Hard Skills

Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Attorneys file a vast number of motions over their careers. Motion practice is the most common courtroom experience in a legal services practice. The submission of a motion pre- or post-trial enables a party to approach a court directly and request it to perform some specific action, such as a ruling on a legal issue. Motions may be filed at any stage of a criminal, civil, or even an administrative proceeding, and they may request almost anything. At its most basic, a motion is a request for an order. Whether an extensive, detailed, voluminous motion for summary judgment or a paragraph-long...

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How To Write A Contract – The Essentials

How To Write A Contract – The Essentials

A 1L’s first contracts class is often an intimidating experience, if not just because the 1L saw “The Paper Chase” a few weeks or months before starting law school. Once we get over the initial realization that our Contracts professor is not as heavy-handed as Professor Kingsfield but just as competent, we wrestle with what a contract is and what a contract is not. At some point, we wonder how these documents, often voluminous with endless provisions of legalese, even get drafted in the first place by mere humans. To be candid, many lawyers never write a contract technically from scratch...

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Law School Myths And Reality: Law School is Nothing But Reading

Law School Myths And Reality: Law School is Nothing But Reading

There are many myths perpetuated by law school, whether from the public’s general perception of lawyers or the way that law school is portrayed in television shows and movies. Of course, the latter is limited since there are not that many true portrayals of law school in tv and film since perhaps law school as a setting and subject is not the most compelling. Nevertheless, those who have never attended law school tend to accept and believe the prevailing myths, although the reality is quite different. The image of a typical law student tends to be shrouded in the image of someone who...

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There are Many Paths To A Meaningful Legal Career – Energy, Natural Resources, And The Environment

There are Many Paths To A Meaningful Legal Career – Energy, Natural Resources, And The Environment

There are a vast number of non-traditional legal careers that do not require a law degree. Based on data from the Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), annually approximately 10-15% of law school graduates find jobs after graduation in non-traditional legal positions. Employment available in alternative fields varies and can depend on a law school graduate’s undergraduate education and prior work experience. Many alternative careers are in compliance and regulatory affairs, management at all levels, policy analysis, strategic planning, labor relations, personnel and benefits, government, education, and nonprofits. There is a large amount of material out there listing alternative and non-traditional...

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What Is An Alternative Legal Career?

What Is An Alternative Legal Career?

At some point during their law school tenure, law students ponder and consider career options outside of the traditional practice of law. Students and graduates seek alternative careers for various reasons, such as a high level of personal interest in a sector, company, or job type. Alternative careers may be considered simply to facilitate a desire to work a less rigorous schedule than that required by the traditional practice of law. An alternative career may be any career outside of the law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, and judiciary at the heart of the current establishment of the legal profession....

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Understanding A Law’s Purpose

Understanding A Law’s Purpose

Because legislation is the product of a deliberative and informed process, it has discernible purposes and objectives. Lawyers and judges utilize tools to examine a statute’s purpose and establish the legislature’s intent for enacting the statute. Once the legislative intent has been established, it may be used to understand and interpret a statute’s meaning. Many statutes begin with a preamble or purpose clause, which may provide guidance in discerning the intent of the legislature where the statute may be ambiguous. Lawyers faced with choosing between different plausible interpretations may refer to the statute’s purpose to make a final decision. However, where...

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The Hard Skills

The Hard Skills

Hard skills are part of a job’s required skill set. These skills consist of the expertise necessary for an individual to successfully perform the job. They are job-specific and are acquired through formal education and training programs. Law students must learn hard skills to succeed as lawyers. In this context, this means learning the law, both substantive and procedural. Modern law firms, like most modern employers, also seek applicants who possess important soft skills. The soft skills include interpersonal skills that facilitate coordination, teamwork, and goal achievement in the workplace. These are skills that are more difficult to quantify, and which receive...

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