Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fitness Challenge and Family Pictures

Here is the status of the fitness challenge. Mostly it's not even started yet, we're starting tomorrow. Some people hadn't gotten back to me with their goals so I decided to delay it a bit. Things often don't go to plan, but I am still going to lose the weight so I don't care if other people need to procrastinate.

My progress thus far is pretty non-existent. I haven't worked out that many times, but I've been more mindful of my eating. During school I stopped buying lunches and started making them. This weekend I put some jeans on I haven't worn in months. I weigh the same, but I seem to be a bit thinner. I'll have to get on the ball if I want to lose some pounds.

Finding time to work out is really difficult. My schedule is ridiculous, but here is what I am trying to aim for:

Monday Evening
Tuesday Afternoon
Thursday Afternoon
Friday Afternoon

Then on the weekend do at least one physical activity with the family.
This weekend we're going to take Abby and go to a corn maze! It should
be awesome.

Last weekend we got some family pictures taken. I think they're a good way to gauge where I am and where I hope to be.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Yesterday was the beginning of the fitness challenge. I got up at 7 to run on the new treadmill, only to discover that I couldn't find my inhaler. For the first month or so that I'm getting in shape I need to use my inhaler about half an hour before working out. Not a great start to the challenge! My goal is to lose 30 lbs in 90 days. It will be hard and I already feel like I need to step it up. It's only been one day! I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

The new treadmill is great. When I got home from work last night I went downstairs. It was TOUGH to drag myself down there, I was so tired. I watched last week's episode of How I Met Your Mother while I ran, so I was plenty entertained, but passed out on the couch immediately after dinner.

I feel like I never get enough sleep. We sent Abby off to Nana and Papa's house for the weekend and got plenty of sleep, which oddly made us feel worse. Last night after working out I had a little nap, then got up and got ready for bed. I didn't get to sleep until 12:30 or so, then had to get up at 6:30 and get to class by 7. I hate morning classes. I'm tired, but I feel better than I normally do. Maybe the exercise helped?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This week I had a bit of a nervous breakdown. I was hormonal from taking Clomid (which did not work on the first try, sadly) and feeling generally overwhelmed. Abigail is so amazing, I have a hard time imagining having another kid. I sort of love our little family just how it is, but I think another one would be great too. It’s just hard because with trouble ovulating, school, being over 30 (I know, I’m still young, but I worry. Do you know the odds of having a Downs baby after 30? Google it. It scares me.) and everything else going on I was just feeling very stressed. I talked to my husband about it and we decided that with my weight (nearly as high as it was when I delivered Abby) and stress levels I need to do something or I will be in trouble in the future. I have about fifty pounds to lose and all efforts to make positive changes have failed. I have great intentions, but a workout routine just never seems to materialize. If I can’t do it in law school, how am I supposed to do it when I’m an attorney? Not to mention that pregnancy will go a lot better if I’m not a) so out of shape any effort induces asthma symptoms and b) so fat that the baby is statistically more likely to be large and my chances of gestational diabetes go up. I’m actually having trouble sleeping at night due to my weight.

Recently, like within the last two months or so, my abdominal muscles gave up. I now have that Thing that fat people have. Up to now, I have managed to skate by with the weight distributed all over. This means I may be considered “obese” but because I’m tall with a small waist and big boobs I still look pretty damn good naked. Now, The Thing has appeared. You know The Thing. People at bargain basement stores in sweats driving around on little motorized shopping carts have it. People who’ve had multiple pregnancies (at once I mean) have it (provided they don’t get free tummy tucks like Kate Gosselin did, the lucky duck!). The Thing is what those 80 dollar Lane Bryant jeans are intended to hide. I really wish I had bought those instead of the 30 dollar equivalent at another store. The Thing is what you USED to grab onto when you were a skinny teenager and you relaxed your stomach muscles, because it was dramatic to pretend it was fat and not relaxed muscle and skin, and now I can grab it even when I’m flexing my hardest and standing up straight. It HANGS. I had gotten quite used to nothing HANGING. Are you disturbed? Because I am. Enough to do something about it. I just hope my body can recover, I’d hate to start selling myself in exchange for plastic surgery.

Today I bought a treadmill. I’m not sure if I have blogged about our last treadmill and how it tried to KILL every person in my family, but suffice it to say it got returned to the store. I felt defeated (and pissed) and decided I needed to go to a gym instead. I’m pretty sure that was almost two years ago now. This new treadmill is SO pretty. It has an iPod jack and built in speakers and it does interval training. Do you know what that is (and how awesome it is)? Basically, it makes you go slow/fast slow/fast over and over to help you build cardiovascular endurance. This is the best and quickest way to train your lungs and prevent asthma attacks. It helps you be able to suddenly do stairs without passing out. And, it’s great for weight loss. Just when you catch your breath, it’s time to run again. You don’t feel bored, because your pace changes every minute. Some people prefer incline intervals, but I like speed intervals. The point is, this is the kind of training I like. If I’m going to form a new habit, it needs to be something I like. Once I’m in good enough shape, we can talk about doing the kind I don’t like, but for now, I’m just going to set some goals. I would really like to run a mile without stopping. And then 2 miles, then 3, and so on.

I’ve been thinking of starting a Biggest Loser competition with my friends, only instead of competing for most amount lost, we just compete to meet our individual goals. If you meet your goal, you win. If you don’t, you lose. And then the winners divvy up the prizes. I’m worried about trademark though, anyone have a suggestion for a parody of the name? How about Biggest Schmoozer?
Anyway, that plus lots of law school is what is up with me.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Obviously Mondays are difficult. This week is especially difficult because this weekend was The Game. Our big rivalry game happens every year and since our rival is a church-owned school the game is known as The Holy War. I think that's a bit silly, because we have plenty of religious people at our school, but we're still known as "the heathens." I made sure to live up to this title with copious amounts of tequila all weekend. I was hoping I was pregnant but feeling decidedly NOT, so I decided to take the risk. I took a test last night and it was negative, although it was a bit early. I still don't think I'm pregnant, so I won't let the 10-plus margaritas make me feel guilty. It was a lot of fun, although I was beginning to feel slightly hormonal and grumpy. Looks like I'm in for a rough day tomorrow as well, assuming the Clomid is going to make my cycle a little more regular.

So why am I making you suffer by hearing about my menstrual cycle? Because I am dealing with that (and obsessing over it due to the attempts to get pregnant) AS WELL as law school.

I'm not a fan. I'm really not. In fact, I'm rethinking the whole thing altogether. Pregnant during law school? (While working two jobs and raising a toddler?) Am I completely insane? Why would I do that on purpose? Why can't men have babies?!?

Still, I feel like it's now or never, and I don't know if I want my daughter to be an only child. What to do? I would say we'll just see what happens, but dealing with things like Clomid and periods and hormones and grumpiness is really tough while managing everything else. I'm not totally convinced it's worth it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2L Year They Work You to Death

I'm not sure if they will all turn out to be true, but they say 1L year they scare you to death, 2L year they work you to death, and 3L year they bore you to death.

Thus far 2 out of 3 seem to be true.

I am finally starting to get a handle on my new schedule. Things have been completely insane. I'm a big fan of lists, partly because I am too tired to write full sentences right now. So here's a breakdown of what's been up with me.

1. I have a class at 7:30 in the morning. YUCK.
2. I'm working two jobs which only add up to 20 hours a week but having two things other than classes which are tightly scheduled is KILLING me.
3. Abby really misses me and cries sometimes when we drop her at the sitter.
4. I had a blood test which showed I do not ovulate (or at least not regularly)so I am now taking Clomid.
5. Round one of drug-induced baby-making commenced this past month. We'll see in a week or so if I got pregnant.
6. I am now a redhead, which is pretty crazy as it takes a whole lot of bleaching and coloring to make it so. I am finally getting used to the new hair. People seem to like it. Sorry the pic is so blurry:

7. I got my case for the Innocence Project. I am excited to get working on it. Our project has gotten TWO exonerations this year which is a new record.
8. I like all my classes, which is more than I can say for how I felt at the beginning of Spring semester last year.
9. I like being a 2L a lot, but it's still weird to think of myself that way.
10. I have the most amazing husband in the world. He has become the maid, the cook (aka food delivery boy), and the majority parent. He is wonderful and I am so grateful.
11. I have decided to apply for other summer gigs as a backup. I like where I am working, but it would be nice to get paid for full time work. We'll see what happens.

When you put it all in a list it doesn't seem like that much. I guess I should quit whining.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I don't want to go back to school. I can't wait for school.

I am so completely torn about school. On one hand, I miss my law school friends terribly. I also miss financial aid. A lot. On the other, I get to do basically everything my boss does, the only exception being that I can't make appearances and I have to stamp his name on documents. I feel all lawyerly and I like it.

But, I am getting tired of working so many hours. I miss my family and coming home before 6:30. I miss cooking dinner and suddenly we're almost through with grilling season and we've used our grill only about 5 times.

This fall I am going to try and keep the firm job (if you can call one lawyer and his partner who just took the bar and won't be admitted until October a "firm") and be a Westlaw rep. My classes aren't too heavy, so I am looking forward to them. I really think I can handle it all but I see many mental health days in my future.

And then there is Abby, my amazingly adorable, precious, little girl. I've decided to be a bit more personal on here, so here is a picture.

She is just so fantastic. She counted in Spanish the other day from one to ten. I didn't even know she could do that. We've been working on potty training and her language skills just keep getting better and better. She still goes right to bed with no fuss and rarely any argument. She sleeps through the night with only the occasional nightmare. I cannot believe how lucky we are.

This month we realized we had run through our savings and that suddenly our lack of full time paycheck for me (or the financial aid I normally get during the school year) had put us in a tough position. We could have done a cash advance on a credit card, but I really didn't want to do that.

So, at 2am on Saturday, I decided we should have a yard sale in the morning. I got up and collected items and posted listings on craigslist and our local newspaper. By noon, we had made 300 bucks. This took care of our immediate financial problem and I felt very accomplished. Sometimes you just have to get creative, now if we can just hold on until school starts we'll be in good shape until next summer. Knowing now what I didn't know then, I will be more wise about how I spend my financial aid.

*sigh* I love fall and I love "back to school" but the idea of being stuck in a classroom again is kind of bumming me out.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Sometimes I long to post completely openly, honestly, and uncensored. I want to write something that has been well thought out, and maybe even be beautiful or eloquent about it.

I want to share things about myself, my family, my work, my law school experience. I don't want to hide behind pseudo-anonymity. I don't want to worry that a client ten years from now may read a post about my religious beliefs or upbringing or a personal story that somehow rubs them the wrong way.

Part of me hopes that if a potential client does so much research that they find my personal blog they will understand that I am a human being, not just a defense attorney. Part of me says that if someone reads something I've posted and becomes so offended they choose not to hire me that I don't want them for a client.

I will never work in a huge law firm and if by some chance I do, I don't want to work in a place that is so concerned about their image that a personal blog from my time in law school will keep them from hiring me.

I don't post drunken photos, crass language, or highly-polarized statements. I try to keep things light and relatively neutral. But what if I want to vent one day? What if I want to talk about how my choice to leave all organized religion has resulted in the most happy, fulfilled existence I could ever have hoped for?

Will this ruin my chance at some future, unknown success?

Or will holding it in and avoiding my own identity do the same thing?

Is it better to be honest and open now, which produces happiness?
Or to be stifled and afraid for now so that at some magical future date I will be "too big to fail"?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


When I was preparing to register for my 2L year, I knew a couple of things for certain. I definitely wanted to do the Innocence Clinic, and I wanted to get some practical criminal defense experience. The Criminal Clinic offered during 3L year sounded good. It will allow me to appear for clients under the 3rd Year Practice Rule in my state. It also has several pre and co-requisites which have completely dominated my schedule.

Doing these clinics means that my entire schedule is criminal law, with no room for other stuff. This seems like a mistake, given that I want law school to at least teach me SOME stuff that will be on the bar.

What to do?

Right now I have a HUGE schedule in the Spring, so big that I know I will hate my life. I need to trim it up somehow, but I'm not entirely sure how to do it. My boss said he is happy to supervise me during 3L so I can still do appearances, so perhaps I should not do the criminal clinic?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So Classy

Yesterday I went into the courthouse and as I was walking through security I observed a woman in a very tight black suit with a slit up the back so high it left very little to the imagination. She had long blond hair and looked like she could be an attorney. She was friendly with the bailiffs and seemed to know her way around.

I soon realized why she knew her way around so well.

After checking the docket and realizing our case didn't appear there, we got in line to talk to the court clerk. In front of us was a young man and his father. The same woman we had seen in the hall got in line behind us. Before we knew it, we were caught in between the two parties screaming at each other.

"You perjured yourself, sweetie." She sneered at him, tossing her hair.

"Do I know you?" asked the guy. He seemed legitimately confused. The son turned around and obviously recognized the woman.

"It's pretty clear that class your kid took didn't do him any good. He's in trouble again of course. And now you've written a letter to Mr. Johnson* and perjured yourself."

"Ma'am I have no idea who you are or what you are talking about. Who is Mr. Johnson?"

"Oh yes you do. And you're going to pay for what you did."

"Okay. Whatever."

At this point she really starts to lose it, screaming at the guy and continuing to call him sweetie, which he does not like. Finally, the kid says something in reply about the woman. It dawns on the dad who she is.

"You're a terrible father!!!"

"I'm a terrible father? YOU hosted parties and gave your kids alcohol. You'll NEVER get your kids back!"

"Yes I will! AND YOU KNOW WHAT SWEETIE?!? You're A LIAR!!!"

A young woman in line behind the dad, in front of us speaks up. "I'm not a part of this, so I'd really rather not hear it."

They ignore her, of course. The dad, who seemed like a good guy, tries his best to keep his cool.

"Your son is going to PRI-ZUN! This case is going federal, sweetie!"

"What case? He has no cases pending."

"Yeah, well, you just wait. This case is going FEDERAL!"

At which point the guy asked the court clerk to have the woman removed. We were lucky to get out of there before that went down.

Fast forward to the next day.

I'm sitting in the waiting area of the county jail, because they've decided not to let me in, only my boss.

The jail waiting area makes for great people-watching.

A woman sits down next to me in a bright pink sundress with long blond hair. What is it with blonds in this town?

She proceeds to dramatically sigh to no one in particular, saying "OH MY GOD!" periodically. She's far enough away from me I don't think she's addressing me directly, and people around her are basically just ignoring her.

After ten minutes of this (followed by "It is SO hot!" and dramatically fanning herself and stretching out) she decides it's time to redo ALL of her makeup.

She is obviously there to see some guy, and she's acting totally nuts.

They call her name, and she goes up to the counter.

"What's wrong?!"

"Ma'am, he's refusing to see you."

"WHAT!!!!!!!!" And she proceeds to freak out.

"Are you KIDDING ME?!? Well he's just made my decision FOR ME! He's not getting ANYTHING from me when he gets out. I CAN NOT believe this!"

She tells every sheriff about how this "asshole" has slighted her. The only sympathy she gets is from the prisoner-account clerk, who advises "Don't give him any money."

"Oh he is not getting a PEN-NEE!"

And so on, until she stormed out.

A little advice. If you're pushing 50 and you still wear inappropriate little sundresses and keep your hair bleached and to the bottom of your back, you might recruit a certain type of suitor. Act psychotic and those suitors will be grateful when they end up in jail and can avoid you altogether.

*A fake name. Also I don't remember the real name.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why, Bill???!!

My boss does free consults if people call in. He recently got one I just had to share.

"How can I help you?"

"Uh, yeah, so I got one for ya."

"Okay... tell me about your situation."

"I took care of this guy's dog for FOUR MONTHS. Do you know how much that woulda cost him if he had to kennel it?"

"Are you in some kind of criminal trouble? This is a criminal defense firm."

"Well what I want to know is, see, I took care of this guy's dog for FOUR MONTHS."

"I see..."


"Uh huh..."

"So I wanna know if I go git a sign and write 'Why, Bill?' and just go stand out in front a his house, if that's breakin the law. Can I git arrested?"

At this point in the office a crowd has gathered. The other partner and myself are stifling giggles as much as possible.

My boss informs the guy that he has a right to free speech, but if he's trespassing or if the guy calls the police and they ask him to leave he may end up with a disorderly conduct charge. They love using that as a catch-all in our state. He says that some things just aren't worth the risk and maybe he should just write a letter telling the guy how he feels.

We are still trying not to crack up. The guy reiterates his desire to WHY BILL the guy in front of his house. My boss again tells him that he has a right to free speech without the cops interfering, but that while free speech is important there is still risk involved. Even if he goes to court and wins it will cost him money and time etc.

The guy relents and hangs up.

The other partner tells my boss, "You are MURDERING our right to free speech! MURDERER!"

We all laugh and now pretty much any time anyone asks me to do something I do a very dramatic, "WHY BILL?!?! WHYYYYYYY!?!?"

Preschool? ALREADY??!!!

Yesterday I had the bright idea of checking in with the daycare/preschool in Brian's building on campus. We had put Abigail on the waiting list there over a year ago, and hadn't heard anything. Not surprising, there are very few facilities and 30k students, plus who knows how many university employees.

However, in the past year Brian has switched departments from the medicinal chemistry department to biology, which just happens to be the department that runs the daycare. I looked on their site and realized that contrary to what I previously thought, university employees do NOT get priority wait list placement. BIOLOGY employees do. Since we now fit in that bracket I sent an email over to check our position on the list and inform them that he works there now.

Suddenly, we have a spot if we want it! Which I think we do, but I am suddenly terrified. I could use some advice from ya'll on this one. They have a strict sickness policy, which, due to have the-best-babysitter-of-all-time I've never had to deal with before. Abigail loves her SO much and I hate to pull her out of that, but she is also very advanced for her age and I think a pre-k environment will really help her bloom.

We're trying for another baby so it's possible we could get our sitter back working for us full time down the road, but she'll have to find another job in the meantime.

The daycare looks great. It's a co-op, so I go in and help out a few hours a month and that secures RIDICULOUSLY low tuition. 8am to 6pm for only 700 bucks a month. It's awesome. We pay around 900 right now. It also includes lunch and a snack. The program looks great, they're big on being diverse/tolerant/Green. All things I am a fan of.

The biology building is a two minute walk from the law school, and my hubby will be right upstairs. It seems like a no-brainer but I am scared of the change. Help!

I was thinking maybe we could give our sitter a bit of money per month to just handle emergencies, but that's only assuming her new job is just finding another kid to watch. If she goes out and gets a different job altogether, I just don't know what we'd do. She is THAT good. I really want her to watch the new baby but I'm not even pregnant yet.

THIS is what parenting does to you. Makes you worry about every little thing. I really wish I could call my mom and ask her opinion, but she's on chemo and today is a sick day. Damn it.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Be The Change You Want to See

Okay, I am losing it. Well, I was.

I started writing much bigger checks to my babysitter when the internship started. I don't know how it happened. My boss would pick me up at 8, we'd be in court all day, and then working (and having a ton of fun) in the office until 6. Or 7. Suddenly I realized that we were eating out all the time, which was really hard on us because the university screwed up our first two paychecks. I was super happy but Abby was missing me so much that she stopped sleeping through the night. I felt tired and grumpy and frustrated (and hungry). People kept saying things like "get used to it." As if all lawyers work 10 hour days. Guess what? MY BOSS DOESN'T WORK 10 HOUR DAYS! And he isn't even asking me to do it, I just sort of started working that many hours on my own.

Because I LIKE the job. I love it. I could live in that office if I had no other responsibilities. The problem? I am not getting paid to do this. My boss appreciates me and compliments me all the time, but he only pays me for 10 hours a week for the business-building work I do. Like creating a Wordpress blog for him and coding it to match his existing website. Or doing bookkeeping or collections work. I'm not getting paid to work a 50 hour week so I really shouldn't be doing it.

I resolved that I will not work more than 8 hours and if it's slow I will duck out early. Because you can ALWAYS find things to do, but I'm there to help, not to change his life. Yes, I would like to grow the practice to secure a paid position eventually, and yes, I do love it. But I need to keep my family a priority and remember that these years with Abby are already going by so fast.

Plus if that kitchen floor doesn't get mopped soon I think I will need to hire a criminal defense attorney because I. WILL. KILL. SOMEONE.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Should I Go to Law School? Part Two

Last semester I posted about deciding whether to go to law school or not. You can find it here. Now that I have some internship experience to draw from, I thought it might be good to do an updated version of the topic. I know many of you are recently accepted and trying to decide whether to make a seat deposit or not. I remember this time last year sitting in your place, and feeling completely panicked and hopeless. I called every person I knew and asked for their advice. Most of them said the same thing; "I can't tell you what to do." My mom really wanted me to go, because that's what I had always said I wanted to do. Friends said it seemed important to me. I looked back and tried to remember. HAD I really been that certain that law school is the place for me? I began seriously compromising my dreams to justify my fear of law school. The expense of it, all a gamble given the current legal job market, began to weigh heavily. I'm getting law school much, much cheaper than most people do and it's still a lot of money to owe at the end. I worried that I would be endangering my family's well-being by taking this risk.

A friend told me that he would kick my ass if I didn't go to law school. The language startled me, because he seemed so much more passionate about it than I felt after months of listless pondering. His passion was fueled by memories of me, waxing on about the law and what I hoped to accomplish by working in the field. I decided to go for it.

From the moment I sat in the (very uncomfortable) wooden chair in the moot courtroom of the law school during my first day of orientation, I knew I had made the right decision. Now, with my 1L year behind me, I can still say that I love law school.

Was it difficult during the first year? Absolutely. Sometimes tedious. Sometimes frustrating. Often overwhelming. I thought I would love Criminal Law when it came time to take it, and ended up really hating it. It's the field I want to work in so I was very disheartened to find that I enjoyed Property and Constitutional Law immensely, and hated the very thing in which I planned to work. I decided to take an unpaid internship for an attorney in criminal defense. I would let the practical experience determine if I was in the right place. I knew right away that it totally is.

Many attorneys complain about tedium such as doing legal research in a big firm. There is a lot of paperwork and it's long, long hours. I knew right off that big law was not the life I wanted. I found something I was passionate about and tried to direct my studies that way. I love criminal law. I love defense work. Meeting people and hearing their stories, going to court, and doing the best I can to improve the system is exhausting but very fulfilling.

To decide if you want to go to law school you need to have an idea of what kind of work you enjoy doing. If you've never had a job and are going directly from undergrad, I highly recommend working the summer before you start law school. It does not need to be legal work, but do SOMETHING. I knew that I don't like to be micromanaged. This tells me I will prefer small firm work or owning my own business. Working for the government such as legal aid could be okay, given you can generally manage your own cases, there just happen to be a lot of them.

I also knew that I liked dealing with criminal matters, and took some criminal law classes in my undergrad to explore this area.

If you don't find an area of law to be passionate about, and decide what kind of environment you flourish in, you will do yourself a major disservice if you spend the money for law school.

Don't borrow a ton of money for law school with no idea what being a lawyer is like. Get in touch with volunteer mentor attorneys from your law school (they may be willing to meet with you before you accept admission) and ask them what an average day is like. What do they hate about their job? Have they worked in other types of law? Go tour a law firm and see what they typically assign their interns to work on. Do some research and make sure this is the kind of thing you can do for the next ten years at least, because if you accrue the student loan debt and can't go work somewhere else making comparable money, you're going to be stuck in law for quite a while.

For me personally, I LOVE my job. I love what I do every single day. I am the type of person who will pitch in and do whatever people ask without being annoyed or bored. I'm happy to file, take dictation, fill out paperwork, generate and edit documents, get coffee, whatever.

If you aren't that type of person you will have to learn to be, but some people just can't handle grunt work. Now for me, being a self-starter with a personality built for owning my own business, grunt work is just par for the course.

I guess what this rambling is intended to convey is that you should really know who you are before you consider law school. This doesn't mean that you have to be closed to changing who you are, but that you should make decisions based on building a lifestyle for yourself. It would be a mistake to make a major decision like this and be stuck in a lifestyle you hate solely because you accrued 100K (plus) in debt.

Good luck, feel free to comment and I will reply.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today was the last day of the Pride Festival in Salt Lake City. What an experience! I volunteered to help man the booth for the OUTLaws club, which is the LGBTQ club for law students. We run a free legal clinic once a month for LGBTQ issues like custody, divorce, medical directives, wills, discrimination, etc. We have a lot of great attorneys out there who donate their time, but we need more clients. We really got the word out today, I even made those who didn't have cash to donate promise to tell five friends in exchange for Mardi Gras beads, buttons, and candy.

Pride was awesome, and a great place for people watching! I saw one queen who was wearing the most amazing outfit. It was made of that plastic astro-turf stuff that people put on the porch of their trailer or patio, and was a full gown. GIANT platform shoes and a hat made of a giant piece of wood. The wood was done up like a front yard with a white picket fence going around the edge. It even had a pink flamingo. It was epic.

I love that the law gives so many opportunities to serve. Hopefully the traffic at the clinic will go up, because I know there are people in Utah dealing with legal issues related to their sexuality and gender who are unaware of the resources available. The attorneys who volunteer are wonderful and really want to help.

Today one of my lesbian classmates was saying that she loves Pride because she gets to feel so "normal." I asked if that meant that she feels normal being around other gay people. NOPE! She meant that she gets to feel normal because she doesn't dress like "those" people! There were some real statements being made and it was fun to laugh about how fierce and brave they all were while simultaneously cringing. One guy was wearing flip flops and tightey-whiteys! NO JOKE.

In any case, it was a great experience. I managed to avoid those protesting the festival, so for me it was just a total love-fest. It's great when you get to feel like you are making a difference.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Internship

Yesterday I started my internship, working for a criminal defense attorney. In addition to teaching me legal stuff, he is letting me help him grow his business. Since I have a background in technology and internet marketing I have a lot to contribute. The awesome part is that we get along so well and he is SO enthusiastic to have me around. We bounce ideas off each other and I get to nerd out by reading case files as big as phone books. It's swell.

Yesterday I got to read said case file, do a client intake, learn their legal software, and check the status of the co-defendant's cases related to the phone book-sized case. (The witnesses hadn't shown up so they'd been dismissed, potentially affecting our case.)

Today I got to drive out of state (2 hours each direction) for a ten minute pre-trial conference which will be resolved by affidavit, come back, go to court for a motion hearing, AND get a massage IN THE OFFICE. It was awesome. It may not sound like a lot, but in between hearings and other tasks we talked a lot. I learned about pending cases and we exchanged stories. It was really great.

Tomorrow? Pre-trial conference for a case and arraignment for the phone book case.

I love this work. It's exciting and different and I genuinely like meeting the clients and doing my best to help them out. Sometimes it's a completely unfair messed up charge, sometimes they did it and you do your best to mitigate the consequences. Either way, it's a huge learning experience.

My goal is to increase business so much they can't live without me. :)

This weekend I have homework. I have to do research on personal breathalyzer tests. You get two guesses how I am going to do that.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tiiiiiiiime is on My Side


This is extremely weird. I have nothing to do in the evenings. No obligations, no homework. I don't start work at the law firm until the 18th. Every night, I can do whatever I want, provided the toddler is fed and kept alive generally. We've been playing trains a lot in the evenings.

My friend's bachelorette went off without a hitch, and I had an amazing time. I think everyone else did too. There is something incredibly surreal and amazing about being in an 80 degree swimming pool under a crisp blue sky on top of a snow-capped mountain. Lola and I went up after our last final (Property, and it was a bitch). We picked up groceries and stocked the full kitchen in the suite and then went for a swim. We got some quality time together celebrating becoming 2L's. It was extremely relaxing and fun. Then we went back to the suite and started getting ready. I had arranged for a professional photographer to come and take vintage style pinup photos. We got ourselves all dolled up and waited for the rest of the girls. Once the bride arrived, we got her all ready. It was a really great night, filled with champagne, margaritas, and laughter.

I'll post a couple of photos on here for now, just so you can see me and my best girls. There were a couple of my besties who weren't there, but we had such a wonderful time and thought of them often. I must say, I got pretty good at doing vintage hair.

Me and Lola.

Lalalala Lola!

Me and Amelia.

Suzy Q.

Me and Suzette.

And finally, here comes the bride, Justine.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

dormant Person Power

Today was the ConLaw exam. I kicked it into high gear and studied and felt really prepared going in. It went really well I think, but I felt that way about CivPro last semester and only did okay. Although in that class there were only 20 of us and a mandatory curve, so I should be happy to do as well as I did. So I guess the moral of the story is we'll see!

In other news, I've been offered some pay for my summer job. I am very excited about this, as it will help offset the cost of daycare. Plus, my new boss is so fantastic and I am really excited to work with him. I'm going to take a week or two off to spend with Abby before starting and be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding.

I am really excited for Friday (not because of the Property final). It's my friend's bachelorette party and I've planned some really awesome things. We're staying in a swanky suite and we're going to get all dolled up and possibly hit a club. We have something special planned but I don't want to ruin the surprise just yet.

I've been building up my work wardrobe and it's been helping with my confidence a lot. We're starting at our new gym tomorrow and I'm going to work really hard to get in shape. Being pregnant while out of shape sounds like a terrible idea. I'm going to drop a bunch of weight and get my lungs in better shape.

An added bonus is the new bag I got this week. I haven't had a bag large enough to handle my new laptop. I certainly don't want to show up to work in a suit carrying a backpack like some kind of schlub. So, check this out! I feel so fancy. Click here for a link.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Today I am in a zone of bliss. I've actually been studying for my ConLaw exam (an improvement from CrimLaw last week) and I feel like I'm maybe starting to get a handle on it. Things at home are great. I did a ton of spring cleaning last week, which makes hanging out in the basement (that's where the Law Cave is) much nicer. The upstairs was driving me insane because it's not as clean, and then The Mad Scientist went and cleaned up the kitchen. He even mopped the floor and then proceeded to dance around in it, rejoicing at how his feet were NOT sticking to the linoleum. Yeah, law school puts a major damper on my OCD cleaning and organizing. It's sad that I am looking forward to my internship because I know I can come home and COOK AND CLEAN at the end of the day. Yep, I'm progressive all right.

In other news, we've decided to get pregnant again. I visited the doctor and got off birth control and now we are officially trying. We figure we will try to avoid getting pregnant during times where it will put my due date during exams, but other than that we're just winging it. I figure it will be better to do this while in law school than once I'm out, and no time is really a good time so we may as well go for it. I feel extremely happy about this decision, though I hope I can drop the weight I want to before I get pregnant. It took a really long time last time around, so maybe that means I'll have some time to get in shape. I'm hoping the summer will give me a chance to exercise more (perhaps on my lunch hour?) and drop the pounds.

I have this vision of returning to school in the fall looking so good people don't recognize me. Of course all I have to do is open my mouth and people will be like "OH YEAH IT'S YOU."

That reminds me, I have a tiny rant. I am what is considered a "strong personality." Lately I am more and more realizing that this is code for "bitch", which is really upsetting. It's a tactful way of saying that I hurt people's feelings with absolutely no intention to, I can rub people the wrong way, and people feel intimidated by me despite my best efforts. It's something I struggle with and work on a lot. What upsets me is that for those "weak personalities" (hey, if you can say I have a strong personality what is the alternative? But "weak" does sound pejorative...) it means they are often upset with me and don't feel like they can tell me so. So nothing gets resolved and they just resent me, while I go on oblivious. It's SO frustrating. I don't say anything mean to people (and try to avoid saying anything mean ABOUT people) and yet they infer a "tone" in what I say. I am very direct. I don't say one thing while meaning something else. I'm not a catty girl who says she is fine but doesn't mean it. If I have an issue I address it, but 99.9% of the time I give people the benefit of the doubt and don't get offended if someone sounds bitchy. I just assume they don't mean to offend me and let it go. Why can't these people do the same for me?

Okay, end rant. For the most part I just let those people go on with their lives without me in it. I care about people and if they find themselves hurt by me (even if I have no intention and can't do anything to prevent it) I don't want them to have to feel that way. Unfortunately this means there are just some friendships I can't have, and it hurts.

So, back to ConLaw studies! I just finished my outline so now I'm just going to do a practice test and enjoy my evening. Good luck to everyone on their exams!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dreams of Dooce

Hello Interwebs, I've missed you! I'm sorry I've been away, it's just that my criminal exam was making me want to hurt people. And by people I mean myself. And by myself I mean my bank account. Shopping is a great way to procrastinate. So CrimLaw is done, and now I have to prep for ConLaw. Which makes me want to hurt people. And by people I mean my Playstation. Because the fricking network outage means I have no Netflix on my television and it makes me want to hurt people. And by people I mean... well you get the idea. Law school makes you violent.

So, due to stress and finals and sickness and all that lovely crap (yes, I said lovely crap) I have been having SUCH bizarre dreams. More than usual. Some of them have been about my male classmates and would make my mother blush. Which is saying something because I am not entirely sure anything CAN make my mother blush.

Last night, I dreamed of Heather Armstrong from We're old buddies you see, in that she lives in my neighborhood so I've run into her exactly TWICE. But that isn't how my brain works. No, my brain turns two random encounters into a RELATIONSHIP. I dreamed that we took our toddlers to a baby party thingie and she offered me a ride home. In one of those SUV-limo thingies. She had some errands to run and I was so desperate to see their new house (which sounds amazing IRL) that I agreed to tag along and help out. Our girls played and seemed to get along, so we decided to make a day of it. When we got to the house it turned out to be this enormous red brick converted firehouse! I got the grand tour and kept thinking to myself how I must be experiencing what it's like to be cool. Because they are cool, Heather and Jon, and maybe I could be cool by being in close proximity? After the tour she went and grabbed me a small gift bag, which contained some swag an adoring fan or adoring corporation had sent to her. "Thanks for keepin' me comp'ny." She even remembered my name and introduced me to Jon.

Okay, seriously. My dreams are whack. But if anyone could renovate an old firehouse and make it the object of everyone's jealous desires it would be Dooce herself. I'm not a crazed fan, I promise. I just have extremely odd dreams. Does that mean I won't scan the neighborhood for signs of a looming red brick house? No, it does not.

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's A Plan

This morning at 8AM sharp every law student got online and tried to register for classes. Most filled up in about 1 minute. It's insanity, you guys. We have SO many course offerings and such limited space that many are small sections. Which results in full classes, very full classes. I had my schedule all planned out with a backup version in case I didn't get into the most popular classes.

I hit the button at 8AM and it all went through! Others have not been so lucky. I'm sure in some ways my very specific career track gave me an advantage. Not everyone wants to do almost all Criminal classes. I wanted to dabble more, take some things in other areas so that I could be sure of my field. But the practical clinics I want to do have a ton of pre-requisites and they are all criminal. I also wanted to avoid a particular professor, who happens to teach in that field. He's a great guy, but his personal ideology is so opposite of mine and it does affect the course. Anyway, I ended up with Evidence, Pre-Trial Prep, ConLaw II, and Innocence Clinic for Fall and Legal Profession, Trial Advocacy, Moot Court, Innocence Clinic, and Criminal Procedure for Spring.

I'm happy it's done, but it's weird to have the next year of your life planned out already. It should be comforting to a Type A personality like me, but it's not.

I also got permission to work at the pro bono catchall clinic each week this summer. Basically there are free legal clinics for Criminal Law, Family Law, Rainbow Law, etc. and this one is for everything else. We do a lot of contract issues, landlord-tenant, employment etc. It's always interesting and always teaches me.

I got rejected for 2 of the 3 things I've applied for this fall. I'm disheartened because I was more than qualified for them and I know the decision came down to grades. It's frustrating that your whole legal career hinges on one semester of grades! Yes, I can get better grades later, but not getting these positions puts me at a disadvantage when applying to other things later. So in the end, grades really do matter. I had a real chance to contribute and they were shortsighted enough to just snag the top 10%. LAME.

Anyway, I have so much planned it won't matter, but it would have been nice. On the super duper good news circuit, Brian was offered a new position at the university. My 50% tuition discount is secure!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh. My. Goodness.

Okay that isn't exactly the language I used, but you get the idea.
Today was a huge day for University of Utah. We had Chief Justice
Roberts scheduled to come and preside over our moot court championship
round, along with our former professor and recently appointed 10th
circuit judge Scott Matheson, and the chief justice of the Utah
Supreme Court, Christine Durham.

This was to take place at noon in the performing arts theater on
campus. So I thought it was semi-odd that the security brief they sent
out the night before told us to keep our bags in our lockers/carrels
instead of bringing them with us to class. Which was weird since he
wouldn't even BE in the law school. Carry my laptop in the halls
unprotected? YUCK.

This morning was a mock oral argument of the appellate brief all 1L's
wrote this semester. We have oral argument next week, and the teachers
thought it would be nice to see some upperclassmen show us how it's
done. Imagine our surprise when instead of a writing instructor, the
Chief Justice HIMSELF walks out to preside over it.

AWESOME you guys. SO awesome. After the arguments, we had 30 minutes
left and he offered to answer questions. There are only a hundred of
us and in the moot courtroom it's a very intimate experience. He was
like, 20 feet from me and I kept thinking this will NEVER happen again
to me in my lifetime. He was funny and self-deprecating and SO smart.

Apparently they had some time to kill in the morning. I guess he isn't
a skier, because he opted to spend that time with us instead. He got
the problem 3 days ago. MY problem, you guys! I will do better in my
oral argument next week because of questions posed by the CHIEF

All caps, I know, but I thought my heart would BURST.

What an amazing surprise, I can't believe they pulled it off.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What is scarier?

The fact that I have only two weeks left of classes and I still know ZERO criminal law, or the fact that I signed up to sing at a LAW SCHOOL TALENT SHOW on Friday. Yeah, THIS Friday. And I just signed up TODAY.


I am singing a very difficult song, because I figure if I am to be humiliated forever at law school, I am going to do it singing MARTINA MCBRIDE.


So things are getting crazy. I got proactive about finding a different internship for the summer, because my original deal didn't seem to be working out. The attorney was so busy and I became concerned that he wouldn't have time to really mentor me. So, I found a few other opportunities. I accepted an offer today and I am very excited. I think that this will be a much better fit for me. The attorney and I talked like we were old buddies, and it's super close to my house. I am even considering putting my fat butt on a bicycle to get to the office every day. WHOO!

I also applied for two fellowships for this fall and I will know by the end of the month if I've been accepted. I am actually quite excited for this, because Brian has been rehired at the university which means with the fellowship I could potentially have free tuition. Half off is nice, ALL OFF IS BETTER. (That's what she said.)

Anywho, things are looking great for summer. I'm going to get busy learning Spanish, do some criminal law work, and continue doing pro bono work at the summer clinics. All in all, I will still have time to take Abby to the park which makes for my ultimate summer.

I cannot believe my 1L year is over in just a few short weeks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Winding Down, Heating Up

As the semester winds down, things are heating up for me. I have some major decisions to make before summer rolls around, but it isn't so much rolling as crashing toward me like an out of control freight train.

There are a lot of trains in your life when you're in law school. I thought when torts was over I'd be free from railroad cases, but no, they pop up in ConLaw all the time.

The figurative train here is Internship v. Spanish Classes. My university offers an expedited program during summer, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. It's been about five years since I took Spanish and I plan to be fluent before I finish law school. Every time I go to the immigration clinic to volunteer I wish I were fluent. It's time to get on it, and I have a feeling that I'm not going to have any more time on my hands as school progresses.

I'm excited by so many different opportunities it's hard to choose, but the general advice I've been getting is that it doesn't matter. I could take the summer off and spend it with Abby if I wanted to and it wouldn't affect my future at all, other than the fact that I'd be happy to have the break. That's the beauty of not going into Big Law, your 1L summer doesn't completely define your future.

I could do the judicial clinic, which would be cool, but I'm not particularly interested in it. I probably should be, but there it is. Judges in my conservative state, are somewhat contrary to my personal ideology. Working for one would be educational, but I'm not entirely sure how much I would like it. I need to work on that whole diplomacy thing, I guess.

For now, I'm focusing on my appellate brief. It's coming along, but I am getting pretty sick of the subject matter. If I never have to work on a religious discrimination case again I'll be glad. Once that gets turned in next week I'm off to Vegas for a fabulous vacation. I cannot wait. I may or may not spend some time working while we're gone, but I doubt it. My favorite professor told me not to do any homework over Spring Break. On Fall Break I worked 8 hour days outlining and still had to redo it all when I got done with regular classes. I'm going to learn from that and enjoy a nice vacation. 4 star hotels, room service, and time with my hubby. It just can't get any better than that. Exams should be a breeze after that.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Moot Court and Appellate Briefs

Yesterday I acted as a bailiff for the moot court competitions semi-final round. I had been curious about the program, as someone like me tends to enjoy public speaking (I know, right?) and finds it 1000x more appealing than being on a journal. Rumors say that you should do one or the other if you want a shiny resume, but I just think it would be kind of fun. I did theater in high school and missed out on debate, although I did enter some public speaking contests. The downside of all of this is our school has made moot court and journals only 1 credit, which for the amount of work you do is criticized to be overly low. I had heard some upperclassmen talk about moot court and their tone was pretty negative (although I have a sneaking suspicion that none of them actually did moot court). I asked a team yesterday if they wouldn't mind answering a few questions about the workload and it's basically what I suspected. You do as much (or as little) work as you WANT to do. And it's one less final to take that semester. Seems pretty awesome to me, and I enjoyed what I saw. Apart from the judges, anyway. They were super intense and scary. They ask you really tough questions just like the Supreme Court would and try to catch you off guard.

The writing doesn't seem to be more than the stupid brief I'm working on right now, so I'm thinking I may look into it.

As for the appellate brief, I am not a big fan. I should be working on it right now. I had convinced myself I was going to spend all weekend on it and then Abigail got sick. Sick kid does not equal productive weekend. We have had so little sleep and frankly my mood totally sucks.

However, I am going to put some good effort into it right now and I have an appointment with my professor on Tuesday. After that I will have another meeting with him the following Tuesday and then it's due that Friday. Why should I stress? After that is done it will be Spring Break, and we are going to Vegas! (I will be outlining while we are there, but I figure that's a good thing. There is only so much gambling/eating/doing stuff money to go around.)

After that, only a month or so before exams! It's happening so fast, much faster than I thought it would. I'm sure with the weather warming up it's going to be tough to get work done, but hopefully I can stay on task and get this year done.

Oh, and by the way, here is the insanity I am dealing with. Co-hosting a friend's baby shower at the end of this month. Appellate brief. Volunteer clinics. CLASSES. Finals. Throwing a bachelorette party for a friend. Bridesmaid in the wedding for the same friend. Sometimes I think that actual classes are just incidental. It'd be so much nicer if I could just stay home and outline!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

1L Spring

I cannot imagine how law students with year-long, comprehensive finals in the spring survive. Sorry for the lack of posts, everyone. My 1L brain is fried from my measly half-year courses and their preparation. I got my rough draft for my appellate brief back. I have a meeting with my professor tomorrow and then I will spend the next three weeks being a ghost while I work on that.

It was Abigail's 2nd birthday party. I had a couple misunderstandings with classmates which left me feeling frustrated. I FINALLY started to get it in Property. Things are up and they're down and that is the world of law school.

A week ago I was complaining about being stuck in the doldrums of law school. This week I have had way more excitement than I ever wanted.

I cannot wait until it's summer and I just have to work a 9-5 job. Sounds like heaven.

Monday, February 14, 2011

That's What You Get


So I took Friday off and traveled down south to where it is warm. It was fantastic. You never know how miserable the cold season is making you until you have a nice sunny day and don't have to wear a jacket. I had a lovely birthday dinner out with my parents and my sister-in-law (who lives in the area while attending school.) Spent time playing video games (my mother played them with me, which was SO bizarre) and relaxing. I even got to play some tennis. Remind me not to ever teach The Mad Scientist any games, because he will learn and then kick my ass from then on out. Still, it was really fun. The munchkin enjoyed seeing her Nana and Poppa after a long absence, and I did a bit of shopping. We drove back up on Sunday and went to the in-laws' for yet another birthday dinner, and I got a very nice gift from them. My birthday always seems to last for a month, it makes me feel really special. Plus I haven't paid for a meal in over a week. :)

On the way home the world came crashing down on me, in the form of The Plague. So I skipped class Friday and had a lovely time, only to reward myself with a horrible mucousy germ infestation. I'm sure I got it from Abby, but oh well, that's what parenthood is for. They really are adorable little incubators, aren't they? So today I showed up for ConLaw and barely stayed conscious through the lecture. I couldn't wait the 4 hours for CrimLaw so I came home and went to bed. I am missing way too much class this semester. It's horrible. AND my rough draft for Methods is due next Tuesday and I think I'm only half done with the research. It's a tricky problem involving employment discrimination, and I'm representing the defendant. I think legally we're on good footing, but I feel so GUILTY. It's not even a real plaintiff, but the idea of saying "Hey, the guy deserved to be fired, his prayer times were interrupting our staff meeting!" makes me ill. I'm trying to come up with a more positive "theme" for the paper, but it's a struggle. Currently I'm going with something like "We tried to accommodate him, but it just wasn't feasible due to the major market downturn we were experiencing." Yuck. I was hoping for a great case with analogous facts to make me feel better, but no such luck thus far. It must be buried in the other half of the research, which I haven't done yet.

I'm sorry if this is rambling, but cough medicine makes me extremely loopy. People at the 1L table were highly amused at me this morning. And I hallucinated that there was a very important movie in my Netflix queue I wanted to watch, but it was in Spanish and I couldn't read the subtitles because my eyes were too blurry. Looooopy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Law School Madness

There are two types of "madness" in law school. The first is the traditionally understood meaning of madness, or craziness. Law school can in fact make you crazy. The second (for my purposes) is the act of being mad. As in angry.

This week I am experiencing both of these things. I need a break. I am short-tempered and frustrated and stressed. And my rough draft for my final legal memo is due next next Tuesday (the 22nd). In response to my madness, I've decided to take the family away for the weekend. My parents have been traveling for the last couple weeks, (Arizona, Mexico, California, Colorado) and I want to meet up with them close to Vegas. We're going to celebrate my birthday and do some relaxing. Maybe, if the weather isn't horrible, I'll even get some tennis in.

The problem with my little plan is that I will miss class tomorrow. We'll need half the day for traveling and I don't want to drive at night in case the weather is bad. I've missed more class this semester than I did last semester, and I feel like this is not a good thing. On the other hand, I also feel like I am self-teaching a lot more this semester so lectures are slightly less beneficial (or crucial) than they were then. A friend is going to take notes for me while I am gone, so I know it will be fine. Yet I am completely freaking out about it. Hence the need for a break.

I would like to encourage all of you to take breaks. Shirk your studies (even if only for an hour) and have some fun. Don't talk about law, don't get on your computer. Get out of the house and get some fresh air. Seek out a palm tree (I fully intend to do so this weekend.) I am so sick of winter so I am hoping this will help.

And I promise to do my best to try and forget school until the appropriate time (Monday morning before class?)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Should I Go to Law School?

Lag Liv has a thread going on her site answering a potential 1L's question about if she should go to law school. I thought I would post my response for you all as well. Feel free to reply with your own opinions. This is the time of year when people are applying (and panicking) so let's see if we can help them out.

Before I post my answer, let me say one thing: you really can make your own experience in law school. Don't do what they tell you to do for jobs, seminars, whatever. My experience is rich because of the following:

1. Starting my own club
2. Belonging to an LGBT club (I'm an ally and this is important to me)
3. Belonging to a club and state organization for criminal defense lawyers (which helped me get an internship BEFORE grades even came out)
4. Pro bono clinics for landlord tenant/employment and other low-income issues, LGBT issues, immigration issues

Law school is not the right path for MOST people. The reasons below explain why I think this is true.

For me, law school was the best decision. In-state tuition, a spouse who works for the school (half tuition!) and therefore has benefits and a salary to cover my not working. We rent, not own, and have one child. For me, being able to pay 10k a year for law school was such a good deal that even if I couldn't get a high-paying job it was worth it.

That being said, how many people are really in that situation?

Really, at least one answer should be yes to the following:

1. Does your spouse make enough to work when you aren't AND pay roughly 1000 a month for your loan payment?

2. Do you have any savings which could offset some of your cost so you can borrow less?

3. Can you wait a year or so to save up a year's worth of tuition or living expenses for after you graduate? (Plus you need lots of $$ to live while taking the bar/before being admitted/to be admitted & pay bar dues.)

4. Do you know anyone who can get you a job when you graduate?

5. Are you open-minded (not completely set on one specific job or type of law)?

6. Are you willing to work for free for one (if not all) summers between semesters?

7. Can you handle working harder than you've ever worked in your life and still get a B?

8. Do you have any idea what lawyers do all day? (Law and Order does not count)

9. Do you REALLY want to be a lawyer? If you just don't know what else to do with your life or you have only a slight interest in law, you should seriously consider other paths. Without passion for the subject, you will be miserable doing the work.

I love law school. People say they hate it, hated 1L etc. I do not get these people. I love love love it. Love the reading, the teachers, my classmates. If you have that kind of positive attitude in spite of pressure and hard work, AND you know for sure you want to be a lawyer I say go for it (provided you answered yes to some of the above.)

Most people do not have both the drive and the resources to enjoy the law school experience. I know so many who can't get a job and don't even want to do law, but have put themselves in such a bad financial position they have no choice. Don't limit yourself by committing to something you don't really even want.

Finally, ask a lawyer to work for them for free for a month or two. They'll be happy to share their experiences and give you an idea of what it is REALLY like.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sense of Purpose

So, this week (in fact in 36 minutes) is the OCI (On Campus Interviews) application deadline. This means that some employers, (not many because it's Spring) are coming on campus to interview some (very few) 1L's for summer internships. People are losing their minds. Seriously. It's disheartening to see them all jumping through hoops and panicking. And I feel completely guilty because I decided to shun the whole process and do my own thing, and it paid off.

A while ago I went in to meet with the professional development office. They look over your resume and cover letters and give you advice about where to apply. I was disappointed in their suggestions for the types of jobs I was interested in. I do not want to work for a big firm. I do not want to do litigation. I do not want to work 60-100 hours a week. I want to spend time with my family. I do not want to make millionz of dollarz, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. I want to do public interest or government and I do not want to leave my daughter for 8 weeks to do an internship in D.C. You'd think that would be pretty limiting, but once I decided to find my own path I not only felt liberated, I felt empowered.

The problem with the employment offices in law school is they spend 99% of their time helping 1% of the class. They gear everything toward Big Law (and the firms that to my best guess have either donated money or something equally sexy to buy the school's devotion) and the reality is those firms only hire the very people who do not need help. If you're in the top 10%, you don't need someone out hunting down internships. The ones that come TO the school are looking for them, not people like me who are basically average on paper.

So, to that end, I started spamming lawyers who are members of an organization I belong to. It's a great group and they all practice in the area I'm most interested in. I wasn't interested in settling for something I didn't want, and I didn't want to feel limited by OCI (which the school admits will likely not interview me and even if they do most of them aren't going to hire anyone at all.)

I received a response within 12 hours, WITH an offer for the summer. The attorney liked my initiative. He had only ever been approached by a potential intern once before.

Seeing my poor classmates scrambling to get their OCI applications done and panicking about whether to use a colon or a semicolon on their cover letter hurts me. I want to shout to them "THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO GET A JOB!!!" but it will probably do no good. The thing is, the single authority on campus who helps you find jobs is just doing what they know how to do best, which is recruit for big firms. It's a numbers game and the reality is most of us won't fall into the range firms are looking for, and most are only taking 1-3 interns this year anyway. AND they're accepting applications from all over the country.

Why waste your time? Unless Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe is your dream job, go out on your own and find your own path. There are plenty of firms (so many that the market is flooded, I hate to say) and therefore plenty of places to apply that aren't the 8 showing up at OCI.

As for me, I went and met with my new boss. He just hired a seasoned former prosecutor from the AG's office, to whom I will be reporting. He hired this prosecutor to work on civil rights cases. I am so excited.

AND he asked me about returning next summer for a paid clerkship. I have no pressure now, I can just focus on school and ignoring PDO emails, while looking forward to the summer and the people I am going to help. Oh, and I just picked up a pro bono case which is my state's equivalent of a habeas corpus case. I am really excited for that as well. WHOO!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

1L Grades

You know that feeling on Christmas morning, after all the presents have been opened? There's wrapping paper everywhere, you've eaten a huge breakfast, and now you just feel... disappointed? I've been told that is the definition of anticlimactic, but that's debatable. Not everyone has the same Christmas, or celebrates Christmas at all, but I'm sure you get the idea.

That is how grades felt for me. I told myself I was going to get B's, (by B's I mean just somewhere between a B- and a B+.) It's a statistical probability, given that most people do, and very few get A's and C's. So that's what I told myself. Why stress about it if you already know what you're going to get?

When I got sick over Finals, that probability seemed to go out the window. I was so high on NyQuil I couldn't even REMEMBER my Contracts final. Something about an airplane? I dunno. I left feeling miserable and uncertain. Never in my life had I felt so blindsided by an exam. Normally you know what to expect when you show up to an exam. I had to skip the first page and come back. I changed my answers several times on the multiple choice. These things I remember, (and have subsequently stressed out over) but the actual exam is lost forever. Being so uncertain (and not remembering the exam) had me kind of nervous. The thought of getting a C felt horrible.

So anyway, I told myself I was going to get B's. And that's what I got. I did much better in legal research, but of course that doesn't count toward your average. OYE. I'm told that employers often ask what grade you got in that class, so at least I have a good answer.

Getting what you expect, with no surprises, is the anticlimactic part. I did fine. Good, even. Not great. I'm disappointed only because I expected the grade fairy to come along and change the past or something. I'm happy, but I feel sort of blah about it.

Luckily, I've already got an internship lined up for the summer so grades at this point are inconsequential. I want to do Moot Court, not Law Review. And in any case I can write my way onto Law Review (I'm told that looks better than grading on anyway) if I want, so again grades aren't that big of a deal.

My point is, all that worrying or stressing does you no good. You can't change your grades, but they can't change you either. Let it go, focus on the new semester. These grades do not define you. The reality is, you will graduate, you will pass the bar and you'll be a lawyer. That is the point of law school, isn't it? So just focus on actually learning the black letter law and regardless of what grades you get, you will be a lawyer when you are done.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The End of Everything?

Is tomorrow the end of everything? The beginning? The first day of the rest of my life? Despite comfort given and statements to the contrary, there is a general feeling that the release of your first 1L grades will change your life forever. Everything is riding on this. Your career, your sanity, your future as a lawyer, your future as a law student. It's such a big deal they have shrinks in place for dealing with breakdowns. School officials are trying their best to soothe everyone, while simultaneously telling us we have to wait until AFTER class on Friday to get our grades. So here is my personal theory on 1L grades.

The reality is that these grades will potentially affect the job you get for this summer, which in turn potentially affects your future jobs. Five years from now? It's probably not going to matter at all. Most people aren't going to get into Big Law, which means being top of your class might look pretty on a resume but it's unlikely anyone's going to ask. At some point in your career it will probably look pretentious to talk about it.

Here is my real concern: things are going to change. All year the faculty have commented on how great our class is. We all get along. We laugh, even during exam week. We're not overly cliquey, and we seem willing to help each other out. We're not overly competitive, either, at least not out loud. Professors keep commenting that everything will change once our first grades come out. New cliques will form. Old ones will break up. Friendships will be strained. The idea of this makes me miserable, because it's been such a great environment so far. It's hard to imagine it changing. There isn't anyone I don't like and as far as I know (even though I can be a tad annoying to some people, I'm sure) there isn't anyone who dislikes me.

Will tomorrow be the end of it all?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's a Sickness

Law students have a few things in common, almost universally. First, ego. Second, obsessive tendencies. Add those two together with exams and grades, and you're in for quite a ride. The thing about our egos is that while they might appear big, they are easily shaken and we're often extremely self-deprecating. Self-preservation requires we puff up our chests and talk a big game, but when no one is looking we collapse into panic, worry, and pastry.

I sent out a flood of resumes and managed to secure a tentative offer. It looks good and it's with a well-known defense attorney in the area. I am very excited to meet with him and discuss my potential role. A sane person would feel a sense of relief at this, given that our grades are so important to securing a summer job. I don't need to stress about my grades, because I already have something lined up. Yet I cannot stop checking to see if they've posted.

Here is where the obsessive tendencies come in. I KNOW the grades will not post until Friday. I know that they weren't even due until today. I saw THREE of my five professors go into the office to turn in their grades and even spoke to one of them in the lobby for some time, confirming that he had in fact been doing that very thing. I KNOW the deans are going to get together to review the grades, verify they meet requirements and seem consistent and fair, and that this process will take some time. Hence the Friday posting date.

But I still keep checking.

Arlene was positively panicking today when we returned after Christmas break. She was convinced she had failed her torts exam and would not shut up about it. I of course, do not blame her at all and tried my best to calm her down. She can't help it, she's one of us.

On the plus side, so far I like my new teachers and I am very excited for my writing class tomorrow. I love my teacher in that class, and it's been weird not getting to hear his awesome stories. I've missed it.

Oh, and my research professor from last semester said he gave out more A's than he ever had before. I have a sneaking suspicion I earned one of those. Which is actually kind of sad, because it doesn't count toward my average. I have been told that often firms will ONLY ask how you did in Research, so maybe the A will prove valuable. Can you imagine, an "A" in law school? One can dream, I guess.

Back to real life. It seems odd that we adapt so quickly to vacation. At least now I have more things to obsess over besides grades, like reading for class, getting enough sleep, etc.

Oh, on an unrelated note, I've been a vegetarian for 8 days and it's going great!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

This was a pretty big one, I guess. We made (well, mostly) a pretty major decision. Things are still a bit iffy about The Mad Scientist's job. Once that is settled, and depending on how other things go, we're thinking of having another baby. We had decided not to, but this Christmas I got thinking and it makes me sad to imagine Abby with no siblings on Christmas morning. It was so wonderful seeing everyone and giving gifts, and I don't want her to miss out. On top of that, she is a toddler now. It's crazy. There are a lot of factors, and nothing's for sure, but we'd been so certain that we wouldn't have anymore that when we opened up the possibility I felt absolute joy. Which is odd, because I had been fine with the decision before this.

I am beginning a new weight-loss regimen. I'm going vegetarian temporarily, in an attempt to force myself to learn new recipes and eat more produce. I always cop out and just eat a burger. So far it's been awesome, and I'm really enjoying all the new foods I'm eating. I'm also taking up yoga and doing more to exercise in general. If all goes to plan and I get healthy, we'll talk about having another one. This is also conditional on The Mad Scientist's job, as well. That's a lot of conditions, and on top of all that the timing has to be right. I don't feel like dealing with delivering a baby in the middle of exams.

I'm really scared that I'll be so tired I'll end up cutting class all the time. It's definitely something to consider. We'll see what happens.

Our New Year's was great. We had a little adventure helping someone whose truck was stuck up the canyon. I am really sore and I got some pretty major snowburn on my hands from pushing the truck. My muscles are so sore I feel like I've been working out for two days. I was supposed to do yoga today but I dunno if I'll survive.

Only two more weeks until we get our grades. I am still trying not to think about it too much. I picked up my books, and they were so expensive. More than I thought they would be, based on what I found online but there just wasn't time.

Ugh law school. I miss it and I dread it.