February 22, 2017

How to Conquer Test Anxiety

How to Study for Law School Exams, Bar Exam, Legally Blonde

I used to suffer from severe test anxiety, especially in the form of standardized tests.  I bombed the LSAT the first time I took it, even though I had just shy of a 4.0 in high school and college (so did Spanx founder and billionaire, Sarah Blakely).  I took the LSAT one more time and still did not do superb, but I got accepted to law school (and now my score means nothing!).  My test anxiety was so bad my first year of law school, that I sometimes vomited before exams.  Looking back, I definitely overreacted in some instances, but hindsight is 20/20.  Test anxiety is very common in law school (or any kind of grad school) because in many classes you only get one grade, so there is very little room for error.  I have taken my fair share of law school exams (not to mention the Bar Exam) and learned some coping mechanisms along the way.  Without further adieu:

1. Do the Work
Preparation is key in law school.  You have to stay current on all assignments and study for finals (and constantly review older material) all semester.  The days of pulling all nighters are over.  That might have worked in college, but will not work in law school.  I constantly updated my outline and read Barbri outlines all semester, that way when it was time to really study, I was more prepared and at ease.

2. "Get Out of Your G*d D*amn Head!!"
One of my Bar Exam professors gave my class a pep talk one day when we reached the burn-out phase in prepping for the Bar Exam.  Everyone was tired, miserable and frustrated, to say the least, and could not figure out how to answer the obnoxious multi-state questions (for you non-lawyers, multi-state is multiple choice on steroids- all of the choices are correct or incorrect and you have to choose the most correct/incorrect.  They are total torture, especially for those of us that are right-brainers!!!).  Anyways, he looked at us and shook his fist and very bluntly told us to "Get Out of Your G*d-D*amn Head!"  He certainly got my attention, and I have carried that bit of advice with me anytime I find myself not thinking clearly.  I pass this advice on to others when their anxiety kicks in.  One of the biggest lessons I learned sometime after 2L is that you must be able to pass law school exams if you will ever pass the bar.  If you cannot get through law school exams, you will never get through the bar exam.. so, relax, get out of your head and get over it.  You will be fine!

3. Practice Taking the Exam In Exam Settings
I am convinced that law school is part preparation and part psychological.  Part of what is so scary about law school exams is the unknown.  Not knowing the exam format.  Not knowing how lenient the professor is.  Not knowing what all to study.  Most professors will tell you the exam format (if not, go ask upperclassmen and always, always ask the law librarian and be their best friend- they know and hear everything), but I recommend being prepared for any sort of format.  Once you know the format, start taking practice exams under exam settings (go ask the librarian if there are any old bar exam books on file and work multi-state questions (these are the best) for that topic and practice essay questions).  For example, set a timer and take a mock test where you normally sit.  This works wonders.  There is something about just getting comfortable with your surroundings. Also, for essay exams, I recommend typing answers on your laptop just like you would on game day.  We used Exam 4.  Learn the quirks of the software before the exam, otherwise this will only add to your anxiety.  The more practice you have under exam-like settings, the more confident and comfortable you will feel.

4. Visualization
Visualization can really affect your performance and how others perceive you.  I am an avid reader and love to read books on career/business development and successful people (see here).  One common theme I keep seeing is that successful entrepreneurs all swear by visualization in both their personal and professional lives. So, for example, they will visualize aheiveing their end goals and what steps they need to take to make that happen and continue to do so.  Visualize yourself studying for your exam, then making whatever grade makes you feel successful (spoiler alert: no one has ever asked me my law school GPA even though I busted my tail!). First and foremost, visualize yourself spending weeks preparing for the exam, then remaining calm and collected during the exam and ultimately passing and leaving the room knowing you succeeded.  It sounds cheesy, but visualization and positive thinking works!!

5. Take Care of Your Health
Sometimes taking care of your overall health can be put on the back-burner in law school and even more so while studying for the bar.  We all know we need to get plenty of sleep each night, but when you have 40 cases to read sometimes your sleep suffers.  Get a good night's sleep the night before your exam so that you are able to focus and think clearly when it's game time.  Ideally, you should cut off studying early the afternoon before and just give your brain a break.  One of my professors always said that if you didn't know the material the day before, you can pretty much forget it.  I believe that!!  In addition to sleeping, exercising and eating healthy will do wonders for your physical and mental health.  I always ate an apple thirty minutes before my exam.  Also, now that I am done with law school, I love getting massages and acupuncture to help relax my mind.

Related Post: What To Do Post Bar Exam... The Dreaded Wait

I hope you find these tips helpful.  How do you conquer test anxiety??  Thanks so much for stopping by!  

February 20, 2017

Favorite Accessories

Clare V. Leopard Clutch
Clare V. Leopard Clutch
Clare V. Leopard Clutch
Clare V. Leopard Clutch
Clare V. Leopard Clutch
Clare V. Leopard Clutch
Clare V. Leopard Clutch
TURTLENECK: J. Crew | SKIRT: Banana Republic | CLUTCH: Clare V. | NECKLACE: BaubleBar | BRACELET: Ann Taylor | BOOTIES: SimilarWATCH & BANGLE: c/o Daniel Wellington (get 15% off with code "LAWYERLOOKBOOK") | LIPSTICK: Mac

Black, gold and leopard is one of my favorite outfit combinations.  You can't help but to feel fierce and exude confidence.  Speaking of favorites, this gold bib necklace and leopard clutch are two of my all-time favorite go-to accessories for both work and the weekend, year-round.  I love how unique, yet versatile these pieces are.  They go with just about every outfit and every color.  Not to mention, I am convinced that every fashion blogger owns this leopard clutch because it is so pretty and well-made (it is made in L.A.).  All women need both of these accessory staples in her wardrobe!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


February 17, 2017

Some Of My Favorite Work Shoes on Sale

Ivanka Trump Shoes
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Happy Friday!  I have had a very busy week, but wanted to drop by and share some of my favorite Ivanka Trump shoes that are on major sale right now!  If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love Ivanka and her shoes and wear them on a daily basis.  Check them out!

Have a wonderful weekend!

February 15, 2017

Things They Don't Tell You in Law School

Law school is great for learning the theory of law, but not so much the reality of law practice.  As soon as I graduated from law school, I got my limited license to practice law and started going to court (I was also studying for the bar during this time).  As soon as I passed the bar and got my law license, all the professional fees and taxes that they forget to tell you about in law school began to hit me.  One of the reasons I started my blog was to help other law students navigate their way through law school, because I always felt like there were not many resources for people like me when I was in school (at least not many people I could relate to that were recent graduates).  For today's blog post, I wanted to share some of the taxes and fees they don't necessarily tell you about it law school but that you need to brace yourself for, especially if you decide to go solo or join forces with a smaller practice.  I joined my brother's practice immediately after I passed the bar in July 2013, and practiced with him for close to three years before beginning my current position (see more about it here and here).  

*I am only licensed to practice law in Tennessee (all Tennessee state courts and the federal district court for the Middle District of Tennessee).  I am not sure what other states charge, but many states have similar taxes.

A few taxes in Tennessee:

1. Professional Privilege Tax: $400.00
The professional privilege tax is an annual tax imposed on anyone holding an active license or registration to practice certain professions, including law. Professionals holding a professional license in the state of Tennessee must pay $400 by June 1 each year.  Our state legislature is proposing to phase this tax out, thank goodness!

2. Board of Professional Responsibility ("BPR") Annual Tax- $170.00
In Tennessee, attorneys have to file an annual registration statement plus a fee of $170 to the Board of Professional Responsibility during their birth month.  I get hit with the professional privilege tax of $400 in June, then have to turn around and pay this tax in July.  Be sure to plan for these fees each year, especially if you have a summer birthday.

3. Quarterly Self-Employment Taxes
This one is especially painful if you are self-employed.  It is so painful to have to write a check to Uncle Sam each quarter for money that you worked hard to earn.  You still have to pay these taxes if you work for a company/firm, but one benefit to working for a company is that the taxes come straight out of your paycheck and you never see the amount.  If you are self-employed, the best thing to do is to pay your self-employment taxes each quarter (instead of waiting until is time to file).  I recommend meeting with an accountant and having her estimate how much you should pay each quarter.  

4. Continuing Legal Education ("CLE")
In Tennessee, all attorneys must complete a total of fifteen CLE credits each year by December 31st.  Seven hours have to be live in a classroom and three hours must be ethics.  CLE's range in price.  Some can be as cheap as $25 (usually if you are in some kind of professional organization and pay annual dues), but most are more expensive and can cost up to several hundred dollars for a couple of hours.  Check your state and county bar association for upcoming CLEs.  Also, reach out to your law school alumni association to find cheaper CLE's.  In Tennessee, you do not have to get CLE credits the year you pass the bar exam.

5. Health Insurance 
My advice to anyone thinking about leaving a secure job to go solo is to consult with an insurance agent and get several quotes for health insurance.  It may be more expensive than you had in mind, although with all the changes happening in Washington, it is hard to say what will happen over the next few months.  My health insurance nearly TRIPLED from 2013-2016 and was anything but affordable (plus, the coverage was not great). With that being said, don't stay in a non-fulfilling position and punch a time card each day just to get free health or reduced health insurance.  Use that as an incentive to work that much harder. You will also want to account for professional liability insurance, so be sure to get several quotes.

6. Overhead Expenses
If you have office space, the overhead expenses add up fast.  Of course, payroll is the biggest expense.  You will need to budget for an assistant, rent, utilities, internet (and access to Lexis/Westlaw if you choose to subscribe- check your local law school library first, my law school provides free access to attorneys.  Also, contact your local bar association to ask if there are any law schools or law libraries that provide free access before spending hundreds of dollars on it each year).  Not to mention, all of the other expenses that come along with operating a law office.

I hope this helps!  Please feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions!

February 13, 2017

How to Wear Pink to the Office

American Apparel chiffon pussybow top, Kate Spade bag, Jessica Simpson pink heels, fashion blog for young professionals, Nashville style blog
Pink Pencil Skirt, Lawyer Lookbook, Lawyer Fashion Blog
Ann Taylor Yellow Skirt, J. Crew Hot Pink Sweater, Lawyer Lookbook
Lawyer Fashion Blog

Valentine's Day is tomorrow... so, for today's blog post I wanted to share some fun ways to wear pink to the office.  Whether you don a killer pair of hot pink heels, a pink purse, or, pink pencil skirt, there are many ways to incorporate pretty pops of pink into your professional wardrobe!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy Valentine's Day!  <3

February 10, 2017

January Reading

Best Entrepreneur Books, Tony Robbins
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Books I read in January: 

1. Do Cool Sh*t, Miki Agrawal
In Do Cool Sh*t, millennial entrepreneur Agrawal shares her own personal journey of entrepreneurship and how she founded a very successful farm-to-table pizzeria in New York.  She talks about partnering with Zappos founder, Tony Hsieh, and several other big names to create a thriving business.  

2. Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!, Lori Greiner
Grenier has invented more than 400 products and shares a lot of personal successes and failures that she has learned along the way.  This book is also full of other great tips on designing, patenting, manufacturing, pricing and marketing, as well as checklists and action items for succeeding in business.

In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert encourages readers to live their most creative life by sharing her own personal story and offering her unique perspective about creativity.  This is such an inspiring read!

This book has so many practical and timeless tidbits on how to be smart with money and set yourself up for lasting financial success.  It is a very short and easy read that you can knock out in a day.

In this book, Tony Robbins interviews fifty of the world's most successful business people and shares their secrets to success and personal insights into money.  This book is full of golden nuggets and I highly recommend it!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  What are you reading??

February 8, 2017

Boots & Blazer

J. Crew Campbell Blazer, Lawyer Lookbook
J. Crew Campbell Blazer, Lawyer Lookbook
J. Crew Campbell Blazer, Lawyer Lookbook
J. Crew Campbell Blazer, Lawyer Lookbook
BLAZER: J. Crew | SWEATER: Similar | JEANS: Similar | BOOTS: Similar | BAG: Nordstrom | SUNNIES: Nordstrom | LIPSTICK: Nordstrom

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!  Thanks so much for stopping by! 


February 6, 2017

Pink Heels for Valentine's

Pink Heels
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 
Pink Heels
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 
Pink Heels, Sam Edelman, Elle Woods
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Pink Heels, Sam Edelman, Elle Woods 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

One of my favorite things about February is all the pretty pink.  I have rounded up some of my favorite pink heels for today's blog post.  There are so many gorgeous pink shoes out at the moment, whether it be a strappy sandal for a night on the town, a classic d'Orsay heel for the office, or, an embellished hot pink heel for a wedding or special event, there are lots to choose from.  I love all of the different shades of blush pink and hot pink and can't help but think of Elle Woods.  She would own all of the above!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

February 1, 2017

The Best Envelope Clutch Every Working Woman Should Own

Banana Republic Tweed Collarless Jacket, Sugar Paper Envelope Clutch, Lawyer Fashion
Banana Republic Tweed Collarless Jacket, Sugar Paper Envelope Clutch, Lawyer Fashion
Banana Republic Tweed Collarless Jacket, Sugar Paper Envelope Clutch, Lawyer Fashion
Banana Republic Tweed Collarless Jacket, Sugar Paper Envelope Clutch, Lawyer Fashion
Banana Republic Tweed Collarless Jacket, Sugar Paper Envelope Clutch, Lawyer Fashion
JACKET: Banana Republic | SHIRT: Banana Republic | SKIRT: Banana Republic | CLUTCH: Target (<$15) TIGHTS: Nordstrom | SUNNIES: Nordstrom | SHOES: Ivanka Trump | LIPSTICK: Mac

I am convinced that every working woman needs this black leather envelope clutch.  It is the perfect clutch for stashing away documents, and it even holds my MacBook Pro.  The best part about it?  It is less than $15.00!  I love to carry my documents in this clutch to go from meeting to meeting throughout the day, then carry it to happy hour when I leave work.  It is the perfect clutch from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.!

Thanks so much for stopping by!