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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

MILP Roundup #205

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. Next week Butterflyfish will have it.

Here's what's up with the Moms in the Legal Profession:

Googiebaba on childhood obesity.

PT-Lawmom has big girl panties on.

Newlawmom's kids had fun until she took the video gaming system away. (I guess it's the modern equivalent of the T-Bird.)

RG has an update on Jack's little friend Benny.

-R- is a master stalker, and Shannon is a master spy.

LC needs a challenge.

Cowgirl in the City shows off the dimples.

WNWL has art.

LEO ponders naming etiquette.

LL has a day in the life of two working parents.

SuzieJD needs medical attention.

Momttorney has a photo.

Dakota is fieldtripping.

CM is jetsetting.

Dinei points out how those of us over 30 are really just lucky to have made it to adulthood.

Jenny continues her adventures in the Suck that is family law.

After loss, EH finds cheer in the most random of places.

Butterflyfish considers friendship.

Izzie enjoys summer employment.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Busy busy

I've gotten several new cases over the past week, most of which are even paid, hurray! Makes up for my contract work being slow at my friend's office.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this solo practice stuff. There are certainly benefits to it. For instance, doing my work in my bed propped up with the body pillow. Awesome. Sure, it's not stellar money, but there doesn't seem to be stellar money to be found around here. There was a job posting that I did not apply to, where the starting salary is $35K a year for a job where I'd have to drive 30 miles one way to get to the office (it's in a surrounding county, but it's on the east side, and I live on the west side... also traffic getting there is a nightmare). And it's exactly what I'm doing now, except working for someone else's small firm. That's okay. I'm making about that with what I'm doing now. Also, I can deduct a bunch of expenses, so I'm not paying as much in taxes. And, usually, I don't work that hard. This week I worked very hard, but it was an action-packed week.

Anyway, I worked on my website content and asked a friend to look it over and get some feedback. I want my website to not just be "here's my info and what I practice, call me," but I also wanted it to be informational about the areas of law I practice, particularly concerning domestic relations. Just basic stuff like "what happens in a divorce."

So, check one thing off of my to do list. Only about a billion more to go!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Raptured

In honor of the end of the world today, I thought I would address the Epic Stupid that is the evangelical, apocalyptic "the world is going to end any minute now!" religious nutbags.

First, if those idiots are right, they can just head on up to heaven or whatever without me, because I don't want to be there. What a snoozefest that would be.

Second, when inevitably your predictions are completely and utterly wrong, what happens to the "faithful" who believed all your bullshit? Well, for instance, they have no retirement fund, because, shit, why would you save for retirement when the world is going to end any minute now? Why would you save for your kids' college? Why would you go to school and get an education so you can get a good job and provide security for your future, because the world's going to end any minute now?! Yeah, when I was a kid, I was told that the world was going to end before I ever reached adulthood, so what am I worrying about the future for? Heh.

Or maybe, just maybe, we all survive. At least for another few billion years until our Sun supernovas, of course.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lawyerin'

I have a new divorce client to meet with tomorrow, a referral from the pro bono program. I will definitely get my 40 hours of pro bono in this year, that's for sure! But the volunteering is also good, because we just had some major rule changes in family court (like, we finally have actual family court rules, as opposed to just civil rules), and the pro bono program provides forms. While I'm reasonably certain that I made all the appropriate changes to my forms to comply with the rules, I'm happier to take their forms, since they work with the judges to make sure their forms are compliant. And the law is what the judge says the law is, after all.

Next week, I'll be in court for three days, in three different counties. On Monday for my friend's firm, on Tuesday for myself (to pick up some new court appointments... apparently there are 15 new cases on the docket and we only get court appointments if we're there now), and Wednesday for the non-profit. Hoping to get a good result in the case on Wednesday, it's another moldy house case. In addition to being the queen of insurance defense, I was also the queen of mold. I've worked on enough mold litigation that I can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about mold. I even did my scientific evidence seminar paper, in part, on mold. So, doing landlord-tenant stuff when it involves mold, seems like fate. Not a particularly pleasant fate, but oh well. Mold is gross.

I decided to make a list of goals to meet to help motivate me. Goals for the month of May include:

1. Figuring out what the crap I should put on my website. Submitting crap for website to be approved by advertising section of state bar.

2. Getting my personal injury cases wrapped up. Hate those. Reluctant to take anymore, even if they are easy money.

3. Starting on effort to brush up on Spanish. Thinking 10 minutes a day would be a good start, to slowly increase.

4. Putting together a reading list of practice books for unfamiliar areas of law that would be useful. Then I can start reading those over the summer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Still Not Into Me

I applied to yet another insurance defense firm. This one wanted someone with 2-4 years in insurance defense. Okay, so I have 4 years of paralegal work in insurance defense, and (almost) 2 years of lawyerin'. But still. I'm awesome. And... no response.

Seriously. It's starting to hurt my feelings that no one's jumping at giving me an interview. I mean, the last insurance defense firm (that ultimately hired no one) was excited to interview me. Why is it that people who want to give me a job have no openings, and people who have openings don't want me? Blah.

Anyway, I got a tip about a new program where there's some money to pay an hourly fee for some domestic relations work out in boofoo. Not thrilled about traveling to boofoo places to practice family law in an unfamiliar venue, but hey, beggers can't be choosers. And I'm a few months from being able to get on the discount divorce list (our local bar association does reduced-fee referrals for the folks who don't qualify for pro bono, but can't afford to pay full price for a lawyer).

Oh well. I'm just trying to get those credit cards paid off so that I have a little extra wiggle-room to figure out what the hell to do with myself. At some point it's going to become "shit or get off the pot" when it comes to solo practice. A friend offered a year ago to put up a website for me. I've never gotten him the content. There just keeps this part of me that thinks, "Someone will hire me eventually. Prince Charming will swoop in, offer me a big salary, and I'll slave away for the billable hour at a living wage." I think not. And working for the non-profit is fine, but things are not getting better with the individual from the other organization, she's annoying the piss out of me. My responses to her are getting increasingly rude, and at some point the response is just going to be "fuck off." Which probably won't go over well.

So, I can either sit around and bitch about my lot in life, or I can do something about it. I figure the timeline is this: I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing for right now, pop out a baby, and after the new year, seriously start practice-building. Like, advertising for clients, getting office space here in Mexington (where there aren't any law offices), brush up on my Spanish and target my practice to the folks in my neighborhood. That's old people and Latinos. Estate planning, probate, social security, and immigration. So, that's about six months to accomplish that. I've done some estate planning and probate recently, so starting to get the hang of it. But I need to go bug the local immigration clinic about volunteering so I can get my feet wet. I could get a lot of referrals from my neighbor who works at the university in a science department where they hire a lot of international students and employees. She was complaining that her Canadian employee spent thousands of dollars in legal fees to be "legal." I don't see why folks can't give me thousands of dollars in legal fees, right? I just need to know what I'm doing.

That's the problem with being a solo and a young lawyer. During the time where you're just supposed to be learning to actually do your job, you also have to build and run a business. That sucks. I hate the business end of things. But I am more confident that I know what I'm doing, or at least have the tools to find out when I don't. Two years practicing law, over a decade in the profession as a whole. Hasn't killed me yet.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

MILP Roundup #203

...was at Butterflyfish. Next week at PT-Lawmom. Then here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Being Pissy

Okay, maybe pissy isn't the right word. Maybe it's "raging bitch." But oh well. I'd like to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but I'm pretty sure it's just a product of my general dissatisfaction with my career, underemployment and lack of income, that makes me more susceptible to being pissed off. Oh well.

Today there was my email snark exchange with a colleague today who constantly bombards me with emails/text messages, because since her actual supervisee is out on medical leave, she has been completely all up in my shit. But she fails to actually read my responses, then gets pissy with me that I never responded. She also, to my great irritation, sends every email to two of my email accounts. Both of which are loaded into my iPhone. Both of which send push notifications of new email, so I get every email nearly instantly, meaning there's no reason to send it to more than one account, it just clogs up my inboxes with duplicate emails. So when she's all "oh, I sent this email last week to BOTH of your email accounts and you never responded," my thought is sothefuckwhat? On this particular occasion, I responded to her email literally three minutes after she sent the email to me (to BOTH of my accounts), which she clearly failed to read. So being a raging bitch today, I forwarded it to her, pointed out that it was sent three minutes after she sent her email, and told her to stop sending every damn email in duplicate, it doesn't make me want to respond to her emails any faster, considering she doesn't read them anyway. I've been brushing it off so far and saying, oh, gosh, there just must be something wrong with the email, since you aren't getting my emails; however, let's be honest, the problem exists between her chair and her keyboard. But apparently her not reading the email is all my fault, because I should have responded not to the email address from which she sent the email, but to her other email address which she copied on said email, because I fucking read minds. You know why I didn't do a "reply all"? Because I didn't want to get another fucking email in my fucking inbox! Not to mention the fact that I'm a part time employee, and on my days not working for the program, I'd like to actually get some of my work done, and not dick around answering pointless fucking emails that can wait until the next day, but if I don't respond, she bombards me with more messages/phone calls, like the day recently she knew I was out for a funeral and she was blowing up my phone. Not pleased at all. If I have to put up with that sort of bullshit from people who aren't even my boss, then I definitely want a real job, with a real paycheck.

Anyway, more raging bitchdom: Apparently I offended my mother yesterday by daring to be upset that she failed to return my child to me (yet again) when I asked her to, and didn't answer my phone calls/texts for 3 hours while I'm trying to figure out where the fuck my kid is. Seriously, if she can't manage to bring her back when I ask her to, then she doesn't need to take her out of the house. Like, maybe I wanted to actually see my kid on Mother's Day, instead of spending the day by myself, sitting around waiting for my kid to get home? Especially since my mother isn't supposed to celebrate Mother's Day, because she's in a crazy cult. Grr. She wanted Cora to spend the night, and I was like, sure, that's fine, just bring her back early in the afternoon. Yeah, she brought her back at 5pm. I was not happy, especially since I suspected she might have brought Cora to her crazy cult meeting, which runs from 2:30 to 4:30. (I can't confirm that. But I figure if she did, Chatterbox would have ratted her out by now.) The last time she did this, Cora spent the night at her house and I told her Husband's parents are coming into town the next day, they will be here at 11, and we are going to lunch when they get here, so make sure she's back in time. Yeah. She doesn't show up until after noon, and she already fed Cora lunch, which meant she was going to be bored and irritating during our lunch. WTF? Anyway, she was apparently whining to Cora's godfather about how she just never gets to see Cora (apparently three times a week isn't enough), and how everyone was picking on her, because we were trying to figure out where the hell she was. Boo hoo. Yeah, you know what? You want to see a kid every day? Adopt one. This one's mine, and I get to decide where she goes, and when. I certainly expect to be able to get in touch with the person who has my kid, because knowing where she is, is my responsibility! GRRRR.

So, clearly the theme of the week is boundaries, and other people not having any.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MILP Roundup #202

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. Next week, Butterflyfish will have it.

Happy Mother's Day to the Moms in the Legal Profession...

First, congrats to the Shameless Domestic Hussy!

Googiebaba speaks on gratitude.

-R- is getting noticed.

Lag Liv comments on working motherhood.

EH hates mother's day.

RG has a tough summer ahead.

LC and Butterflyfish are on the run.

Cristy has been painting.

Momttorney is light.

CM is returning from babyland.

Dinei says good-bye to her classmates.

Izzie has an independent baby.

WNWL is sinking.

SuzieJD needs patience.

Dakota is patronizing art.

LEO is having a girl.

Jenny is trying to make it through the semester alive.

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

Saturday, May 7, 2011

They're Still Not That Into Me

I applied for the insurance defense job a couple weeks ago, the same firm that rejected me 1L year for a clerkship because I'd already worked for two previous insurance defense firms and they "didn't have anything more to offer me." (Oh, and I also remember the guy commenting that because I didn't list my gpa or class rank on my resume that it must be horrible. WTF? Like, it wasn't that bad, but shit, it wasn't anything to write home about. Mediocrity, I has it.) Anyway, I submitted my resume, cover letter and writing sample and... I've heard nothing. Lame. I tried to not get my hopes up, but the idea of a regular paycheck and practicing in a comfortable and familiar area of law (and escaping the insanity of family law) was pretty enticing, even if it is the soul-suck of insurance defense. Oh well. Maybe they'll send me one of those lovely rejection letters where they talk about how impressed they were by my resume, and how (some other firm) will be lucky to have me. I just wish someone would have the balls to write an honest rejection letter. Like...

Dear Proto Attorney:

Thank you for your resume. However, we were definitely not impressed enough to hire you over the managing partner's nephew.

It was really cute that you thought you had a chance of working for our firm. Since you did not put down your GPA, probably because you were lied to and told no one cares what your GPA was after your first job, we assume you graduated with a 0.000023 GPA and spent all of law school wearing a dunce cap and drooling on yourself. You weren't on Journal, even the crappy Journal; you weren't on moot court, and you weren't on the trial team. It's like you just showed up to law school and didn't even bother to try to hide books from your classmates or be an obnoxious gunner. We bet you didn't even tab your text book and color code your highlighting. Instead, you probably spent most of your time on Facebook and updating your self-aggrandizing blog, devoted to discussing your other hobby, which apparently is breeding. Oh, and we don't like people who breed. It interferes with billable hours.


Feel free to reapply when you manage to add "Harvard," "Top 10" and at least one Big Law firm in your employment history on your resume. Or you marry someone with the same last name as one of our partners.

In the meantime, we wish you the best of luck in your continued "practice of law," as you and the rest of your underemployed classmates fight for the scraps from us real lawyers. We're certain you will find working for peanuts from the few clients who occasionally pay you to be extremely rewarding.

Sincerely,

Not Your Future Boss


Now that I could respect. Just be honest and cut the bullshit. Sigh.

Oh well. This weekend is Mother's Day... I got tickets for me, my mom and Cora to go tomorrow afternoon to see a local ballet company perform "Rapunzel." That's pretty much it. Husband's working five shifts in a row. He asked if I wanted any gifts, but I can't think of anything I want, other than the turn signal thingy to not be hanging off the side of the Money Pit. (Yeah, newest development is shit just falls off of my car. Awesome.) Oh, it definitely would have been nice to have a real paycheck -- I could have put the Money Pit out of my misery and gotten a car that isn't a piece of shit. Suck.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Random thoughts on global affairs and domestic stupidity

So, of course, the big news this week is that Osama bin Laden is dead, killed by U.S. forces in a raid in Pakistan. (Cue singing in the streets of New York and Washington.)



Funny things come of such news.




Funny. (And not meant to be taken seriously. One hopes.)

Unfortunately, there's also this:

"Let's be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American soldier, who Obama just a few weeks ago was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. Obama just happened to be the one in office when our soldiers finally found OBL and took him out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!! REPOST IF YOU AGREE!!!"

Not funny. And this has so much stupid in it, it makes my brain shut down.

There have been many different reactions to the death of bin Laden, from celebration to grave concern, which all have merit. But my pet peeve is when people base their reactions on half-truths, platitudes and blind patriotism, that simply continues our stupidity. So, let's clarify a few things.

1. "Obama did not kill bin Laden." Nope, neither did Bush. In fact, I can't think of the last time a president of the United States ever picked up a deadly weapon and ended someone's life. So, it's kinda stupid to be all "Oh, Obama didn't kill bin Laden, a SOLDIER did." Yes, thank you, Captain Obvious.

But to give all of the credit to the U.S. military for the success of the operation is equally ridiculous. "Soldiers" did not "find" Osama bin Laden. A sophisticated network of U.S. Intelligence Officers pieced together years of gathered intel until they finally had a break, reasonably believed they had located bin Laden and, after a great deal of vetting of the intel, the President sent in a team of Navy SEALs in helicopters to storm the compound in Pakistan. This is what you call a team effort. The CIA couldn't have done it without the intel from the prisoners captured by the military. Neither the CIA nor the military could have done it without support from the Administration in the form of resources and personnel to gather and process the intel. The military wouldn't have done it at all if it wasn't for the order of the President who had to weigh what was purely circumstantial evidence of the target's location. Team effort.

So, sorry to disappoint all you haters out there. The President does deserve a lot of credit here. He had to make the call to go ahead with a mission that was dangerous and could have devastating consequences (a Mogadishu-type of epic fail comes to mind). Not to mention he deserves credit for shifting resources back to the Afghanistan front, as the former president does for initiating the effort. Congress deserves some credit for continuing to fund the efforts in Afghanistan. The CIA, in spite of its less-than-favorable methods of interrogation, had their Jack Bauer moment of awesomeness in a very rare public victory. And the military implemented a successful operation that resulted in the elimination of a dangerous, criminal mastermind without American casualties. This success does come at a high cost of human life over the past decade, and a great deal of mismanagement and bungling by those very same agencies and individuals. So, if you want to get uppity about who gets the proper credit, then you should give the proper credit, not just make blanket statements about the military that are factually misleading and ignore the contributions of others.

2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall that Congress makes the budget, not the executive branch, and both parties were squabbling like whiny little children and almost shut down the government and froze everyone's pay. But what do I know. Let's just blame it all on Obama, it can't be anyone else's fault.

3. More important than who gets credit/blame is the question of what now? The death of bin Laden aside, the mission itself has some significant foreign policy implications. Pakistan... oh my. Although the US certainly stops short of saying so, the Administration clearly believed Pakistan to have (at least enough) ties to bin Laden that notification to the Pakistani government of the impending raid would have jeopardized the mission. That's pretty significant. What's also significant is that bin Laden has apparently been in that elaborate compound for over 5 years, which also happened to be in a military town, down the street from a military college. How embarassing! What could have been a foreign policy nightmare for Washington if the intel proved wrong has instead given the US a great deal of new pull with Pakistan, political leverage that will need to be used wisely.

Will there be retaliation? Probably. Although bin Laden's death is a significant blow to al Qaeda, it is certainly not that large of a blow. It is more of a symbolic gesture. There are others who will take his place. But it may very well escalate the effort on both sides. The US, previously riding a tide of discontent for foreign war, is rejuvenated by this success. The extremists will not view this as a defeat, but as an opportunity.

Cause to celebrate or not, the reality is that bin Laden's death is not the end. It does not undo the damage he and his co-conspirators have caused, the lives they have taken. The September 11 attacks are the big one, but the cockroach had been around for quite awhile before then. Although I wish they could have taken him alive, so that he could be tried and fully answer for his crimes, he certainly had it coming.