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The Current State of the Legal Profession: Identifying Opportunity in a Time of Crisis

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“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters.  One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”  John F. Kennedy

“Crisis” is certainly an appropriate word to describe the current state of the legal profession.  Over the past ten years, the number of licensed lawyers in the United States has increased 20% and sixteen new law schools have opened their doors.  Legal employment, however, has not grown at the same rate.


Study What You Love

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If you’re a sophomore who attended the recent pre-health meeting then you heard a version of this little speech of mine before.  Still, it bears repeating.  As a pre-health student, you are no different than anyone else in that you think long and hard (most of you, at any rate) about your choice of a major and the possible consequences of that decision.  The most commonly heard questions among pre-health students are “should I major in a science?” and “can I major in something other than science?”   You also grapple with what criteria to use when choosing between two or three of your favorite subjects . . . 


Surprise! My GPA is What? Important Considerations for how Law Schools Evaluate GPA

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Why is your GPA so important to law school admissions officers?  There are two primary reasons:  1) a good GPA demonstrates both your intellectual ability and your willingness to work hard, and 2) studies have shown a positive correlation between strong undergraduate GPAs and law school performance.  What you might not know - but should - is how your GPA is presented to law school admissions officers.  


Post-Bac Possibilities

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“It’s never too late” . . . “Think when, not if” . . . and “Hey, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” . . . These are things I hear myself saying on a fairly regular basis.  To be candid, I sometimes wonder if I’m building up false hope.  Is the end goal of admission to health professional school really possible for all F&M graduates as long as they’re fully committed?  Is “it’s never too late” a helpful reminder or a mere platitude?  It could only be a meaningless cliché if everyone already knew it, I suppose, and given the number of pre-health students I see who are ready to throw in the towel, “it’s never too late” is far from a universal belief.  So is there a way of getting from college to health professional school for nearly everyone, really?  Yes.  How do I know?  Because post-bac programs make it so.


Overwhelmed?

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This week has been rough.  Last week, too . . .  This whole time around the middle of the semester is always this way. Pre-health students become frequent, harried visitors at my drop-in hours, each with a unique situation, each with a cause for frustration, anxiety, and disappointment, sometimes to the point of tears. . . Today I think it’s important to remember a few basic tenets of pre-health existence. Hopefully these will cheer up those of you who are stressing out.  They may be helpful points to return to in the coming months and years as the pre-health workload piles high.  They’re especially crucial to recall during rough patches.


Homecoming Weekend… Tips for Fostering Relationships and Making Connections!

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It is Homecoming Weekend!  With a packed schedule and so many friends and acquaintances to see, it can be challenging to fit everything in.  One of the coolest aspects of Homecoming is the opportunity to reconnect with people we haven’t seen in a while and to meet new alumni friends.  In my individual consulting work with alumni, connections with fellow alum are consistently at the top of professional development wish lists.  A deep and strong alumni network provides every alumnus/a with a resource for professional and career development exploration, at their fingertips. 


The Best of Times

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Could we enter the health professions at a more exciting time?  The greatest expansion of healthcare in U.S. history is less than 10 days away:  the next phase of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” rolls out October 1 when new insurance marketplaces will open in every state, allowing citizens to shop for health insurance and choose a plan that fits their needs...


You're Pre-Med If...

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The more graduates I see over the years headed off to medical school, the more I do believe that there are some common traits you all share . . .  If you have a strong desire to serve others and to alleviate suffering, then you may indeed be “pre-med” . . .  If you have an interest and proficiency in science, then you may be “pre-med.”  If you tend to remain composed when taking on high levels of responsibility, if you’re willing to be a leader and you’re not afraid of making decisions, then you may be a “pre-med.”  If you’re curious about the world and don’t stop analyzing problems until you find clarity, then you may be “pre-med" . . .


Summer Reading

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When I ask pre-health students what they read during the summer for fun, they usually say Jane Austen.  At least about half of them do.  The other half used to say Harry Potter, but I don’t hear that as much anymore, which is just as well since they always seemed a little too old for Hogwarts if you ask me.  Game of Thrones is a pretty popular response these days, or science fiction (but never a specific title), or “oh, you know, I love the classics” (which makes me smile), or sometimes, quite honestly, they say that they don’t read at all outside of class.  What, you don’t read Anna Karenina at the pool?  Shameful!  No, seriously, not the news?  Nothing?  Not even blog posts?  


References & Recommendations

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Professional references are different than the type of references you might supply when filling out a rental application for housing.  While a landlord would be interested in speaking to your family friends, an employer would prefer to speak to people who have known you in a professional capacity (past supervisors, coordinators from volunteer projects, professors, etc).  The same is true when determining whom you will ask to write letters of recommendation for you.