The Practice of Law School: Getting In and Making the Most of Your Legal Education

by Christen Civiletto Carey, Kristen David Adams

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Attorneys often lament that law school teaches “nothing practical” and serves a very limited purpose. Law school, however, can be much more—it can provide academic, career and life lessons that are an excellent foundation for one's development as a lawyer.The Practice of Law School: Getting In and Making the Most of Your Legal Education provides expert guidance on choosing the right law school and excelling once there. It covers the “who, what, when, why, where and how” of law school, including getting in (the application process and obtaining financial aid) and succeeding academically.

This book challenges law students to take charge of their legal careers right away. It demonstrates some of the ways that law students can begin to think like practicing lawyers and attain experience that is useful, even essential and, above all, practical. For students seeking satisfying and fulfilling careers as lawyers, this book shows how to do it—starting with law school.

Book #ALM13; softcover, one volume, 637 pages; published in 2003. ISBN: 978-1-58852-110-1

This title is available in digital format. Downloadable PDF included in your purchase.
Print editions must be returned within 30 days in resalable condition for refund. A refund will be granted if the PDF has not been downloaded.

  • Availability: Available
  • Brand: ALM Publishing
  • Product Type: Books
  • Edition: 0
  • Page Count: 637
  • ISBN: 9781588521101
  • Pub#/SKU#: ALM13
  • Volume(s): 1

Author Image
  • Christen Civiletto Carey
Christen Civiletto Carey, formerly special counsel with Duane Morris LLP and the author of Full Disclosure: The New Lawyer's Must-Read Career Guide, is a frequent writer and lecturer on professional development and mentoring issues for law students and young lawyers. She is the co-author of The Practice of Law School: Getting In and Making the Most of Your Legal Education, also published by ALM Publishing.
Also by Christen Civiletto Carey:
Full Disclosure: The New Lawyer's Must-Read Career Guide

Author Image
  • Kristen David Adams
Ms. Adams is a professor at Stetson University College of Law

Does Law School Matter?
  • The Practice of Law School
  • How to Use This Book
  • What Law School Is and Is Not
  • Is the Law for Everyone?
  • Recognizing the Many Facets of Lawyering
  • Keeping Expectations Reasonable

Pre-Law Preparation
  • From Layperson to Lawyer: The Technical Requirements
    for Becoming Licensed to Practice Law
  • What Skills Are Necessary for Effective Lawyering?
  • Developing These Skills: Coursework and Direction of Study
  • Graduate Degrees
  • Intangible Factors for Pre-Law Preparation
  • Academic Honors and Awards
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • References
  • Personal Conduct and Integrity
  • Knowing the Deadlines
  • Preparing Financial Matters
  • Planning Where to Apply
  • Informational Interviews
  • Additional Pre-Law Preparation for Returning Students
  • Other Ways to Prepare

The Process of Selecting and Applying to Law Schools
  • Timing Issues
  • The Law School Admissions Test
  • Registering with the LSAC and Subscribing to the LSDAS
  • Researching and Selecting a Law School
  • Part-Time or Evening Programs
  • Admissions and Admissions Committees
  • The Application Process
  • The Personal Statement and Other Essays
  • Recommendations
  • Risumi
  • Personal Consultants
  • The Completed File
  • Wait List
  • Acceptance
  • Transfer Students

Loans, Scholarships, and Other Ways of Financing Law School
  • Grants and Scholarships
  • The Loan-Application Process and Organizational Tools
  • The Impact of Debt and Consequences of Default
  • Additional Options

Making the Transition to Law School
  • Professional Transitions
  • Financial Planning
  • Logistical Planning
  • Computers
  • Projecting a Professional Image
  • A Room of One's Own?
  • Law-School Orientation and Pre-Law "oot Camps"
  • First-Year Core Courses and Other Required Courses
  • Keeping the First Year in Perspective
  • Setting One's Own Moral Compass
  • Balancing Law School and Life

Using Context, Policy, and Theory to Navigate Law School Like Lawyer
  • Interdisciplinary Study: An Example of Contextual Thinking
  • Using Policy to Put Law School in Context
  • Using Theory to Put Law School in Context
  • Dollars and Sense
  • The Cheapest Cost Avoider, or Better Luck Next Time
  • Incentives, Clarity, and Knowability
  • Game Theory and the Role of Law
  • Damages and InjunctionsMaking the Client Whole

The Nuts and Bolts of Law School
  • Who: The Law-School Community
  • Students
  • Professors
  • Where: Dynamics in the Law-School Classroom
  • When We Learn the Law: The Pacing of a Semester in Law School
  • How We Learn the Law
  • Preparation for Class
  • Understanding Legal Citations
  • Participation in Class and the Socratic Method
  • Difficulties in Class Participation
  • Learning from a Negative In-Class Experience
  • Getting the Most Out of Class
  • Specific Strategies for Learning the Law
  • Assessment Opportunities
  • Briefing
  • Textbooks
  • Study Groups
  • Outlines
  • Study Aids
  • Multi-tasking
  • Why Is Law School Run This Way?
  • Sample Letters of Recommendation

Exams and Grades
  • First Steps
  • Mid-Semester
  • Entering the Home Stretch
  • The Final Push
  • The Reading Period
  • The Day Before the Examination
  • Exam Day Itself
  • Before
  • During
  • After
  • The Post-Exam Review
  • Challenging a Grade
  • Putting Grades in Perspective

Other Ways to Gain Distinction, Develop Skills, and Get Experience
  • Bar Associations and Other Student Groups
  • Legal Clinics
  • Working as a Corporate Representative
  • Family-Oriented Groups
  • Intramural Sports
  • Law Review or Law Journal
  • Moot Court and Other Competitive Teams
  • Conduct and Reputation

The Unforeseen or Unanticipated Issues: Specific Challenges During Law School
  • Seeking Assistance on Campus
  • Dealing with Specific Challenges, Both Personal and Academic
  • More on Health and Wellness
  • Academic Probation and Evaluating Whether to Continue Law School
  • Honor Code and Violations of the Code
  • Difficulties in Interpersonal Relationships
  • Other Personal Issues or Crises
  • Criminal Matters
  • Other Negative Activities
  • Pregnancy
  • Students with Learning or Physical Disabilities
  • Other Ways to Plan for a Possible Contingency

Legal Research and Writing
  • The Basics of Legal Communication
  • Books, Beautiful Books!
  • Resources
  • Grammar and Composition
  • Style
  • Dictionaries
  • Manuals of Usage
  • Legal Citation Manuals
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Thesauruses and Legal Thesauruses
  • Other Reference Materials
  • The Legal-Writing Program and Handling Assignments
  • Hindsight and Perspective

Special Considerations for the Second and Third Years of Law School
  • A New Task
  • New Opportunities: Extracurricular Activities
  • New Choices: Elective Courses, Certification Programs, and Honors Programs
  • Elective Courses
  • Prerequisites for Elective Courses
  • Popular Elective Courses with Limited Enrollments
  • Certification Programs
  • Honors Programs
  • Joint-Degree Programs
  • New Challenges: Professionalism in the Second and Third Years
  • New Horizons: Non-Traditional Paths

Maximize the Summer Experience
  • Differing Considerations for First- and Second-Year Students
  • Relevant Summer Experiences to Explore
  • Financial Goals and Seeking Permanent Employment
  • Building a Skill Set and Seeking Feedback
  • Building and Maintaining Professional Relationships
  • Cultivating Substantive Knowledge, Professional Ethics, and Business Sense
  • Finding and Keeping Perspective

Preparing for the Bar and Admission to Practice
  • The License to Practice Law
  • Personal Conduct and the Law-School Application
  • Deciding Where to Take the Bar
  • The Process of Admission to the Bar: Application and Registration
  • The Bar Exam
  • Bar Failure and Appeals of Failing Scores
  • Bar-Review Courses
  • Financing Bar Study
  • Working During Bar Study
  • Bar Study
  • Just Before the Exam

Continued Development as a Lawyer; Judicial Clerkships, LL.M.s
  • Judicial Clerkships
  • Who Should Consider a Judicial Clerkship?
  • Application Criteria and Other General Information
  • Selecting a Clerkship
  • Benefits and Drawbacks of Clerkships
  • Process and Application
  • Advanced Law-Degree Programs

Ready, Counselor?

Contracts Exam

Evidence Exam

Sample Memorandum

Sample Brief

Decision Tree