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#DearFindLaw - Advice for New Lawyers and Law Students from @FindLawLP

This week in #DearFindLaw, it's almost time for the first major break of the school year. For a blessed week at the end of November, there will be no classes -- but that doesn't mean there isn't work to be done. Whether you're a 1L freaking out about final exams (what's the Rule against Perpetuities again?) or a 2L struggling to finish the draft of your law review note (and praying the Supreme Court doesn't rule on your case until after you've published), you're a long way from free to do what you please.

In a Q&A here in the Bay Area, Justice Stephen Breyer once said that being a lawyer means having homework for the rest of your life. Does that mean you should go home for Thanksgiving? Here are a few pros and cons:

After the LSAT, the dozens of applications, the campus visits, the scholarship negotiation, and finally, matriculation, comes finals. But what comes after that?

In a month or so, you'll have your first semester 1L grades. Some schools consider transfers based on these grades alone, while other schools will take applications but hold off on making an offer until your entire 1L is in the books. Nonetheless, you need to be thinking about whether you want to transfer for 2L and 3L year.

Setting aside soft factors, such as how much you love/hate your current school's social scene, what factors should play into your decision? Here a few you may want to consider:

You know you aren't in college anymore. And you know that social media sites typically couldn't care less about your privacy, so there is a decent chance that whatever you post will accidentally go public. (Or an annoying friend will screen-cap it and pass it along to others.)

And yet: you're on The Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. And Ello. And whatever the heck else is out there.

Here are five tips for survival:

After serving your country and coming back -- what do you do now? Many veterans actually find it hard to land a job in the private sector. But law schools are reaching out to the new market of veterans, crafting legal education programs specifically designed for the needs (and restrictions) of veterans.

Here are three things veterans should know about particularized law school programs and veterans in the legal community:

As many as 80 law schools are in trouble, and 20 might be closing within the next few years. This is the prediction of David Barnhizer at Law Next. He points to the festering mass of surplus schools in states with few jobs (California -- that's you!), especially those schools that are state-accredited (as opposed to ABA-accredited), online-only, or otherwise useless for those who want to actually practice law someday, as schools that are especially vulnerable.

One school that nearly met that fate, perhaps not coincidentally, a California school, is the ABA-accredited Thomas Jefferson School of Law. It just narrowly survived by selling its soul to creditors. Is it just the first of many to flirt with death?

Ah "HTGAWM." Two weeks ago, I was mocking your mediocrity. Now? Actually I still am, but hey -- last night's was a good episode. If you're just now catching up on the show, note that everything after this handy italic paragraph is spoiler-laden: Watch Episode 7 first. And if you haven't read our previous recaps, you've got some homework to do.

Client of the week? This week it was all about Rebecca ("Goth Girl"). There were motions and staged courtroom drama, the appearance of the guy who played Richard Fish in "Ally McBeal," a two-timing prosecutor, and an assumingly fake rape allegation tossed in for fun. Four of the Keating Five had sex, with the uptight Michaela getting a surprise prenup instead.

Oh, and as we predicted, Mr. Keating is probably the murderer (of Lyla, the dead student that he was boning). Fun shocker: She was pregnant at the time of death! (Motive!) But who killed Keating, with the trophy, in the office? (Probably Goth Girl, but I'm saying there's a 10 percent chance it was Wait-List Wes and she just got unlucky with the blood splatter.)

Yesterday, we blogged about law school marketing buzzwords. The buzzwords and marketing gimmicks don't end upon graduation, however, because job statistics count towards law school rankings as well.

For all the current law students out there, the ones that delusionally think that "things will be better when I graduate!," we're going to give you a quick vocabulary lesson on post-graduate employment.

Here are five terms you need to know:

There are hundreds of law schools in this country. All of them teach law. We'd even venture a guess that nearly all of them use casebooks. And really, the the quality of instruction doesn't vary that much between the schools, though you'd almost certainly learn more from an Ivy League school than the People's College of Law in Los Angeles or some online dump.

In fact, the main differentiators are cost, geography, and prestige (which means jobs). When schools lack in one of those three categories, or have trouble differentiating themselves from their many peer schools, they do what all businesses do when offering a commodity to a saturated market: adopt marketing gimmicks.

We've been writing about "fixing" law schools, law school demand, and really everything law school-related for some time now. Here are some of the increasingly popular buzzwords that pre-Ls might not know about:

As we move into November, we also move into exam season. At many law schools, Thanksgiving will mark the end of regular classes, or very close to it. And after that, final exams are nigh.

Before you get started studying the wrong way, check out these five tips to make sure that you're not wasting your time doing things inefficiently -- or even badly:

Outlines? Nearly done. Practice questions? In progress. Thanksgiving plans? Cancelled. Christmas and New Year's plans? Likely alcoholic. But first: finals.

Bu wait: What about your 1L summer? Take it from me, kids: You need to be digging for a gig. And even if you do dig, there are pretty high odds that you'll find nothing of note, thanks to, you know, the economy and all. But still, try.

What's that? Me? Don't get me started on my 1L summer: It involved reppin' Mandarin-speaking prostitutes (no hablo) and writing a movie based on someone else's plot-line -- a movie that, in retrospect, sounds a lot more like an adult film than a female-empowerment drama. I was used!

Anyway, the past is past. You need to know this: You're about to hit the first important date for job-hunting, which is, of course, right around finals. Are you ready?