Undergraduate School: University of Madras
Undergraduate Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Chennai, India
Status: Part-Time Evening
1/9/13 - So it is back to the grind for me - at least for one final semester. I am so excited to be back. I took two winter semester courses – Courthouse Perspective and Civil Evidence Workshop. I highly recommend these classes.
Justice McCoy conducts the Courthouse Perspective class, wherein we visit all the different courthouses in Tarrant County. It was very enlightening to learn about where we file the paper work, the hierarchical structure of the court system, etc.. I absolutely loved it. Plus, walking all over downtown helped me with my holiday weight.
Professor Spence teaches a Civil Evidence Workshop. He is absolutely wonderful. He has been walking us through Texas rules of evidence and he includes all these must-know nuances that makes our class very interesting.
In any case, I guess I am ready for Prof. C and Preparing for the Bar.
12/18/12 - All done. And that’s brings us to the end of my final full load semester. You have no idea how thrilled I am about it.
I am taking 2 Wintermester classes and then preparing for the Bar in the spring. I had to do quite a bit of juggling and frontloading to keep my last semester light. I am positive I won’t be able to take time off work, so this is a very big deal for me.
Anyways, my dear friends have now graduated and are ready to take on the big B in February. I am so proud of their achievements and I wish them the very best for everything.
I have big plans for this holiday which includes my first vacation with my family in about 5 years. I am very excited about it. I hope you guys have a safe and happy holiday.
12/12/12 - 1 more exam to go!
Bankruptcy is my last exam. It is a very interesting course and our professor was wonderful. However, for this course, the code is very confusing to read and there is quite a lot to remember. Prof. V is extremely knowledgeable about the material and tried to help us through it, but I guess we will have to wait and see.
Texas Criminal Procedure and Family has been completed, and so has my Litigation Drafting paper (yes, I am being very smug about it).
A bunch of my friends are graduating on Friday, so a big shout-out to these overachievers. I hope they do well on the Bar!
Anyways, I need to get back to snacking on junk food and studying. Talk to you all soon.
11/28/12 - Does it matter if you are an evening student as opposed to being a day student? Yes, it does. (P.S. This is a one sided argument).
There are many advantages to being an evening student:
1. When you have worked the whole day and come to school at night, you are amongst a group who understands the feeling. The support group is wonderful within the student community. That doesn’t mean that we are not competitive; we find better ways to get an edge over other, like not sharing notes and other information.
2. You come out with less debt. (Hopefully)
3. You have a career fall back and have an expansive skill set.
4. Your time becomes your most important weapon, and you tend to use it judiciously.
Every advantage comes with its share of trouble:
1. As an evening student, you will miss out on lot of activities that get scheduled in the day.
2. You will ended up juggling your schedules (home, work, school) so often that you will consider joining the circus.
3. Sometimes, you will feel under-preferred. It is bit annoying when the fact that you are an “evening” student is not considered in an equation.
Well, it is all part of the game.
11/14/12 – This is one of my husband’s favorite sayings to inspire me when I am in a slump:
Marathons are hard, especially the last stretch; it is easy to run 100 meters, it takes a winner to complete a marathon.
I never thought I would agree with him, but I guess I am somewhat wiser (and yes, I am fishing for that graduation gift). This semester has been a sheer beating on all fronts. I started the semester by changing my schedule at the last minute to accommodate my crazy schedule at work. I started a new role at work which needs a lot of attention and work and I love it. Add to this, my daughter is a bit older and started having extracurriculars on Saturday, I am a simply beat. I guess you could say that I should cut back instead of whining, but I am in love with this crazy ride. The very fact my time is well spent makes me feel alive.
But I must say that law school it isn’t without its share of hurdles; you have to deal with marital tiffs, hurt feelings, guilt at all levels. Hey, these hurdles just add spice to life. If you stay happy, others will follow suit.
10/31/12 - Boo!
So this blog is due on the day of Halloween. So I guess I should talk about scary stuff, so here goes:
When you start law school, it can be scary for multiple reasons. It is the start of the unknown and everyone, no matter their background, is on the same playing field. If you are anything like me, thinking about outlines, IRAC, being on-call, etc. will make your heart beat a tad faster. Don’t worry - you will get a hang of it within a semester or two.
It is also scary when you think of the Bar exam. I have no words to console you on this front. I think fear is a good thing here.
Job interviews, the prospect of looking for an internship, and meeting timelines are all part of a law school’s “Halloween,” but the treat at the very end makes up for it.
Happy Halloween everyone! I need to go fight with my daughter for the good candy.
10/17/12 - So far I have fulfilled the requirements of graduation and sacrifice one needs to make while in law school.
Next stop - Patience.
Patience is even more important if one plans to work full time while in school. I plan to illustrate a few scenarios where this valuable asset would be helpful. Maybe I should state before I delve into the gory details, that I have never been known to be a patient person before law school.
As a law student, you are trained to think in terms of rules, exceptions and hypos. So after a day at work and then at school, when you come home and your spouse or family engage you in a conversation, detailing out the minutest detail, your first reaction would be to stop them in the mid sentence and say “get to the point”.
Don’t do it. These folks are actually bearing the brunt of your decision to go to school. Take a deep breath and smile and either listen to them or go through the elements of negligence in your head.
Same thing applies when you feel like that people are not as “fast” as you are in getting things done. Remember, they don’t HAVE to get things done fast. It is simply your requirement. Either do the work yourself or multi-task.
And, if you try to drive on State Highway 121 to get to school on time and people are driving slowly around you, please don’t try to be clever by weaving in and out or speeding. One, it is not worth it, and two, how will you justify to anyone that you will be a great counselor of law if you don’t follow the law? Leave 30 minutes early from work and save yourself the trouble.
10/3/12 - We had our graduation gown fitting last week. I think it finally sunk in that I am actually close to graduation. I have never attended any of my other graduations – I either didn’t care or was working everyone’s shift work, but I think I will be attending this graduation ceremony for sure (I should say my family thinks that they should be taking the walk and not me).
Having mentioned graduation, I must mention that there are a few requirements that you have to meet to get there, some simple and some not as much:
First and foremost, you need to complete 90 hours of credits. Some of the credits in this 90 are considered required (“lockstep”), some smart to have (read “Bar-tested”), and some credits from classes which really interest you.
Second, you need to complete the Intent to Study Law document. It is something you do in the first semester of law school, pretty much letting the state know that you are planning to study law and your background.
Third, 30 hours of pro bono work. This is where you get some kind of field experience. Our school allows lot of venues to achieve this – Law Clinic, Wesleyan Innocence Project, PLAY, Veterans Clinic, etc.
Also, while you don’t need to complete the MPRE and Bar exam applications to graduate, I think it is a very good idea to do them while you are still in school.
9/19/12 – “Sacrifice” is name of the game when one is going through law school. Unfortunately, the law student is not the only one who has to make sacrifices. Family and friends make some too.
While you gives up your precious “me” time, the family has to make sacrifices when you aren't around. You make sacrifices when you are busy studying during Thanksgiving, when you miss your child’s first Halloween trick or treating, when you have to take an exam on your anniversary.
One always wonders if all this is worth it. I would answer with a simple “yes”. Yes, it takes a toll on you, but it is more than worth it. Law school helps you not only in your career (current and future), but it helps you grow as a person and as a member of a network of friends. It also helps you determine your true friends are.
Why am I talking about this today? I guess this is my way of saying a big heartfelt THANK YOU to my family and friends.
9/6/12 - It is always difficult to find your groove early in the semester. This tends to lead you to promise the Almighty that if he sees you through this one little semester, you will do a better job of being prepared the next semester. Usually these kinds of negotiations occur during the dead week before exams. It is especially hard to get back up to speed when you have had a long break, you know this is your last big load of coursework, your friends are graduating this semester, and you basically suffer from a rather severe case of senioritis.
One way of handling this restlessness is to work on whipping your body into shape (and yes, law school adds more weight than pregnancy, trust me – I know). So, where am I going this story?
I wanted to talk about 2 wonderful girls in my class who absolutely inspire me with their “get fit” routines. Both of them have full time jobs and heavy class loads, so this makes their achievements even more admirable. The dedication that they show in maintaining their diet and preparing for marathons/body sculpting is something I can only wish for. You might wonder about how in the world they have the time to do everything they do, but I guess it just involves making time and having regimented schedule.
To these ladies – you are phenomenal!
8/29/12 - Woot woot! I am done with another semester. It has been the hardest semester yet, time management wise. To explain why this semester was so different than others, I need to explain how I had handled semesters in the past.
First, I had great support from my parents or parents-in-law who came over all the way from India to help me with household duties and taking care of my daughter. The very fact that my daughter was in such good hands made a huge difference in how I was able to concentrate on my law school duties. Second, I usually was able to take about 2 weeks off work before exams, giving me ample time to prepare for the exams. Also, my old job permitted me to leave work at 4 PM, which meant I had an hour to study before class.
So, I decided to be adventurous this semester. There was no parental support at home which meant unbelievable amount of household work. To add to it, I took a new job where I need to be at work until at least 5:30 PM. While I love my job, it does involve a lot of time consuming (but enjoyable) work. The cherry on the top of this semester was the fact I had only 2 days off before each exam. On the whole, it has been an exciting ride and I wouldn’t do it any other way.
I will be back in school very soon. I am taking two courses, Marital Property and Payment Systems. Both the courses are bar tested so I am hoping it will help me in the long run.
7/25/12 - That was my last summer semester (I hope). I think I will one more big summer (when I prepare for the Bar) before I call it a day. This summer was bittersweet. Apart from the fact that I was close to the finish, a couple of my very dear friends graduated. I know I am going to miss them a lot.
Speaking of friends and graduation, some of my friends just took the Bar exam. A big shout out to them! I can’t imagine the stress and hard work that went into it. But looking at the status updates and wishes that were pouring out from everyone to the Bar exam takers, I realized that it is all a team effort. You study as a team, you learn as a team, you complain as team, and you go and become good lawyers in a team. While I understand some people do it all by themselves, I cannot imagine doing any of it without the team effort at home, school, work, and in life.
And speaking of the team, are you watching the Olympics?!
6/27/12 - So, I guess everyone has heard the big news about how we might soon be Texas A&M University School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University. This was probably the most exciting news for most of us this summer. I know that some groaned about becoming Aggies, while others cheered this opportunity (I am still trying to understand the whole Longhorn/Aggie philosophy, so no offense meant).
I know there are lots of questions about the whats, whens, hows and whys of this move. I know I don’t want to be in the shoes of our professors right now: imagine trying to take a class with exams around the corner and all the students care about is this development.
In any case, whatever the answers are, I can sure answer one thing: This school is absolutely student oriented and I don’t think a name change would change this fact. The administration and the professors genuinely care about the students. Since they form the heart of this organization, I strongly believe the care factor would not change.
Case in point, I am at a deep end of the pool, as this semester has been unbelievably hard to pull off. But when I asked for help in reaching that finish line, I was never denied support. I think the difference between us and the other schools out there is the fact that this school really cares. So in case you are wondering if you should apply here, my answer would be in the affirmative.
**A Note on the Letter of Intent between Texas A&M and Texas Wesleyan - Legal Disclaimer**
5/30/12 - Well, it is summer at school, which roughly translates into 4 hours classes every day, longer reading over the weekends, some sweat shirts/blankets (yes, you read that right) and the light at the end of the tunnel.
Maybe I should re-phrase my statement to mention that it is now summer through the eyes of a 3L. I am taking two courses this summer – Payment Systems and Marital Property. In the eyes of a 3L (or 3.5L or a 4L, however you describe it), Payment Systems is a course that would make you think twice about writing a check to someone, and Marital Property would make you think twice about getting a divorce. But in all reality, both these courses provides a practical approach to things we take for granted – writing a check to pay someone or buying something as a married couple.
Speaking of spending money as a married couple, I went for my first vacation in about 5 years. It was fun and short. We did a lot of walking around, talking, and eating completely unhealthy food.
So it is back to the grind for me. Let’s keep this party going…
5/9/12 - Woot woot! I am done with another semester. It has been the hardest semester yet, time management-wise. To explain why this semester was so different than others, I need to explain how I had handled the previous semesters. First, I had great support from my parents and parents-in-law who came over all the way from India to help me around with household duties and my daughter. The very fact that my daughter was in such good hands made a huge difference while I concentrated on my law school duties. Often I also was able to take about 2 weeks time off before exams, which gave me ample time to prepare for finals. My old job permitted me to leave work at 4 PM, which meant I had a hour to study before class.
So, I decided to be adventurous this semester. There was no parental support at home which meant unbelievable amount of household work. To add to it, I took a new job where I need to be at work until at least 5:30 PM. While I love my job, a lot of work of the work I enjoy takes a lot of time. The cherry on the top of this semester was the fact I had only 2 days off before each exam. On the whole, it has been an exciting ride and I wouldn’t do it any other way.
I will be back in school in about 2 weeks. I am taking two courses, Marital Property and Payment Systems. Both the courses are Bar tested, so I am hoping it will help me in the long run. I will keep you posted about these two courses in summer. In the mean time, enjoy you summer and stay cool!
4/25/12 - No words. I just have no words. I have been trying to write this blog page for last 3 days now and I have absolutely nothing to say. Trust me, I usually have plenty to say.
So like Seinfield, my blog this week is about everything and nothing. Classroom time is done, exams are due soon, I have never felt this underprepared, I am ready to graduate (by the way, shout out to my friends who just had their last law school class, I am so proud and happy for them), I had a presentation for Rigorous Writing class with Prof. H, I think I did okay, I have my outlines done (well almost), I have my time off from work approved, I am tired and still excited that I am in law school.
I guess I will shrug and smile and wish you guys happy studying.
4/11/12 - So, I always wanted to be a transactional attorney. I guess my decision was based on the fact that it suited my line of work and I am a bit wary about speaking in front of the crowd.
But something changed today. I did a big presentation at work where lots of questions were asked and I needed to be quick on my toes. I think I finally understand the thrill that litigators enjoy in such a setting. You might say that I have just embarked on a new adventure.
There is a truism in my native language which roughly means that you should always push your limits until it pushes back. I discovered my ability to “push my limit” in law school. You can see yourself grow as you go along. I like the product thus far, and I can’t wait to see the end product.
3/28/12 - We had an hour to kill between classes the other day (a rarity). What was even rarer is the fact that a bunch of us decided to stick around instead of playing hooky (which apparently comes along with being a 3L).
So, we were talking about things that would definitely annoy a professor, and my friends (B, B, E, J, M and L) suggested I write about it on today’s blog. So here goes…
Things NOT to do
• Walk in late to a class.
• If you walk in late, be quiet about your grand entrance (no slamming doors, no waving to your friends).
• At least pretend to be sorry about the delay.
• If you absolutely must walk in late and make a grand entrance and smirk about it, at least come prepared for class.
• Try not to be consistently late. Once is okay, twice maybe, more than that is an issue that needs to be addressed.
• Don’t walk out in the middle of the class and come back with a Starbucks cup in your hand.
• Even if you do walk out to get coffee from Starbucks, don’t come into class 45 minutes later with to go cups for your peeps.
• Don’t Facebook in class.
• Even if you do, don’t give attitude to the professor when he catches you.
• Don’t text in class. It is pretty obvious that you are. No one can look down at their laps for that long.
• Don’t answer your cell phones in class. “Honey” is not going to rescue you from the professor’s wrath.
• Finally, don’t get “cute” with the professor. I don’t know about the professor, it definitely annoys the fellow students.
By the way, my friends suggested that my blogs should qualify for rigorous writing credit. Dean H, what do you think?
3/7/12 - The name of the game is “curveball”. Life loves to throw some at you and you just have deal with them. I mean, you can sit and whine and cry and throw a tantrum, but it is a waste of time - the ball is coming fast at you and it is not going to wait for you to be ready.
One of my favorite people in the world once told me that when you do something you don’t want to do, it makes you a stronger person. While I shrugged this statement off as one of the “n” number of statements this person makes, it feels much more profound since I joined law school. Do I want to finish my paper? No, but do I still do it? Yes. Do you want to take a criminal defendant? No, but do you still do it? Yes.
From my perspective, law school develops dormant characteristics in a person. You come out of it way stronger than when you go in.
2/22/12 - So someone mentioned yesterday that we were at the halfway mark for the semester. The reaction from the class was unanimous – “Say WHAAT!!!!”
I guess that’s the beauty of law school. Time flies by, and before you know it is time to graduate. I will be registering for my last summer class in the coming weeks. The memory feels bittersweet. I had taken 3 courses in my first summer, wondering why the rooms were ice cold. I took 1 course last summer, wondering why the rooms were ice cold and why am was being a masochist by attending summer school during weekends. Now, I guess I will be taking 2 courses, wondering why the rooms are ice cold, but a little happy that it would be a last summer in school. Next summer will be in some hole preparing for the Bar, and the summer after that I will be in India drinking coconut water and gorging on some good food.
In the meantime, I am going to play catch-up on everything this semester, so I guess summer school is not all that bad.
2/8/12 - You know the scene in the music videos and movies where the actor is stuck in a zone, and things are whizzing past him and he doesn’t seem to realize it? You get the picture? Okay, now just replace the actor with me. It feels like I am going through the motions without being fully aware of what’s happening. Although I am able to shake it off after every couple of days, I am unable to shake it off for good.
On another note, I got involved with the Texas Wesleyan Law Veteran Initiative that some of my fellow schoolmates are organizing. While it enables us to get some pro bono hours and work experience, I think the big part of it is the fact that we are able to give something back to the community who has done so much for us.
Can you imagine leaving the comfort and safety of your home and family to go to a dangerous place millions of miles away, knowing that you may not see your family again, and coming back and be unappreciated and unassisted? I think that is horrible. Whatever the other side of the argument may be, I think being inconsiderate to these guys is morally wrong.
Anyways, time for me to get out of my zone and into a place which suddenly is very uncomfortable for me.
1/26/12 - I was forewarned before, but as usual I disregarded the warning, since I consider myself invincible.
It starts with a feeling of extreme tiredness. That develops into lots of moaning and groaning, and then come the excuses. I believe this is known as the 3L “senioritis.” And boy, does it hit hard. The good thing is that it hits everyone almost at the same time.
It doesn’t help when you put in 60 hours a week at work, deal with a never-ending list of household chores, and are unable to see your child for 2 days in row. And for the nth time, what is up with the folks on Highway 121?! Which part of the road being “under construction” don’t they get?
But on the bright side, I think it is just the final lap of the marathon when you are out of breath, your lungs are burning and your feet hurt, but you can see the “gold” at the end. Like they say - no pain, no gain!
1/11/12 - And we are back again.
The first week of classes started this Monday. I am taking five classes this semester – Information Society Seminar with Prof. H1, Criminal Procedure with Prof. P, Wills and Estates with Prof. H2, Insurance Law with Prof. W, and Patent Law with Prof. S. Throw in my cooking turns at home and a new role at work, and we have the makings of a crazy semester. A famous person (not me) once mentioned that everyone should try to see what their limit is. I think this is going to my pursuit to my limit.
Spring semesters are always hard - you feel the need to have a holiday after the holiday season is over. I know that there was a lot of crabbing and sulking about coming back to school on various social networking sites, but for some reason seeing a familiar face in a room makes you get all excited. I think that as law school students, we speak at a different frequency or a completely different bandwidth than the non-law school-folks (and no, we don’t say things like “affirmed” or “objection” and stuff).
Anyways, nothing very interesting has happened yet, except for the fact that there are more crazies on Highway 121 than ever before.
12/14/11 - Yup, I am done (with exams, I mean). For some reason, this semester has been extremely taxing. In retrospect, I think too many things happened which I didn’t factor into my equation. The number of free moving variables made calculus look easy. The exam summary and my valuable opinion would be as follows:
Texas Real Property: The fact that I took this class right after Property I and 2 helped a lot. Dean A. ensured that we have a strong foundation in Property, which helped quite a bit in this class. I think he was the major contributing factor for this class.
Business Association: Get a good calculator to the exam (instead of a big accountant one like the one I did). Prof. N. is phenomenal. The class is fairly straightforward for those who have some business experience. It involves a lot of simple arithmetic. So, anyone considering law school because no math is involved…sorry.
Evidence: This was the second hardest exam I have taken thus far. Even though Prof. S. is awesome, the problem (my theory) is that the way this subject can be taught, the way it can be tested (and is tested), and the way it can be studied for are not necessarily in sync with each other. 120 multiple choice questions in 4 hours at 6:30 PM is not at all conducive to my brains. I think it is one of the rituals every law student has to go through.
I am ready for the break. I have changed my spring scheduled for nth time already and I am driving everyone around me insane. What can I say but Happy Holidays!
11/22/11 - This semester has gone by fast. It is funny that your family thinks about the semester in the same way. I guess the speed of the roller coaster gets faster as you approach the end. Speaking of which, for the first time, I actually sat down and really thought about my strategy for the Bar exam. I mean, I always knew I have to take THE EXAM, but I procrastinated about putting together the plan (which hereafter will be referred to as “THE PLAN”).
So in accordance with THE PLAN, I am taking 12 credits in the spring, which is full load for a part-time evening student. This is the first time I will be taking on a full load of classes in law school. I have taken a maximum of 11 credits so far. Let me put it this way - it is going to be waaay more interesting next semester.
Things are getting very interesting at home too. For the first time, I have no parents to help me through the end of a semester. So it is bit of a challenge to handle a 2-year old and a 35-year old by myself (and yes, the former is easier to handle). To aid this challenge, I am actually studying at home this semester. Since a new room is being built in the library where my favorite study place used to be, going to the library seemed moot to me. I just wish I could get the library ambience at home.
Anyways, Happy Turkey Day folks. I will be indulging in tofu-rkey that Sprouts grocery is selling.
11/16/11 - When
1. You get annoyed at the tiniest thing, such as an unwashed glass in the sink,
2. Everything is relative to November 29th, December 1st and December 7th,
3. Your amount of swearing increases exponentially,
4. You consider Tylenol, highlights, and laptop as your lifeline,
5. Your family avoids you,
6. You kick yourself for having procrastinated,
…it is exam time.
Well, it is that time of the semester, and this time I am not sure how prepared I really am. I seem to be permanently exhausted and yes, I am simply whining. But anyways, this is how I usually start the countdown period. Wish me luck.
11/2/11 - The game of life involves some nasty curveballs which none of us expect. Such occurrences make us sit up and take notice of what is important. While it is true that a life as a law school student seems all encompassing, I have come to realize that law school is just a part of a bigger picture called life. In a rather unfortunate incident in the last couple of weeks, a dear classmate of ours lost his beloved spouse. It left us all speechless. Suddenly, we weren’t invulnerable law students, we were plain humans who are susceptible to all the weird curveballs that life throws at us. As we rushed to help our friend in any possible way that we could, I think all of us were humbled by what had happened.
As a fellow blogger aptly said, you tend to become a part of a family here at Texas Wesleyan Law, and I am becoming extra appreciative of this extended family. Make no mistake, we are as competitive as they come, but we are a team that plays to win.
10/19/11 - I am big follower of NPR and my morning tiffs with my two year-old over what we should listen on the way to school/work is proof enough.
A couple days ago, there was an interview with author Peter Bregman about his book, 18 Minutes. While I usually change channels when the discussion is around “self-help” kind of info, this particular interview was very fascinating. The moral of the story was pretty much this: How much value do we derive out of time we spend doing something? The story had a valid point - we keep working, but at the end of the day, we always feel unaccomplished.
Why am I talking about some book review on a law school blog, you ask? Well, (IMHO) time is the most valuable commodity in a law student’s life, especially if are working full time and have a family to take care of. Law school makes you value the time you have in hand. Sometimes you can go overboard, so much so that you forget to live in the moment.
Case in point - we had a bunch of friends over to our house this Saturday, and while I was talking to them, all I could think about was the number of Evidence Q & A problems I could have solved in that time. To be honest, for a moment, I regretted having people over. That was when I realized that while time is valuable, quality time is invaluable.
I guess it is up to everyone to balance their life and the value of time in their own special way. I just need to find my special way. Any suggestions?
10/5/11 - Taking a page from my fellow blogger’s book/blog, I thought it might be worthwhile to share my perspective on relationships as a married law school student.
Conversation with husband on a weeknight:
Me: Hi! I am home!
Husband: How was work and school?
Me: It was okay. You know what happened in class…
Me: Why did you even ask!?!
Conversation with husband on Friday night:
Me: I don’t have a life. I am tired.
Husband: You are doing something you want to do, so stop whining.
Me (to myself): More whining.
Conversation with husband on Saturday night:
Me: Let’s go out.
Husband: Are you done studying for the week?
Me (to myself): Jeez! What a party pooper!
Conversation with husband on Sunday night:
Me: Ugh! Is the weekend over already?! Ugh!
Husband: Are you all prepared for school next week?
Me: I think so.
Husband: So are you all excited about next week?
Me (rolling my eyes): Sure, why not. BTW exams are X weeks away.
Husband (shuddering): Ugh! Is it that time of semester already?! Ugh!
Conversation with daughter at anytime
Daughter: Can I take your highlighter?
Daughter: Can I draw on your notebook?
Daughter: Can I watch Dora on your laptop?
Daughter gives me the look and walks out of my room, muttering.
Me: Oh! By the way, you are going to law school.
9/21/11 - Sometimes you need to take a step back and try to put the pieces of the puzzle together to form the big picture known as “life.” While I have never been the happy-go-lucky type of a person, I must say that I don’t have a well developed sense of cynicism. A few things have happened lately that have made me think it is time to develop this apparently prevalent quality.
I think it all began when we started studying hearsay in Evidence. By the way, did I ever mention that this is one of the most interesting courses in law school, and that Prof. S is phenomenal? So, hearsay is basically a statement that someone makes out of court which is then repeated in court by someone who heard it. It is repeated to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Sounds simple, right?
However, this takes on a whole new form based on the matter being asserted. Basically, you can almost never take something at face value, which I realized I tend to do all the time. I simply believe anyone’s statement to be true until proved otherwise. But as I heard the discussion in class, it made me wonder if I am on the right track. Maybe a touch of cynicism is good for one’s mental health. Maybe I shouldn’t expect people to always “spell it out” for me just because I do.
Anyways, on a completely different note, we are already on the midpoint mark of the semester. I-N-S-A-N-E.
9/7/11 - An interesting event happened this past week which irked me, then amused me, and then made me ponder.
Setting the stage: It was Thursday, the last day of the school week. I was waiting impatiently outside room 201 with my colleagues, ready for the folks in this room to clear out so we could get started with BA. I was tired and feverish from a bout of bronchitis, and at the same time I was eager for the long weekend to catch some much needed sleep. In a nutshell, I was cranky.
Scene that left me speechless: A young girl came up to us and declared that she doesn’t understand how the night students do this on a day to day basis. Apparently “this” meant a class in the evening. I just smiled as my friend informed her that the same class was being offered in the day. To our surprise, the reply was “Oh! I heard it was easy to get a higher grade when you take classes with the night students.” To say that the group was speechless would be an understatement. While a gentleman amongst us kindly mentioned that the theory was a myth, the class in the room let out and we went in to settle down.
During the break: It so happens that the bunch of us who heard the “theory” sit together in the class, and we were spluttering to each other about the statement. It annoyed us and made us defensive, and I know couple of us wanted to set the record straight.
Aftermath: So I was thinking about why someone would come up this theory, why it is wrong, and why I personally like the night program better.
It makes sense for someone to believe that night students who have already put in a day’s worth of work before coming to school would be complacent, and hence riding the curve would be easy. On the contrary, although we have had a long day, the fact that we chose to put ourselves through law school should be indicative of our will to succeed. We all have careers, be them legal or non-legal, and have experienced the real world and understand what is required out of us.
At the same time, the students are friendly and are willing to help, since we know sometimes one’s day job spills over. This does not mean that I would happily let someone get a better grade than me; it just means that while I would share my notes and recordings, I would put in extra effort to get that better grade. Did I mention that I get to come out of law school with about half the loans that a full time student would?!
8/24/11 - Fall is moving ahead at full speed. I was surprised when I realized that we are actually two weeks into school. I am having a lot of fun this semester. The subjects are pretty interesting, and I think I enjoy leaving school early on Tuesdays and Thursday.
I recently joined the Business Law Organization that my fellow blogger Stephanie Gerber has started. I am excited about this organization, because eventually this is what I want to do. I really hope the meetings for this organization are in the evening, instead of the usual noon session time period.
Things are a little different this semester; some of my classmates have taken day programs to manage their schedules better. While I am happy that their jobs let them be flexible, I miss seeing these friendly faces in class.
I am a creature of habit – each of the past semesters, I have been a front bencher. I like having the close up view of the lectern, and it feels almost as though you are having a one-on-one meeting with the professor. Unfortunately, I am sitting in the last row for BA. It is very weird to be in the back row and see a bunch of computer screens from behind.
Speaking of screens, what is up with the folks who like to surf the net during class hours? Wonder if they realize they are paying a big price to be there in class. I may sound like the nerd that I am, but I don’t see the point of Facebooking (like that’s a word) in class.
8/17/11 - Welcome to fall 2011, my third year as law student. The journey so far has been great, and I have had my own share of ups and downs with the curve. With three courses this semester, I am kind of excited to be back. I am taking Evidence, Business Associations (henceforth known as “BA”) and Texas Real Property, which means I will be here at school four days a week.
Evidence, as Prof. S says, is not just a necessary tool or means to say, “I object, your honor,” in a loud voice. It helps relate the relevance of the “proof” to the topic at hand. If you think about it, it makes sense even in real life (if we can convince people to apply it); one should make statement which is relevant to the topic at hand. Wow, what a concept! The world would be a quieter place to live in.
BA puts together the picture of what is required to get an enterprise going. I absolutely love this topic. On a side note: for the first time in my law school career, I am not sitting in the first row. Not sure how much I like the last row, but I would expect some whining from me.
Last but never least; I have one of my favorite professors for Texas Real Property. Here we are talking about property from Texas’s point of view and applying the final touches to what we learned in Property 1 and 2.
So how are things on your side? Are you prospective law students ready for the LSAT yet?
8/10/11 - I just realized that I would be starting my third year in law school this fall. Absolutely crazy! I wonder what happened in the last two years. I am about 3 credits short of being a 3L. Here are a few things that hit me last week about my life at law school:
First, contrary to the popular belief that law school colleagues cannot like each other, I found out there is a genuine sense of admiration and affection between fellow students. I realized this last week, when I met a bunch of my classmates in the bookstore to buy a ridiculously expensive book. You could tell by our mindless banter that we all actually liked each other as humans.
Next, the confidence level increases as you go along. Again, moving the camera back to the crowded bookstore where we (read: upper level students) were having a ball, we saw so many incoming 1L’s having panic attacks. While we were amused about our lack of any such fear, we could empathize with them, and remembered being in their shoes just two years ago. Like my friend said, whatever you hear about law school is true, but you will get used to it.
Last, but definitely not the least, I came to realize that driving on Highway 121 is an art form. You need to keep at it (just like an outline) or you WILL fall back.
7/27/11 - You know you are/should be given a break when…
• You pray for a tropical depression to become a hurricane.
• You worry about not having received any web-courses registration emails (a module on Lexis Nexis, through which you can access course material, such as the much coveted syllabus).
• Family and friends have asked you when school starts more than once in a given day.
• You plan to bring your kids to Fort Worth zoo (in 107 F), just so that you can collect the parking permit for the next academic year.
Welcome to my summer break! It is going phenomenally well. With some weddings, new books, good food, and more sleep than I usually get, it has been amazing thus far (Ahem ahem, Prof M). Summer school went by pretty fast, and I think it’s time for time to take a break, especially after having overworked itself the last 8 months. Time should kick back, relax and enjoy so that we can too.
7/6/11 - I am told that gluttony is a sin. So, what is the verdict for being a glutton for punishment? Case in point, I have my finals next week, a huge deliverable at work in ten days, a wedding in the family this weekend, and then I have planned to move houses. I mean, how hard can that be? As I have found out, pretty hard. If someone can channel some good energy towards me, I would be eternally grateful.
On a completely different topic, how are you guys reacting to the Casey Anthony verdict? I understand it is this decade’s equivalent to the OJ Simpson’s trial. I have been getting a lot of calls from family and friends to hear the opinion of a 2L. While I get the frustration with the verdict, I admire the way law puts aside emotions and focuses on the real fact pattern. It is this very law-to-fact based application which makes the field of law so special and unique. It is not really emotion-filled drama that we get to see on TV and in theaters.
By the way, can you believe summer is almost over? What is the deal with time, and where is it getting its energy from?
6/22/11 - Warning: I am annoyed; hence, I will be using you guys as my punching bag.
So I was listening to NPR on my way to work the other day when the topic of conversation turned to “how many of the universities are moving from co-ed dorms to single sex dorms.”
Simple and non-controversial conversation, right? Unfortunately, I was very annoyed at the statements made by an interviewee. The comments were along the line that such an action prevents a female student from having multiple partners and helps a male student focus on studies better. I was irritated by the reasoning given - why should a female be “prevented” and male student be “helped”? Shouldn’t the idea be that a STUDENT should be prevented from having multiple partners and shouldn’t a STUDENT be helped to focus?
I am very tired of restrictions being placed on a person based on his or her gender. Another case in hand is the cop in Canada who mentioned in his speech at a law school that if a woman dresses promiscuously, then she is equally responsible for being assaulted. To hold a victim responsible for the actions of another is simply not acceptable.
I don’t know, of late I having been noticing such implicit discrimination a lot. I think instead of looking down at the discrimination happening in the third world countries, as a society, we should stop thinking of women as the weaker sex.
6/3/11 - Welcome back. Its summer time, folks, and in law school jargon, it means cramming 14 weeks of work into 7 (Did I hear anyone say “fun!”?). Actually, it is fun in a way.
I am having a comparatively lighter load this summer. I had taken 3 courses last summer, which I know was insane. So I am making it up by taking only 1 course this summer - Advanced Torts. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a cakewalk, especially with Prof. M. There is a lot of reading involved and we do the random card drawing, but Prof. M keeps the class engaged.
Also, this class covers a lot of material tested on the bar such as defamation, product liability, et al. Imagine having this covered in the first semester of law school along with negligence and intentional torts (Shudder...)
Moreover, since the class is on the weekend, I don’t have to deal with the rush hour traffic on Hwy. 121. You have no idea how many cartwheels I did after realizing that simple fact after I registered for class. On a completely different note, what is up with the folks on 121?! Take your feet off the brake and place it on the gas…jeez!
The only downside of this class is that it is between 1:30 and 4:15 PM…now if the class could be moved to a beach somewhere, summer school would be purrrfect!
5/11/11 - Phew!..That brings us to the end of an exhausting semester. I am extremely glad to put this semester behind me. I learned a lot from this semester, and some takeaway points for me include:
1. Be consistent with preparation for class. Usually I am good with this, but this semester I had to constantly play catch-up because I got bogged down by illness, snow days, work, and other priorities.
2. Stick to the study schedule before the exam.
3. Stick to the proven study methodology. I tried a couple of different techniques this time, which I don’t think really worked for me.
4. Talk to professors before exam time. This is key for being successful in any exam.
5. Participate in class. I know I didn’t participate enough this semester, and that is going to cost me a grade.
6. Learn to say “No.”
7. You pay big in the end for the snow days that you get, so one shouldn’t pray for snow!
I am looking for summer classes. This summer, I am taking only one class, compared to the three I took last semester. The greatness of this class is that it is on weekends - no more hurrying through rush hour traffic for 8 weeks. This course is being offered by one of my favorite professors in school. Summer, here I come!
4/27/11 - My dad and I just realized that I will be hitting the big 3-0 in about 5 months. I don’t think the idea appealed to either of us. I think my dad was unnerved about the fact that he had a 30 year old child.
I sat down to understand what in the world I had done in the last 9 years (for the mathematicians out there, it is 9 and not 10, cause I still think that I am 21). Life has actually been quite a roller coaster ride these 9 years. I completed my undergrad and my masters, found and married my husband, and had a child. These facts pale in comparison to fact that I am 2 years into law school.
Law school changes your perspective on everything. You change the philosophies that you believe in, you have a change in attitude and behavior, and more importantly, you have a different perspective on the value of time.
So, to anyone out there still contemplating this decision, go ahead and try it out, if you are anything like me, you will love it.
4/13/11 - I need to make a confession - my family considers me a person who rebels at asinine actions of authority. I firmly believe that there has to a valid reason behind any action I am “required” to do. Sorry, Grandma.
If you are wondering about what made me bring up this topic, instead of ranting and raving about being unreasonable, I have a case to make on behalf of some of my professors who have creatively laid down the law against tardiness. Some of my colleagues are very annoyed about this.
Frankly, I am glad that my professors have decided to take action against latecomers. While I understand the reasons they have (I know, I have been there!), it is very distracting when someone walks into class after it starts, especially when they are not courteous enough to be quiet about it. I don’t know about y’all, but it doesn’t take much to distract me after a long day of work. And honestly I don’t think Judges and our clients would very much like us being late in the real world. Moreover, didn’t we agree to the time when we decided to accept the admission? So are we saying that we cannot stick to our commitments?
Anyhow, although I know some of the actions have been a little extreme, but (maybe because of my upbringing) I find the creativity downright hilarious.
3/30/11 - I don’t know if it is me or the world in general, but I find it too much of a coincidence that whenever we learn a new concept in Con Law, I happen to hear or read about a current case in point. For example, we were doing commerce clause in class and the health care debate was on the news circuit. Similarly, the right to privacy and the new abortion bill passed in South Dakota, executive orders and the deployment of our armed forces, and now, EPC and the new segregation lawsuit in Georgia. It may just be a chance given to us to learn concepts first hand, or maybe I am paying more attention to NPR. Either way, I love it.
Speaking of love, does time dislike me so much that it is simply running away? I can’t believe that it’s almost that time of the semester when club 1515’s basement is THE party zone. For the unknown, Club 1515 is our law school and we have the library in the basement.
3/23/11 - There was this wonderful article in the New York Times a couple of days ago about the spectrum of gender bias a woman faces at work, and how any emancipation comes back to bite her. It was a beautifully written article that got me thinking, especially because we are covering the equal protection clause in Con Law.
It is true that women law students have to jump through particular subtle hoops (Can you imagine the boring clothes and shoes you’d wear as a man? Ew!). Somehow, there is an expectation that you need to meet as a wife and mom, while you put 40 hours in at work and study. I am not sure if it is a self-imposed or society-imposed hoop. For example, I ensure that my daughter is properly dressed, and off to school every morning. Though my husband is quite capable of getting her ready, I am not happy with the end result. I think it is because my definition of “properly dressed” is completely different than my husband’s.
But having said that, do I enjoy being a woman law student? The answer is a simple, “Yes, absolutely.” I enjoy being empowered and having the intellectual challenge I get in law school. I am already recommending law school to my two year-old daughter. (Hey!..I need some ROI on my books and study aids!).
3/2/11 - Me: Wait a minute…wait a minute, its March already. Really?!? How come? I am not ready for March yet.
Time: Sorry, not everything is about you. It is all about me.
That’s pretty much the wakeup call I received yesterday. There is so much to do and so little time. This semester has been crazy weird and I want to blame the snow. There is too much ground to be covered. I need to complete my outlines, get a little ahead in the reading, and start understanding all that I have learned so far.
Anyways, I registered for just one course this summer. The fact that I am registering for just one course seems super weird to me, but at the same time, this summer will be my first break in the last 3 years. So I am kind of excited.
Sorry about the short blog, but do you know it is March already?!?!
2/16/11 – “Yay!” for getting back on a routine. Now that the weather is great and the Super Bowl is over (thank God!), we can officially get started. Although, I wonder if it is just wrong to wish for another snow day to catch up on some much needed sleep.
In class, we are trying to find the least painful way to make up the missed classes. Various ideas were considered and rejected. I think we are doing 10 extra minutes in Property for the next 15 classes. We are doing narrated Power Points in Con Law, and we are doing narrated Power Points and a class during the dead week for Secured transactions. I can’t believe we are 6 weeks into the semester (Thanks F. for reminding me of this fact. Love you and wish you the same).
My colleagues are trying to get an internship this summer. I wish I could try, but I think I will have to wait a semester or two to quit my job, and then dive into the job searcher’s pool to gain some work experience. While it is important to get some sort of legal experience before you graduate, as a part time student, there are various factors such as income, job, and family obligations to consider. In the meantime, I am going to be content with my acquired ability to juggle various activities with school as a satisfactory experience.
2/2/11 - Okay, it is time for the semester to get really started.
I am yearning for the routine of waking up, getting to work, going to school, and driving myself back home. Truly miss it! This semester has been unreal so far with the number of snow days and class cancellations and no, Dean Short, we still need the spring break for outlines.
I guess one of the reasons I am eager about this semester is because I really wanted to get immersed in Constitutional Law (Con Law), the most hyped course in the law school. It has been very interesting to me so far. It opens up a whole new dimension that I had not expected. I think the way these Supreme Court justices write their opinions while treading treacherous path to reach a particular holding is a work of art. Although I am not politically inclined, it is very interesting to see my class take “sides.”
Speaking of sides, what’s the deal with these Super Bowl fans? I am sorry, I don’t get the game, but I do wish you guys knew how to drive on your “side” of the lane! One good thing about these snow days is that I don’t have to deal with these folks on the roads to school.
1/19/11 - Last week, many parents in this country were aghast with the parenting principles of Ms. Amy Chua. Just short of burning her effigy, Ms. Chua was called names and received death threats. This week, there has been a counter to her parenting techniques by Mr. David Brooks, who pretty much called her wimp because he felt that she is shielding her girls from experiencing the harsh social realities.
So, why am I talking about parenting techniques on a law school blog?
It is because I am amazed that someone found a new interpretation to Ms. Chua’s techniques that is completely different from nearly everyone else’s’ interpretation. I think it is a perfect law school hypo that we go over in class on daily basis. There are more than 2 sides to a coin, and law school trains you to find that missing side. Nothing is black and white here; every fact pattern has a shade of grey which needs to be traversed. While it is true it would be easy to have a bright line rule that can be applied to every situation, where is the fun in doing that!
1/12/11 - Happy New Year’s, folks! It is great to be back. (No, seriously it is).
Every New Year’s, I tend to make a bunch of resolutions. However, this year I made just one and I am proud to say I have been good for the last 12 days. My resolution this year is to pick my battles. While this may seem easy, I think for a law student this is an exceptionally hard thing to do. Law school makes you think of hundreds of different scenarios, and makes you question each solution to the scenario. This acquired trait, along with the impulse to ask the other person “to provide you with just the facts and skip the story that comes along,” provides a fertile field to pick unwarranted battles. Therefore, those of you who tried to sit in my seat in class know that it was my New Year’s resolution that made me smile nicely at you and walk to the next available place.
Anyways, speaking of picking my battles, this semester I have Property II, Constitutional Law, and Secured Transactions. I have been told that of all the three classes, Con Law is pretty intense, but I am pretty excited about it. It makes me wonder about whether our forefathers really had the foresight to envision these various situations, if it was just pure luck that what they said worked, or if society has molded itself around these thoughts. If only I had a time machine…
Okay, don’t get me started on the “if I had a time machine, I would…” talk.
12/15/10 - Ta-da! It’s over, and like my daughter says, “All done.” If you can do a couple of somersaults and hoot till your throat hurts, you are in the same place as I am.
But (love this word!), unfortunately it takes me almost a week to wind down after having generated so much adrenaline. To keep myself busy this past week, I took my family to the aquarium and the farmer’s market, scrubbed and cleaned the house, rearranged my closet, bought stationery, and read two non-law related books, but it just wasn’t enough. Sometimes I think my family prefers my grouchy “I am having my exams, so back off” mood to my whiny “I am bored and restless” mood. This reminds me that it is probably the 10,532nd reason why I am super grateful to my family and friend who still like me.
Anyways, I think I am ready for the next semester. This semester was hard from a time-management perspective. Too many things happened outside the law school realm, so I had to make the hard choice of dropping a class. I think I am ready to turn the page. I am weirdly excited about taking Constitutional Law next semester. I am curious to compare and contrast the founding principles of this great country and India. I will keep you posted on that front.
Merry Christmas, folks, and I wish everyone Captain Crunch (my study group will understand) and a happy and prosperous New Year!
11/23/10 - Here I am at the library, tapping my fingers, trying to figure what I should be writing about. I could tell you folks about my plans for December 10th, but I don’t want to start daydreaming and drooling already. I could tell you folks how much more I have to study, but I don’t want to have a panic attack. I could talk about how much studying I have done, but that’s just embarrassing. What do I write about?
I guess I could talk about why this is all worth it, and why it is all the more worth it at Tex Wes Law (as we “old timers” call it):
1. The satisfaction you get from putting yourself through this endeavor makes you a stronger person, and Tex Wes guarantees this.
2. You make great friends and contacts, and Tex Wes ensures that you aren’t just a statistic.
3. The environment here is nurturing. The commitment of the faculty makes the experience even more special.
4. The fact that the school is situated right next to Starbucks and Shula’s makes exam time special.
11/10/10 - You know it is crunch time when…
1. There is no parking at 5:00 PM (no offense to my daytime friends, but you need to leave).
2. All the study rooms and common area in the library are taken by fellow law school souls.
3. Laptops and printers at home, school, and work are going overtime.
4. You started cursing yourself for having procrastinated all along.
5. You promise to the supreme power that you will be better the next semester, but only if he pulls you through this one semester.
6. D is made to come earlier to get a room for us.
7. E’s Diet Coke consumption triples.
8. By the way, has anyone seen F?
For those who don’t know, D, E, and F are my wonderful study partners.
Talking about crunch time and lack of sleep (I know in some thesaurus, these terms are synonyms), I am glad we got an hour back. But honestly, I think the whole point of “saving light” is lost, when the lights in all the rooms are left turned on even when they are not in use or when the room temperature is set so low that you sometimes need multiple sweatshirts. For my part, I make sure that I turn off the lights whenever I leave a room and when I find a vacant room with the lights on. I have been convincing my classmates to do so as well. We hope this idea will be carried forward and we can make a small difference. Isn’t that what being a Ram is all about??
10/27/10 - Oooh! I think it is time for my “it’s that time of the semester” announcement (but I am going to save it for the next blog). I usually tend to have one every semester. The announcement makes me realize that it is time for the rubber to hit the road.
This semester has been surreal for me, and I know this is a popular belief amongst my colleagues. It feels as though the semester started just a week ago, so it feels weird that we are having the “exam talk” already. It is like a having some kind of a jet/time lag somewhere along the way.
On a completely irrelevant note, I decided to stick to my “I am going to be a grown up” resolution. I registered for just 10 credits for spring 2010. As a part time student, we are eligible to take a maximum of 12 credits in a semester (the minimum required being 9). Although I would like to say I have put a lot of thought into this move of mine, I guess even a pretend grown up shouldn’t fib. I am taking a particular course that will be tested on the bar, although it is not a required course. I am actually doing this because the exam schedule works well with my work schedule. Also, I didn’t really want to take another procedural course. The only thing left to do is to convince my study partners that I am right… (D, E and F, are you reading this?!)
- One of the questions I am asked constantly by some of my distant family and some not-so-distant friends is why am I doing “this” to myself. Apparently, “this” means law school. While I usually get irritated with their interference, and often retort “because I can,” this past Thursday, after an extremely long day at work and school, I thought to myself, “Why am
I doing this again?”
Coincidentally, this was the conversation I ended up having with a couple of my classmates in the parking lot. We have similar backgrounds – grueling work that we enjoy, young kids at home (not to mention wonderful spouses at home, as well) and our desire to get a legal education. The reason behind doing “this” is our need to set an example for our kids. I do it because I want my daughter to know that the sky is the limit, and that there is nothing a girl can’t do. My colleagues do it because they don’t want their kids to follow their current career paths. Also, did I mention I have been sleeping much better after I started law school? I guess quality is truly more important than quantity.
But on the whole, the satisfaction we drive from this process makes us do “this” to ourselves and we would be ready to do it all over again if need be.
9/29/10 - Sometimes, when things seem to get overcomplicated, you just need to get back to the basics. Strangely, this has been my storyline so far this semester.
I am having issues with focus. Although I thought I had conquered this battle in my first semester, I guess I just thought wrong. Surprisingly, I have heard similar grumbling from some of my other colleagues. This could either mean that they are making me feel better or something is in the air (yeah! Let’s blame the air). Anyways, I dragged myself to school this Sunday morning, got myself my favorite place in the library and lo-behold! I attained nirvana. I had my focus back and I was briefing and outlining without getting distracted. If only I could teleport myself to the library, or better yet, teleport the library to me, life would be perfect. Any thoughts on how I can do that would be much appreciated!
Anyways, I turned old-er this past weekend, as my young friend would say. Instead of partying (read as sleeping), I decided to dedicate the day to studying this year. I wanted to verify the theory proposed by a dear one. The theory works on the premise that “if you study well on the first day of a year, you will study well the rest of the year.” If this theory works, I shall be studying, shopping, and sleeping well on every birthday and on New Year’s Day.
9/15/10 - When life throws a curve ball at you, you just need to step back and re-prioritize. That’s what I had to do in the last couple of weeks. My work load suddenly increased so much that I found myself gasping to keep up with school and home. One of the reasons I joined law school was to do something I would enjoy and be passionate about. When I realized that I stopped enjoying school, I had to do what I never thought I would. I had to drop the Dispute Resolution course from my schedule. Though I am not proud of this in any way, I actually feel proud that I was able to make this decision (so is this what growing up feels like?!?!).
Otherwise, things are moving along just fine. Property I and Legislation & Regulation are still interesting, and I am still trying to muddle my way through Civil Procedure. Have you ever held one of those puzzle-like images where you have to view them at an angle to see the hidden picture? That’s Civil Procedure to me. You get it and suddenly you don’t. Thankfully, I have a wonderful study group helping me out with this course.
Okay, now that I am done with my swan song. How are things with you folks?
8/25/10 - So, you are in pursuit of a fox, all day long in the hot sun, and you are closing in on your prey, when some stranger jumps in front of the fox and shoots it. Who does the fox belong to? The pursuer or the stranger? (I wonder, why didn’t the fox pounce on the stranger?) This is the question that is being answered in Property I. In contrast to my expectations, Property I seems pretty exciting.
Civil Procedure is handling the procedural nuances in the game of law. We are doing the condensed 4 credit hour version of this course instead of the typical 6 credit hour version. The class reminds me of Contracts in the first semester. It is almost as though you get it one moment and then suddenly you don’t. But since everything went well with Contracts, I guess I will be okay. It may just be the font used in these books. I know, I am making my paranoia into an art form here, but I think the font/style used by Aspen is better than the one used by Thompson-West.
I am taking a wonderful class on statutory interpretation known as Legislation and Regulation. I find this class very interesting, as it gives me a better understanding of the word play used in the statutes. Dean R makes this even more interesting by talking about the etymology of these words.
I am also taking Dispute Resolution as an elective this semester. My friends and family think it’s weird that I am taking this course, since I usually cause the dispute (ha-ha! very funny). But it is nice to read about the different strategies and methods involved in arbitration, mediation, and negotiation.
On the whole, I am glad to be back to school. I had missed my friends over the summer, but I do wish we didn’t have to stay till almost 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
8/4/10 - Wow, summer term is really short. The exams are done and the grades are out (well, most of them are anyways).
I have the MPRE tomorrow and then I have exactly one week before the fall term starts. I can see all the excited “Oh! The syllabus is here,” “Oh! The book has been announced,” types of status updates on Facebook and the like. I can assure you that these updates are only from folks who didn’t take summer school and are repenting (or so I would like to believe). Like my fellow summer school scholars, I have big plans for the week ahead, and none of them involve looking at a book. But in all honesty, I have already purchased my books and stationery for fall (I know that spells NERD in caps with some flashy underlining).
Some of the takeaways for me this summer have been:
1. 1 or 2 course(s) + an internship = great value of time.
2. Summer is thrice as hard as a regular term.
3. It is a great opportunity to network, since you get to meet many of the upperclassmen. Moreover, some of the professors are adjuncts who are currently working out there in the field.
4. Use summer to experiment with various subjects to decide what interests you.
5. Wear a sweatshirt in school, since the classes are much colder.
I will see you folks soon. Good luck at orientation! I might just be there to get nostalgic.
7/21/10 - It has been a hectic week school, work, and home wise. It has been so chaotic that I forgot to check email this week, hence the delay in my blog.
Summer school is finally over. The semester seemed longer than what I thought it would be. I guess I can summarize this semester as “serious fun.” The concept of selecting the courses that I wanted and taking the classes was fun, but it involved some serious work. I think this is the first time I went into the finals week without having fully completed outlines in hand. I don’t think I will pull such a stunt again. However, taking summer classes has its own advantage; it made me get much closer to being a 2L. Also, it gave an opportunity to interact with the upper classmen, which I think was the biggest take-away for me this semester. I got a chance to glance into those incredibly sophisticated brains of these wise souls. I must say, there are forces to reckon with.
At work, I assumed a new role this past week. I am getting to learn a new software tool. I have wanted to lay my hands on this tool for awhile now. Even though the timing of this opportunity is less than perfect, I decided to make hay while the sun shines. I have noticed that since I have started school, the quality of my work has actually increased. Now, I never make assumptions that I used to make pre-law school. I also tend to present the information in such a way that the reader does not have any questions for me later. I guess those essay answers and briefs got me at work as well.
On the home front, my daughter came back home this week. So we are busy rearranging the place to make it child friendly while handling her jet lag.
Trust me when I say that preparing for the MPRE, learning a new tool at work, and having a family reunion at the same time is never a good idea!
7/7/10 - Oh my god! It is too early to say this again, but yes, my dear friends, it is exam time. If you are thinking, “didn't this girl whine about exams a month ago?”, then you are absolutely right.
Summer school goes by extremely fast. Last I heard, the equation was 2.5 hours of regular school is equal to 1 hour of summer school. This is the first time I have ever taken summer school in my life. Having experienced it, I now understand the horrified look on my colleagues face when I mention that I am taking three courses in summer. But it has been wonderful; I liked doing something other than lockstep courses.
Summer school gave me the experience of doing "take-home" exams. Just when you think you conquered the IRAC in 3 hours, it is time to IRAC in 72-96 hours. I just completed my European Union Law take-home over the long weekend. It was fireworks galore. I have a Consumer Law take-home this weekend. It comes with an implied warranty of strenuous work. This will be followed by a Professional Responsibility final and the MPRE.
Would I do it again? This question needs an IRAC in 8760 hours.
6/23/10 – Two Saturdays ago, the Office of Admissions hosted an Admitted Students Luncheon at which I was one of the student ambassadors. I was a little skeptical about my role, as I have never played this part before, but the chance to represent my school was too good an opportunity to pass. And I am glad I did it. It was a very fulfilling experience to share my thoughts with people who are set to embark on the same journey as I did a year ago.
My two cents includes the use of a planner, reading ahead, being prepared for class, having a study group (or a partner), getting in some form of exercise, realizing that time is the most important resource, and getting help from family and friends.
Meeting the new class also served as a wake-up call. An upper classman friend of mine always says, “Law school is a privilege and you need to work for it.” This statement rang true to me during the luncheon. I realized that I have let some amount of lethargy creep in by cutting some corners, something I would have never done in the Fall ‘09. This helped me put things back in perspective.
Thank you, future class of 2013. I wish you all the best!
6/9/10 - All done! No, I don’t mean the exams. I am talking about the grades for the spring semester (and let’s leave it at that). A semester does not end with the exams. For me, the waiting period between the day you take the exam and the day you get the grade is excruciatingly painful. I tend to have “grade dreams” on a daily basis during this time. So, now that I have all the grades, I can truly enjoy summer.
Wait. Did I say enjoy summer? Let me clarify. By “enjoying summer,” I mean enjoying the classes that I have picked for the summer semester. As a part time student, I get to pick up to six credits of courses. I am taking Texas Consumer Law, Professional Responsibility, and European Union Law. These courses take me five credits closer to the required ninety to graduate.
Texas Consumer Law is more than “law for people buying stuff in Texas” (my non-law school friend’s theory). It is about Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This statute defines consumers and the protection they get from sneaky merchants. It is interesting because it involves the application of the concepts that we learned in Contracts and Torts.
Professional Responsibility covers the ethics portion of being a future lawyer. Though ethics may seem a “common sense” application, it helps to know what is expected of law practitioners in certain situations. Moreover, this course covers the syllabus for MPRE, which is the ethics exam every lawyer is required to take.
European Union Law is a one week condensed class and I will let you know when that begins.
5/19/10 - It has been one year at law school. I remember sitting at my desk at work, feeling restless with the way things were. I usually tend to feel restless when I have too much time on my hands. But this time the restlessness had nothing to do with spare time. I had my hands full with my move to a new city, work, and a 3 week old, especially with my husband living in New York. Just when I was thinking of quitting everything and going back to New York, a small email notification popped up informing me that I had been admitted as a part evening student at Texas Wesleyan School of Law. I like to believe that that email changed my life for the better.
Things are pretty much the same now. I am still new to the metroplex, my 3 week old is 14 months old and my husband is still in New York, but I am content with my life. Though the last year has been a race against time, going through the process has been very satisfying.
Law school has been the polar opposite of everything I have learned so far. It does not involve mock tests and mini assignments, cramming the day before the exam does not get you an A, and you encounter “the curve.” Each professor has been different. I have experienced four different teaching methodologies, and I bet there are more.
The study of law involves a whole new language. LARW meant unlearning the way we have read, written, and analyzed material through our adult life, and learning a new one. I think it is the single most important course in the curriculum. Torts involved the Socratic method; getting a rule from each case was the name of the game. We had tons of reading for the class and also had midterms. Contracts was more of a lecture-based course with an open book exam at the end. My professor made this otherwise very dry course interesting by adding his input based on his vast experience as a legislator and as a judge. Criminal Law involved both lectures and discussion, but the discussions were more on a topic than on a case. Putting aside your real emotions and answering a question based on the facts and rule is quite a challenge.
This past weekend, I was sitting in a coffee shop in New York City; I looked out of the window at my favorite city in the world and instead of feeling the urge to stay, I was eager to get back to Texas and start summer school. I am glad to have done away with the restlessness and to have found something from which I derive satisfaction.
5/12/10 - All done. Phew!
Sitting under the warm sun in upstate New York, enjoying a cold drink ,and looking around the greenery is quite an experience to enjoy after studying nonstop in the library for exams for the last two weeks. But, I think I still have some leftover energy because I am feeling restless. I woke up this morning thinking about the inchoate offense I missed in the exam.
I had my Contracts exam on the 3rd and my Criminal Law exam on the 10th. The exams were very different from each other. In Contracts, we had 8 questions with 4 multiple-choice answers each. For each question, we had to mention why a particular choice was correct and the others incorrect; this implied that we had to write 32 short answers on whole. Having Contracts as an open book exam helped a bit, in that sense we did not have to remember all the UCCs and Restatements.
Criminal Law, on the other hand, involved 30 multiple-choice questions and an essay question. This was a closed book exam which required us to remember some of the key differences in common law and model penal code. The multiple choice questions in this exam were straight forward and the essay involved issue spotting, and I am still kicking myself about having missed that one issue on the exam.
Before I wrap up, I must say thanks to my wonderful study group. We had a great time studying together and one of the best things about studying in a group is when you get to see the Eureka moment on your friend’s face when it suddenly everything comes together. I love you guys, and I am going to miss you this summer.
4/28/10 - Wow, I just can’t believe that we are done with all the classes for this semester. This feels surreal. I can remember the first day of classes as though it were yesterday.
The work for Legal Analysis Writing and Research was done when we had our citation exam final yesterday. It was hard and long. One of my colleagues commented that we always knew that Contracts and Criminal Law are hard, but no one warned us about these citation exams. I agree, even though I personally enjoy citations because it is like doing a crossword puzzle. I can assure you that many would disagree.
On the lighter side of things, we made t-shirts which expressed our opinion on the ICWs, which don’t have to do anymore (woo hoo!). Prof. H wore his shirt to class. We all agreed that he was being a good sport.
Anyways, I have got to get back to Contracts.
4/21/10 - Three more classes left this semester! I just can’t believe how fast this semester went. I was told by an experienced and wise soul (also known as a 3L) that the semesters keep picking up pace. Somehow I haven’t been able to compartmentalize that ominous warning.
By the way, I am elated to announce that I am done with the all the ICW exercises. Don’t misunderstand me, I love citations (and yes, I am a dork!) but I don’t really enjoy the ICWs. I understand that the exercises give you the practice you need, but I prefer the assignment handouts. Talking about citations, I have my citation exam this Monday - wish me luck.
In order to start the preparation for the exams, I have completed the remainder of the readings. I have something that vaguely resembles an outline for Criminal Law and Contracts. I just have to keep hammering it out. The supplements are ready, sample question papers are ready, I just need to work on it. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Fall registration started this week. I registered for 12 credits, which is the maximum a part time student can take. Basically, 12 credits equates to 4 courses, which is 1 more than we are used to now. I am cautiously optimistic (if that is not a misnomer, I don’t know what is) that it will be manageable. I will let you know then!
4/14/10 - Woo Hoo! I just got done with the submission of my trial brief. I think it has been the hardest paper I have ever written. Though I enjoyed the research, putting the material down on paper in a persuasive manner was a different experience altogether. I guess the difference between the memos that we have written and this brief is the writing experience. Most of us had gotten so used to writing memos that we were trying to approach the trial brief in the same fashion. In fact, I know some of us tried to write a memo for a skeleton outline and then tried to put a persuasive spin on it. On the whole, it involved a lot of work, and most of the class lived at the library the weekend before the paper was due. Some of us bunked at the Sheraton next door or at a friend’s or relative’s place so that we would be closer to school.
Also, I am proud to announce that I completed my oral argument yesterday. It is hard to stand in front of the courtroom and defend your imaginary client. However, the fact that I was going to do the argument in front of my section and Prof. H had a soothing effect on an otherwise nerve wracking experience. I love my legal writing section. I think there is a comfort zone in this section, thanks to our professor, TA, and the class in general.
I know I am all about being “glass is half full” this blog, but I have a confession to make. I broke down and got on the social networking site this Monday.
4/7/10 - You know it is that time of the year when:
1. Human activity in the library increases.
2. There is too much to do and time is a constraint.
3. You feel like kicking yourself for having procrastinated.
4. You hear resolutions starting with “I will not” or “I shall refrain from”
5. Sales of caffeine increase.
Yes, my friends, it is almost exam time.
Amongst other things, I have a trial brief due next Monday. Through this trial brief we are requesting the respected judge to grant summary judgment for the defendants. Summary judgment is a motion through which the party is granted judgment as a matter of law, i.e. the “verdict” is given without going into trial. Through this trial brief, we are moving away from the neutral style of writing to persuasive style of writing. Here you are allowed to be creative without overdoing it.
The trial brief will be followed by an oral argument where you get to be a pretend-lawyer and the professor is a pretend-judge. I bet this is going to be especially nerve racking for those of us who are scared of public speaking. I wonder if I can convince my 5 year-old niece who loves to play pretend to appear instead of me…The oral argument will be then followed by the citation exam.
Yes, I know I am taking two other courses besides LARW, but I am just pretending that I am not for the next week or so.
Also, did I mention, my resolution is to stay away from public networking sites until May 10th?
3/31/10 - We are discussing BWS in Criminal Law this week. BWS is the acronym for Battered Woman Syndrome. In my opinion, it is a sophisticated sounding term for victims of domestic violence, and my heart goes out to these women. Imagine not feeling secure in your own house. Imagine being surprised by a blow that will knock you off of your feet instead of being surprised by a romantic gesture from your spouse. Imagine being mistreated and having zero confidence in yourself. To give this condition a term as cold as “Battered Woman Syndrome” bothers me.
The facts in the case of State v. Norman are heart wrenching. However, the question is whether the tortured spouse’s act of shooting her tormentor is murder or not. From a legal standpoint, since the husband was sleeping at the time of his death, the defendant’s claim for defense is not valid since she was not defending herself from an imminent assault.
I guess this is the beauty of law. Even though one may have sympathy for the battered spouse, it is necessary to draw the line to ensure that the law is not abused. It is important to ensure that, while helping the Judy Normans of the world, the piranhas that use the BWS to claim alimony are not helped.
I feel fortunate for the chance given to me, to make a difference in the lives of such women. Our school has a wonderful law clinic through which we can make that first step in making a difference.
3/24/10 - I was lying down on the warm beaches of Florida, reading fiction, and sipping a cold drink. I got about 12 hours of peaceful sleep a day and watched about four to five movies. I even got warm dinners and cold desserts served on the best place setting. Man, I thought, this is bliss.
Oh! By the way, that is not how I spent my Spring Break. The scenario I portrayed above was from my dream last night. What I really did over Spring Break was update my Criminal Law outline. I realized the Hornbook had a wealth of knowledge, which I used in making my outline wiser.
Did I mention our trial brief is due soon? Most of us were at the library on the weekends overworking the Westlaw and Lexis Nexis printers. Officially, we were not happy about the fact that the library closed at 5 PM on weekdays. Unofficially, it was all good because it gave us a reason to procrastinate.
Things are slowly ramping up in class since exams are just a month away. It feels as though the semester just started and it is weird to talk about exams already. Maybe time is hopped up on energy drinks.
3/10/10 – “Are you taking summer school?” I think this was the most asked question at school this week. This actually helped me in two ways.
1. The fact that the spring semester will soon be over has
sunken in and made me realize that I am in the last lap of
the semester relay, which meant that I needed to pick up
2. It made me excited. (I know, it is lame to get too excited
over registration but it truly was exciting).
We get to have the much-awaited Spring Break next week. This brought up the next most asked question: “What is the plan for Spring Break?” My plan includes
1. Updating my outline for Criminal Law.
2. Updating my outline for Contracts.
3. Working on my Trial Brief.
“Why do you go Texas Wesleyan and not to a school on the East coast where your husband lives?” This is the most asked question in my family. Some of the reasons that make me love Texas Wesleyan are:
1. The professors are wonderful. Where else would you find professors bringing you newspaper
articles about your home country to get your viewpoint, or professors who offer to review your
sample essays to help you learn better?
2. The facilities are amazing. You can sit in the library for hours and not get the “I am sitting in the
3. The folks at Career Services are great. The amount of resources they provide to help you lock
that priceless internship is phenomenal.
4. My colleagues in class are fantastic. People happily share notes and recordings without losing the
As you would have noticed, I am writing this blog in an outline form. This indicates the arrival of trial briefs and Prof. H recommends that we practice writing “Point Headings.” Happy outlining during Spring Break, everyone!
3/3/10 - Rape.
We are covering this crime in our Criminal Law class. This topic evoked a myriad of reactions. The atmosphere in class was charged. One could sense the various emotions in the air, varying from frustration to helplessness to sometimes amusement (I know that is weird). I was surprised to see how people were reacting to the case facts. People whom I projected as extremely conservative had a liberal view and vice versa. Prof. G.’s approach of letting the class hammer it out and having closing arguments made it way more interesting.
Personally, this topic brought out a different side of me. I usually tend to look at the facts as is, without any emotions, but these rape cases made me feel completely helpless. The fact that there is nothing I can do help those victims bothers me. Nevertheless, I guess that is the beauty of law.
On the comic side of things, the whole class is scratching their heads with the ICW state assignment. Prof. H was bombarded with so many questions that even the pizza that he got us could not shut us up.
2/24/10 - This morning when I made my “Are you at work?” phone call to my husband, he excitedly informed me that Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian Don Bradman had scored 200 runs in the latest cricket match against South Africa. Unfortunately, I replied “So, what’s the big deal?” My offended spouse retorted, “How can you say that? You should be inspired by him.”
This made me think - do we really need to be inspired by super humans like Sachin? People I meet in daily life inspire me more than these champions. I feel as though I can relate to the former rather than the latter. My professors inspire me by their very presence. I derive inspiration from my friend who works full time, has a little child, and manages to ace school. I derive inspiration from my colleague who is handling school, work, and a wedding. I derive inspiration from my classmate who handles school, work, and a newborn. My family inspires me with their patience when they deal with my absence with an encouraging smile. My husband inspires me because he is ready to do anything to make it easy for me at school.
So chalk up one point for me and maybe half a point to the offended dude.
2/17/10 - Whoa…What!...When!...How!
This was my reaction when one of my colleagues “kindly” reminded me that we have reached the half way mark for this semester. This semester has been extremely hectic and it has been hard to find the right groove. The email about practice exams being scheduled before and after Spring Break brought me back to Planet Spring Semester.
Anyways, our prayers were answered when we got a snow day on Thursday. This gave everyone a chance to wrap up the memo, for which we got an extension. However, the snow day makes us stay 15 minutes after class to make up.
You can see things have started to heat up when people get that worried, red-eyed, exhausted look. It worries me that I have not gotten that look yet.
2/10/10 - I have been an ardent follower of 1L day student’s blogs. It gives me a glimpse into how they approach their law school life. It has been my observation that things are much different for an evening student, mainly the interaction with peers. For the lack of better words, I would say there is a healthy competition among us. People tend to help each other out as much as they can. Notes and recording are shared with no hesitation. I guess everyone here understands that balancing work, school and family is hard and sometimes you have a rough day. This does not mean that there is no zest for learning or making a good grade. Everyone wants to do better than his or her first semester and trying to work harder but there is no malice involved.
Anyways, on that note, it has been a crazy week with everyone praying for snow days to complete the memo. ICW 12 and 13 gave everyone nightmares and kept Prof. H busy with the number of request for resets. This just proves that ICWs keeps everyone busy.
Criminal Law class was very interesting this week. We had two colleagues playing the role of a prosecutor and defense counsel, while we played jury. I think this was the first time we all enjoyed jury duty. :)
2/3/10 – Legal Research Analysis and Writing.
This has been the talk of this week (and the weeks before that as well). We have a memo due on pot-bellied pigs (whatever those are!). The main and only difference between the memos this semester and the last is that we have to find our own cases. To aid in this preparation, we have been having joint research classes for the last couple of weeks. To assist us further, we were given mini assignments. These assignments were supposed to lead to that magical case. It is like Hansel and Gretel trying to follow the stones back home.
So last weekend, I strategized my study plan. The idea was to complete my reading for Crim Law and Contracts on Saturday, so that I could do research work which included the mini assignments and the ICW exercise on Sunday. All I could accomplish on Sunday was the mini assignment and the ICW exercise. I know that is not good news at all.
I wish I could put this semester on pause and then quickly play catch up and hit play again. If anybody out there has an idea on how to do that, you have my email ID.
1/27/10 - How easily we get “used to” some things in life…
For the next couple of weeks, the three evening sections are sitting together for Legal Analysis Writing and Research. Boy! It feels so weird. As humans, we tend to get used to certain things and it is a little difficult to adjust to any small change to our comfort zone, even when it is as inane as needing to sit in only the front row.
Anyways, it is extremely hectic with all the memos, readings, ICWs and the mini LARW assignment. It is a unanimous decision that we need Spring Break now. Is anyone out there listening?
I have to get back to finding digests. Wish me luck!
1/20/10 - Heads up! It is the flu season all over again. This has been a common topic of discussion in class and on Facebook. Everyone is coming down with something and those who haven’t yet are downing vitamin pills, as my friend said, like candy. Interestingly, I realized this happened during the second week of school last semester as well.
It is only the second week and things are already getting very hectic. I have an ICW exercise, a memo, Torts review, Contracts review and LexisNexis training to attend, and I bet I have missed some stuff, which I will probably know once I open my calendar.
On a completely unrelated note, I finally succumbed to pressure from family who thought I was insane to carry a handbag (“Why do you need one?” my husband asks), a lunch bag (which my mom thinks is too small), a laptop bag and a rollie (before anyone wonders, it was too small to carry my gigantic laptop and books). Instead, I got a gigantic roller bag, which can carry my books and my laptop. I took my Criminal Law book along with Contracts and my laptop to the store to see which bag fits it all, I am pretty sure that salesperson (a pre-med) thought I was nuts!
1/13/10 - I am back at school! It is crazy how much I missed it, even though I don’t think I would ever be prepared for today’s class.
I have Contracts II, Criminal Law and LARW II this semester, which means more reading and more work. I guess we are excited about this semester because we know how to prepare for this one.
I am going to be doing couple of things differently this semester:
• I will be using a Mac instead of Windows (not that it should make a difference in any way what so ever).
• I am planning to start on the outlines from the first day (Note: I said, “Planning”).
• I am going to give “making and using flash cards” a chance.
While studying for the finals with some of my colleagues, I was very impressed with different approaches used by them. I will try and keep you updated on these approaches and let you know the results as and when I attempt them.
Oh, by the way after stalking Ramlink and Facebook, we got two grades and let’s just leave it at that.
12/16/09 - What in the world, did I do before August?
I know I had a life before school, I just can’t remember what it was. It has been a week since my last final; I have already cleaned my house, rearranged all the furniture, bought stationary and watched the entire series of the TV show Friends. Now I am bored and can’t wait to come back to school and yes, I know I am crazy!
I called my family for suggestions and ended up countering it all.
Girlfriend: Let’s go to a movie.
Me (Whining): But there is nothing interesting…
Husband: Want to go out for dinner.
Me (Angrily): No! We did take out every day during exams. I just want some home cooked comfort food.
Mom: Shop! You live near a mall.
Me (Frustrated): I don’t want to put up with humanity.
All (Irritated): What in the world do you want to do?!
Me: I don’t know, but I want to do something.
12/9/09 - All done!!...Yoohoo!
Yes, I am 12.5% 1L. Oh! The joy of completing the exams and sadistic pleasure of seeing people still in the library is out of the world. I know it sounds silly but I feel like a 5-year old on a summer vacation. As weird as it sounds, I am kind of looking forward to the next semester. I have already purchased my books and I am going stationery shopping this weekend.
This semester has many takeaways. There is no longer the fear of the unknown. My biggest lesson has been how to approach studying. I have also learned that briefing makes outlining easy. Outlines are a blessing in disguise, and they can help us prepare for the exams. Attendance is extremely important. I missed two classes this semester, even though I was prepared, not having been there made the topics that were covered hard and less digestible.
Overall, it has been very eventful and I loved it all and would do it all over again. I wish everyone happy holidays and until then, hasta la vista babies!
Legal Analysis Research and Writing Classes – Check
Legal Analysis Research and Writing Exam and Memo – Check
Contracts Classes – Check
Torts Classes – Check
Contract Outline – Hmmm…
Torts Outline – Hmm…
The good thing is all the classes for this semester are over. Now, it is “hit the books” time. There are outlines to be completed and memorized, supplements to work on. Exams to be given. Study groups are getting busy. School is a hot bed for exam related activities.
As I am looking forward to December 8th (the day after my last exam when I shall be playing hooky from work and family), I realize how much fun the whole experience has been. I know I sound like a wacko, but it is true. There is a sense of satisfaction that I derive from being here which makes me wonder, why I did not apply before.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and there are some nice leftovers kept aside for us.
11/18/09 - It is officially legal analysis, reading, and writing week.
With the memo due, printers at home, work, and school were working overtime. Too long or too short statuses were constantly updated on Facebook. After turning in the memo, I don’t think any of us wanted to see another one for the semester.
We also had our practice citation exam to give us an idea of how and what to expect on the real exam which is tomorrow. It was a unanimous conclusion that ICW does not prepare us for this exam. ICW tell us how to do the citation, while in the citation exam you need to know when to cite it. I was informed that this how v. when saga would continue into the next semester.
Next semester I am looking forward to working on persuasive memos that involve independent research. But let us not think about that until we get there…
Now I need to get back to preparing for my citation exam. Ta-ta’s..And wish me luck!
11/11/09 - Aaaaaah….
That is my version of “Oh my God.” Given a choice, this blog entry would just be an echo of my Aaaahh.
Anyways, it is that time of year. We were warned about this from the word go. We tried and tried hard to be prepared for this, but I do not think anyone is ready. Yes, my dear friends, it is officially exam season.
You can just feel the season in the air. You can see sudden growth of outlines and supplements in the bags, locker and bookshelves. Sleepy glazed eyes and frequent panic attacks indicate this season’s arrival.
Most of us are trying to get our family prepared about our possible absence from the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I wonder how we can make them understand that we are feeling like the turkey being grilled. My brain is so stuffed with rules and exceptions that I tend to forget the more basic stuff.
We have one more TA session left in this semester. This would be a good opportunity to say thanks to Tim - it was fantastic to have him as our TA.
Since I am practicing to respond to short answer questions, this is a shorter blog. Good luck folks. May the caffeine work for you.
11/4/09 - It’s driving me crazy … I just can't sleep… I'm so excited, I'm in too deep …Crazy, but it feels alright…baby, thinking of Torts keeps me up all night... And no, I am not a Britney Spears fan - it has just been crazy this week. Every day of the week I have something important to do.
We got back our Memo 1. It was interesting to see what clicked and what did not. We had our one-on-one meeting with Prof. H regarding Memo 1, as well as the soon to be due Memo 2. It was wonderful! He suggested some key points that are very specific to our individual papers. Hopefully, I can include all these points into the next memo.
It is Contracts central this week for me. I am planning to take the Contracts practice exam this Saturday. In a way, I am looking forward to this exam, since we did not have any midterms in Contracts. I think having a practice exam is a cool way to judge where you stand, and figure out what you need to focus on before the final.
Did I mention that we got back our Torts midterm? In an effort to heighten the surprise, Prof. M proceed to conduct our class as usual even though he had just mentioned about having the midterm results on him. It drove us all crazy!
10/28/09 - My near and dear have known that I need to have a plan for everything. Whenever I mention, “I have a plan,” my husband dreads it. He thinks of it as an equivalent to a tornado siren.
So, thanks to school, “location” has become a thing of utmost importance. I need to sit in the first row in class. I need to sit at the head of the dining table. I need the right side of the bed. My water bottle, coffee mug and my highlighters need to be on the left of my laptop. Interestingly, I need to sit in a particular location in the library (My newest favorite location in the world). So, folks please stay away from my table.
Speaking of the library, I wonder why people talk so much in the non-study room area. It gets very annoying when two or more people talk about their Thursday night at Malone’s while you are trying to figure out the “how and when immunity works as a defense.”
Anyway, it is almost eleven weeks of school. Time has flown by and I feel that my feet just got wet. We had a Torts practice exam this week and Memo 2 is in progress. Heat is up my friends, and if we are getting nasty, there is a good reason for it (at least to us).
10/21/09 - Taaa dam ta dam…taaa dam ta dam…
No, it is not a background score for a wedding, but the situation is a little similar. Like a wedding, this event makes you venture into the unknown. It is scary, you have hundreds of dinosaurs jumping inside your stomach, and you know you can expect the unexpected. It is known as…the Torts midterm exam.
So we had our final midterm (I mean last of the midterms, not any actual finals…I know, I wish). My brain tried to defend itself from the intentional battery of negligence and trespass but since its defenses were weak, it failed miserably.
Midterms introduced us to the nightmare called electronic blue book. We tried to take our exams on it for the first time through this software. Though I was prepared for it to conk out on me (as advised by many upper classmen) I did not expect it to be this big a disaster. I know many in my class who were not happy with it either.
Though our exam was on Monday, we did not feel the aftermath until the next day. Contracts failed to make sense, since it did not have negligence (my pet peeve word for this semester) in it. Words in the book got overlapped and my speech and thoughts did not make sense to anyone at all. I was drunk on Torts and I wished for a day off to get sober.
Anyhow, we have couple of practice exams and a memo to look forward to. Yippee!
10/14/09 - I know this week is all about midterms, memos, outlines, etc. But I would like to talk about how people tend to say things without thinking twice. My English teacher at school called it “verbal diarrhea.”
One of the reasons why people take up the part-time evening program is because it gives them the flexibility to work while at school. There are a variety of reasons behind this decision which varies from “I love my job” to “I need the money to support my education and my family.” Also, there are people who don’t have a day job and their reasons vary from “I would rather focus on my studies, I can handle the loans later once I graduate” to “my family is funding law school so I can focus on my education” to “ I got laid off and I am looking for a job.”
I am bringing up this topic because I realize as the pressure of schoolwork is building up, employed folks are tending to pass nasty remarks about the unemployed. Their employment is being used as an excuse for not being on par with the demands of law school. I do not think that is fair because everyone had a choice when applying to law school. There is no point complaining about a decision that was made by free will in an employment at will state.
I remember the wise words at orientation: “Don’t burn bridges unnecessarily; you never know when you will need to use them.”
10/7/09 - The word of the week…no, make that the word of the hour is “crunch.” One of the definitions of crunch by my trusted www.dicitonary.com is “a critical or dangerous situation.” Suddenly, the school caught up with us. It is almost as if it sneaked up behind us when we weren’t looking and crunched us in a big giant hug. You can feel the tension in the air and people are getting very testy.
This week’s list of things we have to do includes the memo, federal and statute assignment, the lengthy Torts reading, the offerings of contract, preparation for the midterms and the outline. Did I mention things are getting a little complicated here? The list seems to be growing every second. Time and energy is an important resource here and everyone is facing the time crunch. On a personal level, I decided to do some stomach crunches. I am finding that exercise is a key to release that pent up frustration that makes you want to throw your book at the person typing loudly in class. Studying law is very sedentary and involves many calories (chips and soda).
Oh! We will be doing the immunity teddy bear today. That should be fun. I know some of my classmates have not completed their reading hoping to pull out the bear if needed. Wonder how that will go…Anyways I have to get back to my memo while crunching on baby carrots for a change.
10/1/09 - This week was supposed to be uneventful. There was nothing major lined up, except for the weekly reading and usual outlines. In other words, it was meant to be the calm before the storm.
However (I know I would write a wonderful court’s opinion once I become a judge), the week seemed to be super long. This sentiment was shared by not only my fellow 1Ls but also my professor. It took forever to catch up with the reading of Torts. I don’t think I fully appreciated the exam review we did a couple weeks ago until now. Prof. M had to modify the syllabus to accommodate the class we lost due to the review. This meant more reading and change of the nice reading routine of Monday, Wednesday to Wednesday, Monday. This threw most of us off since we weren’t sure about how much reading would be enough for the week. Funny are the ways of God, this confusion made us prefer the reading for Contracts!
We got a chance to meet Prof H one on one to discuss the memo draft we submitted. With the amount of exercises he makes us do in class, I guess the structure of what a memo should look like has become second nature to us. Please note that I said “structure” and not “content.”
On the personal side, I had to deal with parents swap, my daughter’s graduation and a bad allergic reaction.
If this is the calm, I think I would prefer the storm.
9/23/09 – On the first day of class, a very wise professor told us that our family would hate us by Thanksgiving. No offense to the wise one, unless Thanksgiving is in September, I think my family already does.
I guess we are so excited being law students that sometimes we think of ourselves as lawyers already. I constantly use the phrases like “says who,” “dismissed,” “affirmed,” “remanded,” etc. Suddenly I don’t believe in promises (because they don’t have any consideration) and I always, always demand restitution.
Last night, I told my six month old when she was kicking around while I was changing her diaper that if we were in the state of Colorado, I would be able to sue her for the tort of battery (White v. Muniz). My mom was informed that her email was not in an IRAC format and being an English teacher herself, I don’t think she appreciated my delightful thought. My girlfriends were annoyed that I kept saying the argument Matthew McConaughey was making in the movie A Time to Kill wouldn’t work in “our” courts.
An excerpt from my conversation with my husband:
Me: So, what am I getting for my birthday?
Husband: I just paid your fees this semester, what more do you want?
Me: Well...If you don’t pay my fees, you will end up paying alimony and child support, either way you have to pay; at least this way you will have a wife and a child.
Husband: But wouldn’t the fact that I paid for your education count in this case.
Me: Nope, a promise made between a husband and wife is considered gratuitous.
9/16/09 – Rain, rain, go away…Come again after the exams are at bay…Truly, imagine being cuddled with a non-law related book inside your comforter, drinking hot tea in this nice rainy day...Not going to happen…
We are finished with our Torts midterms. Our group collectively decided not to discuss the exam when we went for our TA support group right after the midterm. We were all looking like zombies ready to collapse. Even with Monday being a holiday for Labor Day, the week was extremely long.
Faced with the possibility that he may have to explain all the questions and answers 48 individual times during office hours, Prof. M decided to review them in class yesterday. It was discussion galore! We even gave up our break for this sake.
The memo draft is due today. I don’t know a single soul in my section who is happy about their memo. I understand that there is no right answer, but come on! The common pain points are the format, the length and the content. Either we have too much to write or too little. Which is a better format? A, B, Hybrid, None? But the good thing is that it is not graded. I guess we are all expecting our drafts to be bleeding green ink.
Next week we should be starting on our outlines. We got a fair idea of what goes in one, thanks to our TA support group. Basically it is going to be a cheat sheet of the information based on your textbook, which you use to study and prepare for exams. The catch is, you may end up making an outline of an outline, and to some extent an outline of an outline of an outline. On that very confusing sentence I shall bade good-bye.
9/9/09 – I hope everyone had a great long weekend. I know we deserve it (at least some of us do). How was my long weekend, you ask? Hmm…Let’s see…
Like most of my fellow 1L Torts scholars, I was busy cramming for the midterm this Wednesday. Most of us felt like our brains have been assaulted and battered. The trespass of our grey matter caused severe emotional distress. It is outrageous, I know!
Heads up folks, it is cold and flu season. Cold decided to raise its nasty head at my household. Luckily, we had no plans for this long weekend anyways. I must say cold and midterms makes a very interesting combo. You never know what to blame that annoying headache on.
Adding to this perfect weekend was the fact that school was closed this Monday! I found this out after a fifty-minute drive to school. I was bummed, but luckily I had my books with me and not safe in my locker (I am trying to see the bright side of life here). This actually helped me do my good deed of the day when I called couple of my friends who come from far off places to warn them about the school being closed. I know I got some good karma.
Anyways, it is back to studying for me. I will keep you posted about how I did. Wish me luck!
9/2/09 – The heat just got turned up a bit. Suddenly I realized that I am a law student. I have known this for a while now, but I went into full blown panic mode when it really sunk in. I guess this is where all the breathing exercises I learnt in child birth classes helped. So, after a couple of deep breaths and a good portion of my poor husband’s brain, I realized I needed a plan to stick to. Now is where everyone wishes me good luck.
Any hoo...Things got pretty exciting this week with all the battery and considerations. My professors are great. Their teaching methodology reminds me of kite flying. They let you talk about a particular topic and just when you start getting astray, they pull you right back in.
I joined my study group and we met this weekend. It is helpful to bounce your thoughts off people who are in the same “place.” We will probably be meeting every week from now on. I did my first three Interactive Citation Workstation (ICW) exercises this Saturday. I never realized the value of space and periods until I did them. So while I was working on them, I wrote to Prof. H. and he wrote back within 10 minutes!
I also really have to thank my TAs from Academic Support. These guys are wonderful. It makes a difference when someone who has been there and done that can tell you how and when to do things. I don’t know if all the schools have this kind of program, but I am ever so grateful that ours does.
8/26/09 – I survived the first week of classes! So far so good, no injuries, no bruises, maybe a slight dip in the confidence level.
Orientation went very well. I am extremely thankful to the school for letting me know in no uncertain terms what to expect ahead. The gist of it was, it is going to be a rough road ahead but you will love it. I guess the motto is “Be prepared…Always!” The food was great during the orientation. I love it when vegetarian food is available, but like Deborah said, we are getting tired of pizza already. I got a chance to meet some of my fellow 1Ls. I honestly feel quite intimidated by some of them. They already speak like lawyers.
I have Torts, Contracts and Legal Analysis, Research & Writing (LARW) this semester. All my professors are great - they have great senses of humor, which keeps classes interesting. I am really enjoying Torts, compared to Contracts; I guess it is because of the textbook. LARW worries me a little. It is like learning to read all over again.
I came to school this weekend and decided to study in the library. I had a fair warning about how cold the place would be, but even the advance notice was not enough. Brr...was it cold!! It is not very helpful to a person who loves to sleep in a cool quiet place. So I hauled myself out and sat in one of the classrooms on the first floor. People, please be forewarned if you ever hear groans of frustration coming out of one of these rooms, it’s just me.