Well, spring break was over a week ago but I managed to get a good start on my outlining to the point where I feel good going forward. It sucked major ass to force myself to organize materials, concepts and readings but overall I think it was a good use of time FOR ME!

Why the caps? Am I slightly nerved? Yes.

People seem to forget that everyone has their own unique learning style, myself included. It takes me longer to pull material together and get to the point where I understand what is going on. That is why I knew prior to spring break that I really should utilize the time to get caught up.

I'm glad I did it. And I managed to watch several crappy movies throughout the week too.

Whenever I can I try to observe court. It's a good way to network, think fast, and see what reality looks like after law school. Over winter break I observed a lot of criminal and juvenile hearings. Today I observed what is known here as child abuse court.

It was not fun. Not only were the cases difficult to hear, it was also difficult to try and remain impartial as an observer. I suppose I didn't have to remain objective but I'm still trying to figure out what "side" I prefer and thus I try to challenge myself to see both sides.

Otherwise things went well.

When I observe court I always do the following things:

  • let the baliff know I'm a law student observing. He/she usually informs the judge, who has several times invited me up to the stand to talk about law and law school.
  • take business cards to exchange. Yes, I don't like doing it but attorneys love giving them out and it's easy to just hand one back. Tip: always write something about your conversation on the back to remind them of who/where/how you met, etc.
  • have questions ready to ask the judge or attorneys. Most of the time the questions aren't answered, but it does set things in motion to get an interesting conversation going.
  • thank the judge and baliff for letting me observe.

My favorite judge is out of town for the rest of the week which is a blessing in some ways as I should spend more time outlining...

I hate outlining...

  • skeleton outlines for all classes done!
  • civil procedure review questions done!
  • resume/cover letters done!
  • haircut and pedicure complete!

Now I just have to add to the skeletons, revise the brief a zillion times, read for next week's classes, and continue to watch the worst movies ever!

Finally! It's here!

The plan is:

  • to outline, outline, outline!
  • observe me some court!
  • work on resume, cover letters, and ideas for work.
  • read one book for pleasure.
  • clean my house, pay my bills, eat good food.
  • and work on my brief.

Let's see how far I actually get!

I spent the morning discussing the overt sexism on today's Sunday paper and thought about all the amazing women who have influenced my life. What did you do?

Speaking of women!

Noorain Khan asked me to spread the word about this amazing conference:

You may register at: http://www.acteva.com/go/optout
With more info found here: http://www.law.yale.edu/news/optout.htm.

March 27 – 28, 2009
Yale Law School

"Opt Out" or Pushed Out will address the controversial phenomenon described by some as "opting out," the supposed trend of professional women leaving the workplace to devote their energies to family care-taking, full time. This conference will focus on the dynamics of the "trend" within the legal profession, inviting legal practitioners, professional students, and scholars to critically assess the structural, institutional, and societal reasons why women lawyers may be departing from the workplace. It will also devote significant energy to the experiences of men and how they may be similar to – or different from – those of female attorneys. Conference panels will touch on topics of parenthood, social expectations that treat men and women differently, and how the legal field can learn from other professions that have begun to accommodate the reality of male and female professionals' multi-faceted lives. Men and women in the legal profession -- practitioners, students, and scholars -- will come together to critically assess the structural, institutional and societal pressures that affect all attorneys and have made balance particularly elusive for women. The aim is to generate concrete goals and methods for improving the structure of the workplace and social perceptions of the occupational choices that attorneys make.
Speakers Include:
§ E.J. Graff, Senior Researcher at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and head of the Gender and Justice Project

§ Pamela Stone, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and author of Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home

§ Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much

§ Pat Gillette, Founder of the Opt-In Project

§ Wendy Schmidt, Principal, Deloitte and former national leader of Deloitte's U.S. Women's Initiative Network (WIN)

§ The Honorable Nancy Gertner, Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts and member of the Equality Commission

§ Francine Deutsch, Professor of Psychology and Education, Mount Holyoke College

I may just have to attend!

I'll admit that this semester I'm trying new studying techniques however I'm amazed by the lack of course reading my fellow classmates have been doing. I bet a third of the class (60) doesn't read anymore. Nothing, nada, zip. We've all been working on our briefs lately which also means they are skipping classes. I find it bothersome that my classmates are consciously preparing to skip class to work on their briefs. Generally, if you skip class it usually means you don't read for that class either.

Additionally, we've had several people just "pass" on a case in class in the rudest of fashions: one woman, right before being called on--knowing she was going to be called on, just got up and left the room; others just pronounce they didn't read the material; some just skip the days when they're "on call" to brief cases; in one class they convinced the prof she was going another direction (she asks her questions down the row) so that they wouldn't be called on. It is ridiculous and disappointing.

If you can't handle the responsibilities of class how are you supposed to handle the responsibilities of being a lawyer? Furthermore, when you behave in the manner above you send messages to your fellow classmates that you're really not reliable or serious about analyzing the law.

I'm learning to let it all go as their grades aren't mine, however I'm still a bit pissed that we're half way through the semester and people have already just given up.


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