Soft Skills

Law School Is A (Daily) Commitment

Law School Is A (Daily) Commitment

More than a few undergraduate students are scared by the commitment that succeeding in law school seems to demand. They seem to believe that success is directly related to committing every hour of their day, at least, that they are awake, to studying, preparing for, and attending class. Is the notion that law students do not have any free time a myth or a reality? Perhaps, a better way of looking at it is that law school is not some unrealistic hourly commitment, but a daily commitment. Making a commitment involves dedicating yourself to something, whether it is a cause or individual. Any...

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Things To Do When You Start Law School, Part Two

Things To Do When You Start Law School, Part Two

Your first weeks of law school are arguably the most important since the way you perform in your first semester may set the tone for the way you perform for the duration of your law school career. Surviving the first weeks of law school will get you over the proverbial hump, and a big one at that. Here are some more things you should consider doing when you start your law school classes. *Develop good habits. You have two choices in law school: You can survive, or you can thrive. Sure, survival means that you made it and that you earned your law degree....

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Things To Do When You Start Law School, Part One

Things To Do When You Start Law School, Part One

Getting your law degree requires many things: dedication, hard work, knowledge, and resilience are just a few important words that come to mind. All these traits are important over the entire course of your schooling, but they are also important as you begin your journey. *Get organized. Good habits and routines can reduce stress and even make law school seem less intimidating. Avoid any type of procrastination during the first weeks of school. Focus on your present tasks while observing what is approaching in the near but not too distant future. Try to always stay one step ahead of your deadlines. If...

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Supreme Court Amends Rule Of Professional Conduct Related To Competence

Supreme Court Amends Rule Of Professional Conduct Related To Competence

The California Supreme Court approved the amendment of Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The new version of the Rule went into effect on March 22, 2021. The new version of the Rule contains a new Comment providing that a lawyer’s duty of competence encompasses a duty to keep abreast of the changes in the law and law practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. The Rule reads as follows: Rule 1.1 Competence (a) A lawyer shall not intentionally, recklessly, with gross negligence, or repeatedly fail to perform legal services with competence. (b) For purposes of this...

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Summer Law Jobs 101

Summer Law Jobs 101

For law students, it is hard enough to get a good summer law job, whether at a private firm or public agency. Once this is achieved, the elation is immediately tempered with a stark fear of failure. You experience the realization that you will soon be making the transition from student to lawyer, albeit in a limited sense. Once you have a summer job at a firm, how can you ensure that the people who hired you will be satisfied with your performance and, more importantly, remember you as a worthy candidate for an associate’s job in the future? *Always exercise...

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Principles Of Professional Conduct – Meritorious Claims

Principles Of Professional Conduct – Meritorious Claims

Under the model rules of professional conduct, attorneys must be advocates. The California Desert Trial Academy College of Law (CDTA) offers the best of both worlds as it promotes the philosophy of not only teaching students the substantive law, but on training, educating, and developing students to be exceptional attorney-advocates. The CDTA believes that practical experience, including apprenticeships with mentors, during law school are essential elements of success. According to a summary of the ABA Model Rule: “A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for...

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The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part Two

The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part One

The licensing structures of most, if not all, state bars do not necessarily assess all the various and minimum aspects of lawyer competence. Research suggests that essay and multiple-choice exams with stressful time constraints are neither satisfactory nor effective formats for measuring competence as these tests truly simulate nothing close to the practice of law The components of lawyer competence include both hard and soft skills. The former include the substantive knowledge of the law while the latter represent analytical and interpersonal skills necessary in all walks of life. The following addresses components of minimum competence that are “softer” than “harder”...

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The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part One

The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part Two

Lawyers, especially attorney-advocates, must possess minimum competence to serve clients and the interests of the public-at-large. The following are six components of minimum competence that relate to the more technical side of the practice of law. The ability to communicate orally and in writing Attorneys must possess both the verbal and written skills to communicate with lawyers and clients equally. An attorney who cannot clearly and concisely communicate his or her legal position on behalf of a client, especially when it is viably strong, is like a fisherman with a full boat of fish but no paddle to get back to shore....

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Even More Time Management Tips For Online Students

Even More Time Management Tips For Online Students

A major challenge for students during the pandemic is time management. The coronavirus is altering how they live, study, and learn. Nothing is certain for the short-term, unpredictability has forced everyone to ad-lib just to get through the day. Online students must have the ability to be self-motivated, organized, and independent. Here are some basic time-management tips to make online learning more productive. Eliminate any distractions While a home environment provides convenience, comfort, and flexibility, it also presents the temptation to easily engage in activities that may be less productive. This tip is a correlate of having a dedicated workspace. It is...

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Five Things To Avoid During A Hearing

Five Things To Avoid During A Hearing

Whether it is the first time or the hundredth time, it is an exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience to walk into a court hearing. On one hand, an attorney’s attention is directed at asserting and protecting the rights of his or her client. On the other, he or she must act within the decorum required by the court and avoid any mistakes that may be detrimental to a case’s outcome. No lawyer is invulnerable to mistakes but some mistakes are more detrimental than others. The following lists five things that any attorney should avoid when handling a hearing, whether live and in-person...

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