Facts About Law Careers

large law firm

Here are some interesting facts we accumulated about law and legal careers this year. We found that large law firms may not always be the best choice. We note that, while salaries for new lawyers are not skyrocketing, they are significant compared to other careers. We discovered that small firms can boast as much legal talent as a large firm might.

Small Law Firms Can Certainly Compete!

In February, the Above the Law blog looked at small and medium sized law firms. They concluded that big law layers are moving into their own firms and attracting great new legal talent to come along with them. firms not bloated with a huge staff and impersonal structure often have more efficient management practices. Smaller firms seem more up-to-date with adapting technology—a plus in today’s world.

Law School Graduates’ Salaries

Quartz explored law career salary trends and today’s pay rates for law graduates. They found that, across the board for 2015, new lawyers can expect to command a salary of about $135K. In larger firms, that can be as high as $160,000. Either way, not exactly poverty level for recent graduates, even though the school-related debt is a major factor. The piece pointed out that salaries haven’t risen much since 2009, but let’s keep in mind that most of those years encompassed one of the worst economies we’ve seen.

Should You Work for a Large Law Firm?

Here’s how many large law firms work— the leverage model—in which a steady stream of disposable associates rotate through the firm every couple of years.

The benefit to the law firm? Partners make a lot of money when they hire young lawyers to do a couple of thousand hours a year at a relatively low pay rate doing work that’s often tedious and repetitive. These rookies will soon leave voluntarily or will be told their is no long term prospect for them.

The key is, these firms are selective. They hire talented attorneys with a great school record and a strong resume. So, some of the associates will, ultimately be able to compete (rigorously) for a few key positions.

What’s the benefit to you? There could be several, including a cool resume hit when you’ve put in time at a firm with strong name recognition.

Don’t overlook the fact that larger firms invest a lot of time training associates and exposing them to work they simply wouldn’t have access to at a small firm—at least not in quantity. If you put yourself out there, demonstrate a willingness to work like a horse, and sucj up every bit of knowledge and exposure offered, you have the ability to build a solid basis of legal expertise in a relatively short time.

The glaring downside is working enough hours to effectively dampen your entire personal life. You’ll be tired, cranky, and disillusioned. But, you may gain insight and skills that you wouldn’t get elsewhere. We’ve all heard the old saw that what you’re willing to put into any endeavor is exactly what you’ll get out of it.

Career choices, in law or any other discipline, are very personal decisions. As you prepare for graduation this month, and you work to ensure your success on your bar exam, spend a bit of time considering what kind of law career you think you’d like. Then organize your strategy and tailor your resume to your dream job. Get out there.

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Will You Need Help Passing Your Bar Exam?

Do you need a tutor or bar prep course in order to succeed on your bar exam the first time you sit for that exam? There is mounting evidence that nearly every law student needs a formal bar preparation course or a  tutor.

Pass rates are plummeting, and traditional bar prep companies are just not delivering success to their customers. If you don’t want to become a failure statistic, proper preparation, keyed to your needs and study-style, is essential.

As graduation approaches, you have a lot on your plate. Maybe it feels like a survival technique to put off some decisions and to condense your thinking process in making others. Researching the myriad of options for bar exam prep may feel like one thing you can put off. Why not just register for whatever program some of your peers have talked up?

We advise you not to follow the herd—you’re not sheep. You’ve put years into your law school education, and jumping onboard a widely advertised commercial, traditional, cookie-cutter bar review can kill your dreams.

It’s entirely likely that you need exercises, study materials, practise, and personal attention that simply isn’t part of most courses.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Have your grades been high average or above, consistently?
  2. Have you taken tests easily, without much stress, and found that self-preparation has gotten you a strong score on every test?
  3. Are you really good at tough multiple choice questions?
  4. Is reading a ton of material easy for you and do you retain information consistently?
  5. Do you write well on the fly, with good structure, excellent organization, and a skill for isolating key points?
  6. Is your school’s pass rate solidly high over the past three or four years?

If your answer to any of these questions is “No,” you’ll find the bar exam to be more than a little challenging, and without proper, personalized preparation, you stand a better than average chance of failure. Your stress level, alone, could scuttle you.

And What About the Law School You’re Graduating From?

There are a lot of personal factors that figure into your readiness for passing the bar exam, but some of the factors that impact success are critical issues that are beyond your control.

One expert says you should be concerned, “If you go to a law school that is unaccredited, ranked on the lower end of the spectrum, or in some way non-traditional, e.g. the school is brand new and there are no bar pass statistics, or the curriculum is entirely online, etc. or if the usual pass rates for the 3Ls who graduate from your school are below average for the state you’re in…”

Low pass rates could mean that a school is not adequately preparing its graduates to pass the bar exam on the first try, and that should always be the goal.  Study the success rate of your school, and the trend over a few recent years. If the student who sit for the bar exam are failing as often as passing, or worse, failing more often than passing, you have no choice but to seek extra help and support.

Keep in mind that Reed Bar Review thoroughly prepares you for the material you will  encounter on your bar exam. Founder/CEO Col. Hugh Reed has taken and passed more than two dozen bar exams in varying jurisdictions, and no one is better informed than he about what to expect on a bar exam.

Additionally, Col. Reed’s courses help you learn how to take and pass a bar exam. And a bar exam is not like any test you’ve taken. It’s tougher than a final exam, longer than any exam you’ve sat for, and constructed to cover a huge amount of detailed material that most preparation courses can only guess at.

Your Law School Faults Are Magnified at the Bar Exam

By now, as you approach graduation, you probably have a fair idea of what your personal challenges are in school. Maybe you don’t handle stress well, and anxiety can start to immobilize you. Maybe memorization is too challenging and you feel like you just don;t get the process. Maybe you’re disorganized and jump from item to item when you study or when you sit for a test.

No matter what the challenges are or have been, we promise they will be magnified when you’re in that large room, with other nervous students, and ready to put your new career on the line. You will walk out of their either as an attorney or as a person who failed the bar exam.

Reed Bar Review is a good choice for people who have experienced any of the above issues. We understand where you’re coming from and our tools address all of those issues—from poor law school preparation practises to high anxiety. We have tools to help you conquer all, and we guaranteed success…seriously…you get our guarantee.

Do your last bit of homework, look into the courses available, and pay close attention to what we offer you that no one else does. Consider costs, convenience, actual bar exam material and questions, skilled, professional tutors and Col. Reed himself.

Your success depends upon acting right now to engage the help you’ll need, and you will need help. Dont wait until you;re scared and desperate. Reach out for the help you’ll need, get your strategy in place, and take advantage of guaranteed success.

 

 

 

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What Comes After Your Bar Exam?

You passed!!

You passed!!

Now that you’re on your way to passing your bar exam, we can look at what comes next for the burgeoning lawyer about to embark on a legal career. The first task after your bar exam is to be formally inducted into the state bar in your jurisdiction. For many candidates, this ceremony is simple and private in a judge’s chambers; others choose to invite friends and family to a gathering in which you take your formal oath.

You’ve Passed the Bar—You’ve Taken Your Oath

Your years of study, preparation, lack of sleep, and intense expense have culminated in your becoming an official, fully cooked attorney and now your work is just beginning, believe it or not. You’ll face making career choices, interviewing for positions, maybe setting up your own practice or joining with others to create a firm. Whichever appeals to you, be aware that you can’t just sit back and expect that new license to maintain itself.

Each state license and bar membership comes with a mandate to do Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) on a yearly basis. And you thought school was over! You’ll need to finish a set number of credits and courses each year.

Bookmark this American Bar Association (ABA) list of MCLE requirements by state. 

There are also a variety of certifications you can strive for. Yes, the certification initials look good after your name, but these specialty endorsements also provide a sense of your status and qualification in certain areas a legal practice like  civil trial law or, security disability  advocacies, and criminal, civil, or family law. To achieve such certifications, you’ll need to meet experience requirements and, of course, pass the ubiquitous examination. (Don’t worry, it’s nothing like a bar exam.)

Bookmark this National Board of Legal Specialty Certification page.

Browse the web for other organizations that certify law specialties. You’ll also find you can join local and specialty bar associations connected to such specialties. For example, the ABA offers a directory of local associations just for women attorneys. 

Bookmark this list of state court websites at the National Center for State Courts. You’ll have tons of interactions with the court system, of course, so it’s effective to become familiar with yours.

And one last resource, a list of career and education options. 

Now, take a deep breath after your bar exam, and we wish you the best of luck with your new career path. Please let your associates and friends know about ReedBarReview. Thanks!

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Interactive Bar Review Adapts to Your Learning Style

einstein1_7

Here’s a valuable piece of advice on passing your bar review—from our founder/CEO, Colonel Hugh Reed.  You need an interactive bar review program that adapts to your learning style. Here’s what Col. Reed thinks:

Why is it important to practice what you’ve learned in your bar review? Why is it important to take an interactive bar review that adapts to your style of learning? THIS PRETTY MUCH SAYS IT ALL…as Albert Einstein once said: “EDUCATION WITHOUT EXPERIENCE,,,, IS JUST INFORMATION” [Hugh Reed]

Now just what is the salient feature of an interactive bar review, and how does Reed Bar Review adapt to your learning style? An interactive bar review give you the flexibility of working at your pace in lessons, exercises, and drills that make sense to you. That might mean an online bar review course, or a personal bar tutor via phone and email, or a combination of both.

The important aspects are that you receive study materials that engage you, mentoring that reinforces what your are learning and practicing, and that the program is, like ours, based on real life bar exam experience.

It’s important to remember that Col. Reed has taken almost 30 bar exams in different jurisdictions. He does it twice a year. When you are taking your bar exam, chances are strong that Hugh Reed will be taking one, too. That means you get the benefit of his knowledge and experience. His courses are totally based on material that has and will be the bones of official bar exams.

What You and Albert Einstein May Have in Common

Albert Einstein, according to a New York Times article, was an intelligent student, but he failed his college entrance exams. Why? He had a key weakness in just one area—it happened to be foreign language—and that knocked him down. With his intellect, he absorbed enough of the language to pass in school, but he lacked the benefit of experience when preparing for his exams.

Colonel Reed suggests you consider again, that thought handed down from Einstein, “Education without experience is just information.”

Anyone can give you information about your bar exam, even about what kind of questions might make up the content of that bar exam, but Col. Reed’s mnemonics, drills, exercises, and lessons are based on his experience… the key, and the sharp edge you get with Reed Bar Review.

Pass  Your Bar Exam the First Time, Guaranteed

The bottom line is, with the right kind of preparation—study courses based on experience and adapted to your own way of absorbing information—you will pass your bar exam.

Col. Reed takes the book learning you’ve gotten in law school, adds practical experiences during your bar review program with him, and solidifies your ability to relate the data and the experience to your bar exam.

Result? Pass!

As martial arts genius Bruce Lee said when facing his most challenging tasks,

“Balance your thoughts with action. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Take action, bar exam candidates. It’s time to add Colonel Hugh Reed to your arsenal, buckle down and move toward your guaranteed bar exam passing score. 

 

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Bar Exam Results for February 2015 MBE

Here are the tentative dates for bar exam results for February 2015, by state. These dates may change. If we get updates, will let you know. Bookmark this page, and best wishes to each of you.

Alabama says before April 16.

Alaska—last week of May

Arizona—sometime in May

Arkansas—no date, but check here

California—after close of business (6 p.m.) May 15

Colorado—May 7

Connecticut—May 8

Delaware had no Feb. exam.

Florida—April 13

Georgia—last week of May

Hawaii—no date

Idaho—April 16

Illinois—Early April, before the 15th

Indiana—Around the 12th of May, perhaps the 11th

Iowa—unknown

Kansas—unknown

Kentucky—unknown

Louisiana—April 24 (mailed out before that date)

Maine—Prior to May 10

Maryland—May 1

Massachusetts—unknown

Michigan—by middle of May

Minnesota—April 21

Mississippi—unknown

Missouri—late in the day April 15

Montana—around the second week of May

Nebraska—unknown

Nevada—May 6

New Hampshire—unknown

New Jersey—unknown

New Mexico—by middle of April, could be in early April

New York—middle of May

North Carolina—late March

North Dakota—unknown when they’ll be mailed, and they are not posted on line

Ohio—April 24

Oklahoma—April 3

Oregon—sometime between March 30 and April 6

Pennsylvania—middle of April

Rhode Island—unknown

South Carolina—unknown

South Dakota—not online, mail date unknown

Tennessee—April 10, mid afternoon

Texas—unknown

Utah—unknown, but watch the local news for an announcement

Vermont—April 23

Virginia—unknown

Washington (state)— April 10

West Virginia—unknown

Wisconsin—none posted

Wyoming—none posted

District of Columbia — usually posted within 90 days of exam date

If you did not pass, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a day to grieve and process your feelings, then register with ReedBarReview and receive a guaranteed pass advantage.

 

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Pass Bar Exam, Start Law Practice

lawyer

It takes time and money to begin a law practice, but once you pass your bar exam, you’re on your way, as many law graduates have discovered. While you wait for your bar exam scores, here are some resources to study in preparation for your exciting career, if being an entrepreneur is your bent.

MyShingle.com has a great guide to beginning a law practice. They cover everything from choosing a name for your law firm, to making a business plan, to setting up and preparing for clients. Bookmark this and refer to it as you grow.

A couple of years ago, Lawyerist.com wrote about opening a law firm for lless than $3,000, a non-threatening figure in today’s economy. The article is worth reading.

But then, just a few months ago,  of BitterLawyer.com, proposed a way to hang your shingle for less than two ten-spots. That’s right, he says twenty bucks, your monthly StarBucks budget, will do it.

More conservatively, the American Bar Association shares a solo guide from Jocelyn Frazer and Nerino J. Petro Jr. on opening a law office. Good ideas here, too.

BusinessInsider recently published a first-hand account from Branigan Robertson on how he dove in and opened his own shop directly after law school, an idea, he says, that was called “insane.”

Jumping in with both feet right after you receive your passing bar exam score may not be for the feint of heart, but the world is your oyster.  Study these experts and you can make your own considered decision, but the best advice for any career direction is still, organize, plan, set goals, and take baby steps every single day. Good luck!

February 2015 Bar Exam results (bar exam scores) will be available in April and May. See our post about anticipated result dates.

 

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How to Get Money for Law School

money for law school

Paying for law school is an expensive challenge, costing as much as $200,000 from registration to passing your bar exam. We researched current means of procuring financial assistance and for paying those bills from some of the most reliable sources across the web. We offer five hot tips for finding money for law school.

      1. U.S. News said it as well as we could in this current, in-depth resource guide, PAYING FOR LAW SCHOOL. Don’t miss the sections on scholarships, negotiating financial aid, and working while studying.
      2. Here’s a piece on how to find and apply for grant money—that’s money that never has to be repaid. Read carefully and start your quest for grant money for law school early. Revisit potential opportunities every year.
      3. Though the ABA doesn’t have a ton of granting opportunities for individuals, there is a diversity program that awards 20 grants (annually, it seems). Awardees are “exceptional recipients who have overcome adversity, proven themselves through academic success and public service, and demonstrated the tenacity to excel within the profession.”
      4. LSAC, the Law School Admission Council offers an explanation of options for law school funding, including a video. Spend some time on this site and you’ll have a better understanding of what’s out there and how to get it.
      5. One of the best resources when searching for law school financial aid, law school grants, and law school scholarships is your chosen school’s website or financial aid office. Explore every avenue to find money for law school, and apply for everything you feel you may qualify for.

 

 

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Financing the High Cost of Law School

budget for law school

Deciding whether or not to incur the high cost of law school is an agonizing process, but being prepared with facts makes the decision easier. If you create a budget early on and explore all of your options for funding and assistance, the experience will be far less stressful.  Here are some tools to help you prepare and plan for the big-picture cost of law school.

First stop, AdmissionsDean.com has a calculator that predicts the cost of three years at dozens of schools. If the school you’re interested in isn’t listed, you can still get a clear idea of how to budget for your legal education. The calculator considers living expenses, too, and the site offers discussions of grants, scholarships, and loans.

Cost of books and supplies, according to a survey of law school websites for 2015-2016 is anywhere from $785 to $2,000. That often can be controlled by variables like extra program fees, renting books, buying used books, or budgeting carefully.

Additional workshops and seminars are other items to think about as you revise each year’s budget. Costs can range from a couple hundred dollars for a local event to $1000 or more if travel is necessary. Many schools offer free seminars and workshops—savvy students take total advantage of these. Work out a figure to cover one seminar per year at the least.

Bar Exam costs run from $1,000 to about $1,500, depending upon the jurisdiction.

A bar exam preparation program is a necessary part of budgeting for your law school experience. There are dozens of programs with tuition as much as $4500 plus. ReedBarReview.com offers an extremely high pass rate across the U.S., and has one of the lowest program costs, starting at $1295. You can register for free and take advantage of all the study aids available on our site, no matter where you are in your law school career. We’ll gladly help you determine which of our many self-study and tutored programs is right for your learning style.

You’ve made your decision—a law degree is your goal. So be ready for the high cost of law school. Develop a budget, revisit it at the beginning of every semester, and plan your financial resources to cover everything you’ll need. Flying by the seat of your pants is a risk. Though serious law students will tell you the cost is worth the career, wouldn’t it stink to get halfway through school and find out you failed to prepare properly?

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Hugh Reed Helps You Pass Your Bar Exam

The BAR EXAM is COMING!!!!!!!!!!

The BAR EXAM is COMING!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t panic! Passing the Multistate Bar Exam is a daunting prospect. We all know that. Col. Hugh Reed, CEO of Reed Bar Exam, recommends that you organize, strategize, memorize, and stay calm. Here’s how Colonel Reed helps you make that happen so you’ll pass your bar exam.

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Organize your entire MBE study and practice plan, and start early.

 

 

 

pass your bar

 

Strategize—think of the MBE as a chess match that you simply MUST win. If you’re prepared and use a logical progression of study methods, including first-class tutoring and courses available from Col. Reed at ReedBarReview.com, you’ll pass. Guaranteed

 

memorize MBE data

 

Memorize. There is no substitute for committing key concepts to memory. How can Col. Reed help? All of his courses have a valuable memorization component. He also offers self-study aids to help you pass your bar exam—flash cards and caveats—right on this blog. Do it now!

 

 

 

Keep calm. Get control of your stress and anxiety—small amounts of stress motivate us, but lots of stress immobilizes us. Col. Reed has an uncanny skill of putting the entire exam in perspective and showing you how to manage bar exam stress. Register FREE at ReedBarReview and begin to get control—pass your bar exam the first time. Guaranteed. keep calm and take your bar exam

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Why You Could Fail the Bar Exam

fail bar exam

The bar exam is extremely broad and difficult. It takes knowledge of the law to pass the bar. Passing requires understanding how to express yourself and how to detect the main idea in a question. Passing the bar also requires that you understand HOW to pass, and this post explains why you could actually fail the bar exam.

  1. You didn’t practice enough of the right stuff. Sensible, logical mnemonics, like the ones Col. Hugh Reed has created for his students, work very well. If you don’t have regular access to memorization tools like his, you’re likely to fail. With Reed Bar Review, you’ll study actual real-life questions and tests based on past bar exams. Our students NEVER feel like the material on their bar exam is new or unfamiiar. They’re prepared!
  2. You decided not to use a bar prep resource. Sure, a few candidates pass the bar exam on their own, but they’ll be the first to tell you that it’s close to impossible. You can’t know what you’re facing. Our courses include everything from a completely affordable, complete online bar review to intensive 1-on-1 tutoring by a foremost expert in bar exam success, Col. Hugh Reed.
  3. You didn’t realize that memorization of the law is a key to passing. Many fail the bar exam because they leave memorizing the law to the last panic-stricken weeks before their bar exam date. Too late, folks. You MUST memorize law and must know how to retain that memorization. Register for a free account at ReedBarReview.com, and you can select any one of seven study modules free. You’ll get one of the exact modules you get in our courses—it’s a chance to try before you decide to enroll.
  4. You’ll fail the bar exam if your process, your environment, and your study plan are disorganized. Flailing around from topic to topic will instill panic and cause you to forget everything you know.
  5. No action plan. Hugh Reed’s courses help you plan your attack and understand exactly what material you’ll be facing on that bar exam. Forewarned is forearmed. Col. Reed has taken and passed almost 30 bar exams in different jurisdictions. He shares that experience with you and teaches you to map out a strategy that sticks with you when you’re stressed.
  6. You have no idea how to answer an essay question or how to strategize BAR EXAM multiple choice questions for best score. You can’t guess at this. It has to be shown to you from the vantage point of experience. Need we say more?
  7. You don’t respond to the issue in a given question. Let Col. Reed’s experience help you understand how these questions are structured, how to spot the key issue, and how to target a response to the correct issue. Can you imagine passing the bar exam without knowing this??
  8. High anxiety/test anxiety. If you don’t feel confident and well prepared, your innate test anxiety kicks into high gear, and without a doubt, that anxiety will cause you to blank on many, if not ALL questions. We guarantee your success on your bar exam. Guaranteed!
  9. You failed to keep track of time. The clock is the clock. Stealing time from one essay question to add to another question is not a good plan. Col. Hugh teaches you how to plan and stick to the plan.
  10. No one can read your writing. Believe it or not, this is a real reason that many people lose points and fail their bar exams. Make sure your writing is readable. Slow down just enough to write in English, not in Sanskrit. If the judges can’t read it, you don’t get points.

Give yourself the best chance of passing—our students enjoy an average 95% passrate across the nation. Don’t fail the bar exam—call Col. Reed at  (800) 852-3926 or register for a free account at ReedBarReview.com. Get to know us—we guarantee bar exam success.

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