Sunday, November 28, 2010


My sister-in-law sent out an email discussing all the reasons she is thankful this year. And she made me cry. She'll deny the whole thing of course. It's not often you know where you stand with your in-laws, so it was nice to be included on her list. It inspired me to do my own post, although it's a few days late.

First, I am grateful for my husband. He does all these amazing things that I just don't think I could do. He works 50 hours a week. He goes to the gym at 5am so he will have enough time to get in a full workout and still come home to relieve me around 5pm. He takes care of Abby and the house and doesn't make me feel guilty (I do that all by myself!). He is really an incredible person and I cannot believe how lucky I am to have him. Also, he's hot.

I'm grateful to have The Most Amazing baby ever. She is getting so big. I love the way she calls me "Mommy" and gives me hugs and kisses. Also, she's not even two yet and she knows almost the entire alphabet by sight. So smart and so sweet, and she's almost never grumpy.

I'm grateful for my parents, and how much they love Abigail. They take her for weekends to give us a break, and they completely adore it. It's not a chore to them, it's a privilege. I'm grateful that my father and I can have conversations even when we differ, and that my mom is still my best friend.

I'm grateful for my siblings-in-law. My sister and I are for the most part estranged, and I rarely get to see my older brother. My siblings-in-law (and their spouses) are so nice and are always happy to see us. They love Abigail (even those who aren't particularly into kids) and help out when they can. I wish we could see them more, but that's what happens when you live an hour away. Seeing them at Sunday dinner is always a treat. They are talented, funny, and fiercely smart people.

I'm grateful for my parents-in-law. They are two of the most kind and generous people I've ever met. I know that should I need them for anything, I can call them up and they will help, no questions asked.

I'm grateful for my school friends. What an amazing journey I've begun, and with all these smart and compassionate people! In particular, I am grateful for Lola. I had all but given up on having a best friend until she came along. That is not to speak unkindly about my other friends, it's just that I've never had such a close connection with someone. I actually ACHED for her over Thanksgiving break. I don't know how I will survive summer!

I'm grateful for law school. I am so lucky to do something I feel so passionately about every day. I love the challenge, the interesting discussions, and the stress. I feel valued and valuable, and like I'm doing something that matters. I can't believe I almost didn't go.

Finally, I am grateful for this life I live. Things are scary in so many parts of the world, and even here, at times. I am lucky to have my first-world problems and the resources to help others. Right now my biggest problem is I ate too much Chicken Parmesan. See? First world problems.

Right now we are trying to figure out which charities we want to donate to, and it's a struggle. We can only choose two, and we may not be able to give that much. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to tell if you are suffering from temporary multiple personality study disorder.

1. You are super excited to hand in your memo and be done with it. Until you realize it means you have to prepare for exams.

2. You feel a surge of energy as you begin to prepare your outlines. Until you discover your first exam is CivPro. Yuck.

3. You cannot wait to crack open the commercial outlines you bought and let their wisdom flow into you. Until you realize your professor is the crazy one who uses a completely different casebook and focuses on different cases than those in the outlines.

4. You excitedly start counting down the days to the end of the semester. Until you start counting down the days to the end of the semester. WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?!?! I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME! GAHHHH!!!

5. You loathe the idea of applying for jobs already. Until you realize preparing your resume is a good distraction from studying.

6. You responsibly vow to avoid Facebook so you can focus. Until you realize you're desperate to see if your classmates are panicking too, so you hop on Facebook.

7. On the day of the Big Game you decide to watch with friends and take a break. Until you start arguing that Official Play Review is sort of like binding arbitration. Hey, Cougars, you AGREED that the official's call would be binding! SUCK IT!

8. You wisely decide to forgo alcohol while studying. Until you go over Subject Matter Jurisdiction and pray that a glass of wine will wipe it all out again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Courtroom Drama

Yesterday was a very exciting day, when I was expecting it to be boring. Before I tell the tale, you should know a little background information.

First, there is a huge huge huge trial going on at our local Federal courthouse. It's in the news and everything, whoo. This means a huge media presence. It just so happens Lola had to go to court to observe for her CivPro class, so I offered to tag along with her.

Second, a couple weeks ago I attended a lecture given by one of my professors. He'd written an article about the whole foreclosure mess and what is being called "split note theory." It was gaining a lot of media attention, and the lecture was really interesting. I felt all riled up.

So we arrive yesterday at the Federal courthouse and the place is completely deserted. Thursday at 3 is the time to be there if you want to see nothing. Although the security guys were very nice and chatty with us. While waiting for them to unlock the court, we parked ourselves on a bench. The big trial had been over for hours (well, for that day anyway) and it seemed like everyone had gone home. The judge we were observing had only this one motion hearing and she was done for the day. I watched as a young guy in a suit walked down the hall, looked over at us for a second, and then walked into a room marked "Private." I heard him say "Are you ready?" The door closed, and about five minutes later it opened again. Out walked the defendant in this big huge case, in handcuffs. The guy in the suit, who I am assuming was counsel, walked with him as he was led away by a guard. I guess they waited to take him back to the jail until after the circus had gone.

It was sort of like seeing a celebrity. He looked me right in the eye and it was a very unsettling feeling.

After that a bailiff came by and unlocked the courtroom to let us in. We sat down and a few minutes later an attorney came in. He asked if we were with opposing counsel's firm. We told him we were students and asked if we could get the info on the case since we had a few minutes. He began describing the facts, which were all about the exact topic that my professor had written in his review article. What are the odds? So we already knew about it, and that doesn't happen a lot in 1L.

Opposing counsel (plaintiff) came in. They presented their arguments, and I have to say the plaintiff's counsel was very very good. He argued well. I recognized much of his language from the lecture, and I was pretty sure I had seen him there. It turns out he is a major player in this particular theory, and my professor quotes him in the review article.

After the hearing we asked if we could get some info from him, identified ourselves as students of Professor K, and he was very nice. He gave us some documents to look over and told us Professor K is considering getting a pro bono clinic related to foreclosures going at the school. I am definitely interested in that. We were so lucky to get to attend a hearing based on subject matter we are familiar with.

Plus, there was some drama which I won't go into, out of respect for all parties. Let's just say, lawyers are remarkably civil to each other and to judges at times when I would really want to scream and stamp my feet like a toddler.

The day ended with some shopping, which made it a very good one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pencil Head

My K professor always wears a pencil in his ear. Someone today decided to pass around a pack of yellow pencils as a prank. We all stuck them behind our ears. Professor K thought it was funny but quickly moved on.

I don't know who it was, but I tip my pencil to them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to Tell It's the End of the Semester

How to tell if it's the end of the semester:

1. Even the nicest girl in school can piss you off by doing nothing wrong at all.

2. Little noises (like my friend's computer fan which whirrrrrrr whirrr whirrrs constantly all through class) start to sound like a drumline standing next to you.

3. You find yourself more willing to gossip about people and be catty, just to talk about something other than school.

4. Even the Luv Sac in the lounge that no one sits on because of The Incident a few years ago starts to look inviting. I could really use a nap, so...

5. You suddenly do not care if you get an "'Atta boy!" from the professors. And yet cling to the ones you do get like they are the last bit of oxygen in the tank.

6. Diet Coke for lunch, which used to seem insane, now seems perfectly healthy. And luxurious!

7. Exercise, which you normally hate, is sounding really good. At least it's not CivPro.

8. You want to punch Cardozo in the face. Or Andrews. Or any judge, really. Except the one that might give you a job this summer. That judge is awesome.

9. You feel a strange tension between your Perfectionist self and your "Aww Fuck it" self.

10. You dream aliens invade your house. And they offer to let you come to their home planet so you sell all your worldly possessions and then they leave you behind. So you want to sue them claiming you detrimentally relied on their promise. Or something like that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Much of the 1L experience is spent slogging through cases and just trying to survive. This naturally leads to complaining. I use my blog to vent and the writing process helps me sort out issues and relieve stress. That said, sometimes it's just difficult to get passionate about things when you're in survival mode.

Now and then, however, you find something to grab onto. You feel inspired and that surge of energy that comes with inspiration pushes you on and reminds you about why you've decided to go to law school.

While I am not looking forward to applying for summer jobs (we're being told to start preparing now), a few events have helped motivate me in the past week.

First, we had an exoneree come and speak at the school. What an amazing story he had to tell. The injustices felt by wrongfully convicted persons are appalling. Parolees get more consideration from the State than exonerees, yet the trauma of being wrongfully convicted certainly merits the same psychological and financial relief afforded to parolees. I had already been planning to do the Innocence Clinic as soon as I'm allowed, and this furthered my resolve. I hadn't previously considered doing defense work, but the more events I attend the more appealing it seems to be.

We also had a fantastic event by one of my favorite professors, who had been receiving national attention for some law review articles he'd recently written about the foreclosure crisis. I had no idea some of the things going on, and it was pretty disturbing. It was thrilling to see the passion this professor had about his research and the cause in general. I want to find my own niche in the legal world.

If I have a prayer of getting onto law review, which I may not even care about were it not the best way to get into academia, I better start caring about something now. It's hard to write if you don't have passion.

I certainly do not have passion for my legal memo. I am horrified that it will be given out with my resume as a writing sample, because I didn't choose the topic. You inevitably write less well when you aren't interested in the subject. Were this a paying client (or a worthy pro bono cause) I would have a much more vested interest.

What? You think a good grade in the course should produce that level of interest?

Perhaps, but while I can do great on the memo and get a great grade, passion leads to BRILLIANT writing and that is what I want to showcase to my future employers.

I am hoping to take a class with a writing requirement that will allow me to work on something interesting that I can use instead. I don't think my employers want to read about common law marriage. YUCK.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Smack my B***tch Up

Today I made that CivPro midterm my bitch. I was really nervous about it, but it went really well. It was ungraded, but simulated the actual exam so closely that I got some good experience in. I worked out some little bugs with the Exam4 software and feel more comfortable using it now. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but add the stress of an exam and EVERY LITTLE THING makes you freak out.

I think I did really well on it. I was worried that my outline wouldn't be user-friendly, which is why I opted to do the exam. It worked fine, although I could pick out the holes in it (the days I didn't prepare for class, of course). I'll work on those over Thanksgiving. I need to get more familiar with the Rules we've been studying this week, since I've been basically stoned on cold medicine the whole week. It's amazing how little I comprehend when I'm taking medicine.

Today I took some daytime medicine and had the jitters all through my exam. Probably adrenaline and probable DRUGZ.

Tomorrow is the legal research final. We have so much information to go over but I am determined that I will ROCK IT.

I think we're getting our memo rough drafts back tomorrow. That will be nice, because I can get to work on it and be done. Career services bummed me out today when they said our memo will be the writing sample we use to apply for jobs this winter. I was so looking forward to being done with it forever. I'll have to be really dedicated and revise it extensively so that it's something I'm proud of.

Night all! Wish me luck tomorrow!