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How do I get started?

I recently received a worried email from an applicant and I know that she’s not the only facing this dilemma, so I thought I’d share my response with all of you.

Q: My main question is regarding the personal statement. I have no idea where to begin.

A: Personal statements are often the most difficult part of the application process, but they’re also one of the most important.  If you haven’t seen it already, I have a few pages on my website with general tips on personal statements and other essays/addenda you may need to draft. I urge you NOT to look at sample personal statements, because it is very difficult to get that other person’s voice and life story out of your head once they’re inside.  It’s critical that your statement be as genuine... read more »

What’s it worth to ya?

So there’s this raging debate in law world now about the value of a law degree.  Some law profs are arguing that it’s a million dollar degree.  Others are taking issue with that claim. Who’s right, who’s wrong, and what does it mean for you?

Here’s what you need to know: this is really a disagreement about the value of a legal education in the aggregate.  It’s not about the value of a JD to an individual law grad, it’s a dispute about whether law school as an institution is overvalued relative to what it provides aspiring lawyers as a group.

On the individual level, you’re still left with the question of what it’s worth to you.  The only way to get at the question is to understand your own values: which... read more »

Lawyer-alum profile: Massimo D’Angelo (Political Science ‘04, Thomas M. Cooley Law ‘07)

Massimo D’Angelo (Political Science ‘04, Thomas M. Cooley Law ‘07) Associate Attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, PC

What’s your current position and primary practice field(s)? I am currently an associate at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. in Manhattan where my main area of practice is real estate litigation.

How did you get here – what led you to this field and practice setting? From when I was small, I always wanted to be a lawyer.  In fact, I distinctly recall a conversation that I had with my parents when I was about eight years old.  I was sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car and when my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I got older, I told them that I wanted to be lawyer.  At the time my parents thought that my answer was amusing, but growing up,... read more »

You are moving toward a future you are creating

Catapult 2013 (+ 2 months) or How a one-day conference reignited my excitement about the future of law

In mid-April, I attended a conference in San Francisco entitled, “Catapult 2013: Tools for a 21st Century Legal Career.” It was an inspiring day of meetings, presentations, workshops and informal conversations, and I fully intended to post about it during the week after the conference.  Then, as I was on the flight home, news broke of the Boston Marathon bombing, and a lot of things got disrupted for many of us. Finally, I’m returning to that post.  I’ll note one upside of the delay: it’s reminded me that, Twitter notwithstanding, we don’t have to react and report immediately; reflection can be a good thing.  It’s also nice to realize that I still feel as excited about the conference two months later.

If you... read more »

Lawyer-alum profile: Rebecca Young (M.Ed. Counseling Psychology ‘90, Villanova Law ‘99)

Rebecca Young (M.Ed. Counseling Psychology ‘90, Villanova Law ‘99) Associate Attorney King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC

What’s your current position and primary practice field(s)?

I am an associate attorney with King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC in Bethlehem, PA.  King Spry is a full-service firm that represents individual, business and municipal clients in all practice areas.  My practice focuses on representation of school districts in general matters and special education litigation.  In addition, I represent clients in adoption matters.  Another of my “niche” areas of special knowledge is the state Right to Know Law.

How did you get here – what led you to this field and practice setting?

I did not get here directly, that’s for sure!  After graduating from UMass, I started out as a masters-level therapist in a residential... read more »

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