ABA Podcast – They Started Their Own Law Firm, So Can You

September 4, 2013

Graduates of the Class of 2012, Katie Kizer and Amanda Graham, sit down with the ABA Journal to discuss how they started their own criminal-defense law firm right after graduating from law school.

Listen to the Podcast

Read the full transcript


Amanda Graham, a criminal defense lawyer, is co-founder of the Law Office of Kizer & Graham in Chicago. She has researched and written about the death penalty, as well as criminal-defense investigations and juror voir dire. She also co-authored Post-Conviction Practice: A Manual for Illinois Attorneys, and is a board member of the National Lawyers Guild. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University College of Law, with a certificate in criminal law

Katie Kizer, a criminal defense lawyer, is co-founder of the Law Office of Kizer & Graham in Chicago. She handles state and federal court matters, including post-conviction petitions and federal habeas corpus petitions. She has written about the criminalization of gang membership, and co-authored Post-Conviction Practice: A Manual for Illinois Attorneys. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University College of Law, with a certificate in criminal law.


5 Free iPad Apps Students Can Use To Take Notes

August 27, 2013

With the ubiquitous iPad replacing the old-fashioned pen and paper, students are going to need easy and simple resources for note-taking on touch-screen devices. Enter this great post from Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Free iPad Apps Students Can Use to Take Notes. Check out the website for complete descriptions of each app, or download the apps and see which one best fits your needs.

Penultimate provides a place for you to hand-write notes on your iPad.

inClass is a fantastic free iPad app that students can use to take and keep track of the notes they record in all of their courses.

Evernote is the Swiss Army knife of iPad apps.

Fetchnotes is a service for creating and organizing notes for yourself.

Last but not least is Google Drive for iPad.

Legal Networking on a Shoestring Budget

August 19, 2013

So, you’ve graduated law school and passed the bar. Now comes the hardest part, finding a job. One of the best ways to find yourself employed nowadays is to network, network, network. But that can get tricky when you are on a limited income and paying off debt from tuition or other bills. Networking should be primarily about building relationships and setting roots in the legal field. If the primary goal of networking is just to look for a job, well, that won’t get you very far. Networking is a give and take situation with a lot of nuances.

Here at Lincoln, you are in the unique position of studying with currently practicing legal professionals (lawyers and judges). This is a great first step towards broadening your legal network from your first day in school.

Here are some ideas on how you can expand your social network.

  • Volunteer. For one thing, its free for you, and free for the organizations with which you volunteer.  VolunteerMatch.org is a great way to find volunteer opportunities in the legal sphere. There are a number of non-profit legal organizations in the Bay Area looking for help. You can find short-term positions working with various advocacy groups, or free internship positions around the Bay Area. You can also volunteer on a bar association committee.
  • Social Networking Sites. You can leverage social media websites to get your name out there to prospective employers. Take advantage of Linkedin groups to find out about social events, free webinars, and opportunities for both law students and law graduates.
  • State & County Bar Memberships. You can find student-rates, or new-graduate rates when registering with bar associations. The Santa Clara County Bar Association offers a number of career development resources as well as discounts for members.
  • Alumni Association. Join your school’s alumni association, and stay in touch with your classmates.
  • Make time to meet new people regularly. Weekly, or monthly. Make sure to connect with new faces at every social gathering you attend. Be interesting, be polite and be prepared for every event you do attend.
  • Say Yes. As simple as it sounds, one of the best ways to brighten your horizons, is to have a say-yes attitude. Say yes to joining the SBA or Law Review at your school, say yes to internship and volunteer opportunities. Say yes to getting out of your comfort zone. You never know who you will meet when you go down a different path in life.

Related Articles

Case Annotation for Lawyers & Law Students

August 5, 2013

There are two new websites with similar purposes for lawyers (CaseText) and law students (LearnLeo).

casetext logo Case Annotation for Lawyers (CaseText) and Law Students (LearnLeo)As Bob Ambrogi points out, Casetext is a crowdsourced caselaw annotation website that is mainly effective when people use it. By people, I mean lawyers with relevant work experience. Its like a Wikipedia for caselaw. Since anybody can made citations on Wikipedia, you should probably take those with a grain of salt. Users can annotate cases by tagging them or adding notes.

tutorial 3 300x193 Case Annotation for Lawyers (CaseText) and Law Students (LearnLeo)

LearnLeo is a website for case briefing tips for law students. They have a new feature that allows law students to mark up cases to turn them into case briefs. Unlike Casetext, these annotations are kept private. Although this may be useful in a pinch, remember that doing case briefs by hand, or summarizing them in a way most useful to you is the best way to learn them.

Advice for Entering 1Ls

August 1, 2013

There are a number of resources out there for entering law students, some of it contradictory. Below is a selection of useful, and sometimes funny, advice from legal professors and professionals for 1Ls newly starting law school. Use your judgment and follow the path that best suits you and your learning/studying style.

Make sure to check out our past post for good online resources for conducting your legal research. Online Searching – Legal Edition.

  1. The Economy is Terrible.
  2. You Are Enrolled in “Job-Hunting and the Law.”
  3. It’s Your Money and Your Degree.
  4. Nobody Gets Hurt, Nobody Gets Arrested.
  5. Stop Worrying About Competitive Advantage.
  6. Legal Research and Writing is Your Most Important Class.
  7. Find Your Own Way to Find Joy in Law School.
  8. Don’t Hate Shortcuts But Don’t Make Law School All About Them Either.
  9. Use Clinics and Adjuncts.
  1. Experiment with study techniques
  2. Don’t worry too much about how others answer questions in class
  3. Be careful about getting wrapped up in ‘law school high’
  4. Law school supplements are not like steroids, you are encouraged to use them to understand the material
  5. It’s okay to be a passive member, and free lunch never tasted so good
  1. Get to know your classmates. Some will be your friends for life.
  2. Coursework: Legal Writing is the most important class you will ever take.
  3. The Law Library and Legal Research: Harnessing a 17th century skill in a 21st century box.
  4. Career Services: Use your time wisely.
  1. Have fun with family and friends this summer…
  2. Read voraciously
  3. Read one or two books on academic success by academic support professionals or law professors
  4. Visit a courtroom
  5. Evaluate your motivation for going to law school
  6. Evaluate your readiness to study long hours
  7. Evaluate your time wasters
  8. Have a realistic financial plan
  9. Talk with your family and friends about the demands of your upcoming law school life
  10. Get on a regular 8-hour sleep schedule now

Remember that the law library is also great resource for you. Get together with a study group or  study alone at a big table, use our books and databases, and talk to a reference librarian whenever you’d like some research pointers.

A Beginner’s Guide to Legal Drafting

July 22, 2013

The librarians over at the Law Library of Congress have recently generated a very useful and in-depth guide on legal drafting.

Their guide includes resources on:

  • Legal Dictionaries
  • Legal Writing Manuals
  • Form Books
  • Citation Style Manuals &
  • Rules of Procedure
Quite a few of the titles listed can be found in our school library as well as the reserve room using our online catalog. Be sure to ask the librarian for assistance in locating the appropriate title.

Federal V. Private Student Loans

July 15, 2013

Getting into a higher education institution is one thing, finding a way to pay for up to four years of tuition is another.

Planet Nutshell recently released two videos to help students and their parents understand student loans.

Understanding Federal Student Loans in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

Federal vs. Private Student Loans in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

Here at Lincoln Law, we post scholarships that become available and are sent to us, but we are not affiliated with and do not sponsor any of the grantors. These are offered as a courtesy to our students. We have no connection with any lenders, and do not participate directly in any federal or state insured student loan programs. That being said, many law students receive financial assistance by way of private student loans.