Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘law school’

The night before the bar exam….

Posted by newlawmom on July 25, 2011

I’m calm! Eerily calm. My plan to go to the beach today got doused by the weather. Instead I went out to upgrade my cell phones and then took a three hour nap on my couch. Now its 10:30. I need to pack my bag of goodies. New pens (I LOVE new pens) and plenty of #2 pencils. One watch. A lunch to leave in the car. That’s it. I may or may not have made a mistake by not taking BarBri. And/or by not spending enough time learning the non-MBE subjects. Only time will tell. I wish everyone who is taking the bar exam the best of luck.

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Posted in Bar Exam, Bar Exam Prep, law school, Parenthood | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

happy anxiety

Posted by newlawmom on July 18, 2011

True! I am so happy. Next week is the bar exam, people. And I am so ready to be done with it! But of course, that anxiety is kicking in. I spent 13 hours studying today, and expect to meet or beat that every day from now until Sunday night. Next Monday, God-willing, I’m hitting the beach and de-stressing before the real deal. I do my best work under pressure, so I am feeling the full beauty of the thing right NOW!

No second interview on the job I wanted. Bummer. Fight with ex-husband? Triple quadruple bummer. Casey Anthony on the loose? Frightening. Tom Coburn and his $9 trillion dollar plan? un-fricken-believable! YES! Someone who is willing to step up and do the difficult. I am for it. I applaud it. I don’t even need to know what’s in it. I mean hell, you didn’t know what was in the health insurance law, so why should I care what’s in this? The man is willing to lay it on the line, lay people off, shrink the government, mess with entitlements, increase taxes and piss of 99% of the American public. I say go…..please go…….don’t stop now. I mean, in ten years, I’ll be over 50 and my youngest child will be well into adulthood. Why should my grandkids need to deal with our deficit? So please, people, please….I need to study for the bar. Yell loudly. Put the heat on these people. Get it done! That would be the best gift ever! Have a great week. And God Bless the USA!

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

A weekend!

Posted by newlawmom on May 21, 2011

Without law school? How the hell did that happen? No, no, not now dear. Just enjoy the moment. Seriously. I confess, there is wine involved in this post. The bestest wine ever, if that is possible.  Between the tragic illness of my mother, law school and legal work, I have literally not had a weekend completely and totally free for as long as I can remember. There was always something pressing. But this weekend? I have all to myself. And I intend to enjoy every minute of it.

Tonight involves serious quantities of wine. Pinot Grigio if you need to know. And one tear-jerker movie – The Other Woman with Natalie Portman. I love a good tear jerker. It gives me good reason to just let the tears flow for all of the 1010 reasons I might cry otherwise over the course of year, but manage to postpone. Graduation is a good reason to cry tears of pure happiness. I seriously feel so grateful to have this degree. It means, well, everything. Literally everything. It was a promise made to my adopted son, and I have fulfilled it. With latin honors to boot. But it is more than that. It is proof to all of the world that I am not stupid. That I have value. That I am capable of completing a task I set out to do. And it is a ticket, to be able to contribute something positive to the world. Not sure what I think I have done with the first 40 something years of my life, but I guess I haven’t contributed enough yet. So the tears are flowing. Natilie Portman, of course. You know, every woman loves a good tear jerker.

Someone told me once that I use too many commas. Tonight I say “Who the hell cares?” Who the fuck cares, really? I will use as many commas as I damn well please. And such is the story of my life. I went to a PPT the other day for a client ( and the client is always the parent, which is a problem for me.) The client should really be the student. That is the person who needs to be satisfied. But alas, the law says 16 year old children don’t have any rights. Now who decided that? And…in this case, my kid wants to go out for a smoke before school. Do we really want a child to drop out of school because he wants to leave school grounds to smoke before school? Really? We’re going to punish him and tell him that if he leaves school grounds to smoke in the morning, we will kick him out? But if he smokes on school grounds he would be expelled.  Wouldn’t it be easier to accept that we can not control him, allow him to smoke, and assure him that, notwithstanding his terrible habit, we welcome him to finish his high school education? Is this really radical? Where is the common sense? “Smoking is illegal.” “Kids leaving school grounds is a serious problem.” “We need to call the police.” Really? What planet did I step off of?

In other words, I have no idea where I fit into this legal picture I have drawn. But I sure as hell hope I find my way. And I hope clients find me. Because I am eager to figure out just where the logic actually lies. Some of these laws/rules/regulations/expectations/understandings have just gone one step too far. They no longer make sense. The big picture is more than a little bit cloudy. Dear children of the world – there is one almost, not quite, hopefully soon to be licensed attorney who is just waiting for the opportunity to protect your rights. I actually think you have some. And if that is radical of me, I am willing to accept the consequences.

And to my fellow blogger, browsers. legal professionals, and law students….while I need to protect myself long enough to pass the character and fitness portion of the bar exam, I did not end up in law school because I am a wuss. I don’t think the rapture will actually come to pass. Therefore, I expect to be alive. And for as long as I am alive, I am going to live. For so long as I am living, I will devote my life to the rights of children. All children. It might not be a direct path. But underlying everything is a belief that children do have rights. To claim otherwise is to disparage the human race. So I am coming back to the world of blogging. Because it is wholly insufficient to keep these grand ideas to myself. The wine helps, but the passion exists notwithstanding. I love my life, I love my kids, I love the law, truth, justice, and happiness. Rapture? Yeah. Come and get me.

Posted in child welfare, Child Welfare Issues, Ethics and moral values, law school, Parenthood, Purpose, Relationships | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »