Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘1L exam prep’

mid-exam day off

Posted by newlawmom on May 5, 2009

I took one of those even though I didn’t mean to. I did look at contracts. I have everything spread out on my table. I just didn’t do too much with it. So I will take the rest of the night off just to make it worth it. Seriously, tomorrow morning I need to be on top of this. But I am so tired of studying there aren’t even words to describe it. It’s an open book test and I studied all semester. How hard can it be? Something tells me that by tomorrow night I will feel differently about that. I hope everyone has a great day. (Tomorrow is sonny boy’s birthday! 13 years old and already talking about buying his own car. Lord help me.)

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Contracts . . .

Posted by newlawmom on April 18, 2009

Yes, I’m still on contracts. Worked on it all day from 9 to almost 7, and now I am on my way out for the evening! I won tickets to a local production on my way to school the other day, so my honey and I are taking the night to ourselves. Sort of. I said no to dinner so I could spend more time on contracts. One might think I was having a love affair, but NO. So…I need to go. Have  a lovely Sunday.

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Uber Productive Holiday

Posted by newlawmom on April 13, 2009

Sweet. I got so much done I could sing! NO – You would not want to hear me do that. I have completed every last page of reading for Property. Yes, for the remainder of the semester. Plus I completely finished my outline for the class. All I need to add is whatever I get out of the next few lectures. It is a closed book exam, but it seems like a simple matter of IRAC approach here, a pure issue spotter where knowledge of the black letter law is going to get me somewhere. This is, of course, in direct contrast to Contracts where the black letter law is not black and the Prof. has no interest in seeing conclusions. Anyway…Property is in good shape. I got my grade back on my memo (draft 1). It is not the high grade, but it is high enough for me. I need to ace the rewrite while changing it into an appellate format from a memo in support of a motion. I started this project over the weekend but felt I was lacking direction so I will wait to speak with the Prof. tomorrow before I do anything else with it.  On tonights agenda is Civ Pro. The week overall will need to be divided between Civ Pro, Contracts, and the memo. Not exactly how I had planned things, but it is what it is. (I have a friend who hates when I say that, but it is true.) So…this is the last full week of classes. Next week we have a few makeup classes for those that were cancelled due to snow. I have an interview Wednesday, and hope that I don’t need the job. But seeing as I don’t have an actual assignment yet, I need to plan. This would be for a volunteer position working with crime victims. I really do believe that everything works out exactly as God intends it to be, so I have let go some of my angst over this summer job thing. The most important thing right now is to ace these exams, because my scholarship really is riding on my performance. Top half or call it over.  While I want to say I am 100% confident that is easy to achieve, it is not.  Nothing in life is free. So….I need to go get busy. Have a lovely evening. I hope you accomplish whatever it is you need to do. See you tomorrow.

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Contracts and Civ Pro

Posted by newlawmom on April 6, 2009

Accomplished three hours in contracts studying today and that made me happy. Now its on to Civ Pro. In addition to doing some reading tonight I hope to pull out my outline and start filling in the gaps. From this point forward I will be working on exam prep daily, one way or another. Also today I spoke with a Prof. who has a special project for me re: child welfare, guardian ad lidem training, and who knows what else. I suspect that working closely with one prof on a special assignment/project can only be a good thing. It seems that a 3L who has handled this previously is leaving and she needs a replacement. Well now – that’s good, because this sounds like just the job for me. Yup. My 1L year is winding down and I am into exam mode, plain and simple. I told the prof I would contact her after exams are over. She seemed ok with that. Good, because I am not doing anything other than exam prep between now and May 8. I hope my readers have  a lovely day.  I’m going to spend my night with blue paper and a pen. Handwritten outlines 101.

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Interview tomorrow

Posted by newlawmom on March 26, 2009

Yes. My first interview for a legal job. I am nervous but thinking it can’t be all that different from any other job interview, and I have had plenty of those. I will leave home too early, insuring I get there on time. Once I see where I am, I can just waste a little time before I park. From there, I will go directly to school. I have one class and a group study session and then it is time to go home. My weekend will be devoted to outlining, Week 1 = Contracts. Week 2 = Property Week 3 = Civil Procedure Week 4 = Con Law

While I am at school tomorrow I need to visit the bookstore and pick up something for Property.  Not sure what exactly, just an extra study guide for my closed book exam in that class. Con Law is last because I had a full outline prepared for my midterm and it requires less work than the others. Property will be my challenge class this exam season. I am feeling much better about Con Law and, as odd as it seems, both Civ Pro and Contracts seem easier this time around. I have old exams from every class. Not sure how I will use them yet, but I will find a way. Recognizing that I am near the end of this is proving to be very helpful. I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow. I will give you the interview update tomorrow night. Wish me luck!

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exam prep and a job search

Posted by newlawmom on December 10, 2008

I’m so excited. I have a meeting with career services after my exam tomorrow and I have spent the past couple hours looking for summer work opportunities. I am staying away from all the types of law that I think I want to practice. The best thing I can do for my future and to enhance my ability to have a profound interest on child welfare in this country is to get the best education possible and take advantage of every opportunity to experience the world of law. On that note, I have decided I want to spend my 1L summer at a firm, and the larger firm, the better. I have no interest in banking or corporate law or anything like that, but health law, trusts and estates, education law, and even real estate are things I might enjoy learning more about. I will keep you up to date on how that goes. Tomorrow we will review my resume. So….

Before I got caught up in the summer work search, I was studying for contracts. For which I feel totally prepared and impatient. I forced myself to review everything today, but in reality, I already know the material. I spent some time working on approaches to answers. I worked on shorter answers, more concise answers, and organization of responses. I feel more than adequately prepared. It is an open book exam, but I will bring only my own outline, my spiral book of helpful reminders, and pens. (Yes, I did go out and buy myself new pens, and they are awesome.) I can’t wait for this exam, but the meeting with career services will be the high point of my day. NOTE: I do not expect much from career services. I am more than capable of finding my own work. But I will listen to their advice and take advantage of their willingness to review my resume and cover letters. So…..it’s off to contracts. Pleasant to remember that law school is actually the means to the end, and not the end itself. I hope all my readers have a lovely day.

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Knowledge insufficient

Posted by newlawmom on December 5, 2008

A new revelation? No. Just a reminder to myself. I know the material. That has been sufficient for almost every educational test I’ve ever taken. But that is not the case now. I predict that a majority of law students in my class know the material. The question is one of strategy. How am I going to apply this knowledge to a novel exam question four times over the next two weeks and consistently perform better than my peers? I believe the answer is to stop learning the law now and focus on outlining and writing. Not on preparing outlines. Those are done. I’m talking about finding novel questions and outlining answer format. I have purposefully saved sample exam questions from those classes where they were made available. For torts, I am on my own.  Writing an excellent essay response is the key. It is the only thing that matters. Four times, two weeks, starting in three days. I am done learning law until January. Practice makes perfect, or so they say. We will see if that is true.

On strategy, it occurs to me that I am in a competitive environment.  I have never cheated in my life, and I don’t plan on starting now. However, smart people will take advantage of this open book concept. And it is in my interest to determine how to best use that to my advantage. I can bring anything I want, so long as I wrote it.  That should mean that I can prepare an outline for my answer almost totally in advance and use the parts of it that are necessary to answer the question, inserting facts and applying only those sections that are required. There are only so many questions that can be asked. The volume of information we have covered is not that large, believe it or not. From the broader perspective, the quantity is manageable. Under different circumstances, I would go in with nothing other than my knowledge and the outline I prepared.  It seems more fair. More reasonable. But in reality, if I have prepared this outline on my own, it is fair game for the exam and I would be a fool to pass it up.

Other exam strategies? Peace. Relaxation. Breathing. A hearty breakfast.  Spare pens. (yes, I am hand-writing my exams) That’s it. Prayer.  And confidence that I am as capable of succeeding here as anybody else. I have applied myself, attended class, done the reading, prepared the outlines, and devoted the past few months of my life to mastering this material. There is nothing else I can do. That’s why relaxation is key. It will be the hardest thing for me to do. I hope my readers have a lovely day. I hope someone who is freaking out about their exams finds something helpful here. Have a great day. I will write again on Monday, following my first exam: Civil Procedure.

Posted in 1L, law school, Law School Life | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Study week Thursday

Posted by newlawmom on December 4, 2008

So today I focused on criminal law. All day, and into the evening. I am calling it quits. I am tired and need to have the energy to do one more day of this tomorrow. All in all, I am very happy with my strategy of devoting an entire day to one class. I learned alot today, found out I was misunderstanding a few things, got that straightened out via email with the prof, and then took a sample exam and reviewed it. Criminal Law is my one closed book exam, so I transferred most of my outline onto index cards for study and memorization purposes.  I feel much more comfortable with the material tonight than I did this morning, so that is helpful. While I am not forcing myself to do more today, if I feel up to it later, I will read a bit  in the horn book. I think a hot bubble bath sounds nice. Or perhaps just some cookies, tea, and a movie. Maybe I will just go to bed and watch television there until I fall asleep. My honey works nights, so I am on my own until 1 or so. I think that is part of the reason why I like to study late into the night rather than early in the morning. Next semester, I need to be in class by 9 every day. I think that might kill me. I love law school, but mornings have never been my thing. Well, I have had a productive day. I hope all my readers have had a productive day as well. I will be back tomorrow night to give you that final update on reading week. Torts.

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Eager to get busy

Posted by newlawmom on December 3, 2008

Well, I was having a productive day right until 3. Going to school and driving home was ok, but at home, my house is too loud. I decided earlier that I wouldn’t even attempt to study until it got quiet, and that time is still at least a half-hour away. I did grocery shopping, laundry, cooked dinner, and played on my facebook account amonst other non-law related activiites. Right now I just want to study. I am working on finishing my Civ Pro outline, after attending a review session for that class today. It was helpful. Worth the ride. But now I just want to finish it up. Tomorrow I’ll be home all day, which should work out fine. I will working on Criminal Law all day tomorrow. Friday is Torts.  The reading week is half over already. That’s too bad, because I am really enjoying it. Independent preparation for examinations is my strong suit. It is right up my alley. I love it. I am not thinking about exams, just the prep. I will be prepared. Everything else will take care of itself. So….I am bored. Waiting to get back to work. But there is nothing else to say here. I hope my readers have a lovely day. I hope everyone finds their 1L exam period to be tolerable.

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Two classes down…

Posted by newlawmom on November 20, 2008

Legal skills class is done, although the final memo is not due until Tuesday. And in Crim has wrapped up. That leaves Contracts, Civ Pro, and Torts with two torts classes and one of each of the others remaining. For tonight I will finish compiling our group crim law outline to send to the prof. Tomorrow will consist of memo revisions all day with a break for Torts class. Saturday will be spent on Contracts, Sunday on revising the memo based on Prof’s comments. Monday is Torts and Contracts, with the afternoon and evening spent on Contracts. Tuesday will be Civ Pro all day, nothing but.  And that will wrap up my pre-holiday study period. I am taking a much needed and well-deserved break over Thanksgiving weekend to resume my diligent exam prep on Monday. Wish me luck. I hope all my readers accomplish what it is they are looking to accomplish.

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