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3 Lifehacks for Surviving Law School

If you finally made it into law school, take a short moment to pat yourself on the back. You should congratulate yourself -- or console yourself. Law school can be a life-changing experience, but it can also seem life-threatening -- at least in terms of your sanity.

Below is a list of tips and lifehacks to help you excel throughout your legal education.

Berkeley Law Segregates Its Black Students ... Really?

It seems inconceivable that Berkeley Law administrators did't see this coming: the school's current arrangement of students looks like a form of segregation.

Law schools routinely break the incoming students into smaller sections, which Boalt calls "mods." It's standard practice that mods take 1L classes together. But Berkeley's current arrangement will all but ensure that every single African American student will get funneled into two "super-mods," leaving the other mods completely free of any black presence whatsoever.

Dr. Strangelove has nothing on West Point law professor William Bradford. Unlike Stanley Kubrick's crazed doctor, or even the unhinged General Buck Turgidson, Prof. Bradford doesn't want to just kill America's supposed enemies abroad, he wants to take out the traitors here at home as well. That means killing pretty much everyone who dares question the war on terror.

Don't worry though, it's all legal! At least that's the argument he made in his absolutely nutballs 180-page manifesto which an even nuttier editorial board at George Mason's National Security Law Journal decided to publish in full. According to Bradford's piece, lawful military targets in the war on terror include religious sites, civilians, "law school facilities, scholars' home offices and media outlets where they give interviews."

So it begins. Another school year starts, another cadre of new law students sit down to learn about the law -- only to quickly realize they have no idea what they're doing. If you're a new 1L, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the new things you're just supposed to know how to do.

You've probably heard everyone talk about briefing (or outlining) cases. Good outlining and note taking are definitely skills that take some time to perfect, but they're ones that are indispensable. A strong case brief will help you survive the worst cold call grilling. Solid notes can carry you through your exams.

Thousands of unprepared new law students will be heading off to law school in the next week or two, ready to give three years of life and thousands of dollars over for the chance of becoming a lawyer. The first stop on that journey? Law school orientation -- that weird, week-long introduction to law school.

If you're stressed about orientation, don't worry. If you're extremely excited, maybe bring your expectations down a bit. Orientation isn't great and it isn't terrible -- it's simply a chance to familiarize yourself with the law school and your classmates. Here are some tips to help you do orientation right.

Congrats future 1L's! You should be starting your new career as a law student any day now. You should be especially happy with your choice, now that legal hiring is finally starting to rebound. Three years from now and you should be living it up as a greedy associate -- or maybe one of those happy lawyers.

But let's not look too far into the future. What should you expect right at the beginning, when you first show up on campus? Here's a quick overview of what to expect as you start out as a law student:

OCI is here and there's plenty to fear. If you're a rising 2L gunning for a high paying, high profile job, this can be your make it or break it moment. That means, don't stress about your 2L classes, the end of your summer internship, or the future of the Supreme Court: right now, you should be devoting yourself fully to OCI prep.

Of course, prep means knowing not just what to do, but what not to do. With that in mind, here are five disastrous mistakes we beg you not to make during OCI:

How to Prepare for OCI

It's already August. For law students, that means on campus interviews, more commonly known as "OCI." OCI is where fledgling, soon-to-be-lawyers take some of the very first steps down their career path.

You've sent out your resume and been matched for interviews. You have your suit pressed and a haircut scheduled for the day before. Now what? Here are five tips for preparing for OCI, whether you've got two days until your first interview or two weeks.

It's not hard to find prestigious legal work when you've graduated from a top law school. While the rest of the world's law school grads may struggle to find employment in a slumping legal market, it seems like every Harvard alum is given an honorary Supreme Court clerkship. We're pretty sure a Yale diploma comes with an entry level professorship somewhere in the Midwest.

But not everyone is impressed with grads from top-ranked schools. Take Adam Leitman Bailey, who runs a New York real estate law firm. When it comes to finding new talent, Bailey has a unique hiring rule: dogs and Ivy League grads need not apply.

Ah, to be a lawyer. The prestige, the wealth, the simple nobility of the legal profession! Sound good? Of course! If only real life matched the fantasy.

The fact is, a career in the legal profession isn't for everyone. The hours are grueling, the work draining, the job prospects shaky. But if you love it, you love it. Luckily, for those considering becoming a lawyer, there's plenty of opportunities to test out the legal profession before getting a J.D.