C'est un blague.

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  • Wednesday, December 28, 2005

    The other shoe dropping

    As the bar gets closer and closer -- and I am hearing from friends who failed it -- I am getting more and more nervous about my prospects of success. My bar review starts next week: four hours an evening, five evenings a week. Just like my first year of law school, but worse.

    Today my nerves compelled me to drop another chunk o' credit ('cuz let's face it: at this point, it's no longer cash) on the PMBR review course. I don't know if I need the course. Heck, I don't even know that much about it. I just don't want to be at a competitive disadvantage. I guess their marketing to my insecurities worked.

    Insecurities stink, don't they? They're expensive too!

    However, I did manage to get my bar application in by the (late) filing deadline. I think, think, think I did it right. What a pain!

    This is even worse than law school!

    Who is kidding who here?

    Another anti-immigrant housing ordinance thinly veiled as a public health, safety, congestion-control measure.

    I am so saddened by the ugliness of this. It's clear even from the article that this measure is constitutionally suspect on its face -- and definitely as it's being implemented. With the rising cost of housing in the DC-metro area, how is any family just starting out -- whether as new Americans or a young couple looking for a first home -- going to be able to afford any space at all?

    And the fact that the ordinance is being enforced almost exclusively against the Latino community is outrageous and just disgusting.

    UPDATE: (1/5) The Manassas authorities have stated that they will not enforce this law (or so I heard on the radio). That the ACLU had decided to litigate the suit may have impacted their decision...

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    To boldly go...

    Life imitating art? Science fiction predicting the future? Back to the future?


    The other day in the airport, I swear I saw Lt. Uhura... no, not the actress Nichelle Nichols. It was actually just some guy in a baseball cap.

    The thing was, he had a bluetooth headpiece attached to his ear, and it stuck out -- and looked just like communications earpiece that Lt. Uhura used in Star Trek. The similarity was so striking that it actually made my head snap -- not that I haven't seen the bluetooth things before -- it's just that this particular one was so Uhura-like...

    I shouldn't be surprised. We already have the "communicators" (a.k.a. clamshell cell phones). The internet isn't far off from the omniscient computer on the Enterprise. Now only if I could beam myself to somewhere warm!

    Friday, December 16, 2005

    Oh and by the way...

    I am DONE DONE DONE with law school. My final finals have been finalized and are in the can. Fingers crossed that none of my efforts were failing (not a foregone conclusion otherwise), and with that, I have completely completed law school.


    I will now sleep for the next two weeks. Ahhh!


    Ever notice that the colored spots in the game Twister are the same as the metro service lines (the subway in DC)?

    Coincidence? After this morning's ride downtown, I tend to think not!

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Something cheerful

    Okay, this is going to sound goofy, but what the heck...

    During the long haul of the past week preparing for exams, one thing which I did which made me really happy in a floaty kinda gleeful way was to listen to 80s music.

    I know, weird eh?

    Well, the 80s were formative for me, and the music is kinda my reference point. I was in high school and college then -- and CDs didn't really yet exist -- so I listened to the radio and albums back then. The music may be simple and pop-like, but it's mostly upbeat (this is pre-grunge; think Bangles, Erasure, early Bon Jovi, etc.) and fun.

    Ahhh, harkening for simpler days, fun music and easier exams! That must be it.

    My brain is full -- may I be excused please?

    T-three days, 9 hours...

    That's all I have left of my (less than?) illustrious law school career. Three finals this semester, and I just hope I exit on a positive, upbeat note -- rather than the crushing humiliation of knowing I just dove to the bottom of the curve on an exam.

    ...Like my family law exam on Friday. It should have been called the "Constitutional theory of family law". Note to self: don't take a class with a professor who has clerked for two Supreme Court Justices; the exams are just too hard.

    Ooops, too late for that little tidbit of advice.

    Well, so the family law exam was just... just... not what I had expected. I take small -- very small -- consolation in the fact that more studying would not have helped me on that one. I went in there feeling nervous to the point of nausea (with good reason, as it turns out!) and came out feeling just the nausea! Ah well. It's over. During the entire exam, I just kept shaking my head back and forth. I know I wrote crap. Oh well.

    Here's hoping that the other two go much better. I don't care *so* much about my GPA at this point (okay, I do, but I just gotta get past that), but truly, I would like to end my law school experience feeling good about my effort and knowing that my exam reflected my knowledge on the subject. And I can't say that about family law.

    Moving on... to tax for non-profits and then employment discrimination. Fingers crossed that I didn't and don't torpedo my GPA and that I am feeling good about my efforts when I emerge from my underground exile at 9:30 Wednesday evening.

    And to those of you suffering the slings and arrows of precedent, statutory law, regulations and public policy considerations -- I wish to you very good luck, divine or otherwise inspiration (intervention?) and a healthy dose of eloquent bullshit....

    Hang in there!

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    Bar application blues

    I am *almost* almost finished filling out my application to take the Maryland bar. It has been a right royal pain in the ass. I know the requirements vary from state to state, but most require a certified copy of your driving record, all the information about any court proceeding you've ever been involved in (divorce, small claims and sometimes traffic court, too), your addresses for the past ten years, work history, credit taken/maintained, military service, employment history, education, etc. etc. etc. Then, of course, you need to get friends who are willing to attest to your moral character, write an ethical statement, have your law school certify your educational history and get it all properly printed (head to head double-sided for some sections, head to foot double-sided for others, and single sided elsewhere -- and if you mess up, they'll just return the whole application to you, which means you're screwed), signed, notarized and delivered. Seventy pages worth of pain in the ass.


    Piece of advice to those of you taking the summer bar, start the application process at least two months before it's due. And if you have anything in your past that complicates things, give yourself even more time.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Size does matter

    Now, having worked for both a large law firm and a small one, I can say with confidence that size does matter.

    There are some obvious and immediate differences. Larger firms have greater resources -- which translates to a better salary, support staff, swag and nice lunches. Smaller firms tend to operate more like non-profit organizations, always hustling to make sure the rent is paid.

    Understandable differences for obvious reasons.

    But there's one difference I've found between large/small which I had not anticipated. In the large firm, there seems to be an assumption of ascencion -- that is, they treat the summer associates like lawyers. My experience in the smaller firm is that law students are treated more like legal assistants.

    Now, this difference may be one of "summer associate" v. regular employee (as a law clerk), but I don't think so. It's more likely a function of expectations and resources. The large firm knows you're going to be a lawyer and treats you like one. They have the luxury of assuming the future. The small firm knows you're a law student and treats you like one. There's no assumptions about what's down the road. Gross generalizations, I know. But this has been my experience.

    And while the work and the politics at my current small firm are more to my liking, I loved my window office with a view in the large firm. Now I work in an evidence storage room. I kid you not. It's. downright. depressing.

    Good thing the work and the people are great. I guess it's always going to be a tradeoff.

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