Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to law school. You’ve received your acceptance from the Admissions Office and your Financial Aid Award letter. Now what? What steps do you need to take to receive your financial aid awards?
It’s that glorious time chock full of barbeques, poolside relaxation, the smell of sunscreen, and sunshine-filled, long, warm days.
Not up here in the Office of Career Services, though. You’d think it was 6 PM on Christmas Eve in the jewelry department at Bloomingdales up here. It’s crazy time! For us, summer means that the clerkship application season is in full gear and Fall OCI is just around the corner. June is the time that cover letters and resumes by the ton are being edited, mock interviews are underway, and there is a massive outreach to the many employers who will flow through our doors later in the summer to scoop up our wonderful students. So as you are preparing for our little OCS “Christmas in July”, now would be a good time to consider some of our tips for job interviews.
In 1992 the New Jersey Supreme Court decided State in re M.T.S. (609 A.2d 1266 (N.J. 1992)), a case about the meaning of the term “force” in New Jersey’s sexual assault statute. As soon as the court published its opinion, scholars predicted that the decision was bound for the casebooks, and they were right. It is a great teaching case, and it is also an important early defense of the principle of affirmative consent, a way of thinking about sexual assault that has gained considerable traction in recent years. A generation of law students has now been introduced to sexual assault law through In re M.T.S.
But there’s something else about M.T.S. that’s striking and important, something that has less to do with sexual assault and much to do with the talents of law students.
Ever heard of the concept of a “happy accident”? No? Because I like food so much, allow me to reduce it to the place I am most comfortable, the kitchen—where my best metaphors are concocted. Like Chocolate Chip cookies? Me, I love them. However, those delightful little mouthfuls of dough and chocolate were not the product of some great baker who painstakingly mixed dough with chocolate chips and baked them into a chewy, crunchy, brown-edged sweetness that melts in your mouth and which I, along with countless Americans cannot do without. You can take a lot away from me, but deprive me of my chocolate chip cookies and you will find one angry sweet-toothed Assistant Dean. But I digress.
Most admissions professionals spend a considerable amount of time helping law school applicants understand the various ranking mechanisms that are out there and trying to guide prospective law students to a rational, thoughtful use of these tools.
Before we dig into this – I want to caution you that the use of any of these tools should only be one part of your analysis. It is important for you to do your homework by visiting schools you are interested in, seeking out data and information from websites and professionals at the schools, and talking to alumni. No single rank or publication should dictate your choices. Available information is best used in an all-inclusive approach.
Ever since I could remember I have wanted to work in the entertainment industry. I have always been fascinated by the process that occurs behind the scenes in order to take a concept from an artistic idea in someone’s head to an actual product that people around the world can enjoy.
As the oldest sibling from a home in which neither parent attended college, and neither was active in a workplace community, I was constantly searching for professional mentors. As an early undergraduate student, I remember hearing one of our college administrators speak at an on-campus workshop. This woman was well-spoken, confident, and knowledgeable in her field. I remember thinking to myself, “I want to be like her.” After the workshop concluded, I introduced myself and asked if I could set up a meeting with her. I wanted her help on drafting my resume, as well as practice my interviewing skills. She enthusiastically agreed.
A reminder for all of us fortunate enough to have work to do.
Continue to be grateful for the work. It will always be your safe harbor against the heartbreaks and sorrows of this life. Keep in mind that you do it not so much for your own sake but on behalf of the countless people and constituencies, most still nameless and unknown to you, who nonetheless are waiting for you to use your emerging expertise to make their lives better. And you will.
Are you a law student looking to do well on your next round of finals? Then buckle down because what you do now matters much more than what you do in the days immediately preceding the exam.
By the end of the semester, my 1L Property students will have read more than 600 pages and have almost 70 hours worth of class notes. Together all those pages and all those notes are an enormous intellectual mountain. The most effective way to climb this particular mountain is to constantly reduce its size.
You whittle away at the mountain by following these steps:
I love that you’re asking this question. It’s a great idea to spend time reading before your first year of law school. And I love books, so it gives me a chance to reminisce about some recent good reads and some old favorites. Though I would argue that whatever you decide to read is less important than the decision to read itself.
Selecting a few books to read before law school makes good sense for two reasons. First, we learn a lot by reading in law school so you will want to build good reading habits, to increase your reading stamina, and to get used to reading to learn.
Topics: Advice and Tips