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The Law School Toolbox Podcast: Tools for Law Students from 1L to the Bar Exam, and Beyond

The Law School Toolbox podcast is an engaging show for law students about law school, the bar exam, legal careers, and life. Each week, we offer practical tips and advice on academic matters, careers, and more. The Law School Toolbox podcast is hosted by opinionated law school and bar exam experts Alison Monahan and Lee Burgess. You might not always agree with us, but we guarantee you won’t be bored listening! Our goal is to impart useful, actionable advice in an entertaining manner. Join us! And, if you have an opinion on the show, please drop by and offer a review. We’re here to help, and we’d love to hear from you!
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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 27, 2015

Today we’re excited to be discussing one of our very favorite topics – Learning! I know you’re shocked that this is a topic we find interesting…but we do. Especially right now, when Alison is living in Mexico trying to learn Spanish and Lee is watching her one-year-old son learn new stuff every day.

 

We’re pretty convinced that the lessons from learning a language, or learning to walk, apply equally to learning in law school!

 

Here's what's discussed in this episode:

  • How do children approach learning, and what can we learn from them?
  • What's it like learning another language, and how do these lessons apply to law school?
  • Why you need to do the things that make you uncomfortable to really learn effectively
  • Why being smart isn't enough (Hint: You still have to work hard)
  • What we can all learn from Brene Brown about learning (love her!)
  • Practical ways to develop your learning resilience

Enjoy!

If you like the Law School Toolbox podcast, we're really appreciate an iTunes review and/or rating. And if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lee and Alison at Lee@lawschooltoolbox.com or Alison@lawschooltoolbox.com or you can always contact us via our website contact form at LawSchoolToolbox.com.

Show Notes:

Thanks for listening!

Alison & Lee

 

Aug 25, 2015

Today, we’re talking about a very important topic – how to stay true to yourself and live with integrity as a law student and as a lawyer.

Our friend Linda Alvarez gave a great talk on this topic at the most recent Catapult conference, and we’re going to be pulling heavily from her ideas here. For those of you who don’t know her, Linda is an innovative attorney who helps her clients create contracts that align with their values, through a process she calls “discovering agreement.” She’s been named an ABA Legal Rebel, and you can find out more about her on her website DiscoveringAgreement.com.

One of the first things Linda mentioned was that it was very interesting that we even think to ask these sort of questions.

For example:

  • How do I create an authentic life in the context of my work as a lawyer? 

  • How can I create a legal career that doesn’t create too much dissonance between my nature and my work?

Why are lawyers even asking these questions?!? Alison went to architecture school, and architects definitely aren't spending a ton of time worrying that architecture will ruin their lives!

Today's conversation is wide-ranging, and includes stories of how we both screwed up and went off track in law school.

Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Is this all law school’s fault?
  • Has the legal profession lost a sense of community?
  • What’s integrity? How does it relate to power?
  • Can knowing your core values can make tough decisions easier?
  • The value of making a personal mission statement
  • Are lawyers allowed to have feelings? And what happens if you pretend you don't have any?
  • What are you saying Yes to? Is it really what you want?
  • What fundamental questions should you be asking yourself in law school, or as a new lawyer?

Enjoy! And, as always,if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lee and Alison at Lee@lawschooltoolbox.com or Alison@lawschooltoolbox.com or you can always contact us via our website contact form at LawSchoolToolbox.com.

Resources Mentioned:

Please leave a iTunes rating or review if you enjoyed the show. And don't forget to subscribe, so you won't miss anything!

Aug 19, 2015

Last time, we talked about the basics of OCI, how to bid, and what to expect in the initial interview. Today, we’re discussing the next step in the process – callback interviews.

 

Topics discussed include:

  • The basics - what's a callback interview, and how is it different from the initial on-campus interview?
  • What are firms looking for in a callback?
  • Advice on scheduling interviews and handling travel arrangements (including what you can expect the firm to pay for)
  • What to wear for your callbacks and what to bring with you
  • Thank you notes
  • What you should be paying attention to on your callbacks, to figure out if a firm is a good fit for you
  • Questions to ask (and not to ask) at a callback
  • What to do if you strike out at OCI and need to find a job a different way

If you're doing callbacks, this is a must-listen episode! We'll tell you all the stuff that no one else will.

 

If you enjoyed this episode of the Law School Toolbox podcast, please take a second to leave a review and rating on iTunes. We’d really appreciate it. And be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss anything.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lee and Alison at Lee@lawschooltoolbox.com or Alison@lawschooltoolbox.com or you can always contact us via our website contact form at LawSchoolToolbox.com.

 

Thanks for listening! Good luck in your job hunt.

Alison & Lee

 

Aug 17, 2015

Welcome back to the Law School Toolbox podcast. For the next two episodes, we’re talking about the process of getting a summer associate position at a large law firm – typically referred to as on-campus interviewing or OCI. The details of the process vary somewhat between schools, but the basics are similar across the board.

 

In this episode, we talk about improving your resume and cover letter, how to figure out what firms to bid on in OCI and how to keep them straight, how the process typically works (and differences between different schools), what to wear, what the interviews are like, and what firms are looking for. We also share tips from our experience interviewing potential summer associate candidates - the good, the bad, and the ugly, and talk about the weird stuff we had to explain when we did OCI.

 

If you're a law student going through OCI, this is a can't miss episode! 

 

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lee and Alison at Lee@lawschooltoolbox.com or Alison@lawschooltoolbox.com or you can always contact us via our website contact form at LawSchoolToolbox.com.

 

Enjoy, and good luck at OCI!

Resources mentioned:

Did you find this episode helpful and interesting? Please leave a ranking and review on iTunes. Thanks!

 

Alison & Lee

 

Aug 3, 2015

In the prior episode, we talked about Mindset and how important it is to work on cultivating a growth mindset. Today, we’re talking about why law school is hard! Not to scare you, but to provide context and alert you to some of the challenges you might face. Forewarned is forearmed. And remember, a challenge – seen the right way – is just an opportunity for growth and learning.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Whether law school is the hardest thing we've ever done
  • Ways to make law school harder for yourself, by choosing the wrong school
  • The impact of stress and anxiety on law students and the legal profession
  • Why the academics of law school are hard
  • Why the social aspects of law school are hard
  • Why the job aspects of law school are hard
  • Whether law school has gotten even harder in recent years

Resources:

Articles we discussed:

Got a question? Please contact us via LawSchoolToolbox.com.

Thanks for listening! Please leave a review and rating on iTunes if you enjoyed the show. We'd really appreciate it!

 

 

 

Aug 3, 2015

The goal of this episode is to talk about one of the most important tools you need when starting your legal career – the right mindset. We discuss fixed and growth mindsets and talk about how having the right mindset can really influence your experience and success in law school.

We became somewhat obsessed with the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (a Stanford Professor) a couple of years ago. After reading the book, we both realized that a lot of surviving and thriving in law school is really about having the right mindset. Everyone is going to encounter challenges in law school, and in life – what matters is how you react to the road bumps. Do you have a fixed mindest ("I'm too stupid to be in law school") or do you see challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow?

In this episode, we share our own stories of overcoming challenges, in law school and otherwise, and offer some tips for shifting to a more growth-oriented way of thinking, for those times when that might not be your first impulse! And, as an added bonus, when discuss when it makes sense to give up and drop out of law school.

Resources Mentioned:

Got a question? You can always find us via the Contact form on LawSchoolToolbox.com. Say hello!

And if you enjoy the show, please leave a rating and review on iTunes. Thanks!

Aug 2, 2015

This goal of this episode is to give you – the new listener – an overview of who Lee and Alison are, how we met and started our various projects, why we went to law school, and what we did there. We also talk about different legal jobs we had, over the summers and full-time. Finally, we give you a very quick rundown of our various businesses, and how we can help – whether you’re a current law student, just thinking about law school, or already working as a lawyer.

If you're new to the Law School Toolbox podcast, start here!

We’d love to hear from you with any questions or comments. You can contact us via the LawSchoolToolbox.com website, or at Alison or Lee @lawschooltoolbox.com.

If you enjoy the show, please leave a rating and/or a review. We'd appreciate it!

 

 

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