Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mid Law-School-Life Crisis

I can feel it coming; this mid law-school-life crisis. Soon, half of my journey through law school will be complete. Then I'll be over the hill. But will it be downhill from there? I can already guess that this will never get any easier. But just because something is easier does not mean it will be more enjoyable.

To truly succeed in law school means to love learning. One has to love learning new things and researching to really feel the success of school. Otherwise, this is three years of torture. There are some out there who love law school. Others, like myself, are not too keen on it.

For those who love law school, there is a relatively good chance they might see themselves back in law school after graduating, either for the LLM or finding a job as a professor of law. The world of law may not be for them. That is because law school offers a safety net where one is protected from the outside world. In law school, one has to research topics that will not be presented before a judge or drastically change the life of a person. Some people cannot handle that type of pressure.

For those who do not like law school but know that it is a means to an end, there is a good chance you will enjoy the practice of law because it is so vastly different from the study of law. Instead of looking at the art of others, you have a chance to recreate the art yourself. Justice Stevens created art with a horsehair paintbrush and oil on canvas. Justice O'Connor created art with a paintbucket and a brick wall. You then have a chance to make your own new art by taking those previous paintings and applying the relevant paints and brushes to your scenario. That is how I see it. And that is what I cannot await!

But for now, back to getting hit by that crisis.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1L Omniscient

I see these new students with their, literally, bright and shiny faces. Their eyes are wide. The girls are wearing make up and brand new outfits. They expect law school to be something that I have long since forgotten.

They are in for a huge punch to the face.

I see them and I cannot help but feel so miserable for them. I, and the other upper-level students, know what is about to hit them. And they do not have a clue! It can only be described as the longest running hazing ritual in all of America.

I want to do something to help them but I cannot just barge into their life and give advice freely. Nay, they will see soon enough. I don't want to seem 'preachy' and I tell you that I do not intend the following in any attempt at preaching, rather it is more just a thought. I feel like this is why God doesn't just come in and save the day with a touch of a thought. I could easily approach people and guide them through the whole thing but what good would that do for them? This would be bad for them! That is why God lets us all do what we gotta do because that is how we will better ourselves. Sure, we can ask for help, no problem. We know what we have to do, we know where we have to go, the path to that end is where we'll need help. And the help is available. All we have to do is ask. Of course, I hope the reader does not think I am comparing myself to God or vice versa, I am merely attempting to establish a parallel between the metaphysical and the physical.

I remember being at the student club fair. I could see the Law Review table a few stalls down. Loads of students had of course heard the 'prestige' offered by joining the 'elite' law review. So they flocked to it like it was the new Mecca. All of them with eyes focused on the prize of being in the top ten percent, getting a spot on law review, and then getting that corporate law job with all the money to make it all worthwhile.

But they don't know what it means for 'it all to be worthwhile.' They have barely licked the iceberg! All of them will realize the enormous workload on their shoulders (the good ol backpack and laptop bags), many of them will fade away from the dream (it is good to wake up), and the rest will literally be just a tad bit crazy enough to do that extra work (get that extra line on the resume).

I don't have anything against those who make an attempt for the prestige. I was nearly crazy enough to apply for one of the journals myself. What it comes down to is that I am not gunning for that big firm job, I am not shooting for money; I'm here to simply give meaning to the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' for those who have been surrounded by death, slavery, and been pursued by malice.

I am crazy enough to do that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Second Day, Second Year

So first year is behind me. Far behind me. What can I say about it, three and a half months later?

It was like being on a roller coaster that pulls you backwards up the ramp so you can stare at what should be your impending death. You imagine a tragic scene over and over worthy of a part in a movie as you are slowly pulled back. And then, at the height of the incline, you hear the CLICK and everything is suspended for but a moment. Then, FWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, physics comes back into play and the train rushes down and up and around and then it all stops and you are slowly pulled up on a ramp. Things are different now because you can see the clear blue sky. This isn't the part where they tell you to exit the seat, but who cares, life is good for the moment. You hear the familiar CRICKLE CLACK CRICKLE CLACK as you are being pulled upwards, with hopes oh so high. It dawns on you that this track doesn't last forever. You realize this whole thing is about to happen again. But you've been on the track already, so you sort of know the way.

In but a moment, you will have to do the whole thing again, backwards. You try to remember what the ride was like. The latter part of the coaster was more recent than the beginning, so you work your way backwards. Starting with finals, how you studied for finals, what you read throughout the course, your study spot, the first day of school.

Ok, so you remember it now?


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I wrote my first judicial decision the other day. That was pretty awesome. Of course, I am not a judge, so it wasn't "mine" per se. When I say "I wrote my", I mean it as a collective. I had a good group backing me in my pursuit of writing. The judge supported me. The secretary said I could do it without a problem. My fellow interns even offered to proofread my work and help edit it. I was very thankful for that kind gesture. It is always nice to see and work with good people in a seemingly cutthroat world.

Having written that, I now have two research assignments I am working on. Oh crap, I just ended the sentence in a preposition. Let's see, how to fix that and make it better. "I am working on two research assignments after having written the decision." Better? I suppose. It could probably be written better though, I'll leave that up to the reader.

Oh, so this talk of interns. Let me bring you up to speed. I'm working in a family court for a judge. This will last until the end of July. I have definitely learned a lot. Not so much as knowledge that will help me in a final, but I definitely learned how to behave in a courtroom and what not to do.

I have seen attorneys not show up, sign in and leave, not perform discovery, and only meet their clients when it the court date arrives. But I have also seen lawyers with a good command of the statutes, knowledge of the law, raising good objections, and defending their clients without wearing the clothes of the client. "The clothes of the client" is a phrase I learned during my internship. It is something a lawyer should never do. One time, an attorney became angry during a court proceeding and the judge admonished him to never wear the clothes of the client, that is, let your client be angry, you just have to use the law to rectify the situation because you do not have a personal stake in this.

Also, since I am working in law related stuff, this means that I'm still in law school i.e. I passed my first year! If you are entering or are in your first year of law school and need some sort of advice, you can ask me and I will help to 40% of my abilities. After all, I'm still in school so I have to reserve some of my abilities for myself.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Let me tell you something. When you are in law school, when everything seems dim no matter how hard you have tried, there is one thing that you have left to do. That one thing is to visit your professors. Go to them and talk with them. Not talk to them, not talk at them. Talk WITH them. They are not so intimidating in person, although they still have an aura of respect about them. Tell them what you have done to improve yourself and what is not working. They will encourage you in such simple ways but those ways will have the most amazing impact. I did poorly in one of my finals. I felt utter defeat. When talking with my professor, he said, amongst other positive encouragements, "You are an intelligent student." That sent me flying in my head. Soaring. I felt like I could do so much better because I CAN do so much better. And you can too.

While in law school, there is a 90% chance you are not doing anything else. So make sure that you understand and realize that. Take into account each minute of each day and spend it fruitfully. If you are not sleeping or eating, go study. If you are not sleeping or studying, go eat or refresh your mind. If you are not studying or eating, go to sleep. Many times, I would find myself trying to keep myself awake in the late hours by playing online games. That helped NOTHING and I have learned to just use that time to sleep instead.

Once you have realized the value of time, then everything will fall into its place. But you have to work towards it. And if that is not helping, then be sure to meet with your professors and academic support. You are not dumb for going to academic support. That is the smart thing to do. Focus what you are weak in and attack it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Jobbing the Hunt

I do not know what other schools do to their first year students, and so I will tell you, oh dear reader, what my school does to first years. I do not use the word or any derivation of the word 'do' to imply something negative, rather I push your mind to infer that one does what the school tells them to do. The standard thus being set, I shall progress in a forward manner.

A regular semester includes a workload of 5 courses. Some people like to iterate these courses in terms of credits, however I do not look at the credit hours because trying to figure that out is like trying to put a diaper on a baby for the first, second, and third time. After the third time, proceed with duct tape and cotton balls. I digress. These five courses consist of torts, contracts, legal process, civil procedure, and criminal law/property I (criminal law in the fall, property I in the spring). Come the spring time, although we have the same number of courses, we are given an extra hour of class. This extra hour is an extra hour of possible Socratic Plato'ing.

Socrates: And so I divulge the pinnacle of political systems, that being...anybody...anybody? Ok, Plato, what be the pinnacle of political systems?

Plato: *CURSES POSEIDON* "Why doth thou always call on mine soul?"

Socrates: You're my only student at the moment, granite-face.

With that extra hour of class, there is an additional item that maximizes the agenda. This additional item is known as the job search. Tons of applications, cover letters, resumes, and memos to send out. And that occurs after one has found the places to which they would like to apply. The job search is very much a sixth course. If one does not finish this course as quickly as possible, the credit hours pile on as the semester goes by.

I should go prepare for my sixth course.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Contracting my Brain

Today, I read a case that was about ten pages. I read it in a half hour. I was pleased with myself. Then I realized that I had just read ten pages of a judge defining "flood". That was it. "Hi, I am the judge, let me take you through the process of how to look up the word 'flood' in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other sources. But hey, you don't have to take my word for it."

And then three kids by the name of Columbia, Webster, and Louis shared their own definitions of flood.

(sing to Reading Rainbow theme)
Water on the ground, look its flooding now
Take a swim, on a whim - Flooding Orleans

I can row anywhere!
Houses go as rivers flow - Flooding Orleans

I can get no coverage!
Take a swim, on a whim - Flooding Orleans

Flooding Orleans, Flooding Orleans, Flooding Orleans, Flooding Orleans

I am a terrible person.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Noah's Irk

One thing that gets me SO HARDCORE BAD is when I am reading a case 4 times and not understanding it at all.  And then, I will catch something I had been missing the whole entire time and it will all make sense!  WHY!  I have some sort of selective dyslexia perhaps.

On a sad note, a student I met last semester was dismissed.  This guy was always studying hard.  He was from China and so his english was not the best.  He would be in the library just reading and taking notes all the time.  He would be there before I got there and still be there when I left.  He sat a few tables away from me.  You know how it is, you sit in a seat so often that it becomes 'yours'.  Eventually we talked and he was a really nice person.  He reminded me of my little brother so, in my own self, I adopted him as such.  Every time I would see him, I would say a little prayer for him, that he may increase in knowledge and that this may be easy for him.  Whenever we talked, he was such a friendly, well-meaning person.  Of course, law school is not for everybody, but he was trying so hard.  

When I saw him this semester, I was excited to see him back!  I found it odd that he had his jacket on in the middle of the day.  He walked with me and stammered out that he had been dismissed.  I stopped in my tracks.  "What?" I asked.  He repeated it, tears in his eyes.  A brick wall fell on me.  The first casualty of law school who I knew.  I wished him the best in life and I sincerely meant it.  I went into the bathroom and splashed my face with cold water.  "Don't let that happen to you." I said to myself as I looked in the mirror.

 I know he will work hard and do well in whatever endeavor he reaches, God willing.  

I just hope I do well in wherever I reach as well

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Addictions and Subtractions

When you get caught up in the mistress that is law school, you need to have some sort of release. With the removal of much of your social network, your family/significant other disliking your lack of interest in them, and dead pets due to incredible neglect, you need to have some relaxation. As a result, some people become addicted to drugs as they try to find that release. Some become addicted to alcohol. Others become addicted to the thing they probably should not get addicted to, studying. In a recent issue of Student Lawyer, the editor essentially said to maintain your oxygen levels as you are submerged underwater. You will meet some people that will seem like a gleam of light when they are actually finding out all about you so they can chew you up and spit you out. Like this fish:

Others will not be as nasty. They will look different, but, once you get to know them, you will see that these people have great personalities. Unlike this blob fish:

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the blob fish is a terrific and fascinating creature. And you should do whatever you can to network with all sorts of people. The blob fish, for example, is from off the deep coast of Australia and lives with other interesting fish. These fish could probably be what you want!

I am not addicted to fish. I have decided to become addicted to Spider-Man comics. I have been a fan of Spider-Man since I figured out that Superman was not even human, so being his fan was not the patriotic thing to do. Batman was just a guy with a belt and pointy ears, no superpowers. Because he had no "super"powers, how could he be a "super"hero? I rest my case. Spider-man, however, was just like me. Teenager, average problems, nerd, and all that. I am taking my love for Spider-Man (in essence, love for myself) by investing in the comics. I am starting with Marvel Civil War. This idea, this comic book event, is completely amazing. Superhero against superhero, battle after battle, trying to battle with reason but the stubborn nature leads to battles of epic proportions.

I yelled a long, terrible yell when *spoiler alert* Spider-man unmasked himself in front of a live television audience. I felt so betrayed. He had joined the wrong side. But *spoiler alert* he got his act together and joined the good side. *Phew*. There are a wide variety of artists involved in this, so there is always a different version of drawings. The storyline has a habit of being pretty fantastic. It is so awesome.

But then I remember that I have contracts homework. Crap.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Leonidas?

Throughout President Obama's inaugural address, especially when he repeatedly said the word 'this', I wanted him to say "This is where we fight...This is where they die!"

And then the whole crowd went HOO! HOO! HOO!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Holy Hannah Montana

So by some stroke of a sheer miracle, I passed my first semester at law school. This means more hell as I look to the desert ahead of me.

I was home for the winter break. I didn't get to hang out with my friends from long ago because I don't think I have any friends at the moment. Law school has sucked out my chi. Speaking of chi, I have started doing Tai Chi. I figure I should be in harmony with myself. It sounds nice. Plus, I need some sort of activity to do while at school, otherwise I am sitting on my rump.

One thing I know is that to learn, you don't just need a healthy brain, you need a healthy body as well. So if I am just sitting around and gaining weight, I am hurting my body! I must get active for at least a half hour a day. I think, with proper time management (and if I only had a car), I will be able to make the most of this semester, intrinsically and extrinsically.