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


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!


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.


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. 

                                    Monday, January 12, 2015

                                    Thanks Law School - Thanks Obama

                                    Today is the first day of my second semester of law school. 

                                    Today is the day I found my first gray hair. 

                                    Coincidence? I think NOT. 

                                    Saturday, January 10, 2015


                                    Grades came out!! 

                                    Grades are so weird in Law School. First of course, is the whole the curve can hurt you thing. That leads to the whole class competing against each other and that leads to an unspoken pact to keep your grades secret from each other. In general, close friends will probably talk about their grades but it's iffy. It's much more likely for people to say how they feel about their grades instead of what their grades actually were. 

                                    I feel okay about my grades, could have been better but could have been worse. No, no, no. I read a lot of blogs about 1L year before I started and most blogs followed the unspoken rule. It's true that someone from my class could figure out who I am from reading this blog. I'm just not sure it matters. I don't make fun of classmates and I don't go around starting drama. 

                                    *deep breath* I got two 3.25's and two 4.0's. We haven't gotten the distribution of grades yet or our ranking but I was obviously above the curve in the classes I got a 4.0 in and I think slightly above the curve in the other two. But only slightly. Our curve for first year courses is set at a 3.0 so most people will get a 2.75 to a 3.25. What that means for my ranking I have no idea. But I feel that I'm doing fine. 

                                    Also, I have been talking to friends in  other law schools and they are so amazed that we got our grades the week before school starts back up. One of my friends won't get them until the first week of February! Another doesn't know when she'll get hers. I am so relieved that I get to start spring semester knowing that I didn't fail all of my classes and flunked out of law school. Whew!

                                    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

                                    The CRASH After Finals

                                    Wow. I knew I was burning the candle from both ends during the semester but I had no idea how hard I would fall apart after finals. I basically went home and then didn't leave my bed until this week. Well, except for Christmas Day.
                                    I've read over 60 books since my last final. I wish I could say I was exaggerating but I counted. 60 full length books! The number of hours I spent reading all those books must show how few hours I was actually out of my bed. Very few. 

                                    Since my medical bills this semester ate my flying home budget, I really wasn't planning to do anything for Christmas. I mean, I'm here in Florida by myself and my family is 3,500 miles away. What was the point of celebrating by myself? However, a friend from law school was horrified and dragged me to her family's house. I'm glad I went. They're Italian so I had a ravioli dinner and wine. Lots and lots of wine. 

                                    School starts in six days and I am so not ready. I have my books but haven't opened them. My house is a mess and my dog has fleas. It is time for me to pull up my big girl panties and get to work.  

                                    Here's to my second semester of law school!