Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘ABA work restriction’

Tuesday, 9/30/08

Posted by newlawmom on September 30, 2008

Terrible thing? My darling college freshman has run up over $200 worth of text messaging costs and I can’t smash the phone into a million bits because she lives four states away. We’ve had this conversation before. Ship the phone home, baby. Mommy isn’t rich.  Attempting to raise two boys as a single parent on the income that 20 hours worth of work per week limitation allows me to live on while simulaneously making a substantial contribution to darling daughters educational costs doesn’t leave much money left over. Law school on scholarship is a blessing but it doesn’t eliminate living expenses. Spare me. Be grateful that you have a phone and respect the limits I’ve placed on it. Or pay for your own damn phone. Things like this make me angry.

So…I managed a B on the Civ Pro sample exam. Seeing that B was enough to make me want to cry happy tears. How did I get here? Clearly I need to do better. After considering the situation I realize it is not that I need to spend more time on the law work. It is a matter of method. My new strategy is to allow larger chunks of time towards individual classes, reading ahead, digesting the information, and outlining all at once in time chunks of several hours. This is in comparison to an hour or so of reading for one class, moving on to the next, and spending a few hours outlining all the courses on Friday night and over the weekend. A new strategy with plenty of time left to implement it before exams hit. Praying will not help me here. Action is required. But I do pray I am up to the task. There is something about law school that is making me feel old, unprepared, and on occassion, stupid. While I had heard this could happen, I didn’t expect it to happen to me.  I am glad I still have two months until exams. That leaves time to improve. So…I hope my readers have a lovely day. I plan on having an outstanding day tomorrow.


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Pre-law careers

Posted by newlawmom on July 9, 2008

Well, I will test the possibility of anonymity and truth blending well together. The more truthful I am, the easier it is to uncover my identity. Does that matter? Only because I would rather my future classmates don’t know everything about me. I prefer to remain quietly in the background in real life. Gunner will not be a word that anyone could apply to me. So….my pre-law career….working with people with disabilities. Currently, that takes the form of people with traumatic brain injury. With the 20-hour per week restriction imposed by the ABA, that will take the form of one person with a traumatic brain injury. I love people. I especially love people who struggle in the world. I’m good at what I do and that shows in my work. Along the way, I have discovered that people with disabilities need to stand up for their rights. I have also had the opportunity to learn that acts based on good intentions do not always equal acts that are right. Many people with good intentions disregard the rights of people to pursue “life, liberty, and happiness”. It is true now and has been true historically. The best thing I can do for a person is to advocate for them, which often involves advocating for things that go against the desire to “care for” a person.

I assume that all people want to live their life with as little interference from others as possible. At the same time, all people want to have relationships and associations with other people. There are exceptions to every rule, and I’m sure my assumptions are not always correct. Even the notion that all people have a fundamental desire to live has not always proven true in my experience. So it is impossible to know what any one individual wants when I first meet them. But as I work with people, I come to know them. As I come to know them, I come to understand them. And once I understand them, I am their strongest advocate. Not for what is best for them, but for what they want. More often than not, those two things are not the same. I believe in the individual right to choose and it amazes me how often that leads to conflict.

I am adjusting to my new work schedule. I am gradually preparing for my 1L year. My school year hours will involve ten hours over the weekend and ten hours late nights. Those late night hours the client is sleeping and I am being paid barely more than minimum wage. However, my weekend hours are my professional hours and those will be paying my bills.  I am not used to sitting at work and having not much to do, but this is clearly in my interest as I will be able to study here. I am working in a private home, so it seems to be the ideal part-time job.  For tonight, I am contemplating how different this is and how much of a switch it will be to move away from direct involvement with the clients.  I will miss the work.  I have learned many things over the past twenty years and worked with at least a hundred different clients. That is probably significantly underestimated. But there are lessons I have taken from it that I need to find words for. Loss is one thing I have learned the hard way, and its own way, this career change is a loss as much as it is a gain.

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