Shells was talking about her adventures while her boyfriend is abroad and then studying for the bar. I'm pretty much in the same boat. The Janitor started on Monday and from 6:30pm on I pretend he's not here. I should be using the time to some Garner exercises or summer reading but I haven't. Instead I've been updating my Facebook profile. Why? Because I had not done it in three years and I had several friend requests. Lame, I know...

It's here that I should note that I am not fond of social networking sites. However my opinion is starting to change since I will be moving and it seems to be a good one stop check in on friends and life updates. In fact I've reconnected with some friends I didn't even know lived in the same city as me. I've also been shopping, watching movies, and cleaning house. The next book on my summer reading list is The Nature of the Judicial Process by Cardozo. At this rate it may not make it off the list as I cannot get into it. I'm not going to read something I can't get into or grasp by page 20. I'll work on it though...if anything to get the practice of reading something I really don't want to read.


For the last two weeks I have been trying to smooth out the tan lines on my feet. This is somewhat difficult because in the process I've burned some areas making them sensitive to sandals altogether. One idea I had was to just wear leg warmers outside so that only the whites showed. However this idea was shot down by just about anyone I shared it with...

Anyone remember my Ode to Garner? Here is an update:

Yesterday I was working through Legal Writing in Plain English exercises* and explaining to my boss what I was doing. I work at a Montessori school with 4-6th graders and we routinely work with grammar and proper language usuage. So I was showing her how similar the work is and she suggested I read Strunk and White's Elements of Style. Well, I thought it sounded familiar and this morning I realized that Garner wrote a similiar book titled: The Elements of Legal Style. So imagine my surprise this morning when I finally opened the book and realized it was autographed! I've been laughing with myself because I don't know if the nerd in me should be excited, or just humored. I suppose I could tell myself that it's not authentic but overall it was a surprise.

*Three of us are working through the exercises online if anyone is interested!

One of my friends recently graduated from law school. Here is her advice to future law students. I met her her first year and watched her go through law school. I've listened to her rants, know of the negative egos she speaks of, and can only hope that I am as successful in following her advice. I know that I don't want to be one of those pessimistic, negative law students. I know I want to surround myself with friends, not foes. I know that for the first year she kept her distance, stayed away from the bar-scene, and stayed on task. She graduated in the top of her class, on Law Review, and has a great job. I'm very proud of her and lucky to have a friend and mentor for the future.

This is the second book in this mentoring series that I've read and it was much easier to stay involved than Letters to a Young Mathematician. While searching for a book photo I came across a review claiming this to be Dershowitz's memoir. Its not and I think he would laugh at the notion that someone felt it was.

While I am not yet a lawyer, I do live with one. I greatly enjoyed the thoughts that were aroused by the letters and the subsequent conversations that The Janitor and I had. I would say that this book is more an introduction to criminal justice theory and advice to those going into criminal law than a mentoring series encompassing law. What I also enjoyed was that many of the letters were universal--don't lie, don't cheat, be a good person, etc. It's pretty easy to agree with what he is saying when it's about being a good person.

I don't think you can read anything by Dershowitz without having it be political. I was able to walk away learning tidbits of news, political relationships and gossip that I found interesting enough to consider reading anything by him again, and I intend to this summer. I think I'll plan on re-reading this during law school. I would label it one of those books to re-read every now and then since it discusses character and character development.

After days of long work I'm finally catching up on my Google Reader where I came across this over at Above the Law. I'm surprised that I'm not surprised. One of the major reasons I'm turning to law is to go into public law and hopefully work on issues affecting women and children (but not family law). I find it disturbing that there are law schools out there telling you what areas you may do pro bono work in. I can understand the abortion aspect but birth control! Come on! I thought we were past it being such a controversial issue. But what would I know, I'm not Catholic--however I have lived abroad in a convent! I suppose I should be glad that I'm attending a public university. It even offers me the chance to emphasize in women's issues if I so intend.

This also WOWed me. WOW!

The Faculty Lounge has a great post today on courses that may be more useful to law students than others. Humorous to read now, most likely wished to be true a year from now.

I recently heard that an acquaintance of mine was waitlisted at Stanford. Does a waitlist here mean anything? I don't know if she is holding out for it but I can't imagine many applicants turning Stanford down. Maybe I'm wrong. Any thoughts?

Several of the recommended pre-law school reading lists included this book. So I bought it and today learned that I could have read it on Google Books for free, rats!

I did some background research on Bastiat and his beliefs before reading this. I found that it helped me understand what I was reading and where he was coming from with some of his ideas. The short book discusses what law means and why it is important. Bastiat was an anti-socialist writing in the 19th century. He clearly states his position against socialism and how the law acts, or is transformed under socialism (and eventually deteriorates into communism). He viewed the U.S. as a good example of a country where the law, as an idea and structure, was being utilized well. I can see this being used as a starting point for a discussion on the role of law within societies. I would say that this is an interesting philosophical read. I also found it easy to read through once I understood the context in which the book was written.

I chuckled over this on Terr Nullius. She's got a great sense of humor!

Not knowing what to expect regarding law school I decided to create a pre-law school reading list. I chose this route so that I can familiarize myself with law language, concepts and somewhat dry reading ahead of time. I also have a tendency to speed read which I am trying to correct since I don't always read carefully enough which I would think would be important for class. So I scanned the internet for suggested reading lists (found here, here, here, here and here) and compiled my own list. The Janitor had his own suggestions from his own library and helped me organize the reading order. I have tried to keep the list diversified enough to keep me interested and am positive that I will not finish all of these books. (I now call this "Cowenizing" a book since Tyler Cowen often doesn't finish books once he gets bored or sees the overall idea. Time is a precious resource.) Some of the books I've read out of order, because order isn't everything.

Here it is:

  • Letters to a Young Lawyer by Alan Dershowitz
  • No Equal Justice by David Cole
  • The Law by Frederick Bastiat
  • Nature of the Judicial Process by Benjamin Cardozo
  • America Declares Independence by Alan Dershowitz
  • A People's History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons
  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
  • Property Legalines
  • Barbri First Year Review (for the general idea of concepts covered)
  • Should You Really Be a Lawyer? by Deborah Schneider and Gary Belsky
  • A Woman's Guide to Law School by Linda R. Hirshman
  • Becoming Gentlemen by Lani Guinier
  • Getting to Maybe by Richard Michael Fischl
  • The Brethren by Bob Woodward
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens (I might just watch the BBC series.)
  • Legal Writing in Plain English by Bryan A. Garner
It's a lot but I already have five knocked out. I think I'll post my thoughts on them as I finish in case anyone else is interested. I kept coming across Getting to Maybe on the reading lists I found. It appears to be more of a guide for how to study for exams. I also remember a roommate having it after she did so poorly on her 1L first semester exams. The other two I kept seeing were The Law and The Nature of the Judicial Process.

Is anyone else out there planning to read anything? Don't worry I also read for pleasure. In fact I just finished How to Make Love Like A Porn Star which is Jenna Jameson's autobiography, a great book for anyone interested.

I've been busy lately which means that when I get together with friends there is a lot to catch up on, especially when you have to tell them you leaving the state for law school. Everything was fine until it was asked if I had seen the So-and-so Family lately. I'm not one for hiding my true feelings so I explained that the So-and-so Family and I are not speaking due to a tiff we had.

Mr. So-and-so is a private practice attorney. In my opinion he is somewhat a traditionalist when it comes to gender (ok, sexist is a better word but I don't want it to sound too harsh). He attended a very expensive Tier-4 law school and likes to tell everyone how much law school is a waste of time. The Janitor believes that he went to law school to make a lot of money and is most likely disappointed in his law school experience and job opportunities to date. The tiff occurred when I told them I was applying to law school and that it would be nice to see them more since we would most likely move out of the area come fall. Mr. So-and-so then interrogated me on the schools I applied to, why I wanted to go to law school, what and where I wanted to practice AND notified me that I would NOT be accepted to my first choice school due to it being an extremely selective school. He also broke down my school choices by the Tier they were in, their ranking, etc-as if I didn't know anything about them. (Again, he went to a Tier-4 school so who was he to judge my choices when he didn't have many.) This was also coming from a guy who was supposed to be my friend. He told me I would be better off becoming a nurse.

So what's the deal? Why is it that some law school graduates feel the need to express reasons why NOT to attend law school? What if I have thought everything through? What if I've worked with the law and enjoy it? What if I've experienced other careers I thought I would enjoy and still believe that law would be a good place for me? I graduated college five years ago. I've experienced life. I don't believe that I'm making a piss decision here. Is it really hard to believe that some people actually want to study and practice law?

I don't know what I'm in for but I'll never know if I don't go. I appreciate the concern (wait, it was more of a ranting) that Mr. So-and-so gave but I think I'm old enough to make a sound decision; especially when it requires so much in student loans.

(Oh, and I DID get accepted to my first choice school WITH a scholarship THAT I'll be attending. However, the maturity in me says to keep quiet, he'll figure it out and hopefully realize what an ass he was making of himself.)

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