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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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The Law School Toolbox Podcast: Tools for Law Students from 1L to the Bar Exam, and Beyond
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Now displaying: September, 2015
Sep 28, 2015

Today we are talking about one important facet of your law school experience - learning to argue like a lawyer. From class to court, it's all basically the same.

So, what do Lawyers argue about? Some combination of:

  1. The Facts
  2. The Law
  3. Policy

In this episode we discuss:

  • Examples of the types of arguments you will find in law school
  • How to argue like a lawyer
  • Why law students struggle with the concept of ambiguity
  • The importance of reading cases carefully
  • Why law students struggle when trying to argue about the law
  • Policy arguments and why they can be the most confusing type of argument
  • How professors handle policy arguments
  • What types of arguments will you see on exams and strategies for mastering them

If you liked this episode, please let us know!We'd love a nice review and/or rating on iTunes.

And feel free to reach out to us directly! You can always reach us via the contact form on the Law School Toolbox website (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/contact). 

Thanks for listening! Good luck in law school.

Alison & Lee

 

Sep 24, 2015

Are your resume and cover letter ready to send out? Many law students wait until they're under the gun to craft their job application materials. The truth is you should write your resume now to avoid having to rush and create one when an opportunity presents itself.

Not all resumes and cover letters are created equal. Find out what makes a law student resume and cover letter stand out in a sea of applicants! 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why you should do your resume and cover letter early in law school
  • What your resume needs to convey
  • How long the average hiring manager looks at your resume
  • Learning to look at your resume from different perspectives
  • How to make your resume stand out in a crowded field
  • Common resume problems
  • How to elaborate on a short resume
  • How to explain experience that isn’t obviously related
  • How you can get more experience for your resume
  • Crafting different resumes for different types of jobs
  • Where to get help writing your resume and cover letter
  • The importance of consistency on LinkedIn and other social media profiles

Good luck in the job hunt!

Resources:

If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know!

We'd love a nice review and/or rating on iTunes. And feel free to reach out to us directly. You can always reach us via the contact form on the Law School Toolbox website (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/contact). 

Thanks for listening! 

Alison & Lee

Sep 21, 2015

What is it about the term Legal Writing that makes law students cringe? If you are a first-year law student, you're most likely enrolled in a Legal Research and Writing Class (LRW). This is a class that can strike fear into the heart of some law students. Others approach it with an "I got this" attitude only to be shocked when they realize they actually don't. The same writing skills that scored you a spot in law school do not always transfer when it comes to legal writing. It's just another class - what is everyone so afraid of? 

  1. You have to get comfortable with writing in a different way. 
  2. The exams and papers can be incredibly time-consuming and challenging. 
  3. It's hard to "unlearn" a style of writing you became comfortable with in your prior education. 

In this episode we talk about:

  • What makes legal writing so difficult? 
  • The different types of legal writing
  • How your academic background can affect your success in your legal writing class
  • Improving your legal writing skills
  • How to handle legal writing if English isn't your first language
  • Tools and tricks to stay organized
  • Why legal writing is important to your future career (and passing the bar exam)

If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know!

We'd love a nice review and/or rating on iTunes. And feel free to reach out to us directly! You can always reach us via the contact form on the Law School Toolbox website (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/contact). 

Thanks for listening! 

Alison & Lee

Resources:

Sep 17, 2015

Are lawyers actually more unhappy than your average professionals, or do they just like to complain a lot? 

Studies have shown that 52% of practicing lawyers are dissatisfied in their careers. They suffer from depression rates 3.6 times higher than other professions. The divorce rate is higher among lawyers and especially among female lawyers.

Are you doomed to misery as a lawyer?

In this episode, we discuss why the profession is so messed up, and what you can do to shield yourself against the worst aspects of the legal profession. We talk about:

  • Why lawyers are so unhappy
  • Whether there's a link between pay and job satisfaction
  • What intrinsic factors in the profession contribute to the widespread misery?
  • "Phantom Blackberry syndrome" after leaving BigLaw
  • Has technology made these problems worse?
  • Perfectionism in the legal profession
  • Is this all law schools' fault?
  • What can you do to avoid or respond to these problems?
  • How can you make your life better as a law student or lawyer? 

The good news - not all lawyers are unhappy. The trick is to find a happy medium that works for you. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know! We'd love a nice review and/or rating on iTunes. And feel free to reach out to us directly! You can always reach us via the contact form on the Law School Toolbox website (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/contact/).

Thanks for listening!

Alison & Lee

Resources Mentioned:

  1. Why Are Lawyers So Unhappy? (http://www.lawyerswithdepression.com/articles/why-are-lawyers-so-unhappy/) 
  2. Lawyers With Lower Pay Report More Happiness (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/lawyers-with-lowest-pay-report-more-happiness/) 
  3. Law School Quadruples the Chance of Depression: Some Changes That May Help (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-mayer-mangan/law-school-quadruples-dep_b_5713337.html)
  4. The Lawyer Who Became a Clown (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/abandoning-the-work-i-hated/)
  5. Dave Nee Foundation (http://www.daveneefoundation.org/scholarship/lawyers-and-depression/)
  6. Warrior One - Mindfulness for Lawyers  (http://warriorone.com/)
Sep 11, 2015

Welcome back! If you are a 2L or 3L who's stuggled in law school, this episode is for you. Today we're talking about how to overcome a 1L year that was less than stellar and raise your grades for the rest of your tenure in law school.

Your GPA as a 1L is important because it's used for on-campus interviews and Law Review, but don't forget that clerkships, internships, and future employers look at the big picture and you still have a long way to go. It's too early to get discouraged!

We discuss strategies to raise your GPA which include:

  • Evaluating the problem
  • Developing more effective pre-exam preparation strategies
  • Secrets to eliminating distractions in class
  • Managing your time effectively and getting more practice in
  • Working on your exam writing skills
  • Scheduling classes the smart way
  • Taking advantage of electives and clinics
  • Improving your GPA as a 3L - Is it even worth bothering?
  • Getting in the right mindset for success

The most important things is to not get discouraged and give up. Continuously try to improve and change the way you prepare and study, and you'll see results!

If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know! We'd love a nice review and/or rating on iTunes. And feel free to reach out to us directly. You can always reach us via the contact form on the Law School Toolbox website (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/contact/).

Good luck!

Alison & Lee

Resources:

 

 

Sep 8, 2015

Welcome back! If you’re a 1L, this is the episode for you. We’re going to talk about the top five things law students consistently screw up their first year, so you can avoid doing any of them.

In a nutshell, here they are (and we talk about each one in detail in this episode):

1.     Bad time and life management

2.     Misunderstanding what’s expected on the final exam

3.     Lack of practice

4.     Lack of feedback (or not learning from feedback)

5.     Simply not doing the work, or not fully committing to the experience

Are you falling behind in law school, or just checking the boxes and missing the point? Find out what you need to be doing to succeed as a 1L - and what NOT to do!

Resources:

If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know! We'd love a nice review and/or rating on iTunes. And feel free to reach out to us directly! You can always reach us via the contact form on the Law School Toolbox website (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/contact/).

Thanks for listening!

Alison & Lee

 

 

 

 

Sep 3, 2015

Today, we're doing a deep dive into a critically important topic -- time and life management! If you're an overstressed law student or young lawyer, this is a can't miss episode.

Here's some of what we cover:

  • Why is work-life balance so hard in today's legal profession?
  • Has technology made things even more difficult?
  • How to focus and get the right things done
  • Why multitasking is a bad idea
  • Why it's important to make time for breaks
  • Overcoming self-sabotaging behavior in law school
  • Effectively using a calendar to manage your time
  • How to figure out what you should be spending your time on in law school
  • When should you start outlining in law school?
  • Strategies for prioritizing and executing effectively in law school
  • Common ways to waste time in law school
  • How much time should you spend reading cases?
  • Using systems to make life easier for yourself
  • What can you outsource to create more time for yourself?
  • How much time are people really studying in law school?

Resources:

If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know! We'd love a nice review and/or rating on iTunes. And feel free to reach out to us directly! You can always reach us via the contact form on the Law School Toolbox website (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/contact/).

Thanks for listening!

Alison & Lee

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