: University of Texas at Austin
: Fort Worth, TX (but I claim Austin)
: Full-Time Day
5/9/12 - What a difference 3 years make (actually 4 years, since I didn’t get accepted to a school my first go around). I can recall with crystal clarity the moment I woke up and decided I was going to go to law school. It was a surreal life moment. That moment in time, that decision was the spark to all the change I’ve experienced over the last 4 years.
I conveyed a totally difference presence about myself when I met people, my excitement and passion about going to law school inspired someone I met who recommended me for a job. That job allowed me to move to a sweet downtown Austin apartment and become active in various non-profit and Austin-based organizations. Joining those organizations allowed me to participate in the 2008 Leadership Austin Emerge program. I also made friends and connections in that class that have helped me in all facets of life.
When the letter to come to law school finally came in 2009 I was ready. I enjoyed “the summer of Jason”, moved to Fort Worth and started law school in the fall of 2009. My first day of law school occurred on a pretty painful (yet in many ways very fitting & cleansing) anniversary. My first class was Property, and the first case I ever read and briefed was a case about a fox (an animal I’ve had a personal connection with for over 20 years)—all signs from the universe were confirming to me that I had made the right leap of faith.
My first summer internships brought me back to Austin where I reconnected with one of my former Leadership Austin classmates. We hit it off, and by September of my second year, we were engaged. That second year was full of ups and downs as I assembled a group of friends and together we founded the Texas Wesleyan Journal of Real Property Law – the school’s first specialty law review. It was a huge accomplishment, and something I’m very proud of. However, some of the decisions made by the faculty after such a tumultuous yearlong journey permanently stained my law school experience as well as my feelings for Texas Wesleyan.
By the start of my third year, I was married and law school was in full cruise control. I had lots of milestones throughout my third year, but such a wildly different experience from my first year. As a 1L I was involved in all kinds of things – I was all about Texas Wesleyan. But as a 3L, I was hardly at school and basically kept my head low and stayed in the shadows. Being married, and having something new to focus on helped a lot.
And before I knew it, I was standing at the end of the stage waiting for them to call my name. It wasn’t until that moment that I finally began to feel excited. As graduation approached, people constantly asked me if I was excited—and I just wasn’t. I mean I was, but just not in a way that I thought I’d be. For the most part I was just ready to graduate and I hadn’t taken the time to really absorb how far I’d come.
In that moment, standing on the stage waiting to hear my name, it hit me. It was surreal. All I could do was smile and clap my hands as I approached Dean Short (the professor who taught my first class). It was awesome, and I don’t regret one second about my decision to go to law school. Coming to law school has definitely affected how I see the world, how I talk to people, and how I analyze various situations and problems.
When I started this journey I was single man with a cat searching for his place in the world. Now, as I sit here preparing to take the Bar, I still have the cat, but now I have a wife and in about 7 months (or about the time the Bar results come out) I’ll be welcoming a new addition to the family. It’s crazy how much things have changed in so short a time.
But in the end, the decision to come to law school was the right one for me. I appreciate all the help, support, and encouragement those of you out there reading my blogs have provided over the years. It’s been wild chronicling my law school experience, and I hope I was able to give you a realistic glimpse of what life here was like. Thanks for reading and good luck!
4/25/12 - Things are finally starting to slow down. I have a couple of small things I’m working to complete and I have exactly 1 final to study for—I can see the finish line (and it’s glorious). It’s funny, I’m not really looking forward to taking the Bar, but I am very ready to be done with school and focused on something new. I am ready to move onto the next chapter, which is actually the complete opposite of how I thought I’d feel three years ago.
Coming to law school was as much a journey of personal growth as it was about getting a degree. Three years ago, when I thought about graduating I thought I’d feel all nostalgic and sad about leaving school. However, as I sit here two weeks away from graduation, I don’t have a lot of nostalgia running through me. Maybe that’ll change once I’m actually walking across the stage, but right now I’m just eager to finish the race. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very happy I made the decision to pursue a law degree. There have been a lot of ups and downs over the last three years, both in and out of school, but I don’t have any regrets about coming to law school.
4/11/12 - I have to admit, I haven’t felt this much stress and anxiety over school in a long time. I purposely took more writing classes this semester so that I wouldn’t have many finals – but as all of these writing projects are converging on the week, I’m feeling very behind and very stressed. Part of the stress comes from a little procrastination on my part, but it also has a lot more to do with me underestimating just how much time each of these assignments would be take. I generally feel pretty comfortable with writing, but I’m having trouble finding enough time in the day.
Because of all this, I also have to admit that I’ve been feeling less than patient with just about everything and everyone. The next 30 days (or that last .2 miles) is really gonna be difficult.
3/28/12 - As many of you who read these blogs know, one of the biggest issues facing new graduates is finding a job. Some of my classmates have already secured a job after graduation but many of us have not. I’ve got the added fun of knowing that I’m moving back to Austin in four months (holy cow, did I really just say that?!) which means I haven’t really been able to do as much networking as some of my fellow classmates planning to stay in the D/FW area.
I’m been reaching out to my friends and contacts in the Austin legal community. Before I left, I was heavily involved in various city-wide leadership programs and non-profit organizations. In the coming months, I’m going to be going Austin a couple of times to network and possibly meet with some firms and judges. It’s unlikely that someone will just have a job for me, but my thought is if I can get re-introduced to the legal community and organizations, and then start working on various committees and projects, I might start to rub elbows with more people who know of a job, or who know of a friend who knows of a job, or something like that.
The new goal (aside from graduating and passing the Bar) is to get out there enough so that when an opportunity comes up, my name is the one that several people think of as a possible perfect fit. I’ll let you know how it goes.
3/7/12 - You’ll be asked a question throughout your entire journey of law school. In truth, this question comes up from the second you first tell people you’re thinking about taking the LSAT. That question is, “What kind of law do you want to practice?” Before I went to law school, this question was constant and honestly a little irritating, but as I’ve progressed through law school it’s become more and more frustrating.
In the beginning, before you’ve started school, it’s hard to answer - the only thing you have to base your knowledge of the law on is TV and movies. You might have an interest in a particular area of law from a personal experience, but you really don’t know what the practice of any particular area of law is like. So you can answer this question almost any way you want—it doesn’t matter because you’re three years away from practicing any kind of law.
As you progress in school and are exposed to different classes and different areas of law, your perception about what kind of law you want to practice changes. Personally, there weren’t many areas of law that I was exposed to that I didn’t find interesting or think about practicing in some way.
Now, as a soon to be graduating 3L (and one that hasn’t secured a job after the Bar) the question of “What kind of law do you want to practice?” takes on a whole new meaning. My honest answer is, “All of them!” When people ask, know that you’re kinda expected to have a specific answer. In addition, if you are talking to someone at a networking event, you can’t give a super-generic answer because it sounds like you have no idea what you want to do. You gotta have an “elevator speech” or a quick 30-second answer that tells people what you want to practice. In my case, I find it frustrating because I don’t want people to think I only want to practice family law, and not think of me if/when a job opening in a property law firm opens up.
My new goal is to find a way to answer that trying question in the next nine weeks.
2/22/12 - They say that anyone can run the first 26 miles of a marathon but it’s that last .2 that really kills you. Okay, I don’t know who “they” are, but I say it all the time.
There are many differences between life as a 3L and life as a 1L. For one thing, as a 1L I NEVER missed a class, because I was paranoid about missing something and terrified that I’d fall behind. I sacrificed a lot, rarely taking time for myself or family, and spending most of my time in the library. I remember deciding not to attend a funeral because I felt that I couldn’t afford to miss class and I couldn’t afford to take time away from writing my legal writing paper.
But as a 3L, I’m not burdened with that paranoia or fear about missing class. In fact, I recently took a trip to Disney World with my wife over the weekend, skipping one of my classes. I would never have considered this as a 1L.
It was nice to get away for a while and not think about school. My classes are going fine and I only have one final this semester so I’m not very stressed about class. Being a 3L is very liberating in many ways. There’s no stressing about classes or reading. There’s no fear about being called on in class - even when you’re not prepared. However, unlike being a 1L, being a 3L requires a little extra push to go out and finish. You can see the finish line, with all of your friends and family waiting, but you can’t say you ran a marathon at only 26 miles—you gotta finish that last .2.
2/8/12 - It’s kinda weird. Three years ago when I arrived as a 1L, I was so hopped up on the excitement of being in law school that I couldn’t really imagine graduation. Now, as I count down the days until I graduate, I have to admit I don’t feel as nostalgic as I thought I would. I’m ready to be done and start the insanity that is preparing for the Bar. If I feel anything nowadays, I feel tired. From what I hear, it’s perfectly normal at this stage of the game. I remember talking to 3L’s my first year who said these same things, and I thought for sure that I’d be different.
Of course, when I started law school I was single, and I was able to (and truth be told, happy to) give every waking moment to law school. But after becoming engaged and later married, I found that law school wasn’t always my top priority—even when it probably should have been.
Right now, I’m focused on finding a job. I might be tired of the grind of school, but I’m excited about doing the work of an attorney. I’m excited about getting back to Austin and I’m ready to start putting all of the stuff I’ve been shoving into my head for the past three years to use.
1/25/12 - Let me start by saying I really don’t know what to talk about this week. School is back in session and I only have one class with required reading as the others are either writing or practicum classes. I’m behind on a couple of things that I need to get finished by the end of the month, and my wife and I are trying a new workout routine to shed some unwanted pounds. So there’s nothing all that exciting to report.
Given all that, I figured I’d just relay a conversation I had the other day with a prospective student who has a high GPA from undergrad. He’s worried about getting accepted because his LSAT score isn’t as high as he’d like. At some point in the conversation, he said to me, “Obviously, I do well in school; I’ll do fine once I get accepted.” I paused and decided that I needed to drop a little knowledge bomb in his lap—and I think it will be good to say to you all as well.
Based on my own experience, just because you did well in undergrad DOES NOT mean you will necessarily do well in law school. Law school is a completely different animal than your undergrad experience. There are plenty of people currently in the bottom half of their law school class who had very high undergraduate GPAs. Likewise, there are people who had mediocre/low undergrad GPAs in the top half of their law school class. I’m not trying to scare you, or suggest that you’re going to fail; I’m simply trying to help you understand that things in law school are different.
Why are they different? Well… I think the number 1 reason law school is different than undergrad is the maximum average (or curve). Every year I’m surprised to learn how many students have no idea that law schools have a maximum average or curve. At Texas Wesleyan Law, the maximum average or curve is a B—meaning that the class average CANNOT be higher than a B. In undergrad at most schools, everyone could theoretically demonstrate a level of knowledge in the subject to get an “A”. That’s not how it works in law school. While the grading is all done anonymously, essays can be more subjective, and that is the most typical exam. Your grade on an exam depends on how well you answer the question compared to how your other classmates answer. In undergrad, you normally start with a 100 and points are deducted for wrong answers—in law school, you generally start with a 0 and points are added for correct analysis.
So for example, let’s say you score a 200 out of 300 points on an exam. There’s no way to know what that grade means until the professor grades all the exams and can see where 200 points fits on the scale. If the highest grade was 220, and few people scored between 200 to 220, then your 200 is looking pretty good, and you will likely get an A or A- in the class. However, if the highest grade is a 270, and a lot more people in the class scored between 201 and 270, your 200 isn’t looking good at all—and you might find yourself with a C in the class. This is a substantial difference from undergrad where a majority of the class can receive A’s and B’s by demonstrating a specific amount of knowledge.
I hope some of that made sense. Of course, each law school has its own curve or maximum average and grading system; it’s not unique to Texas Wesleyan or generally, to the broader world.
1/11/12 - 114. That’s how many days until my last law school final! Wild. While there are certainly times when I can really feel just how long the last two and a half years have been, I’m amazed how fast it’s all flown by. It’s a weird paradox, because I look at the current 1L’s and think to myself how long ago that seems, but in almost the same moment it feels like it was just yesterday that I was anxiously awaiting my first law school grades.
Two years ago, I really thought I’d be more bummed out about leaving school, but as I sit this here so close to graduating, I feel ready and excited to be done. That might have a little to do with the fact that I have a little bit more on my plate than I did when I started. I’m ready to get back to Austin and get started on the next chapter of my life.
Since this is my last semester to blog about the law school experience, I’m going to do my best to address as many things as possible that might help paint a full picture. If any of you out there are curious about anything or want me to expand upon a certain issue, please feel free to e-mail me – I’m happy to help.
Something that’s currently being talked about right now is grades. I can’t really remember, but I’m fairly sure I knew my undergrad grades before the holidays—that’s not the case here. It’s almost the middle of January and I’m still waiting on one class. In the beginning, this was maddening. You work so hard and the stress of those exams is so insane that having to wait a month or longer for grades can be a bit much. But it’s my 5th semester to deal with this—so I’m really not that fazed by it. Some of my fellow classmates constantly keep checking and checking and rechecking to see if grades are in. They keep getting frustrated and acting like they are surprised the grades aren’t available yet. I don’t understand why they’re surprised.
I have friends at other law schools and they tell me that they get their grades much earlier than we do here. Does it matter? I don’t think so. It doesn’t really bother me, but some people like to spend the first couple of weeks of the semester freaking out about it. I’d rather spend my energy on something else.
12/14/11 – Tired - that about sums up how I feel a week into my “break.” It was a long semester, very emotionally draining, and finals took just about all that was left in my tank. In the time since my last final, I’ve spent only 1 night in my own bed. I’ve been traveling, going to relatives’ weddings, and taking care of errands and so forth in Austin. Luckily, I’ve got my annual reunion with my best friends coming up this weekend, so hopefully that’ll give me a little boost to get me through the holidays.
It’s only been a week since my last final, and people are already checking grades and complaining that grades aren’t posted. It’s like they’ve never been in law school before! Now, to be fair, I have heard from friends at other schools that they know their grades fairly early—that is not always the case here. I do not expect to see all of my grades posted until days after the school opens up in January. I won’t lie, it does kinda suck having to wait so long to find out your fate, but this is my 5th semester so it’s not exactly a surprise. Yet, many classmates take to Facebook to scream at the sky about the injustice that has befallen them because they don’t know their grades. I’m a little over it, if you couldn’t tell already.
11/22/11 - One of the things I’ve learned about law school in my two and a half years is that it can be a constant and relentless struggle of dealing with egos, false personas, and a lot of really weird anti-social/opportunistic behavior. Surely many of you have heard about this.
I remember seeing the Facebook groups titled, “hey law school, my high school called and they want their drama back,” and wondering if it was really that bad. I heard all of the horror stories - people hiding books, tearing our pages - and thought, “Surely it’s not that way.” I imagine all of the free online resources have made the latter nothing more than an urban myth. But the former, the drama, that’s pretty real. So I thought I’d share my thoughts on some personalities I have experienced (or am currently experiencing).
The Two-Face: I have a classmate who constantly ignores me if there’s not a professor around. It’s really weird. If we’re sitting next to each other in a class, standing in the elevator, walking in that hall, you name it—this person will not so much as acknowledge my existence. He/she will talk around me, and sometimes through me, but as soon as we’re in a room with a faculty member they act like we’re old friends—engaging and even initiating conversation. In a word, it’s just weird. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I lie awake longing to be friends with this person, it’s just the oddest thing and I’m often at a loss. When I found out I’m not the only one this person does this to, I just laughed and chalked it up to one of those law school things that nobody can fully explain but that everyone has experienced.
The Story-Topper: This is the person who, regardless of the topic, either did it themselves better, knows someone who did it better, is related to someone who did something similar, but not really related – yet did it better, or just uses your story as an opportunity to change the subject to be about them, something they did, know, or think about. I’m sure we all have a little of this in us, but if you’ve ever been around a true Story-Topper, you know what I’m talking about. There are a couple of Story-Toppers here, and when I happen to find myself around them, I purposely try to come up with the most outrageous story, just to see how they will make it about themselves. I have to admit, it’s a pretty fun game.
The Right-Fighter: This one personally drives me the craziest. Law school, and I guess the practice of law in general, attracts people who like to argue (I’m no exception). But something that has always bugged me since the invention of Google is this – there is no reason to endlessly argue about something that can easily be looked up! Almost from the first day, we as law students are taught to look up the rule on something. This is why I find it amazing when people want to argue and argue and argue and argue about something, instead of just looking it up. I’m pretty sure I used to be one of these people, but I truly think law school has beaten into me to find the just answer, instead of endlessly arguing about what I “think” the answer is. Some people have yet to receive the memo, and it drives me insane to find myself in an argument with someone who just wants to berate me with what they think the answer is and why they think so. I have nobody to blame but myself when I find myself in these conversations.
This is just a drop in the bucket of what’s in store for you in law school. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
11/16/11 - I overheard some 1L’s talking in the hall the other day about finals and I couldn’t help but interject. I wasn’t trying to be all “Debbie Downer” or rain on their parade, but I just couldn’t sit there in good conscience and say nothing.
When I first approached them, they were discussing the horror of getting a C on an exam. They both agreed that after putting in so much work this semester, it would be pretty rough to end up with a C in one or more classes your first semester of law school. I remember all too well that feeling, so I didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until they started saying things like, “I feel pretty confident that the people who get C’s are the ones who aren’t really working that hard,” that I felt compelled to give them a smidgen of unsolicited 3L experience.
The thing is, with a forced curve in every class, there are many people who work very hard their first semester who end up on the other side of the curve. It’s true that there are those people who think law school is like undergrad, who get surprised in late January when grades come out. But there are also a lot of other people, people who worked and studied very hard during the semester, who are also disappointed. It’s just a cold, hard fact of law school.
One of them said they were basing that assumption from the results of their “midterm” they had (back in September). While I didn’t have any midterms, I am aware of this false sense of security these 1L’s might be falling into. What they weren’t considering is the fact that many, if not most, of the people who did poorly on the midterm were shocked and upset. Luckily, these midterms rarely account for more than 20% of their grade. So… while these 1L’s have been trucking along thinking they’ve got this law school thing down, and that because they did well on the midterm they’ll do well on the final, many of their classmates have been working extra hard to make sure they improve.
It’s a natural cycle of law school that most students don’t understand until their second semester. Luckily, I did pretty well my first year, but I can tell you first hand that the amount of work you put into a class isn’t always reflected in your final grade.
11/2/11 - I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about the fact that our law school experience is ending – and how the end of our third year won’t have nearly the same fanfare and excitement as our first year.
As a 1L, you take all of your classes with the same 100 people. You spend an entire year in the same room looking at the same faces while experiencing the madness that is your first year of law school. That also means that you take finals on the same day, so at the end of your first year, all of the 1L’s finish at the same time. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to walk out of the exam room knowing you and everyone else in the halls just finished your first year of law school. It’s an exciting time and a great celebration of a huge accomplishment. At the end of each semester of my first year, my friends and I popped champagne in the parking lot to celebrate with everyone. It’s a great moment.
As a 3L, everyone is on a completely different schedule - which means everyone’s last day of finals is on a different day. Your entire class isn’t finishing at the same time and there’s no big celebration in the parking lot. If anything, it’s kinda anticlimactic for such a huge life moment. I know, I know… there’s graduation – and that will be cool. It will be the last time we will all be together as a class, but with all the family and friends there to celebrate, it won’t be the same as when we finished that first year together.
10/19/11 - Some of the biggest challenges I deal with as a 3L have little to do with my actual classes. I find juggling the demands of school with being married to be challenging at times. Luckily, I’ve only had this experience as a 2L and 3L. I think it would have been extremely difficult as a 1L.
The demands of being a 1L are very intense, especially that first semester where everything is new and crazy and you have no idea what’s going on. As a single person, it was a lot easier for me to isolate myself in the library all night and essentially disappear from family and friends. My cat wasn’t happy about it, but she got over it quickly. If I’d been married as a 1L, I would not have been able to completely disappear in the library.
Last year, as an engaged man living with my fiancé, I saw the demands of law school much differently. I spent a lot of time up at school, but I had to budget my time in different ways. Now, as a married 3L, I find that the challenge is giving school more time. I want to be home more and spend time with my wife, rather than spend time at school. It’s difficult - I know I need to be spending more time at school, but my priorities have shifted a lot. I imagine as the semester winds down, I will have to buckle down and spend a little more time away from home. Right now, I’m struggling to figure out how.
10/5/11 - Graduation photos!? Holy cow! Did we really just sit for graduation photos? Yeah, we did… and it was a little more surreal than I thought it would be. I wrote about seeing my friends take their photos last year, and I even remember with crystal clarity watching 3L’s pose for their pictures during my first semester as a 1L. I remember thinking to myself that it seemed so far away, but even at that time I could acknowledge how fast it would be upon me—and here were are.
I have to admit, it wasn’t that big of a deal until they put that JD collar around my neck. I almost felt superstitious about wearing it before I’d actually graduated – like I was jinxing myself or something. It was a little weird, for sure. I felt a little pressure deciding on the picture because it’s going to be one that’s permanently displayed up at the school forever, so I kinda felt like it needed to be a good. I’m sure the photographers thought I was a little OCD (and I probably was), but in the end I think I picked a pretty good mug shot.
So now that I’ve officially taken my graduation photo AND half of the semester has flown by, I’ve got to find some energy and finish this year on a high note.
9/21/11 - Something occurred to me the other day in class that I think might help explain some of the boredom of the third year. The Socratic method is nowhere to be found. As a 1L, the Socratic method was the primary method used by professors to instruct you. Just for review, the Socratic method is when professors call on a student and the lesson is taught through a discussion between the various students and the professor. Regardless of how prepared you think you are, the professor will ask you something you don’t know or take you down a path you weren’t expecting. It can be nerve racking, but it’s also a very engaging and stimulating way to learn. As a 1L you fear this method, mainly because you’ve never been taught this way. But by the second semester, the fear is pretty much gone.
I noticed last year that the Socratic method wasn’t as prevalent in some of the upper-division classes. In fact, I’ve found that this year my classes are almost exclusively lecture-based, just like they were in undergrad. Most professors have an “on call” list (a list of people who need to be prepared to be called on during class), but it seems like they rarely call on anyone. And if/when they do call on someone, students rarely engage the professor, which in turn means that the professor decides to just lecture. In a word, it’s brutal.
Now I’m not going to sit here and claim to be absolutely prepared to engage a professor each day, but I do wish there was a hint of the same intensity from the first year. I’ve heard professors say that they shouldn’t have to put everyone on call in order to motivate students – a fair argument. I’m not really talking about motivating students - those that want to prepare for class and learn the material will, and those that don’t won’t. But just being lectured to, or just having a professor read off PowerPoint slides for an hour or two is tough to sit through. It doesn’t matter how prepared or not I might be when they’re just going to talk at me for the entire class.
As I’ve gone through the various cycles of law school I’m surprised to find that I miss the intensity and perhaps even the fear of the first year. Weird.
9/7/11 - Ok, so a month into my “bored to death” year of law school and I can honestly say I’m not bored yet. I am however, feeling less inspired than my previous two years. I think the shine of being in law school and the luster of “learning the law” has faded considerably. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m still extremely excited about getting out and practicing law, I’m just not enamored with the process like I used to be.
On a completely different topic, it’s been an interesting week with all of the September 11th memorials, tributes, and so forth going on. You constantly hear the phrase, “we’ll never forget,” but I can’t help but think we probably will. A large portion of the country was too young to even really understand or know how that day changed us. Watching interviews of children born just before or after September 11th brings this home – they didn’t experience that day, so they really don’t have anything to “remember,” much less “forget.” A number of my classmates weren’t even in high school at the time. A high school senior today was seven or eight on September 11th and really doesn’t have an understanding of what that day felt like.
The number of people with this perspective is only increasing. I watched an interview with George W. Bush the other day and he articulated what I’ve been thinking for a long time. He said that eventually, it will be just a day to most people, and compared it to Pearl Harbor Day. How many people know what Pearl Harbor Day is, let alone when it is? In my experience, not many – this was the date that was supposed to “live in infamy,” yet most people I talk to have no idea when it was. On Dec. 7th, 1941 nearly 2,500 sailors, soldiers, and civilians died when the Japanese (with whom we were currently in peace talks) launched a surprise attack on our naval station in Hawaii. The next day we entered WW II. 13 million American soldiers/sailors fought in WWII and 400,000 didn’t come home (that’s 400,000 in 4 years!). As a comparison, we’ve lost nearly 7,000 in the ten years we’ve been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given all of that, you’d think we’d never forget Pearl Harbor Day.
Bush did say, and I agree, that September 11th would never be “just a day” for those of us who lived through it. There can be little doubt about this. I have all of the newspapers and magazines from those days and plan to share them with my future kids, but there is no possible way they will ever feel or even understand the horror of that morning. To them, it will eventually be just another thing they learn about in school.
8/24/11 - I’d forgotten about one of the most glorious devices for coping with the stress and frustration of law school. Well, I didn’t forget about it so much as I didn’t realize how well it would help me deal with the disappointments that come in law school. Of course, I’m speaking about the batting cages. I cannot impress upon you enough just how awesome it feels to take 30 minutes out of your day to crush yellow plastic baseballs. Did I say it was awesome? I meant delicious.
Any excess anger/pain/frustration is expelled every time you make contact. By the end, your body isn’t tense, your muscles are relaxed, and you just feel good. It’s the closest I will ever get to that mythical “runner’s high” people talk about all the time.
These first two weeks of my 3L year been a lot rougher than I had expected. It feels like a small series of gut punches every other time I turn a corner – but I’m making the best of it. Having a very supportive and loving wife at home to talk to and express my feelings about the events of school with is very helpful.
My frustration and disappointment with school has made it hard to feel valued while I walk the halls, which has lead to feelings of apathy. It’s not cool. Luckily, I’ve got some great friends – both in law school and out – in addition to my beautiful wife. In the end, it could be a lot worse.
8/17/11 - I really don’t feel like talking about how my first week as a 3L is going – let’s just say I’m happy it’s almost over and that I don’t have class on Friday.
So, since I’m going to “punt” on what I’m thinking and feeling right now (it’s a term professors use all the time when they don’t want to answer a question or hypo, so I think it’s fair game for me), I'm gonna pull an Andy Rooney and gripe about a few things that have been bugging me about law school for the last two years.
1) Walking down the hallways. Why do groups of people insist on walking 3 and 4 abreast down the hallway? I get you want to walk and talk with your friends, but maybe when someone is coming down the hall in the opposite direction, ONE of you could move just a little? This goes extra for all you wheelie bag people out there. It’s really irritating when a gang of law students comes barreling down the hall with no regard for anyone else around them. Speaking of walking down the halls, does everyone know that we’ve developed a pretty cool system of walking on the right?! It’s a really sweet system, I swear.
2) The elevator salmon rush. Again, I thought this was universally known, but apparently not. Before you can get on the elevator, you have to wait for everyone to get off the elevator! Seems simple, right? Few things are as maddening as trying to fight your way off an elevator through a group of people walking onto the elevator. I promise, it really is quicker and easier if you just wait 2 seconds for everyone to exit the elevator before you rush in!
3) The smoker’s gauntlet. I realize this might be a touchy subject, but it’s truly unpleasant. The school has several designated smoking areas outside the school. Unfortunately, all of them are in the path to an entrance! So it doesn’t matter what door you’re entering, you will have to pass through a plume of cigarette smoke to do it. I’m not saying they should all be herded into the parking lot or publicly shamed – but is it too much to ask that we have ONE entrance into the building that is smoke free? I suppose if you just have someone drop you off at the very front of the building, you can avoid swimming through the disgust. However, if you park in the parking lots (as 99% of us do), you will deal with this.
Ok… I’ve been holding onto that stuff for awhile – thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Andy Rooney out.
8/10/11 - There’s a little saying about law school that you’ve all probably heard by now: the first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, and the third year they bore you to death. If this year is supposed boring, I’m not seeing it.
I can say that one big difference between this year and the others is a complete lack of anxiety over the beginning of classes. Going into Orientation my first year I was very anxious, I was over prepared for class, and completely paranoid about reading and prepping for class. Last year, I wasn’t frightened, but I was still slightly anxious about being a 2L and being prepared for class. This year… well, this year I haven’t even purchased my books! I will admit that I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t be able to get my reading done for the first day of class, but luckily the professor didn’t assign any – sweet!
Something else I’m struggling with is the loss of my little personal tradition. For the last two years, I’ve started the fall semester in room 201 in Dean Short’s class. 1L year it was Property I, last year it was Wills & Estates. I’d grown somewhat accustomed to that familiar setting at the start of the school year. I imagine I’ll be fine, but I was really kinda hoping for one familiar thing.
7/27/11 - Well… I’m back from the land of the leprechauns (I honeymooned in Ireland) – and if the heat didn’t tell me that the honeymoon was over, the amount of craziness sure did.
So apparently I’m a 3L now. Kinda wild. I remember vividly getting to Fort Worth two whole years ago at this time wondering what in the world I’d got myself into. Everything was new and strange and awesome at the same time. Now, two years later, nothing is new, everything is the same, and few things are still awesome. Of course, a lot of that has to do with how last year ended - I know… I say “last year” even though it was just over 2 months ago. It’s difficult, but I’m trying to put on a happier face – turn the other cheek as they say, and push through. The fact that my new bride is still in Austin isn’t making this any easier. She telecommutes and this is her busiest time of the year, so she’ll be in Austin until just about the time school starts – major bummer.
So what’s in store for this year? Well the jury’s still out on some things (sorry, couldn’t help it), but for the most part I’ve really cut back on the number of activities I’ll be involved with this year. One of the biggest challenges for me this year will be finding a job in Austin. Finding a job is difficult as it is, but I figured I’d add some extra pressure and live in a city overpopulated with degreed professionals – not to mention a top 14 law school pumping out lawyers each year. I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress.
7/6/11 - I thought time flew during my internship - I was waaaaaay off. In the week since my federal internship ended, I've been running around taking care of last minute wedding and honeymoon details. Seriously, I don't know which way is up.
Soon I'll be on my way to Ireland for a week of relaxation. Then it'll be back to insanity as I move and get ready for the start of my third year!
6/22/11 - I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed legal research and writing. That’s not a sarcastic joke, I really do enjoy it. The majority of time in my internship is spent reading and writing—so it’s good that I enjoy it. The last 5 weeks have flown by – it’s really hard for me to believe I’ve been here so long. For a lot of my friends, this means they only have 5 more weeks to study for the bar. Yikes! Good thing I don’t have to worry about that until next year.
I’ve also had the opportunity to observe some federal courtrooms and see some pretty interesting federal cases. There’s a pretty big case going on right now that has been in the news for the last 5 years involving a former employee of Halliburton.
With my internship coming to a close, that means my wedding is fast approaching. It’s less than three weeks away, and to be honest, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really had a lot of time to reflect on it much.
Sorry for the short blogs, hopefully I’ll have a lot more to report after the internship and honeymoon.
6/3/11 - Isn’t this supposed to be my summer “break”? It sure doesn’t feel like it. I started my internship at the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit four days after my last final and it’s been go-go-go ever since. I really, really like the work and have enjoyed my time at the court so far. However, living in a small extended stay hotel in Houston is pretty rough at times. On the weekends, I’ve been driving to Austin to help my fiancé with wedding planning and other details. That too is fun, but this driving back and forth business is rough.
Speaking of the wedding, it’s closing in on 30 days. Wild! The newest thing that’s happened is that we won a free, eight-day trip to Ireland – which we plan to use for our honeymoon. So I’ve also been calling, e-mailing, and scheduling various travel information to get the trip planned. We are both VERY excited about this trip and it couldn’t come at a better time. Eight days in Ireland should provide the perfect break.
I also wanted to briefly address my last blog since several of you have e-mailed me about it. I appreciate all the words of encouragement – it’s nice to know other people actually read this thing from time to time. Given that so many of you have followed my journey over the last two years, I feel that I at least owe you some kind of explanation. I will tell you that my disappointment and hurt has nothing to do with grades, or being appointed (or as some have suggested, “anointed”) to a particular position or title. My disenchantment stems from something far more personal.
5/11/11 - I’m not sure how many of you out there are actually still reading this, but for those of you who are, let me apologize for my absence. These are trying times. A couple of weeks ago, some decisions were made that really affected me. At first glance, it would be easy to assume that I’m simply upset because those decisions didn’t go the way I had hoped. Now it’s completely true that I’m not happy with these decisions, but that’s hardly the reason I’m so upset. Decisions are made at this school all the time that I don’t always agree with. To be fair, I’d been given a few indications by different people that this might be the way these decisions fell. So I was somewhat prepared when they did.
What I wasn’t prepared for and what I had no way of anticipating were the “reasons” given to explain these decisions. That was pretty unexpected. Being told that almost a year’s worth of hard work, dedication, and determination has “no merit” and was simply nothing more than “an idea” was too insulting to quantify.
One thing that has always been difficult for me to deal with throughout my life is finding out that my trust has been misplaced. Years ago, on one of my darkest days, someone said to me, “Jason, people are often disappointing.” I remember in that moment thinking, “That's a tough way to look at the world,” but over time, I've come to accept this as true. At least so I thought. Apparently my brain understands this idea but my heart has yet to get the memo. Additionally, I continue to struggle with the fact that there are few things in this world that are truly universally accepted as "right" and "wrong." You'd think that after having almost two years of law school under my belt, I'd have a better grasp of this concept.
It’s apparent that I'm still in need of a few "life tools" to help me process when my faith in people is shaken. I'm embarrassed and a little ashamed to admit that I've found myself in this place again. In truth, I'm really angrier at the fact that my trust may have been misplaced. I've experienced several life-defining moments of disappoint and hurt after finding out that something I believed “could never happen” did happen. I've never been one that found comfort in the idea that everything happens for a reason. Because you know what, sometimes the reason is that people are often disappointing.
For the first time in almost two years I can honestly say I am not happy here. I feel as if I've seen the man behind the curtain... Only this time, instead of acknowledging the accolades of brains, courage, and heart, he simply punched me in the face, closed the curtain again and went back to yelling, “I am the great and powerful Oz,” as if nobody saw a thing.
What an awesome feeling to have as I study for finals. I am however very excited about my internship this summer with the United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit. Did I mention it starts in less than a week?! – Wow.
It feels like just yesterday that I was blogging about my first semester of law school. Where does the time go?
4/13/11 - There’s a lot going on right now – truth be told, too much. I’m trying to study and shove information in my head in preparation for finals, but at the same I have a case in Law Clinic that is consuming my time.
The experience of Law Clinic is awesome. Up until this point, my case load has been fairly manageable. From clients not calling back to completely disappearing, I haven’t had to worry about drafting petitions, or preparing for court. But a little over a week ago, we had a client with an emergency need and we had to prepare for a trial in 4 days. It was insane. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was pretty cool, but it was a crazy time. As a student in Law Clinic, I’m “first chair” of the case. I speak to the judge, I examine and cross-examine witnesses, and I give the opening and closing to the court, just like you see on TV. They never show you the hours of preparation it takes to get all of that together (mostly because that would really make for a boring show).
So we went to court prepared to have a hearing in front of the judge, but instead it was delayed. Basically, it was a lot of “hurry up and wait.” About a week later, we had to go back to court for over an hour just to schedule a new hearing date. At times it’s a little much.
So now I have another hearing scheduled for later in the month, about five days before my first final. Needless to say, I’m feeling a little stressed.
3/30/11 - Ahh… the schedule. It’s that time again, when everyone is trying to decide what classes they want to take for the fall. I always forget about the schedule and find that I’m behind the curve (not that curve) when it comes to picking classes. As a TA, I get to help give some advice to my 1L’s who are trying to decide for the first time what classes they want to take. For your first year of law school, your schedule is decided for you, so it’s kind of a liberating experience to get the opportunity to choose (It’s always the simple things that we take for granted.)
Some schools have very little “required” courses outside of the 1L lock-step. But here at Texas Wesleyan, every student is required to take certain classes in order to graduate. Most of them are subjects that are heavily tested on the bar exam. The idea being that students will do better on the bar exam if they aren’t trying to learn a subject for the first time in the 10 weeks they’re studying for the bar. Outside of the required classes, there’s a lot opportunity to take subjects you’re simply interested in. I’m still trying to figure out my options.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
3/23/11 - Listen up. I know I’ve said this before, and you might be tired of reading it, but time is seriously going by way too fast. It occurred to me last night that I’m less than 2 months away from completing my SECOND year of law school?! I’m convinced that this building must sit in the middle of some kind of inter-dimensional time vortex, because I could swear I just got here a month ago. Now you’re telling me it’s almost over!? Unacceptable.
On the one hand, I’m excited about the idea of completing law school, hopefully moving back to Austin, and working as a lawyer. On the other hand, I really enjoy law school, and there’s still a ton of things that I want to do and experience.
There are a lot of things going on in my law school life as well as my regular life, but sleep is not one of them. On a completely random note, I’ve recently started playing racquetball once a week with one of my best friends. It’s a great time and I’m finally getting some much needed exercise (it also provides me with a great outlet to release stress). However, it has become painfully obvious to me that I’m not 25 anymore. Having to hobble around on tweaked knees and sore muscles is kind of a bummer.
3/2/11 - I always heard that going to law school would change the way I saw the world, and that I’d have to fight thinking “like a lawyer” in my everyday life. To be honest, I really thought it was a bunch of bunk. I mean, what does it even mean to think “like a lawyer” in everyday life? Well… as it turns out, the longer I’m in school the more I get it.
One way that I’ve noticed this creeping into my life is in the way I argue with people. I often find myself asking for more facts before responding, as well as trying to see the other side of the argument. But the biggest change I’ve noticed in myself is the way I look at news when it comes to issues of the law, specifically decisions of the Supreme Court. Before I went to law school I never paid too much attention to recent decisions of the Court, and I certainly didn’t read them. Additionally, my understanding of the law, and the Court’s role in the law was so limited it almost bordered on ignorance.
The best example I can give you is with the most recent Supreme Court decision regarding free speech and the rights of the Westboro “Church.” For those unfamiliar, these are the disgusting whack-jobs who protest military funerals with horrible signs and banners. The Supreme Court recently came out with an 8-1 decision protecting the first amendment rights of this group to do what they do.
Before law school, I wouldn’t have understood why the Supreme Court came to this decision, or why this outcome was very predictable. Having the opportunity to discuss this in a First Amendment class was extraordinary, and it really gave me a base of knowledge to understand how this decision not only protects these lunatics, but also protects freedom of speech for the rest of us. I’m able to see the bigger picture and I’m actually able to distinguish and separate my personal distain for the individuals vs. the legal principles at issue. It’s kinda cool.
2/16/11 - This whole living with someone and going to law school thing is tough. It’s been a couple of months since my fiancé moved in, and we’re still trying to figure out the schedule. It’s difficult to balance the time I would normally be studying with the time I need to devote to our relationship. I have to say, I think being a single law student is much easier than being an engaged law student. Part of the problem is that she’s new to the area, so she doesn’t really have any friends or family around to hang out with – other than me. So… she’s usually chomping at the bit for human interaction.
Normally, I feel I do my best work at night, and during my first year I was up at school almost every weeknight until midnight. Obviously, I can’t really do that now, and its difficult finding a schedule that works best for me.
My fiancé is going to be in Austin for almost 2 weeks, which in many ways I’m not happy about, but in some ways it might give me a nice break to get caught up on some things. I’m hopeful that when she gets back, we’ll be able to sit down and come up with a new schedule that finds a good balance.
On another note, I’m once again caught off guard by how fast the semester is going. Snow days aside, I can’t believe it’s already the middle of February! Pretty soon it’s going to be March, Spring Break, then finals! Brutal.
Oh yeah, last weekend I helped proctor the LSAT at school. It was a little wild thinking back to my LSAT experience and all the time I spent studying for it. Just a little heads up for all of you who just took it or who are applying - the amount of work you put into studying for the LSAT is a drop in the bucket to what you’ll be experiencing in law school. Sorry to be such a “buzz kill” but someone’s gotta tell you how it really is.
2/2/11 - Snowed in! This makes two years in a row we’ve been snowed in. I don’t remember having 2 snow days in the 18 years I went to school growing up in North Texas - Wild!
So, I probably could and should have been using this time to read and catch up, but instead I’ve been catching on my sleep… glorious, glorious sleep. I’d say it’s been great, but really it’s been delicious. I’d forgotten just how awesome it is to sleep a day away. I know a lot of people are taking advantage of the snow days to go downtown and get involved in the Super Bowl festivities. The cold aside, I’m steering clear of all that madness.
In other news, I’ve landed a pretty exciting internship for this summer. I’ll be interning for a Federal Judge for the United States Court of Appeals 5th Circuit. This is kind of a big deal, since the only court higher than the federal appellate courts is the US Supreme Court. I’m very excited about the opportunity and I’m hopeful that it will help me when I start applying for clerkships this summer.
1/19/11 - Is it just me or is this semester starting off a little wacky? From the weather fluctuating between 25 degrees and 60 degrees, to the fact that I only had one class this week due to the holiday and cancelations, I just haven’t been able to get into any rhythm. It’s weird to me that I’d be complaining about such a relaxed start, but I’m really craving a little more structure.
I’m participating in the school’s law clinic this semester, and so far I’m pretty excited about it. It’s basically a little private law firm operating in the school and I’m essentially treated as a new junior associate. I’ll be receiving a third-year bar card and representing actual clients in court. I’ve been given a real case and it’s my job to interview and communicate with the client, petition the court, file papers, submit motions, and sit first chair during all court hearings (under the supervision of a licensed attorney, of course)! I’m pretty excited about getting the opportunity to get some real live court experience.
Something else occupying my mind is finding an internship for this summer. As you may or may not remember I’m trying to get back to Austin after graduation, so my goal is to once again to find internships in Austin. I’ve applied to several courts and now I’m looking at some smaller, mid-sized firms. Here’s hoping.
1/12/11 - I love law school. Seriously, I really do. But that last semester really took a lot out of me. I thought I had a really good schedule and I thought it was going to be one of my best – it was not. Last semester was full of unexpected distractions (some good, but some not so good) which made it really hard. I never really felt like I found my sea legs. I’m halfway through my law school experience, and while most people want it to end, I’m trying to soak it all in. There’s so much more I want to do and experience and I only have 3 more semesters to do it – crazy!
Perhaps the biggest change to my life (which absolutely affects my law school life) is living with my fiancé. I haven’t lived with someone in over 6 years, and she’s never lived with anyone so we both have to adjust. In some ways it’s hectic, but in almost every other way it’s been really great. I’m having to learn how to prioritize my schedule differently - having someone else waiting for me at the end of the day has actually forced me to get out more and do things. I imagine things will get a little more hectic as the semester gets going but for now things seem to be working well.
By the time you read this, I hope we have all of our grades back, but as of Thursday, I’m still waiting on one grade. It’s been over a month since I took the exam and I’m still waiting to learn my fate – brutal. If you didn’t know by now, here’s a heads up – law school grades do not come in December like they do in undergrad. They usually come faster in the summer, but the winter grades take forever. Personally I think it’s a little ridiculous. I understand that in some cases professors have to read 100 tests (which can be between 6-15 pages a piece) but seriously, enough already.
12/15/10 - It’s hard to believe I’m really halfway done with law school. I knew it would go by fast, but this is ridiculous. As I’ve said to many of you before, if you’re on the fence about whether you should go to law school or not, don’t wait. Three years will come and go faster than you know, and at the end of it you can either have a law degree or not, it’s your choice.
For me, the last year and a half has not only gone by unbelievably fast, it’s also been filled with some of the most dramatic life changes. Since starting law school, I’ve experienced many new things and encountered many new life moments. This last semester, for instance, was full of ups and downs. Obviously the big up was getting engaged, but I also had some not-so pleasant family issues come up that really derailed me in November, and presented a pretty big distraction which made things difficult at times. There were also new challenges and distractions in school that I wasn’t 100% prepared for. All in all it was a good semester, but it was a tough one.
Next semester will be different than any other for me. Now that my fiancé lives here in Fort Worth, my schedule will have to change dramatically. We talk to incoming students about making time for their significant others, and now I’m going to be figuring out just how one does that.
11/23/10 - Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. For me, it’s always been about the three F’s (family, food, and football). It’s great, and before I went to law school, I used to really enjoy relaxing on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, in order to do well on my tests next week (what?!), I can’t afford to take a whole day off relaxing, eating, and watching football. I will be spending 10 hours or more up at school studying and working to be as prepared for my finals as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll celebrate a little bit. On Thanksgiving I’ll stop studying around 5:00 PM so I can have dinner and hopefully watch the Texas Longhorns upset the Texas Aggies. That would make Jason very happy.
I really think this semester went by fast than any other so far. Maybe it was all the extra activities I’m involved with, or maybe time actually started moving faster, I don’t know, but it’s hard to believe it’s almost December. In a few weeks I’ll have turned 36, be half-way done with law school, and moving my fiancé to Fort Worth. Wow - What a difference a year and a half makes. It seems like just the other day that I was in Austin talking about the LSAT, determined to go to law school. I remember with crystal clarity the night before I decided I was going to law school and things seemed pretty bleak. It felt like I was in a pretty big hole with no way of getting out, and now here I am. It’s a pretty cool feeling.
Ok. Enough of that. Back to studying.
11/10/10 - There’s so much to talk about this week that I don’t think we’ll be able to cover it all. I was going to discuss my experience competing at a regional negotiation competition, and I was also thinking I’d share with you some of the angst and frustration I’m feeling over finals, but all that changed after my Wills & Estates class Monday.
An event occurred that I’d never seen before in law school. It was something you assume only happens in the movies; it was so incredibly uncomfortable, painful, and awkward, and yet at the same time, it was so awesome and glorious that I had to share it with you.
Our relatively even keeled, mild-mannered professor began class discussing the school’s most recent bar pass rate. He talked about how people who prepare for class and do the work usually develop strong study habits and do well on the bar (crazy huh?). Soon after beginning the lesson, he called on a 3L in the back of the room I’d never seen before.
And then it happened.
This student apparently didn’t prepare for class, because he froze like a deer in headlights. I don’t mean he mumbled and sputtered out incoherent answers – I mean he froze. He sat there staring at the professor, who simply stared right back waiting for an answer. Normally, this professor (as well as all the others), would allow another classmate to “help” and answer – and some even tried. But the professor ignored them all. We literally sat there in complete silence waiting for someone, anyone, to say something. Count off 15 seconds to yourself and get a sense of just how long that is for 100 people to sit in silence. Then multiply it times four. We literally sat there for over a minute waiting for him to say something – he did not. Nobody wanted to make eye contact with the student or the professor, but we also couldn’t help but look. It was like trying to avoid staring at a car wreck.
It was brutal! The tension was unbearable. I thought about clapping my hands or letting out a yelp to break the silence.
Finally, the professor tried to give the student and out by saying, “Okay. So imagine you freeze on the exam, where do you start?” At the same time, he was suggestively pointing to some elements on the board - still nothing but silence. I felt so uncomfortable that I wanted to curl up in a ball. He either had no idea what to say or he was terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought, either way it was painful to watch. Finally, after I swear more than 2 minutes of silence the professor moved on and allowed another student to answer. It was like a mercy killing.
The moral of the story - prepare for class!
10/27/10 - Sometimes I forget to practice what I preach and I’m paying the price. In a word… I am wiped. I’m not just physically exhausted, I’m mentally beat down. I’m certain that you can see it in my face because I feel it all over. I know I’m a little behind of where I’d like to be this semester, but I’m trying to assess just how far, so I can devise a new plan to finish out the semester.
It’s a tricky business figuring out what is and what is not too much. The slightest thing can be the difference between the perfect balance and a crumbling Jenga tower. I thought I’d found that sweet spot, but about 9 hours into my 13 hour day yesterday it all came crumbling down. My level of care, lack of sleep, desire to succeed, and weakened ability to deal with people collided with my demanding schedule - the result was not pretty. From the outside, it probably just looked like I was tired, but inside it was much more than that. The little guys in my control room pretty much walked out on the job. (I like to imagine there’s a crew of tiny people in my head working in shifts to control the ship that is me each day.) Yesterday, I could literally feel them all getting up from their stations, throw their hands in the air, and walk to the break room. The ship (me) coasted on autopilot for the remaining 4 hours of my day. Luckily, I was able to go home at some point and enjoy watching the Giants win game 1 of the World Series (that’s right, I’m a Giants fan). That helped appease the tiny workers a little bit.
But the guys on the morning shift weren’t exactly thrilled to be clocking in. I’ve got to find some time for me, because with just over a month to go in the semester, I’m fading fast. I didn’t pace myself this semester very well and I’m paying a heavy price. The problem I’m in now is that many of the things pulling me down are commitments I’ve made to other people and things. I’m feeling trapped between doing what’s best for me and upholding commitments to others. It’s a not so fun place to be. Like I said, I thought I had it all under control, but worlds and schedules are colliding.
10/13/10 - I hear a lot of my peers and other 3L’s talk a lot about how they can’t wait to get out of school. Often I hear comments about how people can’t wait to be out in the “real world,” have a job, etc. On the one hand I do understand what they’re saying…but I have to tell ya, I’m in no hurry to get back out to the “real world.” I love school and I’d love to find a way to stay longer (don’t tell my fiancé that).
I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing how fast it goes by, but it truly does. Too often in our lives we don’t take the time to enjoy the ride or soak in the experience of something until it’s over. I’m trying my best not to do that with law school. It’s true that I’m super busy, and yes, it’s true I probably have way too much on my plate as it is, but I can’t express enough just how much fun I’m having. A friend of mine asked me the other day why I’m doing so much and my answer was two-fold. One reason is because I’m really enjoying everything I’m a part of. But secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I only have 3 years to do it. Once I’m done with law school, that’s it, there’s no going back to be a part of something I missed out on while in school.
I think too many people wake up their third year and realize that they haven’t done much or haven’t tried things because they were afraid of being “too busy.” I don’t know what that means exactly, because I thought being “too busy” was exactly what law school was about.
A lot of my classmates are younger and don’t realize that they’ll have the rest of their lives to work, make money, and deal with the pressures of the “real world.” It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, in my opinion, which is why I’m trying my best to really absorb everything that comes my way. I tell people all the time, and I might have blogged about this in the past, but having the law school experience is much more important to me than hurrying up and graduating. Are there times when it sucks? Of course, but I can’t impress upon you enough that even in those times, it’s still really awesome.
9/29/10 - As an Academic Support TA, I have the opportunity to teach about 20 1L’s in ways to succeed in law school. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been working to prepare them for their Torts midterm. None of my classes had midterms last year, and most law school classes do not, but a few professors have started giving them. There’s certainly an argument to be made for the value of getting a taste of law school tests before the all-important final. It’s funny… I can’t help but feel worried and anxious for them. I feel like a parent - I’m not sure who’s more nervous, me or them (probably them).
In other news, my real life is moving along full steam ahead. As I mentioned in my last blog, I’m a newly engaged man. My fiancé (still kinda wild saying that) and I are working to plan our wedding while at the same time coordinate her move to Fort Worth in December. School is still a work in progress. I had to cut back on my bookstore hours because I found I just didn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Something else really caught my attention this week. I watched my 3L friends take their graduation photos and get measured for their cap and gowns. I remember seeing this happen last year thinking how far away that seemed but now it feels right around the corner. In less than 3 months I’ll be half way through law school! Wait… what?! Holy cow, did I really just say that? Insane.
9/15/10 - It’s been an interesting month of law school. I’ve been struggling to adapt to my new roles and find time in the day for everything I need to do. Scheduling my reading and studying time has been difficult. In addition to all of my law school distractions, I’ve also been juggling some distractions from my “real” life.
During my internships in Austin this summer, I began dating someone. We actually met the year before I went to law school in a leadership program in Austin. We spoke a few times during my 1L year and then went on a date over the summer. Since the first time we went out, we’ve pretty much been inseparable. Things began to get much more serious as the summer went on. As the end of the summer neared, we weren’t sure how this long-distance relationship was going to work. I was pretty sure that once school started I was going to be way too busy to deal with a girlfriend.
I was WAY off.
From the first week of school I knew I had a problem. It was hard for me to concentrate or dedicate as much time to preparing for class as I normally would, because I was either thinking about her, talking to her, or writing her. We originally thought she’d come down in September after about a month of school. Yeah…that plan evaporated within the first week of being apart and she came up to see me in August.
My friends could all tell there was something a little different about me, a little extra spring in my step if you will. Believe it or not, we’d actually already started talking about ways she could move to Fort Worth because we realized how much we wanted to be together.
For the first time in my law school journey, I had to experience the challenge of squeezing time for someone else into my already insanely busy schedule. This was somewhat old news for my married friends as they’ve been managing this challenge for awhile. I, however, have been struggling to figure out the best way.
It’s exciting to be experiencing another side to my real life and law school life at the same time. Things are only going to get more intense as I’ve recently proposed. Stay tuned for more updates and experiences as I continue through my 2L year as an engaged man. Should be fun.
8/25/10 - So it’s official… I’m a 2L! This is the year they say that you’ll be worked to death. The fears and anxiety I felt being a 1L are gone, but I’ve got a whole new slate of obligations, deadlines, and expectations taking their place. Walking into the school as a 2L is kinda wild, because even though we’ve got a year under our belt, and our confidence is sky high, there’s still a lot left to learn. Even though we’re a little higher on the food chain, we’re still not the top, a fact my 3L friends like to remind me of.
I’m pretty involved with the school, but one of the things I’m the most excited about is my role as an Academic Support TA. As a TA, I actually get to teach a gaggle of 20 1L’s and help them navigate their first year. It’s been fun watching the 1L’s wander the halls with the same wide-eyed panic I had last year. I’ve tried to reassure them that it’s all normal and that eventually the room will stop spinning. They look at me like I have all the answers, and call me sir (which is not cool). I’m hoping that I can inspire them to hunker down and do the work to be successful, while at the same time provide them with some guidance and perspective to help them manage the stress.
Oh yeah, I also found out that a 5 Guys Burger just opened up in Fort Worth! I couldn’t be more excited.
8/4/10 - I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – where did the summer go? I finished up my internships, said goodbye to my friends, and moved back to Fort Worth. Before I left, however, I did manage to find the best burger in Austin. For what it’s worth, if you haven’t had a 5 Guys burger, then you really haven’t lived.
Random tangents aside, I got back to Fort Worth late Monday evening only to turn around and fly to San Francisco for the American Bar Association’s annual meeting Wednesday morning – rough. It’s basically serving as my summer vacation, because as soon as we get back I’ll have to start getting ready for school. In addition to serving on the SBA board, I also hold a regional office with the law school division of the ABA. It’s a lot of fun, the people are great, and it’s a pretty good way to make some connections.
I spoke with a friend of mine the other day who seemed to be dreading the start of the new semester. I don’t know if I’m half insane or just a masochist, but I’m really looking forward to it. As the summer draws to a close and the start of my 2L year (still feels weird saying that) approaches, I find myself more and more excited. I’m not, however, excited about having to clean my apartment when I get back home.
I’m kinda sad I’m not going to make the big school-wide block party this year. I met some really great people last year, one of which I consider a very dear friend. I’d encourage all of you to go and make some friends before orientation.
I hate to run but I gotta get some sleep, tomorrow is a big day full of meet and greets and meetings.
7/21/10 - 10 days! That’s all the time I have left in Austin – 10 days! And by the time this makes it onto the website, my time will be reduced to a week! (Sorry for all the exclamation points but I’m truly dumfounded at just how fast this summer has flown by.)
I’ve been trying to eat at, go to, and experience all of my favorite “Austin” things and see as many friends as possible before the clock strikes midnight and I find myself back in the library under the hum of florescent lights. I’m gonna miss being in Austin, but as I’ve already expressed, I have found myself missing school. It’s interesting to me just how much I miss the friends I made last year. You don’t realize just how much you bond with people in that first year. There aren’t many situations where you see, interact, (and let’s not forget compete with) the same 80 people almost every day for 9 months! You really get accustomed to the routine. At the same time it’s very difficult for your other “non law school” friends to relate to the things happening in your life, which means your new friends become a major source of support.
The end of our 1L year happened so fast, and everyone dispersed to their respective trips, internships, or whatever so quickly that it wasn’t until I was already in Austin that realized I had some serious friend withdrawal. Of course, there are a few faces I haven’t missed, and those people probably think the same thing about me. But in the end, we will always have been classmates, and we will always have our 1L year together to look back upon and share.
It’s kinda cool, and as I think about the excitement I felt coming into school last year, I can’t help but feel a little jealous of the incoming 1L’s. Those of you coming in are getting ready to experience a fun adventure, one that I can’t adequately explain or prepare you for, but one that will certainly be memorable. The friends you make this first year will likely be people you keep in touch with for the rest of your life (I’m hoping they are). Soak in ALL of the sights, sounds, and moments - they only come around once. Before you know it you’ll be a 2L reminiscing about your first day and expressing shock at just how fast time flies. You have no idea just how lucky you are.
See you in 3 weeks!
7/7/10 - So I’ve started my second internship of the summer. It’s great, but it also means that the summer is quickly coming to an end – yikes. On the bright side, I have a window and a sweet parking spot under the Texas Law Center. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, it’s nice not having to park on the top floor of a parking garage and hike to the Supreme Court building each day (or as I liked to call it, the march of the interns).
I mentioned in my last blog that I would be observing oral arguments for the Court of Criminal Appeals in my last week there. I have to say, it was pretty wild. Watching and listening to the attorneys make their arguments was fascinating. Even though we were taught very little about oral arguments in class, I was still taken back by just how casual and animated several of the attorneys were. I kept half expecting the judges to remind them that they weren’t presenting to a jury. Having the opportunity to talk with the judges and learn their perspective on oral arguments was fascinating. I really enjoyed my time at the court.
I realized today that I still haven’t registered for all of my classes in the fall! After some initial scrambling, I think I got it all figured out. I’m pretty excited about my classes (yes, even Con Law), and I’m also excited to see the new class of 1L’s. As the SBA Vice President, I’ll be working very closely with the 1L’s all year. Currently, I’m working on putting together a panel for orientation. Drop me an e-mail if you’re entering this fall, and feel free to ask me anything you’d like to know.
6/23/10 - I’m still at the Court of Criminal Appeals and loving every bit of it. Since the Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest court in Texas for criminal cases, I’m working in the Supreme Court building on the Capitol grounds. Because of this, most days I walk over to the Capitol and have lunch in the Capitol Café. One day last week while I sat relaxing and enjoying a quiet lunch, several State Troopers came into the café and evacuated the room. Apparently, there was a bomb threat of some sort and they were evacuating the Capitol. It was a little wild. But what was equally, if not wilder, was the casualness with which everyone else was evacuating. I’ve never evacuated a building because of a bomb threat, but to most of the people there it was just another day at the office – kinda wild.
That’s about the most excitement I’ve had thus far. I’m still working on memos, reviewing writs, and preparing recommendations for my judge. Next week, however, the Court will be holding its final oral arguments for the session and I’m going to get to observe and possibly assist in some fashion – very exciting! It was nerve racking presenting oral arguments in class to my professor, I can only imagine just how stressful and intimidating it must be to argue for someone in front of the nine highest criminal judges in the state. I can hardly wait.
6/9/10 - Hello all. For the last 3 weeks I’ve been interning for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin. It’s been wild putting my “skills” to work as I review writs and write memos (the 10-12 page kind of memo) for my judge. In school I found the process of writing a memo for a grade to be somewhat stressful, and we spent four weeks or more working on them. But I’ve found that writing a memo for a judge, who is actually relying on my research to make a decision on real issues, in less time to be much more nerve racking.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about sitting at a desk reading and writing all day but so far I really, really enjoy it (which is good because this is exactly the type of things lawyers do on a daily basis). I’m learning a lot and the time is going fast! I can’t really believe my first internship is almost half-way over.
On another note, it’s really great being back in Austin. I haven’t had a chance to see all of my friends or do everything I wanted but nonetheless it’s nice to be “home.” I’ve managed to visit most of the places and eateries on my list, but there’s still much, much more to see and do. Oh yeah, waiting on my grades to trickle in is ever so fun.
5/19/10 - Well… It’s been a week since I took the last exam of my 1L year. You might think that my friends and I have spent this week celebrating and partying. You’d be wrong. I mean… we did celebrate the day it was all over, but for most of my friends, this last week has been about catching up with our “other life”. I’ve done a great deal of sleeping and cleaning, another friend started her summer job 4 days after our test, and many others have been driving or flying all over the place with a myriad of family obligations. It’s like we’ve all been trapped in a cave for the last nine months and we’re finally peeking our heads out to see what’s been going on.
As for me, I’m headed to Austin on Sunday to start the first of two internships. The first half of the summer I’ll be interning for a judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and the second half I’ll be interning at the Center for Legal Ethics. I’m very excited about both opportunities, and I’m very excited to be able to spend the summer in Austin.
What are those of you who’ve been accepted and are waiting out the next 90 days doing for the summer? (Thanks to Dean White for putting it in such succinct terms). Many of you have asked me what, if anything, you can do to “prepare” for the fall. I know some people will tell you to read some supplement books, or do some other kind of legal reading. My advice is to relax, have a fun, and spend as much time with your friends and family as possible, because starting in August your world is going to be upside down. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a hat and have your version of “the summer of Jason” but trust me it’ll be worth it if you do. This goes double for all you part-time night students. Your schedule is one that I cannot begin to comprehend and you’re going to find that free time next year is a valuable commodity. Use this summer to soak up as much time with the people in your lives as possible.
If you absolutely feel like you have to do something “productive” this summer I would HIGHLY recommend you going to the Texas Board of Law Examiners website and reviewing the “Intent to Study Law” application. Trust me, you’ll thank me in the fall if you start gathering information now.
So what about the rest of you? Those of you still on the fence about law school. What are you waiting for? Stop thinking about it and do it. Take it from someone who’s not exactly a spring chicken, it goes by fast! In three years you can either just be three years older, or you can be three years older with a law degree. Make it happen.
Have a great summer everyone, and as always feel free to send me an e-mail and ask anything you’d like. If you’re in Austin, drop me a note and we can meet up for a drink!
5/12/10 - As I sit here trying to find my “happy place,” waiting for my last final of my 1L year to start, I can’t help but think about how fast this ride has gone. In many ways, it’s similar to riding a rollercoaster for the first time. In the beginning, you’re full of anticipation, anxiety, and a little fear. Everything is new, the sights, the sounds, and the excitement you feel in each turn, dip, or loop. However, after the first big loop, turn, or whatever, the fear lessens, and if anything, you start to feel confident (and maybe put your hands up on the next big dip). As you approach the end, nothing really scares you but you’re have a great time. And saddening… the ride is over. If you’re like me, you’re always fascinated at just how quick the ride was. Especially when you think about how long you waited in line. It doesn’t matter how many more times you ride the ride, you’ll never feel the same excitement and anticipation as you did the first time.
Getting into law school was no easy decision or task for me. This time last year I’d been accepted and the idea of waiting all summer to start in the fall seemed like forever. But before I knew it, I was at the front of the line and the ride was starting. At the start of school EVERYTHING was a new experience, everything was exciting and the fear, anticipation, and anxiety was all very real. After I finished the first set of finals in December a lot of the fear and anxiety had dissipated but the ride still got me excited.
And now here I am. Sitting in the same room I’ve sat in everyday for the whole year waiting for the last test of my 1L year to start. I had A LOT of fun and there were many scary dips and turns, but it was all fun. In three hours, it will all be over (one way or the other) and honestly I’m shocked at how fast it went by. That first day feels like a lifetime ago in many ways, but in almost every other way it feels like it was just yesterday. Wild.
4/28/10 - Ahh…finals. This is the time when life gets real interesting around here. Every room in this school is being used right now. People are working to cram as much knowledge into their skull as safely possible.
Because I get too distracted at home, I like to study at school. With the weather being as nice as it is I can’t be near a window. So… that means for 10 to 12 hours of the day I’m secluded in a room without natural light, reading, memorizing, and working on practice problems. If this doesn’t sound like fun to you, then you might want to reconsider your decision to come to law school. Everyone’s got their own method, but I can assure that everyone who’s concerned with making good grades is sitting somewhere right now stuffing their brain with information. This will continue for the next two and half weeks.
So…I’m sorry for the short blog this week but I’ve really gotta get back to shoving the rules of Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Civil Procedure into my head.
4/21/10 - Tired. That’s the word that sums up how I feel most days right now. I’m not burnt out or feeling unhappy about school, I’m just tired. I think the last couple of weeks have really taken a toll. This is the home stretch so I’m trying to stay focused, but it’s difficult - regardless of how motivated I feel, or focused I may or may not be, my body and mind are tired.
Have any of you ever backpacked a long distance? Well… when you first start out your pack is heavy and it’s kind of a pain. But you’re super excited and your adrenaline is kicking, so you don’t really notice or care about the weight bearing down on you. You feel the weight of the pack each time you take a break, either for a meal, rest, sleep, etc., and the relief feels good. But… when the break is over the back seems to have gained weight as soon as it’s on your back. And just like before, you eventually forget about the weight as you make your way down the trail.
Eventually though, after time, the weight of the pack creeps back into your awareness. Your body is sore, joints ache, and the closer you get to your final destination the more you feel that weight slowly pressing down. It’s not unbearable but it’s definitely not fun, and you’re more focused on the relief of finishing than you are on enjoying the scenery of the hike.
So what’s the point of my random story? Well… that’s exactly how I feel about finals and finishing my first year of school. I’ve known since the first day this was the final destination and I’m felt the weight and burden all year. There have been some nice breaks to rest here and there, but as the end of the year approached, I swear that weight grew. I’m excited and bummed that the end of the year is approaching, and I’m trying to take the time to enjoy the scenery. At the same time, all I’m really thinking about is finishing this hike and throwing that pack off my back.
Luckily, I'm not alone. I look around at my classmates and I can see the same tired look in their faces. They might try to act like they're doing just great, and they might be saying they're fine, but you can see in their eyes and face that they are feeling tired, too. I'm sure glad they took our blog picture in August and not now.
4/14/10 - It’s been a rough week, but as I’ve said before, there’s no time to rest. Finals start up in just over two weeks, which means I’ve got to get re-energized. I’m not completely behind, but I do need to hunker down and get some work done.
Something new this semester that I’m looking forward to is presenting oral arguments in our writing class. We’ve been paired up against another classmate and we’ll be making arguments in the courtroom, just as if we were petitioning a court for a pre-trial motion. I think it’ll be fun to “play lawyer” for a bit and get a break from the routine.
Speaking of fun, this last weekend was the school’s annual Crawfish Boil. It was a blast getting to see everyone - students, administrators, professors, and deans, all out in a casual setting having fun. The weather wasn’t great, but the rain held back long enough for us to enjoy some piping hot crawfish. In addition to the crawfish, there was a band, mechanical bull, bounce house, dunking booth and other random fun. Personally, I think this kind of event would be best suited for the weekend after finals are over, but either way it was a good time.
4/7/10 - Remember when I talked about life not stopping while you’re in law school? Well, Monday night, while I was up late working on my major writing assignment, I learned that a friend of mine in Austin passed away suddenly.
So there I was sitting in my apartment, with piles of cases all around me, staring at the computer at 2:00 AM. While the student in me needed to be thinking about the statute of frauds, statute of limitations, citations, grammar, etc., the non-student in me was consumed with thoughts of my friend, her husband, and her family. Thinking about how long it had been since I’d spoken to her made me sadder. She was always an encouraging voice and someone who truly seemed to love my big, loud personality. I remembered how excited she was for me that I was going to law school. I thought about just how much school takes from us in regards to our family and friends.
When I left Austin to come to school here, I left a whole world and tons of friends, from the super close to the somewhat close. In the last 8 months, I’ve had to focus so much time and energy on school that I’ve neglected relationships built over a lifetime. It really sucks.
Everyone says they understand when I apologize that I can’t come down to visit, or have to leave something early, or just can’t go out because I feel like I have to focus on school. To justify neglecting these relationships, we tell ourselves that it’s just what we have to do in order to survive the insane world that is law school. But sitting at my computer early Tuesday morning, staring at the screen I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What’s the point?”
Tuesday itself was pretty rough, and I felt overly emotional all day. After I had to call and deliver the news to another friend in Austin, I almost lost it in Student Services when a friend asked how it was going. Of course, Tuesday is our 3-class day, and while I went to every class physically, I wasn’t really there mentally (insert sarcastic, “Are you ever?” joke here). Luckily, I was able to have dinner and hang out with a friend from school. Taking a night off to relax and be able to talk about something other than promissory estoppels really helped the non-student part of me.
Even today, I’ve found myself drifting in thought to friends and relationships both gone and presently neglected. The fact that I sat and calculated just how much class time I’d miss, as well as time away from my paper, if I went to the memorial was upsetting. But coming to the conclusion that I had to once again choose school over something pretty important was numbing.
Somehow, I’ve got to find a way to compartmentalize my feelings and emotions and press on because my paper is due in 6 days regardless of the world around me. Classes still have required reading, finals are still approaching, and as I’ve said before, law school life is moving forward even though my real life could really use a pause.
3/31/10 - You gotta love the fact that some people still haven’t realized that there are no secrets in law school. It’s funny, before I started law school I had heard stories from everyone I knew about how the culture of law school can be very “high schoolish,” but I don’t think I really believed it. Of course, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in high school, so maybe I just forgot.
In the beginning, you’re pretty much just feeling people out. It’s like the first round of a boxing match where the fighters just dance around - testing the waters and sizing up their opponent. Then, the semester ends, grades come out, and all bets are off. Most people don’t talk about grades or rankings, but by this point in the second semester you have an idea of who sits where. Which just makes it all the more hysterical when someone acts superior or all self-righteous. Equally hysterical are the people who think that because they’ve completed one semester of law school they somehow have it all figured out.
I think a factor is the age of most students, plus the fact we’re in a pressure-cooker environment. Throw in the myriad of egos and you have a combination that makes for an endless production of “drama.” At times it’s pretty funny, but other times it’s just annoying. Anyway, sorry for the rant. Just know that try as you might, the high school drama is sometimes unavoidable.
3/24/10 - I don’t know if I’ve talked about this yet or not, but something you can easily lose track of in this madness we call law school is your life. I mean, I have my law school life and that’s moving at the speed of light, but I’m talking about real life. You know where you are right now and where you were a year ago; the life with your family and friends you’ve known longer than 8 months. What you don’t always realize is that life (your real life) keeps going despite the fact you’re not always an active participant. I know it seems unfair, but it’s true.
Occasionally things from your real life intersect and/or interfere with your law school life and it’s not always pretty. That’s the kind of stuff I’ve been dealing with for the last week or so and it’s a big distraction. I’ve finally been able to sleep, which helps tremendously. I don’t think we realize just how valuable sleep is until we aren’t getting any.
So anyway, besides all that the biggest news is the new arrival of a new person in our section. One of my friends has been pregnant all year and she gave birth to a little girl during Spring Break. It’s been kinda wild - in a lot of ways, we’ve had a front row seat and felt very much invested in the progress of the child. For the last eight months, that little baby has sat with us in Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, and LARW. It’s pretty cool to see her and hold her after all this time. This is yet another example of real life not pausing for law school life.
You’ve been warned.
3/10/10 - So everyone is ramping up for Spring Break. I’m excited too, but thanks to our newest writing assignment, I’m not going to be going anywhere exotic or doing anything too crazy. I am going to make my way to Austin for a few days and see some friends, catch up, and maybe talk to a few firms. I’d like to be able to take the whole week off and relax but it just doesn’t sound like a good idea.
I’m still amazed at how fast this semester seems to have flown by. For that matter, this year! I was talking to some friends the other day about some of the mayhem we were causing last year at this time. If there’s anyone out there reading this that’s wondering if they should or shouldn’t go to law school because they think they’re too old to go back to school, or thinking that three years is a long time, trust me it’s not.
Aside from that, the other stuff going on with me is the constant struggle to pay bills and stay afloat. I’m only living on student loans and the school regulates how much we can borrow (based on the federal government’s limits based on the full cost of attendance). On the one hand, I can appreciate the school (and the government) wanting to make sure we don’t fall too far into debt, but on the other hand, I don’t know many students who aren’t struggling. It’s very frustrating to say the least.
3/3/10 - Hello virtual friends. This week has been somewhat interesting in that our school had its ABA visitation/inspection (that’s the American Bar Association for those readers not currently looking to attend law school). Anyway, nothing really changed for us except we had visitors observing our classes – which meant we were kind of expected to be really engaged and prepared. It also meant that some people had to resist surfing the Internet during class – from my observations, it was harder for some than others.
One part of the inspection that I felt was particularly interesting was a forum they held for students. They asked us questions like how we felt about parking, our professors, and other daily aspects of being a law student at Texas Wesleyan. What I thought was interesting was the varying responses from day and night students. We might technically be going to the same school, but in a lot of ways, we’re really not. The experience is completely different. There’s a lot more I could say on the subject but it’s probably not good to air that out in a blog. If you have any specific questions or curiosities feel free to drop me a note.
Aside from the ABA inspection it’s been a normal week…oh yeah, except for the fact I feel completely lost in Criminal Law, Civil Procedure is turning into a sea of minutiae, I’ve already burned through 2 legal pads of notes in Property, and I have no idea what exactly I’m supposed to be taking away from Contracts. Oh yeah…then there’s LARW where the research and citation assignments are so frustrating and tedious that I want to run out of the building and dive into the Water Gardens across the street. As if that wasn’t enough…I’m pretty sure we’re about to get our major writing assignment Friday. Seriously…
At the end of the day though, I wouldn’t trade this for anything.
2/24/10 – I’ve discovered something even more brutal than navigating the stress and workload of law school - being sick while navigating the stress and workload of law school. It’s really not fun; in fact, if there was one word to sum it up, that word would be unawesome. I don’t recommend it.
Today we had a presentation about registering for classes next year and it was somewhat overwhelming and terrifying. As a 1L, your classes are assigned. In fact, you don’t even register for them, the school puts you where they want you and that’s that. Now, we get to choose our own fate and it’s kinda daunting when you consider just how many areas of law are out there. In addition to all that, we’ve got to start preparing for the bar exam (what?!). That’s right, even though it’s more than two years away it’s really right around the corner (which is pretty crazy when I stop and think about it).
It’s funny, as a first year student I’ve found myself getting lulled into my nice safe 1L bubble where my classes are chosen for me, the schedule is nice and structured, and the bar exam is a million years away. This afternoon my little bubble burst and I realized just how soon this wild ride will be over. It’s true when they say it’ll be over before you know it. At times, that first day of class seems like a lifetime ago and yet it was just 7 months ago. Spring Break is right around the corner, and before I know it I’ll be blogging about how there’s no time to study for finals. OK, I gotta get back to reading.
2/17/10 – It’s crunch time. Thanks to the snow days (still hard to believe we actually had snow days) we were given an extension on our writing assignments. What seemed like an awesome gift has really turned into days of added anxiety and frustration. I think I could write myself in circles for weeks over this assignment – and I’m positive that’s how they designed it.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about the many ways I’m finding this semester to be much harder than the last. As I’ve already mentioned, the full-on intensity and fear of that “first semester” is gone, but here I sit six weeks into my second semester and I’m still feeling overwhelmed at times. It’s like I want to be relaxed and think I’ve got this whole law school thing down, but the reality is I don’t.
They piled a lot on us that first semester but as I look back on it now, I almost think they’re lumping more on now. The only difference to me is that many of us feel like it snuck up on us. It’s like the old expression about the best way to boil a lobster…you don’t throw them in a pot of boiling water, you put them in cool water and slowly turn up the heat. That way they don’t realize they’re being cooked until it’s too late. Six weeks into my second semester I think I’ve just realized the temperature of the water has slowly risen…
2/10/10 - There are two things on everyone’s minds right now. One is our third memo assignment due in 6 days, and the second is hoping/praying/wishing for enough snow tomorrow and Friday to close school (so we have more time to work on our memo). I’m not too terribly freaked out about my memo (yet) but I have been feeling a little stressed.
Last semester they kinda spoon fed us on the case research, so this go-around has been a little more enlightening. While this assignment is somewhat harder than our last, it’s given us a real feel for what we might be doing in the not so distant future. – which is kinda cool. Right now, all of this still seems overwhelming but I’m encouraged by the fact that eventually it will seem like second nature to me. Soon I’ll be helping talk some panic stricken 1L off the ledge as they flounder around the library looking lost.
I think the hardest thing about memo time is trying to find the right balance of prepping for class, studying, and of course writing. I haven’t exactly mastered this skill but I feel like it’s within my grasp. I’ve been trying to squeeze time in during the day after class to run and/or work out and so far it seems to be working. A friend of mine is training for a half marathon right now which of course blows my mind.
2/3/10 - Writing memos, ahh… how I missed thee. Here we are four weeks into our second semester and we’ve got a writing deadline bearing down on us. Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy my Legal Writing class but all the research and analyzing can be a little much at times.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that many people have a much more cavalier attitude about preparing for class, as if they’ve figured it all out now that the first semester is over. I have to admit, at times I’ve even felt a sense of false confidence.
When you get here they talk a lot about how different and difficult law school will be from your undergraduate work. For the most part I’d say everyone takes notice and works hard since that first semester of law school is unlike anything we’ve experienced. But if I had to put my finger on the one single difference between this semester and our first is an overwhelming since of relief, and maybe even a feeling that some have let their guard down. I know personally I’ve found myself feeling complacent at times and I’ve made it a goal to charge myself back to the level of intensity I had last semester. It’s awesome that I’ve finished my first semester but I’ve got to keep my eye on the prize and remain focused for 5 more. – yikes, 5 more.
1/27/10 - Note to self – do not yawn with 5 minutes to go in class. Nothing good comes from it. An hour and twenty-five minutes into Property class today I was feeling a little tired, and a big ‘ol yawn came upon me that I couldn’t fight off. Of course I covered my mouth (I’m not a heathen after all) but there was no mistaking the yawn since I sit right in the middle of the room. My professor looks me right in the eye and says, “Well… I just saw a HUGE yawn, so that must mean I’m boring you.” I was instantly horrified and of course thought he was about to call on me. Instead, he announces to the class, “That’s my cue to end class.” – and he did. It was somewhat embarrassing and of course my friends found endless humor out of it. So I guess the real lesson is if you’re going to yawn don’t be the idiot sitting dead center in the room.
Aside from that, things are moving along. I think I’m starting to get my sea legs back and school is moving full speed ahead. Absent completely from my routine last semester was some time to work out or be active. Sitting, reading, eating, sleeping, sitting, reading, eating, and more eating and sleeping doesn’t make for a very active lifestyle. I’ve put back a little more than the “freshman 15” so this semester I have to make some time to be active.
1/20/10 - It’s been somewhat difficult adjusting back to school life. The first week came and went and I still haven’t found a study rhythm that I like.
Then… just when I thought I was getting my sea legs back – WHAM – we got our first writing assignment of the new semester. I don’t know why but for some reason I thought we’d get a little more time before getting clubbed over the head with that. I was WAY off.
In addition to all that, it’s now time to start worrying about summer internships – cuz you know… there’s always room to squeeze more hours into the day. I’ve got pretty good idea of the places I’d like to apply but now it’s just a matter of getting the applications ready.
It’s weird… you exert so much energy and effort into that first semester of law school that by the time the winter break rolls around you’re empty. So you spend the whole break relaxing and getting recharged for the second round. The difference this time around is that you now kinda have an idea of the long road that’s ahead of you, so it takes a little more effort and mental focus to psych yourself up. The first semester of law school you have no idea what’s about to happen to you, so you run full steam ahead full of bright-eyed excitement ready to take on the world. Heading into the second semester I’d say the excitement is still there but we’ve seen the man behind the curtain which means we’re not pie-eyed newbies anymore.
1/13/10 - Well… WE’RE BACK!
The break was great, but I can honestly say I think it was too long. Seriously?!? Did I just say that the break was too long? I know it sounds crazy but after a week of staying up all night and sleeping all day, I was ready to go back to school.
As much as the first semester of law school was an intense and anxiety driven experience, it somewhat paled to the anxiety of waiting for grades. They don’t come at once, rather they trickle in as the professors finish them. (In fact, we’re still waiting on one of our grades and it’s the first week of class!)
Most people really work hard their first semester, but all that work doesn’t always equal good grades – it’s just the nature of the law school beast. So when you get a text from a friend saying, “property grades are posted” you kinda have a mini stroke as you fumble around trying to log into your computer to check the verdict (pun intended).
Being back is great, but a little weird at the same time. It’s awesome seeing friends and hearing how well everyone did. All of my professors said that the culture of the class would be different once grades were posted and it’s really fascinating. There are those who aren’t talking about grades at all and there are those who did well but don’t want to be perceived as “flaunting it.” It’s sad looking around and realizing that not everyone is back, either because they chose not to return or the school chose for them.
But it is what it is, and I’m excited about the new semester and looking forward to this year’s challenges.
12/16/09 - It’s hard to know what to do with myself now that classes are over. Part of me still feels like I need to be back up at the library each night. It feels weird not to talk to the same people I’ve seen every day for the last four months. I’m trying to slowly re-introduce myself back into society as I contact friends and family.
Everyone wants to know how I did on my tests (as do I) but they’re stunned when I tell them I won’t likely know until the week school starts back up. They always react with shock and awe and exclaim how it would drive them crazy having to wait that long (which doesn’t make it any harder on me at all by the way). I figure if my ID card works the first day of classes I passed, and if it doesn’t well… you probably won’t be reading my blog anymore.
I don’t have much planned for the break. In fact, I’m purposefully trying to do as little as possible for the next few weeks. I spent several days cleaning my apartment and sifting through piles of class notes and case briefs, I don’t know if I’m ever going to need this stuff again but I just couldn’t throw them out. I imagine at some point I’ll lose the irrational attachment. Now I just wake up late, shuffle over to my couch, and nap until whenever – it’s glorious.
Sleep, eat, relax, and maybe some golf if I’m lucky. Something tells me the spring semester will be upon me before I know it.
12/9/09 - Well…it’s almost over. One more final and my first semester of law school will be officially done. The only thing left will be a month of anticipation as I wait for my grades to trickle in - brutal.
All in all, I’ve been pretty happy with the experience. Luckily, I studied throughout the semester so it wasn’t as if I was trying to learn and cram four months of information into 2 days of studying. I’m hopeful that the work I put in will be reflected in my grades in the end, but since everyone’s test is graded against each other I have no way of knowing how what I wrote compares to everyone else.
The weird thing is that I’ve felt pretty good about the finals I have taken so far. For the most part they were exactly what I thought they would be and I’ve felt prepared. I’ve heard some stories of people not finishing their test. Some people like to discuss the test after it’s over, not me. One of my professors told me early on not to discuss the test with people afterward and I’ve followed that advice pretty well. There’s just no reason to do so - if anything it’ll drive you insane if you think you missed something that someone put in their answer. What if they’re wrong? What if you did miss something? It’s too late now to change anything so why drive yourself crazy thinking about all the “what ifs”?
Plus, there’s really not time to dwell on a test once it’s over because another is coming. So… here’s to one last test and a month off!
11/25/09 - People have been talking about some holiday coming up, but I’m not sure I know what they’re talking about. On the one hand classes are over, but on the other hand I’m still up at school all day updating my outline, studying, and trying to work as many practice multiple choice questions and essays as possible. I don’t understand how it’s possible that I can have read and studied so much and still feel as if I don’t know a thing.
I imagine this is the time when people who haven’t read or prepared for class all semester are freaking out from the sheer volume of information they’re attempting to “learn.” Of course, they might just be gambling that law school finals are similar to undergrad finals, in which case I think they’re going to be sorely mistaken.
There’s no guarantee that I’m going to do much better just because I might have studied harder or prepared throughout class - which of course is somewhat stressful (to say the least). Unlike undergrad, the ability to analyze and apply what we’ve learned is much more important than being able to simply regurgitate information. Hopefully I’ll find that magic balance between knowledge and application which will completely impress my professors so much that they use my answers as examples for years to come.
My first final is five days away and…wait… what… did I just say five days away?! Umm… sorry to cut this short but I’ve gotta get back to studying!
11/18/09 - What a difference a week makes! So… our major writing assignment (the memo) is finally done and turned in. That takes one huge boulder off my back. Now all I have to worry about are the four horsemen of the apocalypse, which I affectionately refer to as Torts, Property, Civil Procedure, and Contracts. Good times.
In all seriousness, despite the stress, fear, panic, and sheer terror over the fact my whole grade hangs on my performance on the final… I love it here.
I had a really great law school “moment” Monday morning around 4:00 AM (that’s right, AM) while sitting in an IHOP working on last minute edits, citations, and tweaks. I was tired; my body was aching, and my brain felt more than full. But despite all that, I couldn’t have been happier in that moment. I remember clearly feeling almost giddy over the fact I get to be a student and do this. I mean seriously, it's really pretty awesome.
It’s ok if you think it’s weird, because well… I kinda do too. When I think about the arc my life has taken over the last five years, I can’t help but feel really lucky about being in school. I know several classmates who feel as if law school is the bane of their existence and that the stress and pressure of finals is the worst thing they’ve ever been through. I’m not gonna lie, the stress is intense and the pressure can be suffocating at times. But it’s hardly the worst thing I’ve ever been through.
Fortunately or unfortunately, (however you wanna look at it) I’ve experienced some things in my life that made the stress and pressure of law school seem pleasant. So I guess when things get really rough at school I remember tougher times and a little thing called perspective pops into my head. This might explain why I found myself grinning from ear to ear like an idiot while writing a paper in an IHOP at 4:00 AM.
11/11/09 - Well… I got destroyed today in class. In an attempt to find more hours in the day to work on my writing assignment or study for finals I decided to cut back on my preparation for class. Only one of our classes follows a strict Socratic method, and another has posted who will be on call each day. The other classes are pretty casual in the way they call on people so I figured I’d gamble a little. Yeah… umm… that decision backfired big time.
The first hour of class was spent with our professor essentially lecturing a new subject. Class participation followed a normal pattern of people volunteering, sharing, and discussing with the professor. With only 15 minutes left in class, I figured I was home free – wrong again.
The professor looked at his notes, called out my name and asked me to brief the assigned case. Of course I froze in disbelief. Part of me was mortified, and at the same time another part of me couldn’t help but laugh at the Karmic message being sent. I tried to flub my way through the case description but as soon as the professor asked me a specific question I knew my goose was cooked. I just looked up, apologized and admitted I wasn’t as prepared for class as I should be. It sucked. The professor was real nice about it and didn’t go all “Paper Chase” on me but that didn’t make me feel any better.
The best part (and by best I mean worst) was that for some reason there was a camera set up in the classroom today. So… the day I come to class totally unprepared AND get called on, it’s recorded for posterity.
11/4/09 - It’s NOVEMBER! Holy cow, who authorized that?! I realize that I’ve been going to class, reading briefs, writing memos, and studying for awhile, but seriously - where did the time go? At times it feels like we just got here.
Of course, when I start compiling information or sifting through my outlines and notes, I realize just how much ground we’ve covered and where the time went. So now I’m trying to figure out ways to bend time and space to fit more minutes into my day - it’s not going well.
With finals approaching and our second writing assignment due in less than two weeks, I can honestly say I feel a wee bit overwhelmed. I’m trying to shove A LOT of information into my brain which is a problem for two reasons. One, between my four classes, there’s a ton of legal information to learn and memorize. Two, I’ve spent the better part of my life shoving sports statistics, Simpsons and Seinfeld episodes, as well as various movie quotes into my brain, which means I don’t seem to have enough brain space for the amount of new information I have. I’m afraid come exam time I’m only going to remember Rose Bowl champions of the last ten years in place of the rules of negligence.
10/28/09 – Well, things are starting to get a little hairy. Finals are approaching and many of us are starting to buckle down a little more on studying and preparing less for class. With this, of course, brings anxiety and a little game of “hide the ball.”
As far as the anxiety is concerned, I can honestly say I’ve been feeling it more and more as the weeks have gone by. Having only one test to determine your grade in a class is rough, but it is what it is, so I’m pressing on. There have been a few times when I’ve felt a little overwhelmed, but I’d say I’m handling it pretty well (at least for now).
As for hide the ball, well, this is a fun little game that I’d heard about before school started but never really understood the rules until I got here. You hear about how people hide books, or mislead people on assignments and so forth. It hasn’t gotten that bad just yet but people are being elusive about how they’re studying, what they’re doing to prepare, and generally not being as open and helpful with one another as we were in the first months of school. It’s kinda interesting.
I’m in a hurry today because I’m taking a practice test. I guess my anxiety level will increase or decrease depending on how well I do. I’ll let you know next week. Wish me luck!
10/21/09 - I feel like there should be more to talk about today but unfortunately, I can’t think of much. It seems like my life is on some kind of twisted continuous loop - read, study, class, eat, sleep, and repeat. It’s like my own personal Groundhog Day. The only thing I’m missing is waking up to “I Got You, Babe” each morning.
Before school starts, everyone warns you about how crazy busy law school is. At orientation, they tell you how intense the schedule is. Even now, over months later, they continue to remind us about the importance of time management. What I don’t think anyone could convey is just how difficult it can be at times to maintain this intensity for fourteen straight weeks. Being that this is the home stretch, it’s really not the time you want to be running out of gas.
On a completely unrelated note… every night after I get home from the library I often see several of those horribly acted personal injury attorney commercials. Watching them I can’t help but wonder if these attorneys ever thought they’d be doing that kind of work while they sat in law school. Where did they come up with their cheesy, over the top nicknames? Don’t their friends from law school make fun of them? It makes me laugh thinking who from my class might end up on late night TV ten years from now.
10/14/09 - Today started off like any other... reading in the morning, class, academic support (make-up), followed by more class. But then… suddenly... and unexpectedly, I was greeted with the most pleasant surprise. My friend who previously fell to the ranks of the “wheelie people” returned to the light and rejoined the backpackers. Hooray! One more person fighting the good fight. We shared a hug and rejoiced in her return.
Don’t get me wrong, I have wheelie people friends as well, but… I can say that there have been times when I’ve felt overrun in the halls or smothered as 5 wheelie people (and their bags) enter the elevator with me.
Aside from all that excitement, I’d have to say it feels like the calm before the storm. We just turned in our first writing assignment and I think the tendency for some is to relax a bit. To quote Admiral Ackbar “It’s a trap!” (Sorry for those of you too young to understand the reference). As difficult as it might be, I feel like the best course of action is to press on and maintain a strict schedule of studying to do what I can to prepare for finals. It’s only going to get harder to find the time and energy to study when we get our final writing assignment. And if I wait until later in November I think I might break down and cry from the sheer volume of information I’d be trying to absorb. Hopefully my body won’t revolt until after finals in December.
10/7/09 - Sleep is important… but lately I haven’t been getting enough. I get to bed pretty late and get to school an hour and a half before classes start. Combine this with all the reading I have to do and I have to say I’m starting to feel pretty worked.
I’ve been kind of irritable all week - things that haven’t been bothering me so far have really been grinding on my nerves. So… because I’m aware of this I’ve had to make time to relax a bit before I come back up to school in the evenings. It’s hard sometimes to remember that I have to take a little time for myself in order to keep it together. As if that wasn’t enough, it seems like every third person in my class is sick with something. All day you hear coughing, sneezing, noses blowing, throats clearing, etc. At times I want to walk around in a biohazard suit.
Classes are going well. I think it’s amazing how much ground we’ve covered, but I’m also a little concerned I won’t be able to fit it all in my brain by the time finals roll around. I’d say the thing that’s occupying most of my time is the writing assignment due next Tuesday. In fact, I can hear the little voice in my head saying, “Memo, memo, memo, memo…” every time I find myself sitting at a traffic light, standing in the elevator, or when I’m trying to go to sleep. – Good times.
10/1/09 - The fact that we’re approaching the half way point of the semester is a little hard to swallow. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in Orientation wondering if I was going to be able to keep up. Now here I am on autopilot cruising into October! Where did the time go?
This last week has been a little more stressful than usual and I know things are only going get more intense. Another writing assignment is looming on the horizon, which means time management is going to be even more important in the coming weeks. At times like this these I feel somewhat envious of my friends with spouses or significant others. I know it’s probably stressful for them but at the end of the day it’s nice having someone to talk to and decompress with.
Another thing on my mind is how quickly I’ve adapted to being back in Fort Worth. I was born less than five miles from here and spent my high school years running all over this town. When I left in 1994, I had no intention of returning. I really thought it would be a much harder transition but luckily my fears have subsided. Sometimes hearing about what’s going on in Austin (via Facebook) makes me a little homesick. But… as I’ve said, I don’t really have time to think about all that.
This weekend I’m going to get some work done but I’m also looking forward to taking a little time out to relax. I don’t feel quite as guilty watching college football on Saturday when I study on Friday night. To me it’s an easy sacrifice.
9/23/09 - Well… I didn’t tie the record for consecutive days called on in Contracts class but the semester is still young.
On Tuesday, our Civil Procedure professor pretty much crushed what little confidence I had. For the first time since school started, I felt completely inept. He gave us a sample test question to analyze and answer for class. I’d say most of us felt pretty good about how we did walking into class. Yeah…that lasted about 20 minutes.
It felt like someone hit me in the face with a sock full of pennies as our professor proceeded to map out how he would have analyzed the problem. I wasn’t sure how to process just how little I know at this point. Especially when I think about how much we'll be expected to know in two months! I thought about curling up in a fetal position right there but decided against it. After Civ Pro, I walked to my Academic Support class in a hazy, zombie-like stupor, wondering how in the world I was going to learn everything I needed to know. I went through the rest of the day on autopilot as the morning’s mental assault lingered in my head.
Luckily, by the end of the day I’d spoken to enough people to know I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. In fact, a lot of us felt the same panic. Although it was nice to learn others felt just as shell-shocked it still took me a little while to snap out of the funk. I found a local batting cage by my house for some much needed “therapy.” It felt good taking out all that built up frustration and anxiety on those innocent baseballs. I think I'll be scheduling weekly sessions.
9/16/09 - It’s been 30 days since law school started and I think it’s becoming increasingly apparent that some people are starting to crack. I think a friend of mine summed it up best when she said, “Anyone can handle the first 3 weeks of law school.” We’ve entered the real push now that we’ve passed the introductory phase of classes. For some, the ability to maintain the persona they’ve been projecting is becoming harder and harder.
I think it’s completely normal for people to project the best possible side of themselves in this setting, but as assignments mount and the weight of school increases the stress and pressure of school begins to take its toll. Eventually something’s got to give – and it appears the first things to go are patience and personality facades. I’m trying to recognize when this is happening (especially when it’s me who’s losing patience) and do my best not to aggravate the situation.
Of course, it doesn’t help matters that we’re in the same classes or that we’re in the same room with the same people day after day after day. It’s like some kind of immersion therapy. I’m wondering if our professors have some kind of betting pool to see which one of us cracks first (I think that would be pretty awesome actually).
Other than that, things are moving along pretty well here. I’m starting to get into a schedule that I like, and I feel like I’m being a lot more productive with my time. I’ve been called on three days in a row for Contracts class and I’m actually hoping to tie the record on Friday. Why not, right?
9/9/09 - Many elements of law school can be difficult. There’s a lot to juggle and staying on top of it all isn’t always easy. I’ve found that my biggest obstacle is figuring out my routine - trying to find the best schedule to study, read, outline, and have fun is proving to be much more of a challenge than I had originally expected.
I originally thought I would simply stay after class and study or read in the library until 6:00ish – but that hasn’t panned out. I’m trying to mimic the schedule that many of my fellow students who ride the train back to Dallas each day follow. It seems that the “train people” (as many of us call them) have a pretty good system mapped out for getting some reading done before the evening starts.
I’ve found that when I go home right after class I don’t usually get started with my homework or reading right away. When I stay at the library after school I feel like I’m able to make some dents in my reading before dinner. I’m finding the trick now is to either keep more books in my locker or plan ahead the night before.
Another big decision that I’m fighting is the conversion from a backpacker to a wheelie person. Backpackers, as the name implies, are those of us who carry our books and such in a backpack to class. “Wheelie people” are those students who drag behind them what can only be described as a luggage bag with wheels. Over the last few weeks I’ve watched as several of my friends fell to the dark side by converting to wheelie persons. Not me though, I’m planning to fight the good fight as long as I can - I’ll let you know how it goes.
9/2/09 – Two weeks in and I haven’t gone running for the hills yet – that’s gotta be a good sign. It’s hard to believe it’s already September. Time really does fly when you’re having fun (or reading page after page, as the case may be).
So far I have to say I’m really enjoying all of my classes. Even though Civil Procedure makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry at times, I do enjoy it. Additionally, I’ve found that I like the structure of the Socratic method more than I thought I would. Each professor has his or her own style in how they decide whose name they call, but my favorite so far is my professor who pulls our name randomly from a deck of index cards which he refers to as “the cards of destiny.”
I’m excited about the Labor Day weekend coming up. For one, it’s the start of the college football season (finally). Also, I’m hoping to take advantage of the extra time to organize some notes and maybe, just maybe, relax a bit.
8/26/09 – Well, it’s official…I’m a 1L. Before I knew it orientation came and went. For three days we were shuffled around like cattle, moving in herds to presentations, speeches, panels, tours, meals, and even class. Almost instantly we were overrun with information.
I liken the experience to filling a pitcher with water only to continue pouring once it’s full. The container can’t capture anymore so the extra fluid just oozes over the edge. This was me by the end of orientation. Once I got home and everything started to slow down the little voice in my head kept asking the same question. “Are you ready for this?”
But before I had a chance to answer… WHAM! - First day of class.
Ready or not it was time to jump into the deep end of the pool. I think everyone for the most part was ready and excited for class, but that didn’t mean we wanted to be the first person called on. The moment our professor announced he’d finished picking names there was a collective sigh from the rest of the room. That was day one, class one and from that moment things have been moving pretty fast. The work is intense, and there’s a lot of reading, but honestly this first week has been a blast.
Meeting new people, sharing stories, and making those first connections that might lead to life-long friendships has been really great. In the few days I've been here I’ve met some really fun and interesting people. I’m excited to see what comes next.