Undergraduate school: University of North Texas
Undergraduate major: Political Science
Hometown: Ennis, Texas
Status: Full-time day student
At times, law school can be frustrating because although you may have some successes and feel great about those, at least in my experience, some disappointments soon follow to knock you right back down. So, law school humbles you, and it can be quite painful. For example, I did fairly well during oral arguments. Although my legs were trembling, many of my classmates complimented me on my tone and said I sounded very "lawyerly." But yesterday during the citation exam, I had one of those knock you right back down experiences. The test was extremely tough. My head started pounding, which is not conducive to performing well on an exam. Anyway, I ran out of time with two problems left unanswered. That's probably not fatal, but it is very annoying and frustrating.
As much as I'm inclined to, I can't sit around and mope about my citation exam performance because I have four final exams to prepare for that will constitute 100% of my grade for those classes. I suppose the fact that I've moved on indicates that I've come to expect and accept the disappointments. Most of us have these up-and-down experiences. The key is to briefly acknowledge (and maybe celebrate a little) the "up" moments and to move on as quickly as possible when a "down" moment happens. Hopefully, in the end, the successes will outweigh the disappointments
Half of my legal writing class presented oral arguments yesterday. I was impressed by the performances, but slightly perturbed by the constant questions that the "judge" (our writing professor) kept asking. I present my oral argument next Tuesday, and I am the next to the last person to present. Our writing professor informed us that the questions get more difficult as we go, so I can expect some extremely difficult questions. I will try to practice some relaxation techniques because I had butterflies when the other students were presenting their arguments yesterday. I can only imagine my level of nervousness when I'm standing up there at the podium.
I'd appreciate it greatly if anyone reading this post would send some positive energy my way. I'm going to need it. Thanks in advance for your support :)
Well, the trial brief is history. I'm relieved that it's finished, but not quite sure how I feel about my arguments. I'm trying to just put it behind me because although it's worth 50% of our grade, now I need to focus on my other four classes and the final exams that constitute 100% of our grade for those classes.
I don't have much to write about this week because my life was pretty much consumed with editing the trial brief. Although I had a complete rough draft of my trial brief done ten days before it was due, I still spent a lot of hours on it this week. I didn't skip classes yesterday, so I only had lunchtime to do a final reading. I found some typos, which were easy enough to correct. But 15 minutes before class started, I discovered a minor problem. I didn't think there was enough detail in one of my conclusions, so I revised it slightly and then had to rush to get to the computer lab to print it, get back to the classroom, and replace the two pages before 1:30. By that time, I had three minutes to turn it in. Then, my stapler jammed, so I had to go down the hall to find a stapler. Fortunately, I made the deadline. :)
I realize that I started by saying the trial brief is history then spent a whole paragraph talking about it. It's not really history after all, because we have to do oral arguments the next couple of weeks based on the brief (hands to face and screaming like McCauley Culkin in the movie Home Alone).
I can hardly wait for noon on May 10 (last exam!!!).
I have a full draft of my trial brief done, but it is a very rough draft. Still, I feel confident that I will not have a repeat of the highly stressful day before our last memo was due when I decided to rewrite an entire section (which just happened to be the largest part of the memo). So, this weekend, I plan to do some heavy editing and by Monday, I hope to have what I'd consider a final draft. That will give me until Wednesday to make any changes. Hopefully, it will all play out like that.
I went out to lunch with some other students from school yesterday. That's the first time I've had the opportunity to hang out with anybody from school and it was a blast!!! It's hard for me to go to the socials since I commute and try to head home as soon as possible to avoid traffic and once I'm home, I'm not going to drive back to Fort Worth. But, I do hope that we'll get together after our last exam in order to celebrate completing our first year of law school.
I already knew I was surrouned by some really intelligent people, but as I found out yesterday, I go to school with some really fun people as well!
We returned to classes this week following spring break. My spring break week consisted mostly of sitting in my house working on outlines and doing research for the trial brief.
However, I did go out on Saturday, March 10, to see The Feds at Firewater Bar and Grill in Dallas. I'd have to say The Feds are my favorite "local" band (excluding my boyfriend's band, of course). They do play all over, not just in the DFW area, and are quite popular. I have not seen another local band with as much energy, and I wonder how their singer can scream so much and then a few bars later sing with perfect pitch!
Other than going to see The Feds, I went to a new bar in Denton on St. Patrick's day because my boyfriend's band played there. There was a good crowd there that night, and they all seemed to really enjoy the band.
A couple of people actually asked me to sign copies of CDs they bought since I wrote one of the songs (ha ha). Then, after getting a few hours of sleep, we got up and went to the Fort Worth Zoo early Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect, but the zoo was a bit crowded.
Sunday night, I decided that I did not want to go to school the next day. While I really enjoy learning the law, the thought of facing the trial brief (and having to do oral arguments) and preparing for finals just overwhelmed me for a moment. Once I got back into the swing of things, everything was fine (although I'm still a little stressed about how quickly the semester is ending). It's definitely time to really buckle down and start memorizing my outlines. There seems to be so much more information this semester that if I don't start now, I'm not going to be happy with my exam performance. What I have to do (and all of my fellow 1Ls) is make this final push and then we can relax for a few months. When I look at it that way, it all seems more bearable.
It was a pretty uneventful week. I think everyone was thinking about spring break, which is next week. I heard some people talking about going on cruises or to other exciting destinations but I will be staying in town. My daughter doesn't have her spring break until March 19, so I can't go anywhere.
So, I'll be working on my trial brief and preparing for final exams, which start next month (April 30).
My heart just skipped a beat as I typed that. I'm not looking forward to going through that ordeal again. I do plan to take some time off, however. I haven't been to Ennis to see my family since January 1, so I plan to visit them. Also, I plan to take my daughter to the Fort Worth Zoo next weekend. I know that's not as exciting as a cruise or a trip out of state, but it's better than nothing.
So, I hope everyone has a safe, relaxing and fun spring break. Although the bad news is that the trial brief is due in a few weeks and finals start soon after, the good news is that we are almost finished with our first year of law school. I think we should start making plans to celebrate!
This was a pretty "relaxing" week. Our morning classes were canceled yesterday because the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sat at Texas Wesleyan School of Law yesterday! We heard oral arguments for two cases, one of which was a death row case. It was an interesting experience. Also, I liked that the judges demonstrated that just because you're in the legal profession doesn't mean you have to be devoid of a sense of humor. A couple of the judges (and attorneys) got some laughs from the audience.
I doubt that next week will be relaxing because we receive our final writing assignment of the semester next week. This time we will be writing a trial brief and presenting oral arguments to our classes. We have to shift gears for this assignment because unlike the memos, which required objective arguments, we will now be required to write persuasive arguments. The brief is worth 50 percent of our legal writing grade, so it's kind of a big deal. I just hope that my workout schedule doesn't go down the tubes again. Hopefully, since we have spring break the following week (woo hoo!), I'll be able to do a lot of the work then so that I can continue exercising and avoid the type of stress I experienced during the last memo.
I don't have any plans for this weekend, but I would like to catch a movie. Of course, I have to read for next week, complete a couple of research assignments for legal writing, and review my civil procedure and criminal law outlines because those practice exams are next week. I said I'd like to catch a movie, but it doesn't seem likely, but I have spring break to look forward to. Surely I can find time to go to a movie then.
This week was a lot less stressful than last week. I took advantage of the great weather to start cardio workouts this week. I have not been able to stick to a workout routine since I started law school. My last attempt was interrupted by memo one.
Before law school, I would really beat myself up for not working out (and consequently gaining weight).
I've really been too busy to worry much about it, which, in a way, is a good thing. (Obviously, it's unhealthy to obsess about weight as I have in the past.) However, I'm now at a point where I'm starting to feel physically uncomfortable, so I realize taking control of the situation is a priority. My days consist of sitting, reading and typing (oh yeah, and unhealthy eating) - not exactly a healthy lifestyle.
The good news is that I've learned to more efficiently use my time for class preparation so that I can actually stick to a routine. If I don't, I'll have to buy a new wardrobe, which I can't afford to do. Plus, vanity won't allow it.
I'm feeling good about taking the first steps to implementing a healthier lifestyle. Now I just have to stick with it no matter what, which I realize is easier said than done.
I'm so glad this week is over because it was a royal buttocks whipping. I did not go out last Friday night. As a matter of fact, I worked on The Memo until 1:30 a.m. I did, however, take a break from it a few hours Saturday night. I went to see "The Departed," and I'm so glad I did. (It's now my favorite movie!)
After I got home from the movie (at about 10:30), I revised The Memo for a couple of hours. I then worked on it again all day Sunday. I managed to read for Monday's classes late Sunday night.
So, Monday rolled around, and I was still very dissatisfied with my memo. I was determined that I would have to basically rewrite one major part, which I did after school. So, I did not go to bed until around 1:30 Tuesday morning. I then got up at 5 a.m. to make last minute changes. Unfortunately, my new printer decided not to work Tuesday morning. All I can say is, good thing printers don't have feelings that can be hurt. I finally calmed down enough to actually think, so I restarted my computer, which did the trick. But, at that point, I only had time to throw on clothes and head out the door without breakfast or anything.
On Tuesday, for the first time ever, I did not have my reading done. Fortunately, our professors had mercy on the hardy few who actually showed up for class and lectured instead of calling on people.
I honestly don't know how I even made it to school Tuesday because I was in a near catatonic state. But, I weathered that storm. You know what they say: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Right now, I feel like I've won the Word's Strongest Person competition because I'm still standing!
Yesterday, Contracts class was a lot like Alaska--cold and sparsely populated. It was cold because I'm always cold at school (especially in the library) and usually wear a jacket in class, but didn't in Contracts yesterday. I have a good idea why Contracts class was sparsely populated yesterday: The Memo. I could be wrong. Maybe people did decide to work on their memos rather than attend class, but maybe a lot of people were out sick with the flu ... or something.
Because of The Memo, my reading schedule went right down the tubes this week. I spent last weekend working on it, so this week I had to read for the next day's classes the night before. If I didn't get all of the reading done the night before, I got up at 5:00 (yes, in the morning) to read. But, for a lot of this week's classes I didn't prepare a formal brief.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I had to book brief (write myself all kinds of little notes in the margin).
Last semester, I would have been beyond stressed out if I didn't have my reading done at least a couple of days in advance. Surprisingly, I did not stress out this week (well, not that much). I just adjusted to the change. Since The Memo is due Tuesday, I will spend the greater part of this weekend working on it.
So, next week, I'll also likely have to read for the next day's classes the night before. I'm okay with that. Tuesday I will turn in my memo, and next weekend I will be able to read ahead for the following week.
I may be going out tonight, but I haven't made up my mind yet. That decision, of course, depends on whether or not I complete the work on The Memo that I planned to get done today.
Take a deep breath, everyone. It will all be over Tuesday (that is, until the trial brief is due). Try to enjoy the weekend.
Memo 3 is due in eleven short days! Can you guess what I've been working on since eight o'clock this morning? We have to find our own cases this time, so that has introduced an element of uncertainty that I'm not thrilled about. How do I know whether I've found the "right" cases or not? Am I missing some important ones? Why am I pulling my hair out?
On Wednesday, Academic Support talked to us about the bar exam. Apparently, the bar exam is the mother of all exams! It's a three-day ordeal that I'm sure will make me long for the days when my major concern was what cases to include in my memo. On the second day of the exam, we will face 200 multiple choice questions. I thought I liked multiple choice questions until I took my finals last semester. Law school multiple choice questions are nothing like multiple choice questions in undergrad. They can make your head hurt.
On the final day of the bar exam, we have to write twelve (yes, 12!) essays. I can't even imagine writing twelve essays in one day. I think I'll need to reread Psycho-Cybernetics before then because getting through that day will definitely require some positive thinking.
After finishing this third week of my second semester of law school, I'm beginning to feel I've learned a great deal from last semester's experiences. I came into this semester with all the first week's reading done. That has helped me to keep a week ahead in the reading and significantly decreased my stress level.
Also, this week I spoke to three of my professors about my performance on their exams. I don't think there is anything like actually hearing what you did right and what you did wrong from the person grading the exam. I anticipate that meeting with my professors will really help me to improve on this semester's exams since, except for criminal law, I have all the same professors.
I've really been thinking that I need to do something that isn't all about me. So, I've decided to volunteer at an organization that helps victims of relationship violence and sexual assault. I read on RAINN's (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) web site that one in six American women are victims of sexual assault and one in thirty-three men. This is a problem that affects so many people. I am an incest survivor and a survivor of relationship violence; unfortunately, based on the statistics, I know I am not alone. Therefore, I feel compelled to help because I know the suffering that accompanies these types of abuse.
I do believe that anyone who can conquer the many detrimental side effects of relationship violence or sexual assault has the fortitude to endure the challenges of law school. If I can do it, anyone can.
We only had classes two days this week. (Martin Luther King Day was Monday, and we had a snow day on Wednesday). On Monday, we received our final grade for the fall semester. Overall, I feel good about my first semester in law school. There are things I wish I'd done differently, but I do have opportunities to improve my performance this semester and over the next two years.
On Tuesday, we received our assignment for our first memo. I was really dreading receiving the assignment because I knew that it would usher in the madness inherent in reading and analyzing all the cases and statutes and organizing all that information in order to write the memo. Also, this semester we actually do our own research, so it's up to us to find the cases and statutes to support our arguments. It's not that I mind doing the work; it's actually very interesting and enjoyable. It's just that it can become overwhelming when trying to stay on top of material for my other four classes. Well, no one ever said law school was easy (but it is manageable).
The holiday break went by so quickly! I worked at a large law firm in downtown Dallas the first two weeks.
The secretarial coordinator assigned me to the real estate department, as usual, because she knows that is the area in which I plan to practice as an attorney. I worked for three partners, but one of the partners was busy enough to keep two secretaries busy! I worked my you-know-what off every single day, but at least I wasn't bored.
I spent three days in Kansas for Christmas. It is a small town (1,300 population), so it was relaxing and provided me with an opportunity to decompress from finals and from my boot camp job assignment :) I watched movies, went for walks to "town," and generally did a whole lot of nothing! After that short break, it was back to work at the law firm.
Obviously, the subject on the minds of most of us this week was grades. Some people were elated; others seemed despondent. I can't say I'm elated, but I am happy to be within the ballpark of the goals I've set for myself. Personally, there are areas in which I need to improve. I am aware of what I need to do to improve, and I am confident that I will do even better this semester.
I really appreciated comments that our Property professor made yesterday. He told the class that grades do not define us and offered encouragement to those who may not have done as well as they would have liked. What he said is so true. We are so much more than a grade. I hope that those who are feeling down about their grades realize that all of us who completed the semester are successful. Not everyone could stick it out, but we did and that, I think, is commendable.
Good luck to everyone this semester. It's a new start, so don't dwell on the past.
We have two final exams under our belts. We took a four-hour torts exam Monday. I have never experienced four hours speeding by so quickly, not even when engaging in a "fun" activity. I'm not saying that taking the torts exam was an unpleasant experience, but I would stop short of saying it was "fun." After the exam, I tried not to think about the exam, but I kept thinking of issues I didn't mention. However, I realized that I had three more exams to worry about; there's nothing I could do about the torts exam. I think that I did the best that I could do. I just think that with the time constraints (no, four hours was not enough time), I could not have gotten to every single issue that could have been brought up.
Today, we took our property exam. We had the option of taking it on our laptaps, which I did. It was heaven. No cramped hands at the end of the exam!
Plus, I liked the fact that when an idea popped into my head that I hadn't covered previously, I could simply go to that location and insert what I'd forgotten or I could move things around. Overall, I felt more confident about the property exam than the torts exam. While I know at I didn't hit every issue, I do feel I was able to address most of the key issues.
Last weekend, I did not spend the entire weekend studying. Last Saturday night, I went to see "Deja Vu" with Denzel Washington. That was a nice diversion.
This weekend, although I will be preparing for the contract exam (which is on Monday) and civil procedure (Thursday), I'm taking off some time to go to the Curtain Club in Deep Ellum to watch my boyfriend's band. (I will have to keep the alcohol consumption way down so that I will be able to study Sunday!) However, next Saturday night, I'll be at the Flying Pig (what a name) in Lake Dallas for another of my boyfriend's gigs, and I will be celebrating the end of the semester with as many drinks as I want to have :) (I won't be driving home!)
Finally, I have not been able to respond to emails because of some technical problem. I haven't had a chance to contact the tech support people to ask for help. If you have emailed me and I haven't responded, it's not because I am ignoring you. As soon as I can get the problem resolved, I will reply. Also, thanks to everyone who wrote to wish me well (regarding my health).
This is our last posting for this semester. I wish the best of luck to all my fellow 1Ls on the remaining final exams. We should all be proud of ourselves for hanging in there. See you all next semester!
I found out Monday that I have some precancerous cells that must be removed. Once finals are over, I'll have the procedure done.
For more than a month, I've had this threat of cancer hanging over my head. Actually, I'm grateful for all the work required by school because it occupied my mind; without school, I'm sure I would have driven myself crazy with worry.
I'm relieved that I do not actually have cancer. Of course, the better news would have been that the biopsy didn't reveal any abnormalities, but at least I didn't get the worst news of all. Cancer is not something I take lightly because both of my grandmothers died from cancer; my mother was first diagnosed with cancer when she was 40; and I've been told my father is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. The threat of cancer is frightening for anyone, but for me, it is even more of a concern.
Obviously, at this time, final exams are on the minds of law students. Probably had I not been experiencing health problems I would be much more stressed about finals. However, I now realize what is most important to me is good health and hopefully living a long life.
I am studying for finals, but I've put law school and exams in what I think is the proper perspective. Excelling on an exam or excelling in the other relatively trival pursuits of life are insignificant. What matters most is having a life and sharing it with those you love and who love you.
It was destress week at school, but I didn't take time off to participate in any of the activities (including movie/popcorn day, ice cream social and day of massage). Maybe I should have taken off some time because yesterday in civil procedure, after our professor mentioned that we only had two more classes before the semester ends, I experienced a mild anxiety attack. My heart started to pound, and I couldn't concentrate on what was being said in class.
First, the thought jumped into my head that memo 2 is due Monday. I'm not exactly happy about that because I feel my grasp of the facts and statutes is tenuous at best and am unsure about the way I've organized the fifteen-page thing. Next, I realized that I only have two weeks, which at the moment seemed the equivalent of one day, to memorize countless rules for finals.
So, as I stated in one of my earlier entries, I'm not the most pleasant person to be around when I'm stressed. Home was not a very happy place last night.
I didn't commit a battery or even an assault (ha ha), but I was not in the mood for any joking around.
I think it is now crystal clear to my boyfriend and my daughter that I will not be very sociable the next four weeks. Also, I let them know that they should not expect me to cook, clean or do laundy.
My boyfriend did make a suggestion. He basically said that maybe I should lower the high standards I've set for myself. After all, that is the source of my stress. I'm considering it because I realize that, although I'm accustomed to winning, that I'm competing for grades with others who are also accustomed to winning. I'm still working it out in my mind, but maybe winning does not always mean being in first place. Maybe there are different ways to be a winner.
At least that's what I'm trying to convince myself.
Last week's entry was sort of like a television series cliffhanger. (Cue ominous music.)Will Hope be upset about her memo grade?
I started at 11 a.m. last Sunday checking the web site for results. I checked every 30 minutes to an hour. Each time, I prepared myself for the worst.
Our professor posted our memos sometime Sunday evening. I scrolled down the entire memo, only glancing at the comments in passing. I was eager to get to the bottom line, which was on the last page -- my grade. (I don't know why I didn't go directly to the last page instead of scrolling. Maybe I didn't really want to find out so quickly after all.) Anyway, I saw my grade and was very happy about it. I called my mother, and of course, she said all the things moms usually say because they always think you're great.
So, I did celebrate for about five minutes, but as I told my mother, this was only one grade. Memo 1 is only worth 25 percent of our final legal writing grade. Memo 2 is worth a whopping 50 percent. So, I did take a few minutes to celebrate my performance on the first memo, but this is not the time to kick back and relax. I have to work diligently (feverishly?) on memo 2, PLUS worry about four final exams for my other classes that will constitute 100 percent of my grade in property, contracts, civil procedure and torts.
So, there is no time to be complacent. Therefore, I will be working diligently/feverishly on memo 2 this weekend. But, I plan to have some fun this weekend as well. My boyfriend's band is playing a show tomorrow night, so I'll take off a little time to enjoy live music!
It seems that the topic of the week is Memo 1. I have heard several students talking about their reactions and the reactions of others in their classes. I didn't hear anyone say that they were upset or angry about their own grade, but I did hear some comments that classmates of theirs were upset.
I can only report what I've heard other people saying because our writing professor will post our results online sometime Sunday. I wish I already knew how I did. I started to feel even more anxious about it after hearing everyone else talk about getting their memos back.
I suppose our writing professor is wise. Instead of everyone getting their memos back in class and having the immediate reactions of those who won't be happy about their grade, we will have a day to calm down (if needed) before going to class. I think I prefer it that way, because if I'm one of those who is upset about my grade, I'd prefer to deal with my emotions alone rather than in the classroom.
I have a feeling this is going to be a long, anxiety-filled weekend. Hopefully everyone else will enjoy their weekend.
This semester is quickly winding down. Final exams will start in five weeks. I try not to think about that too much because I always feel panic rising up when I do. Before law school, five weeks seemed like a long time; now time passes so quickly that five weeks only seems like two.
Before finals, however, we have to write our second memo. We received the information for that assignment this week. We have nine cases and a relatively lengthy statute to read, analyze and incorporate into the memo. I have a feeling my friends (the ones who were inside my head all night for the first memo) will be returning soon and probably bringing a few more friends since we have more material to read this time.
I'm looking forward to participating in the faculty and student panel tomorrow at Open House and meeting some of the people who have been emailing me for advice. I guess I'd better get some work done now to make up for taking a break tomorrow to do the Open House :)
Well, I got called on today in torts class. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had been called on in LARW class (legal analysis, research and writing).
LARW class is a much less stressful environment because we are divided into eleven (I think) small sections. There are only 19 students in my LARW class, but about 80 to 90 students in my other classes.
I knew that I would be called on soon in my other classes. I even mentioned it to one of my classmates in the elevator this morning. We began class with a short review and then moved on to a couple of short hypothetical problems. First, our professor called on one student who sits two seats to my right. Next, she called on the student who sits directly to my right.
At that point, I knew I was going to be called on. I thought, "She's picking us off right down the line."
Then, panic set in--not because I hadn't read, but because I read the first case for today sometime last week. I usually review my briefs for the next five or six cases before class, but today I got really involved in reading a case and completely forgot to review. I had read seven cases beyond the one I had to discuss; so, my recollection of the case was, shall we say, not as fresh as it could have been.
And just to add a little more pressure, we had guests in class today. I think they were prospective students. I have the best luck...really, I do.
Still, I feel I did okay. I was stumped by a couple of questions because I couldn't recall some of the details of the case; but overall, I think it went fairly well.
Our subject for the day was negligent infliction of emotional distress. One question the professor asked me pertained to whether or not nervousness was a physical manifestation of emotional distress. I replied, "I don't know, but I'm pretty nervous right now." Our professor and the class got a big laugh from that. It's probably one of those situations where you just had to be there to think my reply was funny, but all of us who have been called on before could relate, so I suppose that's why we thought it was funny.
I survived my first in-depth experience of the Socratic method. It seemed to last a really long time. Actually, I looked at the time once I felt fairly safe I was off the hook. It was 10:50. The class started at 10:00, but we had the review and short hypotheticals before I was called on, so I'm not exactly sure how long I answered questions, but it was probably at least 30 minutes. I think it was the longest 30 minutes of my life. But, you know what? I survived it, and it wasn't all that bad :)
The final version of our first memo for our legal writing class is due Monday. We have to analyze five cases and compare the facts of those cases to facts from a "client." We then write a memo predicting how we think a court will rule in our client's case based on what courts decided in the other cases. Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday night, I didn't dream. I can't really say that I even slept because my mind was racing the entire night. Countless facts swirled around in my mind all at the same time so that nothing was coherent. The experience was like having 10,000 people in your head all talking at the same time and all saying different things. What a crazy experience!
Thankfully, I finished a draft on Thursday and printed it out. That gave me peace, and I was able to sleep normally. Now all I have to do is revise and revise again and then revise some more.
Good luck to all my fellow 1Ls as you work on your memos this weekend!
We received comments about our draft of the first memo for legal writing this week. I was very pleased with the comments I received. It seems I'm on the right track, but I do need to make some improvements. The final draft is due on Monday, October 16. I sense a little tension in the air at school about the memo.
It seems I'm not the only worrywart; that makes me feel a little bit better.
I thought I'd mention that I've been asked to participate as a student panelist during Texas Wesleyan Law School's Open House activities on Saturday, October 28. I do receive emails from people who ask me what it's like to be a 1L and how to go about getting into law school. I'd highly recommend contacting the admissions office to sign up for the Open House. I'll be there along with five other students and faculty and staff to answer any questions you may have. Hope to see you there!
This week was really odd. For a couple of days, I felt like one of those cartoon characters who has a black storm cloud following her around. As a result, reading cases was extremely difficult. This happens every month, so I knew it would only last a day or two. Still, reading that normally wouldn't challenge me did challenge me those two days. Concentrating was difficult, and due to my warped sense of perception, I convinced myself that I was dumb and that I would fail miserably on all of my final exams.
Of course, I know that I'm not dumb, but when the hormones are kicking in, well reason flies right out the window. Luckily, all is well now. In preparation for today's class, I reviewed a brief of a case that gave me trouble a couple of days ago, and I understood everything perfectly. Thankfully, the black cloud is gone.
One thing I'm extremely happy about is that I started working out again this week! Before this week, I had only worked out twice since starting school. Now that I have my schedule under control, I'm going to make sure that I make working out a priority like I did before law school. After all, it's a great way to relieve stress!
Last week I was in a hurry and posted my diary entry without fully discussing the circumstances surrounding my brief breakup with my boyfriend. It occurred to me that maybe my boyfriend came off as an insensitive jerk. That's not the case. He was not frustrated by my workload. Rather, it was my attitude that was the problem. Two words come to mind that describe my attitude -- demanding and imperious. Basically, I was so focused on getting my work done, that I momentarily forgot to be respectful and polite to my family. If I were in his shoes, I would have had the same concerns.
Would anyone want to endure three years of mistreatment? I wouldn't. As each week has passes, however, the stress has decreased and my attitude has improved. I believe a great deal of that stress could have been avoided if I had completed all my first week assignments in advance. But, because I had read in a book that it's not a good idea to read too far ahead, I put off reading until the weekend before the beginning of classes. If I had it to do all over again, I would have all my work done for the first week before the first day of classes.
Speaking of the first week, time has flown by and it seems like I've only been in school a week or two. We completed our fifth week today. That's one-third of the semester! I guess time really does fly when you're having fun.
I was called on for the first time this week (in writing class). It wasn't a bad experience at all. You should know that for the first two weeks, every time a professor called on someone, I felt as if I were waiting to find out if the Grim Reaper was going to call my name or not. (Please, please, please, don't let it be me.) But, as the weeks have gone by, when professors ask questions of other students, I have practiced answering those questions. Most of the time, I'm able to answer correctly. Moreover, I'm finally getting over my whole obsession with trying to be perfect. I'm going to make mistakes just like everyone else. And, if called on in class, maybe I won't know an answer, but it won't be the end of the world.
I can hardly believe that we have made it through four whole weeks of law school. The time has passed so quickly.
This week has been a rather uneventful one as far as school goes. However, I had a scare in my personal life. I should mention that at orientation, the administration impressed upon us the importance of maintaining our relationships with family and friends.
But, I'm a workaholic and will tend to neglect those around me because I'm so focused on what I need to accomplish. My boyfriend of two and one-half years expressed his frustration with my unavailability and made it clear that he could not endure three years of it. We actually broke up, but only for about 18 hours :)
The moral to this story is: Keep things in perspective. Sure I want to do well in law school, but not at the cost of losing people that I love. I cannot concentrate on school to the exclusion of everyone and everything else.
The draft of the first memo for our Legal Writing class is due Monday. Good luck everyone!
Last week I mentioned that I was getting a handle on the reading. Well, a couple of professors mentioned that they will be increasing our reading assignments now that we have made it through these first few weeks of school. My initial reaction? Yikes! Once the initial shock wore off, I realized that I will adapt in order to keep up. Lots of other law students have done it, so I'm sure I can too.
I've received several emails from people who want to know what it's like to be a nontraditional (older) law student. My experience at Texas Wesleyan has been great. There are several other nontraditional students, so I don't feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.
Well, that's about it for this week. I'm short on time. (Imagine that!) I'm actually going out tonight for the first time since starting law school. I plan to forget all about cases and rules and hypotheticals and just enjoy hearing some great music. However, before I can go out to play, I have work to do.
Have a great weekend!
In torts class this week, we read a case that cracked me up. One minute I was quietly reading my casebook; the next minute, I had tears streaming down my face because I was laughing hysterically. My boyfriend looked at me as if I had lost my mind. My daughter came out of her room to find out what in the world caused this fit of laughter. I was, after all, reading the law and everyone knows the law is not funny.
Maybe I was able to laugh because this week was a lot less stressful than last week. I've started to get a handle on organizing my time, which is probably the most crucial factor in being able to cope with all the work. Maybe having so much work to do is not such a bad thing. After all, being just a little bit loopy from all the reading led to the best laugh I've had in a long time!
I hope everyone enjoys the Labor Day weekend.
It seems somewhat surreal to me that I am actually attending law school. I began my first legal job in the word processing center of a large Dallas law firm in 1986. Although my job was simply to type or revise documents, I often read interrogatories, briefs, petitions, and other legal documents. The law truly intrigued me. After five years in that position, I craved more challenging work. As a result, I began working as a legal secretary. Legal secretarial work, while more interesting and challenging than word processing, still failed to provide the mental stimulation and challenge that I desire, so I decided to attend law school.
My first week of law school was a stressful one, but in a good way. It doesn’t matter how many times I heard that I would be required to do a tremendous amount of work. I think it is impossible to fathom the immense amount of work you will be faced with until you have actually started the process. Yes, it was a stressful week, but I did say in a good way. What was good about it is that I started the learning process that will eventually lead to practicing law. So, despite the late nights reading and briefing cases, I felt happy to be doing the work.
Here’s a tip that may help future 1Ls avoid late nights the first week: Start your reading for your first day of classes early. I thought starting my reading the weekend prior to the beginning of school would give me ample time to prepare. However, I quickly found out that just because you only have ten or twenty pages to read for a class does not mean it won’t take you a great deal of time to read critically and brief cases. So, maybe start reading the week prior to the beginning of classes and then review any notes and your briefs the day before your class.
Finally, I must say that everyone I have met at Texas Wesleyan has been friendly, helpful and supportive. My peers are bright and motivated. Also, I am impressed with the faculty, the staff, and the facilities; all are top-notch! After completing my first week, I know that my decision to attend law school at Texas Wesleyan was the right decision to make.