Thursday, December 31, 2015

Proud Pet Owner With Pet Allergies

So as a person who is allergic to both cat and dog dander and yet still owns two cats and a dog, 90 percent of the time, I manage it just fine. I buy kleenex and Claritin in bulk and get on with my day. That other ten percent though . . .  Man it hits hard.

The other day, one of my cats was accidentally locked into my bedroom for hours. When I realized it and let her out, I expected an accident. I did not expect her to pee right in the middle of my bed. UGH. Then when I rolled up my memory foam topper to take it outside to clean it, poof, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't see. Gagging and hacking all over the place. Two days later, I still can't stop coughing up crap and my lungs are burning pretty much nonstop.

If it gets any worse I'll have to try to find a way to go to the doctor but I'm not sure what they could do other than tell me to get rid of my cats.

Never going to happen.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Guess where I'm going?

No really. Guess!

No. Not there.

Not there either.



CUBA! I'm going to Cuba!

I've personally wanted to go to Cuba ever since I first learned about it. But one, American's weren't supposed to and two, I lived in the Pacific Northwest. Talk about an expensive trip. Yikes.

But then I moved to Florida and then I found out that I happen to go to a law school that has a Cuban legal system class that includes a trip to Cuba. Hello, I was all over that. I went to all the info sessions last year even though 1L's can't take the class. Finally the application cycle opened and too many people applied that there were room for so we had to go through interviews. Finally I got the email that I was accepted and BOOM. I'm going to Cuba.

I'm so EXCITED!!!

The class is all semester long but the trip is only over Spring Break. I think it's 8 days and 7 nights. Not bad at all. Plus, although it's a little easier for American's to go to Cuba now, it's still pretty limited. So I get to go before Cuba changes too much. YAY.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Intro to Elder Law

I'm hoping that no one is surprised that this is the first class I signed up for last spring. After a year of basic 1L classes, I was so ready to start the classes that I was actually interested in. I've had more than a few people tell me that since I came to law school for elder law, I would definitely not be interested in it once I graduate. I don't know about that since I haven't graduated yet but I can tell you how the class went.

First of all, let me explain my survive class method. I sit in the very front row on the side because I'm basically invisible to the professor when he/she feels like cold calling. I'll talk up a storm before or after class but during? No. I never volunteer and I've probably been cold called 4 or 5 times (not counting this class that I'll explain in a bit) in the entire year and a half I've been in law school. My friends who sit in the back get called on 4 or 5 times in a month.

This class . . . I sometimes volunteered 4 or 5 times in a DAY. I turned into "that person." To used the dreaded word, I was a gunner. UGH. But I just couldn't help it. For one thing, they kept teaching about nursing homes, assisted living homes and in home care. I've worked in all three! And I came to the field with oh so many questions about Medicare and Medicaid, it wasn't even funny. It was a tiny class of about ten so even when I tried to not speak up, I got called on anyway! I was so ashamed but also, I had so much fun in that class. What a conundrum.

To make matters worse, my professor was writing our textbook as the class was going on and she hired me as her research assistant about halfway through the semester. It was awesome because I literally got paid to read the same material we were going to cover in class, and sometimes she would assign the cases I found for her. What wasn't awesome was that she apparently decided that since she knew I had read the materials, she was going to call on me ALL THE TIME.

I'm pretty sure the class hates me.

Out of all my classes, this was the one exam I wasn't too worried about. And I walked out of there feeling the same way. Then as soon as I got home I started panicking because imagine the horror if I had bombed the test in Elder Law. I would never be able to show my face again!

Luckily, she's the only Professor who turned in grades before Christmas so I now know I didn't bomb it. (I didn't 4.0 it but I didn't embarrass myself either) But it really showed me that just because I'm a jaded 2L, I still have the potential to spaz out like a terrified 1L. I didn't sleep for two days after that exam. Good grief.

Now I just have to wait for my other grades to come out. One thing I've noticed is that Fall semester of last year, the professors really hustled to get our grades out before Christmas. It didn't seem like it at the time but looking back, I can tell that they at least tried to hurry. This year, my first exam was on the 3rd of December. It's now the 28th and still no grade. UGH. And half of the questions were multiple choice!  

Come on already!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I'm still waiting on Fiancé to wake up so we can open our stockings. We limited our gifts to only stockings this year but really, that's my favorite part anyway. My Grandma continued to send me a stocking every year even after I moved to Florida but told me that this year, she couldn't. I promptly told her "No problem Grandma" and then got off the phone and told Fiancé that I've made him a stocking for 6 years now and if he didn't make me one, I'd cry. Luckily enough, he thought it was a great idea. YAY! I'm on a 30 year streak of always getting a Christmas stocking!

It's still feels strange to celebrate Christmas in a place where there is zero chance of snow. And this is from a person who hates snow! I went through it last year but this is the first time Fiancé is experiencing a December where is still occasionally gets to 80 degrees out. Everything just seems off. The street lights are all decorated with light up trees and bells and such and people string lights on their palm trees but it just doesn't feel right. I wonder how long it will take before this feels normal?

On the other hand, our hometown is getting buried in snow. My Facebook is covered with pictures of half covered cars, car wrecks and snowmen. Brrrrrr. Actually, my hometown has had much too much extreme weather this last year. Over the summer, they had one of the worst fire seasons in ages. My niece and nephew couldn't go outside for weeks because there was so much smoke. Then right before Thanksgiving, they had the worst wind storm on record. Hundreds of thousands of people without power for days. My mom and stepdad were without power for a week and my aunt's roof blew off. Crazy. It was kind of funny trying to explain the damage to my Florida friends down here. To them, the wind gusts seemed extreme but not hurricane extreme and they pretty much universally decided that the power company must have really sucked to let all these people go without power for so long. I tried to explain to them that Pine trees don't react to wind the same way Palm trees do and a single tree can take out blocks worth of power, but they just couldn't comprehend it. Eh. To each their own. I know I'm going to panic the first time I have to sit through a hurricane so I can't talk too much smack.

Anyway, I'm off to go make us brunch, have a great Christmas!  



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Digging us out of a hole

I bet you thought that if I hid from the blogging world for months, I'd come back and blog about law school. (The blog is called Taking On Law School after all) But you would think wrong.

I'm going to talk about finances and confess how Fiancé and I dug ourselves into a hole this last year that we now have to find a way out of. Between Fiancé bouncing back and forth across the entire nation due to family issues, unexpected unemployment, one surgery (mine), one significant back injury (his) and the feast and famine aspect of living off my student loan check twice a year, well, we put more debt on credit cards than any one couple should ever have. This last month has been the worst in the seven years we've been together. Fiancé injured his back in November and couldn't work for two weeks. In the almost eight years I've known him, he's called in sick one time. ONCE. Since we were already living paycheck to paycheck to pay back everything from my surgery and me not being able to work for awhile, this knocked us out of the game. For the first time in my life, I had to borrow rent money. We immediately cut every bill we possibly could, stopped buying food and canceled Christmas. I also doubled my work hours two weeks before finals. I had to do what I had to do and I wanted to avoid living in my car more than I wanted good grades. We shall see how that panned out next week when grades are released.

The good news is that 1) Fiance is now back at work and 2) it made us realize that we stopped looking at our finances just because it scared us.

So here is our new plan for 2016 -

GOAL ONE: Stop Eating Out - Now, in a funny turn of events, grabbing Mcdonalds too much last semester kind of saved our butt this last month but not exactly in a good way. In September, I did my normal batch cooking for the semester but rarely had the motivation to actually cook out of it. So when it came time to stop buying things cold turkey, we had over ten casseroles in the freezer, 8 crockpot meals and numerous sides. Why didn't we eat them before? Because I was lazy. However, when I went back and looked at how much we spent on fast food, we easily could have managed to pay our rent last month. So POOF. No more eating out.

GOAL TWO: Batch Cook Easy Cheap Meals - I'm thinking lots and lots of dump chicken meals with enough ground beef meals to keep us sane. If I remember in the morning, I can dump it in the crockpot. If I don't, I can dump it in the oven. Either way, we need to stop treating ourselves with food just because we had a bad day.

GOAL THREE: Work More Hours - This is something we're both committed to. Fiancé just got a second job and will be working 6 days a week, over 60 hours a week. I'm still in school but I'm going to keep my hours higher for as long as my boss will let me. I'm volunteering for every extra assignment I can and it seems to be helping. By working more, we will hopefully be able to dig ourselves out of this debt mess and save for the next big emergency.

GOAL FOUR: Stop Being A Crutch For The Other - One reason we go in this mess is that when my surgery happened, Fiancé was working. So I relied on him to pay my half of the bills. Then when Fiancé lost his job, I had just gotten my financial aid money. We obviously have no problem covering each other (we are getting married after all) but we sort of stopped dividing bills. A big bill would come up and one would pay it without the other having any clue how much we were spending. We used to be pretty good with a budget but this last year has just been so crazy, there was no way to budget so we stopped trying. Now that things are slightly more stable, it's time to get back to it. So this week, we finally sat down and went through every bill we have and taped it to the living room wall. Our goal is to have both of us split all our bills so one, my loans aren't covering two people when it's meant to cover one, and two, my loan money doesn't run out like it did this semester.

GOAL FIVE: Keep Our Bills Low - When we crashed and burned, we went and stopped all the bills that are nice to have but not necessary. Netflix, kindle unlimited, knitting software and my wine club went out the window and I have no intention of getting them back until we pay off our credit cards. Those ten dollars or less a month bills are sneaky. Half of them, I didn't even remember we had! Good grief.

GOAL SIX: Pay Off Credit Cards - Now I'm not sure how long this one will take us but I'd like to at least double our current payment plan. It would be awesome to pay them off in 2016 but with two people making less than 10 dollars an hour, that might not be possible. We will have to see.

Now this whole post is all about the things we did wrong. However, we did do some things right. Right before this latest catastrophe, I applied for a bunch more scholarships and I was just informed last week that I got an additional $5,000 a year scholarship. Added to my previous scholarships, this basically means I don't pay tuition anymore. YAY!! Another thing I did to help avoid this mess was when Fiancé was unemployed, I got a paying job. Yes, I still have my unpaid internship too so it's been a tricky balance but it was really the only thing that kept us going as long as we did. I'm so so glad that I didn't wait until we were broke to do this because by then it would have been much too late.

What do you guys do to cut spending?


EDITED TO ADD - I literally just hit publish and I get a text from Fiancé with the news that they're cutting his hours at work again. UGH. Sometimes we just can't win.


UPDATE: Click HERE to see how I did after six months (or so).



Thursday, October 8, 2015

No, I'm not dead

At least, I don't think I am. Can law school be considered Hell?

I've been having a hard time being motivated this year. Not just to update my blog but with everything. I'm kind of doing the bare minimum right now to get by in class and I am spending way too much time just messing around on the internet.

Life as a 2L - How is it different than 1L year?

The all encompassing aura of fear has dissipated. And not just for me but for everyone. The 1L gunners have mostly quieted down and most of us just want to get through this so we can move on. More people have stopped reading than ever before. Professors do not cold call as much and it almost feels more like an undergrad class. I personally still read for every class but I've basically stopped taking notes beforehand and just fill in my outline during class. Do I understand the material as well as I did last year? Well, no. But I have much more free time. Is it worth it? Undetermined.

The amount of out of class work has skyrocketed. Many of us are on an executive board of at least one club, sometimes more. (I'm on the Elder Law one of course!) We have internships or jobs or are looking for an internship or a job. And we are doing more pro bono work. All of this takes away from our classes and we just have to make it work and hope for the best.

The new baby 1L's look to us for advice. This is probably my favorite part of being a 2L. I tell them  not to freak out. Stop taking five pages of notes for every case and no, you do not need to highlight EVERYTHING. It's great.

We're no longer in sections so I am meeting so many other people. As a 1L, you have all your classes with the same 65 or so students. Now I have classes with other 2L's and 3L's. In my Wills class, I'm pretty much the only 2L.

Now that I'm officially in the Elder Law Concentration, I have certain events, office requirements and pro bono opportunities that I have to do. Some of them are a pain but for the most part, I love being surrounded by other students who are interested in the same area I am. Of course, next week when I am stuck in a suit every other day in order to volunteer at a conference, I may not feel the same. But we'll see.


Basically, 2L year is surprisingly different than my first year but all in all, I like it better.    

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dollar signs in my head

So last semester, I had to jump through a ton of hoops to figure out when I could have my bladder surgery scheduled so that I could get reimbursed for my out of pocket expenses and yet, wouldn't have to drop out of school to recover. Well since my surgery ended up being a lot more involved than expected, it also ended up being a lot more expensive. And the bills are coming in. I went to my financial aid office today and found out that when I had talked to them before, they had meant that only the prepay amount would be covered and even though I now owe thousands and thousands of dollars, federal loan laws do not allow me to be reimbursed because it is not not the same school year as the surgery was.

Of course, if I am unable to pay my hospital bills, it will go to collections and the Bar may not allow me to pass the character and fitness portion of the bar.

Oh and I also found out today that due to a rule change, I will no longer be able to keep my job at the Elder Law center once classes start up again.

Oh this is going to be fun.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Stress relief at it's finest!

So I know I said in my last post that summer break is a lie but I have actually done a few things that are non-law school based. 90% of it relates to yarn. I didn't really think about the fact that I had stopped knitting once classes started but boy am I making up for it now.

First I made a baby blanket for my newest niece. 


I was somewhat out of practice and this picture was before it was washed so it looks a mess. I swear it looks much better now. 

After that, I made another baby blanket for my neighbor. 




Then I made a set of dryer balls for my sister (who'd only been asking for them for two years now!) 





And then I made myself a pair of plain black socks for the days I dare to wear pants at my internship. They are the most boring thing I've ever made but they fit their purpose perfectly. Someday I'll make it back to my crazy socks but now is not the time. Sigh.


Now a good part of these were made while I was recovering from my surgery but still. It's an impressive amount of projects!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Life got in the way.

I can not believe it has been so long since I updated this blog. I suck and I am sorry.

Here is a quick snapshot of what I have been up to since I last wrote that kept me away from the blogging universe for so long.

Finals - 
I walked out of my con law final feeling like I flunked it 100%. I spent two (of the four) hours on the multiple choice and the first essay and then the final two hours on the last essay because I COULD NOT find out what the issue was with the hypo. Yeah, the law is a little vague but ... It could be a separation of powers issue but probably not ... oh is it?? No, it can't be that. For two hours. Gah. I think I had two pages for the first essay and 10 sentences for the second essay. Some how I pulled it off because this was my second highest grade (and in the end, my highest. See below).

I walked out of my property final thinking I had done okay. And I had!!! I 4.0'd it and my essay was emailed to the class as the model answer. They even gave us our ranking. And then a week later we all got an email saying that there had been an exam error and the class was being converted to pass/fail. My GPA and ranking tanked and I was so angry I couldn't even talk. Actually, I'm still so angry I can't even talk about it. GAH!

I seriously thought I NAILED torts . . . and it was my lowest grade. I don't understand it either. Eh. Such is law school.


Surgery - 
Directly after my last final and still during finals week, I had bladder surgery. It was supposed to be minor with a quick recovery period but once they cut into me, the doctor found that it would need more work than previously thought. I woke up three hours later than I was supposed to and went "What did you do to meeeeeee?" My fiancé and I had set it up so he could help me for a few days and then head back to Washington when I was up and about again. Due to the change in plans, I had to have a friend move her and her dogs into my house for three weeks after fiancé left. Two weeks out, I still couldn't dress myself. Yesterday (which is almost 2 months post surgery) I painted my toenails and then realized that all that curling over made my abs cry and I am still in pain from it today. Ridiculous.

Work -  So I was supposed to be cleared to start work at the Elder Law center on campus a little over a week after my surgery. Ha. Yeah. That didn't happen. And when I finally was cleared to go back to work, I made such a great impression that I was promptly sent home. I guess I looked like I was in significant amounts of pain. Which to be fair, I was.

Internship - Three weeks after my surgery, I started my internship with a General Magistrate. I like it but I spend 90% of my time feeling incompetent. From what I hear from former interns, everyone feels that way. Hmmm. But on the bright side, I AM LEARNING SO MUCH. I have definitely learned more from the one month of this internship that I have in my entire first year of law school.



The truth about summer break - It is not a break at all. I'm working part time, interning the rest of the week and there was the Law Review write on after finals. (I didn't finish as it was the same week as my surgery. I tried but I just couldn't.) OCR stuff is starting to heat up with cover letters and resume's due next week. I was invited to apply for the Honor's program but even that requires a ton of work. I really need to start working on the paper for that. I am applying for a DOJ internship for this fall and need to fill out all of that paperwork as well. Oh and all the try outs for moot court, trial team and ADR are this month. Don't remind me of this sentence later but I'm almost looking forward to school starting again so I can take a break. Good lord.

Anyway, I can't promise that I will keep this as updated as I would like but I will try to not let it be so long next time. I see that my traffic has increased so if there are any soon to be 1L's reading this, feel free to comment with any questions you have. I'll try to answer as soon as I can.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Elder Law Stuff

So I was finally allowed to apply for the elder law concentration! My school doesn't allow us to apply to any concentration until after we finish the first year but I must have been vocal and active enough with my love of elder law because the professor told me to go ahead and apply now so I can get preference for my classes next fall. Whooooo. This is very good because my school does a bidding system so you rank one class as your top choice, another as your second and so on. You're pretty much guaranteed to get your top couple choices but the others are a crap shoot. However, if you are certified in a concentration, you get any of those requirements right off the bat. So you can put them dead last and rank the other ones you want higher. Boom!


Whoops. I wrote this WEEKS ago but apparently never got around to posting it. 

Since I wrote the bit above, we had a bit of drama. The registrar's office didn't send it to the Elder Law Coordinator because they forgot there was a reason why I was submitting it early. (We did tell them, they just forgot.) Only I didn't know they hadn't sent it. So on the day that bids were due, I wrote the coordinator and asked if there was a problem with my application. Well, yes, of course there was, they hadn't received it. So I ran over to the Registrar's office where the secretary was like "Oh my god! You're right, I totally forgot to pass that message on with your application! Oh me. Oh my." Then I found out that the lady who had the application was out of the office for the week for a conference and couldn't send it until she came back. (Long after bids were due.) I must have looked upset because the secretary promised to text the lady in charge and see if she could send it sooner. Well, I figured that was a long shot so I completely reordered my bids and hoped to get into at least a couple of the elder law classes. 45 minutes before bids were due, I get an email saying the application had been sent to the elder law center. 7 minutes after that, I got the email that I had been accepted into the elder law concentration. BOOM. Reordered my bids in the last few minutes and submitted them.

We all got our fall schedules today and I got every single class I bid on. Most of my 1L friends are all on at least one wait list if not more. DOUBLE BOOM.

My schedule isn't as bad as the other's either!

All 2L's have to take Professional Responsibilities at 8:30 in the morning (YUCK!!) but many of the other classes are scheduled anywhere from 10am to 10pm. And if you happen to want a class that is only available at 8pm, well your day is going to be a mess. And nobody seemed able to make a schedule that didn't have at least a 3 hour gap somewhere. Gaps = death. Half the time you force yourself to stay on campus and then are exhausted by the time class finally rolls around and the other half you give up and go home. Half of those times you end up taking a nap and don't make it back to school. That gap gives you a 1 in 4 chance of skipping class. Yikes!

However, I have no long gaps; a couple twenty minute ones and one hour long break at lunch time. Totally doable.

My schedule will be three classes on M/W from 8:30 am to 2:40 pm and then only one class on T/Th from 6pm to 8pm. I need that late class because it's a prerequisite to basically every other elder law class but since I was able to load all my other classes onto M/W I don't need to worry about any crazy long gap. I'm sure I will absolutely hate myself when it comes to reading for all three classes for Mondays and Wednesdays but my only other choice was to take a class T/Th from 10 noon and then come back at 6pm. I know myself well enough to know that I would make really stupid life choices with a schedule like that.

Basically, my schedule is better than I could have hoped for. Much much better than most!

Oh, and since I'm only taking four classes, I did enroll in a weekend course. My school has a few of these 1 credit classes where they are only one weekend long and then you are done. We'll have to see how it goes but I've heard great things about the one I signed up for and it should actually be useful.

Now back to studying for finals.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Last day of classes!

To anyone who is reading this blog before their first year of law school, this next sentence is for you. Your 1L year will fly by so ridiculously fast, you won't even be able to understand it. How did this happen? I don't even know. I'm thinking magic.

Yesterday was my very last day of classes of my 1L year. Once I get through finals (assuming I do) I will be 1/3rd of the way through my law school career. Crazy.

It was a little bittersweet sitting with all my section mates yesterday knowing that we will all be moving on to different classes next fall. We've spent a lot of time together this last year. It's funny, I know many of these people better than I know many of my friends. Even the classmates I never spoke to outside of class. Law school is a funny beast.

Anyway, I need to get cracking on my con law outline. There will be time for nostalgia after finals!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I'd like that super-sized please.

I'm spending the day at a cafe/coffee shop trying to catch up on Property. They sells normal sized cupcakes, the ones you'd make at home in a normal muffin pan.

This family just came in and ooohed and ahhhhed about the "baby cupcakes" and how cute they were. They ultimately decided that everyone (including the five year old) would get two or three cupcakes because they were so small.

This is why Americans are so fat compared to the rest of the world.

I can't even

I belong to one of the local bar associations and as of yet, I haven't heard a thing from them since I paid my dues. Until today. I just received a very nice invitation to a charity networking dinner. The cheapest seat way in the back without any benefits of going is $250 per person. The most expensive is $15,000. Yes, fifteen THOUSAND dollars.  Maybe I just run in different circles or maybe I am just a poor broke law student but either way, what the heck??!! Do you really need that much validation to prove that you are important? I could almost see it if the charity was on some big social issue but it's mostly for the bar association and to pay the attorneies who work for legal services. Something seems off about this. 

Am I over thinking this?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Well, at least I was honest

So I was going through my Property notes so I could figure out just how much I had to catch up on for finals and I found this gem. In vivid red. I really don't remember typing this but at least past me was looking out for future me. Now I know to go back and figure all this out.  



Thanks past me!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What has law school done to me???

Okay, so we just had our last real class of Con Law today and I realized I made it all the way through the semester without being cold called. In fact, I never spoke once in that class. And as I was patting myself on the back I realized two things.

One -  The socratic method isn't really as hard core as everyone makes it sound. (Or I just have really lazy professors)

Two -  I kind of regret not being called on more. I mean, I'd hate it and I'd get the answers wrong and then hate myself. But I haven't gotten any better at speaking because I've almost never had to try. Maybe five or six times this ENTIRE year. Now, do I know that being cold called on often would help? Well no. But I also don't know that it wouldn't have helped.

I don't even know who I am anymore!!

Fooooooooooood

So the other day I was trying to power through another hour of reading before calling it a night and I was struggling mightily. So I sat for a second and tried to figure out why I was so run down. I'd slept okay the night before, it wasn't that late, what was my problem? And then I thought about what I'd eaten that day. I'd skipped breakfast because I had an interview before class. I had a couple free cupcakes for lunch and when I got home I realized that I had forgotten to go to the store so I munched on a can of black olives as I studied. No breakfast, cupcakes for lunch and a can of olives for dinner does not constitute brain food! Not to mention, I'm not sure there is a nutrient to be found in any of that.

Since then, I have been trying to at least be a little more conscientious about what I am eating through out the day. I can't say I am eating healthy because I still haven't had even half an hour to run to the store which means a whole lot of pizza but at least I'm taking the time to order that pizza.  It's a step in the right direction. I've also started adding ensure to my coffee. Now I personally think that ensure is nothing more than some sugar water with some vitamins added but it's better than coffee creamer and tastes the same to me. It certainly can't hurt.

Oh, I can't wait until summer break so I can go back to my love affair with vegetables. I really need to look into a delivery service that drops off fruits and veggies to my door. I know they have them and since I have a wine club that does it, I really should have a veggie one too.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Brief is submitted baby!

The sweat. The tears. The shear madness brought on by this one assignment is over with. It is out of my hands. Good riddance. 


And okay, it's not completely over with. I still have my oral argument on it. But I'm not going to worry about that until tomorrow. 

Excuse me while I go collapse on my bed and not move for awhile. 

Things that seem like a good idea at the time

Making your oatmeal with your coffee. I like oatmeal, I like coffee. I don't like washing extra dishes. Lets do this! 

No. So much no. It was awful. 


This brief is rotting my brain. I'm aware of this but I can't seem to stop it. 

Five hours left to deadline

Somebody save me from the madness that is this brief. I have all the parts done and all the citations done but good lord is it complicated to add a table of contents and authorities on a Mac. Only after it screwed up all my formatting did someone mention that it's better to email your brief to yourself and do the rest on a Window's computer. WHY WOULD THEY NOT WARN US OF THAT BEFORE??? Over half the class has a Mac. GAAAHHH

Excuse me while I slowly (or not so slowly) go insane.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Law School Problems

This is from a real text message conversation with a classmate:

Her: I can't do this. I think I'm dying. I am so tired of writing this brief.

Me: I think I'm already dead. I'm just too stupid to realize that being dead means I can rest.

Her: There is so much truth in that statement. The truth shall set you free. 

 And that is pretty much how my day is going. If this goes on much longer, I might start checking out nearby bridges to live under once I give up and drop out of law school.

Some good news in the middle of Brief madness

So I am currently consumed with my Appellate Brief. I wake up thinking about it and go to bed (if I go to bed) thinking about it. It is my everything right now. Sorry Fiance, I promise I'll call you after it's submitted tomorrow. Our professors are laughing at us, I haven't showered in three days and half the men in our class have just given up on shaving. The other half of the men already had a beard. Don't even ask about the ladies' legs. You don't want to know.

This brief is no joke.

But right in the middle of a major freak out, I got an email.

Congratulations on your placement with the _____ Judicial Circuit internship program. 

Oh my God! I did it. I got the summer internship I wanted!! It's with a general magistrate in charge of the Elder Justice Department. It's obviously low level in the Judicial scheme but I'll get a lot more elder law and probate experience than I would with a regular Judge or Justice. I am so ridiculously excited!!

More than that, I feel like I'm actually doing this whole law school thing right. Which is amazing considering how very many times I screwed up this semester. Oh, and as a matter of fact, when I first called to ask about this internship, the second the call connected, the sprinkler system went off and hit me right across the backside. So the very first thing the hiring coordinator heard out of my mouth was "wuugaaaackkk!" and then I was so rattled as I tried to dodge the sprinklers that I gave my email address wrong. It's amazing I even got the application sent to me, much less actually got the internship!

Plus I'll be working part time at the Elder Law Center at my school so I'll actually have a little money to pay my bills. Okay, not all of my bills so I'll have to put the rest on my credit cards and play catch up later but still, some money coming in is better than no money coming in.

Now the only things I have left to worry about is this brief, finals and my upcoming surgery. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Law School does not have a finals week

Law school has a finals MONTH. And I'm stuck in the middle of it.

My brief is due on Sunday, my final oral argument is next Thursday, the next week is the last week of classes, and then BOOM. Two weeks of final exams.

Needless to say, I have been horrible about writing blog posts. I promise that I will try to come back and cover all the important things I'm skipping over once summer starts. Or at least, I will do my best.

But to catch you up for now:

Barrister's Ball was amazing! I think I've heard that at some schools, the professor's are invited for the first hour or so. Not here. Which meant we drank too much wine and danced a little more freely than we would have otherwise. We had an open bar, dinner, a live band, fortune tellers, belly dancers, free henna tattoos, and a photo box with silly accessories. How could we not have an awesome night? I know some people didn't see the point is shelling out the cash for the tickets and having to buy a pretty gown just for dinner and some wine and I can see their point. However, I feel that it was worth it just for the experience. Could I have had a dinner and wine night for much less? Sure. But it was so much more than that. Plus, I bought my gown second hand and can probably sell it back for more than I paid for it. :P

This brief is killing me! I thought the various memo's were bad. No, this appellate brief has more sections, more words, more complex issues. More everything. UGH. It's open universe which means they don't limit the cases for you like they did for the first memo's. Which mean I have spent more time researching than I have writing and I still don't have quite enough cases. We are supposed to have between 12 and 18. So if you know me in real life, don't expect to see me in the next few days.

If you have been paying attention to me at all, you know that I can't stand public speaking. Yes, I want to be an attorney anyway. I'm stubborn like that. I also wanted to be a part of the executive board in the Elder Law group on campus. And if the position you are running for is contested, you have to give a mini speech on why you should win. I almost changed my mind and was like nope, nope, nope. But I decided to man up so to speak and do it anyway. I didn't die AND I won. So I must have done something right! Now if only I could remember what I said. I can't remember because all I could focus on was the fact that I couldn't feel my hands (they went completely numb) and trying not to throw up. I had to speak for 30 seconds. Good Lord, I'm ridiculous.

And that leads me to my next bit of news. My school has us give a practice oral argument in front of the moot court board the week before our final one. In a fit of panic, I signed up for the very first spot on Monday morning. I think I was just wanting to get it over with before my brief was due but it just led to a massive amount of fear once I realized what I had just done to myself. I managed to get 3 whole hours of sleep the night before and I threw up three times that morning. But you know what? I actually did pretty well. I read too much instead of being more conversational but I didn't throw up behind the podium, I didn't cry and I didn't sound stupid. Will I panic again over the final? ABSOLUTELY. But at least I know I can do it, even if I don't want to.

I think that pretty much catches you all up and I'll try to post at least once more before final exams hit but I can't make any promises. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Guess what day it is??!!!

Barrister Ball is tonight! Also known as Law School Prom. It's like high school but so much better.

Fancy dress? Check.
Fancy food? Check
Open bar? Double Check.
Music and dancing? Check and Check.

I never went to my high school prom (Boyfriend broke up with me three days before the dance, that jerk!) so I'm looking at tonight as my chance to make up for it. Plus, it has an open bar so no one even needs to spike the punch.

Me being me, I still hate shopping. I swear I really am a female. I promise! So where did I get my fancy dress? On the Vinted App for $30 bucks. It fits perfect and I don't need to feel bad for buying a dress I'll only wear once because it's used and I can sell it back on the App as well. Boom.

Of course, to make up for the fact that I'm going to be out dancing all night, I had to wake up at six am to work on my brief. Oh law school problems.

My brief is fighting me every step of the way. It's due in two weeks from today and I'm still stuck on researching. I do have a working outline so I don't feel completely incompetent but I feel like I could research ten hours a day for the next two weeks and still not have a handle on the issues. To make it worse, my first oral argument on it is in a week and I'm terrified. The first one is ungraded but I am the very first one. And to make it even worse, I'm representing the Petitioner so I really am the first one to go. Why oh why can't I be one of those aspiring attorneys who like public speaking? I keep thinking that eventually I'll get better at it but it hasn't happened yet. I tried to practice just the opening bit, "May it please the court, my name is _____ and I represent the Petitioner ______." I was in my own home, in my pj's, sitting down and I still started shaking and felt sick. And then I felt ridiculous.

I kinda think that this is why the Barrister's Ball is scheduled when it is. It's after the crazy push to the end begins but not so far into it that we can't take a few hours off to get our minds off of it all.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Zzzzzzzzzzz

How is it that just when I need to sleep the most, my brain has decided that I AM NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN. This would be fine if I could actually function but no. I'm basically a zombie shuffling from one class to another. I go home and start on my reading but am so tired that I just beg for a nap. Lie down and . . . . nothing. So I get up and go back to my reading, only to be hit by exhaustion again. Lie down and poof. Awake. This happens over and over again.

Last night (day four of less than 4 hours a night) I crawled into bed at 11:30 and tried everything I could think of. Deep breathing meditation, stretching, counting sheep, doing something else, not doing something else and just laying there in the dark. Nada. I didn't fall asleep until after 6am and had to wake up at 8. GAH!

I mean it could be worse. I am somehow keeping up with my readings and have started to work on my appellate brief. (Thanks Redbull!) But it does make me want to punch myself in the brain.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Break!!!

Also known as saving my sanity! Fiancé and I went to Miami to visit a friend from Undergrad and oh my God. You could not possibly understand how amazing it is to hang out with someone who is not in law school. Seriously, it brought my life a much needed perspective change. Now mind you, this perspective change kept me from getting very much school work done. But it was worth it. Plus I did manage to finish my Con Law reading FOR THE REST OF THE SEMESTER!! And all without having to give up fun time with my friends. I mostly read in the car while we were traveling place to place and a couple times I woke up an hour or so early and read before everyone else got up. I do have a research assignment due next week that I'd hoped to get done by now but eh. I have a couple more days. It was worth it!


Finally saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time! 


Coral Rock Museum. This guy was probably certifiably insane but he created amazing sculptures so hopefully he found it worth it. 


Saw a wild alligator for the first time! I'm pretty sure my entire family expected me to see them every time I walked outdoors because just about every conversation starts with them asking me if I'd seen one yet. I can finally say yes, I have seen an alligator. Whew. Oh Washingtonians. 


One reason why I haven't been writing much this month (besides being ridiculously busy) is that my allergies have been kicking my butt. I've always had them but as long as I took my meds, I could still function. Not this year. I actually missed class numerous times because of how bad it was. My eyes were always swollen, my nose ran continuously and I actually sneezed so many times in a row (think 12 to 15 times within 20 seconds) that I ended up choking and inhaling saliva into my lungs. And it stayed that bad for over a month. Understandably, it did not help me focus on law school at all. I remember one particularly bad night where it took me over two hours to read one nine page case. And I had six more cases to read that night. I could barely read the words through my swollen eyes and I went through an entire box of kleenex. It came to the point where I was putting way too much effort in without getting enough out of it. So I put down my casebook and went to bed. It was the only time I've ever gone to class without all or at least most of the reading done and it still amazes me that it somehow worked out because my professor ended up doing a review class. WHEW!

Anyway, I noticed in Miami that my allergies seemed much more manageable. And the pollen count was the same as home. Hmmmm. The second I walked into my house though, I sneezed a dozen times and all my symptoms came right back. So the last couple days I have been focusing on keeping the allergens in my house at bay. I bought an allergen reliever filter for my central ac, used a spray that's supposed to neutralize pet dander, dust mites, mold and pollen and bought two hepa air filters/purifiers. One for my bedroom and one for the living room. Within 24 hours, I was a new woman. I could breathe and concentrate and basically could enjoy life again. With my allergy pill, I feel almost normal. I'd forgotten how much more I can do and how much more fun I am. Trust me, Fiancé is just as glad as I am. No more cranky law student. Well, at least until finals!

We even went out on St Patricks Day. I love the fact that I can bring my dog to the bar because one, she loves it and two, she got to show off her green light up leash. She looked so festive. :P




Sunday, March 8, 2015

Best Laid Plans and All

I tried to get caught up this weekend. I really did. And I didn't fail miserably but I didn't really succeed either. Assuming I study until midnight tonight, I should no longer be behind. But I'll have to work my butt off this week to stay that way. It could be worse though! Plus, next week is Spring Break and you would not believe how relieved I am. It could not come at a better time! Of course, I'll have to work on my Appellate Brief the entire time but I should have SOME me time to relax! Whoooooo.

Until then, here's to Redbull and McDonalds.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Told you I'd drop off the face of the earth

It's that part of the semester where I have more and more things to do and have less and less motivation to do ANYTHING. That works about as well as you'd expect it to. Basically, everything ends up taking me three times as long because I keep getting distracted or can't seem to start anything until I literally have no other choice. Even keeping up with the reading is a struggle.

But that stops today. I am putting my foot down.

Today, I am going to class and then I am going to get my outlines caught up. Then I am going to figure out my clerks volunteer assignment and then I'm going to review the tax training because I start tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I am going to man the free tax clinic until one, work on researching for my Appellate brief and hopefully go to a SBA social on the beach. That last one might get cut but I really hope not.

Sunday I will do all the reading for the week for Property and Con law so that next week I can catch up on my clerks assignment.

Boom. I've got a plan. No more stressing which leads to slacking which leads to stressing which leads to . . . well you see where I'm going with this.

I got this. Ready. Set. GO!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

You can measure my stress level by the food I eat

I know when I am under too much stress because I start having crazy cravings that I can't ignore. When I start feeling a little frantic or have a bad day, all I want is comfort food. Mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade queso, ravioli with Alfredo sauce. Well you get the idea. 

When the stress gets a little worse and I start having to cut down on my sleep, then I want sugary sweets to give me a little boost. Donuts, ice cream and cupcakes. Oh the cravings I have for cupcakes. 

But when it's do or die time and I'm pounding back the red bull like a champ, well, that's the point that my body goes Yo Stupid! Do you have any idea what you're doing to us?? And that's when I start craving spinach. Or summer squash. Or both. 

I was trying to write the statement of facts section of my Memorandum of Law and all I could think of was veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. I knew I needed to buckle down and NOT go to the store but I couldn't concentrate. Finally I gave in and called my neighbor/friend to see if she had anything fresh and green. Noooope. So I gave in and ran to the store. Just to get spinach. Nothing more. Yeaaaaah. I came home with spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, and green onions. And then I ate and ate and ate. It was fabulous but my memo is no closer to being finished. Sigh. 

I made what I call Caprese Toast which is one of my favorite lunches. I love Caprese salads but as a main meal, they aren't quite enough for me. One day I decided to put it on some italian bread I wanted to get rid of and now I'll never look back. 

I should warn you that if you ever show this to a true Italian, they will want to smack you. This is nothing new to me because I add cream cheese to my spaghetti sauce (GASP) but I don't want anyone to be taken by surprise. 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 ripe tomato, sliced 
  • 2 slices of italian bread, sliced thin 
  • Mozzarella cheese, either shredded or sliced thin. The shredded was on sale so that's what I used this time.  
  • Fresh basil roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic salt
  • Avocado (optional - sometimes I add it sometimes I don't)
Start by brushing some olive oil on the italian bread and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Go easy with this, we aren't trying to make garlic bread, just add a bit of flavor. Place it on a cookie sheet and broil until brown and crispy. 



Take out of the oven and load it up with cheese. I was running low but usually, I'm a wee bit more generous with the cheese than in the picture. 


Put it back under the broiler until mostly melted, pull it out and turn off the oven. Add the sliced tomato and basil and drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top. 


Add avocado if wanted and EAT. The avocado does make it a little more of an adventure trying to get it into my mouth in one piece but usually it is so worth it. 


If I set everything out before hand, I have enough time to slice the tomato and avocado while the bread is toasting, so from cupboard to mouth is about five minutes. Even a law student can manage that!



Sunday, February 22, 2015

That was less than helpful

So basically every time I talked to someone in career development about what to do this summer, they'd tell me to go to the workshop that was on Friday. So I went.

After three hours, I knew exactly what I'd known before. They spent a full hour on how to write a resume. Half that long on a cover letter. What I really wanted to know was how to find opportunities for volunteer work or even something paid. (Yeah, I know. Long shot but a girl can dream.) I've already had two meetings with career development to go over my resumes and such. The workshop was nothing new.

A few weeks ago, career development was pushing a judicial internship on me for this summer but my scholarship wouldn't cover my tuition for it and really, I could do it during the year just as well. Once I decided it wasn't for me for the summer, I've had no feedback on what to do now.

Considering how hands on my school has been up to now, I feel a little frustrated.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Who says Law School isn't fun?



That awesome moment in Torts when we're all talking about exploding heads and falling body parts and our professor comes up with this gem:

For wrongful death claims, under the common law, the liability ends with the person who died. So it's much better to kill them than to merely harm them. And for that matter, if you're going to negligently kill someone, kill lots and lots and lots. You won't be held liable. Instead of the slogan "vote early, vote often," in tort law it's kill early kill often. 

This explains so much about torts.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Too many things to do, not enough time

If I fall off the face of the earth for a few days, don't be surprised. I have got a TON of things to do the next two weeks and I have no idea how I will manage to do them all. 

Actually, I have one idea on how to do it all. Stop sleeping. 

It's a combination of three R&W assignments due next week (two of which were only assigned today), career development workshops, a networking shindig, and the admissions department wants me to help with the scholars retreat. The same scholars retreat that convinced me to move 3,500 miles to go to law school in Florida. Oh and various meetings scattered throughout. 

Now obviously, only the R&W assignments are mandatory. The career development workshop is highly advised and as I desperately need to figure out what to do this summer, well, I'd better go. The networking thing I would gladly skip but I RSVP'd long before my schedule got so wonky so I am stuck. And as to the scholars retreat, well that is the ONLY thing I actually want to do. So I will. Even though it is the same day my second memo is due. Here's to an all-nighter!!! 

Oh did I also mention Fiancé is leaving to go back to Washington and I don't know when he'll be back? Boooooo. 

I am really not going to enjoy the next ten days. Wish me luck!! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Suiting Up

Yesterday was the first day that I looked and the mirror and wasn't taken aback to see myself in a suit. Now it's undoubtedly because I've worn one so often during the last two weeks for the Wills Event but still. It was a big moment. I wonder if I would feel strange in scrubs now? I definitely miss the pockets in scrubs. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to fit at least one of my casebooks in there and you can't do that in a suit!

I do have a question for the ladies though. (Men can chime in too, no judging here) I've only been able to get my nylons to last through two days before getting a run or my toes breaking through. Is this normal? I hardly want to have to buy a new pair every other day so I'm really hoping there is a trick to getting them last longer.
How long do they last for you? Is there a magic hose secret I don't know about?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Professors want to make us work for it

I'm pretty much used to the fact that I can be cold called at any point in a class. I almost never am called on, but I am used to the fact that I could be. What I am not used to is the professors who like to make us come up to the front of the class for one reason or another. Sometimes it's to argue one side against another classmate who takes the other side. Sometimes it's to work out hypos or explain a topic. We had to do it in Criminal Law too but I somehow managed to not get called on for that.

It caught up to me in Property today. I was lucky in that I just had to go through one hypo and part of one case but I'm still hoping it'll let me off the hook for awhile. It wasn't too bad. Apparently I spoke too fast and I had to go over the hypo again but I had a group up there so we all took turns. All in all, not a horrible experience.

But I still miss undergrad lecture style classes.

Oh, and about the fact that I'm almost never called on. I've found that those in the back row get called on the most. The middle rows in the middle of the room get called on almost as often and the middle front row after that. I sit in the very front row on the side and I almost never get called on. I do raise my hand and volunteer sometimes but that's a whole different beast than being called on out of the blue.

I'm helping Mom

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hiding the ball

My Property casebook has one major flaw. And it is not that it is 1307 pages long.

Okay, so most law school casebooks have hypos. You learn about a subject, either from a case or from a summary of the law. Then they ask you something like "O conveys Blackacre to A, B, and C as joint tenants . . . . Some other stuff happens . . . .  What is the state of title?" In all the other casebooks, the information you need to get it right is in the book. You might have missed it, or didn't understand it, but it's there. Not in Property. Virtually every Hypo can not be answered correctly from the information in the book. There is enough there to make you think you know the answer but it's a lie!

Generally, the professor cold calls on people to answer the hypos so I'm sure the book is intended for the professor to correct the student and then all will be well. But I think it is ridiculous.

Good thing I have four property supplements because generally at least one of them has the information I need to answer the hypo. Of course, that also means I need to read five books for each class that I'm on call for.

Eh. Silly Law School.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Six years equals 72 months


So there I was, sitting in torts minding my own business. The class was talking about whether or not law professors owe a duty of care to their students while discussing rape and sexual assault. It was a very interesting conversation. Then out of nowhere, I hear the door behind me slam open and a guy with the biggest bouquet of roses I've ever  seen walks in. I swear that I did not even connect the bouquet and my anniversary until I saw that the delivery guy was carrying a book. A book by my favorite author.

So me being me, I immediately swing my chair the other direction and pretend that since I can't see him, he can't see me. Yes, I AM two.

So the guy calls my name, my professor starts a slow clap and the delivery guy tells me that there are 72 roses here, one for each month Fiancé and I have been together. I'm as red as a lobster, my classmates are oooo-ing and I wanted the floor to swallow me.

This was the LARGEST bouquet I've EVER SEEN. Do you know how much room 72 roses take up? A lot. Not to mention the filler flowers and greenery. They had to put them in a bucket because they couldn't find a vase big enough.

This bouquet is as big as I am!



I couldn't even carry it. I had to have a friend help me. Good lord.

And yes, I am aware that anyone at my school would recognize me from this picture and this story. However, I'm just not comfortable having my face on the internet like this. I'm strange like that. Plus, I feel like I mostly read law school blogs before starting school. What are the chances one of my classmates will find this blog anyway? 

I'll never be a real adult

A couple days ago the arch of my foot just started cramping up. Over and over again. Then my toes started getting in the action. I'd just be sitting there, or standing, or sleeping and BAM. Foot cramp. Fiancé tried giving me foot massages, I ate bananas, nothing really helped.

Finally it came to me that over the last week or so, I've worn heels more days than not. With the wills event and a couple interviews, I actually wore a full suit as often as I wore jeans. Whoa. What is this? Is this adulthood? No. No it is not because doing so turned me into a cripple who randomly falls to the ground because of a foot cramp.

Well now what do I do? I have to wear a suit again on Tuesday and today is Fiancé and I sixth anniversary. I definitely want to wear heels when we go out tonight. Hmmm.

First world problems.

The funny thing is, I'm such a klutz that I purposely buy the lowest heels I possibly can. I'm not strutting around town in stripper shoes. Good Grief.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

If My Professor Cites Wikipedia, Can I As Well?

One of my professors wrote his own casebook and self published it online. Some parts of it I like quite a bit, other parts not so much. My biggest problem is that if I want a hard copy, I need to print it out myself. Which gets expensive and is way too time consuming.

So I just read it online and then complain about it. Heh. Sounds normal right?

Anyway, I just ran across a section that cites wikipedia as it's source. I don't even have words. If I can't use wikipedia, YOU can't either Professor.

This is probably leaving you with the impression that it's a lousy casebook but it really is the same quality as my other books. Except for the wikipedia cite. That's different. And unlike my Crim Law book, it doesn't have the F word in it for absolutely no reason. At least not so far.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Law School Makes You Unable To Do Basic Tasks

Like pay your rent.

Seriously you guys, I have been either paying rent or my mortgage for ten years now. I've never just forgotten to pay it! Until this month.

I don't even have a good story or excuse. The last few months, my landlord has happened to need to come by for various reasons and so I just gave him the check. But he's out of the country right now and so I had to go back to depositing it to his account. And I just forgot to go to the bank. I don't even know what to think right now.

Thank God my landlord is the nicest guy ever. And he's slightly impressed with the whole law school thing. He apologized TO ME. "Hey, I'm really sorry to bug you when you're so busy but . . ."

I need a wife. Or a new brain. Either one.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What do you mean Queso isn't real food?

Last night Fiancé wandered into the kitchen and whined that he was hungry but didn't want to make anything. I told him to look in the crock pot. He looked at it, looked at me, looked at the crockpot again before turning to me and telling me that I am the best thing that ever happened to him.

Of course, we didn't only eat queso and chips for dinner. We also had beer.

I'm pretty sure we are going to get immensely fat. I'm also pretty sure that this is why I'll never feel like a real adult. I am positive that this is one major reason why he wants to marry me.

Generally, I do try to eat a balanced diet. Veggies with every meal. Whole grain breads and brown rice and such. But after my legal brief got torn to shreds yesterday, all I wanted was comfort food.


Everyone's queso is a little bit different. I didn't exactly get this from a recipe but I didn't really invent anything new with it either. I fiddled with different recipes and it just happened to evolve to my favorite queso ever.

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz Block of Velveeta cheese product
  • 1/2 8oz block of cream cheese
  • 1 can bean less chili 
  • 1 can hot green chilies w/ juice
  • 2 cans Rotel drained
Instructions
Roughly cube the Velveeta and cream cheese and place in your crockpot. (Crockpot liners are your best friend for this. No one wants to scrub a pot full of melted cheese!) Dump in the chili, green chilies and the drained Rotel. Stir and turn on the crock pot. Stir every half hour or so. It'll look disgusting until the cheese melts but wait it out. 

I've only cooked this on high (but I'm sure low would work if you have more patience than I do) and it takes about an hour and a half to fully melt down. Then I turn it to warm while we are munching on it. It lasts for hours. Assuming the queso lasts that long. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Well, today didn't kill me

So I did the client interview and the will write up and it went alright. I wasn't fabulous but I wasn't horrible. I could tell that he knew I was nervous at first but I calmed down and it went smoothly after the first few minutes.

Impressions:

  • That big old lawyer desk does make a person feel less like a kid playing dress up. I've never sat on that side of the desk before but it really did make me feel all official and stuff. 
  • My biggest worry was that he'd have a question that I wouldn't know the answer to. He did have questions but I did know the answers. Yay me! However, at least one or two, I wasn't allowed to answer because it would fall under legal advice. Awkward. 
  • Secretaries are awesome and I want my very own someday. I will buy them flowers and love them forever. 
  • I was aware that we'd be discussing private financial matters but I had no idea that he would just start talking about all these non-related family matters or personal tragedies. One thing I need to figure out is how to better respond to this. There is only so many times you can say, "I'm sorry to hear that." 
  • Actually, writing the will was easier than the client interview. Go figure since messing up the will was what I was the most worried about. 
Right after I wrote the will, I had a meeting with my R&W professor to go over my legal brief. That's the memo where I had no idea what I was doing or how it was supposed to go. Surprise surprise, I did not do very well. I knew I hadn't but it was still a hard to pill to swallow when it came down to it. This is the first time in law school that I was told that I am below where I should be. OUCH!!

It had to happen eventually. 




Thursday, February 5, 2015

Update on the Wills Event

After all that stress wondering if I was ready to interview a client. And after all the worry about if I knew enough to write the will. And after I got all dolled up in a suit and heels and wore it to class all day. Oh not to mention leaving property class early to make sure I would get to the appointment on time.

The man stood me up.

The secretary was beside herself. Apparently my appointment was the only no show of the entire event. Just my luck.

It may or may not be rescheduled for tomorrow but nothing definite yet.

Humph.


Edited to add: I got a new client for tomorrow. Apparently the secretary felt so bad for me that the second a new client came in, she assigned him to me. So YAY on getting to do this. BOO on having to wear a suit to class again. I don't mind wearing a suit in general but I dislike it for class. Class should be comfy. Maybe not pajama comfy but jeans and t-shirt comfy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

OMG I Have NO Idea What I Am Doing

Guess what??

No Gueeeeesssss.

Okay, fine.

Tomorrow I am going to dress myself in a suit, sit behind an impressive lawyer desk, interview a client and then ..... WRITE HIS WILL.

As a 1L, I am so so so lucky to do this. As a 1L, I am so so so terrified. Please don't let me screw this up.

Now obviously, I will have an attorney checking every single thing I do. And as a student I cannot give any type of legal advice at all. Even if I am asked to define what a fiduciary is, well there are rules as to what I can say. I can read the definition off of google, I cannot say well if "you . . ."

But still! I am going to be writing a will. And interviewing a client. Oh My God. Please save me. I'm so scared I will mess this up. But at the same time, so excited.

This is all my own fault too. I am the only 1L that signed up for this and although I was told that it would be highly unlikely that I would actually be assigned to a client, I had to go ahead and go to the training anyway. And then I had to personally contact the coordinator and express my willingness to do this. And then I had to go above and beyond and send an updated schedule as the program went along. They are taking a chance on me and I am very appreciative of the opportunity. I just am terrified of messing this up.  Even though there will be an attorney checking my work.

Please, if you are reading this, wish me luck!!! At the very least, it will make me feel better! Confidence is key.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.






Law School Makes You Lazy

Alternative Title: How to get more done in less time

I'm going to teach you a secret. If you are considering going to law school, paper plates will become your best friend. I mean, you still have to eat and your budget is definitely NOT going to allow you to eat out every day. There are going to be days where you have to decide whether to shower or walk the dog because you can't do both. On those days do you really want to forgo a few more precious minutes of sleep to do the dishes? I think not.

It's not environmental friendly but I use paper plates, plastic silverware, and cardboard coffee cups. Other than the silverware, I try to buy biodegradable products but I realize that I'll be making up for this for a very long time. It's worth it.

It gets worse. Not long after orientation, I started covering my cookie sheets with tinfoil. If the food doesn't touch the pan, it doesn't need to be washed. Right? Right. I have heard that you can fry an egg on parchment paper in your skillet so you won't even need to wash that pan. Now I haven't gone that far but I've considered it.

And did you know you can get crockpot liners? They are amazing. Throw a bag in there, cook your food and boom. At most you need to rinse the insert. Genius!

Say no to dishes. Say yes to showering.

You're welcome.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Die Memo Die!

I have no idea what I am doing or what this is supposed to look like.

I have a little over an hour to try to make this mess make sense. Then I am pouring myself the BIGGEST glass of wine ever.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

This is why law students get fat

My school's cafeteria has figured out that they make waaay more money if they close the cafeteria and have a BBQ out in the courtyard instead. They tried it last semester for one day a week and that was annoying enough. This semester they decided to only open the cafeteria two days a week and have BBQ the rest of the week. Why do I have a problem with it? Well one, I don't really like the BBQ options and two, I don't like the price. It is much more expensive than the BLT or grilled cheese I lived on last semester. We might be fancy pants law students but we are still students on a student budget. 

So this is my lunch for today. 


I was just going to eat the cheese crackers and Bugles but Lexis Nexis had a table out today with free chips and guac. Thank you Lexis!! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

When you hit the books ...

And they hit back. 


Yes, this all for this semester. Casebooks on the left (minus my torts book which is an online textbook) and supplement on the right. Yes, I will have read almost all of these by the time May comes along. Yes, I am very glad I am a reader by nature. How do non book lovers do it? 



Friday, January 23, 2015

Geeking out here

You know how some people add random actors on their facebook for the odd chance they'll actually accept and they can pretend they're friends with Jessica Alba or whoever? Yeah I totally do that with my favorite authors. And once I got one to accept, I suddenly got a whole bunch of other acceptances. Oh the power of mutual friends. 

Yes there is a point to this post other than that I am a total geek. 

My favorite author from when I was in elementary school responded on a post I made. I feel as close to famous as I ever want to be!

Okay, on second thought, this post is solely about how big of a geek I am. 

I'm okay with it. I own my geekiness. 

Research and Writing II

So I made it through my second week of my second semester of law school and I have my first legal brief due in a week. Only I don't have the faintest idea on how to write it. Fun eh? I think I am so lost because I chose to change professors for spring semester and I haven't figured out his teaching style yet or what he is looking for. Not to mention, we are switching from objective writing to persuasive. So much fun.

Actually, I do think it will be a lot more fun once I learn what I am supposed to be doing. Right now? Not so much. And my previous professor relied on lots and lots of examples while this professor is a lot more hands on, learn as you do it kind of guy. Both are really good professors though so that is a relief.

Well, I know what I will be doing this weekend. Let the googling commence now!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Whoops!

Quite possibly the biggest mistake I've made all week, including showing up at the notary without my ID, might be giving my neighbor girls a dollar.

So a few days ago, the neighbor girls were in their backyard and I was in mine letting my dog do her stuff. They asked if they could play with my dog and I told them that I only allow that if I'm around and I had stuff I had to do inside. (As a side note, although my dog is a sweetie pie, four year olds are notoriously prone to poking a dog in the eye and wondering why they don't like it.) They asked if they could help and so I let them take out the garbage from my wastebaskets and dust my coffee table. Then I gave them a dollar. Holy Cow was that a biiiiiiiiig mistake. Every single day since then I hear them calling for me over and over again until I come outside. And then they literally beg and beg and beg me to allow them to clean my house. And every time it is something different. Do you have dishes we can wash? We can wash your windows! Do you know how to make your bed? We can do that for you!! Now in general, I am more than happy to accommodate anyone begging to clean my house. Especially for nothing more than a dollar! However, these girls are just a little too young to actually do anything beyond taking stuff to the garbage. I've started saving small chores just for them like feeding the dog or watering the plant. But since it takes me just as long to direct them to these chores as to do them myself, I have to wonder why I can't turn those cute little faces down.

Kids are dangerous. Especially when they aren't even your kids.

Disclaimer: I always make them get permission from their parents before coming to my house or interacting with my dog. I'm an easy mark but I'm not stupid. :P

Edited to add: Apparently the dad was fed up with them begging to come clean my house and offered them a hundred dollars (literally put the cash on the table) to clean their room and they refused and said they like cleaning my house better. I do not understand kids.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Law School Supplements




So I had read about a billion books about law school before starting and I knew there were these things called supplements that every law student in the history of law students raved about. I am about to be the next one. THESE BOOKS ARE AMAZING AND YOU NEED THEM AND YOU WANT THEM AND YOU'RE GOING TO GO GET THEM!!!!! 

Seriously, I am sure there are very good reasons as to why law school is set up the way it is, but the end result is that you get to the end of the semester and Holy Mother Of God, you know NOTHING. It must be dark magic because I read every page assigned, took notes, went to class, took notes again, reviewed my notes at the end of every week and outlined. So I should have known quite a bit. Only what they teach you in class is only slightly related to what will be on the exam. And the casebook is a gazillion pages of cases with only a few paragraphs here and there that actually explains the connections between the cases. Nobody wants to wade through all of that AGAIN. So we turn to supplements. Beautiful Beautiful Supplements.

Since my exams were mostly multiple choice and short answer, the series that were the most helpful were Examples and Explanations and Questions and Answers.

Examples and Explanations - Oh these are beautiful. They explain in depth, everything important and then give you questions to practice on. When I was going over my outline and felt I was missing something on a topic, I'd head to the E&E first. Multiple choice, short answer or typical essay exams, this is the first book I go to. Depending on the class, you can even buy an old edition for around four dollars on Ebay. For Contracts and Civil Procedure, it's not a good idea. They have both changed too much in the last decade. However, for Criminal Law and Property, go ahead and buy the four dollar version instead of the forty dollar one. And ask your librarians because more than likely they'll have a bunch as well. I preferred my own copy because my school doesn't allow you to take them home but it may work for others.

Question and Answers - An entire book of multiple choice, true/false and short answer questions. This book is fabulous for that moment where you pretty much have your outline down and you just really, really, really, don't want to study anymore but you have to because the exam is in two days. Put your outline down and start working your way through this book. It takes you from the whole memorizing concepts part of studying to the whole actually using them and putting them in practice part. Just don't freak out if you're getting 7 out of 15 right on a section and go read the answers to find out why! I went through the Q&A for each of my classes the two days leading up to the exam and it really helped. If you only have essay exams, I would still say to go through this book but maybe push it forward to about a week before the exam so you can do practice essay questions.

I used other supplements as well, but those two were the most helpful for the majority of my classes. My professors really push the Understanding series but most of the time, they were written by the casebook author and at least for me, were nothing more than a condensed version of my casebook. And there weren't really any practice questions to see if you really understood what was going on. So far, I really like the Acing Property supplement when I don't understand something in my casebook and my 3L mentor gave me the Gilbert Law Summaries but I haven't done more than flip through it yet. We will have to see how it goes this semester.

Final Thoughts - I personally do not think I would have done very well my first semester if I had not bought or used supplements. They teach a subject in basically the same way as an undergrad course. They introduce a new topic and then go deeper in depth until you understand it all. No hiding the ball here!





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Friday, January 16, 2015

Waste of a Perfectly Good Friday

Man. Today sucked.
I'm not going to go into it all but basically I had a training thing today. I got there at 9am only to find out that only 30 people had RSVP'd (I was one of them) but over 70 people showed up. Meaning my training didn't even start until 1pm, all the food was eaten long before I made it through the line and the training people were so overwhelmed they kinda forgot to train my group at all. Oh, and they were wrong about the fact that the software could work on Macs and so my computer crashed halfway through and I was told to go to the computer lab and try to figure it out on my own. Oh and the lucky Window's people who got to stay, got the trainer to just give them the answers to the exam. So I was there from basically 9 am to 6pm and I managed to work my way to question 14 out of 40 while everyone else either got the training we were all supposed to get or in the case of my group, just got the answers.

Now I get to try to pass this thing over the weekend instead of trying to keep up with my classes.

Yay.

Space Cadet

Law School had made me unable to life. Yesterday I went to get something noterized and left my purse on my kitchen table. No Id, no notarizing. 
Today I was determined to not have a repeat of yesterday. I searched and searched for my purse. Finally found it in my car. My unlocked car. 

I can't life. And I need a wife. A 50's style housewife. I think as long as I share, my fiancé will understand. Right?

Classes Second Semester

Last semester I had Contracts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law and Research and Writing I. This semester I have Property, Constitutional Law, Torts and Research and Writing II.

After a week of classes, this is what I think, oh boy did I get lucky last semester. I am positive that I will be teaching myself Property and possibly Con Law and my Tort's professor scares me. When the school counselors hand me a stack of supplements after they hear my professor list, well I think that might be a bad sign.

R & W II is the class we have the oral argument in which causes me to try to hide under my bed. And it is at least three months away. Oh boy.

Plus, this semester we actually have issue spotting exams. This shouldn't be a big deal since it's a classic law school exam but having skipped out on it last semester, it makes me feel at a disadvantage.

However, the subject matter this semester is so far at least, very interesting. I like Con Law and Torts.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Goals For My First Semester of Law School

A long long time ago, way back last summer, I made a list of goals I wanted to accomplish while in Law School. And they weren't a bad list nor were they even bad goals. They had just one MAJOR problem, they were written before I got to law school and I had no idea what the heck I was doing. However, I adapted them as I went along to fit what I needed and I really do think that having a written list of what I wanted to accomplish really helped me. Even when they were highly unworkable. 

And I think that if I had waited until the first week of classes or even the first month, I would have been too overwhelmed to be as ambitious as I was. 

Daily Goals: 
  • Read and Brief cases for next day 
How I did: I consider this accomplished. I did most of the readings on the weekend instead of each day but I only came to class maybe two times without ALL of the reading done and never went to class having done none of the reading. Never used a pass. So I'm claiming this as a check. 
  • Read supplements
How I did: Ha. No. Or at least not during the semester. I used them EXTENSIVELY right before exams and I feel that I would not have done well at all without them but for the day to day topics, I didn't really need them to understand the class. I needed them to put the class into a cohesive whole and that worked much better at the end of the semester. Not a check but since it worked out better this way, it's not a failure either. 
    • Clean up notes
    How I did: Again, did not do so daily but tried to do so at the end of the week. It actually really helped me retain the information for the exam and I didn't really have to ever relearn any topic before the exam. Memorize yes, relearn no. So I say check for this as well. 
      • Outline for one class
      How I did: Basically copy what I said about my notes and put it here for outlining. I ended up outlining as I went at the end of each week for most of the semester. It got pushed to the side once I started working on my final memo but once I was done with that, it only took me a couple hours to catch up. In my opinion, so much better than outlining at the end. Another not really but I say yes, check. 
        • Get to class 15 minutes early to review notes
        How I did: Hahahahahahahaha. No. Not even once. (other than the first day) This is definitely not a check and it did bite me in the butt a few times. At one point, I got ahead on my reading (I read for the week during the weekend before, Prof got sick and canceled class) and so by the time we covered it in class I hadn't seen it in two weeks. Did I read over my notes before class? Nope. Who got called on three times? This girl. Was it a disaster? Oh yeah. 
          • Lexis Nexis/Westlaw/Cali
          How I did: I don't even know what I meant by this one. I think I was hoping to rack up a billion Lexis points? But I don't know. Either way, I definitely did not log on to these every day and I can't think of any reason why I would. So no check on this. 
            Goals for the Semester
            • Keep up with the reading
            How I did: Check!
              • Some sort of exam prep each week
              How I did: Really, only if you count my outlining and cleaning up my notes. I did find it helpful but when I wrote it, I meant practice questions or hypos. So as I meant it when I wrote it, no. 
                • Lift weights once a week
                How I did: Hahaha. No. I didn't workout even ONCE since school started. Which explains the 10 pounds I gained last semester. 
                  • Cardio or walk once a week
                  How I did: Same as above. No
                    • Visit each Professor's office hours at least twice
                    How I did: I did for every class except Crim Law which I only made it to once. For the most part, we didn't even talk about the class but it was one way for me to break myself of the big state school, it's better to be invisible, mentality. I'm claiming mostly a check on this one.
                      • Practice hypos starting a month in. 
                      How I did: As I had no exams with hypos, no. But as it wasn't necessary for my classes it isn't a failure either. I am putting this on my goal list for this semester. 
                        • Reread Getting to Maybe
                        How I did: Basically the same answer as above. 
                          • Two Networking Events a Semester
                          How I did: Yup! I thought this one would be really hard but my school is amazing at networking events. Not only are there many opportunities, but many of them are actually fun. And have food or alcohol. Or both. Hello networking!
                            • Start getting ahead of the reading by the end of October
                            How I did: Well, okay yes. Technically yes, I was ahead by the end of October. However, as I fell behind in November because of my final memo and a total lack of motivation, I say no check. Booo. 
                              • Resume ready by December 1st
                              How I did: Yup Yup Yup. Not only did I have my legal resume ready, I had it looked over by career services AND entered it into a resume builder thingy and had an attorney review it. Super Check!
                                • Outlines Ready before Thanksgiving
                                How I did: Yes! I loved my do a little each week method. Genius! 
                                  • Ultimate Goal: Top 10 percent!
                                  How I did: It's a secret. Even from me. But maybe? I mean, that's better than "Pah. You? Please." So we will see. Also, as a side note, I almost didn't post this goal because it sounds so pretentious. But it was/is a goal of mine and I know that I am not the only law student that has this goal so hopefully no one will hold it against me. 

                                  I'll get into my year, summer, and graduation goals later. 

                                  Overall, I think I did okay. I changed the things that needed to be changed but the ultimate reason behind the goals were accomplished. Except for the whole working out thing. That I just plain failed at. 

                                  I highly advise people to write a goal list before starting law school. Yes, it will not work out how you expect it to. Yes, you will have to correct it as you go along. Yes, there will be things that you fail at. However, it is a really clear way of reminding you what is important and it helps you prioritize. One reason why I failed so badly at the working out thing was that for me, it was the least important and least enjoyed. For others, they could never go a whole semester without working out. But my me time of reading a novel every week would have made them cry. Some people feel that reading for fun is insane with our heavy reading load. What is with that? 

                                  What ever your particular goals are, try writing them down. Keep them handy! I put mine on my phone but if that doesn't work for you, tape them to your wall, put them in your car, set up weekly emails of them to yourself. If I can say anything about law school, it is that if it works, do it. If it doesn't, try something else.