Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekly MILS Roundup #8

This week's Moms in Law School Roundup is at PT-LawMom. Next week it will be at A Little Fish in Law School, and the following week it will be back here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Answering Questions

So this week I spoke in class a few times. The first time I volunteered. I had an answer to the professor's question that I thought was a good one. The person sitting next to me thought so too. The next day I got called on. I knew the answer that the person at the end of my row was struggling with, so I thought I did well. Then the professor asked a follow up and I completely flubbed it. I said "I don't think so" when a better answer would have been "Yes." The professor moved on quickly because someone else volunteered with the right answer (I know there are often no right answers in law school, but in this case there was). Anyway, then I felt kind of stupid and when the professor kept going back to the other people that he had asked questions of on that case and didn't come back to me I felt like I needed to prove that I did know what was going on and did have intelligent things to say, so I volunteered and spoke a couple more times that day.

I've noticed that Prof Legal methods seems to have a few favorites in class -- people that he can always count on to have an opinion -- and he calls on them frequently, even when they don't volunteer. But he also is trying to call on everyone in class twice. He finished up the last few people in the first iteration on Friday, so I guess Monday we will all be up for grabs again. He doesn't seem to have a discernible system -- I think it is just random. Anyway, I don't mind it. Even though I froze up that one time, I generally feel like I could give an intelligent answer to most of the questions he asks.

Anyway, I also wanted to answer PT-LawMom's question about the age breakdown of my class. I don't know exactly what the breakdown is for my class but I got the statistics for last year's class off of the admission's website. In that class 78% were 24 or younger, 18% were 25-28 and 4% were 29 or older. This seems to be about what my class is. Well over half are within a year or two of college. There seems to be a significant minority of people around 5 years out of college. Then a few older. I know at least two other people who graduated from undergrad the same year as me who are in my legal methods section. I have also met two other mothers in my class. One has a toddler who is unfortunately living with his grandmother far away for now because she couldn't find daycare, and the other has two kids in college.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Notes from the First Week of Law School

I have now completed five days of law school classes. So far I am really enjoying it. Last week was hard because we didn't get our assignment for the first day until two days before classes started and it was a long assignment so I didn't complete it until the night before and then each night I was reading for the next day's class which made me feel like I was kind of behind because I wasn't ahead. But over the weekend I was able to get ahead a little bit and now I am reading two days ahead, which makes me feel more relaxed. It is amazing but we are actually going to get through an 800+ page textbook in less than three weeks.

Oh, and my professor is super-nice. He actually said that if anybody feels that the prospect of being called in causes them such anxiety that they feel it actually interferes with their ability to learn he will take them out of the rotation. He calls on a lot of people each class and people also volunteer. I haven't been called on yet, but the prospect doesn't really scare me, I have felt prepared enough to answer the questions he has been asking so far.

My routine is working out pretty well. I usually have two or three hours to study during the day and then do another two or three hours at home after the little guy goes to bed. Hubby watched the little guy on one weekend day so I could go to the library and study and the other weekend day was my day off from law school.

I have been spending three or four hours a day with the little guy, which seems like still a good amount of time, but I noticed when I spent that day with him on the weekend that he looked different to me, like he had grown over the week, and because I was spending less time with him I now had the perspective to see the changes.

I also changed over the week... I lost two pounds. I guess the mile walk to and from law school each day is doing me good. I also checked out the University's gym this week and plan on going there twice a week starting tomorrow. I am also thinking of signing up for a yoga class in the fall.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekly MILS Roundup #7

Time for the weekly Moms in Law School Roundup! Here are the best posts from this week:

The Weekly Moms In Law School (MILS) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis here, at PT-LawMom, and at A Little Fish in Law School and is usually posted no later than Monday morning. Next week’s MILS Roundup will be at PT-LawMom.

If you’d like to have your blog added to the MILS blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm Oriented

Orientation is over and class starts tomorrow morning. I've read over 100 pages in preparation for this first class and I'm pretty tired, but I got it all done so I feel good about that. I didn't sleep that well the last couple nights and stayed up late (for me) last night reading, so I need to go to bed now so I will be coherent for class tomorrow.

Found Wisdom: Essential Law School Skills

So a long time ago I started a series of posts that I called Found Wisdom in which I shared useful articles, blog posts, etc, about law school that I had found and saved. So far there has only been one post in this series, but with classes about to start I thought it was a good time to have another installment. In this post I will share links to articles that discuss the essential law school skills of briefing cases and outlining.



Monday, August 13, 2007

Weekly MILS Roundup #6

This week's Moms in Law School Roundup is up at A Little Fish in Law School. Next week it will be back here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

School Supplies

I mentioned recently that I had been shopping for school supplies. I thought those of you who are also starting school soon might like to know what I bought. So here are the supplies I got for law school:

  • eBags Router Wheeled Laptop Convertible: This bag might make me look like a big nerd, but I don't care. I am going to be walking a mile each way to school and bringing my books home at night since I will be coming home at 4:30 and resuming studying after the little guy goes to bed and I don't want to carry all those heavy books and my laptop on my back.

  • Elle Essentials - Christy Lunch Bag: This bag is super cute and might make up for the wheelie backpack. It is insulated and has a zipper on top to keep everything cool (or warm). It can hold a couple small tupperware containers with an ice pack and a few other small items, and a 20 oz bottle of water lying down on top of everything. The strap is just long enough to carry the bag on my shoulder.

  • Skullcandy Proletariat Noise Canceling Headphones: I am to use them when studying in the library to cut down on distracting noise. I haven't really put them to the test yet, but they had good reviews on Amazon. When I tried them briefly in my living room they did cut out a lot of background noise, but did not silence the sound of the little guy crying, so I don't know how helpful they will be if someone is having a loud conversation near me. I'll let you know if these are worth it after I've done some field testing.

  • BookBuddy - Students Choice! BookStand-Snaps in a 3-Ring-Binder: This is another product whose useful I cannot really attest to yet. TopLawStudent recommended getting a book stand "to hold up your large casebooks during long study sessions" and this one had good reviews and is small and inexpensive so I figured I would try it out.

  • Classic Collegiate Edition Weekly Wire Bound Planner - Aug 07 - Jul 08: This is the planner I got. It has each week over two pages and each day of the week has a place for daily tasks and a place to write appointments, but there are no times pre-filled in for you, which I prefer. I got a cheap vinyl cover for this at Office Depot that will protect it and hold a pen.

  • Classic Julie Morgenstern Time Map: I will use these time maps to map out my weekly schedule, filling in my class times, study times, workout times and times at home with the little guy and with hubby. This will save me having to put these routine events on my calendar and will help me figure out what I should be doing at any given time. This came with 10 blank time maps as well as a pouch that snaps into my planner so I can use it as a bookmark to the current week.

  • Sharpie Accent Retractable Highlighters Assorted 8 pack: Oh yes, highlighters. Retractable so they won't dry out as quickly and in lots of colors.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Counting down

It is now about 85 hours until my first law school class. I got my schedule a few days earlier than expected -- they posted them online yesterday. I am really happy with mine. The timing of the classes is perfect for the schedule that we worked out with our nanny, and, get this, after the first three weeks of Legal methods (which is morning and afternoon Monday through Friday) I have no classes on Friday! I have Torts and Contracts in the morning Monday through Thursday and Civ Pro in the afternoon Monday through Wednesday, and our legal practice workshop on Thursday afternoon. I have two and a half hours free in the middle of the day Monday through Wednesday which will be good for going to the gym or the library. My professors look good too. I was reading the comments from former students and they are all pretty positive. Prof Legal Methods is said to be a good introduction to the Socratic method, Prof Civ Pro apparently is really good at explaining difficult concepts, and Prof Contracts apparently has an economics slant. Prof Torts is an unknown since he is a visiting professor and Prof Legal Practice Workshop is new, so he is also an unknown.

In other news, things went really well with the nanny this week. She and the little guy got along well. Wednesday I showed her where everything is and went over the little guy's routine. Thursday they went for a short trip to the park and Friday they went to the Children's Museum. I am very comfortable leaving the little guy with her. So now I am really ready to start school.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


It is less than a week now until school starts. I have been buying school supplies and trying to get a few last things done. Many of my future classmates have arrived in town and have been arranging various informal get-togethers. So far I haven't participated in any. I think maybe I just want to have this last week of family time before law school takes over my life. I am, however, planning on going to a wine and cheese tasting being held by my school's women's group later this week and I might go to the Student Senate sponsored party Saturday night. We'll see.

I got portraits done of the little guy last week. He was very cute. He just got his second tooth on the bottom and now the first one on the top is already coming through. It's weird that it was two months between the first and second tooth and only two weeks between the second and third tooth. Maybe they'll keep accelerating and we'll get done with this teething business in the next couple weeks. Hah!

We also applied for passports for myself and the little guy last week. We have a trip to Mexico with my family planned for winter break so, with all the delays in getting passport applications processed lately, we figured we needed to do it before school starts.

Our nanny is starting tomorrow. She will be coming for just three hours a day for the next three days to give the little guy a chance to get used to her and her to us before she starts for real next week.

Finally, we just found out that the little guy has a mild allergy to eggs. They seem to give him a rash and a blood test confirmed he has egg antibodies, or whatever. It is probably something he will grow out of, but for now we need to avoid eggs.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Weekly MILS Roundup #5

This week's Moms in Law School Roundup is at PT-LawMom. Next week it will be at A Little Fish in Law School, and the following week it will be back here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Two Weeks to Go

My law school orientation starts in twelve days. It is only two days long, so it is now exactly two weeks until my law school classes start. It really hit me the other night that in two weeks I will be walking into a law school classroom as a law school student. I could see the classroom and everything. I am still feeling some intermittent anxiety about school. I think the comparison I made in the post I just linked to with pregnancy is really appropriate. The decision was made a long time ago, but I have this long gestation period before anything happens. And, for me, having a long time to think with nothing much to do leads to anxiety. Anyway, I will be fine in two weeks when school actually starts and I am busy.

The first three weeks will just be Legal Methods which is like Intro to Law School and is a pass-fail class. After Labor Day the rest of the classes (Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure) start. Unfortunately we do not get our schedules until the first day of orientation, so I can't make plans for how I am going to spend my days or look up what prior students said about my professors or buy books. Oh well, it is probably for the best... I would be obsessing over everything if I had my schedule. As it is I am forced to do other things, like buy highlighters and a lunch bag and a planner.

By the way, my time and task management system has changed somewhat since this post. I am still using Life Balance, but I am no longer using Rainlendar. Instead I reinstalled Google Desktop (it came installed on my Dell and I had uninstalled it) and have a google calendar gadget in my sidebar. I am also using Mozilla's Sunbird to view and edit my Google Calendar. I tried to use Sunbird a while ago and could not get it to work properly with Google Calendar, but now, with the Provider for Google Calendar add-on, it does. So I can access my calendar in my sidebar, in a desktop application or on the web. I like that. Also I have decided to get a paper planner as well so I don't have to pull out the laptop every time I think of something I need to do or want to check what I am supposed to be doing. I got a weekly planner that has the week over two pages and no times so that I can just enter stuff free form. I think I will use it mostly to write down my most important tasks for the day (Life Balance will help me figure out what those are), things I think of when I am not at the laptop, and events that I want to go to.