Bar passage is the gateway to practicing law; indeed, outside of Wisconsin, you cannot practice in the United States without it. But the bar exam is being transformed, and prospective students should understand these changes and their implications.
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.
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:
Increasing numbers of students are gaining access to quality higher education through online learning. College and graduate education has been available for decades through both online divisions of traditional “brick and mortar” universities and through specialized online-only institutions where students can pursue everything from certificates to PhDs either partly or wholly online.
Crisis Negotiation is one of my favorite courses at Seton Hall Law. I acquired a newfound appreciation for active listening and the virtue of patience, especially when dealing with persons whose normal coping skills have failed.
As a first year law student, the thought of one final exam determining 100% of my grade was daunting and I wanted to make sure I was prepared for what was to come. When I started law school, I asked many second and third year law students about their studying strategies. I noticed that study groups were pretty common, but decided that they were not for me and that was the best choice I ever made.
Historically, law schools focused almost exclusively on teaching students substantive legal concepts and developing corresponding analytical and writing skills. While this traditional core – “learning to think and write like a lawyer” -- remains at the center of the law school curriculum, it has become clear that law students need to develop other skills and knowledge to be successful once they graduate. Thus, we have seen a proliferation of course offerings focused on matters such as effective communication and leadership, adeptness with technology, and data analysis.
Topics: Classes and Courses
College students considering law school often ask which major will prepare them for success in law school. The answer is simple: choose a major that challenges you, requires you to think deeply, broadens your horizons, and sparks your passion.
When I walked into the Juvenile Justice Clinic at the start of the spring semester, I was excited for a change in my learning experience as a law student. I had grown accustomed to the classroom experience and was anticipating gaining an understanding of the judicial process from a hands-on perspective. To me, participating in the Juvenile Justice Clinic and working with the Public Defender’s Unit was an opportunity to learn the administrative processes of not just the courtroom but how each judge prefers to run their respective courts.
My participation in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic was by far my most memorable experience in law school. Professor Farrin Anello assigned my partner and I to a time-sensitive case. The client was a young woman who recently fled Guatemala and had entered the United States without a visa. After being apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, she was sent to Delaney Hall Detention Center right here in Newark, where she was being held when we met her. Her bond hearing was rapidly approaching, and Catholic Charities brought her case to the attention of the Center for Social Justice. After reviewing the documents from our client’s initial interview with an asylum officer, we believed that she had a strong domestic violence-based asylum claim.