Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘law school exams’

I made it!

Posted by newlawmom on December 20, 2009

Tomorrow is my last exam of the semester and I am still here! By brain has not burned up and turned to ash after all. Wish me luck, people. I will write again sometime after Christmas. There is more to do as soon as the holiday is over. I hope everyone has a blessed day.


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

2L Truths

Posted by newlawmom on December 17, 2009

Wine tastes good and I’m a non-drinker.

Time does not move backwards.

Time changes everything, Thank God.

Brains get slower, bodies grow older, and the children don’t care either way.

The world will go on with or without me.

There is no way to know, but I sure can get drunk to avoid thinking about it.

Moving onwards. One exam to go. That is Monday.

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

Exams,Evidence, and perspective

Posted by newlawmom on December 16, 2009

So what have I learned after a year and a half of law school and one semester of evidence? That I know nothing. That no matter how much I know, there is more. That no matter how much I study, how hard I prepare, how many hours I devote, I will not or can not have the level of knowledge or competence that comes from experience. It simply is not possible. So, two days before my open book exam, I am unable to get a perfect score even using my outline and exceeding time limits. There is more. I am missing it. And I am scared, frustrated, angry, and unhappy. I am used to doing well. I am used to success. I am not used to this. I don’t want to get used to this. And I do not like it. Who the hell knows how I will do on this exam? Not me. I have no idea. Right now I feel like I deserve an F. Because if any of these hypothetical clients were relying on me to analyze their evidentiary issues, they would be investing their faith in the wrong person. So for today, I am going to hope this means I am doing well. Because last year I didn’t have these disastrous feelings and I did ok, with less effort and more worry. This year I have studied without any anxiety at all. It is simply the results of my studies that have me worried. I’m not looking at evidence tomorrow. I am done with it. I have reached my maximum evidentiary capacity. My brain is turning off. Good night.

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

snags and sleepiness

Posted by newlawmom on December 14, 2009

I love to sleep, and as I’m sure I have mentioned, I am a night-person by nature. But I had a dream that was interesting. In my dream I was talking to a doctor about wishing I could be more normal and get up in the morning. He laughed at me and told me that I simply needed to pick up and move to the west coast where my clock would be perfectly in tune with their hours. I can’t stop thinking about this and I wonder if it is true? If I moved to a place where it is four hours later, my 2am bedtime would suddenly be 10pm and my 10am wake up would become 6am. That would be so sweet. Does anyone think it would actually work?

And the snag – my tax exam. It is a take-home and I have hit a snag with it. I am allowed to research and I will need to do that. My confidence in getting an A on this take-home exam is going down the tubes. Want it? Yes. Able to accomplish it? Not sure.  Tonight I need to spend some time with evidence. That will be my first in class exam, on Thursday. I’ll write again before that. I hope all my readers have a great week.

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

11 days of something

Posted by newlawmom on December 10, 2009

Purgatory? Hell? Isolation? I’m not sure. But for the next 11 days, I need to work my tail off. I have: one paper to write, one take home exam to complete, and two exams to prepare for.  It’s not like I haven’t done anything, but until today, I haven’t felt the pressure. That is why I stay far, far away from the law school during this time of year. Now if I can only learn to turn my home into a study zone I’ll be in business.

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Happiness is…

Posted by newlawmom on December 8, 2009

Walking into a review session with outline in hand and realizing that everything the Prof. had to say was on my outline, in proper order. Oh yeah. I’m happy. Now…on to Evidence.

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

Criminal Procedure

Posted by newlawmom on December 7, 2009

I do love criminal law. I love the idea of being a criminal attorney. And as a result, I enjoy criminal procedure. Overall, I have been disheartened that the protections offered by the constitution don’t offer as much protection as I thought they did. There is no protection for people who claim they are the victim of profiling or discrimination by the police. Those claims must be brought under the equal protection doctrine rather than under the 4th amendment. Consent doesn’t mean much. Voluntary doesn’t mean much. Reasonable suspicion doesn’t mean much. In general, protection doesn’t mean much if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which can be anyplace, at any time. So…the good news? My criminal procedure outline is coming along. In addition, the Prof. distributed copies of the exam from the past two years, and it looks totally manageable. I can do this. I’m going to finish the outline this afternoon and then review some of my supplements. I hope everyone has a great day.

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

God is good

Posted by newlawmom on December 2, 2009

I didn’t even look at my exam schedule until today. As it turns out, I have PLENTY of time. One of my exams is take home and I get three weeks to do it. The two that I need to sit for are not scheduled until the 18 and 21 of December! All this loveliness and tomorrow is my last day of class! Now – there is absolutely no reason for less than perfection on these babies. Absolutely no reason at all. I need these grades to bring up my averages from last year. For tonight, reading for tomorrow. Tomorrow night I will plan my time. Motivation during the interim will be a struggle perhaps? We shall see. I’ll write again soon. Good luck to everyone.  (P.S. Yes, I do still have children. They are doing quite fine. I will be setting aside some time for them as well.)

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Posted by newlawmom on December 1, 2009

So I got my tax midterm back today. One of those deals where it will only count if it helps and not if it hurts. I doubt it will hurt. BUT – the only ink on it is a grade. No comments. No feedback. No way of determining how to take my nice grade and make it nicer. And there is always room for nicer. So what exactly was the purpose?

I love tax. I think I could be happy being a tax attorney. I also think I could be happy being a criminal defense attorney. Or a civil rights attorney. Or an elder law attorney. Or an adoption attorney. Or a disability rights attorney. Even being a real property attorney has its nicer aspects. The only type of attorney that I am 100% confident I do not want to be is a divorce attorney. The thing is, I have no idea how a person goes from being a law student to a lawyer with actual work. I guess I still need to figure that out. For me, it won’t be because I have some great 2L summer job that materializes into the perfect job after graduating. I suspect that is true for most people, although I know plenty of people who believe in the myth. So….ignore this problem. It is irrelevant at the moment. Being a law student is my job, and I am getting better at it.

Current exam progress: Tax outline 90% complete, Evidence Outline 99% complete, Criminal Procedure Outline 15% complete. Guess what I am working on tomorrow?  Tax. I am saving Crim Pro for the weekend. Tomorrow I also go to the clinic, and I might get my client assigned for the appeal. Beyond this, I have a paper due for a two-credit class that sounded much more useful than it has proven to be.  There are 18 days remaining. Good luck to everyone, and I hope all those recent grads are enjoying their first holiday of freedom.

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


Posted by newlawmom on November 28, 2009

So here’s the deal. I have worked hard in evidence all semester. I completed all my reading, organized my notes, and read supplemental material in the form of Mueller and Kirkpatrick Black Letter Law. I have a handwritten outline that totals 21 pages of awesomeness, and I was confident that it would be sufficient for my purposes. I purposefully did not look at any old exams prior to completing my own work. But yesterday I looked. And I’m not happy. These law school folks are out of their minds. I could do the work. My outline is sufficient. But the way these babies are done, it is going to be a mad-dash writing fest with no time to breath, let alone think. The model answers are twenty typewritten pages. I have three hours. And I use a pen. I’m not sure that this one final exam is really the best way to assess my learning. But so help me God, I am going to kick butt on this thing. I am going to write his model answers for the past three years. Word for word. Because that is how I learn. Then, when I sit down with his exam, hopefully the words will just flow from my pen, effortlessly. For today, I am done with evidence. I need a break. The remainder of my weekend will be devoted to Federal Income Tax. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday. I enjoyed mine. I got a lot done. But right now, my anxiety is on the rise. I’ll write again soon.

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