Friday, January 29, 2016

Casebook rainbow

I still follow the multicolor highlighting method. If it works, why fix it?

Besides, it's pretty. :)

Just in case you're curious:
Green are the facts
Pink is law and reasoning
Blue is the question or issue in the case 
Yellow is the holding or conclusion
Purple is concurrance or policy 
Orange is dissent

I also write in the margins a lot. Especially on confusing cases or those with antiquated language. 

Highlighting helps keep me from passively reading and the different colors keeps me from just highlighting everything (another way to read passively.) A nice side benefit, if I get called on, I can usually find the answer faster than the people frantically trying to search their case brief. My first semester, I still typed it all up in my class notes outline but now I try to keep each case under 3-4 sentences. At this point, that's all I need for finals but that sure wasn't the case when I first started. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Generally, I have no problem with my computer's battery dying while I'm at school so I never bring my charger with me. Yesterday, I really should have brought my charger. About seven minutes before my last class let out, I got the notification that I should shut my computer or it would go into sleep mode soon. Okay, no problem. I shut it and finished my notes by hand. I went home and charged my laptop. Only instead of turning on like normal, it wouldn't let me sign on! I googled (on my phone) the problem and was told to force a shutoff and try again. So I did. Nope. Wouldn't work. Finally had to do a repair start and it let me in but even then, it wasn't working right. I couldn't access any of my documents or even safari. I thought it was due to how I had to start up so shut down correctly this time and tried again. That didn't work either. Finally, after numerous google searches and one or two tears, it just randomly corrected itself and got back to acting properly. I checked my files and other than losing some of today's notes and such, I'm good to go.

I have no idea what the problem was but I was/am freaking out! This computer holds my life in it's hands. Even though it is only the third week of classes, I have pages and pages of notes. I also have my internship work on there which is irreplaceable. I do back up regularly but for me, that is about once a week. A weeks worth of work would still be TERRIBLE.

It's been hours and I'm still shaking.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

If You Wear Pants, You Will Die

So yesterday I was doing the client interview for the wills event I'm a part of. This meant I had to wear a suit. I've finally gotten so used to it that I don't even notice. However, yesterday when I woke up, it was in the high 30's or low 40's. Do you think I wanted to wear a skirt in that kind of weather?? No Way!

I know I've written about how the school occasionally sends emails that explain the proper dress code for interviews or networking events. This email is always very careful to explain proper dress for both men and women but there is always a section that explains that some people do not approve of women in pants. If a women were to wear pants, they may not get a job and terrible things could happen.

I find this ridiculous. I have always thought it was ridiculous but I want a job. Hence, I wear skirt suits. Yesterday though, there was no way I was going to wear a skirt. Blue and shaking is not a good look on me. So as I was getting dressed in pants, I told Fiancé that I felt like such a rebel.

He asked me what the school really thought was the worst thing that could happen if I wore pants. My response was death. He thought I was joking so I walked him through it.

If you wear pants, someone might not hire you. If you don't get a job after graduation, you won't have any money. If you don't have any money, you won't be able to afford a place to live. If you're jobless and homeless you'll have to hide under a bridge. If you're living under a bridge, you might die.

Hence, pants = death.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Busy Week

So in the upcoming week I have to:

  1. Write a two page paper for my Cuba class.
  2. Write a discussion post for my Advanced Legal Research class. 
  3. Conduct a fake interview with a friend for my Estate Planning class.
  4. Write a Finding of Fact and Engagement letter for Estate Planning.
  5. Conduct a real interview with a veteran to write his will. (Program though the elder law program at my school to give us real world experience.)
  6. Actually write his will. 
  7. Meet with my interviewing and counseling group to divvy up our group assignment (due the first week of February.)
  8. Put in 10 to 20 hours on a research project for my internship.
  9. All my reading and other materials for all six of my classes. 
  10. Appointment with Career Development to figure out what the heck I am doing this summer. 
They say that your 2L year they work you to death and I'm starting to see their point.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Strange Obsession

I'm not sure what is in the air but I have wanted to go camping so so bad for over a year now. I haven't gone in probably a decade but when I was a kid, we went camping a lot. And even when we didn't, my stepdad threw a tent up every summer for us kids and I would sleep outside pretty much every day from the middle of June until August.

If I could, I'd drop everything and go tonight. Unfortunately, two things are stopping me. One, I no longer have any gear and I don't have camping friends nearby to borrow from. Have you seen how expensive some of this stuff can be? The other thing stopping me is that my fiancé hates the idea of camping. It took me over a year of regularly bringing it up before he'd even consider it. And I had to bribe him. I think the only thing that finally got him to consent was I found a campground that is right on the beach and it has an off the leash dog park/beach. And it's close enough to our house that if it starts to rain, he could turn around and go home.

I could go two ways with this. Get the bare minimum that I personally would be fine with and probably never see Fiancé camp again. Or I could try this whole glamping thing and see if I can get him to actually like camping. I've been looking around Pinterest for ideas and it seems like small, inexpensive upgrades could make it a lot more fun for both of us. A little extra comfort, romantic lighting and cute touches I could bring from home seems doable.

I doubt we will be able to go anytime soon but I am going to start haunting craigslist to see if I can find some starter gear. Maybe if I start now, we can go next year. Besides, that'll give Fiancé some time to get used to the idea.

If you were a non-camper, what would make it more fun for you? And please don't say "staying at home!"

Saturday, January 16, 2016

This is not helping my motivation problem

So I have a schedule of when I'm supposed to do what for which class. Yesterday I failed at finishing the reading for evidence so I need to do that today plus my other class preparation. 

Someone doesn't think I need to read for evidence today. I know she's wrong but I don't really want to argue with her either. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I may have made a terrible mistake

So I knew this semester was going to be time intensive but I didn't realize it was going to be this time intensive. I thought my estate planning class was more a traditional law course and because the professor did not send out the syllabus until yesterday, I had no way of learning otherwise. Well, once I looked at the assignments, I immediately started to hyperventilate. We have two memo's due, numerous letters, wills, advance directives etc and a 20 minute presentation!

This is on top of my other classes where I have weekly writing assignments, presentations and projects. I am seriously considering dropping a class in order to make this work but the classes I would be able to drop are all mandatory classes for the elder law concentration. So . . . I feel stuck. Take them now or take them my last semester. Either way is going to suck.

I guess the only good thing about this is that I'll only have two exams but . . . I think I'd rather have an exam.

Please help a law student. Send redbull.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I feel like a Wizard

I'm not one of those super obsessed coupon queens. Every once in a while I'll go through and cut out the products I actually use but then I don't really go out looking to use them. If I'm planning on buying it anyway, most the time I go oh wait, I have a coupon for that. If instead I carry it around until it expires, well, I'm not too worried about it. I obviously didn't really need it now did I.

However, a few weeks ago, I was at CVS buying toothbrushes and saw that if I spent just a dollar more, I would get 6 dollars in extrabucks. Wasn't too sure how that worked so I googled it real quick and went, huh. It shows up on your receipt and you just spend it like cash. I can do that. So I just added some mouthwash and poof done. I'm sure they're betting that you'll either lose the receipt or forget to bring it with you before it expires but I just taped it to my wall by my door. You could also just leave it in your car.

So then I waited until I needed something that CVS carried. It ended up being mascara and so I went to see if my newspaper had any mascara coupons. Sure enough it did! Then I got excited about how cheap my mascara was going to be and thought, hmm. Wonder if CVS has an app. Of course it does, and if you download it, you get 5 dollars off. SCORE! So I grabbed my extrabucks and my coupon and off I went to go buy some makeup. While I was there, I saw that Covergirl (which I had a coupon for) had another extrabuck deal if I bought two eye products. It happens that I ran out of eyeliner a couple months ago so why not grab one of those too? Especially since I had too many coupons and not enough cost.

This is how it broke down.
$9.29 - Liquid eyeliner
$9.99 - Mascara
-$6.00 - Extrabucks
-$2.00 - Manufacture coupon from the Newspaper
-$5.00 - From downloading the app.
So my total was $6.28 plus tax. But then, on my receipt I got another 5 dollars extrabucks! If I add that all up, I got 18 dollars off! Assuming I use it, I basically only spent 2 dollars and some change (because of tax) on 20 dollars of makeup. That's like dollar store prices on name brand stuff. Whoo hoo.

I'm not too worried about forgetting to use it because I have to go to CVS every 3 weeks to pick up my prescription anyway and extrabucks don't expire for a month. You don't have to spend any actual money in order to use it so if I'm cutting it close, I'll just grab it when I go to the pharmacy and pick up candy or soda or something. Sweet deal yo! Even if worse comes to worse and I don't use it, I still saved 13 dollars and I think that is a pretty sweet deal too.

I know there are people out there who would laugh at me because they manage to use so many coupons that their total is zero but I'm just not that serious about it. I also don't have the storage room to go and buy something if I don't need it right now.

But now that I know how FUN it is, I'm sure I'm going to do it again.

Monday, January 11, 2016

First Day Of My Second Half Of Law School

Wow! I'm finally on the downward slope of my law school experience. It has both taken forever and gone by in a snap of my fingers. Time is funny that way.

Even with all my house guests in the last few days, I still managed to get the majority of my reading and class work for the week done. The only reason I managed it is because my brain has developed a glitch where I can only sleep six hours. This would be great if I only needed six hours but I definitely need more. But it did give me more time to get my work done so I won't complain too much. This is why we buy coffee after all.

This semester is going to seem more like undergrad than ever before. I have three classes that require weekly assignments. My Cuba class requires a writing assignment every week except this one. My advanced legal research class is the same except this week does count. However, I deserve a pat on the back because I already finished it last night. YAY me! Four days early. Then my interviewing and counseling class has many weekly assignments. Mock interviews, "firm" projects, meeting etc. Ay Ay Ay.

Add my job and my internship and I'm am going to be busy busy busy!

The only class I could not prepare for is Estate Planning and that is because he hasn't sent us a syllabus or reading assignment yet! ARG!!! My school has the least efficient procedure for giving first assignments ever. We have four platforms that professors can use to give them to us: An online assignment board that is only used for the first class assignments, blackboard, Twen through Westlaw, or by email. And every new semester, we have to keep checking each one to find out which professor uses what. But this time, I've checked them all everyday and nada for estate planning. It is the first day of classes professor! I know we don't have class until Thursday but come on!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The next best thing to a visit home

So I've now been in Florida for a year and a half now and haven't even made one trip back home. This week, I don't feel so far away. We had two friends from our undergrad visit only a couple days apart. One came directly from Washington but the other moved to Miami long before we ever considered moving here.

We had a ton of fun showing our never-been-to-Florida friend around town. I'm pretty sure he took over a thousand pictures and he just couldn't get over the warmth (it was the coldest temp we've had all year but he thought it was warm. I was freezing!) and the palm trees and the beaches. It really reminded me how lucky I am to live in paradise! While he was here, I think we managed maybe 4 hours of sleep over three days. Maybe 5. Maybe. We'd sleep a couple hours and then he'd drag us back out to the beach.

Our Miami friend was great to see too! We didn't do the touristy stuff with him for obvious reasons so we just hung out and talked all weekend long. It was awesome. He couldn't get over how cheap drinks were compared to Miami so we went to more than a couple bars. I really should have been preparing for classes on Monday but I managed to get a day or so done before he got here and I'm going to work on it all day today. So it could have been worse and it was so so so worth it.

Now I'm off to watch a video for my Cuba class. I need to find a Florida/Cuban connection that I want to discuss with the class. Hmmm.  Any ideas?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Florida Broke Us

So all last year while Fiancé was in Washington and I was here in Florida, he made fun of me for turning on the heat the second it dropped into the 60's. And I got it. He was dealing with 12 degree weather and two feet of snow. However, I also tried to explain to him how quickly Florida breaks your internal concept of cold. Long story short, he didn't believe me until this week when it dropped to the 50's. He's only been in Florida since the end of August but that was apparently enough time for Florida to do it's thing.

He has been freezing right along side me. We are the idiots wearing coats and thick wool socks in the mid-60's. They make memes after us. Two years ago, I would have been right there laughing along. Somehow it just feels so much colder when you're not used to it. One week it was 80, the next, 50-60 degrees. In my head, I know that it isn't that cold. But my fingers and nose and toes disagree. My teeth even chatter!

Florida, what have you done to us???

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's that time again - UGH

But at the end of the semester, I get this beautiful masterpiece. Yay?

Unlike many law students, I don't start my outline at the end of the semester as an exam review. Instead, I start the semester with the table of contents in outline form and add to it each week with my in class and reading notes. I also color code it as I go. Black is from the book, blue is from the professor's lecture, red is anything regarding the exam and brown is anything I added from a supplement. Yes, it sounds over-attentive and nitpicky but it works for me. Plus, if only I had a dollar for every time a classmate asked me, "So I have "this" in my notes (from class) but the book is saying "that." What do you have?" It's very helpful to know when the professor disagrees with the book!

The only downside of my note taking? It has to start before class begins and even before you crack open the book. My first semester, I typed it all by hand and Holy Batman did that take a long time. Finally, I figured out that many publishers post the table of contents online so I could just copy and paste and then put it into outline form. Even with my new and approved method, it still takes me a few hours for each class.

So that is what I have been doing ALL night long. It's currently 5 am and I have one and a half outlines started. Since I have six classes, this should scare me but I think only three need an outline. I'm taking Evidence (needs an outline), Advanced legal research, Estate Planning (needs an outline), Remedies (needs an outline), Interviewing and Counseling, and Cuban Legal System. I only have three traditional law school exams because Advanced legal research has a end of the semester project, interviewing and counseling has an in person exam and the Cuba class has a paper at the end of the semester after our Cuba trip.

As soon as this is done, I can start reading for next week.

Oh joy.