Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not a creature was stirring

I swear, there are 5 people in our university's main library right now. It's incredible. I am loving the complete lack of undergrad girls running around trying to take cell phone calls in the corners. It is literally as quiet as a mouse (other than my typing, which seems unreasonably loud today).

I might actually be able to get some work done today!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Take my books, please

As part of my ongoing effort to rid my house of clutter and also to procrastinate as much as possible, I spent much of today putting a bunch of books and study aids up on ebay. I should have been writing, but whatever.

So, if you have $3.99 to burn and have an aching need to learn about Property or Civil Procedure, these books might be for you.

Check out my ebay auctions here. Here is the shortlist:

Black's Law Dictionary
Going to Law School? Readings on a Legal Career
Property: Examples & Explanations
Legalines: Civil Procedure
Get Into Law School
Property: Gilbert's Law Summaries
Law School Confidential

Winter break is for suckas

To some, the only real winter breakers are those of us writing a 35-50 page law review note or comment during the break. We like to act like we are doing something great and noble and that gives us some sense of intellectual superiority. We are the complainers. We are the whiners. We are people who won the law review lottery, and yet half of us act like martyrs for writing our articles.

Yes, it sucks to have to write a paper during break, but it is also interesting and is something that we can really be proud of later.

So to those of you writing over break, hang in there. Chin up! Oh, and stop whining!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The secret life of a law school hippie radical

Don't tell anyone, but I am a much more hard-core deadhead than I would ever let on to my classmates at school. And its not just the Dead. Its a lot of jambands. I have been to more than 200 concerts (it could be 300 for all I know) and at least 25 music festivals. I even volunteered for a concert-based voter registration organization for 3 years.

Music is my life. I own 2,000 CDs of recorded concerts by my favorite bands. I have participated in an online Grateful Dead music forum since 2002. I have traveled all over the country and even to a few islands to see live music. My head may be immersed in law school, but my heart is always sitting in the 12th row, Phil side.

The thing about school is that these qualities are underappreciated. I think that it is this stuff (not the dumb resume stuff) that makes me great and interesting. That I feed my soul a steady diet of rock, blues, jazz, funk and even some old skool hip hop is a good thing. However, I feel like there aren't many students there like me. A lot of them walk around with ipods on, listening to whatever the rest of them think is cool. Some venture out to Milwaukee to check out bands, and it is those people (though our musical tastes differ) who I think are cool.

It still isn't the same. For the other Heads out there, you know what I mean. Musically and socially, we are just different. We are the crowd whose founders stopped the vietnam war with the strength of their convictions. We are the dreamers. We are the starry-eyed idealists, constantly in danger of having the hearts on our sleeves stepped on. And we wouldn't change a thing!

Further evidence I am clueless

Further evidence that I am somewhat clueless will be provided on Monday morning. I decided to put some more time into studying evidence (even though I have already studied more for this exam than for ANY 2 of my exams last semester). I still know almost nothing. I feel like I could object if I heard a leading question, or if there was some really blatant hearsay, but other than that, I just don't know.

Many of my classmates are taking this class pass/fail. Despite what it's called, pass/fail is really a way for those with high GPAs to protect them from "damage" and it doesn't help that much. If you get a C, C+, B- or B, your transcript shows "Pass." If you get anything else, it shows the actual grade. In my case, I really would be very happy to get a B, so using a pass/fail is foolish.

I want future employers (especially those familiar with this odd little system) to see that I wasn't afraid of this class. That I was there to learn, not to get a grade. That I honestly wasn't 100% of what the heck was going on, and threw caution to the wind.

Oops! Well, I probably don't want them to know that last part, but you'll never tell, will ya blog audience? You have been great so far, so don't screw me over now! LOL!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My family law "exam"

The exam is in quotes because it was more like a series of trick questions. Rather than give an essay exam about how we would advise a client who came in with a certain issue, the exam asked us to pick the best answer out of 4. We had 150 minutes to answer 40 questions. That's not even 4 minutes a question. Each question had a long paragraph of facts and then four two or three sentence answers to choose from. Just reading each question took a couple minutes. That left no time to ponder an answer or think through anything.

What does this teach us?

In practice, if a man comes in for a divorce, I am not just going to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. I will consider carefully his options and maybe look at the statute. Why wouldn't our exam encourage us to do just that?

While I don't intend to practice Family Law, I do intend to practice a kind of law that involves me and a client. I don't intend to practice "dartboard law" and I don't enjoy being tested that way.

I have started totally not caring about grades and wanting to just be a good lawyer. What a novelty, huh?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Not quality time, QUANTITY time

For me, the best part of all this finals studying is doing what I am right now, hanging out in a coffee shop and outlining with a group of people who I think are pretty cool. We are mostly studying, but each of us occasionally stops to share something hilarious from the internet, or to consult about a snippet of information missed during class. The chatting to studying ratio is at about 5 minutes of chatting for 30 minutes of studying. We aren't incredibly productive, but we are staying SANE.

Since I had a grown up life before law school, the joy of just having time to spend with my friends had been lost. Now don't get me wrong, finals studying isn't the ideal friend-time. Not for me, not for anyone. However, it is a lot of time, and we do manage to squeeze in a lot of laughter and commiserate about our plight. I love my friends back home, but every action lately has been planned to death. Dinner at 6:00 or a poker game from 9 to 11 pm, or Richelle's wedding on the 14th. Not much time as a grown up to just "hang." I complain a lot about law school, but getting to just do my thing around smart, funny people is really cool sometime.

Life is not that bad.