11 Tips for Exam Season

Ahhhhhh. Deep Breath. Exam Season is upon us yet again.

For some of us at BC Law, exams simply need to come and go so that we can get on with our Winter Break. For others – particularly you 1Ls – these few weeks will be incredibly stressful as you try to figure out how to both study for and execute on exams, which are two distinct skills that each need attention. 

As we enter reading period, the BC Impact Bloggers compiled a list of 11 of our most effective exam strategies. Note: these are not necessarily academic strategies, but rather tips for enduring and persisting through this difficult time.

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A Neurodivergent Guide to Navigating Interviews as a Law Student

I have always found interviews challenging. As someone with a stutter and who identifies as neurodivergent, the interview format seems tailor made to cause me problems. Being a law student with a regular schedule of internship and fellowship applications has only added to my issues with them.

To me, the interview format is a uniquely discriminatory and exclusionary way of recruiting. Interviews feel inherently ableist because they benefit individuals who are able to perform in this very specific setting, while systematically disadvantaging individuals who cannot. Moreover, they provide a space for implicit bias to infect hiring processes and ensure that the same types of people get offered particular opportunities.1 This is a significant problem in the legal sector, where interviews effectively act as gatekeepers to a profession that is already overwhelmingly non-disabled and neurotypical (as well as white, straight, and cisgender).

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A Brief Guide to Selecting Your 1L Elective

At most law schools, the 1L curriculum is locked into place, meaning students don’t have the opportunity to customize their schedules. But BC Law gives 1Ls the unique opportunity to take an elective, allowing students to interact with peers from other sections, take a break from large doctrinal lectures, and get some experiential learning in a practice area of their choice.

Course selection is right around the corner at BC, so if you’re a 1L, you may be feeling pressure to pick the best elective. The common advice is that you’ll get a good experience out of any elective you choose, and I definitely stand by that. Yet, you should still take some time over the next few weeks to follow these steps so you can make sure you get the most out of your semester.

1. Read the elective descriptions

To help 1Ls choose their electives, professors provide little synopses about the goals of their courses, the material they cover, and in some cases, how their classes will be structured. If you haven’t already read the descriptions of the electives offered next semester, you can find them here.

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Law School Essentials: What You Need… and What You Don’t

When you’re starting law school, it can be hard to figure out what exactly you should be spending your money on. And as law students, we definitely don’t have money to waste. Here are a few products that my peers and I believe are “must-haves”–and a few you can skip.

Best things we bought for law school:

  1. Desktop monitor

Being able to plug in your laptop to a desktop monitor (or better yet – a dual monitor, check this thing out) is extremely helpful. If you’re taking any finals from home or working on a research project, eliminating the constant minimizing between programs is a huge time saver.

  1. Quimbee

Quimbee is an online subscription that provides access to case briefs, study-aids, practice questions, and more. I’m not suggesting that you should rely on Quimbee in place of reading cases, but it is a great supplement. I find the videos the most helpful. 

  1. OneNote

I’ve mentioned this before, but I truly can’t say enough good things about Microsoft OneNote. You can easily organize your class notes over the semesters and even embed professor’s powerpoints. Plus, your notes will always be safely in the cloud, accessible from any computer or on the mobile app.

  1. Noise canceling headphones

Sometimes I like to throw on some Lofi study music, and other days I just put them on silent to cancel out distractions. They are a great investment, especially if you plan on working in common areas like the library. 

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Live, Laugh, Love Tax

Much like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, I came to law school to find love. Well, sorta… Unlike Ms. Woods, my love story is with the practice area of tax law. 

To be completely candid, I had no intention of becoming a tax attorney when I first applied to law school. I didn’t even intend to ever take a tax class. From the moment I signed up for the LSAT, my Uncle John, who is a CPA, always claimed I was going to be a tax attorney, and I always dismissed him. Tax law, for me, was like the quiet nerd the main character in a rom-com takes forever to see as more than just a friend. 

My “meet cute” with Tax was when I had the last pick time to sign up for classes for my 2L fall, and it was one of the only classes open that fit into my schedule. My Uncle John is always badgering me about becoming a tax attorney, I thought. Why don’t I take Tax I, ultimately fail it, and then never hear or speak of tax law again?

Spoiler alert: This ended up being far from the truth. 

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How to Leverage Social Media as Your Professional Brand

Editor’s Note: BC Law is launching a TikTok channel! Follow us @bclawonline.


You can’t BeReal if you’re in law school. 

Wipe your social media — make a pseudo Instagram handle, private your Twitter, and maybe even delete your Facebook if you’re feeling up to it. This is the advice commonly distributed to incoming law students and applicants alike across online law school forums. 

This advice is understandable these days, since employers Google everything, and law students have character and fitness standards to follow in order to be eligible to graduate and take the bar. This privatization movement strikes at the heart of #LawTok, though. 

#LawTok is a TikTok hashtag categorizing videos dedicated about — you guessed it — the legal field. #LawTok videos range from videos about navigating On Campus Interviews, networking tips, the latest Supreme Court case to hit the docket, and more. #LawTok boasts 1.7 billion views as of this article’s publication. 

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Mental Health Check-ins

In support of the well-being of lawyers across the professional spectrum—from students in the classroom to attorneys in all walks of legal life—we have launched a Mental Health Impact Blog Series, in partnership with alumnus Jim Warner ’92. Comprising deeply personal essays by community members who have struggled with mental health issues, the series provides restorative insights and resources to fellow lawyers in need.

The Mental Health Impact Blog Series coincides with a Law School-wide initiative, which will include lectures and workshops to support and promote mental well-being. To get involved in the activities or to write a guest post, contact jim.warner.uk@gmail.com.

Please be advised that the following post discusses depression and thoughts of suicide. If you need help, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is now reachable nationwide by dialing 988, or visit them online.


During my first year of law school, I seriously considered taking my own life. It was a case of classic depression. There was no great nexus event to cause me to feel that way. It was simply the anxiety of being in a new situation, mixed with sleep deprivation and too much caffeine that created a chemical storm in my body. The reason I did not go through with my plan is that someone convinced me to get help. The thing is, I didn’t look like someone who needed help – at least not by law school standards. I looked tired and withdrawn, but so did most people.

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The Art (and Importance) of Networking

The most helpful thing Professor Hillinger taught me during my 1L year was that networking is a critical tool during the legal job search. Although I earned my position for next summer through The Law Consortium, an OCI analog, I am thankful to my past-self for speaking to as many attorneys as I could. In hindsight, I think my networking helped me to figure out which legal practices I am interested in, which firms might be the best fit for my work style, and to become more comfortable and knowledgeable when speaking to attorneys. Just as Professor Hillinger stressed, networking should be an integral part of every 1L’s experience. 

During my first semester of 1L, I talked to as many attorneys as I could find from a breadth of experiences and practice areas. Everything in law school seemed interesting to me, and I knew it would be important to be more targeted in my internship and job search. I made sure that I reached out to speak one-on-one to at least one attorney after every negotiation competition, club panel, or CSO event I attended. In the beginning, I had no idea what to talk about, but I knew that people like talking about themselves, so my networking conversations involved a lot of personal questions: “how did you know you wanted to pursue litigation,” “what made you choose to move in-house after working in Big Law”, and “how did you decide on your specific practice areas?” Through these conversations, I realized that I did not strictly identify with the transactional or litigation camps, and decided to pursue a career more closely aligned with regulatory work, where I would have the chance to have a broader range of work.

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Follow-Up: Overcoming Self-Doubt

Two years ago, when I arrived in Newton to begin my law school journey, I wrote a blog post entitled Act Like You Belong. Because You Do, where I briefly explored my own internal struggle with feelings of self-doubt, which some people call “imposter’s syndrome.” My goal was to encourage others (and myself) to understand those feelings in order to control their own destiny. 

As I begin my third (and FINAL!) year of law school, I can say that while those feelings of self-doubt fluctuate, they never disappear completely. I had an overwhelming feeling of being unprepared on my first day at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office during my 1L summer. I had the discomforting feeling of self-doubt on my first day at a big law firm this past summer. These feelings were as strong as when I stepped foot on the Newton campus.

As I wrote in the blog two years ago, the issue is not the presence of those uncomfortable feelings, but how you deal with them. My second day on campus (and my second days at the Attorney General’s Office and at the law firm) were more comfortable than the first. Each day that passed lessened these doubts, and strengthened my confidence.

Act Like You Belong was more about describing those feelings in order to understand them. Today, I want to write about how I overcame them. These suggestions may be obvious to you. But it’s important to recognize that we all are at a different place on our journey – and wherever you are, I hope you find some inspiration in them.

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Legal Movie Review: The Paper Chase

Since I started my law school application process over two years ago, my dad has been telling me to watch The Paper Chase. I’m now a 2L with (slightly) more free time, so I thought I would finally give this classic a try. This 1973 movie details James Hart’s first year at Harvard Law School, and while nothing depicts the 1L experience as accurately as the documentary film Legally Blonde, this one does get a lot right.

The First Day

The movie opens with James’ first class on the first day of law school, as every 1L gets to their seats and settles in moments before the professor arrives. I’m generally a bundle of anxious energy on the first day of anything, so I arrived to my first class about 15 minutes early last year. What I didn’t realize was that my first-day anxieties were nothing compared to the motivations of my classmates, many of whom arrived far before I did. Needless to say, if anyone actually showed up as close to the start of the first class as every extra in this movie did, they’d definitely be occupying the dreaded front row.

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