Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Today was rough. 

The girl beside me was in the hot seat in class and it was brutal. She had previously read the case we were working on, but she didn't brief it (a summary of the case in a specific format) so she had a hard time answering the questions she was asked by the professor (who was extremely annoyed). I could literally feel the waves of tension that rolled off of her while she shook like a leaf. Poor girl, I know she was embarrassed and I felt awful for her. I'm hoping that when it's my turn in the hot seat that I'm a little more prepared. I know that had I been in her shoes I wouldn't have been able to hold it together as well as she did...I  would have had some tears rolling down my cheeks! 

I also had my first test in law school today and I'm feeling down about it. We had to look at an issue and then apply the given law to that issue by breaking it down step by step. It's a lot more complicated than it sounds and it can be really confusing. After the test my little group of friends and I talked about the test and I had a completely different answer than most of them. I felt extremely bummed after I found that out, especially since I have a strong feeling that their answers were right and mine was way off. I'm going to try to not think about it, but I have a hard time letting things like that go... it sucks to feel disappointed this early in the game. 

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day... 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

1 week down...

15 more weeks to go until the end of the semester. 

The rest of the week went pretty good, nothing too exciting to report. I studied my butt off for Contracts and actually knew what the professor was talking about during class for once. I also spent several hours making flash cards this week... they seem to really help, but I'm doubting I'll have enough time to keep making them as the semester goes on. 

Here's what has been drilled into my head so far... 

  • Intent- A person acts with intent when the purpose of their actions is to bring about a certain consequence; or the knowledge that a consequence is substantially certain.
We read a case about a 5 year old who pulled out a chair from an elderly woman who fell and broke her hip... He was found liable by the appeals court despite his young age because he acted with the intent of knowing she would fall, even if he didn't think she would get hurt. 

  • Battery- The least touching of another person in a harmful or injurious way without their consent. 
We read a case about a black man who had his plate aggressively snatched from his hands by a white guy declaring that a negro could not be served in the restaurant. Despite the fact the aggressor did not touch the man, only his plate, he was still guilty of battery because the object was intimately held by the man. Too bad the racist white dude died before the case went to court, but luckily his place of work was held liable for his actions because they allowed the behavior to happen without reprimand or an apology.

I'm finding as I read cases I get really annoyed. The case I mentioned above went all the way to the Supreme Court before it finally was found in favor for the plaintiff (the guy who had his plate snatched away). R-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s!

Enough about school, I got to spend some time with my family this weekend. My sweet Mamaw, aunt, & uncle came in from TN to see my bro's new baby. My niece is only 11 days old and is perfect I tell ya! She hardly makes a peep unless she's hungry. We even did a little bit of arts and crafts with her by painting her feet and making some ornaments. It took us awhile to get the hang of it and get a squirmy baby's feet to leave a good print, but we did it! My favorite thing that we made was a ceramic sign that says L.O.V.E with the footprints making the V. We also did a baby photo-shoot and the pics turned out so good! If I was allowed to post them I would, but alas she's going to be an anti-Internet baby. The best I can do is show you a picture of our hands together.
(Me, Mamaw, Niece- Three generations)  

I've always loved hands. I know I'm weird, but my Papaw always told me that you could tell a lot about a person by their hands. When I have trouble picturing his face or remembering his mannerisms, I can always count on my brain to be able to remember his hands. I have a very distinct memory of the last few days he was still with us in the hospital holding my hands with his.

I enjoyed spending time with my family this weekend, but I started to desperately miss my Papaw. Watching my Mamaw hold her first great-grandchild, but without the man she raised 5 children and way too many grandchildren with made my heart ache. I miss him all the time, but I'll admit I don't miss him like I did when he first left. Time has continued to go on and his absence has become my new normal. But there are moments when the realization of the depth of his loss hits me out of nowhere and is overwhelmingly painful. In my eyes the sun rose and set with that man. I know most would say to this, "he's watching from Heaven, he's already met that little niece of yours, he's still with you, etc etc" but that doesn't change the fact that we are missing out on him, even if he isn't missing out on us

I was incredibly sad that he wasn't here to watch me graduate college, or when he wasn't there for me to call when I got my law school acceptance letter, but it hurts even more knowing he won't be here to hold and influence my niece and my future kids. I miss you desperately and I hope that somehow you know. 

I should probably quit rambling and get to bed. I have to make up for all my lost studying time tomorrow, blah. Law school is a lot of things, but most of all it is way too time consuming. 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Is it really only Wednesday?

I've officially been a law student for three whole days, but somehow it feels like it has been three long months already. I am exhausted. Law school is both physically and mentally demanding... and clearly my stamina is lacking in both departments. 

The first year of law school is considered the most difficult of the three years of school. The amount of information that you must not only read, but also understand, and then apply is mind-numbing. I have never had to read and then reread to understand a case- only to get to class and find out I didn't understand the case at all with the questions the professors are asking. When they say legal language is a foreign language they weren't kidding. Most of the ridiculously long statutes could easily be written in plain English in a sentence or two. But... as the saying goes- 'if law school was easy, everyone would do it.' I get that it shouldn't be or isn't easy (if it was who would actually need an attorney to represent them? I guess we need some form of job security), but I don't see the point in it being so ridiculously hard!

Despite the difficulties of trying to comprehend SIX different classes, I have enjoyed classes so far. The professor's all have very different personalities ranging from super mono-toned and flat to bubbly and hyperactive to downright scary. The funny thing is that the scary professor is probably my favorite one because he gets right down to business. He forces the class to answer the questions that really matter. I say this now, but I may change my opinion on liking him so much when I get in the hot seat :) 

Speaking of the hot seat, let me explain classes and how they work. First off, there are 200 + students who are 1L's this year. (you're called a 1L if you are in your first year, 2L second year, 3L third year.) Those 200 students are divided into 3 different sections... 101, 102, and 103. Each section has it's own class schedule and its own set of professors. We do not share professors or classes between the sections in the first year of school. In years 2 and 3 we will all mix together again, but for now we have our little family (and by that I mean 80 or so students) in our section all year long.

Think Harry Potter and Hogwarts (because I'm a nerd and I love that I can apply Harry Potter to my life woo!)  :) I'm going to say section 101 is Gryffindor...  102 can be Slytherin... and 103 can be Hufflepuff. Wild guess which one I'm in ; ) If you don't understand Harry Potter then you need to re-evaluate your life and read those books!!! Or... just watch the movies if you are tired of reading like me right now!

So anyway, like I said each section has their own professors... I would equate my scary professor to Professor Snape in Harry Potter... he's scary as hell, but I know I'll learn a lot from the man (and his intentions are for the greater good, whether we see it now or not). One of my professor's definitely fits as McGonagall too. I haven't quite assigned the rest of the professor's to Harry Potter characters, but just wait I'll figure it out. 

The other thing I wanted to post before I forget and the weeks fly by is about my experience during orientation. First of all, I think the Dean of our school is a brilliant lady. Her opening speech knocked my socks off. I don't think there was a person there who wasn't hanging on her every word. During her speech, she told the story about a past Chancellor who recently died of heart failure and retold the story of what was said at his funeral. This is what stood out to me from her speech...

"They didn't speak about how prestigious he was or of all of his accomplishments, they spoke of his kindness and his heart... He gave a piece of his heart away until he didn't have any heart left.... What differences will you make? What legacy will you leave? ...Our times are crying out for you."

I was deeply moved by this and hope that I can remember it for the next three years and keep a firm grasp on why I want to become a lawyer in the first place. I aspire to be in a position where I can make a difference and that I too will leave a legacy worth remembering... or at least one that may impact a future law student as the legacy of this man has done for me.

There was also a quote read during orientation (I forget who quoted it) that I had heard countless times before, but it had not resonated with me so loudly until I heard it last week...

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become."

This quote is one that I have taken to heart as I know my thoughts tend to dwell on the negative and my actions have often reflected this. I tend to see the cup half empty and give people very little room for redemption in my book. I'm not sure you can change many habits by the age of 24, but it never hurts to attempt to self-improve.

It's only been three days, but I already feel myself changing and looking at things in a new perspective. Being an English major for so many years made me love the written word, but being a law student has given those words real meaning. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

One step closer.

Whew, what a week... orientation is finally over and I am exhausted.  

Tuesday was the first day of orientation and despite the fact that my nerves prevented me from getting any sleep the night before, I was in good spirits and excited to be there. I finally got to meet some of my classmates face to face, hear some great speeches from some of the school administrators, and find out some important information. By the end of the day I was extremely tired, but pleasantly surprised that 99% of my fears were eliminated. As soon as I got home and walked in the door I got the message that my brother and his wife had their first child! Nate & I immediately got in the car and headed to the hospital (an hour + away) to meet my first niece. Even though I know I'm biased, she really is a beautiful baby. I also need to brag on my sister-in-law who looked flawless after childbirth, I was truly amazed at how normal she looked. I'm not even sure she broke a sweat! It was also a great experience to watch my brother hold his first child. It was one of those moments in life that I'll never get a repeat of and I will always treasure the memory. 

 Wednesday was the longest day of my life. The excitement of both orientation and the baby's birth the day before had been both mentally and physically draining. The morning of orientation I had an incredibly hard time getting up and taking a shower. I threw on some make up and decided I'd just scrunch/air dry my hair instead of putting in the effort to dry and straighten it. What.a.mistake. -_- Did I mention this was also picture day? I mentally slapped myself the moment I pulled into the school parking lot and realized I looked like a hot mess. My "scrunched curls" had turned themselves into mini rats nests and let's just say I didn't put much effort into my make up either. To make matters worse, I find out this picture follows you all three years of law school and is used if you ever win an award. It was so bad that it's almost incentive enough for me to avoid trying to win anything... ever. Ugh, oh well- I am officially that girl... the Ramona of my law school. 
The  rest of Wednesday was a blur. The day seemed to drag on and on and on and on. We met some of our professors and one in particular seems incredibly scary. I've been warned over and over that his class is the hardest and I believe it. Aside from meeting our professors, I did get to know some more of my classmates and connected with several pretty quickly. It's exciting to be in such a large melting pot of people who all have the same ultimate goal- which of course is surviving three years of law school. 

As many people as I found that I enjoyed talking to, I also found those who I've decided I should probably avoid. Most of the ones I've decided to avoid are either A. anxiety ridden B. lacking in the professionalism department (i.e- dress, demeanor, appearance) or C. not all that bright (really, how are they in law school?). The anxiety ridden people only flame the fire to my own nerves. Those who lack professionalism include people who decided to show up late to everything (they were already noticed by the professors & administrators, ouch) and those who completely disregarded the bold print on our orientation packet that said professional dress attire. More than one person showed up in jeans and a t-shirt. The not so bright people really do exist, even in law school. Some of the questions coming out of these people's mouths during Q & A's were ridiculous. I wondered how some of these people have a bachelor's degree. When we split up into small groups for a hypothetical ethics discussion, even more of the 'not so bright' people revealed themselves. It'll be my goal from now on to make sure I have a concrete thought before I open my mouth to avoid joining the 'not so bright' crowd. 

Thursday was the last day of orientation and I found it to be pretty pointless. Almost everything that was scheduled for Thursday had been covered already in the previous two days. I was literally counting the minutes as the day dragged on and on. So thank goodness orientation is over. Not that I'm excited for the real work to begin, but in reality orientation is getting me nowhere fast. Speaking of work, I've got a ton to do before Monday. As the professor's liked to say, "in law school, you hit the ground running."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ready or not...

As the day is coming to an end, the realization that tomorrow will be my last day of freedom before school starts is starting to sink in. I sort of regret that I didn't have 'one last hurrah,' but then again when I'm stressing about something (like the biggest school investment of my life) I'm not usually able to let go and enjoy things. (Type A personality at its best.)

Aside from the excitement (or dread) of starting law school, I am also going to be becoming an aunt for the first time in only a few days! I have been obsessing over getting that phone call saying that she is on her way, so much so that I've had very vivid dreams of her arrival. The other night I dreamed they named her Seaweed... seriously. Maybe the anticipation and excitement of two big life changes is starting to make me lose my mind?

In other news, I finally finished decorating the guest bedroom // my office. It was the one room in the house that I wanted to be completely ready so that I can have a comfortable (and stylish!) space to do my homework. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It's the only room in the house I can make as girly as I'd like! :)

I've actually already tested the room out as a place to study since I had to take a required 96 question legal grammar pre-test before orientation. The test cost $40 and the questions were mind blowing. I not only have a lot to learn about the law, but looks like I'll need to retrain my English grammar brain to a legal English grammar one. I didn't do as bad on the test as I thought I would (considering I guessed on many of them)-- in fact I tested out of 9 sections that I won't have to take again woo! I even scored a couple of points higher than some of the other new law students who have put their scores out there, but with that said the grade I made would still not get me any applause from a professor. 

Until next time, 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pre-Law School Advice

I was thinking of some things that those who are applying to law school and those who have been accepted should know prior to the start of classes that I wanted/needed to know too. The steps it takes to even apply to law school seem difficult when it's really only as hard as you make it.

First let's talk about the LSAT...
  1. It sucks. It's ridiculously long and you are internally panicking the entire time knowing this stupid test stands between you and law schools. Why the test needs to be that long and timed so ridiculously fast I will never understand.
  2. Studying for it is a must. Part of me thought it was as ridiculous to study for as the SAT (I never studied for that test), but since you can only take the LSAT twice in your life, I decided some extra effort was necessary and I was right. I did buy a Kaplan study book that came with a CD, practice tests, and access to online tutors (for free!).
  3. Take all the practice tests you can, but not so many that you aren't studying how to do the test. I took advantage of the Kaplan free practice test given at the university. This was an actual proctored test that was a 'mock-LSAT,' so everything was as similar to an actual test day as possible. I actually scored really well on this test and was pretty excited by my results... too bad those results couldn't be my actual score.
  4. Make sure you read & re-read the rules about what you can and cannot bring to the LSAT test. I actually saw someone turned away from the test for forgetting something... I think it was an ID or something painfully obvious to bring. I sort of felt bad for the guy, but part of me was like really dude?
  5. Research the testing site you have signed up to take the LSAT from. Call the school/library/wherever it is and find out if any classes or events will be around your LSAT testing room. This was my LSAT mistake that I'm not sure is entirely avoidable, but maybe my experience will help someone else. Unfortunately, on the day of my actual LSAT the community college it was being held at also had summer classes going on in the surrounding classrooms. The testing room was also located just above the front door of the school and a popular smoking hang out. The high traffic area was ridiculously noisy. I can tell you that a math class was in the classroom next to mine and I know exactly what chapter they were on. In fact, it was so loud our proctor let us know he would go ask them to be quiet if needed... as if any of us had time to do that during the test. This was not normal and was really unacceptable testing conditions.
  6. For whatever the reason may be, whether you think you just didn't do well or you had a similar horrible experience like I did, you do have the option to not keep your score, however in order to throw it out you are never given access to see what you actually made on it. I wish I had A. thrown out my score or B. complained about the testing conditions. I did not score as well as I had on every practice test I'd previously taken and I know it was due to testing conditions. Personally, I need almost complete silence to take a test and hearing how to add 1 + 1 while working on a reading comprehension just didn't help me at all. 
  7. It feels like it takes forever to get your score back and well, it kind of does since we are a "want it right now" society. If I remember right it was over 2 months before I got my score. The first few days after the test were the most difficult for me, all I could do was think of how badly I wanted my score and whether or not those ten times I changed my answer if I should have or not. You might as well get used to the waiting game though because waiting for answers to your law school applications is just a painful.
  8. When the score comes in you're going to be really happy or really disappointed. Maybe there's a middle feeling in there, but most people have high standards for themselves (like I do) and anything less than your standard can be a disappointment. My score was incredibly disappointing, but completely average. I really thought I had that test in the bag- especially since it had more reading comprehension (my strength) on it than logic games (my weakness). Despite my disappointment, I decided to not retake the LSAT and apply to the schools of my choice. I only had two schools that I was determined to be accepted to and I had a pretty good chance to go to either of them with my score, my GPA, and what I considered a pretty strong personal statement.
Law School Application Process
  1. Get started early. I can't stress that enough. You need at least two recommendation letters, preferably from professors or business colleagues that can speak of your character//work ethic//etc. It sounds like an easy task, we all have friends/professors/colleagues who we've made connections with, however you may find yourself surprised by who will or will not take the time to write a recommendation for you. And by the way, that is only half the battle as you also need them to write it in a timely manner (especially if you don't take my advice and don't get them started early). I asked two professors of mine to write recommendation letters for me months in advance and it was one of my best decisions through the process. I know of two different friends who had very bad experiences getting their recommendation letters on time simply because they waited last minute to ask for them.
  2. Don't start your personal statements last. Depending on how many schools you apply to, you may find yourself writing more than one statement. The two schools I chose to apply to had completely different questions for the personal statements and they each took a lot of thought. It is the only part of your application that truly reflects who you are so make it count. I had an okay LSAT, a pretty good GPA, and some great recommendation letters (but really, who isn't going to say nice things about you on those?), but none of those things reflect who I am as an individual. You have to make them see you for you in a 2 page document.
  3. Edit, edit, edit. Share your personal statement with anyone you think has some common sense or some grammar skills. Sometimes you'll get those people who will tell you everything looks great, but hopefully you'll get more people who will tell you, "maybe you should say this" or  "this sentence doesn't flow well" or even "are you sure you want to include that in this statement?" There is a fine line between telling your story and telling way too much of it- so be careful.
  4. Don't forget you need a resume. This was something that for some reason I didn't even consider until I saw that it was required for all applications. Resumes can be extremely time consuming, especially if you want to correctly format it and make sure you aren't forgetting any important info. 
  5. Send in your applications early. Seriously. If you wait to turn in your application way after the start date you are ultimately cutting yourself short. Early applications show the school you are responsible, organized, prepared, and that you really want to go there. Late applications (though you can still be accepted) are more likely to show that you were either undecided about law school (or their school), unorganized, etc. You get the point. Just turn them in early.
  6. The waiting game. Just like with the LSAT there is a long wait to know whether or not you were accepted into a law school. When my first letter came in the mail, I got that feeling that you get if you've ever been pulled over by a cop. When I realized it was an acceptance, it was better than Christmas. As I mentioned before, I only applied to the two schools I was sure I wanted to go to. I was accepted to the one I am currently going to, but was wait listed (then later accepted) to the second school. Even though the school I was accepted to originally was my first choice, I was still bummed about the initial wait list for the second school. Always apply to more than one school because you really never know what may happen... it's always a good thing to have choices. 
That's all I can think of at the moment.


#lawschool #LSAT

Friday, August 9, 2013

Will I survive?

I made this blog a long time ago after it was suggested I make a website with all of my crafts and home decor stuff, but I never really got past loading the pictures on here. I have no high hopes of followers for this blog, but instead I think it will serve as a good reminder of how far (or not) I've come in the next few years.

Today I am less than a week away from law school orientation and I finally decided to write my first post. I have mixed feelings about school starting, but I'm really just ready to just get it over with and finally get rid of these butterflies I've had the last few months.

I think I have the same fear that most 1L's must have.... will I survive law school? I have thought about this question over and over and the only answer I can come up with is that I am determined to try. I've wanted to be an attorney for as long as I can remember and school is the stepping stone to get there.

From what I hear, the next few days before orientation are my last days of freedom for a long time. Looks like I won't be making anymore crafts or picking up new hobbies any time soon. Sorry in advance to those who won't be getting handmade Christmas gifts anymore, I know you must be devastated haha. ;)

My goal is to not neglect this little blog of mine, but I tend to get sidetracked. I plan on using YouTube videos for when I have less time to write. We'll see how it goes I guess.