When I graduated Columbia Law School in 1991, women made up 21 percent of the legal profession. As I entered the profession, it was common for a male attorney to have never worked with a female colleague. As a result, I often wondered: Could I
If you want to do something, don’t wait to be asked. The invitation may never come. I’ve seen lawyers make this mistake again and again. They believe that if they’re highly qualified, someone will come and tap them on the shoulder to offer them business,
In your first year of law school, you learn a method of legal writing known as IRAC—issue, rule, analysis, conclusion—as a framework to guide your work. Some schools have slightly different outlines, but their essence is the same. It’s relatively straightforward. Start your essay by
I was a tenured teacher with the Detroit Public Schools teaching learning-disabled students. A teacher I was dating persuaded me to consider law school. I took the LSAT and applied to law school. I taught school during the day and started evening classes at the
Achievements matter, but opportunities offered and provided to others have rich rewards, too.
I was a bit of a late bloomer. I did well enough in high school and college, but I didn’t get serious about my study habits and career goals until law school. So when I arrived in Jackson, Mississippi, in the blazing-hot summer of 1993, I was terrified
After a challenging start in the law, former child actor Jeff B. Cohen successfully combines his love of entertainment with his law degree.
Looking back on my 50-year legal career, there are so many lessons I’ve learned along the way. Here’s the short list of the things I wish I’d known while I was studying to become a lawyer.
State bars need to recognize the justice achieved in admitting applicants with negative pasts who have redeemed themselves.
Elie Mystal: A law degree is thought to be one of the most versatile types of education money can buy. No matter what you do, knowing some law can help you do it.
Parity between men and women in the legal profession is an aspiration. It’s not reality, at least not yet. I wish I’d have understood that in law school because hearing that there’s parity when there’s none can be maddening.
Up until now, you’ve been climbing a ladder. You got good grades in high school, which helped you get into a good college. Then you worked hard in college so you could get into a great law school. Now you’ll be tempted to view law school as just another ladder. You’ll
Paula Boggs says: "In my career, whom I know has been as important as what I know. Never burning a bridge and keeping friends close has been my secret sauce."
I used to believe that holding on and hanging in relationships that no longer bring any value to my life (or that are even detrimental to it) was a sign of great strength. I don’t believe that anymore. Instead, I now know that it takes
Mark Geragos: "My experience shouldn’t simply demonstrate that it’s possible. It should also demonstrate that there’s a higher calling in this practice."
The November/December 2016 issue of Student Lawyer carries this one message: You can be civil and succeed as a lawyer. We teach you how to contend without being contentious, how to navigate office politics without alienating your co-workers, and update you on the DREAM Initiative and the Law Student Podcast.
I Wish I'd Known By GLORIA ALLRED. Throughout my legal career I’ve taken what I’d call educated risks and followed my instincts. If I hadn’t done that, my life would have been very different. Early in my career, Judge Arthur Alarcon, for whom I clerked in law school, told me, “Gloria, you shouldn’t
Alan M. Dershowitz says: "Although I learned a lot of theory from great professors, law school didn’t prepare me for the rough and tumble of practicing criminal law, particularly defending people accused of some of the most heinous crimes. One thing I didn’t learn, and wish I had, was how to deal with acquaintances or friends who ask for legal help."
By Alli Gerkman. My grandmother is an immigrant with barely a sixth-grade education. She is also one of the smartest people I know. What she lacks in academic accomplishments she more than makes up for in hard-earned lessons about survival and life. She is sparing in the praise she gives those
By Kathlynn Smith. Kathlynn Smith is a partner at Hunt Ortmann in Pasadena, California. She specializes in construction and general business litigation. Kathlynn has successfully represented owners, developers, contractors, and subcontractors in a wide variety of matters relating to contract administration and construction claims. She places a particular emphasis on construction claims
By ABA President James Silkenat. Although this will now sound like a cliché, I wish I had known in law school how vital the organized bar would be to my future. Serving as president of the American Bar Association, I get to see how the ABA helps young lawyers (indeed, lawyers
By Pamela Bondi. In law school, I wish I’d known that I would recognize my professional calling immediately when I found it. Even as a 2L, I wasn’t certain that I wanted to practice law. However, that ambivalence disappeared when I enrolled in a prosecution clinic during my last year of law
By Brad Meltzer. Brad Meltzer is the author of eight New York Times bestselling novels. He hosts Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel. He received the Eisner Award for his work on the critically acclaimed Justice League of America. His newest works are History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of
By Elizabeth Kelley. Elizabeth Kelley hosts two radio programs: “AuthorChats” and “CelebrityCourt.” “CelebrityCourt” is an award-winning weekly show providing in-depth legal analysis of celebrity news stories. Past interviews include civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, Eastern District of New York Judge Frederic Block, and forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht. she practices federal
By Erwin Chemerinsky. Erwin Chemerinsky is the dean and a distinguished professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Before taking this position, he was on the faculty of Duke Law School for 4 years and the University of Southern California Law School for 21 years. Chemerinsky