Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I've Moved!

I've graduated from Blogger to WordPress. You can now find me at: http://www.lawschooltransplant.com.

Thanks to Anonymous Boyfriend for helping me with the transition and working so hard to pimp my blog.

Also, any problems with the outline file extensions should be fixed. You can find Parts II and III of my Outline Extravaganza over at my new site!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Outline Extravaganza, Part I

Here are some 1L/core class outlines for all of you newbies who will be taking the plunge into law school over the next few weeks, if you weren't smart enough to run away before you plunked down a seat deposit.

Use and distribute them freely, but trust me, your professors are not full of bullshit (for once) when they tell you making your own outline is an important part of learning this stuff, which you won't ever see again. Until the bar exam.

Without further adieu, here they are!

Note: These outlines are all in Word 2007 format.

Civil Procedure I
Civil Procedure II

Contracts I
Contracts II

Criminal Law

Constitutional Law I

Property I (& a chart of rules for estates in land)
Property II

Torts I
Torts II

Stay tuned for: Constitutional Law II, Evidence, U.C.C. Article 9 (Secured Transactions), Trusts & Estates, and other equally fun topics.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Mother of All Fuckups.

Well, I am officially retarded, y'all. I missed the motherfucking deadline to take the bar exam on my laptop.

Yes, you read that right. I will be handwriting the essay portion of the bar exam. Six freaking hours of essay goodness to be scrawled out on paper in my pseudo-legible left-handed scribble.

I swore the deadline to register for the software was the 29th, when in fact the deadline to register was the 26th and the deadline to have all steps of the process completed was the 29th. So when I went to register for the software on the 28th, I was duly informed that registration had been closed. A double check of the State Bar rules confirmed my worst fears. Awesome. Just awesome.

First I panicked. Then I cried. Then I thought about not taking the bar at all in July.

But, after some reflection, I decided to sack up (figuratively, people) and go ahead and take the fucking thing. At least that way, if I do pass, I will have even more reason to feel good about it. Anonymous Boyfriend, being the rational and analytical type that he is, made several good points. First, the fees have been paid and are non-refundable. Second, this test is administered by the government, so there is no way they can make it prejudicial to those who do not have the means to take it on an expensive piece of equipment. Finally, people have been taking – and passing – the bar exam for years and years before computers were allowed.

Bead Freak, who is voluntarily handwriting the bar, made another good point: Approximately 10% of the people who pay the laptop fee end up having to handwrite halfway through because the crappy software used by the State Bar malfunctions.

Besides, either I know this shit, or I don't. Being able to barf more words out onto the page by virtue of being able to type eighty words a minute isn't going to help my cause if I don't know what I'm talking about. The only part that really worries me significantly is the MPT, which is generally pretty long and on a very strict timeline.

I suppose if this is the worst thing that happens to me as a lawyer or a soon-to-be lawyer, I'm in okay shape. Or so I keep trying to tell myself.

And hey, this might be the last time I get away with missing a deadline and not get sued for malpractice.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eight Days a Week

I'm not sure how some of y'all (and you know who you are) are consistently putting in ten hours a day studying for the bar. It is a struggle for me to get in a good eight-hour day, and ten hours turns me into a brain-dead, drooling mess.

On Monday, I diligently studied all day long – MBE questions all morning, break in the afternoon, state material at night until Starbucks closed at 11 (seriously, most of the baristas now know me by name AND drink: "Hi LST! Iced grande non-fat caramel macchiato?"). And by the end of the day, Anonymous Boyfriend had to scrape me off the floor with a spatula.

Perhaps bar review is just another weed-out process before we actually enter the profession, and my current ineptness at being able to deal with it for long periods of time each day is indicative of my future ineptness at being able to sit at an office doing document review or writing briefs for long periods of time. This definitely solidifies my notion that I am not cut out for life at a big law firm. But, given the choice, I'd definitely rather have only a moderately-priced sports car and a life outside of work than a Maserati that only gets driven to and from a high-rise parking deck.

Yesterday, I took it easy, and cut back to about seven hours, despite my reservations in doing so. I was still productive, but had a lingering nagging feeling that I still wasn't doing enough.

This morning, I awoke to a rather helpful e-mail from my essay-slaughtering, red-pen-wielding MicroMash mentor that suggested setting a schedule of six to eight hours of studying a day, for six days a week, which seems much more manageable than trying to cram in those extra two or three hours in the evenings. Though I do like my weekends. Yes, I definitely have a future in government employment and I am so looking forward to my clerkship, which will be a nine-to-five cake-walk compared to this crap.

Perhaps the major challenge for me is mastering a couple of concepts each week, yet still having to retain them while I have to master additional concepts the following week.

Any suggestions you fellow bar-studiers have for dealing with my time more effectively and efficiently would be greatly welcome. I set a schedule each week, and stick to it pretty well. I take a break in the middle of the day and try to go for a run everyday as well. I'm just not sure where the disconnect is.

Ah, I already miss the good ol' law school days of open-book exams and rampant grade inflation.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Girl Walks Into a Bar... and Says, "Ouch!"

Graduation is over, vacation is done, and now it’s time to put my nose to the grindstone for that Last Big Test. The State Bar finally issued my certification, my transcripts are ordered and my fees have been paid. Now all I have to do is pass the fucking thing, because God knows I do not want to go through this rigmarole again. And that is proving to be no small task.

Most of my classmates are doing the BarBri bar review program, which involves watching videotaped lectures and filling in the blanks of pre-printed outlines as you follow along with the videos. I did the one-day BarBri course when I took the MPRE last year, and spent the entire time searching the room for a sharp instrument with which to end my misery. I can’t even imagine what the whole bar review course is like. Thanks, I think I’d rather have a six-week-long root canal.

Being the maverick I am, I decided earlier in the spring to do MicroMash, a sort of do-it-yourself bar review, for a variety of reasons, the primary one being my aforementioned aversion to hours and hours of menial blank-filling each day. It’s also significantly cheaper than BarBri, and lets me study from the comfort of my local Starbucks. I also don’t have to listen to the some of the assholes I went to school with -- and I am certain they remained assholes after graduation -- talk about just how many MBE questions they did the night before and how they have already mastered Commercial Paper, when I don’t even know what the hell a Commercial Paper is (I really thought it was referring to the New York Times, but that is apparently not the case).

It was a little disquieting, however, to have a box of books just dumped on my doorstep (motivation not included) with no one to hold my hand or tell me what to do. To its credit, the program is fairly well-guided, with software to work on the MBE portion and weekly state-specific law assignments that I am supposed to read, as well as an essay question that I complete each week and e-mail to a lawyer mentor, who will then redline it and return it with a multitude of confidence-instilling comments about my bright future as the most well-educated barista at the aforementioned Starbucks.

If law school didn’t serve as a sufficient reminder of just how much you don’t know, then bar review does a phenomenal job of displaying your incompetence about the law, despite having suffered through three full years of Socratially-inflicted misery. Things I thought I learned during law school I find myself having to re-learn again and again. I have been reduced to making flashcards, which Anonymous Boyfriend patiently quizzes me on, then offers helpful hints after observing my vacant look, then eventually reads me the answer after I get it 23% correct.

It’s basically like study week during finals. Except it never ends. And there are things you’ve never learned before that you have a week to figure out. And you don’t even know if they are going to be on the test, but you just pray they won’t be and that it paid off to risk only half-assedly learning the minutiae of limited liability partnerships and adoption procedures in order to be able to eat once in a while.

Wish me luck, y’all. I’m gonna need it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

They Actually Let Me Out of Here!

Though belated, I thought it fitting to post a bit about graduation. The whole weekend was mostly a whirlwind, due partly to all the people coming into town and events going on, but mostly to the massive quantities of alcohol I consumed over the course of 48 hours.

Aside from stressing about cleaning my house and making sure all my guests had breakfast and hot water for showers, the foremost concern in my mind was not falling when I crossed the stage in my mammoth stiletto heels (hey, a girl's gotta have cute shoes to balance out the ridiculous-looking graduation attire). This should come as no surprise to most of you, being as I am a walking calamity and all.

As we lined up to receive our symbolic empty diploma tubes that represent three years of our lives gone and thousands of dollars in debt to be paid over the next twenty years, I became increasingly nervous about the prospect of face-planting in front of hundreds of people. First I thought I was going to pee myself. Then I thought I might throw up. Falling would not be something I could live down. No one would remember that I graduated from law school; no, they would remember that I fell on my face and got a plywood splinter in my forehead while graduating from law school.

Here is photographic evidence that I successfully crossed the stage, received my meaningless tube, shook no less than half a dozen hands while attempting to smile, all the while NOT falling:

A momentous occasion, y'all.

A justice from the state supreme court spoke about things we should keep in mind as we enter the legal profession, like the importance of character, morals, a sense of humor, and some other stuff that I don't remember because I dozed off (but I'm pretty certain involved an eightball of cocaine).

The highlight of the ceremony, however, was our class president's speech. This is the same guy who emcee'd the Law Revue wearing drag and delivered a rousing version of "Copacabana" and was voted Most Likely to Be Involved in a Sex Scandal While Running for Office. Needless to say, his speech was highly entertaining and peppered with quotes from "Legally Blonde" and remarks on recent national tragedies, namely the recent season of "American Idol." Being that this is the Deep South and approximately half of the members of the audience were clad in at least one item of seersucker, I am certain that Preston caused at least five strokes and/or heart attacks. I approve wholeheartedly.

And now that I'm officially done with law school, I have to prepare for the bar exam, which is a mere seven weeks away. In the meantime, I'll wait patiently for the university to send me my $90,000 piece of wall candy.

And the bitch of it all is, even though I suffered through three years of law school and managed by some miracle to graduate, I'm still not a lawyer -- I'm just a slacker with a J.D.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring Fever.

So, spring has arrived here in the Deep South and with it comes a renewed sense of apathy and absolute lack of motivation, which explains both my lack of blog posts recently as well as my inability to bring myself to do anything school-related other than the bare minimum.

It's a good day when I go to class, and a great day if I actually manage to do most or all of the reading before class actually starts. I have nary an outline to show for the semester and the two papers that I have to write this semester are still just a figment of my uninspired imagination.

As the weather gets warmer and sunnier, the patios of the downtown bars -- not-so-coincidentally located a mere block or so from the law school -- suddenly become more alluring. Consequently, my sharp decline in motivation is directly correlated with an increase in beer consumption on warm, sunny patios. I justify it by reflecting back on the wise words of Professor Entertainment-and-a-half. As a matter of fact, I have taken her at her word and not bothered to show up for Entertainment Law in weeks.

Strangely enough, I have seen the 3L apathy shared by myself and my comrades spread to the 2L class like an insidious infectious disease that eats your brain and gives you the overwhelming desire to drink massive amounts of booze and wake up in a gutter.

Now, I'm sort of baffled about this because 2L's just aren't allowed to share in our sloth and apathy. They still have to care. It's sort of like a rite of passage where you are not allowed to completely let yourself go until spring semester of your last year. After all, law school is essentially just a three-year hazing process. Except, the reward is nothing more than a pretty piece of paper and a staggering amount of debt.

As the real world of nine-to-five jobs and Ann Taylor suits draws frightening near, I have decided to embrace my apathy and revel in spring fever. After all, when else in my life will I be able to sleep in the middle of the afternoon, not show up if I just don't want to, and drink a bottle and a half of wine on a weeknight?