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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life on Unemployment

I've been remarkably busy for someone who has no job. I don't really understand how looking for a job can be more time-consuming than actually having a job, but I digress.

In addition to contacting everyone I know for job leads, meeting new people through networking events and general schmoozing, and surfing the web for any crumb of job leads, I've also been prepping to go out on my own. I'm all set up, and my malpractice policy will be in effect as soon as I make the payment. I have a PO Box, a phone line, a business bank account, an IOLTA account, a new all-in-one print/copy/fax machine I got super cheap at Staples because it is a discontinued floor model, business cards that look pretty decent considering I printed them myself, and I will soon have a website up and running once I sort through all the silly bar association regulations on advertising. I need to figure out what to do with advertising, since there are all these rules that govern it, and every ad has to be approved, and re-approved if there are any changes to the ad, including font and font size. Headaches.

I have signed up to volunteer for some pro bono programs, and I'm getting on the list for reduced-fee referrals. I'm excited about that one. I really like the idea of practicing law "on the cheap" by working from home, and being able to pass the savings along to clients and represent people who don't have the expendable income to hire an attorney but don't qualify for Legal Aid. i.e. The Working Class. I think it's all-around a good thing.

Unfortunately, since The City is all filled up for the court appointment list, I'm having to concentrate on the surrounding counties and will likely be doing a lot more traveling. Which isn't so great because I don't have a car; Monday night I totaled it on a fucking deer.



Fucking deer

We drove out to Husband's parents' house Monday afternoon because his sister was in town with our niece and nephew. Since we don't get to see them very often, we stayed much later than we normally would have, leaving at 9pm, which put us on the Parkway after dark, something we don't like to do because there are so many fucking deer. This particular stupid ass deer was dilly-dallying in the middle of the road, and of course, it's dark, I can't see it until we're right up on it, even with my brights on, and being a deer, it's fucking stupid and doesn't get out of the way. So, I was able to swerve enough to not hit it straight on, instead nailing its ass with the right side of my hood/fender, which probably saved both the windshield and our lives. I always imagined my Corolla would crunch like a tuna can if I was ever in a wreck, but as a testament to Toyota, the only thing wrong with the car is the hood/fender where the deer hit. The car is still running and completely drivable, although as the guy at the repair shop scolded me for, I shouldn't be driving it because the hood is no longer secure and could fly up. The estimate to fix the hood was well over what the car's worth, so it's totaled. I have no idea what the insurance company will offer me as a settlement (less my $1K deductible, of course), they use their own software that varies from NADA values, so no idea. I'd better get between $2K to $3K or I'll be pissed as all hell. I also won't be buying another car until I know I will be able to pay for it, and since I'm not working and Husband will be working three nights a week, I can't justify getting another car right now.

Oh, and for those of you wondering what happened to the deer, it scampered off to likely wreck someone else's car before it finally descends into Wildlife Hell. Fucking deer.


Fuck you, Bambi

Anyway, aside from the subsequent death of Mrs. Car, we had a good time with the family. Cora had a lot of fun playing with her cousin and really liked when Papa set off fireworks and Daddy helped her hold sparklers.


Watering Grandma's flowers


Sparklers

Aside from Car Fail, the other technology fail we've experienced (the TV died, Husband's check engine light came on, my laptop is on the fritz, and even our living room clock died), things are pretty good. Lots of time spent with Cora at the pool, going to the park, taking walks, and time with friends and Husband hanging out and drinking an excessive amount of alcohol. I've gained 2 pounds since I moved back. That's not good. But I've done better this week, and am back on the wagon. Hopefully I'll see a loss for next week.

We're still doing Baby Ballet, with limited success. It's been really good for her, I think, since she is just so uncoordinated, and they work on things like jumping and skipping. Her attempts at jumping are pretty cute. She's getting better, but still far behind the other girls in the class, many of which are younger than her. I'm all for telling kids they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up, but let's be honest, there are just things at which some people will never excel. Athleticism is definitely one for our gene pool. When we had our final check-up with the surgical group, the doctor said her lung will be fine and she can grow up to be an Olympic athlete. I just laughed.


Bunny hop

Sunday, June 27, 2010

MILP Roundup #156

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup** is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-Lawmom, Attorney Work Product and Butterflyfish blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday morning. Next week, Butterflyfish has it.

What's up with the MILPs?

PT-Lawmom is all wrapped up.

Shantelle is furnishing her law dungeon.

Dakota has a new home.

-R- gets no separation anxiety.
Grace is growing an overripe watermelon.

LC uses technology to manage late-night shoe shopping.

Dinei has arrived.

Googiebaba experiences the likely correlation between bar review and horrific illness.

LEO has an 18 month old.

Cee should also ask for some tequila in her Motions for Lime.


Momttorney
keeps swimming.

CM has real estate.

RG is home, feeding the baby.

Butterflyfish is looking for a safe date.

LL has professional photos.

Izzie has grades.

There is birthday party success in the Erbgarden.


If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

**Hat tip to the “original” Roundup Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground and Thanks, But No Thanks


Monday, June 21, 2010

Work at home parent? Oh nos.

Since my job leads have been exhausted, and I've gotten either rejection letters or no response at all, it looks more and more like Proto Attorney Law Office is the future of my legal career. Never ever ever in my life did I imagine that would be my career.

Lots of people dream of owning their own businesses, and working for themselves. There are plenty of lawyers that never intend to work for someone else, and want to open their own firms immediately. I'm not one of those people. While I do know what a business plan is, I've never felt the urge to create one. I've never thought of selling things on the internet, or opening a franchise, or anything else that entrepreneurs do. I'm really more of a punch-the-time-clock kinda gal. So now I have to learn how to work on my own, be responsible for myself, market myself and become a rainmaker.

The other aspect to it is the "flexibility" for parenthood, particularly for additional procreation. Goody. Because I do so love vomiting five months at a time. Ugh, I should have married someone with a uterus instead.

Oh well. There are benefits to it. I do the work I want to do, not the work I'm forced to do. That I like. I also like the idea of not working downtown, because I hate working downtown. Traffic is a nightmare, and the current War on Commuters/Pedestrians has made it even worse (a/k/a massive reconstruction of roads, sidewalks, etc. in preparation for the Horse Game Invasion this fall). If I only had to go downtown for court appearances, I'd definitely prefer it. Also, I can quickly get to the courthouses in three of our surrounding counties, so no problem there.

But, it would be nice to have more time with the family during the day to be flexible. I can continue keeping Cora with me on Mondays and Tuesdays, unless I need to be in court, then I can send her to daycare an extra day. This morning, we went to the pool, and then this evening, we went for a walk and to the park. That was nice. Exhausting, but nice. I would not be getting any work done, that's for sure. But that'll work itself out.

I'm still working on getting re-acclimated into my old life. Spending A LOT of time with Husband (he has been getting very close to meeting the business end of a pillow, however). Spending more time with Cora. Actually seeing my friends. Not having ANY alone time. Eek. Wednesday, when Cora's in daycare, I'm going to spend some time by myself, getting stuff done for the Proto Attorney Law Firm, by myself. Did I mention by myself? By myself.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MILP Roundup #155

PT-Lawmom has it. Back here next time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

End of Convention

I've always wondered how on earth lawyers manage to not fulfill their CLE requirements and then get suspended from the bar for it. We need 12.5 hours each year, and the annual convention alone yields 20 and only costs between $200-$300. Well, after spending 3 days doing this nonsense, now I know how: IT SUCKS.

Now, a few of the CLE's were really good. I attended one on administrative legal proceedings (in particular, defending professional licenses) that was fantastic, and today our keynote speaker was Frank Abagnale (that was totally awesome and well worth the three days of hell to get to see). However, there were some that were awful (yesterday's ethics speaker who broke out into a lounge act at the end -- seriously, dude started playing the piano and singing), and some that were just OMG effing ridiculous. For instance, yesterday afternoon's "Dealing with High Conflict Clients" had NOTHING to do with actually dealing with those clients, and instead was focused on diagnosing their personality disorders, like narcissism, and talking the not-crazy client into giving the crazy party everything they want just to keep the peace (yeah right), and was much too focused on domestic relations, never mind that crazy clients exist in all areas of practice. But it isn't my problem what brand of crazy they are; I'm a lawyer not a shrink. I just need to know how to deal with them when they're my clients, and that CLE sure didn't tell me. Needless to say, the natives were restless. Then one dude starts in on the speaker, and his criticisms really were valid, but then the dude makes some dorky comment about how he himself is a narcissist, just ask his wife, har har. At which point the moderator, who had gotten up and walked across the room to the dude to get the microphone for him when he started commenting/criticizing the speaker, even though said microphone was 5 feet from the dude in the first place, interjects with a smack-down of "Or you could ask the woman standing here holding the microphone for you rather than holding it yourself." (Oh snap!) After that whole snarky showdown, most people bailed and the few who stayed continued with some frank WTF comments about the presentation, until the presenter finally gave up and ended 30 minutes early. I stayed to watch the rest of the clown show, played Zombie Farm on my iPhone, kept my comments to myself, and wished I'd chosen "Real Estate Transactions 101" instead.

The New Lawyers portion, which separated us from everyone else today other than for the keynote speaker, was completely useless, other than the "how to avoid malpractice" segment. Everything said, had been said over and over and over again throughout law school. Seriously, if you're a screw up, you're a screw up; hearing the same material for the 20th time will not make you any less of a screw up. The "legal writing" portion of it was in particular the most stupid. (If you have to be told at this point in life that you shouldn't use contractions in formal writing, you should give up, you suck at life.) And worse, since they made us sit through 2 hours of the bar association propaganda this morning, I missed the one panel I was really excited about, which was the one on child custody issues with gay and transgendered parents. I was so pissed to find out we were stuck in the new lawyers nonsense during it. They recorded all the panels, but I don't think they make them available for free. Sucks.

Oh well. There was still lots of good in spite of lots of fail. Time with friends I haven't seen in awhile, and time spent schmoozing (and going all fangirl on the FBI agent during the electronic discovery panel). Some really good information to pull out among all the useless. And we did get free ice cream yesterday, that was awesome. I think I gained 100 pounds this week, but oh well.

There's more to blog about -- lunch with a creeper dude; a gorilla; parking fail; The War on Pedestrians; my awesome networking skillz; fascist rent-a-cops; obnoxious fellow lawyers; fat girls in mini-dresses; and most annoyingly, the unemployment office trying to screw me out of benefits because I was laid off two weeks before the end of the current base period. But I've got to get some sleep -- Cora has baby ballet tomorrow and then we have a cookout to attend. More calories, hurray! At this rate I'll be a contestant on Biggest Loser instead of getting my ass kicked at [a certain training camp in Virginia for agents who investigate stuff for the federal government]. I have plenty of free time now, so why the hell not.

I keep going back and forth from feeling optimistic and confident to just pissed off about the whole being unemployed thing. In addition to the "we're fucking you over" letter I got from unemployment, I also got a notice that the government will give me pell grant money to go back to school (no they won't, Husband makes too much money). Suck on it, Government. I have more degrees and licenses than I currently have wall space on which to hang them. I just want a damn job. I want someone to pay me, on a regular basis, so that I can in turn pay off the useless degrees I already have. And I'd like to have health insurance and the occasional pretty pair of shoes. I don't ask for much in life, really.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First convention day

I made it to the 7:30 a.m. breakfast, five minutes late by the time I found the correct ballroom, and when I walked in, I was the only one there other than the panelists. Nice. Eventually a few other people showed up. However, it was worth showing up at 7:30. Not the breakfast, that was a stale bagel. But it was an excellent panel on current domestic violence issues. We've recently had some changes to our laws after a former state politician (allegedly) murdered his girlfriend, after he'd already violated the DVO against him once before. Also, there were folks there from legal aid, where I just sent my resume, so it was a good schmoozing opportunity. I'd like to get that job. I think I'd feel a lot more comfortable going out on my own if I had a year in the trenches of legal aid, and it would be nice to pay off some student loans too.

Some of the CLE's were pretty good, and others were mind-numbingly awful. I went to CLE's based on what will be useful practicing on my own, rather than what I found most interesting. But oh well. The best one I went to was actually on Administrative Law, about defending claims against professional licensure. It was very informative and not horribly dull. The fed courts one? Ohmygodboring.

But, I got to see a lot of my friends there, some I hadn't seen for quite awhile, and some former coworkers too. And I successfully dodged the people I don't like. So, two more days of this, and Friday is the "new lawyers" section where, even though we've been practicing law for 8 months already, we get to sit through stupid panels on 1L topics such as "legal writing." You know what wouldn't be effing useless and a total waste of our time? Is if right after we got sworn in there was a conference that went through how to actually practice certain areas of law. For instance, a seminar on how to practice family law if you're a newbie, and you don't even know what documents to draft to file for divorce even though you took family law. Or basic estate planning. Instead, we get stuck with a one-hour seminar on "legal writing," among other useless topics. But, that would be useful, so we can't have that. Kinda like if in law school they actually taught you how to practice law, or even what the law actually is, instead of "how to learn the law." (Again, still bitter about learning the rule against perpetuities when we don't even use it.)

So, back again tomorrow for more convention fun. Weeee!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tales of the Unemployed

The following is why, when you're studying for your nurse practitioner boards, you don't want your newly-unemployed bored house frau sitting around bugging you.

Husband: (muttering to himself) A malaria question? Seriously?

Me: Ooh, ooh! I know the answer! Mosquitoes!

Husband: (blinks) Okay. And do you happen to know the fever pattern of malaria?

Me: Uh, you get one. Duh. Like all this medicine stuff is hard. Whatever. (eye roll)

Husband: (sighs)

Me: No need to thank me. If you need any more help, I'm here all day.

* * *

Cora is obsessed with Finding Nemo, and she has these little plastic fish she carries around everywhere that she named Nemo and Dory. We took her to the aquarium a few weeks ago and have taken her to the pet store a few times to see the fish there.

Since I now live in one place, and am an unemployed house frau, I figured I have the time to devote to a new pet. So, we took a trip to the pet store this evening and bought Cora a male Siamese Fighting Fish. She named him Dory. He's blue. I suppose if he'd been orange, he'd be called Nemo. So, we're calling Dory "her" because Cora doesn't know any better anyway, and in the movie, Dory's a girl. I consider it a precursor to her future understanding of why that boy is dressed like a girl, and we call him "her," but she's really a he. (Auntie Steven gets to explain that one, and likely soon, since Cora already knows the phrase "drag queen.")


Cora and Dory the Transgendered Fish

And, yes, we had to repeatedly tell her not to shake the bag. I am raising Darla the Fish Killer.

Dory made it home with minimal trauma, and into her very own bowl. We learned not to touch the bowl, or the water, and Cora was able to give Dory her dinner. When it was time for bed, Cora was very upset, until she realized that Dory will be sleeping in her room (up high, on the top shelf of her bookcase, where Cora can't reach her). That got very big smiles, and when we tucked her in, she was lying in her bed, looking up at the fish bowl at Dory, telling Dory "night-night."

* * *

Tomorrow (through Friday), I'll be attending the State Bar Association Convention. Stupidly, I signed up for the free breakfast, which means I have to be there at 7:30. That was so dumb. But, at least this week I'll get to see one of my friends from law school/grad school who has been living in DC. She needs her CLE creds, so she'll be in town for the convention. We're going out Thursday night for a girls' night, it shall be epic.

Today, I got my first [of what I assume will be many] rejection letters. I heard there was an associate position open at this one firm, but either they already hired, or they just aren't that into me. Of course, in the rejection letter they said my resume was "impressive." Yeah, whatev. Do firms ever send out rejection letters that say, "Are you effing kidding me? We wouldn't hire you to work in our mail room." Yeah, didn't think so.

Yesterday, I got a P.O. Box and a new phone line for business purposes. I'll be on the warning order attorney list in three surrounding counties, and on both the warning order attorney list and the guardian ad litem list in The City. (I figured $500 isn't worth possibly traveling out to BFE in the hollow (pronounced "holler") in a surrounding county for a home visit as a GAL.) The end of July, I'm going to pop over to those three surrounding counties and here in The City and get signed up for court appointments. I figure if I don't hear anything by the end of July on the jobs I've already applied for and the mass-mailing of my resume to everyone in this part of the state, I'm probably not going to hear anything at all. So I can either sit around and pout about it while collecting unemployment, or I can start my own law firm and do what some of my classmates have been doing since October, which is discounted legal work/court appointments.

And now I have to go to bed early, because I signed up for a stupid 7:30 a.m. breakfast with the Young Lawyers division, and it's storming, so the chicken shit dog will have to sleep with us or else she'll pace and whimper all night long, and she hogs the bed. Fail.

Monday, June 14, 2010

MILP Roundup #154

The Roundup is Here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Unemployment

My last day at the office was a half day. The (now former) Boss popped into my (now former) office and asked how things were progressing. At that point, I was down to my very last file and told him I should be finished by lunchtime. He said he'd been reading through my file memos as I produced them and things looked good and I could cut out early. I told him if he had any questions about anything he could call. That was about it. Again, awkward.

I'd already packed up my (now former) office in the two days preceding. Fortunately, it went smoothly. I pulled all my personal files off the laptop and onto a thumb drive, and wiped everything. I created an "out of office" email automated message informing folks I no longer worked at the firm (since it would probably be an eternity before the IT guys disabled the email account). My (now former) paralegal left me a really nice card, and started tearing up when we said good-bye. It was nice to be liked. I'll definitely miss her, she was awesome. Not only is she great at her job, but she was totally cool. If I end up working somewhere I have an assistant, it'll be big shoes to fill. Most of the places I've worked, the newer associates get the crappiest secretaries, mostly because the partners want the good ones, and dump the crappy ones on the associates, and also because most newer associates do a lot of their own typing. So, I'll probably never have as awesome an assistant.

Anyway, so after firing off a "it's been swell" e-mail to everyone at the office, I left at lunchtime and headed to the (now former) apartment in order to pack a few more items into the car, and say good-bye to my (now former) neighbor. Again, sadness. Hopefully I'll actually see her again. She's planning a trip to The City soon.

So, I left and headed home. Husband and I went to dinner on his parents' dime, it was excellent. I wore my (size 12!) strapless sundress I had just recently bought and my favorite pair of Guess 4" stilettos. Hawt! I had a white cosmo cocktail, and we ordered a seafood platter appetizer, however, the oysters were missing from the platter because some douchebags are letting the entire Gulf of Mexico fill up with oil. (We got extra shrimp instead.) We both had prime rib for dinner (they no longer have the Kobe beef, which is sad, because that stuff is like butter, it just melts in your mouth).

This morning, we went to Baby Ballet. Cora was a little clingy at first; there were new kids there and new parents, and we were in a different room. But after a few minutes, she warmed up and did really well. Hopefully she'll get better. Let's be honest, the kid's never gonna be an athlete, but I'd like her to learn at least to be active, and maybe a little bit of grace too.

After Baby Ballet, we came home to pick up Husband and headed out to pick up the rental truck. That whole situation was awful. First, they had called to let me know the only rental truck they had in the area was in a town almost 40 minutes away from my (now former) apartment (first fail). So we had to go out of our way to pick up the truck, in the pouring down rain which was flooding the roadways (second fail) and the truck did not have as much fuel in it as the paper indicated (third fail). We got to the apartment only to find that the truck did not have a ramp with it (fourth fail), so Husband and I got to lift my elliptical machine into the truck, in the rain, instead of rolling it up the ramp as we'd anticipated. (Good thing I've been pumping iron, ugh.) Fortunately, it was not raining back in The City, so we didn't have to unload in the rain. Although it was hot and muggy, so that was great too.

At least Cora was a trooper. She spent two hours in the car out there, we had lunch, then spent another three hours in the car, between the trip from picking up the truck to waiting in the car while we loaded up the furniture. She watched "The Princess and the Frog" twice, and then napped in the car. She did great.

Then we dropped off the truck, showered and headed over to hang out with our friends we hadn't seen in years. It was a good time, and I ate way too much. Cora and I both got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and for the first time, she actually seemed bothered by this and was whining, pulling up her shirt and scratching at her bug bites. My poor kid, she obviously inherited my attractiveness to bugs. I'm like the bug magnet. If I'm around, the mosquitoes swarm to me, and no one else gets bit. They find me everywhere, even in the desert. That is definitely one good thing about being out of Small Town -- the mosquitoes were horrible there. Like, I can't go in our back yard here after 6pm, or I get eaten alive. But I can be on our front veranda, and they don't go up that high. However, in Small Town, they'd be in the damn apartment. We'd take a walk around the perimeter of the park, and they'd get me. It was awful, so I definitely won't miss that. And this is also why I am not an "outdoors person." I like the outdoors and the activity -- it's just the bugs I hate. And no amount of bug spray helps. It's apparently just seasoning to them. Same thing out at the in-laws, only out there, they get ticks. Frankly, there is nothing more disgusting than a tick, blech.

Anyway, I am exhausted. Physically, emotionally, mentally, ugh. But I started reading this book about starting a law practice, which my in-laws bought me last Christmas off of my Amazon wish list, before I had a job lined up after graduation. It had been my plan that if I didn't find a job by the time I was licensed, I would just hang my own shingle. So, I've decided I'm giving myself a month to find a job before launching a solo effort. In the meantime, however, I'm going to go ahead and get a P.O. Box and land line, and get on the GAL and warning order attorney lists for our county and two of the surrounding counties that I'm willing to drive to. That's stuff I can do without fear of getting sued for malpractice. We don't have to carry malpractice insurance in our state unless the law firm is organized as a PLLC. Although, I intend to get it if I launch my own solo practice.

If actually brought in a steady amount of money from court appointments and the like, I'll look for cheap rental space over here on our side of town, and if I can get my Spanish up to par, target my practice to the immigrant community. Husband suggested if I didn't have enough money, I could always just set up a legal booth a la Lucy's psychiatric help stand from The Peanuts in the parking lot of the local shopping center. "La abogada esta aqui." I'll have to charge slightly more than 5 cents though. And I could always compete with the taco stand, maybe sell burritos too. Legal advice and burritos. Yummy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 3 of Impending Unemployment

So, it's a little awkward around the office. The Boss has avoided any and all contact with me since telling me I don't have a job. His wife, who usually comes in to chat, hasn't so much as even waved when she's in the office. Awkward. At least the staff's still talking to me, I kinda feel like a leper. I guess I could be all cheerful and chatty myself, but I don't have the energy. Trying to get all my ducks in a row before I leave. I'm not sleeping well, my mind is just going at full speed at night.

Anyway, today, after cleaning out almost all of my cases, I spent the remaining time at work going through all of my Facebook photos and untagged all the ones with: 1) Drunkface; 2) My bewbs hanging out; 3) Someone else's bewbs hanging out; 4) Me touching anyone else's bewbs; and 5) Anything else that could be deemed inappropriate by a potential employer, including, but not limited to, a shot of me grabbing a mannequin's crotch at the mall. I'm not really in a position to say, eh, I wouldn't want to work for some hardass with no sense of humor anyway. I don't, but beggers can't be choosers. My Facebook profile is private and I have all my privacy settings done, but can't be too careful.

So... I've been rather bummed out today. Keep thinking about the plans I'd made, but that won't happen now. For instance, the pair of Christian Louboutin shoes that were in my future... they're being replaced with sensible shoes from Payless. Sigh. I've been waiting quite awhile for such extravagance, to no avail.

But still looking forward to some good stuff. We're celebrating our anniversary tomorrow with the giftcard from Husband's parents to our favorite steak/sushi restaurant (I'm thinking Kobe beef, yum). Cora starts baby ballet again on Saturday. Then we're moving all my stuff. We have friends coming into town that we haven't seen in quite awhile, so that's cool. Then there's the bar association convention next week, so tons of CLE's to stock up on, and hopefully some networking to be had.

I'm also going through and pricing all the stuff I need to practice on my own for awhile. While the idea of working without adult supervision is a little scary, it's also kinda exciting. It's where my experience as a legal assistant will definitely come in handy. And at least I've had some experience practicing law, so that I can do the easy stuff.

Tomorrow's the last day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 2 of Impending Unemployment

Husband and Cora went back to The City today. After much deliberation, we decided to come back on Saturday to move the furniture. There isn't much: my music equipment, mattress and box spring, Cora's mattress, the couch, the dresser, a little bookshelf, coffee table and the elliptical. I packed a bunch of stuff last night and sent it home with them, and I'll be packing up all my clothes tonight. I'll finish cleaning the apartment tomorrow night since the utilities will be turned off sometime Friday.

I had dinner with my neighbor tonight. I'll miss hanging out with her, she's fun. We're the outsiders here, new to our professions, so we bonded. After dinner, we went to the mall for some retail therapy, even though I don't have any money to spend. I did pay $8 for some Spanish language CD's at Borders though. I figure I can use my time off to brush up on my Spanish, and maybe that will make me more marketable. (Randomly, my kid counts in Spanish now. Perhaps I should pay closer attention to her school curriculum, but I had no idea they were learning Spanish. Oh well. We can work on it together.) I also bought Cora two pairs of shoes that were on sale. She needed sandals, and they had a rainbow colored pair that I know she'll love.

I have a few job leads. Nothing fabulous, but sounds promising. And I figure since I didn't get a severance package, I was at least entitled to printing out a gazillion copies of my newly-updated resume, so there's that at least. I'm also looking into the costs of malpractice insurance because I figure, what the hay, I might as well hang my own shingle for awhile since the job market sucks so bad. If nothing else, it'll prolong my unemployment benefits if I can earn some money. That's what I did last time I drew unemployment -- I did substitute teaching to make the money last longer. If I draft an occasional will or do a non-contested divorce here and there, all the better.

Husband keeps freaking about the money. He needs to stop freaking out and start studying for his exam, or he'll have a real reason to freak about the money. I'm also not the type of person who's going to make him work himself to death picking up extra shifts while I sit on my ass. If I have to go wait tables to pay my share of the bills, I'll go wait tables. Whatever.

Anyway, soooooo not looking forward to the nice long wait at the unemployment office on Monday. I have a new last name since I last drew benefits, so I have to go wait in line just to show them my marriage license. Stupidity. Most of the people who work there are effing rude too. Can't wait.

I'm also going to go harass the law school career services folks. I'm sure they'll be absolutely no help, but I would like to know what options, if any, there are for public interest law loan forgiveness programs. I remember seeing something about that recently, but since I wasn't doing public interest law, I skipped over it. Maybe some of you out there know about it?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Unemployment Post

I think I mentioned before how, whenever the Boss calls me into his office, it freaks me out just a little. It's like getting called to the principal's office. There's that little bit of panic you have to swallow down and reassure yourself, it's just an assignment. The guy just had knee replacement surgery, and his office is upstairs. He doesn't want to come downstairs to explain some fact pattern and give you a research assignment.

Yeah, not today. Today was the "you're laid off" conversation. Sucks.

He assured me it had nothing to do with my job performance, and he said he'll give me a glowing recommendation to anyone who asks. It's just about money, as in, there isn't any.

I've had my suspicions about this for awhile though, and just ignored that nagging feeling that the axe was coming. There've been some "payroll issues," and there was a rather serious closed-door-don't-interrupt meeting a few weeks ago with the boss's financial adviser. Yeah, should've known.

So, my last day is Friday. Fortunately, the timing is excellent because my lease is up the end of next month, meaning I'm only out one rent payment on the apartment and I fortunately had not sent them notice of my intent to renew yet (I would have on July 1). I'm shutting off all the utilities and moving out on Friday. I gave notice to the landlords I'm leaving so they can rent the apartment early (apartments are hard to come by around here).

I'll be drawing unemployment, which I think is around $400 a week. That's less than half of what I bring in, but without the rent and expense of living in two places, I think I can swing it with tightening down my belt. I got a 3-month forbearance from Direct Loans, and the Sallie Mae douchebags would only give me a 3-month forbearance if I gave them $100. WTF? No thank you, I'll just pay that one. I'll just make minimum payments on my two credit cards, and Husband will probably have to start paying the cable and phone bills once he starts his new job the first week of July. Cora will stay in daycare part time in The City, and stay home with me two days a week (the two days a week she was normally in daycare in Small Town). Which will be fun being a part-time stay at home mom again. At least it's summer and we can go to the pool!

So, yeah, I've been crying off and on all day, because DAMMIT, I really fucking loved my job. Sure, I had a love-hate relationship with the child custody clients, because I think people who put their kids through hell to punish their ex-spouse are the worst excuses for human beings possible. BUT, I had plenty of really awesome family law clients, who are good parents, doing what's best for their kids and that was really great work to be doing. Also, doing Plaintiffs' work was really great. In some ways, I like the insurance defense better because there's less pressure (other than the evil billable hour), but I felt like I was doing good. Winning that employment case was AWESOME.

But I'm sad too because I really like the area. I didn't think I would, honestly. But it's beautiful, and the people are great, and while it's full of problems (i.e. mass obesity, prescription drug abuse, pollution, etc.), it really is lovely. Not much to do, but with summer just starting and with the possibility of being here on the weekends, that would have changed. Anyway, I'm sad to leave the area, and will miss things like strolling through the awesome city park right across the street from my apartment, miss hanging out with my upstairs neighbor, and definitely miss my colleagues in the legal community who are not douchebaggy like the folks back in The City. Dammit, I don't want to practice law there. Ugh.

I'll also miss my office, and the staff. Boss Dude was a great mentor, and I wish I could have had more of an opportunity to learn from him. But I'm grateful for the opportunity for the past 11 months, and at least my Bar/Bri fees, bar association fees, and CLE's were paid, and I'm re-entering the job market with good references and some pretty great experience. Second-chairing four trials, conducting hearings, managing cases. I haven't just been someone's document review bitch, so surely someone will like me! Someone? Anyone?

Resume and references available upon request!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

MILP #153

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup** is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom, Attorney Work Product and A Little Fish in Law School blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday morning. Next week, Butterflyfish has it.

First, a big congrats to LL, who has a new bundle! (And, yes, you can hate her just a wee little bit for looking so FABULOUS after just having had a baby! Who looks that gorgeous, really???)

Izzie is still waiting for grades.

-R- is California-bound.

Butterflyfish is concerned with timing.

Cee fights the billable hour.

Lawmom is waiting on funding.

Dakota has a life update (and showing off her London pics!)

SFL has a lyrics request.

CM is whimsical.

Dinei is proud to be a lady lawyer.

Erb isn't dying, but the caterpillars are.

Momttorney is away at trial and homesick.

Grace brings the preggo advice.

Shantelle needs advice.

RG is still going.

PT-Lawmom is feeling better.

Balancing Act reaffirms my phobia of bugs.

If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

**Hat tip to the “original” Roundup Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground and Thanks, But No Thanks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MILP #152

Is at PT-Lawmom. Back here next week!

Holiday

This weekend was pretty busy. Cora and I went to the local carnival with her friend J and J's parents and little sister. We ate carnival food (diet fail), rode the carousel (which Cora hated, although she did thank the horsies after it was over), and Cora won a blue stuffed dolphin by picking up a rubber ducky in the bucket of rubber duckies (with a particular letter written on its posterior). Then we took the kids to the playground.

I'd made plans to take Cora to the drive-in with them Sunday evening, but unbeknownst to Husband (until Saturday night), he actually wasn't working Sunday night. And he's lame and didn't want to see Shrek, so we canceled. Instead, we went out for sushi, then after Cora's bedtime, we stayed up way too late getting caught up on the last few episodes of Doctor Who. Fabulous, but I still can't get over the fact that Eleven looks like George McFly. (I miss David Tennant's hawtness. Sigh.)

Husband actually had a Sunday night off work, so yesterday we finally took Cora to the Aquarium (an hour north of us). It's been almost a year since she's been to an aquarium, we went to the one in Niagara last year. She is kinda obsessed with fish, and the pet store fish just weren't cutting it. Needless to say, she was very very excited about the aquarium. I thought her little head was going to pop off when she saw the tank full of "Nemos." She also really liked the sharks, and we took home some plastic sharks and a stuffed animal shark, to add to her fishy collection. The aquarium made us hungry, so then we had lunch on the patio of the Irish pub, overlooking the river, so we could watch the boats go by.


In awe of fish

Afterwards, we headed back to town, and went to the cemetery. They were doing a big Memorial Day event that morning, so we figured it was safe to go in the afternoon. We put flowers on my grandmother's and aunt's graves, and we let Cora keep a flower for herself. Which she later destroyed in Husband's car by pulling off all of the petals and making a huge mess.


Sunflowers and Bunny

Then Husband's mom got into town (she's in the process of moving back in with his dad, since she's been transferred back to the Home Fort), and we had dinner and she spent the night. So, Cora got lots of time with "Mama." She was all smiles this morning, loving the attention.

I left for work about 7:30 and it has been complete insanity, nonstop, all day. Lots of new clients, and lots of stuff to do. And totally disappointed that one of my criminal clients wanted to plead out. It was just a misdemeanor and he'd spend more money having to come back to the state to do a suppression hearing, but dammit, it's injustice and I wanted to fight it! He's like, yeah, whatever, I'll just pay the fine. Oh well. Injustice: 1, Me: 0.

In other news, our four-year wedding anniversary is on Thursday. Husband works Friday and Saturday. But, it's his last weekend of work (he's taking June off to study for his exam), and hopefully he won't be working every weekend at his new job. So, we're going to celebrate next weekend. Four years since we got married, I quit my job, we went to Europe, and then I started law school. Most of it was good. That law school thing sucked pretty hard though.