Saturday, April 29, 2023

Preparing for a career as an attorney

Preparing for a career as an attorney

Exploring classes, extracurricular activities, learning opportunities, and experiences that middle school students and high school students should take if they are interested in pursuing a career as an attorney.


Becoming an attorney requires dedication and a lot of hard work. A strong foundation in the basics of written and oral language, research, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills is essential. But what else do you need? To get a jump start on your legal career, it is important to explore the classes, extracurricular activities, learning opportunities, and experiences that can help prepare you.

Please note that this post is only meant to provide you with some general ideas and information about becoming an attorney, and it's geared more toward middle school students and high school students who may already be wondering about this career path. We're painting some very broad strokes here, just planting some seeds, and that's by design.

Because this post is primarily written for middle school students and high school students thinking about pursuing a career as an attorney, the kinds of coursework and student clubs/activities recommended here as a means to plant those early seeds also correspond to this age group. Ultimately, in the end, to become an attorney, you'll generally need a high school diploma, a bachelor's degree, a juris doctorate (law degree), and a passing score on your state's bar exam.

Peppered throughout the post, you'll find several solid video interviews, presentations, and chats given by attorneys that are pulled from YouTube. They'll help in painting more of a robust picture of what you can expect in the day-to-day work of an attorney.

Finally, at the end of this post is a brief list and general overview of some of the more popular and major areas of law.


You will be required to take certain core classes throughout middle school and high school, as well as so many elective courses that you have more say in taking.

You should look for classes that emphasize communication skills such as English composition and public speaking.

Additionally, any higher-level math (beyond the required core credits), as well as philosophy classes make for great options because they sharpen your abilities to think logically and critically.

Courses in history and government help build knowledge about our nation's legal system, which will be useful once you enter law school.

Other social science coursework like psychology and sociology classes can increase your leverage in better understanding broader societal issues and concerns, competing interests and conflicts, and insight into a possible opponent's mind.

Last, but certainly not least, anything offered by your school's business department is highly-desirable - classes that get into subjects like the basics of business law, entrepreneurship, creating a business plan, branding and creating a marketing plan, personal finance, etc., will be of great help in case you're ever interested in becoming a business/transactional attorney (think contracts, real estate, forming companies, mergers and acquisitions, etc.) and/or starting your very own law firm some day.

Extracurricular activities

Participating in extracurricular activities shows potential employers and college admissions officers that you have the time management skills necessary to commit yourself to a project from start to finish. Clubs and activities also complement and enhance the learning taking place in the formal classroom setting. Joining student organizations like debate team or student government are great choices for building your verbal communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills. If there are any mock trial teams available at your school, then take advantage of that opportunity! It will give you an edge when applying for internships or jobs down the line.

Learning opportunities

Explore internships specifically related to law so that you can gain first-hand experience in the field while gaining credit towards college requirements and/or even earning money at the same time! Volunteering with organizations like Legal Aid Society is another great way to make connections with attorneys who can provide guidance along your journey towards becoming an attorney yourself one day.

When looking into internships, it is also important to think outside of the box - consider unique opportunities like working with media outlets offering legal advice segments, or even shadowing a lawyer on their cases, if possible!

Don’t forget about attending events related to law, such as lectures given by attorneys, or local court hearings whenever possible. These experiences can spark interest and provide valuable insight into what being an attorney entails!

Lastly, subscribing to newsletters from law firms is essential, as they typically offer updates on new cases and other relevant information that can provide an interesting glimpse into the life of an attorney before actually committing yourself fully!


If you are considering pursuing a career as an attorney, then there are numerous classes, extracurricular activities, learning opportunities, and experiences that can prepare you for this goal.

Taking challenging and engaging core and elective classes, including those related to government and/or history, sociology and/or psychology, philosophy, higher-level math, and business education will all collectively help form a strong foundation in understanding our nation’s legal system while simultaneously strengthening critical thinking skills and preparing you for a better understanding of the broader societal issues, concerns, competing interests, and opportunities that are out there.

Joining student organizations like student council or debate team helps build collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills, all of which are key skills needed by attorneys. Additionally, exploring internships and volunteer opportunities specifically related to law provides valuable insight into daily operations within law firms. Attending lectures by attorneys offers unique perspectives on how they conduct business.

Ultimately, taking advantage of all these sources of knowledge allows students interested in becoming attorneys to gain more information about this profession, which can help ensure success down the road!

A brief list and general overview of some of the more popular and major areas of law, in no particular order:

Criminal Law

Criminal law is the body of law that deals with crimes and their punishment. Attorneys who practice criminal law represent individuals who have been accused of committing a crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, driving under the influence, white-collar crime, etc.

Civil Law

Civil law is the body of law that deals with disputes between individuals and/or organizations. Attorneys who practice civil law represent individuals or organizations who are seeking damages from another party. These damages may, but not always, be in the form of money and/or property.

Family Law

Family law is the body of law that deals with family-related issues, such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption. Attorneys who practice family law help individuals and families navigate these often emotionally-charged legal matters.

Employment Law

Employment law is the body of law that deals with employment-related issues, such as discrimination, harassment, and wage disputes. Attorneys who practice employment law help employees and employers resolve these types of issues.

Immigration Law

Immigration law is the body of law that deals with immigration-related issues, such as citizenship, visas, and green cards. Attorneys who practice immigration law help individuals and families navigate the often complex process of obtaining legal status in the United States.

Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law is the body of law that deals with intellectual property-related issues, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Attorneys who practice intellectual property law help individuals and businesses protect their ideas and creations from being used without permission or compensation.

Banking Law

Banking law is the body of law that deals with banking-related issues, such as loans, mortgages, and foreclosures. Attorneys who practice banking law help banks and other financial institutions comply with regulations and resolve disputes with customers.

Connect with Aaron

I'd love to hear from you! I'm always looking to connect with my readers to receive your meaningful feedback and insights concerning how I can improve your experience here. I'm also passionate about sharing my God-given talents and gifts with others, and am always eager to learn from others, in turn. I always have time for more in-depth conversations around education-related subjects we care about. Feel free to reach out to me any time, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you so very much for your support in my labor of love here, which is celebrating five years in late 2023!

Mailing address:

Aaron S. Robertson
P.O. Box 771
Muskego, WI 53150

Phone: 414-418-2278


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Free worksheets and learning games

Discover free worksheets, lessons, learning games, and other meaningful educational activities with the links below. Links are in no particular order, but are grouped by general theme.

Learn and practice cursive writing
Personal finance/financial education/calculators/investing
History/economics/geography/social studies/politics and government
Citing your references in research papers and presentations
Health & Wellness
Article databases/education website directories/learning platforms
Worksheets/learning games and activities

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Graphic organizer charts for students

Organize your notes with these graphic organizer charts

What are examples of graphic organizer charts that students can use to keep track of their research notes and ideas?


Research is a crucial part of any academic work. Whether you're doing a project or preparing for an upcoming exam, gathering information is your top priority. However, it can be challenging to keep all the facts, ideas, and data organized. Luckily, there's a solution! Graphic organizer charts. These helpful tools can help you keep track of your research notes, ideas, and findings. In this post, we'll explore some of the best examples of graphic organizer charts that students can use to organize their research notes and ideas.

Different graphic organizer examples to try out

1. Venn Diagrams

One of the most popular graphic organizer charts is the Venn diagram. It consists of two or more overlapping circles that represent the similarities and differences between two or more sets of data. As a student, you can use Venn diagrams to compare and contrast information, such as different theories, characters, events, or concepts. For instance, you can use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two historical figures or two literary works. You can also use a Venn diagram to explore the intersections between two disciplines, such as science and literature.


Venn diagram example
Venn diagram. The overlapping space is used to list similarities between the two concepts/people/events/subjects being explored. 

2. Mind Maps

Another powerful tool for organizing your research notes is the mind map. This type of graphic organizer chart lets you create a visual web of interconnected ideas, concepts, and keywords. You start with a central idea or theme and then add branches that lead to related topics or categories. You can use colors, symbols, and images to make your mind map more engaging and memorable. Mind maps are perfect for brainstorming, outlining, and summarizing complex information, such as theories, arguments, or historical events.


Mind map example
A typical mind map template.

3. Flowcharts

If you need to represent a series of steps or processes, a flowchart might be your best choice. Flowcharts are visual diagrams that show the sequence of events or actions from beginning to end. They consist of various shapes, such as circles, rectangles, diamonds, and arrows, that indicate the different stages or decisions of a process. Flowcharts can help you track the progress of your research, identify potential roadblocks, and analyze the logic of a system or a concept.


Flowchart example
Flowchart example

4. T-Charts

A T-Chart is a simple but effective tool for comparing and contrasting two different categories of information. It consists of a vertical column on the left and right side of a horizontal line. You can use it to categorize data based on different criteria, such as pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, or causes and effects. For instance, you can use a T-Chart to compare two political candidates or two mathematical formulas.
T-chart example
The T-chart is a classic graphic organizer, and just like the Venn diagram, quick and easy to set up.

5. Concept Maps

Concept maps are another type of graphic organizer chart that can help you visualize complex ideas, relationships, and processes. Unlike mind maps, which emphasize the central theme, concept maps allow you to explore multiple connections between different concepts or categories. They consist of nodes or bubbles that represent key concepts or categories, and lines that link them together according to their relationships. You can use concept maps to analyze the structure of a text or a system, to generate new ideas, or to revise and summarize your research notes.


Concept map example
Concept map model


In conclusion, graphic organizer charts are powerful tools for keeping track of your research notes and ideas. By using visual aids, you can organize and understand complex information more effectively, and enhance your critical thinking and creative skills. Whether you prefer Venn diagrams, mind maps, flowcharts, T-charts, or concept maps, there's a perfect tool for your needs. So, next time you conduct research, don't forget to use a graphic organizer chart and see the difference!

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A career in construction

Preparing for a career in construction: What students need to know

Explaining how a middle school student or high school student can set a firm foundation for a career in the construction industry. What types of classes, learning opportunities, experiences, and extracurricular activities would be beneficial for students interested in pursuing a career in construction?


Construction is an ever-expanding industry with many rewarding career paths. For middle school and high school students interested in pursuing a career in construction, setting a firm foundation now can provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed. Let’s explore what types of classes, learning opportunities, experiences, and extracurricular activities will be most beneficial for students considering a career in construction.

Classes that help prepare for a career in construction

Classes that focus on mathematics and sciences are essential for students who want to pursue careers in construction. Math classes such as Algebra I & II, Geometry, Precalculus, Calculus, and Statistics are helpful when it comes to understanding measurements and calculations related to the building process. Science classes such as Biology and Chemistry are also important since they teach students about the composition of different materials used in construction. Other courses that could benefit students include Computer Science/Technology, Engineering Technology/Drafting, Business/Accounting/Finance (for those interested in project management or owning their own business), Graphic Design (for those interested in visualizing projects or creating 3D models), History (to understand the evolution of architecture) and any foreign language class (to communicate effectively with clients).

Learning opportunities & experiences

Construction offers countless hands-on learning opportunities at all levels. On-the-job training programs can help teach students how to use tools and materials properly while gaining valuable experience working on real projects. Apprenticeships are also great options for high school graduates looking to transition into a career - apprentices learn from experienced professionals while earning an income during the process. Additionally, internships may be available for college students who would like to gain more insight into the industry before making a full commitment. Volunteering at local job sites is also an excellent way for young people to observe firsthand how construction projects come together while connecting with potential employers or mentors.

Extracurricular activities

For those looking to enhance their resumes prior to entering college or the workplace, extracurricular activities related to construction can be beneficial. Joining clubs related to STEM fields is one way - for example, joining robotics clubs allows students learn more about automation, which is key within today’s modern constructions sites - or even starting their own club if such opportunities don’t already exist at their school! Competitions such as Future City provide interesting challenges that encourage problem-solving skills, which are needed when it comes to constructing buildings efficiently; competitions like these also offer scholarships for top performers, which can be useful when it comes time for college applications! There are plenty of ways young people can stay active within their community while preparing themselves for future careers.


With so many educational avenues available today, it has never been easier for middle school or high school students interested in pursuing a career in construction to set a firm foundation needed later on down the road. Taking math and science courses while participating in hands-on learning programs such as apprenticeships or volunteering can help provide invaluable experience that will prove useful once they enter college or join the workforce. Extracurricular activities such as robotics clubs, or competitions like Future City also add unique experiences that look great on resumes - setting these young learners up perfectly for success!

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Learning about world cultures

Understanding world cultures: Why it matters for middle and high schoolers

Why is it important for middle school students and high school students to learn about world cultures? What are some ways in which students can learn about different cultures?


There is no doubt that the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. As a result, understanding different cultures has become essential for success in school and beyond. Learning about world cultures can provide students with an invaluable sense of global awareness and empathy, as well as an appreciation for diversity. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s important for middle school and high school students to learn about different cultures and how they can go about doing so.

The benefits of cultural awareness

Being culturally aware provides students with multiple advantages in their studies and personal lives. For example, those who are familiar with various cultural practices may be better equipped to understand the various perspectives that shape historical events. Having this knowledge enables them to more easily comprehend complex concepts related to social studies, history, literature, anthropology, politics, economics, and more. Furthermore, having a firm grasp on cultural dynamics can help students approach their studies from an informed perspective.

In addition to academic benefits, learning about different cultures can also give students a greater appreciation for diversity and help them develop empathy towards others. When students gain insight into different lifestyles, customs, beliefs, and values around the world, they are better able to recognize the similarities between people of all backgrounds - even if those people come from vastly different environments or speak entirely different languages. This enhanced level of understanding helps foster meaningful connections between individuals regardless of where they come from or what they look like.

How students can learn about different cultures

There are many ways in which middle schoolers and high schoolers can learn about world cultures right in your own homes! Watching movies set in other countries or reading books written by authors from other nations is a great way to start building cultural awareness. Additionally, attending virtual or in-person events hosted by foreign institutions or organizations - such as museums, universities, or embassies - can provide insight into international culture, as well as allow you to meet new people from all over the globe! Finally, online courses related to global culture taught by experienced teachers or professionals are also excellent resources for learning about world cultures in depth.


Learning about other cultures is vital for any student looking to succeed academically - as well as personally! It opens up opportunities for exploration both near and far; encourages open-mindedness; highlights our shared humanity; and allows us to appreciate diversity in its myriad forms. With so many ways available today - from simply reading books set overseas to attending events hosted by international institutions - it has never been easier, nor more important, for middle schoolers and high schoolers alike to explore world cultures!

Learning investing in high school

Learning the basics of investing in high school

What are examples of credible online resources where high school students can begin to learn the basics of investing principles and learn about different types of investments?


It’s never too early to start learning about investing. With so many resources available, high school students can begin to understand the basics of investing principles and learn more about different types of investments. If you’re a high school student, teacher, parent, or investment advisor, here are some credible online resources to get started.

Online resources that teach investing principles and strategies

The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool is an online financial service that provides investors with financial advice on stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). The website has a “Financial Education” section that offers free courses on topics such as beginning investing, building wealth, and retirement planning. There are also articles from their staff of experts and videos from their team of analysts.


Investopedia is a comprehensive online resource for all things related to finance and investing. This resource includes tutorials on topics such as stock trading and technical analysis, news articles about current financial events, calculators to figure out debt-to-income ratio or net worth, and even assessments to help test your knowledge. Investopedia also has a blog that provides tips on how young investors can start making smart decisions with their money.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free education in various subjects all around the world. Khan Academy’s “Finance and Capital Markets” section provides tutorials on topics such as stock markets, bonds, mutual funds, and taxes, among others. Their lessons are designed for learners of any age group - from high schoolers looking to gain some basic understanding about finance, to college-level students needing more advanced materials for their studies.


Investing is an important skill for anyone who wants to build wealth over time - even if you’re just starting out in high school! Luckily, there are plenty of credible online resources where you can learn the basics of investing principles and find out more about different types of investments in order to make informed decisions when it comes time to invest your money wisely. So take advantage of these opportunities now so that you can be prepared when it comes time for you to invest your money!