Friday, July 29, 2005

Dinged

Ole Lawfool took a hit. Damn, the blood! The blood! Oh, the blood! All the blood! It might be hard to recover, but I'll do the best I can.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Roy Black - Miami Alum?

He taught at UM for like 30 years, and was a grad from here. I never knew this. Nobody every mentioned his name. Nuts. Thanks for the heads up NBC. Why am I transferring? I am a victim of the system, man. A flippin' victim. Wait for me lemmings! I want to see just what's over that cliff ahead too!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Stressed

I know I could be in worse positions. All of us in law school are in pretty good shape. But here are the things going around in my head:

Money – Debt – Is it worth the debt to bump up? I really don’t want a biglaw job after school. I think bumping up is the best decision I could make to put in to a position to have as many options as possible. However, too much debt leads to golden handcuffs, which leads right back to biglaw. In this case, it might be better to stay relatively debt free in Miami.

Moving – Because I don’t think I will be here next semester, I can not really renew my lease. I have 3 options: (1) Renew, then break it; (2) don’t renew and move my stuff into storage until I take my leave; or (3) be a holdover tenant. Option 3 is out of the question. My landlady is running a business, and being a holdover is, simply, an ass thing to do on my part. I don’t believe in fate or karma, but I do believe in not being a prick if you need not be. So, it looks like I’m off to the temporary storage route – I’ll live with my sister until I decide where I’m off to.

Outstanding offers – No school has dinged me yet, but I still have several applications outstanding. Some of the schools I might chose over the ones I’ve already been accepted to. However, I can’t wait forever as those schools are holding OCI and other concerns. So, I am waiting as long as I can. This uncertainty is really stressful. I check my email 100 times a day. The mailman is my best friend…

Everything is up in the air. I normally like to know what turns I am making 15 moves ahead of time. It sucks.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Just for a minute

Not to take focus off of the transfer stuff (because it is fun) - but this is important (via Drudge). http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0530,weblee,66189,5.html

Libeled by the Wolf

Man, oh, man. All I have ever said about UM is how "wonderful" the school is; how great many of professors have been; and how "smart" and "hard-working" my classmates were. Then, one of those classmates pick up my post and claim I have been "ripping" Miami. Horeshit! Check out the post (and my one defender). Where are Lawfool's champions? http://jasonbwolf.blogspot.com/2005/07/bye.html

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

One Friend?

Yes. One good friend. I have made several friends, but really only one friend who comes to the house, who we go to dinner with, who I call to tell about all this transfer stuff. I am from South Florida, so I already have a small contingent of friends and well-wishers in the area. I think I am a nice guy, but I just don’t do the social thing too well. When I get to know a person, it is all good, but the wall of ice takes a while to thaw. Maybe I have some social disorder. I doubt I’ll ever be a senator or congressman. I’m far too genuine, and genuine means opinionated – and opinionated means I come off as an ass sometimes. Really though, I am a swell guy. Right. -------------------------------------- I saw a classmate on campus today. I would call her a friend, but not the one friend. I told her I was leaving, and immediately felt like an ass. I know several students transfer each year, but I’m the only one who knows. When I told her, I felt like I was saying “I’m too good for you.” This is not the case AT ALL. As I said before, were it not for the name factor, I would love to stay in Miami. The school is great. I have nothing bad to say, but the fact is, Miami doesn’t carry the same weight as some other schools. I need to stop apologizing.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Exit, stage left

Waiting is the hardest part. I did pretty okay my first year of law school, and my grades have enabled me to make the jump. I have been accepted to several schools, but am still waiting to hear from the biggies. This limbo is excruciating. Literally, I have no idea where I will be in a month from now. Not the state, the city, and certainly not the school. If all the outstanding apps came back “piss off”, then I have a good idea where I will be, but until the final apps are in, or until the hour is far to late, I dare not start learning about the city. Now the schools, that is a different story. I have done a fair amount of research on the schools that I am seeking transfer to. Of course I looked at the hideous US News list, but that was just a starting point. From there I looked to the several other lists. Where do most federal clerks come from? Teachers? Government jobs? Etc… I need to make some moves soon on the outstanding offers… Regretfully this means leaving Miami. It has been a great school. They have been nothing but wonderful to me. Some of the professors I’ve had were the best in all of my college career. I met a lot of smart, hard-working people, and made one good friend who I will miss a lot. Sadly, it is the nature of the beast. Due to the external forces, there are limits placed on people who come out of certain schools. I never want to be limited by anything other than my own potential, and if I have the opportunity to help myself out in that respect, well, I have to take it. JD and the family are NOT happy. Some understand, others don’t. The ole Lawfool is sad.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I’ve been pondering the robes the justices wear. I was thinking that on my last day I would stroll on in wearing one myself. I can find nothing in the employee handbook disparaging such behavior.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More

So, what else then? You 1Ls and other law school peoples roaming around the World Wide Web – your thirsts never quenched. If you are like many law students, you are not working the first year of school. This means that law school is it. This is your job. No excuses not to do the work. Many say that people who take time off after undergrad, and work in the “real world” before starting law school, tend to do better. I don’t know if that is really true, but I can see a reason why they might do well in any case - the workload is not that grueling if you are used to grunting it out day after day. Are you kidding me? Last year I would be sitting at the food court, reading Civ Pro, refilling my big soda, and I would notice it was one in the afternoon. One o’clock in the afternoon and I was done (with classes, at least) for the day! Ha ha! Never end law school, never end! You see, I relished not being tied to a desk all day. I enjoyed settling in with a load of reading and just going. It felt almost as if I were doing something lazy, when in fact I was preparing for tomorrow’s work. In my second semester I had a real easy Monday. I was finished early, and I would spend the rest of the day reading as much as I could to get ahead for the week. In some weeks I got almost all reading done on Monday. Don’t get me wrong, I had some lazy days (which turned into weeks) and I had to play catch-up every now and again. But, because I had set myself up to do as much as I could early in the week, I was playing catch-up to a schedule that (I assume) was still pretty far ahead of what others were doing. I never got weeks ahead, but by weeks end I was done. I was caught-up, I was ready for next week. I never felt that twisted stomach feeling like I was sinking. Getting 100s of pages behind in class is a hole you may never get out of. Additionally, I could just relax in class and take in a lot of what was being said. I DID NOT TAKE COPIOUS NOTES IN CLASS. I sat there, I listened, I participated. I DID NOT I_M OR SURF THE NET. Every class was by no means a diamond, but I went. Why not go? We have no jobs, this is our job, first year is the most important year. I did not want to leave 1L regretting my lack of effort (it also helped that I quit my job, sold my house, made my wife get a real job – you don’t want to half-ass it after leaving $$$ and security). If I worked hard and got bad grades, at least I would not have any excuses – I did my best. If I got good grades, well then, all the better. At the end of the week, I took a few days off. Friday night and Saturday were my “relaxing days”. I went out to dinner, saw a movie, walked around Target. Whatever. Just chilled. On Sunday, I would start up again. This wasn’t always the case, but it remained pretty constant. The point? Treat it like a job. Get into it. Enjoy yourself. Stay on top of your work – and don’t take these years for granted.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I never thought I would like being on law review. I would do it, of course, because that is what you are supposed to do, but I wouldn’t like it. I would see all these other 2Ls talking about law review and citations and I would think “What the hell, man, these people are tools!” (Don’t get me wrong, tools about law review, not in general many are actually very swell folk – I think) Anyway… as part of my summer job, I had the occasion (each week) to read over several documents about to be issued to the public. These had been polished by several people, and I was a last-ditch “let’s see if the law school guy can catch anything” safety net. What fun! Really. What fun! Seriously, what the hell is happening to me? I get all bent out of shape when I see rules being broken, knowing full well that no one plans to fix it before the thing is issued. Little errors, mind you. The few biggies I have caught were corrected, but the little ones. Biggest pet peeve: the use of signals. Everyone uses “see” everywhere. Sometimes, it should just be “id.” I think this summer was really good for me. I thought for sure I wanted to do criminal law, but now I am not so sure. Some stuff that seemed really boring to me (tax) came up in something I had to do and it was the best project I worked on. Read “The Brethren” by Woodward & Armstrong (not Grisham). Great book. One week left in Tally-town.

Hmph.

Research. This summer I have been doing lots of research on very minute issues. I realize I have a serious deficiency. When I get back to Miami I am going to bother some professors and ask how they organize their research. Here’s what happens. I get an issue to research, maybe I formulate a question – sometimes pretty broad: “Can _________ do ____________ in light of ______________?” or (more likely, actually) “How can we do ________________ anymore in light of __________?” So I go out into the world and start to research. I get a little here, get a little there, this leads to that which raises a new issue “this”, and that issue lead me to “there”… before I know it, I am all over the place. Tons of info, paragraphs from 1 case here, 3 pages later, another paragraph from that case… I start to get out of control real fast. I need to figure out how to organize myself, but I can’t really do an outline, because a lot of the research has been – “See what you can find out about X in light of Y.” So, really, it is wide open – like a mini treatise on a very small issue. I need to see how real people tackle huge articles.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

More Advice From a Know-nothing

Don’t believe the hype. I want to address some of the BS. For those entering the 1L fray soon, it is probably too late to tell you to stay clear of all these “How to Survive Law School” books. Maybe this will reach the folks starting next year. You probably won’t take my advice (I wouldn’t have either), but for what it is worth, they are stealing your cash. It is all a royal pile of bunk. Let me save you 12 bucks: Try to learn. You will work hard your first year, no doubt, but it is completely manageable if you have perspective. If you want to be super cool and hang out every night – well, good luck in your spot on the SBA, I’m sure it will look a lot better on your resume than the 3.75 GPA and the 4/400 class ranking on that dork’s resume who was always there in class everyday. I’m sure the OCI folks will be very impressed with the parties you planned. Okay, not everyone can do super-duper well – although there is no such thing (in my opinion) as a “natural” at the law, there are some who just click into the grove faster than others. However, you won’t really know where you fall until you take your exams. So, why not kick it out and have no regrets come grade time. If you skip class, IM while you are in class, totally depend on canned briefs – well, good luck. I used no canned briefs my first year. I got as many outlines from the previous students who took the classes I had and used NONE of them. I wanted them, I thought I would use them, but in the end who has the time to do all the reading and then read through someone else’s outlines (probably like 5th generation outline at that). Also, when outlining, if that is what you chose to do (I did) – make it only 5 pages or so MAX. Then, memorize this outline. This is what I did for all my classes this semester. I was ready. Open book tests are a fake. You will have little time to look through a 30 or 50 page outline. A “killer” outline is useless if you have no idea what you are looking for, and if you know what you are looking for, you don’t need the killer outline. Examples and Explanations! This was the only commercial book I used. They are great. If you have time, read the pertinent section before the reading for class, then during reading week use it to solidify some concepts you might be shaky on. Participate. No one wants to be a gunner – but a gunner is way different (in my opinion) than the people who are engaged and have usefull things to say. ASK QUESTIONS!!! I asked many questions when I didn’t quite get what was being said. Press your professors if they are leaving you hanging. You are not the only one wondering something. But REAL questions. Not stupid hypos that no one (including you) care about. No one is impressed that you thought of the scenario where, “what if the kid didn’t know there was a dock there and he was blind?” Get bent. And no questions you know the answers to. No one is impressed that you know the elements of some damn tort. Don’t show you know through a question. No one cares, and you are a gunner. But if you have a real question, if you disagree (within reason) with another student’s take, say it. My Crim Pro prof was great at starting these kinds of conversations – and when the class was engaged, even just 5 or so kids, it was a good class. Blah, blah, blah…