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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: May, 2016
May 30, 2016

Welcome back! Today we have one of our most experienced bar tutors, Ariel Salzer with us to talk about the essay portion of the bar exam. Many students dread (and even put off) practicing for the essays. We dig into why this is and give helpful tips on how to tackle those essays and find bar exam success. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why are the bar exam essays so challenging?
  • The favorite strategy for preparing for the bar exam essays
  • Why is practice so important? 
  • Why students refuse to practice
  • Is re-writing worth your time? 
  • Why you need to do what makes you uncomfortable
  • Preparing yourself mentally and emotionally
  • Ariel and Lee share their bar essay experiences
  • The importance of self-evaluation
  • How to study the law to make your essays easier to write
  • What the graders are really looking for
  • How and why to take your timed practice tests
  • How to make the bar exam graders' job easy and get maximum points

Resources: 

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoy the podcast, 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). And don't forget about our bar exam site: Bar Exam Toolbox! (http://barexamtoolbox.com)

Enjoy! And best of luck with the bar exam.

Alison & Lee

May 23, 2016

Welcome back! Today we're discussing the top five mistakes students consistently make when preparing for the bar exam, with special guest Ariel Salzer. Ariel is one of our most experienced bar exam tutors, so we’re very excited to have her here today to give us a rundown of the biggest mistakes she sees students making – so you can avoid them!

We'd like to thank this episode's sponsor, one of our favorite MBE bar prep products, Adaptibar (www.adaptibar.com). With Adaptibar, you can practice with licensed questions released directly from the NCBE and used on past exams, and the program will automatically adjust to focus on your weakest areas. Students also tell us that they love studying on their mobile devices and laptops, and leaving the heavy MBE books at home. Interested? Use code C8UX at checkout for a $55 discount. 

Let's get to the show!

In this episode we discuss:

  • The single biggest mistake students make when preparing for the bar exam
  • How to take a "training wheels" approach to bar study
  • Why you should do what makes you most uncomfortable
  • Why you need to outline your essay on scratch paper
  • Whether you should practice in exam conditions
  • What does "minimum competency" mean in relation to the bar exam?
  • Fixing your problem areas
  • How you should be tracking what you personally need to work on
  • Why it's valuable to come up with your own attack plans
  • Memorizing in broad strokes vs. finer detail
  • The importance of mindfulness 

Resources: 

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoy the podcast, 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). And don't forget about our bar exam site: Bar Exam Toolbox! (http://barexamtoolbox.com)

Enjoy! And best of luck with the bar exam.

Alison & Lee

May 16, 2016

Welcome back! Today we’re talking about some surprising LSAT myths with Nathan Fox, founder of Fox LSAT. 

In this episode we discuss:

Nathan shares his top myths about the LSAT (some of which are pretty surprising!):

         1. You should only take it once

         2. You need to finish the sections to score well

         3. You should closely monitor your time

         4. The logic games are hard

In addition:

  • Nathan shares his personal story about why he shouldn't have gone to law school
  • How scholarships work in relationship to how well you do on the LSAT
  • What do law school admissions people really care about? 
  • Alison shares her story about the LSAT and the mistakes she made
  • How to build up endurance for the LSAT
  • Why you need to practice the easy questions as much as the hard ones
  • The importance of the practice exam
  • When you should take the LSAT
  • Why you shouldn't fear the logic games
  • Tips to improve your LSAT score

Resources: 

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoy the podcast, 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). 

Enjoy! And best of luck with the LSAT.

Alison & Lee

 

May 9, 2016

Welcome back to the Law School Toolbox podcast! Today we are talking about writing effectively in a summer legal job. Joining us as a guest is Doretta McGinnis, who has taught Legal Writing for many years and is now a Law School Toolbox tutor. 

If you are working this summer in a legal context, tune in for tips on how to shine!

In this episode we discuss:

  • How does writing in a legal job context compare to writing in law school? 
  • What will you be writing (and what you probably won't be doing)
  • Handling things you may be asked to do but haven't seen in law school
  • Getting guidance on your assignment and clarifying what you need to produce
  • The importance of maintaining a record of what you do for research assignments
  • What is an employer looking for in a summer employee? 
  • What should you be able to do in your summer job?
  • What should your writing look like? 
  • Objective writing vs. persuasive writing
  • The importance of asking questions
  • Deadlines and how to meet them! 
  • How to anticipate the needs of your supervisor and why it's important to check in
  • What to bring to meetings
  • Getting the backstory on a case
  • Is it ever OK to turn in an incomplete first draft?
  • Behaving like a professional

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoy the podcast, 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). 

Enjoy! And best of luck at your summer jobs.

Alison & Lee

Resources:

How to Behave Like a Professional in the Legal Workplace (http://lawschooltoolbox.com/podcast-episode-25-behave-like-professional-legal-workplace/)

May 2, 2016

Welcome back to the Law School Toolbox podcast! Today we are talking with special guest, Fairuz Abdullah, Associate Director of Public Interest Programs and Judicial Clerkships in the office of career and professional development at UC Hastings, about how to get a judicial clerkship! As some of you may know, the clerkship process (at least for federal clerkships) has changed a lot in recent years and Fairuz has just returned from the NALP conference with some very useful information.

If you are contemplating a judicial clerkship, be sure to tune in!

In this episode we discuss:

  • What the clerkship process looked like in the past vs. now
  • How much have things really changed and what prompted the changes to the clerkship process?
  • What do you need to do at various stages (1L, 2L, 3L, alum) to position yourself for a clerkship
  • How your school can help you find a clerkship
  • What the clerkship application numbers look like lately
  • Who should be applying as early as possible
  • What judges are looking for in their judicial clerks
  • How to build relationships with professors (for letters of recommendation and phone calls on your behalf)
  • What do clerkships pay?
  • The questions you may be asked in your clerkship interview
  • Alternatives to federal clerkships, like state and international courts
  • Fairuz and Alison's advice for someone who really wants a clerkship

Resources: 

Federal Courts

U.S. Courts (http://www.uscourts.gov/)

Online System for Application and Review (https://oscar.uscourts.gov/)

State Courts

National Center for State Courts (http://www.ncsc.org/)

Vermont Law School State Court Clerkship Guide (http://forms.vermontlaw.edu/career/guides/) (paid subscription by your law school)

California Supreme/Appellate Court info (http://www.courts.ca.gov/careers.htm)

Insight and Information for State Court Clerkships on NALP Connect (http://www.nalp.org/nalpconnect) (law school career office can access)

Federal ALJ Post Graduate Clerkships Guide on NALP Connect  (http://www.nalp.org/nalpconnect) (law school career office can access)

International Courts

International Justice and Resource Center (http://www.ijrcenter.org)

Opportunities with International Tribunals and Foreign Courts (https://www.law.yale.edu/system/files/area/department/cdo/document/CDO_International_Tribunals_Public.pdf) (Yale Guide)

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoy the podcast, 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). 

Enjoy! And best of luck securing a clerkship!

Alison & Lee

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