All posts filed under: Student Advice

About Your First Semester Grades: A Word of Encouragement for 1Ls

It’s that time of year again: the beginning of the spring semester at American law schools, when 1Ls get their first set of law school grades. By virtue of your presence in law school, it’s fair to assume that you’re used to some measure of academic success; your fall semester grades may feel like a departure from that history. No matter how you fared, as a professor who teaches 1Ls and as a former law student who’s been through this process, I’d like to offer a few words of perspective. You’re the same student you were before your grades were posted. Your grades haven’t changed how intelligent or how capable you are; don’t let them change how you see yourself. You were admitted to Temple Law because we saw in you the potential to do great things and to make a meaningful contribution to the practice and profession of law. We believe in you: you should, too. This first set of grades doesn’t define you or your law school career. If you take nothing else …

Social Justice Lawyering: A Student Advocate’s Perspective

As a 1L selecting courses for my second year, I immediately gravitated towards the experiential learning opportunities: things like clinics and internships that would allow me to figure out how to use what I was learning to serve the values I hold. My first year was difficult, but not in the ways I expected. Law school teaches us that the law is a neutral force, but I knew that to be false. I struggled to learn the first-year curriculum and simultaneously hold on to the people and values that had motivated me to come to law school in the first place. I found out about the  Sheller Center’s Social Justice Lawyering Clinic taught by Professor Lee through the course list. I was immediately interested based on the clinic’s name, so I looked through the Sheller Center’s  website and asked friends who had taken the clinic before for their opinion. Everyone said the clinic was an incredible opportunity, so despite the fact that I was terrified that I would do a bad job, I filled out …

The MPRE: When and How?

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a two-hour exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions.  The MPRE is required for bar admissions in all but three U.S. jurisdictions (Maryland, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico.)  The good news is that the exam doesn’t cover a huge amount of material so studying for the exam is not that arduous, but the bad news is you have to spend a Saturday taking the exam. When to Take the MPRE? This category is really two questions, first when can you take the MPRE and second when should you take the MPRE.  The MPRE is only offered three times a year so it’s something you should start thinking about early.  It’s important to resister early for two reasons, many exam locations fill up so you need to register early in order to secure the location that is most convenient for you. Second, the regular registration fee is $95 but the late registration fee is increased to $190.  Save yourself the additional $95 and register early! Registration fee’s and deadlines can be …

I Got Through It – So Will You!

As a recent graduate from Temple Law I can still remember exam season very well.  As the Thanksgiving break approached my days were filled with stress and anxiety because I knew exams were right around the corner.  But I got through it and so will you! Here are some techniques that got me through exam season. Find out where you do your best work. Now is a good time to scope out the place where you want to hunker down for exam season.  It’s about this time of year that I would move from the alleyways in the Klein Library to the stacks where no one could find me.  I always did my best work in the library, where there were minimal distractions.  However, for some the library becomes too stressful during exam season so working from home or a coffee shop is another great option.  If you are meeting with study groups keep in mind there are rooms in Barrack you can reserve on the library website. Figure out which method of studying works …

Financial Literacy for Law Students

Congratulations! You’re almost done with your first semester of law school. Like many students, you may have borrowed student loans to cover your tuition and living expenses. I know you have a lot on your mind these days; your LRW brief, outlines, EXAMS! , but if you haven’t thought it about yet, now is a great time to create a financial plan to budget the money you have borrowed. Maintaining a budget and monitoring how much you borrow/spend during your time in law school can be a daunting task. Budgets can be difficult to stick to and hectic schedules can cause you to easily lose track of how much you spend on a day to day basis. While the Law School Financial Aid Office is here to help you with questions and needs related to financing your law school enrollment, we also want to make sure that you are getting the assistance and support you need on matters and concerns related to your personal finances. Temple Law School has partnered with AccessLex Institute, a non-profit …

Summer Bar Prep: Midpoint Gut Check

The Pennsylvania bar is on the horizon (July 25-26), making it about the half waypoint in your preparation for the exam.  Now would be a good time to do an honest self-assessment of where you are in your studying and what you need to do going forward to set yourself up for success. Ask yourself: am I behind? Am I on track? Am I going to burn out?  There is time to course correct depending on your answer. You have time to push and be prepared for the exam, but you have to start working hard now and really prioritizing your studying over everything else.  Most of your waking hours should be dedicated to bar prep. If you are behind, take a look at how far behind.  Make a list of things you need to do to catch up – perhaps all the skipped assignments from your bar course, including midterms, quizzes, graded essays, lectures, etc. and/or outlining, making notecards, or other study materials.  Categorize each item as “critical” or “non-critical” in terms of completing.  …

Advice for Prospective Public-Interest Fellows

Most public-interest employers do not participate in any OCI-type process for post-graduate hiring. Rather, public-interest minded students usually apply to post-graduate fellowships. Fellowships are typically one or two-year commitments to do a particular project with a public interest law organization. These fellowships are often funded by third-party boards or charities, so prospective fellows have to win over both a host organization and the funder before being awarded a fellowship. If you’re like me, having to wait until your 3L year to apply for your first attorney job is nerve-wracking enough, let alone having to go through multiple rounds of interviews where you know you are being compared to some of your most impressive and dedicated peers. Hopefully, the pieces of advice I give below will help to ease some of your anxiety as you maneuver the process. 1L and 2L year During this time you should be trying to get as much experience at Philadelphia public interest law organizations as possible. Even if you had some experience working with a public interest organization before school, …