Another semester down and we are getting ready for finals.  Papers, hopefully at this point, are long since done. There are no more reading assignments.  There are no more projects.  However, this does not mean there is no more work.  Actually, it means the opposite.  This is the time to perfect outlines, take practice tests, and beg anyone who will listen to study with you one last time before the BIG test.   Those ambitious first years are busy working on part one of the two-part write-on test for an invitation onto a legal journal, adding even more to their plates for the final few weeks.  The test is meticulous, focusing the student’s attention on the smallest errors in citation and grammar.  This test will show will show who is capable of editing to the standard of a legal journal.  Part two begins the first week of summer and requires the applicant to write a paper on a given topic.  For The Idaho Law Review, the applicant will write a memorandum analyzing the law in a particular area.  The Critical Legal Journal, on the other hand, will require a paper focused on a unique approach, story, or commentary on a broader issue. The Crit allows for more artistic lenience. Both require a lot of work and a high standard of writing.   Law school does not end just because summer begins.  Most students are preparing to begin legal internships or externships, which will provide them with practical legal skills and resume boosters for future jobs.  These are full-time jobs, and unlike law school, the results have real world consequences.  This is where students really see the stresses of being a lawyer; meeting deadlines, independent research, and delving into areas of law where they have no background. This is where it gets fun: working hard to make a product that is fully individualized knowledge, and feeling the sense of accomplishment.  Be sure to hold onto that because it ends quickly.   There will be edits. Many, many rounds of edits.  In some cases, the conclusions you feel so proud of will require full re-writes because of one case or statute that you missed. Do not be discouraged.  That is what the practice is for.  Overall, summer is the time to become better in the areas of law that you love.  It is the time where students actually realized why Legal Research and Writing was so important.  Summer internships/externships are the sink or swim moments.