all answer the big questions that you may have when you’re considering the process of applying to law school or of going to law school.
Eric: I didn’t know a single lawyer, when I went to law school, so I wish I had something like this. I’m really excited to have this discussion, I really think there’s gonna be some useful information that’s shared here so I’m excited about this and then hopefully at the end, we should have a few minutes for QandA so again like Tom said, post your your questions in the chat I think we actually have the QandA feature enabled so actually post it there, you can also post it in the chat if you want to do it that way, but we’ll be monitoring both. But let’s start by introducing our panel here so sorry I jumped ahead a little. Zach you mind introducing yourself first?
Zach: Sure yeah hey Zach Corenblum from Birmingham, Alabama. I went to Northeastern University in Boston and then I worked in the tech industry for about three years in New York. 3L at UNC and i’m heading to a law firm called Troutman Pepper in Atlanta after I graduate.
Katelyn: Hi my name is Katelyn Jackson, I went to Oklahoma Christian University, a small school in Oklahoma City and then I am a current 3L at the University of Memphis Law School.
Katelyn: In between undergrad and law school, I was a public school math teacher here in Memphis and after law school I’m going to clerk for a federal district court judge here in Memphis and then I will be working on a commercial litigation team with a firm called Butler Snow.
Megan: Hi everyone i’m Megan Jacobson. I’m a 3L at University of Miami School of Law. I’m graduating this December super excited about that um I did my undergrad at Florida State University. You know, during my law school career, I worked as a real estate agent and I plan to go into real estate law after I graduate. I am going to be working at a local real estate law firm known as Cohen and Cohen, who I interned for the past two summers so all good stuff.
Eric: Great great thanks so much guys and again we’re excited to have you here. We’re excited for the conversation. Let me turn it over now to Thom to talk about Blueprint l said and what it is they do there.
Thom: Alright, so before I start my spiel I want to know i’m in the chat how many of us have yet to take the LSAT? Right, we are pre-LSAT at that stage of our thinking about law school journey.
Thom: Right, I see a couple of uS haven’t taken that. Some of us are studying right now okay good a wonderful.
Thom: Alright, so this will be helpful for this. Oh Karen taking it in November. Good luck. I hope you don’t have the like outage and interruption issues that test takers for the October test day because that was heartbreaking for them. Oh, Kayla you did that’s terrible.
Thom: Okay well so about Blueprint and Blueprint is an LSAT and MCAT company. We’ve been in the business for 15 years. We’ve got the highest average score increase on the market—11 plus points for students in our live classes. And we are all about making the LSAT like understandable, but also as fun as it’s possible for the LSAT to be. I’m going to ask the panelists later, whether you, like, found yourself liking parts of the studying process, I think the hope is that we get people to, like, find the fun parts in it. We’ve got a couple of ways of doing that, as we’ll see on the next slide.
Thom: So what we really liike to highlight is our live course which sort of keeps you accountable to show up and learn the material. But it’s also you get all recordings, you can switch to any other course so it’s got complete flexibility as well, and the real highlight is that we’ve got two different instructors so it’s much more energetic than just a talking head and a slide. And you get to hear two different explanations and points on everything, so it works for multiple different learning styles.
Thom: If you feel like you can do it on your own you can always take the self-paced course and get access to full curriculum and videos online really where we try to put the fun into the LSAT.
Thom: Or if you’ve done a fair amount of studying and you hit a wall and you need some help to sort of boost you past that hurdle to the next level there’s always one on one tutoring as well.
Thom: So right for those of you who haven’t taken the LSAT yet, head on over to our website check out our offerings and I bet you will find that you like what you see.
Thom: Yeah, know you’ve been using Blueprint Self-Paced. Awesome we love to hear it. Okay, and that was Blueprint. Eric back to you and Quimbee.
Eric: Awesome so yeah once you’ve crushed the LSAT with Blueprint, the next step when you get into law school you sign up for Quimbee because at Quimbee we build the things we wish we had in law school. That’s really our slogan. We are a team, a large team of lawyers, we are a team of designers, a team of engineers.
Eric: Fundamentally we’re here to help law students. We were founded in 2007. We’ve grown immensely since then and we’ve helped over 500,000 law students and they crush it and you can see, they love Quimbee these are real reviews that we have on here. If you look at our app store we’ve got high highest ratings, the app store by any metric law students love me that’s what we’re most proud of is that students love using us. Our team at Quimbee is global. We are dispersed all throughout the world, all throughout America, South America, Asia. We have a couple people in Europe where we are a big global team and our only goal is to help you succeed in law school and we do it in a number of different ways. Our goal is to make law school a little less boring for you and we offer a ton of different ways of doing that. We have case briefs, we have outlines, we have flashcards, our students love our videos.
Eric: We have these fun animated videos that again just to help you make sense of law school when you get to school. You’re going to be getting these assignments, have 100 pages in your case book of dry dense material and what we really want to do is try to mold that down, burn that down to something that’s digestible that you can watch a six-minute video and understand a case that might have been 25 3040 pages long, that you had to read.
Eric: And just help law school makes sense for you so that’s the most relevant aspect to you guys are getting ready to maybe start law school and the next year or two is our study aids.
Eric: We also offer bar review once people are ready to start studying for the bar exam. Again we have video lessons we have a diagnostic exam to have real questions. It’s the best bar review course on the market, and I think again, we do it better than anyone else, because our goal is to make it a little more fun a little more engaging little more colorful than what you’re going to get from anywhere else and that’s really what makes Quimbee unique.
Eric: I make a joke about this that I can now go out to a bar on a Friday night if and if there’s someone there who’s says they’re in law school and I tell them I work at Quimbee they light up it happens.
Eric: 100% of the time law students love Quimbee and we’ve, it’s been incredible to see the immense growth that we have and to see how much our students, really, really appreciate what we offer.
Eric: For practicing lawyers, again this is way down the line for you guys, but we do now offer continuing education credits for practicing lawyers. Again in that same vein of we want to do it a little differently than what everyone else on the market is doing, we want to make it a little more fun a little more engaging.
Eric: And something that you’re actually going to enjoy sitting down and doing, and so we put a lot of time, a lot of effort into making.
Eric: it’s not just our team of lawyers, creating the content again. Like I said it’s our designers, it’s our engineers, it’s everyone. Our customer support, we have the best customer support on the market just building the best experience for you. So you sign up for a subscription and you get access to all of this content and it’s just a really, really exciting product that we offer. I’m so proud of it. I’m proud of working Quimbee and I hope you guys when you do. crush that LSAT that you do get into law school you look at signing up for a Quimbee subscription because I think that’s really, really going to help you succeed. So with that now we’re going to turn to our panel discussion.
Eric: And share my screen here, so we can focus on the panelists and the discussion and I will turn it over to Thom because he’s going to lead this first part of the discussion on the process of applying to law school. I’m sorry considering law school and taking the LSAT, so over to you, Thom.
Thom: Hey great. Thank you, Eric. Um yeah and I like just feel like the reason why this partnership work so well it’s like we’re so aligned on let’s offer a great product and make this really hard stuff like as fun, as we can, for our users. Okay, but right enough about us let’s get into talking about law school.
Thom: And so I noticed right in the introductions not all of us went like Katelyn took a break, work some other jobs. So I’m curious, you know, what made you choose law school. Had you been thinking about it earlier in life? Was it being out in the workforce that brought you there? You know what Katelyn let’s start with you. What took you from a math teacher to lawyer?
Katelyn: Sure that’s a good question. Um I think I did a program that was similar to like a Teach for America program. It was an urban teacher residency. So I knew that I had a certain commitment going in. I knew that I was going to be able to get a graduate degree to this teaching program but I always knew that I didn’t…I always knew that I wanted to leave the classroom at some point, and as I was teaching I was five years in and teaching in Memphis is just uniquely challenging but also really amazing and rewarding but, at the end of the day, I really loved working with parents and I loved working with adults and I wanted to use my research and writing skills that I enjoyed in undergrad in a way that would be a part of my profession and being an attorney there’s that’s all you do bring you up to you know, research and right, so it was a natural kind of progression.
Katelyn: And I’m really glad that I made that choice because I’ve continued to treat law school like my job, and because I will I have this background in the classroom getting up early and teaching students all day long and you know i’ve just kept those same hours at law school and it’s really benefited me and it’s given me stamina whereas I don’t think I would have had that had I just gone from undergrad to law school. there’s plenty of people who are successful doing that, but for me it was very beneficial to have that experience in the workforce.
Thom: Yeah, I absolutely agree, right, like treat school like a job. Seriously that you show up every day, right, that’s one of the absolute keys to success. Zach, how about you right? So you school and then tech and now law school. So what led you here?
Zach: Yeah to be honest, so that was not always my plan I planned on going to law school straight out of college, but I did not do well on the LSAT. So you know we can get into this a little bit later, but like I didn’t really feel comfortable going to law school with my LSAT score.
Zach: I took an audible and I worked in sales in a tech company I worked in operations in a tech startup and I think it’s absolutely been a huge benefit, you know definitely you know, treating law school as a job is something that you know you really good.
Zach: Experience doing and that’s very helpful, but in my opinion, I think that it really helped me stand out as an applicant to some of these bigger law firms that I did have work experience you know, I know how to talk with a client, I know how to send a professional email, I know how to communicate, I know how to show up on time, you know Monday through Friday nine to whenever isn’t really something that they teach you an undergrad so…
Zach: Honestly, more than I was expecting that’s where it really came in handy i’m just able to be a lot more…mature and efficient, um you know, compared to when I was an undergraduate student but um yeah.
Thom: Okay, but um so that was like why you took time off right, but what like about law school appealed to you in the first place? Like when you were an undergrad thinking about it.
Zach: I I really I really like business, you know I like the nature of a deal that comes together, I think there’s something that’s just like very exciting about that, and when I was digging into it more I was always attracted to the role that an attorney takes in that life cycle, so you know the attorney is kind of always in the room where things happen, you know, they’re kind of evaluating things from a really holistic perspective they’re looking out for their client they’re looking out for the future.
Zach: I was never interested in being a litigator I don’t really have that beef in me. I’m more of a lover, not a fighter, you know.
Zach: So I just really like deals I like negotiating and I was able to network with a few attorneys and I just I really like the role that a transactional attorney plays in a client’s day to day it’s just something that I think, you know you’re surrounding yourself with really smart people really hard working people and it’s intellectually challenging and just kind of you know it’s competitive in a healthy way and just kind of hit on a lot of my strong suits.
Thom: Right now yeah I completely agree with you about like liking being in a place with smart hardworking people, and I think that’s like one of the big draws of law school in the legal profession.
Thom: Absolutely you’re like throwing it back to Aaron Burr, you just want to be in the room where it happens, I think a lot of us feel that. Alright so Megan over to you now, did you work in real estate before law school as well, or is this a new acquisition?
Megan: I did. I got I got my real estate license, I believe, a year after I graduated college. I graduated college a year early because I had enough credits from high school…yada yada…but I didn’t want to immediately go to law school because well, most importantly, I wanted money.
Megan: As always, a huge factor, and I really just wanted some work experience and I thought that would you know ready myself better for law school. Oddly enough, initially, when I was in undergrad I had planned to go into Medical School. And then I realized I don’t want it all. This is not, this is not…I don’t vibe with Medical School. So I sat down with myself and I thought, what is something good and I decided law school would be the most ideal career, for me, because I enjoy, you know, contractual, you know, not litigation definitely not litigation. But I enjoy like transactional work and contracts and all that, and it would really fit well with my real estate career that I had planned to pursue, because, you know, attorneys real estate they do kind of mash it all together so that was sort of like the root of everything and then oddly enough, when you go into law school. it you know…some people might say I regret doing this. It’s so much work but it’s sort of reaffirms the fact that I’m so glad that I’m here, and it also made me think i’m really glad I took time off first.
Megan: Because you do sort of develop a work ethic when you take time off between undergrad and graduate school, regardless of what graduate school you’re going into. And if you just work during that time, you know you’re going to be able to because you’re not a baby anymore you’re going to be able to learn that discipline, so I think you know, all in all, it was a great idea and I’m glad I did it and glad I was smart enough to think of it at the time.
Thom: Alright, well, thank you all for sharing. I’m for everyone in attendance right like so all our panelists are agreed that taking time off made a lot of sense for them, I think it makes a lot of sense for a lot of people.
Thom: But it’s not a requirement right, so if you’re an undergrad you want to go straight through right, no one here is telling you don’t do that. They’re just talking about the reasons why they made their choice to work for a while, which I will agree that, like when I took some time off between undergrad and grad school to work, you know it made sense for me as well.
Thom: So i’m curious, for everyone who’s in attendance, right now, what is right, we talked about what led our panelists to law school. What is drawing you?
Thom: Alright, so sound off in the chat and, by the way, I’m seeing the questions come into the QandA and we will hold on to those for later in the webinar so feel free to keep putting it in there.
Thom: Alexis, a childhood dream so you’re one of those people who wanted to be a lawyer, for a long time. Kimberly, we’re going it’s apparently they’ll see actually as well alright seen it from the inside.
Thom: Okay, well, we have people here who haven’t yet taken the LSAT, right, and all of you, you know, in law school or like Eric post-law school have taken the LSAT right? So let’s talk about that part, since one of the huge hurdles to getting into law school, like sort of the back of the admissions math is that your entire undergrad GPA. Like what you work for years to accomplish is only worth two-thirds as much in your application as this one test score which seems bonkers right? And then can introduce a lot of stress for a lot of people.
Thom: So let’s start with just like what made you successful on the LSAT. Maybe you know what made you unsuccessful until you figured out how to account for it. Umm, anyone jump in.
Zach: um yeah I I hated the LSAT. It really is a very big challenge for me, I think it’s very difficult um. II took it three times the first time, the first two times you know.
Zach: Like what made me successful on the LSAT, is that I was able to take it, while I was working and it wasn’t my entire focus.
Zach: You know I wasn’t able…I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to like obsess over it, and really like freak out about it all the time. The first two times I took it, I was either in college or working in like a very like low…I was working at a job that I, you know didn’t require my full mental capacity um but the third time I took it, I was able to just replace all of like the fun and recreational activities that I would do I just made that into LSAT time and then I worked so it was a stressful period in my life, but like just good time management, I think, is what made me successful thanks for the question.
Thom: Yeah I think time management, like really committing, I mean if you’re going to spend as many hours as you need to really see that improvement.
Thom: You know you’ve got to give up something else, taking a time in your life but it sounds like you recognize this other really important factor balance right that, like, getting to have your brain not think about the LSAT for so much time each day is focused on your work. Like I tell all of my students that but, like if you’re going to turn your brain on, you have to be able to turn your brain off right, and I think that’s really where a lot of people struggle with burnout and end up plateauing they’re not stepping back when they need to.
Thom: Megan/Katelyn how about the two of you? What ended up working for you on the LSAT?
Megan: I can go um so I’m a bit of a perfectionist in the way that if i’m studying for anything, and I have a study guide, for example, and I get a question wrong on it my head’s going to spin there’s going to be like steam coming out of my ears so for those taking or are studying for the LSAT that was a really big help, and you know teaching me that I have to have a decent amount of mental fortitude where I won’t just break down because it’s no lie that studying for the LSAT is going to be a little difficult because the test is going to be quite difficult.
Megan: And so, if you’re if you’re not there mentally then it’s…you’re not you’re not going to be able to do well because you’ll freak out in the middle of the test, I know people who’ve done it because mentally they weren’t prepared.
Megan: So you know, in addition to learning, you know the reading comprehension and the logic games and all of the specific you know items that are tested on the LSAT, you also need to have the right frame of mind in order to be able to absorb that information, otherwise you’re going to get really mad whenever you get something wrong, especially with the logic games.
Megan: And you’re going to say screw this i’m done i’m just going to take the test and if I fail, then so be it, and you don’t want to do that, because you want to get it done, the first time, or the second time. It’s no shame if you take it more than once.
Thom: Yeah absolutely not and you said a lot of things that like really stand out to me, as someone who’s you know career is that right, it was that, like focusing and reviewing your mistakes right improving your method is a huge thing, but the other was mindset.
Thom: I had a student once who like couldn’t get better at games and I finally realized, he was like always doing worse at the second game. I was like I think you’re still stressed about the first one. The only change when you make it’s like close your eyes and take a deep breath between games wanting to see how it goes.
Thom: And his score rose seven points overnight, and he was at his goals from then on, so like the power of just getting your mind right so you’re like there who just do the best you can in 35 minutes.
Thom: Right, I see all of us nodding along right like we all have that realization and Katelyn how about you.
Katelyn: Yeah I had a probably a unique set of circumstances, because as a teacher, you have the whole summer off so I knew that I wanted to study for a summer and then take the LSAT at I think it was like a September offering.
Katelyn: So I started and I, I think the best thing that helped me was setting a schedule and sticking to it, so I had the same hours that I would keep every day for some studying and i’m very good. I think one of my strengths is work life balance, so I would get myself up in the morning and work for the morning time but then take the afternoons of my summer to just enjoy, and you know and do whatever it is that teachers do in the summer, to be able to keep doing their job.
Katelyn: But where I went wrong was I scheduled the time where I really needed to do my more intense practice I scheduled it to begin whenever I began teaching again. So I got in this habit of like I was getting up really early in the morning and getting to school before my students got there to try to study before my kids came to my classroom.
Katelyn: It just it wasn’t I burnt out really quickly, and so, if I could do anything, again I would maybe give myself more time or I don’t know, maybe I would have studied longer during the summer days, so that I could have done less whenever school started up again because, by the time it was time for me to really, really, really start practicing the things that I learned I just didn’t have the capacity to do it anymore, and so I didn’t do very well with that. But um yeah I mean it worked out, and I was able to kind of correct course but not giving myself the space to work or to do whatever it is that I needed to do and also steady was a detriment to me. So I would caution against that, but setting a schedule and being realistic about that schedule and just being realistic about your own capacity and your habits is is very helpful and something that you should be doing now, because I think it will also help you when you do eventually get that score that you want, and then go to law school.
Thom: Yeah absolutely. I think so many of us underestimate like how much focus and energy and time LSAT takes and then find ourselves burnt out. Zach it sounded like something she said resonated with you.
Zach: Yeah I mean I just I don’t want to do your job for you, but like I really do think that it’s kind of like amazing that me and Katelyn had exact opposite experiences and both ended up going. You know I did not do well, when I had a whole summer to do the LSAT like I used to tell people that I was chaining myself to the radiator at the library and just like, i’m here, and then I actually also woke up really early. When I did well enough on the LSAT at my third time I was waking up at like 4 am because I was working London hours at my job, so I would study from like four to like 6:30 every morning.
Zach: And I actually really I mean I don’t know about enjoyed, but like it was much more bearable for me just because I knew that like that was the only amount of time that I had so like I had to be on for the LSAT and then everything else, like, for the rest of the day was like not LSAT related. So um you know I just kind of wanted to bolster Katelyn’s message that, like you know, whatever you do whatever is best for you is gonna is going to be best for you and you know there’s not really a one size fit all approach.
Thom: Yeah absolutely and I’m seeing in the chat right like waking up early to get it in. Mental eyes yeah and I think like one of the big mistakes that people make is they don’t let themselves be done for the day.
Thom: Right and they’re like a sort of feel like they didn’t do enough, and then they never fully break away from that like you know studying mindset and then they just they’re never rested and ready to get back to it.
Thom: And yeah I think sometimes just like having to do your job is a great way to get your brain off the LSAT. Okay so last question.
Thom: From me if you could give one piece of advice to people who are thinking about going to law school right, it could be LSAT, it could be about coursework, applications, law school life anything, what would it be? Um let’s do Megan first this time.
Megan: So when I first went to my orientation for law school, it was a bit daunting. I’d never you know, the only : law school experience I had was watching Legally Blonde a long time ago, so I didn’t know what to expect, and you know there’s these 3Ls talking to us about what we should be doing in law school and I remember one girl saying, um well, you have to make sure that you have at least some time for yourself so every Wednesday, I have one hour of yoga and that’s my free time for the week and I’m thinking to myself, you have one hour free time for the week. Why am I doing this? This is freaking insane.
Megan: And you know, two and a half years down the line I realized that pardon my French, but she was full of it.
Megan: And so, something I would like to tell myself and everybody else here who’s considering going to law school, and hopefully does, is it’s a lot of work granted. But it’s not going to take over your life. You’re going to be able to do things so don’t stress about i’m not going to have a life. I’m not going to be able to do anything. Am I even going to be able to talk to my parents? Are they going to remembe, who I am?
Megan: Don’t worry about that. It’s a lot of work but it’s not going to be you only have one hour of the week to pencil in at like 8:30 at night to run on the elliptical. You will have time to de-stress and centralize your brain, so you are on the right track, I promise.
Thom: And Katelyn how about you.
Katelyn: Um so I had the fortune of having my brother kind of help me with some mentorship things with law school, he is younger than me, but he finished law school before me.
Katelyn: He graduated and then I began, and he gave me a list the very first day of orientation that was just like some suggestions of things that he wished, he would have known, and it was very helpful.
Katelyn: I don’t remember all of them, but the top three that I remember are, you’re going to feel like everyone knows what they’re talking about, but they don’t and they just don’t.
Katelyn: Remember that and the second thing is there will be a ton of events that you can go to a lot of student organizations and things like that that you can get involved with.
Katelyn: And just choose wisely you don’t have to go to everything and you don’t have to be involved in everything you shouldn’t be. Your time is valuable and your lunch time is time that you can take to take a break for yourself re Center and then get some work done.
Katelyn: And then the third thing was it’s kind of silly but he told me to use Quimbee and I did, and it was really how I used it from the beginning and I I would always read my cases and read my material myself and try to brief cases and things like that myself.
Katelyn: But then I would use Quimbee as a supplement to that to just reinforce my understanding, or even to just refresh what i’d read or learned the night before or a couple days before.
Katelyn: So those things they just came in. I did those things and i’m glad I was kind of lonely my one year, as far as like I didn’t really connect or do a lot of things.
Katelyn: I jealously guarded my time and i’m glad that I did because i’m in a place now, where I feel successful and competent and that i’m not spread too thin. So those are I wish I I wish everyone would know that going in that you just you can you can be a human being kind of like what Megan was saying, and also still be really good at law school.
Thom: You can say no, and take care of yourself and have fun and still be successful. I think that’s definitely a message that we need to get out all right and zach how about you?
Zach: What was the what was the prompt again like what is some good advice for people who are considering law school right yeah um?
Zach: I would tell people, you know I would really make sure that I would have some time to reflect and just make sure that you’re a disciplined person who likes to read I was not expecting to read this much during law school. Without Quimbee it would have been three times.
Zach: You can tell yourself like Oh, I like I like reading books, like every now and then, like all you do in law school, especially your first really like your first two years is read cases and you just don’t really…like it’s it just takes a lot of time. You got to be focused. You got to be locked in. So if you like, reading a lot, then you know that’s something to consider.
Zach: I think one thing that I like messed up on, and my first few weeks at law school is like relying on other people to tell me like how they did it and then applying that too.
Zach: Taking that as Gospel, that it would be my own path. Like I remember one of my best friends she’s a very fast reader and would always get through things in like one hour and 15 minutes that took me two and a half hours, and it was very frustrating because I would budget one hour and 15 minutes, and then I was two hours in and almost done. So I think it’s just like being disciplined, feeling comfortable reading and, like you know, feeling comfortable going at your own pace are things that I wish I had known like before I started.
Thom: Great well, thank you all for sort of sharing what led you to law school and what helped you be successful on the LSAT, even if it was eventually advice for getting into law school and just make one final pitch for the LSAT right if that is what is standing in the way of like you achieve in your law school dreams.
Thom: Don’t try to do it alone, especially if it’s wearing you down right like because you’re LSAT score is so important. You’re studying, for it is an investment in literally the rest of your life right in a way that like sounds crazy, but really it is so if you need help, we are here, but with that that’s before law school. Let’s talk about applying and i’ll turn it over to Eric.
Eric: Thanks so much Tom and I just want to echo all the advice everyone’s been giving so far, I mean it’s it’s really been great, and I agree with everything that’s been said. Law school, it is very time intensive but it doesn’t have to be so time intensive that you only have one hour a week to yourself and to Katelyn’s point you can make it that way, I mean you can just say yes to everything and tried to do everything all at once, but it doesn’t have to be that way, if you kind of budget your time and you’re smart about what you can and can’t do and you’re able to say no.
Eric: it’s it’s it’s very reasonable process, you know I played intramural girls, when I was in law school I got to go to the gym every day all you know that sort of thing it’s very, very possible to have a normal life. Go out and hang out with your friends on the weekend, while being focused in law school and still performing well it’s just a matter of how you budget your time and it’s so all device again as an accent then to zach’s point.
Eric: Do what made you successful to get you to where you are. Don’t try to do something completely crazy there’s a million books out there about how to succeed in law school and what to do.
Eric: Yet, maybe it’s helpful to collect some tips, and that sort of thing on you know some strategies to succeed, but you got to law school for a reason.
Eric: Do what brought you to the dance and and just and stick with that know what you are and what makes you successful and stick with that.
Eric: It is a lot of reading law school and Being a lawyer it’s not Elle Woods, you’re not Legally Blonde you’re not Suits.
Eric: it’s not all the fun exciting things you see even if you are a litigator if you are in court that’s a small percentage of your day to day job most of your job is sitting at a desk and reading so.
Eric: In that way, law school really does prepare you to be a lawyer, that you are sitting alone and reading for hours and hours and hours and again Quimbee can help with that.
Eric: We still always suggest that you do your readings, but couldn’t be as a supplement can can help make that process, a little more efficient.
Eric: But it is still a very long process so again I just before I got to my questions just wanted to echo what everyone else is saying it really is it’s great advice it’s been my experience as well.
Eric: So my first question, and I have to say I must be pretty good at selecting questions because my first question i’ve already seen pop up in the chat more than once, so i’m a man of the people I will ask the people’s question.
Eric: People want to know what was your process for selecting what law schools to apply to how did you decide how many schools you’re gonna apply to did you go visit schools.
Eric: Did you did you narrow down a certain number of schools? Was there one school, you had in mind, let me know your process zach let’s we’ll start with you.
Zach: yeah um.
Zach: So I think.
Zach: it’s easier to understand my decision making process like from a little bit of like a bird’s eye view like I wanted to go to law school because I wanted to get into corporate law and work at a big law firm where.
Zach: The compensation is high and the demands are high and the I think it’s like.
Zach: I think it’s a very attractive job and I know that.
Zach: it’s a difficult field to get into so with that thought in mind.
Zach: I only wanted to go to the best law school that I could get into i’m from Birmingham Alabama I went to school Boston I lived in New York that’s to say that I had no connection to North Carolina before I got here.
Zach: It was the best school I got into so I applied to schools all up and down the eastern seaboard.
Zach: And and in Georgia and.
Zach: I mean unfortunately that’s just kind of the way that the law recruiting works is they look at graduates from schools from.
Zach: You know from hiring schools first and then go down after so my thought was that if I go to a better school, then I don’t have to do as well at that school to get in to the interviewing cycle, with some of these firms.
Eric: caitlin What about you?
Katelyn: Sure um so similar there is a reality of you have to kind of know what.
Katelyn: You have to know what the school that you’d like to go to what their median.
Katelyn: l set score that they accept is and that’s something that you can do some research online and find that out on their website, a lot of schools are pretty forthcoming about that information and just tell you.
Katelyn: You know, last year the median else at score of our class was X and you can just see where you compared to that so that was part of it, like where can I even feasibly get into.
Katelyn: Where can I possibly get a scholarship to you know what’s going to for me, it was an economical decision I was living in Memphis. Memphis has a very cheap rate of living here, so it was it, I was able to to stay and I had a lot of connections. So for me.
Katelyn: I knew staying at Memphis I would have all of the outlines from my brother and his friends for professors, that would be helpful to me that would allow me to be more successful.
Katelyn: I would be able to stay in the House that I purchased I would be able to not have to spend money to move I would be able to get a scholarship and things like that so.
Katelyn: I was more invested in the city that I was already living in and we have a great school that is well connected to the Community and.
Katelyn: For me, that made sense if you’re somewhere where there is no law school close by, or the law school is not super connected to places, then you may think differently.
Katelyn: Another part is I knew I wanted to clerk and I knew I wanted to do a federal clerkship of possible.
Katelyn: And memphis had the Western district of Tennessee is located right down the street from my school, so I can I can take five minutes and walk down the street, and I can be there and that afforded me the opportunity to.
Katelyn: do some extra shifts throughout school where I was able to meet judges and things like that were eventually turned into a job opportunity so.
Katelyn: That was a big part of it, too, and our school, had I think were.
Katelyn: ranked 22nd in the nation for federal clerkship placements, which is very unique for where our school is ranked within the US news and world report, where they rank the law schools.
Katelyn: were lower on that, but really high on our federal clerkship placement so lots of factors that went into it, but yeah it’s also just kind of with anything its case by case you just it’s hard to know exactly.
Eric: Megan what was your experience?
Megan: So I knew from the get go, I only wanted to go to the University of Miami. That was my dream school. I wish I would have gone there undergrad but I didn’t so I said I need to go there, I mean the location is excellent, the 11th circuit judicial courts are there.
Megan: The connections in Miami are phenomenal. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many judges and affluent you know alumni from my school and one thing you know that sort of helped me figure out can I go there is, I went on.
Megan: The LSA see website, and if you plug in your undergrad GPA and you plug in your l set score what you hope to achieve on the outside, after you know completing Blueprint.
Megan: It’ll tell you, you know the likelihood you have going into all of these different law schools throughout America, of course, you can you know, narrow down the results to specific states or whatever, and it was really helpful.
Megan: I saw I had a really good chance of getting into Miami. I applied and it worked out.
Eric: When you guys are hearing and what you’re saying is.
Eric: It really is an individual decision that you have to make based on what it is you want out of going into law school and I to me I think that’s the biggest piece of advice is before you go to law school have a sort of idea of what you want, out of it.
Eric: You know, do you want to go to one of those big corporate firms, because if so like zach said you kind of have to go to a top ranked school.
Eric: If there’s a particular city, you want to be in, especially if it’s not a major city like New York or LA if it’s small, if it’s like Memphis, my hometown of Pittsburgh.
Eric: Those tend to be tighter knit communities and it might benefit you to be at a school that might be lower ranked in the US news rankings but is.
Eric: in that city that you want to be in so that you can build those connections and enforce those bonds and do some summer internships in that city.
Eric: It all comes down to personal choice, so there really there’s no one right answer, I know there are a few questions in the chat asking about this, how do you decide.
Eric: There’s no one right answer. It’s what it, what do you want out of it again, there’s an economic is a financial decision, do you want to get a scholarship again.
Eric: You have to kind of balance, the ranking of the school versus the type of scholarship you can get it’s all personal Decision No one’s gonna be able to tell it tell you that Megan, did you did you want to add something?
Megan: I just completely agree with you, and I also wanted to add one thing, if I can, if you don’t happen to get into your first PIC of law school.
Megan: You can always, you know, try and transfer next year I know a lot of people from my school.
Megan: Who, you know we went to Miami the first year next year they’re in Columbia law they went to Yale law they went to penn I mean so don’t think just because.
Megan: Your your choices are limited when you first get accepted into law schools. When it’s over and you’re stuck at the school, you always have the chance to transfer and the likelihood of getting accepted to an Ivy League, for example, or one of those very hiring schools.
Megan: You know, while you’re already in one year is a lot higher because there are less transfers and there are you know pre you know zero l applicants.
Eric: I want to ask you guys about the actual application process and what you thought was the hardest part of the process was for me it was getting letters of recommendation because kind of, especially in my younger years I had kind of a.
Eric: an irrational antagonism towards people in authority. I didn’t have great relationships with my professors.
Eric: As an undergrad so I that’s what i’d recommend to people, right now, if you’re in college build those relationships with your professors because letters of recommendation are huge and there’s something.
Eric: Especially if you need help, boosting your GPA is a little lower than you want it to be your assets, a little lower than what you want it to be a glowing letter of recommendation can be that that Nice bonus So for me.
Eric: My biggest piece of advice is build those relationships, especially with your professors with with your bosses at your summer internships when you’re in college or after you graduate.
Eric: Because those letters, really, really are big and people kind of they they don’t realize just how valuable those can be, but let me start, let me start with you guys caitlin What would you what was the hardest part of the application process.
Katelyn: First, I think the way that you characterize your past is very clear that you are an attorney as well, but I think for me.
Eric: That’s a compliment or not, but I take it is.
Katelyn: It definitely, it is because you made it seem like our antagonists whatever you said was perfect.
Katelyn: um but, for me, I think that, for all the law schools every application was different, but they were all housed within the l sack website.
Katelyn: And I just found that website cumbersome, I felt like I never knew where to click and where to open up my application or is it just challenging to me, and maybe you’re experiencing that as well.
Katelyn: But just the logistical challenge of that website and how they have all of the different.
Katelyn: parts and things I just felt like I was, I never could see like my application all.
Katelyn: In one space and see Okay, yes i’ve got my letters of recommendation here my physical application my resume whatever it is, all in one place, I felt like they were all so disparate and it was hard for me to just like.
Katelyn: holistically understand what I was doing at each school, but you know it’s it’s something that’s manageable, but I didn’t love the the platform of the application process yeah.
Eric: How about you?
Eric: i’m sorry, Megan.
Megan: So the first thing I did when I applied was I looked at, you know how the applications are going to be, you know read by the University, are they going to be accepted on a rolling basis.
Megan: And you’re going to be accepted or denied on a rolling basis, or are they all taken in one chunk and then you know the registrar just kind of goes to okay we’re going to take him not take them.
Megan: So i’m in my school, in particular, it was a rolling basis, and so I knew the sooner you got the application in likely, the better chance you would have getting accepted.
Megan: And so I knew I had to start on my application, you know as soon as possible, I think the hardest part for me was, you know that sort of statement of purpose, because I mean.
Megan: What are you going to say why do you want to go to law school because I want, I want to go to law school and you can’t write something generic they’re looking for something that’s a little creative and it’s not the same Oh, I want to go, because my mom always said, I was good at arguing.
Megan: which I mean i’m sure, a lot of people are thinking that now I love suits like.
Megan: Everybody knows why you want to go in, because you want to be a lawyer, you want to make a difference in the world, or you want to make a lot of money that’s what you’re interested in, but do it man that was just tough trying to think of something you know non generic to say.
Eric: Zack how about you.
Zach: Yeah, I think my answers are kind of just like.
Zach: You know.
Zach: an amalgamation of what Megan and Caitlin were saying, like, I also wanted to stand out, you know i’m a straight white man applying to law school like there’s a lot of me there’s a lot of applicants, like me, that are applying like I needed to stand out and make sure that.
Zach: You know I put myself in a position of success, so one thing that I did was write the supplemental application.
Zach: For each law school that I applied to I would write a personalized essay on why I want to go to like X school in New York, and I would do that for all for New York schools that I applied to.
Zach: And then kind of like to echo what caitlin was saying, like.
Zach: All those different deadlines and getting the letters and the forms like staying organized you know working within your calendar is.
Zach: it’s a very useful skill for law school but.
Zach: it’s definitely something that I wasn’t expecting to do and honestly that might have been just because I applied to several schools, instead of just like two or three so I did have a lot on my plate but um yeah.
Eric: yeah and that’s.
Eric: That’s exactly the process can be very tedious, very time consuming and it’s not something you expect when you’re getting ready to apply you think that’s probably the easy part but.
Eric: I think all the advice everyone’s giving is exactly right you kind of have to treat each application as if it’s the only school you’re applying to and those essays.
Eric: Zack I was great advice that you have to the school is want to know why you want to go there, and if you can give a particular reason for that school.
Eric: If you feel like your own personal story isn’t anything greater or unique say why you want that school, I mean butter them up a little bit there who doesn’t want to hear that so.
Eric: Whatever you can do to really personalize that application to that school, as if they’re the only school you’re applying to again it’s time consuming but you know, this is the rest of your life so it’s worth putting that time in.
Eric: let’s fast forward now so let you know you guys you got it you applied to law school you got in.
Eric: This is the summer before one hour orientation. Was there anything you guys did to prepare for one out, did you read anything that you do anything, did you just say hey i’m just going to relax this summer.
Eric: What was your process for getting ready for that first year? Megan, we’ll start with you.
Megan: I, the most important thing that I, you know, focused on was not freaking myself out because again law school is super overwhelming.
Megan: You don’t want to overthink it before you even step foot into your first class of one year. It’s not just going to be a good thing for you to do so.
Megan: You know I looked at, you know, first class assignments, and I think that was probably the extent of my preparation that I did, aside from you know reading up on my professors, so I could get a feel from them.
Megan: I was actually unfortunate enough to button pneumonia prior to my one l years, so there really wasn’t a whole lot that I was able to do, and this is before coven so you know.
Megan: A great start, but you know, I was thinking to myself I’m not even going to stress about this let’s just take it easy. I’ll get serious come that week before school and onwards and that’s when I’ll start the grind but right now.
Megan: let’s just you know, look forward to it and be excited about it and not freak out about it yeah.
Eric: Zack how about you.
Zach: Yeah same as Megan you are going to get wall up to your first semester at law school, it is like it’s just a completely different language concept that you’ve never really dealt with.
Zach: Everyone’s very competitive, you know there’s a lot of ego there so like anybody who asks me I always tell them to like check out as much as you can relax like get your mind right if you really want to read something and prepare yourself.
Zach: People really like this book called getting to maybe it’s like a very popular book to read like before and during law school, I never read it, I mean.
Zach: I have friends who read it, they you know everything turned out fine but uh it’s a marathon you know, even though it’s only like six semesters like.
Zach: you’re reading a ton, you know you’re reading a lie, you’re working a lot, you know the days can really blend into each other, so I would just like to relax and get your mind right.
Katelyn: yeah yeah I think the same as zach, the best thing I did the summer before and again like.
Katelyn: Coming I finished school and may as a teacher and I had the entire summer and it was awesome and I did nothing. I did everything you know, whatever I wanted to do.
Katelyn: The time was mine, so if you have that if you have the ability to take some time off definitely do that travel see family.
Katelyn: Be intentional with your time, whatever that means for you and do that one book that I would recommend and I’m small caveat. this is a Memphis professor, who wrote this book, but the one hell of a ride book is also a popular book.
Katelyn: And I think that that’s something I read just kind of over the summer and leisurely and it was a nice thing to read to prepare myself, but not a required thing at all, and if you don’t like doing that you’re going to read so much in the fall don’t do it yeah.
Eric: Yeah, I’m with you on all of that it’s.
Eric: I the summer, before I started law school, I was the one who I ordered, like all six books, I already getting to maybe and whenever I all of that stuff because I thought.
Eric: It all these other kids i’m going to school with you know they probably worked at their dad’s law firm over the summer, they have all this experience.
Eric: I worked at a lumberyard the summer before I started law school, so I had zero experience. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into at all.
Eric: So I said i’m going to sit down and read all these books before law school so that I can at least try to catch up with everyone else.
Eric: And, by the time you get to school you forget everything you read, all those books you’re just in your experience and.
Eric: So you’re really again if you want to read those books that’s fine if that helps you feel more comfortable that’s fine.
Eric: Certainly not a requirement and you’re just going to end up doing whatever whatever it is you’re doing.
Eric: Once you get to school, I mean every school now has kind of an extended orientation. You’ll get to know what you need to know for that first day.
Eric: And then, once you’re once you’re in this messenger just in it and you’re not thinking about Oh, what did I read on page 20 of getting to maybe about how to approach this situation you’re just.
Eric: you’re using your own experience and you’re you’re talking to the kids around you and you’re using each other to stress each other out because you’re all speculating about what the Professor is going to ask, and this and that.
Eric: So just I think you guys are right on the nose and if you need to work that summer obviously work that summer, but don’t feel like you need to do something to prepare for that first day because it’s really not going to get you anywhere so let’s let’s actually let’s talk about now.
Eric: When you’re in school, it is a stressful.
Eric: Tom did you have something you wanted to add i’m sorry.
Thom: yeah actually um we had a couple questions in the chat about sort of in this realm of preparing for law school.
Thom: Like extracurriculars and undergrad that would look good or like specifically a legal internship if you’re working, you know that summer or taking a gap year versus.
Thom: working in another field is sort of what signals interest to law, schools and makes you look like a really good candidate, I know you know my.
Thom: Take is like yeah if you weren’t in the legal field it signals your interest, but if you do something you’re interested in that you are good at like and just have that.
Thom: You know, under your belt like that’s what makes you an attractive candidate like you pursue your interests but i’m curious you know Katelyn Zach Megan.
Thom: what’s your take from like either yourself, or what you’ve seen of your law school classmates you know of the various ways, you can spend a summer or a gap year What helps.
Katelyn: I can start.
Katelyn: um I think like being in the public sector helped me just kind of have a footing for my ability to describe what I wanted to do long term like I enjoyed being.
Katelyn: A public school teacher and I still eventual i’m going to work for a law firm so i’m not going to i’m going to the private sector for a moment, but I think that.
Katelyn: Ultimately, I want to be in the public sector doing some sort of government work or something along those lines, and my experience in the classroom.
Katelyn: gave me footing to say, like, I know I like this, I know that i’ve been successful in this I care about this work i’m passionate about giving back to my community and my.
Katelyn: career that I had before law school was the evidence for that.
Katelyn: And I don’t think that this is another thing there’s no one right way, but I I I not only said, like, I truly am committed to public service and I was able to prove that by.
Katelyn: Showing like well i’ve spent five years in this classroom and I really loved it and I want to keep doing that kind of work so that was helpful for me to kind of have that touchdown.
Zach: I think for me.
Zach: You know I think a lot of people will go straight through or they’ll have experience in a law school I like that I was different excuse me a different applicant.
Zach: Compared to a lot of people just because it’s a conversation starter, you know these lawyers are talking to the law students and.
Zach: People who work in the legal field every day when they’re in the recruitment process like the fact that I worked in sales, you know.
Zach: The fact that I worked in technology in the industry, and you know I can talk about software and I worked in a startup like people remember that you know i’m I feel like there’s this really big barrier.
Zach: To getting into these corporate law firms, but you know they’re just run by people lawyers are just people who work a lot and read a lot.
Zach: So I think it was just it was helpful for me just to stick out even when I was applying to law school, you know, I was able to draw on this experience that.
Zach: You know people in the law school admissions office just had not seen before, so being different is very helpful and I think that that’s as much.
Zach: or resources anything, and you know Tom I think you nailed it like even if you’re like a chef like I would love to speak to the person in the culinary.
Zach: World that’s like interested in becoming in going to law school like i’m you know.
Zach: that’s just something that you don’t see every day, like, I want to learn more about them, you know, like, I want to hear what they’re bringing to the table, no pun intended so um yeah that’s that’s kind of where i’m at.
Megan: You know I agree with what zach saying you know, having all of this law legal experience prior to even going into law school.
Megan: is not necessarily a huge benefit like some may thing because law schools do like to see these creative backgrounds i’m.
Megan: One of my classmates had an her degree in molecular biology, I mean Who would ever think somebody with a major in molecular biology would be going to law school.
Megan: I majored in psychology minor in biology planned on going to MED school until my senior year and then decided on law school.
Megan: didn’t have any legal experience whatsoever um, of course, it can’t hurt to have legal experience beforehand, but just a word of caution.
Megan: If you do end up you know, having a legal internship somewhere or doing any sort of legal you know work prior to law school.
Megan: And you might not enjoy that particular field that you’re working in.
Megan: don’t let it burn you out because there are so many fields of law that you’re going to be able to experience when you get into law school so don’t discourage you that’s that’s just one reason I don’t.
Megan: find it to be the most ideal thing to do, lead legal work beforehand, because it might set your expectations in a certain direction and then law school turn out totally different but.
Eric: yeah and that’s such an important point you guys are hitting because a lot of people ask the question you know what should I study in undergrad to be able to get into law school.
Eric: And law schools, a number of them have explicitly said hey we don’t want everyone studying political science or English or the most common majors we want people from.
Eric: A diversity of backgrounds, because they are the ones who can offer the most unique insight in class and on their papers and other tests and just within their careers and so.
Eric: To me, I would say study what it is you’re most interested in because really the most important thing that law schools, want to see is a track record of success.
Eric: And they don’t really care what field that successes in they just want to see that that you’ve achieved something, and the best way to do that is to study what you enjoy.
Eric: And that’s going to help you get the best up that’s going to help you if you work for a couple years we’re going to law school you’re.
Eric: going to actually enjoy your job, instead of just doing something, because you’re trying to get into score you’re doing what you think is going to help you get into school.
Eric: So, again so many of these questions it’s not a matter of us giving you the right answer it’s really is telling you, you need to do what’s best for you and don’t try to overthink it don’t try to game, the system.
Eric: Do what’s best for you and what’s going to help you succeed and in the long run you’re going to end up better off that way.
Eric: So let’s let’s move on to kind of just the day to day of law school let’s we we’ve brought up a little bit about kind of the stress and the work that goes into it.
Eric: What is it that you guys do any any tips or techniques that you’ve picked up for how to manage that stress what would what you do outside of being in the classroom.
Eric: Whoever wants to start.
Katelyn: I was just gonna say exercise I I did that my one year I was better about that, I would just stop every day, at the same time and go work out and then work in the evening, if I needed to but.
Katelyn: it’s a lifesaver.
Zach: yeah I agree, you know.
Zach: Finding time for yourself is just so crucial because it’s so stressful and you’re really on your own, and I mean I think of well, I thought.
Zach: law school at least my first two years were very stressful it’s very intense there’s a lot of.
Zach: There I put a lot of pressure on myself, there were job applications at stake, which means career applications in your future blah blah blah, you know um.
Zach: So exercising even if you’re just like break a sweat just to like get the endorphins going, I think I thought was really helpful and then the other thing was just like.
Zach: Getting good at sticking to a calendar, whether it’s planning out what homework you’re going to do when you know when you’re going to start networking when when you’re going to start outlining for your classes like.
Zach: Being able to plan a little bit with something that like really takes a lot of the stress out just because, like you’re not reacting so much is just like you know going through the motions, you know what I mean.
Megan: yeah I agree, I also was a workout themed.
Megan: You know, still am, you know love to.
Megan: love to just release those endorphins I mean it really helps you feel better, especially if you have a stressful day in class your professors ragging on you and they cold call you and you don’t know the answer I mean.
Megan: Working out really helps also I mean our MAC recommend going out frequently, but you know if the city you’re in has a really cool nightlife.
Megan: Go explore some local bars go, you know see what your city has to offer you know don’t.
Megan: don’t you know, be a hermit your entire you know law school career, you might not end up in that city, you know your entire life so it’d be cool to check it out.
Megan: You know, I was kind of a hermit my first my one year in Miami which is ridiculous, because it’s Miami.
Megan: second year, you know the super bowl came into town and everything was just so crazy there were so many events, and it was such a stress reliever I mean you know just don’t let it take over your life, you know balance the fun with the work you know.
Megan: works more important but make time for yourself.
Eric: yeah you guys are all talking about it that that mind body connection that’s.
Eric: Finding that balance because, again, you can get into this mindset of I just need to do as much work as I possibly can, because that’s how I can get ahead and in the long run.
Eric: you’re going to wear yourself out you’re gonna end up worse off than if you taking that break if you’d gone to the gym and.
Eric: and on top of that it’s just it’s finding a way to have fun, because it can like it can be so serious that topics you’re studying.
Eric: And it can be hard to kind of step outside of it and have fun we when I was in law school bunch of us were fans of Jersey shore and the Jersey shore phrase was Jim 10 laundry.
Eric: Are intramural team, we got shirts that said gym tan law and that’s kind of how we had fun, we have these these stupid little muscle shirts as a gym 10 law, and then it just cuz it was dumb little joke, but.
Eric: It was a way to have fun, especially during one all because, when all is when you’re just the most engrossed in what you’re doing, and you can feel in over your head just to poke fun of it and be stupid.
Eric: Can can really just help you get through it and and like you said, there is a balance megan I know there were guys who took it a little too far, when I was in school and and end up having to drop out.
Eric: it’s very easy to go too far, but it’s about that balancing and again if if you’ve gotten, to the point where you’ve gone into law school you’ve found you figured out that balance at least enough to get yourself there, so at least just try to maintain that.
Eric: So one more question before we get into the Q&A one or two more questions, how important our summer internships and how did you go about finding your summer jobs, you know one i’ll end too well let’s let’s go into the job, the job part of law school.
Zach: yeah I can start my my one i’ll.
Zach: internship so the summer after my one l I had agreed to work at a firm but then they canceled the summer program because of code, so I ended up doing something at you know just through my law school like.
Zach: Something pretty low key.
Zach: You know you what you do during your one else summer doesn’t really have that much of an impact on you know your your future career like I I was hoping to.
Zach: Look at it as just a chance to try something completely new, maybe even litigation which is scary to me, but your second summer, you know the summer after your to well.
Zach: It does have a pretty big role and whether or not you in what you do after you graduate just immediately after you graduate like most of the time you’re going to get an offer to return to that law firm, if you do work out a law firm after your second summer.
Zach: Which is great, you know, so it plays a pretty big role.
Katelyn: My summer internships I also had the same situation as zach as.
Katelyn: My one else summer internship was canceled but then they immediately extended an offer for my two l’s summer so it was something that just kind of lead one thing and to the other, and what I did for my summers.
Katelyn: Is I split them up into six week trunks and I think that’s something that some places are doing some firms do so my one all summer I was supposed to be at a firm and then I was interning for a judge and then the second summer I split between two firms.
Katelyn: And for me it was hugely important.
Katelyn: Those opportunities turned into job offers for me and that can happen, sometimes.
Katelyn: I think zach’s right like it’s not everything and it could be an opportunity for you to try something that you have not done before.
Katelyn: I think the last two years for all of us who’ve gone through law school, it was just unique because of the pandemic and, hopefully, things will be a little bit more normal whatever that may be for you.
Katelyn: But internships can be a source of can be a job opportunity.
Katelyn: If you want it to be, and for me i’m really grateful for that experience because i’m able to to now be my three all year and know what i’m doing post Grad.
Megan: totally agree with zach and caitlin what they said.
Megan: You know my one oh you’re like you know them they Kobe sort of threw everything upside down on its head, I was going to clerked for judge in broward county which is sort of near Miami.
Megan: But the entire court system was shut down everything was in lockdown nobody had any idea what was going to happen.
Megan: And so you know fake kind of guided me to a local.
Megan: law firm that is in you know my hometown so you know they extended the opportunity for me to intern there for my one hour summer, it was.
Megan: entirely virtual which was kind of awkward honestly I you know your first time interning for a law firm and everything’s on zoom and.
Megan: facetime and all of those things, but you know.
Megan: It was a really cool experience for me, I really enjoyed it and I went back my to all summer did the same thing, and they offered me a job opportunity for as soon as I graduate pass the bar, which was.
Megan: You know, like the coolest thing ever but one one interesting piece of advice my one out one of my professors gave me.
Megan: super cool really esteemed she Harvard law Dartmouth undergrad super brilliant she said.
Megan: You know if you don’t work in a law firm or you don’t click for a judge over the summer I mean who cares get some other experience work at starbucks if you want to you’re going to be working in law, the rest of your life if you want to do something else.
Megan: it’s a summer I mean it’s not going to make or break you if you’re an awesome student and you’re making connections throughout the year work at starbucks have a frappuccino you know.
Eric: And it’s funny the you get this idea and I don’t know if it’s.
Eric: If it’s the schools if it’s other students that kind of put this idea in your head, that there is this one particular path you’re supposed to follow, especially when comes these jobs that.
Eric: you’re one out some are supposed to be some sort of high profile nonprofit or government agency and then two l’s supposed to be the law firm that you’re going to end up working for, for your career.
Eric: And that is maybe five or 10% of people for whom that’s that’s the case that that’s the path, but, for whatever reason, it feels like if if you’re not on that path.
Eric: you’re not doing it right, but for 90 95% of students that’s not going to be the path.
Eric: And again it’s very hard, especially for people who are in law school because most of those people your personality type is you want to know the future you want something concrete you want something stable.
Eric: And the fact is the world just just doesn’t work that way, no matter what you’re doing so, it is exactly you’re saying is just be open minded take what’s given to you do the best you can.
Eric: And and you’ll figure it out, you have to just trust the process trust you’ll figure it out along the way.
Eric: Let me ask one more question before we turn over to q&a and Tom maybe if you can queue up Q amp a question or two you know for after this question.
Eric: What is the biggest difference between undergrad and law school because I think that’s the closest thing people have to compare to law school is their undergrad experience what’s what’s the same what’s different about this two experiences.
Zach: I think the first, the first thing that came to my mind was the curve.
Zach: there’s there, at least where I went to college, there was no curve, you know if there were 20 a level students in the course than 20 days, no big deal.
Zach: law school is very competitive because of the curve, so you know, at least at unc I think it’s only like the top third of the class can get an a minus so.
Zach: it’s just kind of like upping your level of discipline, a focus of you know time management, because, like you’re in a classroom with.
Zach: People like you who are willing to go the extra mile you know, whatever to show you want to put in like who are really hard working and and are really checked in, so I think just it’s it’s pretty intense it’s a lot more intense than undergraduate.
Katelyn: I would say the way that you need to study in law school is completely different than what you can get away with maybe an undergrad and undergrad I could.
Katelyn: I can cram for a night and wake up and do really well on the exam That is just not a possibility in law school it’s just a more holistic.
Katelyn: understanding that is required of you were you can almost like live and breathe this content that you are learning and then.
Katelyn: you’re Given these like typically you’re given like a hypothetical fact pattern.
Katelyn: For your exams and you’re just asked to analyze it and apply what you’ve learned to these fake made up facts so that’s just so different than anything that you’re in undergrad is just more objective like I can check these boxes boxes off and i’ve i’ve learned how a cell.
Katelyn: You know splits and becomes two or whatever, but, whereas in law school it’s like I have to know the nuances of the rules and the exceptions to the rules and things like that so just more the depth of understanding that’s required in law schools is far deeper than you need and undergrad.
Megan: First of all, Tom I totally agree with you mitochondria is a powerhouse of the cell, that is exactly what I thought when caitlin was talking about cells.
Megan: But you know law school is more analytical way of thinking.
Megan: Everything is a Gray area you’re going to get so annoyed.
Megan: Because your teachers are going to be asking you questions and you think you have a solid concrete answer to it and they’re going to pose another question and there’s really no right answer things can be argued each way.
Megan: You know, like caitlin and zach was saying undergrad everything seems a bit more black and white, depending on your major some might be more concrete than others, of course, but.
Megan: it’s it’s a completely different way of thinking it’s a completely different way of writing.
Megan: But that’s what your one year is going to prepare you for so don’t worry about it, this is that’s where you, you know iron out all the kinks they teach you how to write they teach you how to think.
Megan: But you’re definitely going to be putting in a lot more effort than you may have put in at least I could say I put in and undergrad I mean.
Megan: to cram for a test, I had a final at 630 I studied at 330 and at night and or some sweatpants and did my final that that’s not gonna fly in law school yep yep.
Eric: Well, I could ask you guys questions all night, but I know the chats been rolling Tom any questions from the chat that you think are worth asking these last few minutes, we have here.
Thom: yeah let’s start with one so some of our attendees really liked the book recommendations.
Thom: And so we’ve got two but can we get two more right so everyone gets to recommend a book so.
Thom: what’s your plug I mean, preferably related to like doing well in law school, but could be about literally anything.
Megan: I have a pretty good recommendation for legal writing and everybody’s going to be taking legal writing courses there one year so.
Megan: This might be a good it’s called i’ll read it in the chat it’s called dryers English i’m spell that out for you and it’s not a super dry book it’s actually pretty quippy and then nice light read and it sort of helps you understand how to write you know.
Thom: megan i’m obsessed that you said that zach that you have it my copy is over, on the bookshelf somewhere literally you wouldn’t think a book about like grammar and how to write and you said you wouldn’t be as utterly captivated.
Megan: it’s awesome right I love it it’s on my bookshelf staring at me right now I mean it’s excellent my one our Professor recommended it to me and i’ve read it like three times, which is sad but it’s awesome definitely recommend.
Katelyn: I have a book.
Katelyn: So one hell of a ride, which I recommended earlier by Andrew mcclurkin and then another book that my brother and I both read together, called the happy lawyer by Douglas a lender and Nancy love it.
Katelyn: it’s just about a kind of gives you the statistics of like here’s what the profession of law has been and how you know mental illness is an issue and.
Katelyn: Just substance abuse and things that have typically been associated like stereotypically with the profession and how you can just not repeat that and how you can.
Katelyn: be an attorney and also enjoy your life and also you know not be miserable so I recommend that, especially for those of you who are worried about that work life balance and how to achieve inner personal happiness and happiness with.
Katelyn: Your profession.
Thom: Right awesome and caitlin if you put the authors in the chat all right, and then Eric your book recommendation.
Eric: I just pulled this book off the shelf is not a green screen, I actually do have real books.
Eric: This is Greg geraldo a comedian story and it’s actually written by my friend matt banneker Greg geraldo was a Harvard law school graduate.
Eric: He ended up working at skadden one of the big Wall Street firms in New York for like two months and quit to become a stand up comedian and he’s one of the best comedians of the early 2000s.
Eric: Unfortunate did not have a happy ending but, but he was a great comedian and just goes to show that you don’t have to follow, whatever the standard path is laid out for you.
Eric: You can change course, right in the middle of it, you can drop out of school, you can become a stand up comedian follow what it is you want to do with your life, and so I recommend it’s really it’s an easy read it’s a well written book Greg Giraldo comedian story.
Thom: All right, great, and then we got a couple questions about finances right like if you’re not supposed to work with your during one l.
Thom: How you pay your bills right um you know did scholarships impact your decision, and I think that’s a real conversation like a much bigger one than we have time for right but law school is horrifically.
Thom: Expensive so in sort of maybe addressing those specific questions right to our panelists like what are your classmates doing to survive and afford law school.
Megan: So um some of my classmates have full ride scholarships or partial scholarships, which I was fortunate enough to be able to have um.
Megan: And a fair majority of the people that I in my classes that i’m aware of to get student loans which.
Megan: i’m sure, a lot of people are going to be taking out for law school or how already taken out for undergrad if you do get the chance to work before you go into law school that’s always a great way to save up some money.
Megan: Any any amount of money is good law school is very expensive it’s no secret, but I think the majority of people either have scholarships or student loans for sure.
Zach: One of the reasons that made you and see like an easy choice is because it’s one of the it’s like one of the best value bang, for your buck law schools in the country and that it’s like highly ranked but very affordable, even for out of state resonance so you know law schools are.
Zach: Pretty transparent about how much things are going to cost and you just have to factor in the cost of living expenses.
Zach: And I also, I just want to plug a book series called the bosh Bo s ch mystery novels not related to the law at all think what katie was saying about mental health is like super true so i’ve read about 20 of them, just as a way to like completely check out from the middle school readings.
Thom: That I kind of love that I remember an undergrad people i’d say like, how do you have time to read for fun and my response would always be I don’t have time, not to read for fun like i’m just trying to stay sane here people.
Thom: Alright um and then we had a couple questions about like sort of picking a law school that fits your abilities and interests or like when in law school you choose the field, you want to like concentrate in right so sort of.
Thom: overlapping questions about your interests, how to find the law school that fits them and then at what point in the process, you go beyond the standard one our curriculum and start to move in a specific direction any thoughts on that.
Katelyn: I would say you will you are better served by not trying to act like you know what you’re going to do when you’re done or.
Katelyn: there’s just there is no it’s not like Medical School were you in your four years, and you have to pick a residency and in an area or in a concentration and then you get placed in that.
Katelyn: Even for me i’ve i’ve gotten a job as a commercial litigator but I don’t even really I can’t even I don’t really know what that means other than i’m going to.
Katelyn: defend big corporations in court, and probably deal with some contracts, you know what I mean like.
Katelyn: i’m do a lot of things experience a lot of things, but I i’m going into this as humbly as possible, knowing that I truly don’t know what i’m doing.
Katelyn: And i’m willing to be wrong and maybe i’ll do something different, in the future, and I think the beauty of the jd is that you can do those things and it’s a it’s a versatile degree and it’s something that allows you to get your you can just go into lots of different fields.
Zach: And I just I I would caution against going to law school because they’re like really good at teaching like this type of law like, in my opinion, everybody goes to law school is going to work hard that’s like ingredient number one that you need.
Zach: kind of like I said before, like my advice if you’re stuck between law school is is to go to the higher ranked one just because you’re going to have more career opportunities if you’re more likely to um.
Zach: You know, with regards to like figuring out what kind of law, you want to do doesn’t really matter, like most most people don’t really know, but you know.
Zach: it’s helpful to know but it’s not a prerequisite at all.
Megan: yeah um.
Megan: I know before I went into law school.
Megan: We have some family, friends who are attorneys and I was telling them.
Megan: Man, I mean, I think this is what I want to study in law, but you know i’m not 100% sure and they’re all saying oh don’t worry, there are so many fields of law now.
Megan: you’re not even going to know what to do with them there’s going to be so many exciting things that you’re going to be able to study and they just keep coming up with new fields and sub fields so.
Megan: I think the options will definitely be plentiful, you might think you want to study one thing in law now.
Megan: And then you end up in your two year and you’re thinking, I think I want to do trademark law, I want to do you know property law there’s so many things and.
Megan: Regarding you know where you might want to choose your law school I you know of course ranking has a lot to do with it.
Megan: But there’s also the fact that some some areas of the United States are obviously more heavily populated and more rural areas and there are certain places, you can make more connections than others.
Megan: So in addition to ranking you know where you’re able to be you know within like close proximity to a bunch of successful affluent people that might be able to guide you in your career is also something very important.
Megan: You know, not necessarily you don’t have to go to New York or Miami or la but certainly there’s a lot of cities where you know they have really esteemed alumni and.
Megan: A lot of people who you know come to speak at law school and they can give you great advice so take that into consideration as well when you’re deciding where to apply.
Thom: Well, speaking of group giving great advice, thanks to all three of you for sharing your words of wisdom with me and Eric and with all of our attendees today as those of us in the chat can we get a shout out to our great panelists thanking them for for joining us here today.
Thom: All right, and Eric any final words from you.
Eric: know this is really, really excellent and and again it’s so great, to get advice from people who are in the middle of law school they know exactly what the world is like right now.
Eric: And I would say just take this advice take take it to heart but also understand that your process is going to be a personal one you have to again I keep pounding this home, but you have to make the decision that’s that’s best for you.
Eric: And not base it on what someone else is doing what you think you should be doing take this advice use it, but ultimately you got to make the decision that that works for you, but thank you all for being here.
Thom: All right, well, one last time, thanks so much everyone to our panelists to our attendees and everyone else stay safe out there we’re still in a pandemic, but with that good night everyone.
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