Disclaimer

This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Enjoying the Afternoon

... in spite of listening to boring Bar/Bri lectures. I've been working on the review lectures from the Simulated MBE. I rock out when it comes to Crim Law/Crim Pro, so it makes Crimes Lady even more boring. I'm bored with the going on and on about the black letter law. I know the black letter law. There was six hours of lecture on that, and I made flash cards. Just tell me how I got tricked into missing the question, and let's move on. The Torts Lady, on the other hand, was really good and she gave really good exam-taking tips. Except that she must be Italian, because she YELLS instead of talks. I had to turn the iPod way down.

I did really freakin' good on Contracts (shockingly), pretty good (but not as good as I should have) on Torts and Crimes, decently on Con Law, and I totally sucked it on both Evidence and Property. Had I not sucked it on those two, I would have "passed" the fake MBE by a good margin. Problem? I just don't know the black letter law for Property. However, I don't know what happened with Evidence. I know the black letter law, at least I think I do, so I think I'm just getting tricked into the wrong answers. So, I'm looking forward to the Evidence lecture, hopefully it will be good. But overall, I feel really good about where I am now, because even though I know there's a lot of work left to do, I at least know what work needs to be done, where I'm sucking, and where I can improve enough to pass the damn thing and move on. Then I can concentrate on the state law stuff, and all the crazy stuff I didn't take in law school. Like Commercial Paper and Secured Transactions. We didn't even have a class on Commercial Paper. I'm not even sure what that is yet. Nice.

So, I'm sitting out on the balcony enjoying the not-obscenely-hot weather mixed with a nice breeze. Tonight, we're taking Cora for her first haircut, and hopefully getting rid of the baby mullet finally! And if there is time, Husband will take her back to the pond in our neighborhood for some more "duckies." We went yesterday, and Cora loved loved loved the geese, which scare the hell out of me. We started out feeding a few ducks, and then the gaggle noticed us, and started waddling towards us. Huge freakin' geese, like 30 or 40 of them. Cora's just thrilled at the gaggle suddenly surrounding us, like they're her personal flock. She's pointing at each one, proclaiming "DUCKY!" I'm just waiting for one of them to get too close and her try to hug it, and I have to fight off an angry goose that's bigger than her. Geese are mean. One even hissed at me, ugh. Anyway, the gosslings were pretty cute, and Cora had a good time. I don't really understand the obsession with the duckies, but hey, whatever entertains her.

Back to the New Town tomorrow for more apartment/house hunting. Here's hoping the third time's the charm!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Blog, Renewed Focus

I'm trying out some changes with the blog. Give me some feedback!

First, I changed the name. I figure I'm no longer knocked up, nor am I in law school, so the old name is kinda inapplicable. But the URL has always been attorney work product, since I started it in 2007, so I went with that. Second, I could probably change my moniker. Soon enough, I guess I'll technically have evolved into a "baby attorney" but that seems a bit much. I toyed with the idea of just using my name, but I share a name with a fellow Mom blogger, so that would probably just get confusing anyway. I think for now, it'll stay the same. Third, the background photo is (literally) the road to my new life. Photo credit: moi.

The focus on this blog will, of course, be about the balance between my legal career and the rest of my life, particularly my family. It'll be about other stuff too, my various interests (politics, foreign affairs, geek stuff) and exploring my new town and region. I will (very cautiously) talk about work, as much as I can in the abstract. I know that isn't particularly helpful for those of you looking for career insight, but I am always willing to chat privately if you have specific questions about my work.

Although I've considered shutting down the blog after law school, I want to continue. I find it so helpful to read the blogs of other female attorneys who are striving to devote themselves to both their careers and families. And there's this part of me that craves the podium. So for now, I'm keeping it going.

I'm getting pretty excited about the new job. At first, I felt rather lukewarm about the town where I'm moving, but I got to tour a lot more this past time I went, and it really is charming. (Not trashy like where I'm from!) I just hope I can find a decent place to live for a reasonable price! Not so excited about the bar exam, but I did the full day practice and scored modestly. There's another month of studying to do, and I'll be able to rock its socks off. If the bar exam wore socks, that is. Whatever.

Make-Over

Please have patience, while I figure out what the hell I'm doing in editing the html. It's been a very long time since I've done any programming whatsoever. Things should be fixed soon!

UPDATE: I think I've got things under control now. That's what I get for trying to take some free template, and then customize it. Ugh.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More wasted days

I spent yet another day apartment hunting yesterday. Four hours of driving, and quite a bit of time just driving around and looking at places. I saw a couple apartments, including a house that was for rent that might have been rather nice if not for the extremely offensive odors. I think something or someone died in there and wasn't found for at least several weeks. And then someone or something else pee'd all over the place. And then the windows were left open and the place flooded then mildewed. It was awful, I couldn't even get passed the living room before I had to leave. Even still, when I got there for the open house, there was a dude sitting in there filling out a lease application for the place. I'm like, dude, I've got a cardboard box I can loan you, you don't have to live in this dump. Apparently rentals are hard to come by. Suck.

Anyway, I've got leads on a couple places. Boss Dude is very well-known in town, and has a good relationship with a few local realtors. So, I dropped by one of the realtor's offices, and they wrote down several names and numbers for me to call. In turn, those people gave me other numbers. Finally, I've got leads on three places, and I'm going to go view them next Wednesday, and hopefully the places will still be available by then. They haven't been advertised or anything yet. One sounds really promising. It's just a one-bedroom flat, but it's three blocks from my office. And considering I just found out that Boss Dude is a stickler for punctuality, I definitely need to be close by the office. I am most decidedly not punctual. I run on a fifteen minute delay. So, being able to walk to work instead of fighting traffic will be most helpful. Also, I figure that will help mitigate the increase in my carbon footprint, since I'll be driving back and forth between cities twice a week. There's a house that is still within walking distance, but further away, so I wouldn't walk it when the weather was bad. It's pretty big, and has two bedrooms. It's about $200 more a month, which is certainly worth the extra space, but I don't need the extra space since Husband will likely never be there, and the kid will only be there one or two days a week.

The one apartment complex that has amenities, is completely full. Most of the residents are medical staff from the area hospital. It's a really nice place, but way over priced. I could get the same apartment here for the same price or cheaper. Also, they aren't sure they'll even have a one-bedroom vacancy sometime in the next couple months. So, oh well. I would have liked the amenities, but I'm not sure an extra $300 a month is worth it. I can use the pool and gym at the Y for $25 a month.

So, a wasted day of no bar reviewing. Instead I came home, played with the kid, ate dinner and Husband and I started watching the last season of Lost. I'm working on Contracts today, and tomorrow will be Property. Then Saturday's the big day for the simulated MBE. On one hand, I want to score really high so I can feel confident about myself. On the other hand, I don't want to score too high, because then I'll feel too confident about myself. I was feeling pretty confident about myself, doing really well on the practice exams, always getting above the goal score. And then I completely sucked it on one of the Evidence practices. The goal was 10/18. I got 6/18. Ouch! I had gotten 13/18 on the previous Evidence practice set. So what the hell happened? I just got asked a bunch of questions on stuff I absolutely didn't know. Statistically speaking, that set is merely an outlier and I shouldn't give it much weight. Which makes me feel better until I consider the possibility that the Bar Exam itself could be an outlier, and I could end up with a ton of questions I don't know. Then I remember that if I don't know it, then maybe my colleagues won't know it, and they'll throw those questions out. Regardless, it all makes me exhausted enough to need a nap.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Relocating

I took a day trip to my new town to go apartment-hunting the week before last. I thought I'd found an apartment, told the guy I wanted it, only to find out his partner had just rented it to someone else. So he says. I'm skeptical by nature. The apartment was too good to be true. It included all utilities, even cable and internet, and was in a safe area in an even smaller town 10 minutes from my office. I suspect it was a bait and switch because the guy then said he had other apartments available for the same price, but didn't include any of the utilities. I was like, dude, the price is way too high without the utilities, no way. Waste of a day. I drove around town, just looking around trying to find any apartment complexes at all, and eventually left because I ended up in the middle of a monsoon where I'm surprised I didn't get my car stuck in a pond. (I can only thank my father-in-law for teaching me how to drive through standing water.) But back to the drawing board.

I'm having some difficulty finding a place to live in my new town, mainly because I'm not very familiar with the area and also, it's such a small town it's not like there's one of those apartment guides you pick up at the grocery store. In fact, there's only one actual apartment complex, you know, the kind that has actual amenities, like a pool and a gym. It's a bit more than I really want to pay, but worth it for the reliability of 24-hour maintenance, the onsite gym, the dog park and the kiddie playground. At the same time, I can't even get anyone there to call me back to find out if there are any apartments available. Fail.

So, I've been checking the local classifieds (at least the local rag has a website and posts their classifieds online), and Craigslist, although Craigslist isn't all that helpful because most of the postings are for a nearby larger city, which is in a neighboring state. If all else fails, I'll start looking there, but I'd prefer not to live very far away from my office. I'm going to be driving a lot to commute between cities until Husband finishes his masters next spring. I don't want a 30 minute communte to work too. And isn't that the benefit of small town life, is that it only takes you 5 minutes to get everywhere? I live in a city with something like a quarter million people right now and it takes me less than 15 minutes to get to downtown/campus from my little 'burb. I don't mind actual roadtrips, but I hate long morning commutes. Mostly because I'm always running late.

Anyway, my choices are basically limited to low-income housing structures, renting apartments that have been converted from old houses from private renters, and renting houses. There are some townhouses/condos, but they're more upscale, because there's a decent-sized medical center (the one I'll be spending most of my time suing). I could technically afford those places, but I'd rather live more ghetto and save money so I can pay off my credit card before I have to start making ginormous student loan payments, which will result in me actually being low-income.

I'm also not really sure what's the "good" area of town and what's the "bad" area of town. While I don't particularly want an episode of Cops to play out on my street, with some drunk redneck beating his wife at 3am, it's not like there are drive-by shootings with gang violence or anything. And I've seen what real ghettos look like, that ain't it. Even so, I won't be there on the weekends so I don't want to live somewhere that's an invitation to break in and steal my stuff. Not that I'll really have any stuff to steal. I'm taking the old furniture with me. The hand-me-down couch that's downstairs, the older TV/DVD player, etc. Stuff we're going to pitch and replace with new stuff eventually.

Husband is looking for a job in the New Town, and it's possible that we'll fully relocate. Of course, him getting a job is limited by the fact that my office sues the place that's his best bet for a job, and the town is definitely small enough that he wouldn't be able to work there because of it (and our last name isn't exactly ordinary). And he really wants to work in a larger hospital. He might be able to get a job in the neighboring city across state lines, but there's a question of licensure and different states have difficult regulations about what Nurse Practitioners can actually practice. So honestly, if I really love my job, we'll probably just move to the northeast part of our city, which will shave 30 minutes off the trip out there, and I'll commute. I'll keep an apartment there for necessities of late-nights or early mornings, and drive the hour and a half the rest of the time. I'll learn to dictate during the commute and my secretary will hate me for it, but you do what you have to do. And if I don't really love the job, or I absolutely hate the job, then I'll start looking for a new job after I have some experience.

But it's all too early to figure that out yet. For right now, I'm just looking for a place to live for the next year and poisoning my brain with bar review. Seven lectures last week, it was awful. I doubled up so I could actually have a day off (thank the law gods for the iPod Self-Study), but I'm still falling behind on the practice exams. And I have to actually relearn all of Property. Future Interests? I don't remember ANY of it. I have to start from scratch. Good thing I still have my Future Interests primer from 1L. I need to pick a day next week and just work through the whole thing. I also need to do plenty more work for Contracts. I totally rock at Crim Law/Pro, I'm pretty good with Evidence and Con Law, and I'm disappointingly mediocre with Torts. I haven't even bothered taking Contracts or Property practice tests yet because I would probably get all of them wrong, I just haven't studied enough.

The best thing I did this week, however, was pick out a chair for my new office. My paralegal (How cool is that? I have a paralegal!) called and said they were getting my office and my conference room ready (yes, I get two rooms, it rocks... one to work in and one to meet with clients in). She's ordering my computer and also my chair, so I had to go pick one out. It's all very exciting and grown-up. Yeah, I know I'm almost 30, and I'm married with a kid and a house, so technically I've been a grown-up for quite awhile, but starting my career, my actual career, with actual responsibilities... this is what makes me feel like a grown up instead of some kid just playing house.

Now I just need to pass the bar, find a place to live, and lose 15 pounds so all my suits actually fit, which they haven't since 1L year. Sigh.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Comment Box

If you're a new reader, you probably arrived here either from googling "pregnant in law school" or from another "blawg." When I first found out I was pregnant, I too made the same internet search. (LagLiv's blog was the first I found.) Since then, I've discovered a whole network of Moms in Law School/Legal Profession (check out the sidebar for a few). I get questions from time to time from law students out there who are considering motherhood during law school (or other advanced degree programs). So, I thought I would link to my previous post on the topic (which was also cross-posted at Ms. JD). Please feel free to email me (just leave a comment and let me know I have mail... otherwise, I rarely check it). I'm always happy to answer questions and give advice, for whatever it's worth. Plus it's always nice to make contacts with colleagues from other schools in other states and broaden our respective networks!

Additionally, I will keep your correspondence private (other than to reprint general questions to answer here), and I will not reveal your identity, unless of course it's hate mail. In which case, I'm going to publish it, along with your name and email address, on this blog. And, no, "Jonathan E. Rubin," I will not remove your name and email address from my blog "out of respect for [your] privacy." I could give a long diatribe about all the reasons I have neither a legal nor ethical duty to do so, but we'll just leave it at, "Uh, no." Also, I should point out that once the page has been published, it's pretty much out in cyberspace forever anyway. Blogger's owned by Google now, after all. It's definitely out there forever now, since it's been over a year. Moral of the story: I would recommend thinking twice before sending any written or electronic communications, because there's rarely any sort of guarantee that said communication will remain private. Particularly if it's hate mail. I mean, duh.

Anyway, as for having a child while in law school, I can say, personally, it was the best choice for my family. I have gotten to spend a lot more time with my daughter as an infant and toddler than if I'd waited until I started my career. Of course, that's not time Cora will even remember. She won't know that we snuggled at 4am while she ate and I read cases from my International Environmental Law text by booklight. She won't know that we spent every weekend this summer going to the park and swimming and reading books all day, then after tucking her into bed, I was up half the night studying for the bar. But I know. I'll remember. And what was undoubtedly the suckiest three years of my academic career, has been overshadowed by 18 months of the best time of my life, particularly this summer. My kid is so much fun, she makes bar review almost tolerable.


Water Bunny

Now in the final stretch of being a "student" (even if it's just a student of Bar/Bri), preparing to take the bar in July, I can honestly say it was worth it. Law school sucked. But I'm glad I did it, and I'm very excited about my new job and my career, and finally finally finally being a licensed attorney. My life totally rocks.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bar Reviewing

Bar review? Hates it.

However, the iPod option is soooo much better than sitting in the classroom. I don't know why they even bother paying these dudes to show up to the law schools anyway. No wonder the course is so crazy expensive. Anyway, it's nice to be able to stop the recording, go have some lunch, or run some errands, or take a little cat nap. Even still, five and half hours of Evidence was horrific.

Anyway, I can't really figure out how to gauge my progress on the multiple choice. I've only done the Con Law practice so far, and I'm technically "passing," I guess, but not by much. That scares the hell out of me. I know I have plenty of time to get the practice scores up, and also, Con Law is one of my worst subjects (I should be able to rock out on Torts, Evidence, and Criminal to make up for the rest). But it all still just makes me want to throw up. Ugh. For those of you who passed the bar and took Bar/Bri to do prep, did your practice scores improve dramatically from the beginning? I need to make sure I'm consistently getting solid passing scores on the practice exams going into the real thing.

To round out the week of Things That Make Me Throw Up, I got my International Law grade. Vomit. What should have been my best grade in law school, ended up being my absolute worst. And it's my own damn fault. I flipped out over the bad grade in Nonprofits only to sabotage my grade in International because I went into Complete Meltdown the day before the final. My gpa took a tremendous hit thanks to two completely suck grades, and I am definitely not interested in seeing my class rank now. I still have two grades out, but unless they're both A's (doubt that), there's really no saving me. I'm just so disappointed. I worked really hard this last semester, and wanted to finish strong, and it ended up being my worst semester in law school. I should have just blown off studying altogether and drank more. Hell, I already had a job, what did I care anyway? Excessive drinking would have been a much better use of my time.

Anyway, it's been a long, rough week and I'm just tired. I'd better get to bed. More bar review tomorrow. Weeeeeee!