Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘1L’

Observations

Posted by newlawmom on August 24, 2010

Law school has changed people. People have matured. In some ways I would say thank God but in other ways I wonder if people would be happy with the changes. For some of them, it might be a negative thing. I suppose I have changed as well, although I would like to think that law school didn’t do it. But it has. It has changed the way I think and in some ways it has changed the way I view the world. My career plans have changed to a certain degree, and I have learned to see shades of gray. Still don’t like them but black and white just isn’t going to get me anywhere in this field.

I encountered some people today who I haven’t had in class since 1L. They seemed to have a seriousness about them that was lacking. Even our infamous 1L gunner has toned it down. If I had started law school with the knowledge and understanding that I have right now, it would have been a thousand times easier. I can only imagine that others feel the same. So…3L is different. There is no way around it.

Posted in 1L, 3L, law school | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Year 3 Here I Come

Posted by newlawmom on August 19, 2010

I can’t believe it. Where does the time go? And look at how different my mind set is three years later. It’s amazing. Life is never stable. I’m not even sure yet how I’m going to get it done. Right now I’m just trying to get everything done before Monday so I can concentrate. I have no books, haven’t looked at my reading, haven’t applied for any jobs for next year. Nothing. What I have done is take care of my children and my mother all summer long. And my mother’s companion, who passed away this past Sunday. His funeral is Friday. My mother is still very ill. I don’t know if she will make it or not. On Monday, my first day of school, she is scheduled for some more tests. It will be hard to not worry about her. As for the kids, this will be the first year that most of my classes are at night. That will be very hard for them. I have hired a babysitter for three nights a week from 3-11. They prefer to call her a driver as they are too old for a sitter. You know, drive me here, drive me there. That is what mothers of teenagers do. It goes without saying that the babysitter must drive, have their own car, and have plenty of insurance and a good driving record. The boys are now 14 and 10. My daughter will be 21 in October. Plenty old enough to know that mommy has had a rough summer. So…

The summer job ended up working out ok. I wish I had more time to devote to it. But I did get to work on a memo in support of a motion to suppress a confession in a murder case. That was pretty cool. I can’t wait to follow the arguments and the outcome sometime in September or October. As much as I would like to, I am unable to pick up any legal work this semester. It really is going to be all I can manage to go to school, take care of my kids, and take care of my mother. More than enough. So what’s on the agenda? Family Law, Real Estate, Land Use, Trial Practice, and Criminal Procedure part 2. Sounds good. Lets see if I can remember what I’ve already accomplished: Contracts, Torts, Property, Civ Pro, Con Law, Crim, Crim Pro, Evidence, Tax, UCC, Admin, a clinic, Med Mal, Health Law, and 2 credit class on empathy more or less. I just want to pass the bar now. I hope this last year goes smoothly.

To all you 1L’s, best of luck. To my 3L friends, we’re almost there. And to those of you who have finished this journey, I have a newfound respect for you.

Posted in 1L, 3L, law school | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Realities of Law School Scholarships

Posted by newlawmom on June 10, 2009

I kept mine. I am grateful. I found out yesterday and it is still sinking in. But the relief that came with that news was tempered by information that a good friend of mine didn’t meet with the same success.  We started together, studied together, shared our concerns and our successes, and met each others’s families. We are both non-traditional students. Beyond that, our similarities end.  I’m a lifelong resident of the state I live in. The other person uprooted an entire family to get here. If one of us was in a better position to lose the scholarship, it was me. I still have a career here. But so it is. Any scholarship that is attached to a class rank is subject to being lost at the end of 1L year. It has been a humbling experience to say the least, and for my friend, perhaps life-altering. I need more time to decide how I feel about this situation, because hard work on its own, innate ability as reflected in GPA’s and LSAT scores on its own, or even the combination of the two is insufficient to insure success. As for the soft factors that were considered for these scholarships, both my friend and myself are the same people that we were before school started. Our life experiences, personality traits, and worthwhile goals and objectives have not changed. It is hard for me to say that either of us is less deserving of the scholarship today than we were last year at this time. Perhaps neither of us deserved it in the first place.  The optimist in me doesn’t want to believe the theory that the law school gives 1L’s money as a bribe to raise their ranking while expecting a certain percentage to fail. But no matter how you look at it, if you accept a scholarship that requires a certain GPA or class rank to retain that scholarship, you simply must consider what would happen to you if you lost it. For me, the risk would have been worth it anyway. For my friend, different decisions might have been made. Top half is not a given, no matter how accustomed you are to being at the top of the class. So….good luck to all those reading. I need some more time to adjust my attitude. For today, I am depressed and contemplative. I need to figure out what I want to do with this educational opportunity. I need to take full advantage of it this coming year, because a third year is not an automatic given. I’m not going to spend my year obsessing about grades, that is for sure. I’ll write again soon. Thank you to all my readers for over 7000 hits to this blog, I appreciate it.

Posted in 0L, 1L, law school | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Contracts, Grades, and a promise

Posted by newlawmom on June 8, 2009

I was sure I failed, confident my scholarship was on the line, and upset for days until I finally got to a point of acceptance. And in the end? I did fine. Pulled off a B, which is above the median. Unfortunately, one of the classes I thought I did well in ended up with a C+. But no matter how you look at it, my scholarship seems safe. I have one more grade outstanding and I don’t think it can pull me down far enough to significantly hurt me. But I have learned one lesson, and it is a mistake I will never make again. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PREDICT LAW SCHOOL GRADES. It is an impossible task. There is no way to know. I have said that before, but didn’t really believe it. Now I know from first hand experience. Today I am the happiest woman on earth. Unfortunately the outstanding grade is with a Prof. who is well-known for her delayed grades so it could still be a long wait until I am 100% certain of my fate. I hope everyone is having a great summer. I’ll write again soon about that internship. To the 0L’s reading this, enjoy the time you have left.

Posted in 1L, law school | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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….

Posted in 1L, law school, Parenthood | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scared

Posted by newlawmom on May 16, 2009

Yes. I am scared to death. If I do not stay in the top half of this class, my scholarship is gone. That is a distinct possibility even if I stay above the median in every class but contracts. Contracts scares me half to death. I know I missed an entire issue. A big issue. The main point of the question type of issue. And despite being totally pissed at myself, there is not a darn thing I can do about it. So I wait. If I lose the scholarship, it is very doubtful I will be able to return. Will it be my own fault? Yes. Was my confidence misplaced? Yes. Well, no, but I underestimated my competition.  So…..I shall wait. Right along with everyone else. In the meantime I am taking off for a few days. I start work at the courthouse the day after Memorial Day. I won’t check my grades until at least the middle of next week, although my goal is to wait until June 1 to check. Anyway – it is going to be a long wait. I can only hope and pray. This experience is humbling, to say the least. Have a great weekend everyone. I am going to try to forget about everything for a few days.

Posted in 1L, law school | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

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.

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

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.)

Posted in 1L, law school, Parenthood | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

bad, bad, bad

Posted by newlawmom on May 4, 2009

Con Law disaster. The exam from hell. LIKE – why not give me an impossible question why don’t you? Make it impossible to answer. Question: Something to the effect of what do you do when the entire government of the United States is incapacitated and the president takes it upon himself to institute emergency measures that last for years before anyone is well enough to do anything about it? How the F should I know? I’m just a first year law student or did you forget that part? I am perfectly familiar with the separation of powers. I read every case, studied Chemerinsky, outlined to high heaven. None of that is helpful when you give me a question that none of the cases we have studied comes even close to addressing. So…..what do I do? Go on facebook of course. Just to see what everyone else is saying about it. And you know what? Nobody is saying a damn word. Which means either: a) they didn’t think it was so horrible and have now moved on with their day like no big problem or b) they all had just as much trouble as I did and think everyone else got it right so they are keeping their troubles to themselves. Me? I’m calling it a day.

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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.

Posted in 1L, law school, Parenthood | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »