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In Brief: Don’t freak out! But do think about the bar exam


If you’re navigating through your first semester in law school, chances are, you’re not thinking much about the finish line.

But even though it’s way too early for bar review, writes Lisa Young, director of the bar studies program at Seattle University School of Law, it’s never too early to start preparing for the bar exam.

In a post called “Should 1Ls think about the bar exam?” at Law School Academic Support Blog (, Young shares several ways to do just that. Among them:

  • Even if you’re not sure where you want to live and practice, give some thought to where you hope to get started.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down to a small number of geographic locations, research the licensing requirements in those locations. For example, in some states, you must register with the bar association or fulfill certain requirements while you’re still in school.
  • Learn about bar review course offerings in the jurisdiction in which you hope to practice. If you can, register for a bar review course this year. You’ll gain access to the course’s law school programs and resources, and it’s likely that you’ll save money, too.
  • Squeeze in some pro bono. This is always a great idea, Young says, but may be even more so now that New York state has adopted a pro bono requirement for all bar applicants, and other states might follow suit.

Interview tip: Employers may be Googling you right now
You probably already knew that. After all, it’s common knowledge that a lot of interviewers now look online to see if a candidate has been behaving badly.

But there’s another way that Google can come into play in a job interview, writes Jared Solovay, director of employer relations at Golden Gate University School of Law: it can lead to some innocuous, but out-of-left-field questions.

“Be prepared to chat about that archaeology trip you took to Costa Rica five years ago, or whatever the case may be,” he advises in a post called “The inside take on interviews,” at the school’s career services blog (

“Relax and be yourself,” Solovay says—just be aware that anything about you online is fair game, and that you might be asked questions that have nothing to do with the practice of law.

What skills will really help your career?
Want to make sure you stand out when it’s time to look for a summer associate position, internship, or the first “real job” of your legal career?

Use your time in law school to “develop (and to create supporting evidence to demonstrate) specific competencies beyond just knowledge of doctrinal law, legal analysis, and some written and oral communication skills.”

That’s according to Jerry Organ, professor of law and associate director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at Minnesota’s University of St. Thomas School of Law.

In a post called “Empirical evidence of competencies necessary for advancement in law firms” at The Legal Whiteboard, Organ discusses an article written by one of his colleagues based on research involving 14 medium to large law firms in the Twin Cities and how they measure associates’ success.

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.

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