Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘1L summer’

Midsummer update

Posted by newlawmom on June 25, 2009

The kids: are my world and I am so happy they are all home. Today we hit the beach and it was splendid. Trips planned: One week in a rented house at the ocean. One weekend of camping at the ocean. One day trip to local “big city”.  One day trip to local amusement park. One July 4th party which includes a clear view of fireworks from the back yard. One night at the car races. One night at the local minor league baseball game. That should do it. Mom’s pocketbook (which I never used to carry by the way…) is empty before we even get started.

The internship: is awesome. Although I’m not doing anything close to practicing law, I think I get more interaction with the people coming to court and also with all the court staff than my classmates who are interning with public defenders and prosecutors. This weeks highlights: one pro se criminal case, a jury selection, an assault on a judicial marshall, and an administrative appeal. Next week: I will spend an hour with a prosecutor and also tour the holding area with a marshall. I find every day at court to be interesting and educational. I am not sure, however, that I would enjoy working there.

The pocketbook: an item that every attorney must learn to carry? No. But I sure looked stupid carrying my keys, a wallet, and a package of tictacs while dressed in a suit. I managed to go 39 years without ever carrying a pocketbook. I’m not even sure if that is spelled correctly as a compound word. But sure enough, in a few weeks flat, I have a pocketbook so full of things that I can lose my own keys. This reminds me of lawyer hair for some reason. A must have that I am not good at maintaining. But I can learn.

40: that birthday that is fast approaching. I need to quit smoking and it is on my to-do list for 7/1/09. I do not want to be 40 and a smoker. Actually, I would like to live to see my youngest child through to adulthood. If I am a non-smoker on my birthday (which isn’t until August), I will be a happy girl. Oh yeah. Make that woman. I suspect it is time to grow up.

That’s all folks. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Read a book, take a tan, watch a movie, see a rainbow, or simply splash your feet in some water…


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2L preview, decisions, and life

Posted by newlawmom on June 17, 2009

I watched a young person be sent to prison for ten years in a plea deal yesterday. Scary stuff. There is something about robbing people at gunpoint that tends to lead to bad outcomes. As one attorney put it – “scary stuff happens in here. It takes about two minutes in front of a judge for someone to agree to serve years in jail, and then they are gone”. That is exactly how it works, although I am certain many hours of discussions and investigations have occurred before those plea agreements are reached. The internship? I don’t get to do a lot of meaningful work, but I get to spend many hours in the courtroom and that is very helpful, useful, educational, informative, and quite enjoyable for me. Not to mention I am meeting lots of people. I love my internship even though I might not choose to work in that environment on a daily basis. Then again, maybe I would. Only time will tell.

Invitations to write on to law review have been issued. I am eligible to participate. This is a decision I have thought about, but probably not as much thought as it deserves. There is a certain part of me that believes my time would be better spent writing a quality piece for submission to someone else’s journal and getting an actual piece published. On the other hand, law review can’t be beat for resume purposes. Actually, if I had my choice, there is a secondary joural that I would enjoy much more. If I successfully write on, I might choose that one. So I need to make my decision very soon and plan to set the time aside. Truth be told, I don’t know much about this competition. I need to find out more and hopefully talk to a Prof. before I make this decision. I’ll let you know when I make up my mind.

Pretty soon I need to check the career boards and see what type of opportunities for next summer are presenting early. I know last year I saw people on interviews very early in the year. So I would like to be in that group. In other news, I found a local law firm that specializes in serving clients with brain injuries, from torts to medicine and education issues. It might be a perfect match if I can make it happen. So….I am currently thinking about next summer’s employment options? Yes. That is exactly what I am doing. Also thinking about how to best accomplish that article I want to research and write before school is over. Time is going on by.  I hope all my readers are having a lovely summer. For tomorrow, I am going to attempt to focus exclusively on my children and  my home. Wish me luck.

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1L Summer, Time Management

Posted by newlawmom on June 2, 2009

So, I’ve made it to June. Three out of five grades are in, and so far I’m doing just ok. I’ve become amazingly disconnected from caring whether I retain my scholarship or not. I have decided that the wait for law school grades is really unpleasant and I don’t have time to postpone my life while I wait, so I have moved on. I found myself floundering for a few weeks because I have far too much time on my hands. I was actually used to being busy morning, noon, and night. So I have put myself on a schedule and that has helped substantially. The basics:

1. The Internship – I am working three days a week in a local courthouse, handling administrative issues for persons accused of minor crimes and sentenced to community service and various treatments. I meet the client before they see the prosecutor and again after they face the judge. It is interesting work. During quieter times I am able to sit in court and watch criminal trials and the general criminal docket. I have actually learned alot, and met many people. My school is well-represented here, with interns working with the prosecution, defense, and other administrative positions. So far, well worth my time.

2. The Real Job – I actually do have one of those. I am working 25 hours per week with my client for the duration of the summer, with most of those hours being done on the weekends when my children are with their father.

3. The Children – The college freshman is home and already working full time and taking a summer class. She and I have a standing date on Friday evenings for dinner and a movie. Boyfriend happens to work on Friday, so that works out well for me. It is great to have her home. The boys are still in school. They will be attending camp on my work days, and will have the option of going to camp on my two days off. I lucked out with a summer playground program that runs five days a week from 8-4:30 – total cost for two children? $450 for the entire summer! That’s total, not each. There is no way to beat that. They get to play sports, swim, make crafts, and do other camp activities plus take a field trip once a week (extra $ there, but that’s ok). Thank God for Parks and Rec. Three evenings a week are devoted to the children, from 4-9 PM. So far we have made it to the public library, the park, and out for a bike ride. I can’t wait for them to be done with school so we can take a day trip or two.

4. Reading – I am on my third book. As I have shared my summer reading list elsewhere, I can not share it here, but I love to read, I missed it during law school, and I am happy to have time to do it now.

5. Writing – I also love to write. I have been keeping up with my journal, and have allotted three late evenings per week to writing. No TV, no computer, no radio. Just a notebook and a pen. Whether I end up with poetry, a novel, a collection of nonsense, or just an extension of the journal remains to be seen. Six to nine hours of writing a week should certainly lead to something.

That sums up my weekly to do list. Housework fills whatever small voids are left over. I have also managed to plant some flowers and a couple of tomato plants. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Sometime between now and the end of June I hope to have all my grades in and discover whether I will retain my scholarship or not. Until then….

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Last 1L exam

Posted by newlawmom on May 7, 2009

I made it!  My studying is over. Done. History. (no – not that – I can’t take any more learning this year). I haven’t allowed it to sink in yet. I have my last exam in the morning, then I’m taking off for the evening by myself to celebrate my accomplishments. I think it is probably going to take some time to get used to the idea that it’s actually over. My main goal is to avoid checking for grades until after memorial day. From tomorrow until Memorial Day I am taking a vacation. I can’t promise what type of updates this blog will get over the summer, but I suspect I will still post at least once or twice a week. It has become one part of my life that I actually enjoy. However, you will need to forgive me if I slack off. OK? I hope everyone has an awesome summer. The first year of law school is OVER! Imagine that.

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May 2009

Posted by newlawmom on May 1, 2009

I can’t believe it’s May already. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my first law school class and now I am less than one week away from being done. There are two exams left. Civ Pro went awesome today. I am extremely pleased with my performance. Of course, that may be meaningless if everyone else feels the same way. For today, I am happy. Con Law and Contracts remain. Con Law will be the bigger problem of the two, and Contracts is by far the more important. Unfortunately they fall relatively close together and I will not have adequate time to prepare for either. Study time this weekend starts at 1PM tomorrow and goes until midnight Sunday. Next exam is Monday. Lord help me. But that is only a week of May. The rest of the month is going to be awesome.

I will be going out this coming Friday to do a particular favorite activity all my by lonesome. That is my treat to myself for consistently doing my best this year. I will be picking my daughter up from her freshman year on Friday May 15. I can’t wait to have her here with me, and have great plans for days spent at the beach, shopping, a show or two, and plenty of Friday night movies. Either the week before she gets back or the week after I will be going away for two or three days with my honey, destination still to be determined. It doesn’t matter. It will be great to spend some time with him and I am really looking forward to it. Then, on Friday May 22, I start my summer job. So this month will bring big changes my way, and rather than being anxiety inducing, they are actually pleasant to think about. In other words, I must be doing something right. This is good to know. It will get me through the next few days and two more exams. I hope all my readers are as satisfied with their lives as I am with mine right now. Have a great weekend. I’ll be back either Sunday night or Monday with an update.

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1L Summer work

Posted by newlawmom on April 21, 2009

I am so happy with my job. I spent about an hour there and I am convinced it is a perfect fit. I will start work the day after Memorial Day. I also learned all about confidentiality and other practice rules today, and that will place serious constraints on how much blogging I am able to do. But I am allowed to give general information that would be available to any member of the public, so I can tell you about the job itself. I am going to work in Community Court where individuals who have been accused of minor criminal offenses and quality of life crimes can enter a conditional guilty plea, serve a sentence based on a concept of restorative justice, and have a clean record after they complete the requirements imposed by the court. Special programs include a supervised community service work crew, a program designed to move women out of prostitution and into paying employment and new neighborhoods, a program designed for truants where they are “scared straight” back into school,  and arrangements with social service organizations providing drug treatment, anger management, and other rehabilitative type services. My job duties will be varied as I work with the administrator of this court. I will be in court two days per week. The other days will be assorted paperwork and — get this! I will be allowed to observe portions of a murder trial or other high profile trial. I was surprised to hear that and very much looking forward to the opportunity. Basically, as summer jobs go, I feel quite lucky. I hope all my readers have a great day. I will be back tomorrow with an update on the memo and exam prep.

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Job Search Type A

Posted by newlawmom on February 10, 2009

Someday I’m going to give myself a heart attack. I need to learn to relax. But not this week. It seems I have decided that I need to have a summer job yesterday.  I actually skipped my contracts class today to work on the job hunt. Today’s tally: 4 online submissions for corporate internships, 1 “tailored” resume revision so that I now have 2 depending on the purpose, hours online searching for appropriate opportunities, and one negative response from one of the paper apps that were mailed last week. I could stay up for another several hours applying for more jobs but I am out of time.  DEAR GIRL (that’s me…) Please – do not skip any more classes to seek work. That is ridiculous. Well, which matters more? And the answer is….summer work. Exams come later. Lord help me.

I was reading some other blogs yesterday and discovered the “covert job hunt scenario”. Seems everyone is doing it. And I guess so. It would never occur to me to tell a fellow student anything about my job search or even acknowledge that I have one. Nor would I tell them grades. Nor would I tell them most anything about myself. I certainly wouldn’t ask anyone else if they are looking for work. I assume some are. I assume some are not. And I assume some were more diligent than me and already have a job all lined up. In law school, or at least at my law school, we all respect each other. It’s like the military: don’t ask, don’t tell. Meanwhile, we are the most competitive people while we pretend (some better than others) to be collegiate. Make no mistake about it – these people mean business. So if I come out on top, more power to me. If not, its my own dam fault. There will be no peace in my world until I have a legal job for the summer. I’ll be more satisfied if I have a choice. And when push comes to shove, I don’t really care what the other students are doing. Which is probably why I don’t ask.

Well readers, when there is something you want, there is only one thing to do. Make it happen.

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