Podcast: Dear 1L with Amanda Haverstick

In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, SCG Pre-L Consultant and Fordham Law professor Jordana Confino has a conversation with legal writing coach and Dear 1L author Amanda Haverstick about legal writing and tackling your 1L year.

You can learn more about Dear 1L here, connect with Amanda via LinkedIn here, or email her directly at amanda@dear1L.com.

You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on ⁠⁠Apple Podcasts⁠⁠⁠⁠Spotify⁠⁠, and ⁠⁠YouTube⁠⁠.

Full Transcript:

Anna: Welcome to Status Check with Spivey, where we talk about life, law school, law school admissions, a little bit of everything. I'm Anna Hicks-Jaco, Spivey Consulting's President, and this episode will be hosted by our Pre-L Consultant, Jordana Confino, who will be speaking with the incredible Amanda Haverstick, whose new book Dear 1L is coming out soon. I'll let Jordana introduce Amanda further in just a moment, and then they'll get into their advice for new law students. Amanda has so many nuggets of wisdom for incoming 1Ls, not just about legal writing, but about other writing, networking, facing the many hurdles that law students face, and more.

This is truly such a valuable episode, and if you're listening to this as a soon-to-be law student, I hope that you're able to go into your 1L year with some of Amanda's tips in your back pocket. So, without further delay, I'll turn it over to Jordana.

Jordana: Thank you so much, Anna, and hello, everyone! Thank you for tuning in to be with us today. I am so, so thrilled to be able to be having this conversation with the amazing Amanda Haverstick. Just to give you a little bit more information about her, after graduating from Harvard University and then Boston Law School, Amanda went on to spend two decades litigating employment claims at major big law firms including Morgan Lewis and Proskauer and then serving as in-house counsel at the Hershey Company, which I assume that everyone has heard about. She then pivoted from law practice to entrepreneurship and legal writing coaching by launching her company, Writing Law Tutors LLC, which is devoted to helping lawyers and law students improve their written communication skills.

Since then, Amanda has emerged as one of the leading voices on LinkedIn, garnering a whopping 42,000+ followers through her Dear 1L series of posts, through which she shares the unwritten rules of law school and legal writing that no one will explicitly teach you in law school, but which will really be invaluable to your success, both during your time in law school and beyond. And, happily, Amanda recently curated a collection of her posts to create her fabulous new book, Dear 1L, which offers a roadmap to navigating your 1L year, primarily from the vantage point of legal writing, and provides messages of encouragement, tactical how-tos, and advanced legal writing tips, and answers to all of those questions about writing that you won't even think to ask until you wish that you already knew the answer.

And beyond all of that, Amanda is just such a kind and lovely human. I know this because I fangirl reached out to her after one of her many, many helpful posts which have helped me become a legal writer. And just immediately upon speaking with her, I felt like I had this new supportive, wonderful mentor in my life, and that's really how I believe everyone feels when they read her posts.

So I am so excited to be sharing this wonderful mentor with you all as well. So thank you for joining us, Amanda! We're so glad to have you with us today.

Amanda: Thank you so much for having me! This is great; I'm really looking forward to it.

Jordana: So let's go back. I want to hear about everything. I want to hear about how you got to be doing what you're doing now, what exactly you are doing now, why legal writing is so important. Maybe I'll have you explain to me the difference between e.g. and i.e. again, but before we get there, let's go back to the beginning. So starting with Amanda, 1L year. So tell me, what was your 1L experience was like?

Amanda: I loved law school, largely because I had been so unhappy in college that I really didn't know how I would like school at all. And I also am one of those people who overanalyzes everything, and I was driving myself crazy, and I got there, and then at law school I thought, wow, someone is going to reward over-analysis and splitting hairs. So I really felt that I was in the right place, but I had one real blemish on the year, and that was legal writing, and it was traumatic and horrible for me. And I really just hope no one else goes in the way I did, just clueless and lost. See, I stayed lost all year. It was awful.

Jordana: Wait, so I love this. So you felt clueless and lost, and it was a “major blemish.” So you're saying that you didn't get a good grade in legal writing?

Amanda: It was my lowest grade of my life. I did not get along with my professor. I really thought she hated me and had it in for me, and I just refused to accept the very severe structure, the strict structure that you have to write with. And I just thought I knew better than her. We're all writing our whole lives; you've graduated from college, everyone's been writing since they were in kindergarten. But you start all over again with legal writing, and so many students come in, and that's just not on their radars.

Jordana: Totally. So I'm hearing so many things that I think are just worth pulling out here for our listeners. So the first is that you struggled, I wouldn't say that you failed. I don't think that you got an F, but you probably felt like you were failing when you got whatever disappointing grade that was. And now fast forwarding, however many years, what 15 years ago that you were in law school, right?

Amanda: Right!

Jordana: So 15 years later, you are now the guru. You are the expert that's teaching legal writing. And so I just want to flag this to any incoming law student or current law student who's received a disappointing grade or has tried doing something new and is just so scared by the learning curve, because there's going to be a very steep learning curve in law school, and we'll talk more about that, and feeling “I can't do this” or “I'm not cut out for this.” And just saying, like, that is in no way what it means if you're having that feeling. Because this stuff, like you said, there's an art, there's a science to it, and it is learnable. Even if you get that disappointing grade, it will not define you. It will not prevent you from going on and having a pretty epic career as a practicing lawyer like you did, and maybe even teaching the very one thing that you felt was crushing you in law school. So that's awesome. And I also just love how you highlighted how no one teaches you this new art and science, you're just expected to figure it out yourself. And this really applies to all aspects of law school, I think, not just the legal writing process. For the academics, for the outlining, for the class prep, all of that as well. And so I love how you've honed in on it in this one specific way.

So thinking back, knowing what you know now, if you could go back to your 1L year, and I think you mentioned a little bit, what would you do differently?

Amanda: I would listen to the professor and accept that it was just different. When you get to torts or civil procedure, of course you're very accepting of the fact that it's very hard and you have no idea what it's about. No one knows what a tort is until you’ve gone to law school. But writing is something that we feel like we know how to do and we have pride—most people take pride in their writing, so we can be very personal, and I just wish that I had gotten with the program. I wish I had someone teach it to me before so I would know what to expect and know what attitude to have about it.

Jordana: Absolutely. So fast forwarding a little bit, what inspired you to start writing to 1Ls? Initially on LinkedIn, that's where the origins of the whole “Dear 1L” concept took root, I believe.

Amanda: You’ve got to remember the context. We were in the pandemic. I think we had maybe just gotten the vaccine; it was 2021, and I was very isolated. I can't fathom going through 1L isolated in doing homeschool or through remote, because the best thing about 1L is that you bond with your classmates, and yes, it's a hard experience going on Outward Bound or going abroad or something, but you get so close to the people and it's all worth it and it's wonderful.

I was anxious posting for the first time. Who am I to post on LinkedIn? I mean, I came at it after five years of not working. So I was very vulnerable. I was just starting my business. And I think the 1Ls and I really bonded, and that is the tone that I write to them with, because we're all in this together. And I think that legal writing often can be taught by people who talk in circles and it's really hard, and I try to make it really simple for people. And I want to give you the tools to do it, because it's a great thing and it's so important.

Jordana: Yeah, no, it's so interesting. So one thing, I just love the mentioning, the vulnerability. Because I think that vulnerability, it's basically a dirty word in law school where law students, they show up wearing these masks of confidence and looking like they have it all together. Of course, they're all doing that, right, and they're all completely panicked and insecure beneath the surface, because none of them know what they're doing, because that's what happens when you go into law school. But they're all pretending that they know what's going on. So they all assume that they're the only ones who don't. And for that reason, people are so hesitant to ask the questions publicly at school or to their peers, or to admit that they're completely clueless as to what's going on, because they think that that's something wrong with them. And so I love that you created this safe space where they could be vulnerable to you, this at the time stranger on the internet and get those questions answered.

Earlier when I said “what would you do differently,” you said you would have listened to your professor, but I think something that you know is that the professors aren't actually teaching this nearly as clearly as you are. So tell me a little bit more about, what's the difference of how you're teaching legal writing through your posts and your book and how they—what they might be hearing in the classroom?

Amanda: There's two problems with anyone's writing. One is a writing problem, and one is a legal writing problem. And when you get to law school you have to learn both, and you have to learn a different way to write just English, and you have to learn how to do it in the structure of law, and it's too much. And so I try to unpack those.

And instead of writing a book about legal writing where you have a chapter on pronouns or something like that and that you have to learn grammar, I try to do it in the context of what you're going through at that moment so that you remember it, and it becomes tools. “Oh, I'll remember the Terminator rule because I picture the partner in the dress acting like Arnold Schwarzenegger.” You'll never forget it.

So I try to add some things like that to make it more accessible and less scary, as many of the books I think are written by professors, and they're very good, but they write really to be a book that can be used by their professor to teach. I come at it from the student view, what you're not going to learn.

Jordana: Yeah, no—so first of all, do tell us the Terminator rule, because now, now I'm curious and I'm sure other people are as well.

Amanda: I did employment discrimination law, and we often did something called a summary judgment motion where we had to write this big 25-page document that basically said to the court, “We shouldn't go to a jury trial because we win.” And we talked about terminating employment all the time, and you could say, “I terminate an employee,” or you could say, “I terminate an employee's employment,” (or “the plaintiff's employment”), and I got in massive trouble with this partner because I wrote about “terminating the plaintiff.” And she did this whole Arnold Schwarzenegger act and said, “Who are you, the Terminator?” And I was just a first-year associate. I was petrified. This was 1996. And it's because you don't terminate a person, because that's killing them. You terminate their employment. So that's the rule. But it's actually really important, because the last thing is you want to give a suggestion that you killed this plaintiff who's now sued you and you're trying to defend yourself again.

Jordana: I love that, just as a tool for remembering the bazillion things that you'll have to remember in law school—if you can find these kind of fun, relatable or stories or tricks to actually help you understand why, as opposed to just trying to like bury all of these different roles into your head. I love that. And now I will always know, do not terminate the plaintiff. Excellent. Noted.

So going back, so you said that the 1Ls are reaching out to you on LinkedIn, you're establishing this rapport. What were the most common questions that were coming up? So what were the questions that they desperately wanted answered that no one else available to them in law school was answering?

Amanda: The problem is, is that most law students don't know what to ask, because they don't know what they don't know. So a little bit was me guessing what they needed to know or knowing what I know. I knew they needed to know it, but I had to make it palatable to them. So people reach out to me to thank me for my posts and just to say that they were having such a hard time and they felt less alone and that type of thing. And the questions I get are more career questions and, “What do you think I should do? Here's the situation, I have these grades,” that's more the types of questions I get in DMs. For example, and this ties right into what you were just saying about all the gunners and braggarts showcasing themselves as students, and really they're all clueless too, but it makes you feel bad because you think they know more than you. A student DMed me in response to one of my posts last week, and she said, “Thank you so much for your post about bombing legal writing. I was so scared even to like it because I thought all my friends would realize that I'd failed.” Which is the most absurd thing that someone would take the time and deduce that, but that's the mentality.

One of my original 1Ls three years ago, he said, the students are on Reddit and LinkedIn, but they all want to be anonymous. They're so scared that anyone would know if they need help. And if they find something out, they don't want to share it because they want to compete against the other people. So I just learned that recently, all this stuff. So there's definitely a lot of psychological stuff that goes on. And I think that it's so important to be able to cut through that and trust in yourself and feel empowered. And that's what I try to bring to the book. It talks to the 1L all throughout the year, where it starts before law school, I stay with you throughout the year through each thing that you have to write and do, so that you always have a place to go, and I think of all the questions that have been asked me ever from my students who I work with when they've been doing these things, and the posts more are from not only my DMs, but the students that I coach.

Jordana: I love that, and I, it would be great if—and I recognize I'm putting you on the spot here now—but maybe to sample for the listeners, some key tips or questions answered at different points in the year. So I know a lot of our listeners, they're pre-Ls right now, and so, in terms of the nuggets of legal writing wisdom that they should start to be thinking about having their minds on day one. And I know that you have hundreds of these in your book, but if you could pick one or two things just to give an example and also send them with some tips that they can pocket away.

Amanda: Every word you write should have a purpose. And if it does not, or it's not the perfect word to say what you want to say, you should rethink it or just omit it. Because legal writing is all about using as few words as possible to clearly communicate your point as simply as possible. And most people come to law school having done theses, a thesis in college where they, some have degrees and they've been writing and they've learned a very different style of writing. So the first thing is that you want to use as few words possible, and you want to write very simply. And I really think the more you can start just writing this summer, you're going to be out of practice and we all know—even riding a bike, I haven't done that in probably a decade, I’d probably fall. You got to practice these skills, and writing is just like any skill.

Jordana: Yeah, no, I love that. That's really helpful. And how can they be gauging their process if they start practice writing, how do they know if they're doing it well, or how could they be checking somehow and getting feedback on that to figure out if they're doing things right or learning from that?

Amanda: I can talk about coaching pre-law students and try to sell, I think that's the best way is to work with someone. I'm sure there is some way through some AI program that between that and Grammarly, that you could probably teach yourself to write better, but I certainly haven't found it, and that's not how I learn.

Jordana: I suppose, how might they look for examples or things if they're looking for models of what should this be looking like?

Amanda: I give a model in my book, because lawyers always use models, and we don't start from blank pages. And that's sort of dirty little secret that law professors will try to hide from you. But lawyers learn from modeling their behavior on other lawyers. It's a little bit of a fake construct in law school about how you have to write. Think about writing, before you get to legal writing, just writing really simply, and then with legal writing, just do what your professor says. The people who do best in legal writing actually—they're either As across the board, or they actually get a good grade in legal writing but they might have Bs and B minuses in other courses, and then some people get straight As in doctrinals but bomb legal writing. So they're two different skills. So I think that the more that you focus on trying to learn it the way lawyers do is probably the way to go, but you can try to start doing that. It's hard without a little help at the beginning.

Jordana: Yeah, absolutely. And I think one thing that I’m picking up on is also like, different people might have slightly different preferences. Different professors might have slightly different preferences on what they want to see from you. And so if you take these general rules, which are very different than what we go in thinking, and then model, try to get feedback from professors and follow what they're saying, and writing for a specific person with a specific purpose rather than necessarily saying one size fits all.

And it's the same thing with exam writing, right? Like different professors, they might all want IRAC—and you could tell us what IRAC is—but they may have different preferences in learning to look at the sample, or looking at their template of what they want and then model that—I feel like this was a very important skill that I learned in law school eventually, but then each time that I was writing for another boss or person who wanted to work for me, it was slightly different each time. And I had to learn how to adapt to fit that kind of template or model of what they thought was the right application of all this.

Amanda: Bryan Garner is the father of legal writing. He brought plain language and writing simply, and he has quite a way with words. So if you read any article—he's got lots of articles online; those are great. My posts are all written with the LinkedIn audience in mind, and you don't have time to read. So those are the types of things that are good to do and try to model yourself on to aspire to write that way, generally going into it.

Jordana: Yeah, absolutely. So coming in, we want to be as clear and concise as possible.

What's like another major milestone in the 1L year where law students just have come to you feeling so lost and you're like, if I could just give you one piece of wisdom, it would be this?

Amanda: No one teaches you how to write, and no one gives you a model in law school. They hide the ball a lot. So I really think that the more you can do of outside reading and to learn—you could be reading briefs from lawyers and things like that. Write simply and follow what she says. They're going to teach you this; there's IRAC, you start and you say, what is the issue? What's the question? And then you have to say what rule controls. For example, there's a fight between two kids over who had to do the dishwasher, because someone borrowed a toy, and it's all—you don't know who's right. You need to know the rules. If the rule is well, it's Thursday, and child A does the dishwasher on Thursday, then you know who's right because you've got a rule. So you always have to put the rule. But in college, you start with topic sentence and examples. It's different. You've got to start “issue” and then “rule,” and then you “apply” it to these facts, the kids fighting or what have you and then you come up with your “conclusions.” So that's the IRAC model.

But in legal writing, there's also something called CREAC. What I don't want is people to get too caught up in all these different structures, because at the end of the day, what you're trying to do, you're trying to persuade your reader that you're right. And that, who in this dispute, this issue that people are having, is right. And you're going to explain it simply to get them to agree with you. And that is how legal writing, I think, should be taught. As opposed to, oh, all these rules and you're going to get it a point wrong if your question presented has three sentences instead of two, I mean, it's a little silly. So you’ve got to just follow the rules. Every judge in this country has their own rules about what type style or font and what they want. So once you get just in the habit of saying, “This is a game. Here I'm writing for this person, I'm going to follow their rules.” That's a good thing.

Afterwards you asked me when people reach out to me, it's tough when you get your grades back. Because everyone comes to law school getting As and they're used to that. So it's an adjustment. So that can be a hard thing, and I like, people need to just realize that this is a long game. I would love to go back knowing what I know now, but you've got your whole career, and developing a legal writing skill will be so valuable even if you're not a lawyer, no matter what you do, because we all write.

Jordana: Yeah, absolutely. No, I love so much of that. And I think it's so important to recognize that stuff is all learnable. And I love that you direct the book specifically at pre-Ls, because while it's learnable and your first semester grades don't define you and you can improve them, it does take, I think—and so I am always coming at all of the work that we do here from a student wellbeing standpoint—and I think it just takes so much unnecessary stress and flailing out of the process to say, yes, you're still going to have to learn as you go, because it's a game of figuring out what each professor and each judge and each boss or client wants. But here, we're just, we're going to show you where some of the balls are, rather than hiding all of them and making you hurriedly search for them as you're being evaluated and graded in the process. I think that the combination, one of the things that really stuck out to me about the post and the book was the combination of that encouragement and recognizing that this is going to be hard and it's going to be a struggle and you can—that's totally normal and it's okay. And also it doesn't have to be as hard as many law schools, as their defaults are set up to be.

Amanda: And there's just little things. The word judgment, we don't use an E. It's J-U-D-G-M. There's no E, and that's just a weird lawyer thing. People get that wrong right away.

Jordana: I don't even know if I knew that, to be totally honest, so thank you. Noted.

Amanda: There's formatting. I mean, where do you put the comma? You've got a word in quotes, does the comma go inside the quotes or outside? Everyone gets things like this wrong. And no professor is teaching stuff like that, because they're teaching the legal formula and all the pedagogical things they teach, which is I'm sure great and necessary. But so I try to bring it in and bring some practical wisdom in here after, from my career and just being in the trenches, and we've all had our writing written up, and it makes you feel terrible when you get something back that you've poured your heart into. And the sooner that you can just accept it and just take it as, “Gosh, I'm so happy to be getting feedback,” because it'll make you better and that's the most empowering feeling.

Jordana: Okay, so because we're not going to hide our own balls, where does the comma go Amanda, tell us? Does it go inside the quotations, or does it go outside?

Amanda: Inside. It goes inside. And that is the rule because we have this thing called the Bluebook. There's the Chicago Manual of Style, there's the MLA, I mean, there's all these different style books. Well, lawyers have their own, I guess we think that that's good. So we have another style book, and you’ve got to learn it.

But professors have a lot to handle, to teach, and they've got so much. And I was just finding that there were some just practical things about words and how to cut words that are so easily just taught and learned. And so I think it's good to try to arm yourself with these tools, because then you'll feel much more comfortable when you see things for the first time. And then you'll go through the spring, and it'll be a brief, and you'll have different challenges. You'll take it on as you get there.

Jordana: Yeah, absolutely. And that kind of reminds me just of your—the table of contents of your book, which I think is the coolest part of the book. Because it's almost like a roadmap, which for me I think takes a little bit of pressure off to be like, “Oh, that thing is something I need to know in the spring. I can just note that it's there right now, but I don't need to know it now.” And so can you just talk a little bit more about, like, what went into your conceiving of that and how that's helpful, and how just thinking about the 1L year as a state in general—even outside the book—just as the state of progression, like one thing at a time in order to really prepare yourself for that process?

Amanda: Yeah and that's what you'll get some, you'll know what to expect each month. And then at each stage in the process, oh, you're doing research. So then, okay, here's the rule on how to do research. I mean, I teach research skills that I learned as an eighth year in big law. So you're going to learn the best way to do things. But I think that talking through it in short bursts is really the way to go and not trying to make it some big scary thing that you’ve got to read a book about legal analysis, people talking about how to analyze things, which is very hard, I find, before you go to law school.

Jordana: Yeah, no, and I think that just in general, I think that wherever they're getting it from, whether it's from the book or from a coach or from elsewhere, having a roadmap of the different important stages of the 1L year and law school, and when you'll need to be ready for and focusing on different things or not to guide you through that process. I just think again from a stress management and also from a setting you up to perform at your best process, I think that because there's so much hiding of the ball in law school that on the one hand, some students are never prepared at all because they don't even know that the balls are being hidden and they don't need to look. And other students are like, “Oh my gosh, I need to uncover every ball right now because I know they're all being hidden, and so I need to start preparing for writing on to law reviews in my fall 1L year.” And it's like, no, no, no, be focusing on your 1L fall classes right now. The time that you should start thinking about this is this, and here's the tools and things that you should be thinking about when the time comes. And very much like one step at a time, but also one step ahead of where you want to be, as opposed to, and I think, a normal education in law school, it's like, oh, that step just happened. No one prepared you for it. Now looking back, what do you wish you'd known?

Amanda: A lot of law schools do that. I think students need to be prepared, because they can't have everyone get As. Some law schools teach something called ‘legal methods’ that you're put into in the spring, I guess, if you get below a certain GPA. But that's where they teach you all these things. So it's very backward. I agree with you on that.

Jordana: Yeah, so, so interesting. And it sounds like there's so many different nuggets of wisdom in your book and in your posts and in your blog, and I love how you chunk them all out to make it manageable.

If we could leave our listeners today with your most important piece of advice for them as they go out on their pre-L summer and just thinking ahead towards law school, what's one takeaway you'd like to leave them with?

Amanda: This is not in the book, but the most important thing they should be doing right now is networking. And I say that for a couple of reasons. First is that this year there was a sea change in how recruiting worked, and big law firms started reaching out to 1Ls in the fall of their year. It's all new. This is the first year this has happened. I mean, maybe it was happening informally, but it's now happening in a concerted effort. And the last thing that you want to be doing is this time when it's the spring after 1L and you're trying to get a job and you have done nothing, which is where most people end up. And you have a golden opportunity in the summer—and LinkedIn is a great place because makes lawyers accessible to students in such an unprecedented way—that you can start talking to lawyers. How do lawyers talk? What do we say? What do we say to each other in the comments? How are we talking? And that, especially for someone who didn't grow up around lawyers, can be really helpful.

The earlier you start, it's like compounding interest. And I definitely have had this in my own experience with networking in the past three years and it's been great. You just need to start and do a little bit each day. As long as you did a little bit that day, then you can go to sleep thinking, “Okay, I did what I needed to do today.” That's what I really think is the best way to get into it and start talking the language of the law is to find people, to talk to nice lawyers and then you can start to see, oh, I do not, that's an interesting word, “dispositive.” What does that mean? What do they say when that's a moot point, M-O-O-T? You start to hear these things, you start to learn and you'll start to empower yourself.

Jordana: I love this so much. And again, I know this is something we've talked about on the podcast, but oh, the hiring moving earlier in the 1L year, I mean it impacts everything. It's what makes the first semester grades so much more important and stressful. And then also, but the networking too, and so the networking is helpful for the grades, but also I love how you talk about networking and LinkedIn posting and emails as a way of also learning the writing, because there's so much legal writing that's beyond just your legal writing class brief and memo. And these can be even more important in terms of getting you that job that you want, helping you progress in those ways. So I love that so much, and I just love that it's just a nod to like the human side of lawyering, because I feel like that's something that can get very lost when students go to law school, and it's all just the rules and all of that stuff and recognizing that it's these connections that you make that are going to make such an impact as well. And it probably doesn't feel like you have a lot of time for it, especially initially. So you're planting these seeds, and the sooner that you start planting them, the longer you have to nurture them and grow them. And then, you know, overnight you'll have 42,000+ followers on LinkedIn. So there you go. The world is your oyster.

Amanda: I would try to reach out to one person a day, one lawyer a day, just pick someone who looks interesting who you've seen talk, reach out. The worst that can happen is they're not going to write back. We're all just people. I have three daughters in their 20s, my oldest child is in law school. I have been there. We're all just people that, maybe we're like the parent of some friend of yours or some aunt. It's not scary. And so many students, when they get into 1L and they're looking for jobs, think, “Oh god, I now need something from lawyers.” That's a hard time to reach out to a lawyer when you're asking for a job. It's a lot easier when you're just exploring before law school. So I think you've got a golden opportunity.

Jordana: What can they say? I'm just breaking this down in case anyone's listening, being like, “That sounds great, Amanda, but what do I say?”

Amanda: Most of us, you could just say, “Hey, I'm Amanda. I'm going to law school at such and such in the fall, and I'm very in getting to know LinkedIn and starting to meet people. I would love to just connect with you and start to learn about what lawyers do.” Maybe you can ask, “Sometime I would love to talk further with you.” Maybe you're going to have a DM exchange. You know, students come in and they say, “Oh could we do a zoom next week?” That's really presumptuous, because lawyers are very busy. And I think, start the way you would any relationship that you're going to have. Say it’s some tutor you meet, you say, “Hey, Hi, I'm this person.” It's just like that. It's not anything different.

Jordana: I love it. And of course, it was a cold LinkedIn message that connected us initially. So I believe it. I love this all so much. Thank you so much for sharing this. If our listeners want to learn more about you and your book, where can they find more?

Amanda: So the book is called Dear 1L. The website is dear1l.com. You can email me at amanda@dear1l. com. I've tried to make it as accessible and user-friendly as possible, and you should be able to find everything you need between that or me on LinkedIn.

Jordana: I love that. And now they know exactly what they can say to you when they reach out. So dear amanda@dear1l.com, fill in the blanks here. Thank you so much, Amanda. This was so wonderful. And I'm now excited to go back and read your excellent book again, because I know that there are so many more wonderful tips and tricks in there that I can start using myself. So thank you for your time today and for doing everything that you are doing to make the law school experience a little bit easier and less scary for law students out there.

Amanda: Thank you. It's been a pleasure.