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Back to Law School Week Brings Bad Memories, Good Advice

By William Peacock, Esq. on September 03, 2013 12:55 PM

Everyone has a bad memory from law school. Our fashionable editor, Tanya Roth, actually listened to the dean's advice and abstained from using commercial outlines in her first year (much to her chagrin). I was stung on the tongue by a bee on the way to Evidence Law. And editor Andrew Chow was once called on in Contracts class and cried (okay, that probably didn't happen).

The point is, we've been there. FindLaw's blog team is staffed by real, live law graduates. We bring our collective expertise, learned lessons from past mistakes, and (sometimes debatable) wit, sarcasm, and creativity to bear on every issue we cover, including the much-dreaded return to law school.

A Week's Coverage

1Ls have to deal with gunners and learning how to study. 2Ls obsess over grades and on campus interviews. 3Ls? The traditional year of boredom has now become a year of, "Okay, seriously, how will I ever find a job?"

Of course, everyone's experience differed, so instead of writing a bunch of first-hand accounts, we brainstormed topics that were of concern to us, and would be of concern to present-day students. We tossed out dozens of ideas, ran with the ones that worked, and tossed the ones that didn't.

In the end, we had tips on everything from job hunting, to selecting study supplements.

Experimental Post Types

Some live 1L by the outline. Others dig though Internet case briefs. A handful of students manually brief and outline every single case in every subject.

Because opinions vary so widely on study supplements, we figured we'd try something a little different with that post: the roundtable discussion. Instead of one person's view, we set up a mini-panel of three of our writers, with each describing what tools they used to survive the horrors of Socratic cold-calling and case briefing.

There were no circulated drafts, printed on ivory paper. Thanks to collaborative editing via Google Docs, writing the post, and responding to each others' points, was easy and instantaneous. Our writers dropped knowledge, the editors reviewed and cleaned up the formatting, and our readers were treated to three very individual and sometimes contrasting viewpoints.

What's Next?

We had fun with the roundtable post, and with a live blog post earlier this month, and it got us wondering: what other odd types of posts can we experiment with? Stream of consciousness? Fiction? Dear Abby-style advice columns?

If you have a suggestion, or something you'd like to see from our Legal Professionals blog team, give us a shout-out on Twitter. And keep coming back for more.

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