In the article, we detail the primary differences between law school and undergrad, including explaining the following differences: Continue reading What is the First Year of Law School Like?
Hi! I’m Ashley Heidemann. In this blog post, I’m going to give you a brief history of the story behind the law school preparatory course. We just released the course last year. Here is why we decided to release it and what it is all about:I initially created this Law School Preparatory Course because I thought it was an extremely valuable course that was completely missing from the market place. Many existing law school preparatory courses focus on giving a broad overview of the law (which is limited in its usefulness and does not actually teach you what to do to succeed). Other law school preparatory courses focus an inordinate amount of attention on case-reading and briefing – which again, seemed to be missing the point. I knew that if I had depended on those courses before I went to law school, I would not have graduated as the #1 student.
I was a K-JD student. I went straight through from undergrad to law school automatically without even thinking about taking time off in between. In the end, I think that was the right path for me. But looking back on my own law school experience – and hearing others talk about their own experiences – I’ve realized that taking time off between undergrad and law school provides a plethora of advantages that many undergrad students do not stop to consider.
This outline is a combination of the speeches given on 8/19/14 and 8/21/14 by Ashley Heidemann to the incoming law students at Wayne State University. It is posted for the convenience of the students who attended the speech, so that it can be referred back to at a later time. However, it can also serve as good advice to those who were not present at the orientation. Continue reading Cultivating Academic Success in Law School – Outline of Speech at WSU Law School
Are you wondering if you should schedule breaks in law school? Most competitive law students do not take time for regularly-scheduled breaks. This is not to say that they study 24/7 and never take any time off – they simply do not incorporate regular breaks into their schedules.
In law school, most of my friends were pretty competitive (like me) and because they wanted to succeed, they tried to work as many hours as they could seven days a week. Some even felt guilty any time they had a family function, outing, or illness that cut down on precious study time.
A few of my friends, however, made it a point to schedule some time off. One took Saturday mornings off. She would wake up late, take her time eating breakfast and drinking coffee, and not start studying until the afternoon. Another took every Thursday night off to go out to eat with his parents an have a drink with friends. Continue reading How I took One Full Day off a Week in Law School – and Why I Recommend Scheduling Breaks
The last post for our 0L Law School Prep series is ending with a “IAmA” series on Reddit. You can ask me anything on Reddit today at this link: //www.reddit.com/r/LawSchool/ or simply post in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer ASAP. Continue reading Law School Prep Tip #11: Ask Me Anything!
Law School Prep Tip #10 is all about setting yourself up for success by pre-planning your study environment. Even if you will not be making a detailed law school study schedule ahead of time, it is a good idea to figure out when, where, and how you will study in law school. Doing so will save you a lot of time and frustration right off the bat. It will set you up for success.
Continue reading Law School Prep Tip # 10: Figure out When, Where, and How You Will Study Ahead of Time
What is outlining? Outlining is the process of organizing and condensing all of the material that you learn over the semester into one single, manageable document that you are able to commit to memory. Outlining is an important skill to have in law school. You will be expected to make an outline for each of your core substantive law school courses.
Why outline? You will never have to hand in your outlines and you will not be graded on them. But they are invaluable tools to help you learn everything you need to know in law school. Furthermore, some of your professors may allow you to consult your outlines on your exams so it is nice to have them handy to refer to. Thus, it is important to make a law school outline for each of your law school courses. We will explain how to make a law school outline in this post. Continue reading Law School Prep Tip #9: Learn How to Make a Law School Outline
You deserve a lot of credit for choosing to go to law school , especially given all of the negativity that surrounds that decision. The following negative statements are constantly bouncing around the media:
“Law school is so hard.”
“The bar exam is impossible to pass.”
“The job market is so bad.”
You’ve probably had several friends, family members and strangers warn you about the difficulty of law school or the dismal job market. And if you’re anything like me, when someone goes out of their way to tell you how their nephew graduated two years ago and still doesn’t have a job or how so-and-so hated law school so much she dropped out, your first reaction will be to argue with the other person (and include a healthy dose of sarcasm). Continue reading Law School Prep Tip #8 (for pre-law students, law students, and lawyers): Don’t Engage Negativity
Law School Prep Tip #7 is to Get a Head Start on Legal Writing. Why? Because being able to write a good paper, memo, or argument will help you not only throughout law school but also throughout your legal career. Many attorneys report that the law school class that helped them the most when they began practicing law was their legal writing or research class.
Because legal writing and research are such valuable and necessary skills for practicing attorneys, the vast majority of law schools require students to take some kind of legal writing or legal research class their first year of law school. Thus, it is a good idea to consider getting a head start on it over the summer.
My Secret to Graduating as the #1 Law Student (and Law School Prep Tip #6 Set Challenging Goals and Develop a Unique Strategy to Accomplish Them).
My decision to go to law school was not the most well-thought-out decision I’ve ever made. I think my exact logic for that decision was: “I want something challenging but medical school is too long.” I didn’t even have any desire to practice law. I was basically only going to law school because I wanted the intellectual challenge. (Side note: While I do not regret my decision to go to law school for one second, I also do not recommend that such big decisions be made with such little forethought!). Continue reading My Secret to Graduating as the #1 Law Student (and Law School Prep Tip #6)
As mentioned in our previous post, in law school, professors teach classes using the Socratic Method (rather than lecturing). This means that the professor will go in front of the classroom and ask students questions about the law and the assigned reading, rather than simply telling the students what the law is. Many times students don’t know the answer. Or they get the answer wrong . Or it takes them ten minutes to arrive at the correct answer and by the time they provide the correct answer, you forgot what the question was.
This makes it very difficult to learn the law! It also means that you may find yourself very confused after class. I remember many occasions in law school when I would leave the classroom ten times more confused than when I walked into it. Continue reading Law School Summer Prep: Tip # 5 Purchase Commercial Study Aids
We have published an article that is very similar to this one before but now we are publishing it in the context of a pre-law tip. Why? Because if you understand exactly how law school is different than college, you will be way ahead of your peers.
One big difference between law school and many undergraduate programs is that law school is a lot of work. You will have cases to read, legal writing and research assignments to complete, outlines to write, and exams to prepare for. You can help tackle this workload ahead of time by figuring out a good law school study schedule before law school even begins. Continue reading Law School Summer Prep: Tip # 3 Create a Law School Study Schedule that you Can use Throughout Law School
Healthy habits are underrated in law school. In law school, you will be surrounded by classmates who put physical health on the backburner. Physical health is important, in part, because it is intimately related to mental health. If you are looking to increase your concentration, focus, and recall – and ultimately do well in class and on law school final exams – maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something you should make a priority. It is also something you can start on in the summer – the earlier you start changing your daily routines to make them more healthy, the better. Thus, our second tip for law school summer prep is to develop healthy habits. Here are a few suggestions on ways you can do so: Continue reading Law School Summer Prep: Blog Series Tip #2: Develop Healthy Habits