Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Frickin' Frackin $%&(*ng COmputer!

Sigh. I just got my computer back today. 15 days after it died a sudden death. That would be 14 days beyond my "next day, on site service" warranty. I have no words to rehash the event now. But I am alive and kicking; and my data for the semester happily is still in tact. And I got to brush up on my remedies and contractual parsing to yell at IBM nightly for several days. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Need To Terrorize Others with Your Bar Story and Barbri vs. PMBR deathmatch

What is with people who try to tell you that the sky actually fell while they were taking the bar exam? Roughly 1.5 hours of the time I spent at court earlier this week was me listening to the psychotic clerk and his experience taking my state's bar (since he took a different one last summer--sucks to be him). Now, I don't live anywhere high-falutin'. But that doesn't mean that his little East Coast self should presume that our bar is provincial and a piece of cake.

I so totally know his type too: the guy in law school who came out of the exam and whined and bitched about all of the things that they know they got wrong... two days later when you see him, he tells you that he figured out what he didn't get right on the 4th question (dummy, always start with whether the transaction is even governed by Article 9!). And then he gets and A in the class. You know the type.

So, in addition to feeling my stomach drop at the very thought of disgustingly difficult bar in store for me this summer, I also got a lecture on the finer points of how to study for the bar. Now, don't get me wrong, I am all about advice from those who have gone before. But. There's just something less palatable about being lectured to about how to do it all by someone who just told me that is NOT what they did.

Incidently, evidently he was a Barbri rep at his school, and even he says the PMBR questions are much, much more like the real MBE than Barbri ever gets. I've heard this from many folks. Enough to make me wonder if it's true. He said that what he and his friends did was substitute PMBR questions into his study plan wherever the Barbri study plan said do x number of our lame questions.

And, something beyond irritating, evidently, you have to shell out an extra $200-300 to take the Barbri intensive "essay" course. You don't just learn how to nail the essays from the other $2100-$3000 they gouge out of you for the damn course. WTF?

Even so, I've already paid for Barbri. Sigh. I'm afraid to go it alone. And I bought the complete PMBR stuff from last summer on ebay for $150. If it helps me sleep at night, I guess it's worth it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

3L-itis, and boy have I got it bad

I think something magical, and sort of counter-productive (down-right evil actually) happened to me on March 1. For starters, it was nearly 60 degrees that day. Nothing like a little spring fever to kick the 3L-itis into overdrive. I have officially had the "one foot in the alumni door and one foot stuck to the floor of my law review office" moment.

We've had notices about 3L luncheon's for "what's next", graduation caps and gowns, 3L graduation pictures being taken next week, forms to fill out if we want our name to appear a certain way on our diploma (note to self: must get on that!), graduation day details, graduation dinner details, and the announcement of our commencement speaker--and this was all since March 1. So I think it's their way of saying, it's okay to check out now--why else would they remind me at every moment that I'm ALMOST DONE.

The problem comes when I awaken in the mornings and think: kill me now, I have to go to my clerkship; or kill me now, I've got an edit for law review due today--let the idiot professor get sued for his sloppy work; or kill me now, I actually have to read for a class. I drag through the days, getting markedly happier by Thursdays. When I work on stuff for the judge, I remind myself that this is actually related to real life and if I fuck it up, he will certainly remember me. And when I work for law review, well, I try to remind myself that personal integrity used to be a something that I strove to maintain. But that reminder now has to be verbal to have any effect, and I have to say it to myself about every 15 minutes that I work on some rubbish article. Reading for class is actually the easiest because 1) I like it and am interested and 2) it's a 5-person class--there is no hiding that you didn't read.

Any ideas for staying motivated for another 5-6 weeks?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Westlaw vs. Lexis Rewards

Until Westlaw gets something as cool and diverse as Amazon into it's bag 'o tricks, it just isn't ever going to be as good as Lexis's rewards. At the end of my first year, I bought a Lost season and a cookbook for dear hubby as a father's day and birthday gift with lexis points using the Amazon store. I just redeemed all but 83 points to get the complete BBC sitcom series of As Time Goes By (aren't you learning a lot about my tastes now??!!). I love this series, and I love watching it again and again, but for that much $$, I wasn't likely to get it for myself. Sigh. It's fabulous, and I can't help but think: Lexis--you done me right, even if your overall product is less wonderful than Westlaw's.

I've got about 17,000 Westlaw points and virtually nothing to do with them. The brands for house stuff are all sub par for a foodie like my husband. The DVD selection is seriously wanting. You can't get CDs or normal books (read: non--How to Succeed even more as a lawyer...). I don't want a tent. And the jewelry is meh. I ask you: what's a girl to select? Suggestions welcome.

And three years culminates into . . .

So I had a lunch today with an associate and partner from my firm. They were on a re-con mission trying to ascertain what I wanted to be when I grow up to be a lawyer after the bar. They also wanted to know if I was available to work over the summer.

The summer part was easy to answer. I'm going on a couple of trips, studying for the bar, and spending lots of time with my family. Not negotiable. The firm doesn't require anyone to start until the 2nd week in September, when the entire "class" gets orientation at HQ. I was a little nervous stating my plans, but I was completely unwilling to scrap them just because I was afraid of what they would think. And it was fine. Easier, than I thought it would be. They both thought that was well-planned, because frankly, they will own me starting in september and for quite a long while thereafter. I don't need the money since hubby works (at least I won't if they send me that stipend). Why not take one final time to rest? And I know studying for the bar sucks, but I meant August and part of September.

The harder part of the conversation was "committing" to where I wanted to practice. And I'm fully irritated with myself because there I weenie'd out. I am getting my first choice but something not even on my radar is evidently now on my lap, and I'm not sure how to extricate myself from it. Sigh. I think it's something to just wait and see and tackle when I get there. There are at least 3 other areas that I would much rather do than that one.

Aside from that kerfuffle, now that it's all over, I'm wondering if I will really love being a UCC goddess?? I mean, I know, what's not to love??? But seriously, it all seems so final. And I know that isn't true; people change practice groups all the time after they've tried something for a few years. It's odd to think that from a smattering of classes though, that you are supposed to have an idea of how what you learned and liked actually translates into as a practicing attorney.

I feel stupid that I'm even pondering on this. I know it's not final. And I know that making the wrong choice isn't permanent or career-damaging. It's just so, well, momentous. Maybe it's the whole graduating and looking at what you have at the end of three years. It isn't unreasonable to want to feel like you can point at a particular thing and say "yes, in three years of effort, I set myself up to become a UCC goddess." Anything less sounds, well, like floundering for three years. I should not attempt to wax philosophical when I'm tired. I guess my point is that I'm a goal-oriented girl. I take steps towards achieving a particular goal and when I get close to accomplishing it, it's time for a new goal--further in the future. so that's what this is really all about for me--what's the next thing to work to? And knowing what I want to be when I grow up sure seems like a pre-req for setting that goal.

I know. I have issues. Love me anyway?