i The Frugal Law Student | Blogging

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Blog for Bites

Written by Mike

Although it may seem a bit out-of-context blogging for meals can actually be a great starting point. For those who are seeking alternatives to high-priced recipes, usually found in mainstream recipe books, a good blog-spot can be worth more than a barrel of high-end recipe cards. On the contrary, and for the general purpose of seeking out low-budget foods, you may find a treasure-trove waiting to be discovered.
Simply searching the right phrase can lead you to mountains of easy, inexpensive recipe alternatives. Thousands of bloggers have dedicated their time to reinvent “cooking on a dime”. Sites such as ‘Cheap Eats’ have tons of archived goodies waiting for the average chef to devour. One of the best parts is the flexibility that comes with today’s interactive recipe blogs. Not only can you find exactly what you need to feed your family in a pinch but the tricks of the trade are included free of charge. The blog-spots that I have visited have such great recommendations along-side their recipes. The comments enable the reader to see what others are saying, as well as displaying different variations of the original recipes. Pictures are generally posted, if not in the original recipe then at least by one of the adventurous chef’s, in order to display a recipes appearance and alternative spreads.
You may find that blogging can be a very interesting way to “meet & greet” with others who have the same tastes and preferences as you do. Individual circumstance such as vegan/vegetarianism, diabetics, gluten-intolerance, and so on can lead many people to a host of accommodating blogs. Specific dietary needs can be seemingly impossible to those who are affected. Diabetics and gluten-sensitive individuals may feel as though they can’t enjoy tasty meals, much less tasty and inexpensive foods. When it comes to dietary specifications you need not fret over tasteless and expensive meals; blogs have made this a worry of the past. I recommend that everyone sit down for at least ten minutes and search for recipe-blogs that fit their tastes and preferences. I have scavenged several online search engines for almost every dietary preference and sensitivity imaginable only to find accommodating and delicious alternatives for every one of them.
If you have some trouble beginning your search I recommend that you use the search engine’s ‘related searches’. Every search engine offers related searches and they can be very helpful when choosing the wording of your search. An example for vegetarians would be to look-up “cheap vegetarian recipes” then scope out the blogs pertaining to the results. You want to find a blogging community that focuses on your dietary preferences. Once you find one that suits your needs you’ll have everything you need to create inexpensive, wholesome meals.

Why Every Law Student Should Blog

Written by Brett McKay

I started blogging at the Frugal Law Student during my first year of law school. When I started it, I just thought it would be a fun way to share with my friends and family the ways I’m saving money in law school.

But my foray into blogging has actually helped advance my legal career. That’s why I think every law student should have a blog. Here are two specific ways a blog can help you.

1. It’s a great job marketing tool. A blog is the ultimate marketing tool for law stuents. When you go into a job interview, employers are looking for what distinguishes you from the dozens of other applicants they’re interviewing. On paper, most applicants look the same, especially when you apply for large firms. You and everyone else will be in the top of your class, you’ll all be on law review, and you’ll all be active in extracurricular activities.

One of the questions you’re guaranteed to get during the interview is “What do you do when you’re not doing law school?” You could give a vanilla answer that everyone gives like “I like to exercise” or “I like to read.” Or you could give an answer like this: “I author a blog that focuses on international environmental law; I’ve done guest contributions to the blogs of several environmental law scholars; and I’ve managed to attract a large enough following that I have commercial sponsorships for my blog.” Which answer do you think will stick in your interviewer’s mind?

The second answer packs in a lot more information than the first one. By blogging, you tell your interviewer that 1) you’re serious about environmental law; 2) you’ve networked with other attorneys and legal scholars in that field; 3) you know how to leverage technology; and 4) you know how to market yourself.

When you leave, the person who interviewed you is going to check your site out. They’re going to be thinking about you after the interview, which is good. By checking your blog out, they can get a better idea of who you are because your personality will show through your writing. They’ll probably send a link to the other attorneys in the firm.

All things being equal, who do you think is going to get an offer for a summer job? The person who just said they like to read or the person who said they blogged? I think the answer is obvious.

A blog can be a successful marketing tool even if you don’t write about law related stuff. Find something you’re passionate about and start writing. If you like to run, (one of those vanilla answers) start a blog and track your progress and share your tips on running. Then when you’re asked what you like to do outside of law school you can say, “I enjoy running and I write a blog offering tips on how runners can improve.” Your interviewer will be impressed with your tech saviness. When they check your site out, they’ll get a better idea of who you are.

Of course the effectiveness of a blog as a marketing tool depends on a few factors. First, while you can be less formal on a blog, remember that potential employers might be reading it. So don’t use vulgar language, don’t post pictures of you after a Thursday night partying, and don’t discuss your sex life. Be personal, but stay professional.

Second, edit! Your blog is basically another resume for employers to use to determine whether to hire you or not. If your blog posts are full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, it reflects poorly on you.

2. It improves your writing. Blogging has definitely helped my legal writing. When you write for a blog, your audience consists of internet users who have the attention span of a gnat. You have to capture their attention and maintain it through good solid writing. When you write on a blog, you want to use short sentences and paragraphs; you want to tell a story that draws people in; and you want organize your writing with headings that make it easier for the reader follow.

Do these tips sound familiar? It’s the exact same thing you’re supposed to do in legal writing! By blogging consistently, you can improve your legal writing immensely.

Also, knowing that hundreds or even thousands of people may be reading your posts forces you to edit it carefully. Producing content that’s free of mistakes shows you respect your reader. When you prepare a trial brief or a research memo, you’ll want to show that same respect. Blogging can help you get in the habit of editing more carefully.

Do You Have a Blog? Share it with us!

Written by Brett McKay

Photo by Vicki

I know many FLS readers have blogs of their own. I try to check out the sites of those who comment and I’ve been really impressed with all of them that I’ve seen. I’m curious how many of you all have a blog of your own. If you have a blog, please post a link to it in the comments. It doesn’t have to be about personal finance or law school. Even if its about your family or your dog, I’d love to check it out. This is a great opportunity to brag about your blog and spread the word about it.

I’m looking forward to checking out all your sites!

The Frugal Law Student Month In Review- January 2008

Written by Brett McKay

Wow. January went by fast. Classes started three weeks ago and I think I’m finally back into the swing of things. I’ve got full schedule this semester. I’m taking Evidence, Civil Procedure II, Advanced Torts, Estate Law, and Legal Drafting. Plus I’ll have some law review responsibilities thrown in there.

FLS welcomed new a contributor, Tony Marrone, last month. He’s cranked out some great material for the site. Tony’s also writing at Wise Bread, so make sure to check him out there as well.

I mentioned a few weeks ago about my new project, The Art of Manliness. We’ve had very successful first month. We were fortunate enough to get a post on the Digg front page which brought in TONS of traffic. There’s already 559 subscribers at the site. It took me about year to get that many on FLS. Hopefully it can keep up its momentum.


FLS had 24,592 visitors during January. That’s down from the 26,000 we had in December, but in December FLS was lucky enough to have 10 Ways to Be an Excellent House Guest featured in Lifehacker. That brought in lots of traffic.

RSS subscriptions are up to 894. We peaked at 904 during January. Just one hundred more and we’ll have 1,000. Thank you to all my loyal readers who subscribe and have shared FLS with others.

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Tony’s Over at Wise Bread

Written by Tony Marrone

Dear Faithful Frugal Law Student Readers:

Check out my new post over at Wise Bread. Don’t worry though, I’m going to keep up the high-quality FLS posts you’ve come to know and love. Have a good weekend!

The Frugal Law Student in The Journal Record

Written by Brett McKay

The Frugal Law Student was featured in Oklahoma City’s legal and financial paper, The Journal Record yesterday. The article was in response to FLS being named the top law student blog by the ABA Journal.

This is a good time to thank all my awesome readers. Without you FLS wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar. Thanks for your support and contribution to FLS!