Rob Barnett

Recent Posts

A Non-Lawyer's Guide to Law School

Posted by Rob Barnett on 12/30/15 10:00 AM


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Tags: law school

4 Tips for a Fantastic 1L Summer

Posted by Rob Barnett on 12/12/15 4:01 PM

Juneau Alaska (alaska-in-pictures.com)

It may be the dead of winter, but it’s fast approaching already: the 1L summer job search!  Your summer can be a lot of things: a chance to try the actual legal profession, a first step along the path to an eventual career, an opportunity to start building a resume and job connections, and a time to escape the confines of the law library and see the wider world.  It’s overwhelming… and probably even more so if it feels like everyone else knows exactly what they’re going.  (They don’t.)  But, with all of that in mind, here are some ideas for a great 1L summer.

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Tags: law school

FAQ: What are law school exams, and how do I prepare?

Posted by Rob Barnett on 11/15/15 12:58 PM

 If you’re a 1L approaching the end of your first semester of law school, and you’re anything like I was, you’re probably starting to wonder: What are these exams I keep hearing about?  How do I prepare for them?  How do I succeed on them?  Will I be okay?

As to the last one, the answer is definitely: yes.  You’re fine!  As for the other questions, read on…

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Tags: law school

How to Spot the “Issue” in a Legal Case: A Primer for 1L Students

Posted by Rob Barnett on 7/31/15 9:30 AM

if only issue spotting was like spotting Waldo...  [image source: Martin Handford] 

My first class at Harvard Law School was Contracts, with then-professor, now-Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Before she was famous as a leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, she was a famously excellent teacher -- the only professor at Harvard Law School to win the student nominated teaching award twice -- as well as a famously tough one.  We knew before the first day of class that she planned to cold-call every student, in class.  (She always did, and often called on many students more than once!)  

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Tags: law school

What Is Constitutional Law: A 1L's Guide

Posted by Rob Barnett on 7/20/15 11:00 AM


Just in case you're not, let's look at courses you can take to become one!

Marbury v. Madison.  

Brown v. Board of Education.  

Obergefell v. Hodges.  

Whether you’re already a law buff or just excited to start taking it all in, I imagine you’ve heard about these cases in a history class, or the newspapers, or both.  In fact, they might have been the very cases that first piqued your interest in law, or inspired you to go to law school.  (One that inspired me: Ricci v. DeStefano, which I could have debated for hours.  Look it up!)  In some ways, cases like these are the very foundation of the entire legal system you’ll be studying in law school.

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Tags: law school

How to Graduate Law School with Practical Lawyering Skills (Yes, It Is Possible!)

Posted by Rob Barnett on 7/8/15 1:00 PM

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Which Law School Movie Should You Trust? Paper Chase vs Legally Blonde

Posted by Rob Barnett on 6/29/15 11:30 AM


Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, 2001

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Tags: law school

How the LSAT Will Help You in Law School

Posted by Rob Barnett on 6/19/15 11:07 AM

LSAT aces, get ready! [Elle gets a 179 in Legally Blonde

If you’re going to law school, you’ve taken the LSAT.  (How’s that for a valid conclusion!  In fact, taking the LSAT is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for attending law school.)  The LSAT is meant to predict first-year grades in law school, and there’s some evidence -- if you trust the company which administers it -- that the predictions are decently valid.  (That’s a topic for another whole blog post…)  So, if you feel good about your LSAT score -- and the thought of the LSAT doesn’t give you nightmares -- the LSAC would tell you to feel prepared for that dreaded first year of law school.

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Tags: law school

6 Essential Law School Cases: A 1L’s Guide

Posted by Rob Barnett on 6/8/15 5:30 PM

 Hopefully you are not this unlucky on day one...

In the six major courses of your first year of law school, there’s bound to be a case you’ll never forget.  Each of these cases lays down a foundational principle upon which the rest of a required 1L class will build.  If you read this first, you’ll know these 6 essential cases even before you step foot in the door.

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Tags: legal studies, law school

Law School Tutor: Big Law vs. Public Interest?

Posted by Rob Barnett on 3/7/15 1:00 PM

You don’t have to join…but it can be hard not to.
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Tags: law school