#The3Llife: What Type of Law Do You Want to Practice?

GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2018

This past week I registered for my spring semester classes.

So far, throughout internships and classwork I’ve been focusing on intellectual property law and while I find it interesting, I’m not sure I want to continue down that path after law school. As I see job postings for first-year associates and take more diverse electives, I’m realizing that I may be interested in a lot more than I had thought.

That’s why I struggled with my spring schedule. There are so many areas of law I’d like to explore and only one semester left to do it. I’ve spent so much time worrying about not having a niche or a specialty, that I feel I may have missed out on some opportunities.

As I tried to determine what to take, something my law school professor told me popped into my head. He said that when anyone asks him what he does for work he says he’s an attorney and goes out of his way to avoid labeling himself as a “corporate attorney.” When I asked him why, he told me that he didn’t want people thinking he was only interested in corporate law, despite that fact that he’s done a lot of work in that area. He always wanted to keep his options open and welcome opportunities that may be outside his comfort zone.

I think the point of his story is important to remember, especially in the law school environment where we are constantly asked what type of law we want to practice. It’s okay to have a broad focus or no focus at all.

In an effort to keep an open mind and explore new things, I registered for law school classes that were completely outside my comfort zone. This spring, I’ll be putting intellectual property on pause to learn about international law, in-house work, and asset management/ financial advising. I even registered for Quinnipiac’s externship program and am excited to be placed at a firm where I can be challenged! While I may end up sticking with intellectual property law, I’m not going to rule out the other options, and who knows, maybe I’ll find my future career in something unexpected!

#The3Llife: Tips from Future Employers

GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2018

As graduation is approaching I’ve been thinking a lot about job hunting and making a good impression on potential future employers.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person thinking about this, so I talked to current and past supervisors to see what they look for during the hiring process.

Resume matters

What you put on your resume says a lot about you and will be a big factor in whether or not you get an interview. Make sure to tailor your resume to the position you are applying to so your future employer can see how your experiences relate to the job. At this point in your career, your resume should never exceed one page and it should be in a clean, easy to read format. And PLEASE proofread! Employers will notice if your resume has typos, grammar errors, etc.

Apply, apply, apply

If you come across a job that you don’t think you’re totally qualified for, apply anyways! Many times, job postings are a “wish list.” Employers would love to find someone that checks off all the boxes, but that doesn’t usually happen. If you are open-minded, enthusiastic about the job, and eager to learn, many employers will be willing to train you.

Be prepared

When you go in for an interview make sure to bring business cards, copies of your resume, and anything else you submitted for your application. Don’t assume that just because you sent it the employer will have it on hand. My current boss noted that he was impressed that at the end of the interview I had business cards to exchange. It made me stand out from the other candidates and appear very professional and put-together.

Personality is key

Interviews are nerve-wracking, but you can’t let that show. Employers are impressed with candidates who appear confident, friendly, and enthusiastic. Take a couple of deep breaths before you go in and make sure to speak clearly and slowly. Interviews are about more than your skills since the employer is already familiar with your resume. They’re using the interview to see your personality, your communications skills, and whether or not you’ll fit in with the team.

#The1Llife: Saving Money in Law School

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

We pay A LOT to go to law school so it only makes sense that we should take advantage of any, and all, free services included within that enormous fee. Though your school will likely highlight some of these freebies, others are more hidden … so here are some tips!

Retail

When shopping make sure to always ask if the store offers a student discount. Most do and they range from 10% – 20% for stores like Banana Republic!

Transportation

Amtrak, local trains, and even aircraft providers offer student discounts, so be sure to consult websites, or call to make sure you’re getting the best deal. This is especially import for your local transportation, as train costs add up!

Amazon/Spotify/Apple Music

Unbeknownst to many, popular apps and sites such as Amazon, Spotify and apple music have student pricing. For instance, students get a free 6-month Amazon Prime membership, and after the trial period we pay half the price of a normal membership. Spotify and Apple Music similarly offer stellar deals on monthly memberships, around $5/month!

Entertainment

Your university is home to everything from gyms to museums! Instead of outsourcing for a monthly gym membership or paying for trips to museums at your local museum or theatre, check with your on-campus options to see if your student ID gets you in for free, or at least for a discount. If you decide that your university doesn’t have what you’re looking for, again check for reduced student rates, they can save you a lot – seriously, I got an annual $20 student membership to the Fine Arts Museum in Philadelphia when memberships normally range between $40 and $250.

Health Services

It’s here where your tuition money can really pay off. Counselling appointments and visits to the doctor are expensive, but often necessary. Thanks to your tuition however, these services are usually free, or price-reduced if sought on-campus. For instance, my law school has complimentary counselling through the university counselling centre, weekly drop-in sessions in our building, and through an external organization (who doesn’t report to the bar). Another fun fact is that while many health insurance plans will charge a fee to visit a hospital or clinic, you can avoid paying those fees if you make use of your on-campus health clinic!

Food

Gone are the days when our parents foot the grocery bill. Aside from being expensive, sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to properly prepare a lunch or snacks to bring with you to school – or maybe you simply don’t have room in your already overflowing backpack. Praise the numerous student organizations and on-campus events that offer free food. If I wanted to, I swear I could snag a free lunch daily, and often those lunches include snacks (like bags of chips or granola bars) which you can take and save for later if you’re so inclined.

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#The1Llife: A TRIBUTE TO MY BROTHER AND MY LAW SCHOOL

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

This past week was the hardest week of law school, in fact, it was the hardest week of my life.

Makenzie and her brother Brandon Way.

I lost my brother, he was only two years older than me, he was my best friend, and he was too young and too good to be taken this soon.

I remember a year ago, applying to law schools and explaining the ranking system to him – I wanted to attend a “top 10.” Back then the most important thing seemed to be getting the highest number on the chart. Funnily enough, when the time came to choose schools I selected not the highest school I got into, but a lower one that I found was a better fit for me personally. At the time, I couldn’t explain it because, like most law students, the appeal of saying I went to the higher ranked school was strong.

Now, a year later I can explain it, and I’m here to emphasize how important it is for you to choose the school that fits. More importantly, choose the school that is going to support you, because you will need that support in a variety of ways throughout your three years. Whether that support is in the classroom, during office hours, from the student body, or from the dean, what matters is that you have it.

Some schools will support you academically, but will fail to go above and beyond for you personally. My school, Penn Law, prides itself on ‘collegiality,’ and until this week I was unsure what, in reality, that meant. I now know that collegiality means having the dean offer not just to record the classes you’re going to miss, but giving you her personal cell phone number to call “in case you just need someone to talk to, or even if you just need someone to sit with you at 2am.” Collegiality is new friends sending a condolence gift all the way to Canada. It is classmates, whose names I didn’t even know, sending me notes because they noticed I was missing from class. And, it is upperclassmen reaching out to offer outlines, and a shoulder to cry on regardless of whether I actually knew them or not. Finally, it is professors not only excusing me from class and telling me to forget about that assignment, but offering up their personal time to support me both academically for the time I had missed, and emotionally.

In summary, choose the school that is going to go above and beyond for you, because while I hope none of you face a tragedy like mine, each of you will face hardships over the course of your three years, and it is your school, and the community it fosters that will determine whether you thrive or whether you just slide by.