Want to send a cell phone text message (SMS) from your computer? It’s easy, and free! And you can do it here.
Imagine you are sitting in your law school class. You think of something you need to tell your friend, and you want to send a quick message to your friend. The friend may not check e-mail for a while. What do you do? Send a text message using Google’s free “Send a Text Message” service. No login is required. Just go to the website and start typing your message.
A similar service is provided by Teleflip, but Teleflip can log your email address. WithTeleflip, you can send an email that shows up on someone’s phone as a text message. Try out this email to text message service.
In addition to these free computer-to-cell-phone text message services, here are 5 more free SMS services.
Losing your class notes before law school final exams could be tragic. Law students interested in free backup solutions can go here: How to Backup Your Documents Online for Free. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a current list of free online backup services.
In the old days, a cowboy could ride into town and no one knew if he was honest or a bank robber. Today, anyone can Google someone’s name to see what has been written about or by the person, and possibly learn about their involvements.
AELR Blog recently discussed this when mentioning a Washington Post article, Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web: Law Students Feel Lasting Effects of Anonymous Attacks, which discusses how one Yale law student’s job hunt was stunted by what was written about her online.
Even more concerning is a website called The Gorb, which allows people to rate and review other people. The reviews are available online like an Amazon.com book review for anyone to see. This site has been criticized by internet commentators. It also raises questions about how libel and defamation laws will be applied.
It will be interesting to see how the reputations of law students, lawyers, and other professionals are affected by the “information age” being applied to personal reputations.
UPDATE 1: Read what one blogger has to say about the legal implications of criticising people online at the Life is Risky blog here: Defamation of Character.
UPDATE 2:A website similar to The Gorb is Rapleaf, a site for rating buyers, sellers, and others.
Federal student loans include a six month deferment period. However, if you ever consolidated your law school loans, you probably waived your six month deferment period. This means your consolidated loan will become due immediately upon graduation and you must start making payments at that time. Most law students are studying for the bar exam during this time, so they don’t have money to make student loan payments.
The good news is, many student loan companies will still defer your law school loan for six months if you call and request it (they will probably provide a form that you must complete). If you do not qualify for a deferment, the loan company may give you a forbearance (deferment and forbearance defined).
If you graduated in the spring, you should call to request loan deferment now to allow enough time to process the deferment before your loan becomes due.
Student Loan Consolidation
You may also want to consider consolidating your student loans. By consolidating your student loans, you can reduce the inconvenience of paying multiple bills for each loan. You may also benefit from locking in your student loan interest rates.
Finally, some student loan consolidation companies offer discounts for timely payments and discounts for automated withdrawal from your bank account. Although the rates for federal student loans are the same between student loan consolidation lenders, these discounts can reduce the amount you must pay over time, saving you money.
Many law students use LinkedIn for professional networking and MySpace for social networking. Law students also use a number of other similar services. Wouldn’t it be great to view the pages of all your friends, family, and professional contacts? Now you can.
Using Upscoop.com, you just enter the e-mail and password to your Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail account. Upscoop compares your contacts and displays to you anyone with a page at these websites. It’s very easy and works great!
The process only takes about 30 seconds. If you have a lot of e-mail addresses, the service will e-mail you the results after it looks them up (which could take hours, or even days, if you have many addresses).
Upscoop will search Aim.com, Bebo.com, Classmates.com, Facebook.com, Flickr.com, Flixter.com, Friendster.com, Hi5.com, LinkedIn.com, MySpace.com, Ringo.com, and Tickle.com.
Read a related article on Digg | Digg this story
Have you wondered about becoming a public service or government lawyer after law school? Legal Andrew gives some strong arguments for considering this type of legal practice: Reasons to be a Government or Public Service Lawyer.
You can learn more about public service legal work and available jobs at Public Interest Law Jobs.
The legal job market is competitive. Many law students wonder how to stand out from the crowd. A few students at Georgia State School of Law may have accidentally done just that. They are using the web to improve access to the law. These students prepared online legal research guides that give in-depth overviews of developing areas of law in Georgia legal practice.
What value is this on a resume? What value will it be to the legal community? It will be interesting to see how the legal community responds to this. Providing legal research on cutting-edge areas of law would seem to be valuable to the Georgia legal community, assuming the materials reflect effective legal research and writing.
This example of providing free online legal resources on developing areas of law may be a good model for law students in other states.
3L law students know that organization in law school is crucial for success. Here is a nice post about how one law student uses GTD in law school. read more | digg story
Here are a few legal research tips for law students that law school may not teach you.
If you don’t know where to find a particular authority or source (e.g. the Wallstreet Journal, a particular treatise, a particular body of law, a Restatement, etc.) on WestLaw or Lexis, follow these instructions:
- Use this resources to find the name of the Lexis or Westlaw database for a particular authority/source: Zimmerman’s Research Guide
- For Lexis: Once you have the Lexis database (aka “library”) name, you can use the “Power Search” at the bottom of this page to do a very quick search: Lexis Search Shortcuts. (Note that you must have already logged into Lexis before doing the Power Search.) (Maybe there is a way to do this inside Lexis, but I haven’t found it.)
- For WestLaw: Once you have found the WestLaw database, type the database code in WestLaw and search it there.
If you use the Firefox web browser (which I recommend over Internet Explorer), there are some time-saving resources available:
If you have other tips, leave a Comment here.
UPDATE: See also Legal Research and Writing Tips for Law School and How to Improve Legal Writing in Law School.
Here are a few blog posts I recently came across that law students might enjoy:
Some law school students preparing to graduate may be interested in knowing if a job as a federal judicial clerk will pay enough to cover their law school student loans. Law school graduates can expect to be paid at least at grade JSP-11, step 1.
This amounts to an annual base salary of about $46,000 for many students, but the exact rate depends on your locality. Also, a law clerk who has been licensed to practice law for more than a year qualifies for at least one step increase. For more information about judicial clerk salaries, visit the section titled “Qualifications, Salary and Benefits” at the bottom of this page: Federal Law Clerk Employment Information.
You can learn more about judicial clerkships at our Judicial Clerkship Sites section.
Here are some good articles from Findlaw with advice for new lawyers:
Your First Years as a Lawyer: An Owner’s Manual
- Introduction – Your First Years as a Lawyer “Why is satisfaction such an issue with lawyers?. Do accountants or physicians or goat-herders also worry about their vocations and their places in them?”
- The Search for Satisfaction – “New lawyers should not be concerned with job satisfaction. OK … Got your attention?!”
- Firms? Public-interest? Government? In-house? Where to Practice? – “Law firms are the norm. That’s where the clients are, that’s where the salaries are, and that’s where the prestige still is. Is that where job satisfaction is?
- Planting Yourself in the Right (but not necessarily Firm) Soil – “Finding the right place…for you. Many lawyers find themselves doing work that does not take advantage of their talents.The first decision you must make — in an affirmative way — is to decide whether litigation or a transactional practice is more appropriate for you. This is a basic question, but it’s amazing how little thought goes into it for many.”
- Balancing your Office Life…with your Personal One – A new lawyer must be careful to channel stresses and frustrations away from clients and seniors. … Exercise and hobbies are useful options.
Fifteen Rules for Winning as a Junior Associate – “This article is intended to pass along some real-world advice about how you can win as a junior associate. It is the sort of advice that I wish I had had when I began my legal career.”
Findlaw has a number of other good articles for all attorneys.
If you are still searching for that first job to launch your legal career, check out our law jobs section.
Here are a few blog posts I recently came across that law students might enjoy:
Law school teaches lawyers a lot of valuable skills — but those skills rarely include marketing. This is somewhat surprising considering the vital role that marketing plays in client acquisition. How are you at marketing yourself? What can you do to improve? » FULL STORY
A brave law-student-to-be (she is starting law school and motherhood about the same time) offered some useful tips about how law students can save money when buying software. Especially noteworthy are some of the software prices you can get with a student discount — for example:
- Microsoft OneNote 2007: $44.95
- Adobe Creative Suite: $389.95
- EverNote Plus: 29.95
She also notes that shipping is free.
In addition, she mentioned some good suggestions for ways potential law students can save money by taking advantage of Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP).
Many third-year law students are seeking employment for after they take the bar. Second-year law students may be hoping to line up a summer job. Even 1Ls should see if they can find a law-related job for this summer. This means now is the perfect time to prepare your job application packet and apply to jobs before your semester gets too busy.
For general advice on resumes, cover letters, and interviews, the University of Georgia School of Law has a good list of tips. Also, I found these instructions for writing a legal cover letter useful. Finally, here are some sample cover letters.
You may also enjoy Georgetown’s Graduate Professional Development FAQs and LLM Resource Manual. Although they are for LLM students, most of the advice is equally applicable to law students. For international LLM students, the University of Virginia Law School has a shorter handbook with tips and advice.
Additionally, most law schools have a career services office with many resources — so visit them if you haven’t already.
Law school is a great adventure. Law school is also a challenge. New readers to Law Student may want to know what law school tips and advice are available to them here. » FULL STORY
If you are taking the bar exam, here is a great tip from Legal Andrew: Get a free credit report to assist you in remembering the past 10 years of your personal information (home addresses, etc.). Visit Credit Report Aids with Bar Application for more information.
Legal writing was difficult for me in the beginning of law school. In fact, my legal writing professor told me I started as one of the worst in the class. However, lots of practice and these four books resulted in this same professor nominating my brief for a legal writing competition at the end of my first year. In addition, these books have been invaluable resources while serving on Law Review and while interning recently for a federal district court judge.
The best legal writing resources I recommend are these:
- The Red Book – A legal writing guide with samples of briefs, motions, research memos, and more
- The Blue Book – The legal citation authority
- Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage – A very useful guide to grammar, sentence structure, formating, and more
- Getting to Maybe – Learn to think (and ultimately write) like a lawyer with this book, which teaches legal analysis of issues
» FULL STORY
If you will be taking the bar exam, you may find the new Bar Exam page useful. You can access it from the “Bar Exam” tab at the top of any page at Law Student.
This page is a growing list, so check back occasionally for more useful resources.
A note from a reader:
The exam tips and relevant resources for bar exams can be accessed with as much ease as can be for gmat .Many of the online exams make the content, test samples and online learning resources available on the internet. This is especially true for the exams that can be taken on the coputer, like gre without having to use a paper and pencil. These online means of learning and communicating is the integral part of all online education.
I. Law School Student Networking
As law students start the new year, many are using the break from school to find a law job for after they graduate. Networking plays an important role in helping law students obtain jobs. Skills in networking also help after being hired as new attorneys seek to acquire clients for their firm, something they will do for the remainder of their careers.
How do you start? Networking involves three steps: » FULL STORY
Here are a few lessons I learned this year as a 3L in law school: