Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'm Done!

Yesterday was the last day of PC. Hard to believe, right? August seems so far distant in the past, and yet time has flown by. Only one exam stands between me and never having to look at these professors again (as long as I can avoid them in the hallways). :)

Surprisingly enough, I felt kind of empty after class yesterday. I couldn't pinpoint why, but I just felt like I was in a funk. While others around me were ecstatic and beaming, I just felt so-so. And trust me, it's NOT because I was sad the class was ending. I think part of it may have had to do with the "Life Talk" (for lack of a better title) we got from "the" professor (you know, the one that made me cry). The talk in which he told us that we should be the one whose light is still on when the partners go home at night. And that lawyers are three times more likely than the general population to suffer from clinical depression.

Real uplifting stuff on the last day of class, huh?

As I headed home, I continued to mull over the things our professor told us. I have decided that priority #1 when I get settled in my new home in a couple months (hopefully in colorful Colorado!) will be to find a Christian lawyer mentor. Not someone who just goes to church on Sunday, but someone who loves Jesus with all of her being. Someone who wants to glorify God in her law practice. I need someone who can help me figure out a balance between the "stay at the office until the partner go home" mentality and my knee-jerk reaction of, "I don't answer to the partners at my firm. I'll work hard, but I don't have to pull ridiculous hours to do so." 

But most of all, I want to be different. I want to be a lawyer who looks at the expectations of this career and seeks change. Who seeks to relieve some of the pressures that we type-A OCD lawyers put on ourselves, and who seeks balance and a healthy view of work and life.

And now, I'm busy wading through Texas Supreme Court cases and multiple outlines while studying for my exam on Saturday. I spent the whole day trying to figure out the difference between errors of commission and errors of omission. It sounds like it'd be easy, right? Think again! Here's what the Texas Supreme Court had to say about the issue way back in 1992:

                           "The rules governing charge procedures are difficult enough;
                             the caselaw applying them has made compliance a labyrinth
                             daunting to the most experienced trial lawyer. Today, it is fair
                             to say that the process of telling the jury the applicable law and
                             inquiring of them their verdict is a risky gambit in which counsel
                             has less reason to know that he or she has protected a client's rights
                             than at any other time in the trial."

State Dep't of Highways & Pub. Transp. v. Payne, 838 S.W.2d 235 (Tex. 1992).

Such an encouraging statement about the rule, isn't it? That's probably why it's taken me all day to make some sort of sense of it in my head. Here's hoping I've untangled it in the right way...

Monday, January 28, 2013

A New TV Show and BBQ Raisins

Over Christmas break, my aunt introduced me to the show "Parenthood." We only watched one episode at her house, but I really enjoyed it, so on Friday evening AnnaGrace, MaryLou, and I started at season one. What started out as a dinner break ended up at four episodes. Yesterday brought another four. This makes for excellent studying for my Saturday final, I assure you. :)

The show is about four grown siblings and their families. I love it because it seems so real. They aren't always one big happy family - they have arguments and disagreements. Their lives are messy. And yet, they have good relationships with their spouses and each other. If you haven't seen this show, go check it out! Just don't blame me if you get hooked...

Yesterday afternoon, I decided that I wanted waffles with whipped cream and strawberries for dinner. During our trip to the grocery store, AnnaGrace saw BBQ raisins on the clearance rack. I don't like raisins, so the thought of adding BBQ flavor sounded disgusting to me. But she thought it would be an interesting thing to try.

When we got home, she sat down with the package. I knew it was going to be bad when she nearly gagged just from the smell. And I, being the wonderful roommate that I am, decided that this needed to be captured in film. Here is how it went:

Sniffing the raisins. This was sign #1 that
these were a bad life choice.

Just before she spit them out.

Guzzling milk, coffee, and carob chips followed to erase the taste of BBQ from her mouth. Meanwhile, I was rolling on the floor I was laughing so hard.

And here is the waffle I was so badly craving:

I hope your week is off to a great start! Only three more days of classes and four exams stand between me and my LAST QUARTER OF LAW SCHOOL!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Big Trial

I realized today, as I was thinking about this post, that I have not once talked about the subject of my Big Trial case.

Blogging fail.

So, here's a brief summary: My partner and I represented two foster parents. A pair of foster children escaped from the foster home (in broad daylight) and stabbed a man 14 times. At the time, the foster parents were on respite for the weekend, and had left two employees and a trainee in charge. During the state's investigation, however, it was discovered that one of the employees had left to go work his other job, and thus there were not enough trained staff members in the home per the government's regulations.

And that was only the tip of the iceberg. There were numerous non-compliances. So really, it was a loser case from the get-go. The real case settled for something like $5 million. Too bad we actually had to try the case. :)

Wednesday was the big day. I was feeling pretty excited about the trial (shocking, I know), until Tuesday, when panic started gripping me for no reason. I was so terrified that we were going to have Powell, and I just couldn't bear to have him as my observer again.

And the Lord knew exactly what I needed. Our observer on Wednesday was one of the most gracious, humble, and kind lawyers I have met. He was so encouraging. He would stop us occasionally and make corrections, but always in a very positive way. It was the most comfortable I've felt yet. In fact, I actually enjoyed the trial process!

Unfortunately, we didn't win, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. We escaped with only 20% liability for our clients.

I wish I could convey just how wonderful this guy way. But it seems that tonight, every attempt is useless and just sounds stupid... I think it's the utter exhaustion I've been suffering from for the past three days. I didn't quite realize how much stress I was under until it was over...

But it is over. Just one more pre-trial motion/hearing to do and an exam stand between me and my last quarter of law school!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Day Off

Another hurdle is cleared.

Big Trial is over.

Two weeks from Saturday, I will be done with Practice Court forever. (I'm assuming I'll pass...)

I can hardly believe it. It seems like not that long ago I was reading ahead, cooking lots of food, and trying not to freak out about what was to come. And now, it's almost over.

So today, I celebrated by taking a day off. I only have two classes, so I skipped both. I spent some time outlining Administration of Estates, watched a couple episodes of the Big Bang Theory (I was two weeks behind!!), and went to an art gallery with Erin and AnnaGrace. It was lovely.

And now, being at school until 11:15pm last night, and staying up until 1am, are catching up with me. I'm signing off and headed to bed! I'll write a longer post about Big Trial this weekend...but for now, it's off to catch up on missed pillow time! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Today dawned with beautiful sunshine after two days of rain. The sky was gorgeous. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture this morning, so I did it once I got home!

During Christian Legal Society today, we talked about discouragement. One of the discussion questions that was asked was, "What do you do when you're feeling discouraged?" One of the things I mentioned was focusing on the little things - like getting out of class early, beautiful weather, or seeing a friend in the hallway (or at home!). It's amazing how much focusing on what is good in my life helps me keep perspective.

So, I encourage you today - focus on the good things. Even if they feel minuscule in comparison to the bad things.

Look for good.

Actively search for it.

And take pleasure in it when you find it.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I am one day closer to the end of Practice Court. Just in case you wanted a running countdown. :)

Surprisingly, today was a really good day. It feels so wonderful to be back home and be back in a schedule. The hardest part of the day was getting out of bed...especially after I've been staying up later and sleeping in later.

I only had two classes today, so I was able to come home for lunch. I worked for a couple of hours, and then headed out to run a couple of errands. Unfortunately, I didn't find either of the items I was looking for, but I did find a cute pair of red wedges! :)

When I got home, I went for a run. The last two weeks have been very hit-or-miss, so I'm excited to start seriously training for the Bearathon in March. Today was the farthest I've run in a long time, which felt great! I did 3.75 miles, and only walked 0.5 of it! Plus, I found a quarter and three pennies. It doesn't get much better than that. :)

Here are the three things I'm thankful for today:

1. We got out of class early!

2. Having a great run.

3. Getting saved from a class memo by one of my classmates.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

I had grand plans of writing a 2012 wrap-up post and a New Year's Day post. And then I came down with a wicked head cold. So instead of posting for you, dear readers, I spent multiple days drinking hot tea on the couch with tissues shoved up my nose.

Sorry, that was probably TMI.

So, despite being six days late, here are my New Years' "Resolutions":

1. Keep track of my workouts.

This one is slightly narcissistic. I want to be able to tally my total mileage at the end of the year. Wouldn't it be cool to say you ran 500 miles in a year? Or more?

2. Try two (or more!) new recipes a month.

I've fallen into a cooking rut lately, so I'm hoping this will help me be better about planning meals ahead of time, rather than waiting until I'm hungry to figure out what I want to eat.

3. Get rid of the chip on my shoulder about PC, and stop being angry at my professors.

Although this quarter has been easier, I've discovered that it's much easier for me to always be mad at the profs. I don't give them the benefit of the doubt. I let little things ruffle my feathers. I pull out my soapbox A LOT.

It's ugly. I don't want to be the person who always complains. So, I'm reminding myself of provisions 8 and 9 on my contract, and resolving to stop complaining and start spreading joy.

Speaking of joy, only 17 class days left!!! (And with three absences left, it's really only 14). :)