Stand Out in Class
Before you graduate and begin your career, gain a competitive edge in school and prepare for your first job. Find resources to help you discover hot topics for law review, learn how to maximize your time and study habits, and prepare for what comes next.
<b>Read about our resources for 1Ls and beyond, including tips on picking a study group, writing an effective outline, managing your time, and mastering memo writing.</b>
Resources for 1Ls and Beyond
As you get acclimated to life as a law student, use our curated hubs: one geared toward 1Ls and another for upper-level law students.
- Use our first-year page to help you excel in class, with tips on picking a study group, writing an effective outline, managing your time, dealing with stress, and mastering memo writing
- When you transition to an upper-level law student, our guides turn more career focused; learn how to ace interviews, thrive as an intern, select courses to advance your career interests, and network strategically
As you prepare for practicing law, use quick links to the resources you’ll soon consider essential, including dockets, court opinions, and rules of civil procedure
Speaking about the materials that we learn is just as important as listening to it. It’s a different way of learning, to articulate your own ideas.”
Katharina Pistor, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law, Columbia Law School
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How to Outline Your Way to Success
The outline is a valuable tool for every law student, as long as it is done correctly and contains the accurate – and relevant – information. In reality, the process of outlining is more important than the outline itself. Through outlining, you are processing everything you have learned in an entire semester, putting it into your own words, ensuring that you really understand it, and condensing it into a usable, summarized document.
When to outline?
If you outline too soon, you will end up focusing on individual cases, because that is all you know so far. Individual cases do have a place in an outline, but the focus of your outline needs to be on legal concepts and rules. So, wait until a few weeks, or even a month (but no later!) into your semester. When you finish a big topic, outline that topic.
Start your outlines on a weekend, when you can give yourself a large block of time to work on them (four hours per subject is good to start). Once you are caught up with your outlines, you won’t need such large blocks of time – a few hours at the end of each week will be sufficient to outline what you have done that week.
How to outline?
A good place to start is with a general overview of your course content – either your syllabus or the table of contents in your textbook. Use that as the skeleton for your outline, and it will guide you in terms of what substance needs to be filled in. When you sit down for the four-hour block of time that you have dedicated to the outline, bring all of your materials to the table – literally! Have your textbook, your class notes, your case briefs, and any hornbooks or study aids you have been using to help you understand the black letter law.
Focus on and organize by the rule of law, and then use your cases to illustrate the rule of law. Do not organize your outline by cases! More important is the rule of law, and how a court will likely apply that rule to the given hypothetical on your final exam. The cases, therefore, will serve to illustrate to the professor why you think a court would hold a certain way in your final exam fact pattern.
Don’t have an academic account yet?
Four Things Professors Wish Students Would Do
Tips from legal educators at Columbia, Georgetown, UCLA, and USC
1. Dare to Approach Your Professor
Confused about a concept discussed in a lecture? Unsure of how to proceed with an assignment? Don’t let intimidation stop you from seeking clarity as soon as possible. Professors want students to use informal discussion time after class or during office hours to clear things up.
“If you can clarify questions right after class, before wrong things or misunderstanding[s] settle in the minds of the students, that can be really very effective,” said Columbia Law School Professor Katharina Pistor.
2. Take a Page From Your
Business School Friends
Leadership skills training and career development – hallmarks of business school curricula – are becoming increasingly prevalent in law schools. “People come to law school because they want to make a difference … but that's not traditionally what we prepare them for,” said Georgetown University Law Center Dean William Trainor. “We teach them contracts, we teach them constitutional law, we teach them torts. We don’t teach them how to make a difference or how to lead, so there’s an incredible hunger for this.”
What is the most important leadership skill for law students to learn? For Dean Trainor, it’s resilience – realizing that life is full of setbacks and developing tactics to overcome them.
3. Don’t Worry About Robots Taking Your Job
From e-discovery and machine learning to blockchain and smart contracts, legal technology is a critical part of practicing law – and it’s good to get ahead of the curve early and gain exposure to these tools in law school. Approaching legal tech with a growth mindset and understanding that it is meant to help – not replace – are key to unlocking its potential.
“A lawyer is highly trained and very, very capable … using a tool that has machine learning capabilities will only enhance the work that a lawyer is able to do and complement it and will not substitute for a lawyer,” said Beverly Rich, lecturer in law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
4. Go All in on Hypotheticals
Taking advantage of experiential learning opportunities such as moot court and mock trial programs can help you get a taste for practicing law. Or look for courses that feature simulation-style exercises as part of the curriculum.
“You have a lot more scope to push the students to their limit in the simulation environment than you do in a live client environment,” said UCLA School of Law Professor Dan Bussel. “To me, that’s an opportunity that we have in law school that they don’t have in law practice – that’s where we have a comparative advantage because we can put them in the partner role and they can learn what it’s like to be the senior lawyer on the file, and it takes years to get to that point in a law firm setting.”
Listen: Mastering Legal Technology
Research and Write
for Law Review
Our timely, in-depth news and analysis cover the latest trends and issues in the legal industry and provide inspiration for writing standout papers and law review articles.
- News coverage is organized into more than 35 areas of interest, so you can easily find the content most relevant to you; we feature articles by our own reporters, as well as Bloomberg Law Insights – thought leadership by expert practitioners on emerging issues
- Sign up for newsletters and alerts related to your favorite topics to receive the latest developments right in your inbox
- Bloomberg Law analysts offer data-driven perspectives on trends in developing areas, such as litigation finance, legal operations, and data privacy, while also staying abreast of changes in more traditional topics
- If you prefer to listen to your news and analysis, check out our podcast series focused on law, government, and tax news
Land Your Perfect Role
Finding the right legal job for you isn’t an exact science, but let technology do the heavy lifting. See how company data, analytics, and judge comparisons can help you decide where to apply, and then use Practical Guidance to hit the ground running as a summer associate or new lawyer.
<b>Continue reading to learn how to find the right law firm or corporate counsel job, prep for your interview, and build your network.</b>
Identify the Right Firm for You
Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics can help you identify the scope of a law firm’s practice areas, trends in its representation, top-performing attorneys, and more. Use this information to inform your job search, applications, and interviews so you can find the right law firm for your first legal position.
- Quickly mine law firm and attorney representation data, judicial and court behavior, case law, and dockets
- Gain insights into a firm’s top performers using attorney and law firm analytics covering more than 100,000 attorneys at nearly 800 law firms
- Assess litigation activity by practice area, volume of cases, and significant clients
We know there are a million law firms or a million legal organizations, but at the end of the day, we want to hire the person who really wants to work for us. [We want to hear] why you chose our firm versus the ones down the road. What is it about us that you think will be a good fit?”
Moy Ogilvie, Managing Partner
McCarter & English, LLP
Work as an In-House Counsel
Navigate to our Business Intelligence Center to find the right company for you or read up on a company before your interview. With Bloomberg Law you can:
- Choose from more than 3.5 million downloadable company profiles, each of which provides a single point of access for financial statements, shareholder information and filings, management profiles, credit ratings, capital structure data, SEC filings, and more
- Track information on a company, its customers, and its industry – easily access filings, news, dockets, laws and regulations, patents, and more, – and add your own messages, action items, and other notes to each dashboard
- Stay ahead of market, regulatory, and legal developments with real-time social media and docket alerts
- Access thousands of news sources by topic, from rumored mergers to bankruptcies to investigations, in order to get ahead of emerging developments
When pursuing an in-house opportunity, learn as much as you can about the company, its products and operations, industry, and risks/challenges. What are the company’s reputation and long-term prospects? Do you respect its values? Are you comfortable tying your fortune to the fate of this company over the foreseeable future?”
Legal Analyst for Bloomberg Law
Former Assistant General Counsel, Alcoa, Inc.
Your Interview Prep Cheat Sheet
When applying to summer internships or seeking your first full-time legal job, feeling ready for your interview will give you the confidence to make a lasting impression and score the position.
Whether the interview is over the phone or face to face, prepare the same way: review your resume, cover letter, job application, writing samples, and any other relevant information; develop your illustrative anecdotes; and know what benefits you offer the employer or what problems you can help them solve.
For video interviews, which will be the norm as the pandemic continues, take time to work on technical and visual concerns in addition to the substance of your answers:
- Consider your background: clean up any mess and ensure you’re the only person who can be seen and heard
- Check your lighting: natural lighting is best, so ideally set yourself up in front of a window, and avoid light directly behind you
- Make sure your internet is working properly, and that you’ve silenced your email and phone notifications
- During the interview, look into the camera lens, not into the computer screen
Dress as professionally as you would for an in-person interview, with additional considerations
Colors are entirely different on screen than they are in person; a blue shirt or blouse is preferable to white or reds; avoid stripes or strong patterns
For in-depth info on how to answer specific questions, how to discuss your strengths and weaknesses, and more, visit Bloomberg Law’s career resources page.
To learn more about how to research law firms, or even your interviewer, check out the career research section of Bloomberg Law’s webinars geared toward law students.
Bring your authentic self to the interview rather than tailoring your responses for what you think the interviewer ‘wants’ to hear – at the end of the day, you are looking for a firm that values you and all of the unique characteristics you possess, and the firm is looking for lawyers in the same way. Authenticity will help you find a stronger, long-lasting match.”
Abid R. Qureshi, Global Chair of Latham & Watkins’ recruiting committee
Do You Really Need to Network? Yes, and Here’s How.
Whether it’s before or after you’ve landed an interview, networking is key to learning about opportunities and making sure you’re top of mind.
“You have to build a personal brand, and it’s a long-term process that starts when you’re in college. All these connections are going to keep growing as you do, so keep updated on where they are. Networking is a practice that invites people to connect with strangers with the understanding that even if you are not friends, you might be able to help each other somehow.”
Claudia Chafloque-Siu, Associate, Eversheds Sutherland
“Be bold. Get out there, but be very judicious and respectful of the time that you’re taking away from somebody. Don't over ask – a 15-minute virtual coffee [is good]. If you’re an engaging law student with great questions, it’s energizing for me to spend part of my day with you.”
Esther E. Cho, Shareholder and Chair of Executive Committee,
Keesal, Young & Logan
“Build your LinkedIn network – work at it. You should be spending time on this every day, not once a week, not once a month. You should be reading articles. You should be understanding who’s active. You should be understanding how their relationships interact with others that may connect to you. You need to start early and work consistently because it takes time to build a network.”
Connie Brenton, Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Legal Operations, NetApp, Inc.
Stay Ahead of
The legal profession is constantly evolving, which means that staying up to date on the latest developments and the topics that are front of mind for your colleagues and competitors is essential to success.
<b>Learn how to stay ahead of new legal developments by exploring legal news publications used by practicing attorneys.</b>
Bloomberg Law’s Practical Guidance library provides task-based, how-to coverage, including overviews, checklists, sample forms and agreements, timelines, drafting and negotiating guides, and more. These resources quickly show you how practicing attorneys accomplish legal tasks.
- All sample documents and policies can be downloaded into Microsoft Word so you can edit to fit your needs
- Practice areas covered include nearly every part of the industry, such as bankruptcy, benefits and executive compensation, transactions, employment, health care, intellectual property, labor relations, litigation, privacy and data security, tax practice, and tech
- The guidance we offer is consistently updated based on current events and trends; for example, recently expanded topics include force majeure and bankruptcy, both of which have been in the spotlight this year
News and Analysis
The first stop to learn what’s hot in the legal industry at any given moment is our real-time news and analysis – particularly our industry-focused sections such as business and practice and in-house counsel.
Visit our Bloomberg Law 2021 resource page to find an example of our comprehensive, forward-looking analysis of the legal landscape. By focusing on four key categories – litigation, transactions and markets, future of the legal industry, and ESG – our analysts offer insights and data about nearly every part of the industry during this time of unprecedented change.
Our team’s videos dive into current developments and issues affecting legal professionals. Examples include interviews with our analysts as well as the industry experts who are immersed day to day in a given subject.
What's it like to work for Justice Ginsburg? Hear from seven of her former SCOTUS law clerks.
In Focus Pages
When you need a deep understanding of a particular topic, our In Focus pages
offer curated resources to cover every angle of the most pressing issues
transforming the legal markets.
- Each In Focus page is a one-stop shop, featuring a variety of Bloomberg Law
resources centered around a specific topic; you’ll find news and commentary,
legal primary sources, dockets, business information, Practical Guidance,
litigation filings, and regulatory developments
- We build new In Focus content based on the fast-paced world around us,
such as the recent additions of pages covering the coronavirus and subsequent
financial relief, lawyer well-being, business closure, and cannabis
Watch a demo of In Focus pages on Bloomberg Law
What better way to learn about the legal industry than from experts already well established in their fields? Our Professional Perspectives are long-form articles that take a closer look at the current legal issues and developments impacting practitioners.
- Contributors range from law firm practitioners and in-house counsel to regulatory and compliance experts – whatever your area of interest is, we have you covered
- Search more than 400 Professional Perspectives by keyword or filter by practice area to narrow down the wealth of information to best fit you and your career
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