Archive for the ‘Personal’

Dancing for the Audience10.11.14

I finally got an internship secured for the summer. It’s such a big sigh of relief that I had a moment of, “Wow, now I can stop giving a fuck.” And we know it’s not true because I’m still a somewhat newly crowned 2L, so I still have most of TWO years to keep me in check. But. For. Now. It’s nice that I can stop my dancing monkey act. It’s nice that, for the rest of this school year, I will not have to spend countless hours going to different firm’s networking events in hopes that I will say that perfect phrase to the perfect ears to leave a “oh, I’m so witty that you need to have me around” impression.

Last year’s attempt at finding an internship was such a disaster that I ended up tears. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I had an offer from one of the large firms here to go work for them, but I would have to move to a part-time schedule. That was something I didn’t want to do because I’ve waited so long for the chance to go back to school, that I was jealously guarding my law school experience as “MINE!” So I waited, and applied to an internship at firm #2, and it looked like I was going to get it, but then the firm decided against hiring two interns so I was dropped from the race because the other candidate simply had more experience. At that point, I went back to the first big firm, and they had already hired someone while I was waiting to hear from firm #2. My friend broke the bad news to me, and he tried to cheer me up, telling me things will work out. And I remember telling him, “I know things will work out, because I have been very blessed in my life that even when things don’t seem to go well, it ended up being for the best, but right this moment, I just lost two great opportunities that I was so close to getting. I am upset, and I want to cry over it for a moment.” So I cried. And I collected myself. I focused my energy on applying to many other places. I got an offer at very small firm, but the owner wanted at least a two years commitment to which I had to decline. After all that effort going up in flames, I decided to work on making myself a more attractive candidate come 2L year. I decided to focus on studying for and applying to take the patent bar.

Things did work out for the best. I’m scheduled to take the patent bar exam in late November. I went into OCI with the ability to say, “Yes, I am definitely taking the patent bar exam, because I have been studying for it all summer, and I am scheduled to take it on this date.” My OCI interviewer told me that was good news because their firm wanted to know my commitment to patent work, and signing up for the exam is a big step in that direction. I got a callback from that interview to go in for a 3 hours long interview where I met someone new every half hour, and even though 3 hours sounded like I a long time, the interview went by quickly and I was almost in a “but I’m not done chatting with people” mindset. Three weeks later, I figured I had lost the internship and I haven’t heard back yet because I was 3rd or 4th choice, and they were just waiting for confirmations from their top 2. Then I got a call while I was leaving my study group, and I all I heard out of the conversation was, “We would like to extend an offer for internship to you…blah blah blah…market rate pay…blah blah.” Whatever he said, my response was something like, “Yeah, yeah, don’t care, I’m just very happy for this opportunity to join your firm.” I would have moved to Po’dunkville if it meant getting the job. Then I got the offer letter by email and saw that the internship was for the firm located 7 blocks from my condo and they were paying $2500 a week. My mind exploded. The internship pays more than double what I was making as a game programmer (granted I’ve always said game programmers for development houses are paid peanuts). Knowing how much they pay their interns does put the pressure on that I don’t walk in without knowing a single thing, thus I am grateful for having my summer studying the patent bar and my 2L year taking every IP class that I can to prepare myself. Everything worked out for the best. If only I could find a time machine to go back to tell my applying-to-law-school self that everything will work out, and that it will not be a complete waste of my time and money, during a time when I felt like I was too old to waste anymore time and I was scared of wasting my family’s money.

I’m grateful I get to spend the rest of the year preparing to be a useful intern and not focus on networking to get that internship. I like people. Networking, when I don’t think of it as networking, comes to me naturally. It’s just when I am hard up for an internship, I feel like I’m doing such a “look at me, look at me” dance, that it’s just not my thing. It’s good to going back to dancing like there’s nobody watching.

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Celebrating the Boring Life08.14.14

One thing I got out of procrastinating on studying for my PR final was a completed application to USPTO to sit for the patent bar exam. I have a weird hybrid, aka “multidisciplinary,” degree from UW, so it’s not an automatic entry to sit for the exam, which means I had to provide all sorts of documentation to prove I have the science background to be useful. Documentation for each class was a pain in the ass and a simple application becomes a giant packet of highlighted words.

I got a call from the USPTO today, they wanted to clarify some info, which means I should have a testing date soon. The nice lady on the phone said she would rather ask me for some of the little things instead of sending me a “missing info” notice. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that, because all that mailing back and forth would really drag out when I can sign up for a testing date. One thing she did ask is about any issues I had with law enforcement or tickets over $100. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud to tell someone that I lived a perfectly boring life. In my application I mentioned I may have a speeding ticket from over ten years ago when I was driving between college in California and home in Washington. However, I do not have any documentation of that because it was so long ago, plus I got my driving record from the DMV (which is completely clean, but they only go back 10 years or so), and beyond a speeding ticket, I haven’t even had a stern talking to from the cops. Unless, you count the time my friends and I were hanging out at the park after dark because that’s what you do in high school, even then, we were only talking and hanging out, we didn’t do drugs nor drink. Seriously, if ever there is a time to BRAG about your incredibly boring life, it is when the board calls you about your character statement. So proud.

There is a similar character statement for regular ol’ lawyer board, so I get so work on my humble brag skill again. Yay, boring life!

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Old People ADHD08.04.14

On-Campus interview week is the first week of school. Which means cover letters are due. Which means I am staring at my screen blankly for hours. I have managed to play many games on my iPad and ordered a new perfume while sitting in front of my computer, willing the cover letters to write themselves.

Procrastination is harsh. It was extremely rough throughout 1L. Sometimes I think I got by just from sitting in front of the computer for so long that I started working just because my ass started aching from the number of hours spent sitting there, and I wanted that pain to end. That is a LOT of sitting. And a lot of cat videos. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen ALL the internet cat videos by now.

I remember being able to study for hours on end when I was younger. But I’m pretty sure I remembered wrong, and the reality was I spent hours on end drinking and talking about boys. Still, I thought maybe I have adult ADHD. So I got medicated for it.

Yes, I got a prescription for Adderall, and it was a pain in the ass to keep the prescription, but it helped in small ways. There were two very fatal flaws to the medication. Depending on dosage, it killed my REM cycles, I woke up feeling like I closed my eyes and didn’t sleep all night. And while I worked with laser focus, I couldn’t do legal writing worth shit. I had a prescription before and I remembered it working very well when I was younger, but now that I think about it, I was programming at the time. I think the drug helped me do monotonous chore type things extremely well. I was a lean mean outlining machine on drugs, but legal writing was impossible. My brain became so one-tracked that accessing creative argument space was impossible. I was simply too linear. In the end, I found it extremely useful for “chore” school works days, but avoided it for exams and legal writing days.

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Midsummer Update07.14.14

I am alive.

And still in law school.

And surviving.

“Surviving” being the word. I made it through 1L, only feeling slightly more jaded, but my body has fallen apart completely. I was warned to keep up a good exercising routine and all that jazz, but of course making time to exercise was pretty much the first to go when there seemed to never be enough time for studying. Problem with doing that as an older law student is your body isn’t what it used to be, every sports injury you’ve ever had that was somewhat held in check by being in decent shape will come back to backhand you, then leave you feeling like a creaky 150 years old geriatric. That is me now. Every knee and shoulder joint hurts. My doctor says I’m fine, and not suffering from psoriatic arthritis (or ANY arthritis) like I gave myself in my head after visit WebMD, that website is dangerous. I just have a bad case of lazybuttitis and should get back to exercising. Which I have been since my summer schedule is so much more conducive to remembering I have family and friends also.

Sorry to ditch this beloved blog for so long. It’s not that my love for writing has wane. It’s that law school makes the idea of writing for fun seem…unpalatable. Much like reading for fun was a thing of the past for a while there too. However, I’m reading for pleasure again and I’m happy to be writing now too.

I did well enough on my first year, not great, but well enough to be randomly surprised by a performance-based scholarship that I didn’t even have to apply for.

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And Then I Joined a Frat10.14.13

I guess if I’m going to return to school as one of the oldies, I might as well as go one further and do something I didn’t do in undergrad, which is to join a fraternity. Yes,  a fraternity with secret handshakes and all. It’s a law fraternity, so there was no hazing or anything crazy, but I half expected it when we were marched into a candle-lit room.

After the initiation ceremony we all got sloshed at the pub across the street. How sloshed? Well, I had to leave a conversation because one of my drunk older married classmate was uncomfortably hitting on a young classmate, making references to her wanting to be a cougar. He was flattered because she’s really attractive, but it was still an uncomfortable situation. Then another classmate missed her flight to visit home the following morning. Everyone was looking a little rough around the edges.

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Week 710.08.13

It’s the start of week 7 and so far, school has been overwhelming. Actually, it’s my tendency to over-commit that is overwhelming me. I wanted to maybe join two clubs and a clinic. Then I find myself with six clubs and two clinics and doing bailiff for moot court.

All first years are warned against over-committing, and I thought it would be so easy to resist. Then all the clubs and workshops roll out and with different clinic options, and I find myself unable to resist checking EVERYTHING out. Every new option seems more shiny and interesting.

I feel a little bit like a freshman in undergrad all over again, like I want to major in everything AND save the world before bedtime.

I went the King County Court House yesterday to shadow some attorneys volunteering for Housing Justice Project. It was so much fun to see how an attorney can waltz into a free clinic without knowing what is going on and is able to make a difference with just a few hours time. It was also interesting to see how my heels, even in a very contained space, when walking back and forth between HJP office and the court room is not the best of footwear.

Today is my first day as legal clinic assistant. I will be doing mostly client in-take. I had a moment of panic attack over the weekend when the client list and their issues were sent out. I know I’m only a student volunteer and it’s unlikely the attorney would allow me to really fuck shit up, but it made me pause for a moment in realizing these are real people with real problem. And I could possibly fuck shit up for them. The clinic I’m volunteering for focuses on helping low-income entrepreneurs. The problems they face are very much like issued my family faced. It makes me that much more worried that I could mess things up for them because I remember how much it hurts when things did not go well for us.

Something the school has ingrained in us is that being a lawyer is a lot about networking, which is partially why I’ve leaned toward over-committing. However, every event I’ve been to felt so positive, I had so much fun meeting new people (which is neat because I hate the word “networking”, in my mind it always sounded like “meeting people with intent of using them”). I met another fellow game programmer turned law student. He is currently working at one of the biggest law firm in Seattle writing patents under a patent attorney. I met this guy and his boss at one of the many panels I went to when trying to see what area of law I want to practice in. He said they could offer me either a full time position now if I want to be a part time student, or I could intern for them come summer time. I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to patent law, but I sure as hell will not say no to a summer internship at one of the biggest firm. Apparently a programmer turned lawyer is something of a rarity. Who knew. We were a dime a dozen in the game industry. Most of us were willing to work for peanuts and did, in fact, work for peanuts. Suddenly, in the law industry, we’re the hot commodity. Go geeks! I could be celebrating my summer internship a little too early, because it’s only been a month into school, but it’s exciting to know that I have hopes of being gainfully employed.

So, over-committing is exhausting, but it has been so much fun and I’m meeting some really cool people doing things I didn’t even realize was possible with their law degree. I think I”m doing pretty well in class…wait, no not in class, because I am such a god damned train wreck when called on, but I test well. I get to wrap my good grades around me like a heated blanket while I stammer my way through every cold call.

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Random Law School Moment #409.26.13

I just got home from a law school event. And the boyfriend is not home. And I just realized, we’ve been living separate lives. It’s not a complaint. It’s just what happens, and quite honestly, I’m just very very glad he has (our) friends to hang out with when I’m at one of my many law school functions. Because there are a lot of them. And too many more to come.

He is such a law school widow. It’s kind of awful when you only wish that they have a support group so they don’t resent you so much.

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…But I Won’t Do That09.19.13

I’ve been going to a LOT of presentations with panels of lawyers and the common thread among them all is, “We are lawyers, we want to help people. We want to give back to our community.”

I believe that. It’s why I want to become a lawyer. And same for a lot of my classmates, although one has declared he is after money because he has some insane student loans.

The local blood bank had their donation bus parked outside of the law building for a couple days. On the first day, I walked by, and felt a little guilty about not stopping in. Then I asked my classmate, Josh, if he had any advice on whether I should give blood that day, or the following day. He said, “Well, we have practice exam today, so it depends on how woozy you get.” Good point. It’s better not to be woozy the day of exams, practice or not.

The next day, I had no excuse. I walked onto the bus half expecting to be told to come back at a later time, but the bus was somewhat empty. The turn out has been dismal for two days.

I asked for a bright green wrap for bandaging, because I know in the past, when I see people walking around with blood donation wrapping, I’m reminded of going to donate if I haven’t already. When I walked around the law school building, I had multiple people ask me if I injured myself because they haven’t seen a blood donation wrapper before.

Law students want to be givers, but not givers of blood.

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Random Law School Moment #209.12.13

Every morning, I wake up, drink some water, get on my stationary bike and read whatever garbage gossip to clear my head of useful knowledge. Then I drink my coffee and sit down and study or review for my class(es) that day. Usually, as time for class approaches, I start getting dressed in the middle of thinking about cases.

Today, I put on my socks in the middle of adding notes to my brief. Then I looked at the clock and started packing my bag. Dragged it pathetically (so heavy) to the door. Then I started putting on my shoes. Something didn’t feel right. Was it my analysis of the case? What did I leave out?

No, it turns out I didn’t have any pants on. One shoes and no pants. I’m not sure how I could possibly lose a case if I were to show up anywhere looking like that. It’s trendy.

One of my classmate came up with “Fancy Friday”, where he makes a point to get dressed up every Friday in business attire to remind him that he’s studying to be a lawyer and I thought it’s such a great idea that I’ve been getting suited up with him. It’s also a wonderful way to test drive new shoes or pencil skirts to make sure there will be no wardrobe malfunction. I’ve already found that one of my pencil skirt has slutty tendency and wants to hike up to my hips with every step.

I came up with a new day, I call it “Thong Thursday”.

 

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Week Two Over09.08.13

I was obviously delirious on my last post. It was truly a rough week because I did not get ahead. I’m not making that same mistake this week.

Week One was a lot of “What’s Going On!?” I thought I got the hang of this after taking summer class, why do I feel like I’m starting back at square 1?

Week Two was a lot of, meet this club and that club and say hi to everyone, and wow there was very little free time. And did I mention I didn’t read ahead, so staying on pace ended being a lot of prayers of “please don’t call on me, please don’t call on me.”

Did I mention I’ve been checking my grade, over and over…like I still don’t believe I could do well in law school? It’s not me to be this insecure. I don’t usually worry if I’m good enough, I usually think that I’m all that and a bag of chips (don’t worry, I think you are pretty amazing too). It’s just that law school has a way of making someone feel dumb. And from talking to my 3L TA, she said that feeling never really goes away. Yay, I was starting to worry that my over-inflated ego wouldn’t fit in my over-priced suits, and I can’t even afford a new toothbrush at this point. So, worry no more.

I’m currently trying to find the perfect study guide for my classes. Last quarter, I started understanding my class and cases after I figured out how to use my study guide, I’m hoping I can do the same for this quarter, but it has been tough just trying to figure out what each professor wants first.

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