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).
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
If you’re reading this article, I am assuming you have been accepted into law school. In that case, congratulations! You will never have to deal with the LSAT again. Now, you just have to decide where you want to go. Here are some tips that helped me.
- If you’re waitlisted somewhere, decide what school you want to attend in the meantime with the mindset that you will not get off a waitlist. You want to pick a school that you can envision yourself at for the next three years. While that might seem hypocritical because I transferred, transferring is not always a guarantee because just like the preliminary law school admissions process, it is unpredictable with a variety of factors that are out of your control. I was very lucky that it worked out for me. You also do not want to have a negative attitude towards your law school–while you do not have to be head over heels in love with your school, you should not feel any regret or dread of attending.
- Reach out to the admissions office of your law school and ask them to connect you with a law student(s) that graduated from your undergraduate institution. This helps you get an idea of how the transition will be, especially if you are attending a different university than you did for undergrad. I did this at my previous law school, and I gained not only helpful insights and advice, but also mentors and friends.
- Talk to more than one student about their experience. Law schools are not one size fits all and everyone’s experience is different. You might talk to someone who will write love letters to their school on Valentine’s Day (which, if you have read my previous post, I am guilty of). However, talk to students who have different experiences to try to get a more well rounded perspective.
- Visit the town/city where the school is located, if possible. You’re not only committing to a law school for three years, you’re also committing to the city, its weather, etc. You have to not only be happy with the school itself, but with your living environment. This may come as a shock, but there is life outside of law school.
- Visit the school. With COVID restrictions getting lifted all over, most schools are giving in-person tours again. Seeing the school in-person, especially while school is in session, makes all the difference than looking at pictures online. BC Law is welcoming in-person visitors and giving tours. I might even be your tour guide if you come.
No matter what your admissions outcome is, just know that by getting accepted to a law school, you already accomplished the hard part. Once school starts, you have to just believe in yourself and your future success and that you’re where you are for a reason. It will all work out.
Melissa Gaglia is a second-year student at BC Law. Contact her at email@example.com.
As we enter a spring semester that is all too familiar with Spring 2021, I encourage everyone to step back and strategize on how to make the most of our short time at BC Law. Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post outlining three strategies for excelling academically and professionally. Additionally, I (unsuccessfully) called on everyone to share their keys to success. I’m reposting that blog, along with other similar blogs, to help first year students navigate the waters after experiencing their first semester. It’s critical for 1Ls, and really all students, to approach the spring semester with a game plan. As always, please fill the comments with your ideas and advice…
As the fall weather starts to pick up and the end of the semester is in sight, I am constantly reminded that I am approaching my final months at Boston College Law School. Recently I have been feeling very nostalgic.
Thinking back to this time three short years ago, I knew little to nothing about this place that would take so much of my time and energy in the near future. Instead, I was hurriedly getting application materials together, parsing through the web for any shred of advice on how to get into law school (and pick the right one at that).
Looking back, there are a few tips I wish I had known that were not so obvious to me as I was submitting my own applications. While I knew the basic strategies, I was missing a few principles less frequently emphasized.
So, for you prospective student readers out there: here are three things I wish someone had told me during the law school application process. While you’re here, be sure to check out advice from past Impact bloggers, located at the bottom of this post.
Into the fourth week of 2L, I’m still waiting for it to be “easier than 1L,” as I’ve been told more than once. At BC Law, students are back on campus full time since the Covid-19 outbreak. For many of us, balancing in-person classes, work, student leadership, and free time is a new challenge. My recommendation for anyone who hasn’t started their 2L year yet is to avoid unnecessarily overloading your schedule. I’ve outlined a few tips that apply to classes and extracurriculars that are helping to ease the stress: