Studying for a law degree: A guide

words Al Woods

Not all students who sign up for law degrees every year end up graduating, and some of the graduates don’t finish with the best grades. Becoming a lawyer is one of the best careers in the world, but getting there takes work. This article highlights some tips that can be helpful when studying a law degree.

In law school, there will be lots and lots of reading. If you don’t have a plan, you can easily give way to procrastination and miss the deadlines, or fail to read for your exams on time. Have a plan with specific timelines, and once you make a time plan, stick to it. Don’t watch TV or go out when you should be reading for your next class. You may have to cut down the amount of time you spend on TV and other things to focus more on your studies. However, this doesn’t mean your plan shouldn’t include extra curriculum activities. You need a good study-life balance. Make plans to relax, spend time with friends and family, travel, and engage in your hobbies, but dedicate the bigger percentage of your time to your studies. Read Extensively

In addition to your coursework, you’ll want to explore books, magazines, journals and blogs. Read about law and anything affecting law students and lawyers. Some of the knowledge you gain outside your coursework may not contribute much to your degree, but it can be helpful once you start practising. Don’t Miss Lectures

Consider these three key tips if you don’t want to miss lectures – one, prepare ahead for the next lecture. Know what you will be covering, do some reading, and gather all the materials you need on time; two – block your lecture times from all distractions. Let your friends and family know when you have lectures so that they don’t tempt you with invitations to hang out when you should be in class; three – take good care of your health by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. If you stay up late at night, you […]

Writing a First-Class Dissertation: An Introduction to the Series

Part 1

As part of the Law degree at university, some schools may require law students to complete a supervised or completely independent research project in your final year, often termed a dissertation. This is to test your research, problem solving, critical thinking and analysis skills. This also further tests your soft skills such as your ability to prioritise, plan effectively and manage time whilst working on a time-taking project. I have created this five-part series as a guide to writing and presenting a very high-quality dissertation. Throughout this series, I intend to discuss various tips and strategies that worked for me whilst writing both my undergraduate and masters dissertation and getting a first. To this aim, I have classified all my strategies under four major headings: the planning stage, the research stage, the writing stage and the final stage. In this article, I discuss what a dissertation is, how it is structured and the process of choosing a topic.

As stated before, a dissertation is usually a research project, a topic either chosen by you or chosen from a range of topics, which usually lasts between 4 to 6 months, depending on the program (LLB or LLM). Depending on the institution, the length of a general dissertation or research project may vary between 5 000 words to 15 000 words. An undergraduate law dissertation usually varies between 10 000 to 12 000 words, while the masters dissertation ranges between 10 000 to 15 000 words. This expected length is enough evidence of the type of coverage you should be aiming for on your dissertation, as well as the nature of your dissertation’s content. If done properly, apart from attaining a first-class mark, the dissertation is an entire experience which allows you really delve into a law topic or area in more depth and analysis.

In my experience, this was perhaps the hardest and most exhausting part of my dissertation, especially from my undergraduate dissertation. There’s a wealth of areas of law that you would have studied right from your first year to the final year. For me, it was quite […]

UWA Law School ranked 75th in world

Professor Natalie Skead The University of Western Australia has improved in the international Times Higher Education World Subject Rankings in the fields of Law and Business and Economics .

The world rankings place UWA’s Law School among the top 100 in the world, in 75th position, up from 126-150 last year.

The Law School has improved significantly across both its teaching scores and research indicators.

Law School Dean and Head of School Professor Natalie Skead acknowledged the expertise, dedication and passion behind the success.

“These results are confirmation of the world-class expertise within our Law School,” Professor Skead said.

“Our dynamic, relevant courses are taught by exceptional educators and practitioners, and our research has wide-ranging impact, shaping local and international policy and law reform.

“All Law School staff, students and alumni should be proud of these wonderful results. We pride ourselves on a diverse and inclusive student-centred community driven by a commitment to excellence in legal education, research and service.”


Talk To An Expert With Weebly Customer Service. Ad Email, Phone, and Live Chat Available. Start Your Site! Learn more UWA has also improved significantly in Business and Economics, rising to 151-175, up from 176 – 200 last year.The University is now offering a postgraduate course in Business Analytics , specifically catering to a data-focused future employment market, and the Graduate Certificate in Commerce is now offered online for students to integrate postgraduate study into their working lives.Within the Law School, the new Criminology major brings together multiple disciplines across the University – from Geography to History and Psychology – providing graduates with a knowledge base about crime and the criminal justice system.

The Best Law Schools In America For Career Prospects (2020)

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and before you gobble down some turkey, why not gobble down some new law school rankings? The Princeton Review recently released its annual law school ranking, covering the best 167 law schools in the country (up from 165 last year, and disregarding the fact that there are ~200 law schools with varying degrees of accreditation by the American Bar Association). Our condolences to the thirty-odd law schools that were unable to make the cut for the Princeton Review’s 2020 edition of the rankings — it must sting knowing that your institution is part of the small sliver of law schools that aren’t among the “best.”

We’ve focused on one of the 14 rankings categories that we thought people would be the most interested in: The law schools where graduates have the best career prospects. It wasn’t long ago that the Princeton Review’s loose definition of “career prospects” meant an entire class of law graduates could be putting the “bar” in “barista,” but thankfully the methodology was changed about four years ago, and these career rankings actually mean something now.

Princeton Review’s “Best Career Prospects” results are now based on highly relevant data reported by law school administrators, including median starting salaries, the percentage of students employed in jobs requiring bar passage (and not employed by the school), and the percentage of students who were able to pass the bar exam on their first try. The Princeton Review also relies on responses from student surveys.

Here are the top 10 law schools on the Princeton Review’s “Best Career Prospects” list for 2020. Things really changed for T14 schools over the course of the past year:

> New York University School of Law (no change)

University of Virginia School of Law (ranked #4 last year)

Duke University School of Law (not ranked last year)

Stanford University School of Law (ranked #9 last year)

Harvard University Law School (no change) Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (ranked #7 last year) University of Chicago Law School (ranked #3 last year) Columbia University School of Law (ranked #2 last year) University of […]

The Law Schools With The Highest Student Loan Default Rates

Here at Above the Law, time and time again, we’ve warned both prospective and current law students about the dangers of student loans. According to the most recent data available for the class of 2018, the average law school graduate has a debt of $115,481 (that’s an average of $89,962 for public schools and an average of $130,900 for private schools). With debt loads that large, it is imperative that law school graduates secure employment with salaries high enough to service those loans, lest they risk defaulting on their debts. Given the disheartening employment statistics that some law schools have continued to post year after year, it seems obvious that graduates will have issues when it comes to repaying their debts; some graduates will allow their loans to fall into delinquency, and other graduates will default on their loans outright.

The consequences of student loan default are severe , and can range from wage garnishments to Treasury offsets to acceleration of the entire debt owed. This is not a situation that anyone would want to deal with at any time in their lives, but some law school graduates have been forced to endure the disastrous repercussions of default.

Are graduates of your law school at risk of defaulting on their student loans?

The latest information from the U.S. Department of Education may provide some guidance. During the tracking period for Fiscal Year 2016 — which includes data from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2018 for borrowers who entered repayment in 2016 and defaulted in 2016, 2017, or 2018 — more than 20 freestanding law schools (i.e., law schools that aren’t affiliated with any college or university) reported student loan default rates of up to 5.5 percent. For what it’s worth, reliable data is currently unavailable for law schools affiliated with undergraduate colleges or universities because those default rates are included with their parent schools’ rates.

According to data collected by LendEDU , these are the freestanding law schools with the highest student loan default rates for Fiscal Year 2016 (some of these schools are unaccredited by the ABA, one is on ABA […]

Morning Docket: 11.04.19

* An Albuquerque DWI attorney has been arrested for his second DWI this year. His first DWI was dismissed; maybe this is just an advertising ploy… [ KRQE Albuquerque ]

* Joe Arpaio’s defamation lawsuit against several media outlets has been dismissed. [ The Hill ]

* Employment in the legal sector is flat even though the U.S. economy continues to add jobs. Still thinking about going to law school? [ American Lawyer ]

* A PA attorney has been disbarred for continuing to practice law even though his license was suspended 17 years ago. [ Patriot News ]

* Reed Smith has become the first American law firm to be allowed to raise outside investment and appoint non-lawyer partners in the UK. [ Times ]

* An Alaskan moose hunter spent $1.5M and 12 years in fighting for the right to hunt moose all the way to the Supreme Court. This guy is an American hero. [ Washington Post ]

Jordan Rothman is a partner of The Rothman Law Firm , a full-service New York and New Jersey law firm. He is also the founder of Student Debt Diaries , a website discussing how he paid off his student loans. You can reach Jordan through email at .

Scholarship Recipients, Law School Dean Recognized at Las Vegas Latino Bar Association’s Inspira Event

Las Vegas Latino Bar Association Board of Directors members Claudia Aguayo and Romeo Perez, center, are pictured with nine of 17 recipients of their 2019 ¡Andale! Scholarship. The scholarship can be used to cover LSAT preparation course and exam fees. The Las Vegas Latino Bar Association (LBA) honored a man who has made a significant contribution to the Hispanic legal community as well as a group of young Latinos they expect will make a difference in the field one day.

At its inaugural Inspira Awards Celebration on Oct. 30, the LBA awarded 17 ¡Andale! Scholarships to students hoping to go to law school, in the amount of $1,839 each. The scholarship covers the cost of a Kaplan in-person Law School Admission Test (LSAT) preparation course and LSAT-related fees.

“The prep courses and exam can be expensive, and some people may not be able to make that investment,” LBA President Marisa Rodriguez said. “I know this may be the difference between someone going or not going to law school. Taking a prep course will help them get a better LSAT score, and a higher LSAT score increases the chances of being admitted to law school. A higher LSAT score could also lead to academic scholarships. We’re giving them $1,839, but they may end up with more of their law school paid for because of it.”

Scholarship recipients recognized were: Mario Jael Aguayo Oropeza, Areli Alarcon, Julio Ray Cisneros, Gabrielle Corona, Gabriela Dorado Martinez, Valeria Cecilia Gamez, Monserrath Hernandez, Natale Elizabeth Muro, Vincent Nava, Magaly Ereida Quezada, Mauro Quiroga Claros, America Reyes Marcos, Leslie Yukye Reyes, Julian Alfredo Sarabia, Kathia Linette Sotelo Calderon, Selena Torres and Rodrigo Vazquez.

The students were chosen from a field of nearly 30 applicants after the LBA reached out to universities and community colleges in Nevada and the Hispanic National Bar Association promoted it. Although she wasn’t part of the selection process, Rodriguez said she read the applications, and the recipients are all people who have what it takes to get into law school, thrive while they are there and after they graduate, and use their law degree for good […]

BARAN | College Shouldn’t Be a Breeze

“Follow your passions.” “Do what you’re interested in.” This is advice we receive too often as college students. It’s also generally ignored. I’ve met many students, including myself, who take the path of least resistance when it came to classes and course loads. We say that a good GPA is all that matters or that we want to have fun and not be stuck in the library all weekend. We even eschew our areas of interest in favor of easier, less interesting subjects. This is a myopic and selfish path to take.

Coming to Cornell, I thought I was going to major in biology. I enjoyed it in high school and was good at it. I didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted to do after college beyond a vague desire to help the environment and maybe go to law school, but I thought that biology could help me. Rumors of the difficulty of the biology major, along with the realization that it was mostly full of pre-med and pre-vet students, quickly dissuaded from that course and instead put me on the biology & society track. But I soon realized that I had to take a lot of science courses to fulfill that requirement. I had never taken chemistry or physics before, and although I had excelled in math classes, I never considered myself a “math kid.”

So, thinking ahead to the possibility of law school and its need for a good GPA, I picked a seemingly easier major. I opted for science & technology studies, a subject for which I felt no particular passion. My freshman year, I took classes in that major and other easy, filler classes. I finished with close to a 4.0 with little effort but found myself unsatisfied and burdened with what was close to a sense of guilt.

Going into sophomore year, I lost my full scholarship. My guilt intensified, and I knew I couldn’t keep taking easy classes for the sake of earning a high GPA. I dropped all of the classes I pre-enrolled in the previous spring, and added classes that would […]

Broad stripes, bright stars

Growing numbers of law students are aiming to become US-qualified, hoping to practise in north America or gain an edge in international legal practice. Marialuisa Taddia looks at the advantages and challenges of sitting US bar exams THE LOW DOWN

‘If only they didn’t speak English,’ was BBC journalist Jon Sopel’s way of observing the pull that the United States has on our attentions. Generations have now been reared on US legal dramas, from Ironside to Ally McBeal and Suits – and many solicitors name To Kill A Mockingbird ’s Atticus Finch as an inspiration. The draw is also practical. The US is an enormous legal market and, drawn by the work and the rewards, more and more international law students and lawyers are pursuing the US bar. UK law schools are offering preparation courses for the New York and California bar exams, and some point out that there may be a saving to be made by becoming US-qualified, then taking the QLTS to become a solicitor. Failure rates are high, though, and exams are based on a legal education system that is specific in style and content to the US.

On an October morning in Las Vegas, the temperature is already 25°C and Cindy Nicolson, a newly minted attorney-at-law, is in her shorts. As a Scot, the contrast with back home could not be greater: ‘It’s wonderful living here. The weather is one of the perks. And then you have got so much to see in America.’

Nicolson, a law graduate from Abertay University in Dundee, says she ‘wanted to travel and to do law, but didn’t know what could give me both options’. Until she discovered that with her British LLB she could sit the New York bar exam.

Despite the considerable efforts involved, more and more international law students and lawyers are pursuing the US bar.

The climate, which differs widely from state to state, is not the main pull, however. ‘The earning potential is insane,’ says Nicolson, who was admitted to the New York State bar in August.

‘Salaries in the US are generally a lot higher across the […]

Mythical Splendor: LL.M. Programs in Scotland

There are few downsides to attending law school in this beautiful, successful and welcoming country north of England

In law school league tables, Scotland often falls below its southern neighbor England, in the number of schools ranked. Yet with world-class law schools and the highest employment and student satisfaction rates in the UK, doing an LL.M. in Scotland is a great choice for many students.

The country has a renowned education system, with more world-class universities (19) per head of population than anywhere else in the world. Many have excellent law schools. These include the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland, and Edinburgh Law School in the eponymous capital city to the south. Both run a range of LL.M. programs, and are ranked in the top-15 of The Guardian ’s 2019 league table for law.

Scotland is one of Europe’s industrial powerhouses and a world leader in manufacturing, producing textiles, whisky and shortbread, as well as jet engines, buses, computer software and ships. There’s a strong services sector too, from banking and insurance in Edinburgh, a global finance center, in Glasgow, which is at the frontier of space technology, and Aberdeen, at the heart of global biotech.

This economic prowess gives LL.M. students access to myriad global companies in Scotland for recruitment, networking, academic projects and guest lectures. “We organize talks from highly successful judges and lawyers, allowing you to engage with current debates,” says Irene-Marie Esser, director of taught postgraduate programs at the University of Glasgow, School of Law. A longstanding tradition of education

Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and is ranked first in Scotland by the 2020 Complete University Guide. It offers a general LL.M. course as well as niche programs covering International Law and Security, Corporate and Financial Law, and Intellectual Property Law and the Digital Economy.

The longevity of Scottish law schools means they have huge alumni networks that are useful for finding employment. Little wonder that Scottish universities have the highest employment rates and student satisfaction in teaching quality in […]

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