How To Artificially Boost Your Law School GPA

Pretty much everyone knows that grades in law school are extremely important. Indeed, a law student’s grades are perhaps the biggest indicator of where that individual will work after graduating from law school. For this reason, many law students read books or advice online about how they can succeed in law school. Of course, everyone understands that hard work and dedication to one’s studies are the biggest ways to impact one’s law school GPA. However, there are certain things that law students can do to artificially boost their GPAs that have little to do with hitting the books. Taking Summer or Evening Classes

I discussed in a previous article how law students can increase their GPAs by taking summer classes. At many law schools, the required curve does not apply to smaller classes, since it is difficult to apportion a curve with a small sample size. As a result, students in these classes are more likely to receive higher grades. Law schools typically offer many such classes during the summer when fewer students are on campus. Enrolling in such courses can be a great way to boost your GPA, since you are more likely to receive a higher grade. In addition, taking some classes during the summer lessens the amount of credits that you need to fulfill during the academic year. As a result, taking summer courses can relieve pressure during the academic year so that more time can be spent on the remaining courses a student takes. Of course, enrolling in summer classes might not be a viable option for many students, but summer classes can be an extremely effective way to boost your GPA.

Also, taking evening classes with part-time students can also help you boost your GPA. I don’t want to offend part-time students, and I met some amazing evening students while in law school. However, it is undeniable that part-time students usually have a job or other responsibilities that full-time students typically do not. As a result, if your law school offers a part-time program, and you take evening classes as a full-time student, you might […]

The So-Called Lawyer Monopoly

Whenever there is a discussion on deregulating the legal profession, those favoring deregulation claim that lawyers have a monopoly. This monopoly supposedly makes lawyers prohibitively expensive for most people. Whether lawyers’ fees are too damn high is subjective and will be discussed another time. But today, let’s determine if lawyers are really engaging in monopolistic behavior.

A monopoly has only one supplier of a good or service. This allows the supplier to charge the consumer whatever it can get away with. This is obviously not the case in the legal profession. I looked at the number of lawyers in randomly selected states:

Vermont: 3,612
Connecticut: 21,036
Virginia: 24,230
Tennessee: 18,702
New York: 182,296
Kentucky: 13,570
Illinois: 62,720
Indiana: 15,845
North Carolina: 24,253
Pennsylvania: 50,039
Ohio: 38,189

I get that not all lawyers are competing against each other. Some are working in government and get their salaries from the taxpayer community chest. Others are working in one of those quirky JD-advantage jobs. Despite that, there is a good chance you’ll find at least three law offices in a boardwalk of any major city. Because of this, fewer attorneys are in general practice in order to avoid competing against each other. Most specialize to differentiate themselves. For example, in my practice area, some specialize in minimizing income taxes, some specialize in estate taxes, and a rare few specialize in avoiding luxury taxes.Some might argue that lawyers as a group have a monopoly on giving legal advice. Assuming that is the case, the large number of lawyers makes it impossible for them to control prices by operating like a cartel. No state bar or other organization tells lawyers how much to charge a client. In fact, some lawyer message boards and listservs forbid recommending minimum fees or discussing fee structures.If there is an unspoken minimum floor on legal fees, it is due to the costs of running a law office, not because every lawyer is living on Park Avenue. My criminal defense colleagues tell me there is no free parking when they are just visiting their clients in jail. This is why I am skeptical […]

4 Ways Law Graduates Can Build their Reputation in the Legal Industry

Passed the bar or LPC? Interned at all the right places? In possession of a glittering resume, filled with outstanding grades and certifications? It’s taken you years to get to this point and you might think that you’re finally ready to step out on your own…But making it within this ruthless industry, might require more than you ever thought.

As a lawyer, your reputation will always proceed you. It must be stellar, robust and most importantly – strong. Not only do you have to work hard to be the best at everything you do, but you need to work even harder to build a reputation that exceeds everything.

Whether you’re a Toronto Disability Lawyer or you’re a personal injury lawyer from Manchester, you need to build on your reputation in order to gain the trust and confidence of any potential clients. So, read on for 4 ways law graduates and junior lawyers can build on their reputation in the law industry. Always be transparent

Promised something to a client? Deliver it. Even sooner than you said you would. Always maintain your integrity and honesty by following through on every action, notion and promise. If you haven’t already been doing this, then you need to start now. Keep everything confidential (that should go without saying) and apply this private and professional ethos to every aspect of your legal work. Every client you come into contact with should be treated like the most important client in your legal career. Clients should feel confident and safe throughout their case. Common courtesy is everything

From the moment your law vocation begins, your reputation is building. A faux pas that occurred in law school has the potential to haunt you throughout your career. So, showing common courtesy to everyone you meet, regardless of their role, background or legal standing is of the upmost importance. So say your “good mornings”, your “pleases” and “thank you’s” – believe it or not, first impressions really do count. Remember to smile and be known as the law graduate who is kind, approachable and gets results. Think before you […]

Q&A With School of Law Alum Roger Maldonado ’13

Roger Maldonado ‘13 is an associate at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in Minneapolis who works with clients on a variety of business-related issues including bankruptcy cases, equipment leasing issues, receiverships, and related commercial and financial litigation. He is also a captain in the Minnesota Army National Guard. In the spring of 2019, Maldonado became the president of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA), an organization he first became involved with as a law student. We recently caught up with Maldonado to learn more about his leadership position with the MHBA and why he chooses to be active in a local professional legal organization. Roger Maldonado What are your goals for your year as president of MHBA?

I’ve served on the MHBA Board for the past six years and, from the friendships and connections I’ve made by serving the MHBA, I truly call this organization my familia. Not only is it a support system for me, but it has opened countless opportunities to serve our legal community, all which have helped me grow both personally and professionally. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the MHBA. My goals this year are to provide opportunities for all of our members through our programming and events.

Now that you are a few months into your post, what has been the most unexpected or most surprising thing about being president?

The most surprising thing about being president of the MHBA has been realizing the great impression you can leave on individuals and communities by simply sitting down and getting to know one another and sharing what we do at the MHBA. I’ve found that once you sit down with our members or prospective members, it’s pretty easy to get them engaged and involved by simply inviting them to join you in an effort.

What motivated you to pursue leadership positions within MHBA?

It was a really easy choice for me to jump into leadership positions at the MHBA once I started to get to know the great attorneys and judges involved in the organization. Particularly when you realize the work and effort […]

New Program Offers Law School Grads An Alternative Career Path

(Image via Getty) I’m a fan of education. Anything that makes people smarter and creates opportunities. Who doesn’t want to get behind an initiative that generally contributes to the good of the legal community? Through my affiliation with the University of Florida Levin College of Law and their eDiscovery program run by Professor William “Bill” Hamilton, I recently learned about a program that is creating new career paths for law school graduates. It’s a path that does not involve the typical grind of working at a law firm.

UF Law’s eDiscovery Program is of course well-known for providing law students hands-on knowledge of eDiscovery through its Distinguished Speaker Series and its annual eDiscovery conference. And on March 19, 2020, UF Law will host its eighth annual eDiscovery conference, an event not bogged down in vendor sponsorship or prohibitive costs. Just education — all day. In-person or streamed live online. And it’s free to students (full disclosure: I’m on the conference planning committee).

UF Law has now partnered with international eDiscovery company Consilio to offer graduates unique opportunities to learn the business of eDiscovery and practice law. This is nothing new for UF Law. Every year, before the eDiscovery conference, the law school hosts eDiscovery CareerFest, during which alternative career paths for law school graduates are explored through presentations by companies in the legal service and technology industry.

I spoke last week with several of the people who put this new internship program together, and below is the distillation of these conversations.

The program is referred to as the Consilio Summer Internship Program. It functions in the same way as law firm summer associate programs. Consilio came to the UF Law campus to recruit, just as law firms do, and they interviewed students for the program.

It used to be that law students “summered” at a firm, accepted an offer, and later joined as an associate. In six or seven years, they had an inkling as to whether they were in line for partner. That career path now is more elusive. Now students can intern at Consilio, learn the eDiscovery business, and decide whether it’s […]

BPP Law School launches new two-part BPTC

Exclusive: Shorter, more flexible option will allow students to pause their studies after completing stage one BPP University Law School (BPP) is to offer a new two-part Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) which will see would-be barristers given the option to pause their studies at the end of stage one.

Legal Cheek can reveal that the law school’s new Barrister Training Course (BTC) is shorter than the current BPTC — eight months, as opposed to 12 — and will be available from September 2020.

The course, which is still subject to approval by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), is divided into two distinct, four-month teaching blocks, with students able to pause their studies upon completion of stage one. This, according to BPP, will give aspiring barristers “flexibility around any other commitments such as gaining paid work experience”.

BPP told Legal Cheek that students will be ready to sit the BSB centralised assessments — civil and criminal procedure, as well as evidence — at the end of stage one, while advocacy skills will be taught across the whole programme.

News of the course comes after the BSB approved a series of new training rules in a bid to make the route to qualification as a barrister more flexible and affordable.

BPP added that students will be supported by “intuitive online tools” that will give them instant feedback on their learning and help them track their progress, as well as an option to choose between “common law or commercial practice contexts” during part two of the course. The cost of the BTC will be revealed next month.

Mark Keith, lead designer of the BTC at BPP University Law School, said: “The new regulations have given us more freedom in the way we can deliver our training to student barristers. From day one, our students will learn to think and act like a barrister. Students will get regular opportunities to apply their knowledge by tackling realistic legal scenarios that will prepare them for the types of cases they are likely to encounter within their pupillage.” The current BPTC offered by BPP will remain unaffected by these changes.

Elsewhere […]

Kith and Kin of Callaway: Abbey Smith

Abbey Smith is a senior student at William Woods University from St. Louis. She is a history major and plans to attend law school after graduation. She currently works as an intern for judge Carol England at the Callaway County Courthouse and has previously worked as an intern at the Jefferson City Penitentiary. Abbey Smith is a senior student at William Woods University from St. Louis. She is a history major and plans to attend law school after graduation. She currently works as an intern for judge Carol England at the Callaway County Courthouse and has previously worked as an intern at the Jefferson City Penitentiary. Photo by Quinn Wilson / Fulton Sun.

This column serves as a spotlight, highlighting the everyday people who work and live in Callaway County. The Fulton Sun takes a moment with someone who is not usually featured in the news, but is just as instrumental in making our community the strong and beautiful place we all know and love.

Abbey Smith is a senior student at William Woods University from St. Louis. She is a history major and plans to attend law school after graduation. She currently works as an intern for judge Carol England at the Callaway County Courthouse and has previously worked as an intern at the Jefferson City Penitentiary.

Q. What was your first job?

A. I worked at a basketball court in Creve Coeur called C4. We had basketball and volleyball games, and I worked the concession stand and scoreboards. It was fun; there were a lot of cute boys.

Q. Who most inspires you (living or dead)?

A. Cynthia Kramer inspires me. She’s a professor of mine. She’s just super hard working and is so intelligent and so smart. She knows a lot of different angles and knows a lot of aspects about law. She’s super strong, too.

Q. What have you done in life that was most fulfilling?

A. Learning. I think the fact I’ve gone through school and have learned a lot. Challenging yourself and learning new aspects of life is important to me. I’m […]

Blind Tuks student earns law degree

THABANG MANAMELA says there is nothing heroic about the fact that he obtained his qualification as a lawyer despite the fact that he is blind. Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA) Pretoria – Thabang Manamela doesn’t want people to romanticise the fact that he managed to obtain his LLB degree despite being visually impaired.

According to him, there was nothing heroic about his achievement. In fact he said he had just worked hard just like any other student.

The 25-year-old graduated with his degree from the University of Pretoria last week, despite many hardships encountered. Manamela, originally from Ga-Mashashane, Limpopo, has glaucoma, which resulted in him losing his eyesight at an early age.

In 2014, he was accepted into the institution and pursued a BA general degree. In 2015 he enrolled for an LLB degree. He said while it was a big transformation from learning using braille at Prinshof School for the partially sighted and blind to electronic learning at the university, hard work and assistance from others made it possible.

The Pretoria News yesterday met up with him in Brooklyn where he works as a candidate attorney – and he made it clear that disability should not stop anyone from achieving their goals.

“People tend to romanticise a certain achievement because a person has a disability. I don’t think of it as having conquered but instead I worked hard and I’m not apologetic about it. Hard work made it possible for me.”

He conceded that the journey was not an easy one due to having to adapt to changes.

“Coming from a school where you got individual and specialised attention and having to go to a new environment, you want something you get it done so the first six months were challenging. I was nervous but over time it got better. At some point my confidence also took a serious knock.

“UP’s Disability Unit stepped in in terms of assisting me with extra time for tests and exams and from then on it was smooth sailing. I also had friends who helped me navigate around campus.“It was difficult studying at UP at first. I had spent […]

An International Student’s Guide to Studying Law

Moving for university can in some cases, be a daunting experience, and in my case, moving nearly halfway across the world for the next three to four years made it exciting but even more daunting. This article examines various ways and tips to navigate the law school experience from an international student’s perspectives, and ways to get involved to make the most of all the opportunities presented.

Studying law is a very intense experience as it involves a lot of reading and independent learning. At the same time, spending hours and hours poring over each textbook and article available can not only be extremely draining, but it can also intensify loneliness and the feelings of homesickness. Add this to the experience of living in a new city and experiencing a new culture, I have therefore created a list of tips that have helped me as an international student transition from foundation or a-level years into studying law at the university in a different continent. #1: Research and Critical Thinking.

These are perhaps, the everyday words you would always come across whilst studying law. As an international student, I initially struggled with these two principles, as using the various law databases was completely new to me and I couldn’t initially wrap my head around what critical thinking meant. Where, for instance, you did not study law at A-Levels in your country, or your foundation programme did not directly introduce you to these terms, it is important you understand what these mean as they are integral to studying law. From problem solving questions, essays, seminars, tutorials and presentations, having a high level of research and critical thinking is one of the key ingredients to getting these high marks. Research entails being able to effectively investigate across various materials, sources and resources to not only establish facts, but also reach conclusions based on those facts, which are relevant to the given topic. In the same progression, critical thinking, a term you will hear often, is the ability to use the research conducted, to form analytical opinions and discussions and also review existing […]

Law School Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs

As a lawyer, your earning potential is higher than most. However, you could still find yourself struggling to make ends meet if your law school debt is high or if you choose a career in public service.

If that’s the case, law school loan forgiveness can give you some much-needed relief. 1. Income-driven repayment plan forgiveness

Best for: Federal loan borrowers with a low salary

If you have federal student loans and your income is low relative to your loan balance, you may be eligible for income-driven repayment (IDR) plan forgiveness.

With this approach, you sign up for an IDR plan. Your loan servicer will extend your payments to 20 to 25 years, and your minimum monthly payment will be capped at a percentage of your discretionary income. Depending on your income and family size, your monthly payment could become dramatically smaller.

Even better, your remaining loan balance after making 20 to 25 years of payments will be discharged. You’ll owe taxes on the forgiven amount, but it can still be a substantial savings. 2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Best for: Federal loan borrowers who work for a non-profit organization or government agency

If you have federal Direct student loans and work for a non-profit organization or government agency, such as a legal aid group or as a public defender, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Under PSLF, you sign up for an IDR plan. After 10 years of making payments and working for a qualifying non-profit or government agency, your loans are completely discharged. And, the forgiven amount is not taxable as income, helping you save even more money. Learn more : How to pay for law school 3. State-specific loan repayment assistance program Best for: Those willing to fulfill service requirements in high-need statesSeveral states offer loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) to lawyers who commit to service terms. As part of the LRAP, you’ll receive money each year to repay some or all of your student loans.For example, if you work for a civil legal aid organization in Florida, you can get up to $5,000 per year to repay your […]

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