Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘law school mom’

Bar Prep continued

Posted by newlawmom on July 11, 2011

Ouch. Luckily, the only pain I have right now is from a sunburn. Hopefully I will still feel that way after the bar exam is over! I have done substantial amounts of studying. But I do need to try a bit harder for these next couple weeks. Sunshine, children, barbeques, street fairs, and ice cream nights have consumed large amounts of my time and I am happy about it. I’ve been to the ocean more times in the past three weeks than I went in all three summers of law school combined.

On the job search – I had an interview last week, thanks to that connection I mentioned. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get a second one, but with each passing day, my optimism fades. Still – three applications submitted, three interviews. That’s pretty good I think. Plus every interview is an opportunity to practice. If I don’t have a semi-dream job by the end of summer I’ll need to change my approach, but in the meantime I will continue to be very selective.

I’m still not smoking. That is a huge deal, but I will only commit to not smoking one day at a time. It is way to much to contemplate forever (or even a week.) I’ve been plagued with a bit of insomnia, which even for a night person is unpleasant. I don’t like looking at the clock at 4 am when I haven’t fallen asleep yet. Plus it leaves me irritable during the day.

I need to submit a few follow-up pieces for the character and fitness examination. So far, nothing too difficult or frightening. Remember, there are a few things I may need to explain. But so far, so good. Let’s see where I’m at next week at this time. Sixteen days to go.

Posted in Bar Exam, Bar Exam Prep, law mom, night owl, Parenthood, summer | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OId habits die hard

Posted by newlawmom on June 23, 2011

I am a procrastinator. I am a night owl. I am a smoker. I am bad with money. These are my weak points. Maybe I am prone to short term addictions as well – right now, its the Anthony trial. These are all time and money wasters. They bring large amounts of anxiety into my life. They don’t help me. I have tried to overcome all of these problems at one time or another. I would like to just eliminate all my problems all at once. My life would be better for it, or so I think. The list looks pretty manageable but it’s been the same list for at least thirty years. So I must be missing something. I just want to fix the problems.

I have very good things in my life right now. Happy, healthy children. A future spouse who loves me. A beautiful home. An education. People who respect me. And for now, my own health. There are no impending catastrophes, no drama. If there is a time where I have all the support I need to fix my problems, this is it. So why is it  that I am scared shitless to even try? I am immobilized by the thought of it.

The bar exam is simple. Sit. Study. Repeat. But it would be so nice if at the end of the day I felt good about myself. So that is my current project. I need to move some money, set a budget, give up the smokes, and adopt a normal schedule. If I did all of those things I would start fresh and maybe have less reason to procrastinate. This has got to be my main goal for the summer. It simply must.

 

Posted in Bar Exam, Bar Exam Prep, night owl, Purpose, summer | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Graduation! Three long years . . .

Posted by newlawmom on May 4, 2011

This poor blog has gone abandoned. But alas, I have returned to let you all know that I have survived. I have beyond survived. I am finished with law school and set to graduate with multiple awards and honors to show for it. I’m just finishing up an internship with a legal service organization and will remain there as a volunteer over the summer. I’ve been given a heads up that a position will open there in the near future and I will apply if that happens. In the meantime, I’ve applied for one “long stretch” job and a couple of part-time positions. My bar application has been submitted and I am going to be studying for that exam completely on my own. 

Alot of things have changed since I started school. My kids are now 11, 15, and 21. They have grown up alot since I started and I think that watching me apply myself to this venture has been good for all of them. I have had three more years to heal from the catastrophe that led me to law school and I am most certainly in a better position now. And, of course, I lost my mom and her partner. That is a hard loss and I am not looking forward to my first Mother’s Day without her.  I will also miss her presence at my graduation. She would most certainly be proud.

So lately I’ve been browsing the blawgs that I used to read everyday. It is great to see all the MILP’s doing so well! You are an inspiration to me as I start to contemplate the work that I will hopefully find. It might be a good time to blog again. We shall see. For today, thank you to all the MILP’s who blog faithfully. I am happy to say that I have succeeded in joining your ranks despite all odds and multiple obstacles! I hope you all have a fantastic day.

Posted in 3L, law school, Law School Life | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Rejuvenation

Posted by newlawmom on October 10, 2010

Well, since I took the time to write when I was in a total funk I figure I should write again when I’m not. I did find the time to get in my car and drive far, far away for the weekend. I did some work and I took some time for myself. At least this week I am starting out with half my reading done. I feel a lot better and my head is much clearer, so that should help. I have also taken some time to really think about the fact I am almost done. There is no reason to be derailed now. I feel so much calmer on this fine Sunday evening. Let’s hope it lasts through the next week of classes.

Posted in 3L, law school, loss, Parenthood | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Disaster Strikes

Posted by newlawmom on October 4, 2010

So if I thought for a single minute that the last year of law school would be smooth sailing, I was wrong. I had actually thought about taking the semester off to deal with my mother’s illness, but I decided against it. We lost her companion of many years on 8/15, and my mom passed two weeks ago today. I suppose this is what non-traditional is all about, right? The problem is I am not functioning well. I have been just barely squeezing by since the beginning of the semester and it is starting to catch up with me. I will pull it off in the end, but for today I just feel like bitching. Whining, complaining and being generally difficult. I am behind on my work. Unprepared for class. Incompetent to represent any client and wondering why I ever thought I wanted to do this in the first place. I don’t care about the law as it relates to real property, land use, family, or criminal either. All I really care about right now is my bed and the fact I don’t see nearly enough of it. My children, whom I love dearly, are driving me insane and need far more than I am able to give them. The truth is I want to get in my car and drive far, far away. Sometimes I want to drive far, far away with my law books so I can catch up on my work, and other times I think I should just take a few days completely to myself. Sadly, I do not have time to drive away because every possible thing seems to demand my attention right now, as I have ignored everything since my mother got sick last April. In the end, I want to whine. OK? I’m done now. I’m going to bed so I can start this all over again tomorrow. And no, I haven’t done my reading for those classes yet either. But I’ll be sure to write again after I get caught up.

Posted in 3L, law school, Law School Life, loss, Parenthood | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

I’m back.

Posted by newlawmom on August 23, 2010

The question is, to what? 3L. Walking into that building today felt like the most peaceful, happy, reassuring thing I could be doing. My life is back to normal. Am I really saying that? Yup. My spring and summer were so crazy that I actually need the structure of law school to feel like I’m going to be ok. That makes sense to a degree. But for today, it’s not the same. All the people I knew are gone. Somehow I connected more with people a year and two years ahead of me than I connected with people in my own class and certainly more than in the class behind me. I have a select group of friends and acquaintances from my own class, but I don’t seem to have class with any of them. I’m not even sure they were in the building. That’s not a bad thing. I was never in school to socialize anyway, but it does give the place a different feel. This is a place of work. Of business. It’s time to get down to it. My take so far – Prof. Family Law is great. I like his style even though I don’t think I’m going to enjoy the material too much. Prof. Advanced Writing is just ok. But I like to write, so it should be fine. Prof. Real Estate is one of my favorites and knowing his style should make the class just fine. And Prof. Land Use is going to be fine. Land Use is going to be my favorite class if I had to take a guess even though I had no interest in land use issues before I came to law school. It is one of those surprises. Four classes in one day made for a long one, but a three day week makes it all worthwhile. I’ll write again soon. I started this blog as a 1L so I would like to carry it out at least until I graduate. Hope everyone had a great day.

Posted in 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 »

Every story needs an ending

Posted by newlawmom on July 6, 2010

Mine is not over yet, but in some ways the story I brought here has reached a natural conclusion. Time changes all things, and everything changes over time. I have come so far that it is wrong to leave the story hanging. So here is the crux of what I need to tell you: law school becomes just one thing on a list. It does not remain the core of existence. So my life went on and things changed, which really should not surprise me.

The end of my 2L year things went very badly and nothing bad happened! My grades were fine despite the fact that I never finished my outlines, barely read anything from April 12 on, and I didn’t have a single moment to study during reading week. I wish I had known this last year. It could have saved me immense stress, not to mention time. I seriously did not have a single moment to worry about law school, believe me. I had bigger problems. My mother was hospitalized for almost a month and was diagnosed with major abdominal cancer, my oldest son got in some trouble at school and decided that the appropriate response was to cut himself with a razor, and in short, the rest of the people in my life decided that they needed my attention despite the fact I’m in law school. That also should not have surprised me. But it is fine. All things work out in the end.

My summer job has sort of gone south. Well, not exactly. I still have it, but they don’t have a lot of time to give me work, and I don’t have a lot of time to chase them down and beg them for it. So I have not done much work, though what I have done has been completed accurately and on time. Some people just don’t know what to do with a summer intern, I guess. I am going to apply a little more pressure over the next month, because I do need to be able to use this job as a reference at some point. In reality, I don’t care one way or the other. I am quite busy spending time with my family. Only now, on July 5, does law school begin to re-enter my mind. And I still like it! Love it, actually. I wish I had more time to devote to it.

Next up is my 3rd and final year of law school. Believe that. Next year at this time, I will be waiting for the results of the bar. But first – summer. I plan on enjoying every minute of it. Up until this week, there has been no time to enjoy anything. So I’m going to make the best of the time I have left. I hope everyone reading has a great day and enjoys the rest of their vacation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

2L happiness, peace, and satisfaction

Posted by newlawmom on March 16, 2010

Hello everyone. I’m sorry that I have ignored this blog for so long. In truth, it is a reflection of the end of a battle. Up until this semester, law school was a mission. Something I had to do, that I knew would have a positive end somewhere, and that I knew was important to me. And then it all clicked. So I am writing to tell you that happiness exists in the law and at law school. It is possible to achieve a purpose in the world, and to acheive what might at one point appear to be near impossible.

Today is my son’s birthday. He is sixteen, and he is mentally ill and alone in the world. To him, I owe a debt, and for the first time in years, I feel satisfied with my progress. I promised him that I would do my best to make sure that what happened to him does not happen to other people. To tell the world that what happened to him is wrong, and to devote my life to the purpose.

So here is where I stand: I am less than two months away from finishing the second year of law school. Despite my fears, I am fine. My grades are fine, my scholarship is safe, people are approaching me for various tasks and assignments, and referring me to awesome opportunities. I just finished representing my school at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy competition. I didn’t win, but I had a good time. I am working on a paper concerning parents rights to make health care decisions for their children and children’s rights to bodily and family integrity. Believe it or not, that Constitutional Law class actually did serve a purpose. I have my first paying legal job (paid by a firm, not work study…). And this summer, I will be working side by side with a public defender on a death penalty case. Conveniently, my role will involve assembling the mental and emotional health records from childhood forward. So, it is coming together. My dual criminal law and mental health law focus is going to work out fine. In the meantime, my administrative law class and commercial law class are just there. I’m managing them just fine while spending hardly any time worrying about it. Strange.

I hope everyone here is well. I was so surprised to see my readership has stayed almost steady while I was away. I’ll make it a point to write more often. Have an awesome evening and a happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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