Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I forgot!

I was finally called on to recite a case today--I was prepared but it was a difficult one. This particular Prof doesn't believe in making his students feel inferior and is typically very gentle. Today he seemed to be asking be a lot of follow up questions and interrogated a bit. This was the type of questioning that I had anticipated when I began law school--but haven't seen it in this class yet--a bit intimidating. E, my seatmate, told me that she thought I had done well but it's all subjective, hard to know what the Prof thought. Oh, even more intimidating, I sit in the front row and he stood right in front of me when I was speaking.

The case was about a football player who got upset about his team losing so he intentionally hit a player on the opposing team during the course of the game. I was supposed to defend the Defendents argument. I stated that consent is implied due to the nature of the game (I said it a bit more eloquently in class), so he asked if a player could get away with ANY act during the game--I responded that I could see a player being liable if his intentional act was severe enough as to deny the P the ability to play football again, or if it changed his quality of life in any way. He made a comment about me asking for special circumstances which did make sense later--I made the mistake of saying that there was consent so it should be thrown out BUT if there is a severe injury--sure lets sue. He kept up the questioning a bit and there were others in the class that agreed with my points so maybe I didn't do too bad. At least I get it now, If I am going to say that the elements of anything is met or not met I cannot really put conditions on that (unless it is allowed under the law.) Oops! At least I got it out of the way--I can learn from it and move on...

Things are good!

Everything is still going well. I went to the student organization fair today--I am considering participating in Moot Court and/or Mock trial--I have been told enough times that these things are actually looked at so I know that they are important. I am thinking that I am going to declare concentrations in both General Practice and Litigation. The concentration requirements are easily combined and I figure two certificates is better than none--right!

I am trying to decide if I want to join any of the bar associations. The local one requires me to join the state bar...which would normally be fine but I hear that they start paperwork early if you join as a student--I have a poor credit history that I am working on fixing now but that may not be apparent yet. I have been a single mom for a long time--I have worked full time and often gone to school--I never obtained state assistance, I just tried to do it all on my own and there were a couple times, when I got laid off, that I had a hard time making ends meet and there were some hospital bills that I let go to collections that I still have to pay off. The hospital bills are reminents from a company that I worked for filing bankruptcy. We found out later that they stopped paying our insurance 3 months before they closed. During those 3 months I had a dog bite me, had my first asthma attack ever (requiring a hospital stay), and my son fell off a swing set and sprained his ankle (requiring x-rays) all told--I owed over $5,000. I thought I paid it off with my bankruptcy settlement but I just found out that much of it is still on my credit report and the hospital has no record of the payment. I wrote down that I wrote a check but neither the hospital or the bank had record of it. I am still researching it, I can't imagine that I could have written a check for such a large sum and not realized that it didn't come out of checking account. My fear is that this would affect my entry into the bar. I know that they are good with past financial problems if they are indeed in the past and if there is a good indication that it won't happen again.

On other news my daughter--13, has her first boyfriend (the text constantly/hand holding type, not the dating/going out kind--she is too young for that.) I am slightly annoyed by her constant "he said this, and then he did this" and I honestly think I am a bit jealous--crazy!

My son--8--just started in a public school that has a boy scout troop, his first meeting was tonight and he was super excited. I have to get him a uniform in the next 2 weeks. I am trying to decide if I want to try freecycle (if you've never tried this system--look into it--it is fantastic!!) or ebay, instead of buying new. I never considered how expensive all this stuff was when I was a Girl Scout back in the day...it is a good program though--can't complain there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

freaking out a little

Okay--good news is that Torts and Contacts actually makes sense this weekend (vs last)--I am not really sure that Crim. law will ever make sense, the cases are sooo much more complicated than everything else...

Bad news--I am freaking out about money...again. I didn't have money for city trash bags this week so I put my trash on the back porch until next week--now I have gnats swarming the back porch (yuck!!) All my extra money has gone to pay parking and my kids school supplies. I know that my loan money will come in the next couple of weeks but until then I have very little extra money and then there is the whole concept that it isn't really extra money when it does come--it's loan money that I have to pay back at some point. The trash isn't a huge problem--I can put it in my car and take it to work tomorrow and put it in the dumpster there, not a huge deal. It's the entire point that I am going to be living like this for at least three years. I almost hyper-ventilated at just the idea.

REMINDER TO SELF: It will all be worth it...I will be better off with this degree...It will all be worth it...I will be better off with this degree...

Friday, September 5, 2008

A quick update

I have a minute here at work and know that this is about the only minute I'll have for awhile! Things are going fabulously. I was not called to recite all week (YAH!) and my profs are nice. A classmate likened them all the camp counselors--could this possibly be too good to be true?

I have been taking notes on my laptop and I love it--I haven't gone to school in years so that wasn't typical when I went, I didn't think I would like it but I do. The guy next to me in my classes never takes notes during class--that bugs me--maybe he thinks he got all the information out of the reading or maybe he is going to flunk out. I can't imagine that he is going to depend on retention or that he remembers it all well enough to type out notes later--that sounds insane to me!

I don't know if this is typical but my section stays in the same room for every class and many of us end up sitting in the same area. My seatmate on the right changes every class so I don't know their names but on my left is E and she is very nice and just as stressed as I am. She doesn't work or have kids so she is spending a lot of time over preparing and over analyzing things. Seeing her freaking out over very tiny definitions that she didn't understand makes me slightly thankful that I AM still working and DO have kids because I don't have all day to think about law. I can take a break here and there and think about glasses! I have, however, been dreaming about cases. That isn't so much fun with Crim law cases since there were a few that were downright gross!

Today, as I was walking to my car, a very cute student approached me and introduced himself and we walked to the parking area together (I am cheap so I don't park in the ramp next to the school, but in a lot that's under the highway--it saves me $4 a day & it's worth it!) we chatted and he told me that it was 'too bad' that I had to go to work, he would have bought me a beer at the bar everyone was headed to!?!? Now, I am not an ugly duckling but I am not the prettiest girl in the room either, I think of myself as pretty average AND I am not the skinny chick either so the fact that he zeroed in on me (and not the group of younger, chipper chicks in front of us) was flattering...I agree, too bad I had to come to work. I almost asked if they were planning to go to a bar this evening (we got out of class at 12) but didn't...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Almost there...

Orientation is next week. I'm a bit frustrated only because my employer has yet to hire someone so there may not be anyone to work for me. It is crazy that this is happening and I just have to put it out of my mind--it is no longer my problem, right? I gave them sufficient notice, I even agreed to stay on part-time as long as it doesn't affect my grades...they have to keep in mind that I could've quit altogether and then where would they be?

Okay--on to more fun stuff! I think I have the whole briefing cases idea down--we'll see how I did when I actually get to orientation. I am planning to tackle the first week of school work this week and then if I find out I am missing any vital element I can just add it in later...fun stuff?!

My kids are growing antsy and are very ready for school to start! My DD is going to be in high school and my DS is in 3rd grade. They both agreed to accept more responsibilies around the house from now on--so far so good since DD is doing laundry today. I think they are about as prepared as I am for this step--we really don't know how much of my time will be taken up until we're in the midst of it all!

Orientation on the 27th for me--I already go into a cold sweat just thinking about it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's official

I have to make this post quick because I am at work and should be working! ;-) It is official--I will be attending law school in...ummm...less than a month! My parents agreed to co-sign the extra loan and I agreed to at least attempt to work part-time this first term. My boss is a little sad (I have been here since we opened) but understanding, even encouraging me! He told me that they will allow me to work as many or as few hours as I am comfortable working.

So far things are working out!

More on all this later!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Loan mess!

Okay--pretty soon I will have all this crap behind me and my blog will get fun-I promise! My parents are really freaking out about the amount of loans I may end up with by the end of my law school career. I am looking at needing 100% financing for at least my 1L year--then I am planning to adjust based on how that year goes for 2L and 3L and I am looking into a bunch of scholarship options for 2L and 3L as well. My parents are not thrilled...

How crazy is it that my life is still dependent on them--even if just in this small area--I am 32 for goodness sake! Anywoo their biggest cause for concern is the idea that I may end up with over $100,ooo in loans for both undergrad and Law School combined (they have never even had a mortgage worth that much)--I went to a private undergrad and it's a private law school that I have been accepted to (yeah--even with all my your-poor-single-mom status grants I ended undergrad with $20,000 in debt and a semi-worthless BS!) My parents are so not thrilled that they are hesitating on co-signing a GradPlus loan for me...

I will be spending this weekend with them and a bunch of family (including an attorney)--maybe we will be able to discuss everything in person and let them hash out their issues... I really want this--I hope they see that...

Monday, July 14, 2008


My parents still haven't told me their decision about endorsing a Grad Plus loan for me...My Mom keeps telling me that they have been too busy to mull it over. We are taking a weekend trip this coming weekend--a 2.5 hour drive and an overnight together--pretty sure that we will get time to talk then. Looks like I won't be giving my bosses as much of a notice as I wanted to but hey, it'll still be a month, they can't really complain about that! I am thinking that they may still keep me on part time to do patient/insurance billing and maybe frame buying--I am going to bring it up as an option...

I am really looking forward to this change now--is that crazy? If all goes well I will be quiting my job (or greatly reducing hours) to go to school which is kind of freaking me out BUT I am still excited!

There were some posts from some 1L's on the schools web bulletin board asking about my town and since I have lived here for 10 years I responded and have been emailing a couple students in the entering class--it is nice to be able to do that before classes start. I know that it is very possible that I will not even meet them but the gesture is nice. I am not sure how old these folks are but I am sure that at 32 I probably look like an old lady to them (particularly after calling them folks...)!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Feeling better

but still freaking out a bit. Going back to school is such a huge decision when you have 2 other lives that depend on you to live--it's crazy! Here is the update: I am leaning toward still going to school. I emailed my parents last night to see if they would 'endorse' me on a GradPlus loan. I haven't applied yet but I know that they are going to ask for it. I have a friend who is helping me get a part time job at a coffee shop--not optimal and @ minimum wage it's about half the $ per hour that I make now but it'll supplement whatever the loans don't cover--I could check with some of the retail optical locations in the area to see if they are hiring for part time help--I kinda want something that will give me ~20hours b/w the afternoon/evenings and weekends that the kids are gone--optical would mean larger payscale--so less hours needed...I wouldn't be able to start at any of those types of places until after I quit my current job (conflict of interest!!)

My plan is to start my 1L year with all the loans to cover my bills and work just to supplement my income from the loans--after the first term I will probably figure out what is going to work for me and if it works out that I didn't really need the GradPlus loan I can adjust things after this first year. Right now my Stafford loan will only cover tuition so I definately need need SOMETHING to supplement my income--it's rough not having a husband to help with general bills!

My daughter was asking me about night or weekend classes but doing that and working full time--I would never see my kids and I would never have time to study. I know that for undergrad I was tired all the time while working full time and taking classes full time and trying to raise the 2 of them, I can't imagine doing that again with law school--a much more demanding program! I would still have to find another job--I work my current one until b/w 6-7 on the nights I don't have kids--if I was taking classes those evenings they would begin @ 6pm--it wouldn't work with my current schedule. If I have to find a new job anyway I may as well have the schedule that I think will work best for me. I really just want to work part time and go to school semi-part time--I am signed up for what the school calls their 'extended program'--it's still considered full time for loan purposes but it's the 4 year program--so less classes each term, 3 terms a year for 4 years. If I take 3-4 classes each term I'll be done in 3 years so I think I'll start out in the extended schedule and see how things go--if I can add an extra class here and there to be done in 3 years it'll all be worth it and it's less loan money spent on living expenses!

I hope my parents agree to endorse me on the GradPlus loan...I really want to make a final decision so that I can give notice at work or talk to them about part time opportunities here...

Monday, July 7, 2008


So today I am beginning to doubt myself completely. First I think--'just give up on law school, it wasn't right for you'--then I think--'just take out more loans, you can work hard to pay them back' or 'forget law school, just go for your MBA' or 'there is always the paralegal certificate program' or 'optician isn't sooo bad' or 'working while going to school wouldn't be THAT bad, people do it all the time'...I keep going back and forth and back again...I just want someone to tell me what to do--isn't that insane. I am plenty old enough to make my own decisions.

On the 4th before the fireworks we spent some time at my neighbors house and there was a law student there--(how is it that I keep meeting people who go to my school?) is that a sign or is it just a coincidence? We talked a bit about my predicament and she said 'just make sure you love the law before you take the leap, if you don't love it you will hate the next 3-4 years'. So my new question to you is how do I know if I love the law? I did not grow up thinking about becoming a lawyer, it has not been my dream for years upon years. I began thinking about this a year ago. This is the most invested I have ever been in thinking about grad-school type options. I never went very far in discussing or applying for MBA programs. I have always read about law type stuff all the time--both fiction and non-fiction. I wanted to be a journalist when I was younger and was a communications/poly sci double major when I first started school. Our countries history has always fascinated me and that is mostly a history behind our legal system.

My only options beyond law school would be an MBA and maybe a certification to teach because an MBA doesn't excite me at all (a JD does...) or getting a Masters/PHD in history to teach college level. The Masters/PHD program that I looked into would take me about 7 years to complete...again, it doesn't excite me as much as getting a law degree does.

I still haven't applied for a GradPlus loan--my credit score isn't fabulous so I don't know if that will go through but maybe I should just give it a shot--if I take out loans and work part time this year I can apply to a bunch of scholarships for next year and see what I can get for my second and third year. I can also work my tail off and get a scholarship based on grades for my second and third years. I guess it will not hurt to apply, all the loan company can do is say no, right?

edited to add: I know that I should be thankful that I already got through the admissions process--many don't get as far as I have...maybe I should just suck it up, take some loans, get a new part-time job (now, and work 2 jobs until school starts) and work my butt off to get what I want--there are too many people out there who never get a chance to reach their potential--I shouldn't whine about a stupid scholarship...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

LSAT scores are in

And I am not really excited...I did do better but not studying my butt off better...I don't get it, my pretest scores were in the range that I was looking for and this was nowhere near. Now I have to decide if I want to
  1. Work through law school
  2. Try to sell my house and move my kids into 'low income housing'
  3. Give up all together on the idea of law school
  4. Defer my enrollment to next fall and use the year to try to get some scholarships and cash money together (and pay off my car/other misc. bills) and/or take the LSAT a third (or 4th or 5th) time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Well, the test was yesterday. I know I can't disclose anything here but BOY OH BOY--only one section seemed really tough and it was a duplicate so I am really hoping (praying) that it was the variable section!! Logic Games have become my strong point in pretests BUT there is always an occassional one that I miss-read and end up with wrong answers because of it--well, it happened on the test! Luckily I caught it and fixed it and still had time to complete the entire section. The next three weeks are going to take forever!

As we were all standing around at the test site waiting to register (with plastic baggies in hand!) one kid was praying the rosary--I thought "good deal, we all could probably use a little extra faith today!" When he finished he kept trying to make funny lawyer jokes and he referring to the group at "future attorneys." Alphabetically he was (of course) right next to me durring the test. As we were getting settled he engaged in nervous chatter--asking me what I was planning to specialize in--my first thought was "shouldn't we at least get there first" but I decided to play nice. I said "family law--child advocate kind of stuff" and he responded with "I pegged you for family law--you have that look." My question for you is what is "that look"--do I look like a mom--is it screaming from my very pores? Maybe that is why I can't get a date??? Oh--and this guy--totally did NOT peg him for import/export law--he is planning to take over his uncles law firm one day. How lucky is that!

The school that I was accepted to offers new students a rather larger scholarship based on GPA and/or LSAT score without which I will be unable to attend school. I have looked into a couple of other scholarship options out there but most of the deadlines passed already. I may be able to find some money for next year but I am afraid that I will be out of luck this year. I may have to either defer my admission or just give up on the idea all together if my LSAT score didn't improve drastically...Three more weeks and I will know... Oh, and I sent an email to my schools fin aid department asking if there were any avenues for additional money that I may not have checked--other options that they knew of and all I got back was "Grad students do not have as many options as undergrad students."--which amounts to NOTHING! People kept telling me to ask fin aid because they often have options available to those who are desperate--well, not my school!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I got accepted!!!

I got my admissions packet yesterday from the only school I applied to!! It was a little iffy due to my low LSAT score--luckily I have a good GPA! I am still taking the LSAT again in 2 weeks (ahhhhh) for scholarship reasons (I have to have a significant amount paid through scholarship or I won't be going to school...) I still haven't told my boss BUT I figure I can wait to see if I actually get the scholarship and put in my resignation at that time--That will give them 2 months to hire someone and for me to train them (right now I am their only employee and the only one who knows how to do my job in the office.) I am really excited but also scared...

Quiting a job and starting school on a maybe is a huge step. I am pretty big on taking relatively safe steps in life and this one is not so safe--it's like walking along a cliff with a blindfold on! My mom is the classic pessimist--she tries to be positive and fails--"What if you quit your job and flunk out, what will you do them?"--Ummm, go back to selling glasses and asking for forbearance's on my loans every year--nothing ventured, nothing gained Mom... They are paying my seat/tuition deposit for me so I have that I guess--they want to help and they want me to succeed, they are just worried about how much it will cost them if I fail, LOL. I am planning to have my check out to the school this week and then contact the fin. aid department to see what they can do for me--with or without the improved LSAT score, just to see where I stand...

You know, I used to be this very decisive, stubborn, "I can do whatever I want, whenever I want" kinda girl--where did she go??

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Practice test

I took a practice test this am and did amazing! Well, amazing for me. See, I took the LSAT in December and didn't do so great (142) BUT, I took it on a whim. I wasn't sure if I was really going to go to law school (the whole single mom quiting her job thing...) and I didn't really take it seriously, I only took one practice test and I only read the LSAT Super prep book. If you think of it on that level, the Dec. LSAT was really only my second "practice" test. I want my June score to be 163+ (for scholarship reasons) My practice test today was...160!! I got an almost perfect score on the logic games section (which I didn't do so great on in Dec.) which is what I have been really concentrating on. I am planning to study the Logical Reasoning and Reading Comp sections more this weekend and try to pull 2-3 practice tests between now and Monday morning (this is my kid free weekend) and work on getting the score up even more.

I am so excited that this is actually working, that my studying is actually paying off. The only way that I can make school work is to get a big scholarship and then use loans for living expenses. I keep telling myself that succeeding at this means that my income level will increase (even with a low paying law-job, my income is not fabulous) and this will all be worth the effort (but it is still hard to swallow--quiting work on a maybe...) If my practice tests are any indication it looks like I might be going to law school in the near future!

(BTW: I do know that I can work while going to law school BUT I won't be able to do my current job--it is completely inflexible and they are very dependent on me to be here every day (since I am their only full time employee!))

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A little intro

I sometimes wonder if I am completely nuts. Usually my 13 year old DD grounds me with comments like: "Yes, Mom, you are!" This time? She decides to tell me that she "cannot change what is or is not my destiny, she can only support my choices"--since when did she get so smart?

Here is all the crazy intro info: I had a pretty good future back in the day--graduated a semester early from HS, went to college early--planned to become a hotshot photojournalist the likes of which you'd see in National Geographic. What happened? First semester of college I discovered that I was pregnant. I love my daughter BUT I did have to make some concessions to make life work. Her Dad and I share custody and I (never learning from my mistakes) was still a bit of a wild child at 23, went to a friends "leaving for law school party"...little did I know that the party would lead to....my son--yup--I am the single mother of 2! At some point in those 9 months I realized that I needed to get my act together and start acting like a good parental figure, a good role model and so forth--shortly after I had my son I went back to school. So ten years after I received my HS diploma I received my BS in Marketing--unfortunately a BS in Marketing is just that in today's economy--BS!

Post high school I worked at various optical retailers just making a living until something better came along--here I am 13 years later and I am still working at an optical store, selling glasses and fixing oozing glasses (yes, glasses CAN ooze!) Last year a friend put a bug in my ear about law school. At first I thought she was crazy and brushed it off. Then I started looking at law school websites and reading blogs. Then I applied for and received the LSAC fee waiver and it's been all downhill from there! I am not trying to get into a Tier 1 school--I just want to go to THE only law school in my local geographic area and that is where all my indecision and current craziness starts.

I want something better for my family and I, I think I would do well in law--would love to do some type of child advocacy, family law, domestic violence type work eventually--that kind of stuff fascinates me. I think I could manage the work some days but others I wonder. I know a current 1L, going to the school I am hoping to attend, and I have barely heard from him in the last 6 weeks--he doesn't even have time for a 5 minute phone call AND he is single and doesn't have any kids to chase around.

My biggest indecision stems from the idea of what I have to do to go to law school. Due to my current work schedule and flexibility issues with my current employer--I will have to quit my current job. AND looking at my friend, who also doesn't have a job, I think how could I even possibly attempt this with a job--how could I even possibly attempt this with 2 kids (they are 8 and 13 but still...)--how could I possibly attempt this after being out of school for so long? What am I thinking-am I completely crazy? If I go to law school I will begin paving the way from my families future--I will be happier in a law career, I will be able to support us better with a larger income (which, trust me, even on the lowest end of the pay scale, has to be better than what I am doing now), I will love my job if I get to help others who are living through situations that I have survived myself--how gratifying will that be?? BUT I have to get through 3 years of hell getting there--working my butt off for 3 years, studying and reading constantly--barely being available to my kids, stressed constantly...well, in reality those issues aren't a ton different now! I am constantly stressed due to money, work issues, I work a lot of inflexible hours. The only difference will be the school work....

Maybe I am crazy, but I am thinking it's going to be worth it!