March Checklist: What You Should be Doing to be Successful

You have less than 2 months of classes left. I only have 6 weeks of class left.
Did you hear me?

Less than 2 months. That’s it. This is Defcon 2, y’all. [Fast Pace]
You are either thrilled, or practically in a full-blown panic. Halfway through the semester, running low on brain space, trying to keep studying…but you’re also losing steam. Right?

No need to hide it. I am exhausted.
Let’s be real – there’s only so much coffee a girl can drink. Which got me thinking…aside from living on Starbucks and Hope, what’s my plan to get the the finish line?

I’m going to share it with you.

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This is not the time to mope about your midterm grades or – on the flip side – get too comfortable with them. You’ve still got 50% or more on the line with your upcoming finals. You’ve got to focus! You can still make the grade you want, but it’s going to take some effort.

  1. Make a STUDY SCHEDULE!
    • People, we’ve talked about this. In your second semester of law school – you should have some sort of schedule! Task lists, time frames…create your own way of getting stuff done, but DO IT!
  2. Search for [and apply to] Scholarships
    • Ok, if you’re just drowning in money and have no cares in the world – feel free to skip this one (or send some cash my way, I’ll put it to good use. 😀 ). But if you, like myself, need some assistance with tuition, then look for scholarships! Make sure you’ve got an updated resume and cover letter.
    • This is the fun part, where you get to make yourself look damn good. Brag about yourself, but not too much. It’s a fine line…and I’ll be sure to post some tips on this soon.
  3.  Apply to Externships/Summer Internships
    • Summer plans are important. Some students choose to take a break from the struggle of sleepless nights and the constant flurry of assignments, but not this girl! I will be working for either an attorney or a judge this summer.
    • If you haven’t already applied to JIOP or spoken to your local DA’s office, then take advantage of reaching out to other attorneys in your hometown (or somewhere else, if you can swing the living expenses).
    • Be prepared to take on an unpaid internship as well. Sometimes a great opportunity may call to you, but the funds just aren’t there. Keep an open mind. It may be the perfect learning experience.
  4. Complete your Readings & Case Briefs
    • Do not get lazy!
    • You still need to put in maximum effort to end up with the grade you want (or need, if you bombed a midterm).
    • Getting your assignments done is half the battle, but it’s also the “low-hanging fruit.” Make sure to get the cases read and briefed because you will have an easier time applying the law on your FINALS!
  5. Keep Your Goal in Sight
    • The semester is winding down, but you still have bundles of work to do. Law school is only 3 years (4 if you’re a trooper working through a full time job and evening classes – props to you!) The time goes by fast, so this trivial bit of stress will be a funny story to tell to the law students you mentor once you have a bar card.
    • You only have to do this for a little while. Chin up, love. You’ve got this!

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Much love,
Sarah ❤

Fierce & Fabulous!

Our Law School awarded us Spring Break last week, after a series of midterms. We were in bad need of some time off. My brain needed the break. I was dreaming about studying and forgetting (in the dream) to bring my pencil [for an electronic exam], which resulted in major waterworks and a few mini-panic attacks…all while sleeping!

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Sure, it sounds far-fetched, but law school is a tough nut to crack and I made it just a tad bit more complicated because I couldn’t sit still. In a meeting of chance (see, these opportunities do come along), I was offered a Clerkship [paid position] with the Probate Court and I took the job! I have learned more than I can type in one post, and get to work directly with one of the Judges. I am working my Clerkship and attending classes, while juggling other extra-curricular activities. Worth it? YES! 
I am in a perpetual state of exhaustion, which a girl can get used to; but burning the candle at both ends takes a toll. Which is why you need to get good at the balancing game: Going out v. Staying In.

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Ok, I obviously cannot take full credit for this idea, but I will take credit for reminding you to take a damn break! Read for fun! [Gasp, I know. But, your neurons will thank you for the time away from taking in Tacking and Tolling statutes or even The Model Penal Code.  Trust me. This past week I only took one day off, despite being on Spring Break. I continued to work through the week, because I honestly love my job. However, the Judges knew I did not have class and refused (yes, they completely opposed) to see me on Friday, effectively forcing me to take the day off. Why? Well, because they were law students once and remember the daily grind. Do you understand? Taking time for yourself is NOT a luxury, it is a necessity. It’s a lesson I grapple with every day, but I am getting better at it.

This weekend I spent some time with a few of my best friends, and even managed to sneak in a BRUNCH at a new (to me) spot in the Harwood District of Dallas! My friend, Adriana, celebrated a birthday and I was able to munch on breakfast pizza and bloody mary’s. Which, I would like to experience more in my life. The combination was wondermous!


Soooooo goood! I will most definitely return to Saint Ann’s Restaurant. Everything was scrumptious. We tried the pizza, everything omelette, biscuits and gravy, and strawberry shortcake french toast! Their mimosas were (per Adriana and Amanda) delicious. We enjoyed multiple carafes of their morning alcoholic beverages. Don’t judge me, we were relaxing a tad before reading Civil Procedure for our Monday class! Honest. 

 

Adriana is fierce and fabulous. She always manages to find the best deals on clothes and accessories. Anyone who can walk into exams looking like a #boss should be celebrated. I am thrilled to call her my friend and am so happy that law school brought us together.

Remember that tribe I told you about? She’s a bona fide member. Love your peeps. They are your greatest asset (and those talks result in awesome deep-belly laughs, which is basically like doing crunches…so she’s a multi-tasking friendship).

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Happy birthday, love! I hope you enjoyed your break! ❤

As for you, my wonderful reader, please take a few moments to recognize the wonderful people in your life. Thank your support system, make them feel cherished. Remember to get your nose out of the books and enjoy your life. Don’t stray too far from why you’re working so hard – otherwise, you may lose sight of your goal.

 

Be awesome, y’all!

Much love,
Sarah

Lawyering: A Starter Kit for Networking 1Ls

As a 1L, the question you get asked the most (besides, did you read for class?) is “What do you plan to practice?

I’m almost through my first year and I honestly have no idea which field I will choose. What I can tell you is how I started putting feelers out. It was both purposeful and accidental, all at once – and happened because I shook a few hands!

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Really! I met a charismatic 3L who introduced me to the Sports & Entertainment Law Association (which also houses the IP and Patent Law Interests). I joined and ran for an open Executive board position. The added responsibility of helping run and organize student events meant my calendar was filling up fast! This new addition also meant I met more of my peers, which allowed me to branch out from my original group of friends.

In meeting new and wonderful people, I met Aubrey. She’s a fierce and talented young professional who swept me up in a flurry of conversation centered around: feminism. We had the best talk about everything from prepping for finals to the patriarchal society in which we live (it’s law school folks, the conversations are deep and thought-provoking). The end result from our first few conversations led me to run for a position on the Executive Board for If-When-How and I have had the privilege of working with some amazing women.

We attended a luncheon recently to support Planned Parenthood. The men and women we met were inspirational! They offered advice on where we can lend a voice, how we (as 1Ls) can help the cause, and invited us to Lobby Day at the State Capitol! We will not all be able to attend, but the simple fact that some of my friends and colleagues set up a caravan plan immediately gives me so much hope for the kinds of attorneys they will be.

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To think, it all started with a handshake…is so simple. The key to moving yourself forward in this career, or any other, is to take the time to make your mark. Join a conversation. Say Hello. Do your best to jump in on conversations that make you think!

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The people you surround yourself with are your tribe. Love them. Hard. Be good to them.

Networking does not have to be a chore. All you need to do is introduce yourself to those colleagues around you. Believe me, doors will open for you.
A word of caution though – do not expect for opportunities to fall in your lap. Those possibilities do not come around often (though, they certainly do come up). Jump at the option to smile and meet a new face. Make a friend. Do what you can to make a positive impact in the world.

Much love,
Sarah