Thursday, August 30, 2007

not much, but a lot

I have little to say. The excitement and anxiety of starting work in five days has been tempered by a family member's imminent death. I wish I could come up with something poignant about his death, which as of now is hours away, but I'm not in the mood. (Given a choice, what would you choose - a long, slow death or sudden death with no warning? It's an impossible choice). Nothing is good about this situation, but it's definitely allowed me less time to think about the start of the job. It seems selfish and insensitive to even think about my own problems at a time like this, but he's been on the decline for four months, so for some, the end will come as a relief; in any case the end is also a new beginning. Or something like that. So, we wait.

Friday, August 24, 2007

better things to do

So a couple of nights ago a friend of mine, now a 3L, calls me. He has the same position I had last year in the one non-class related law school activity that I was involved with. He had a fairly straightforward question. I was happy to answer. I answered. That was the end of the conversation. But afterwards when I thought about how much work this activity involved, I thought to myself, "Thank God I'm no longer involved in this, thank God I graduated from law school." I don't want to be reading casebooks and listening to professors drone on and worrying about stupid rules like being required to brief cases or attendance requirements or reading stuff I don't want to be reading. Of course, I realize in three months when I'm working long hours (and reading stuff I don't want to be reading and briefing (or highlighting) cases) and wishing I could come home and take a nap, or missing my three-day weekends, or when I have about 10 minutes total during the day to play around online instead of three hours a day, I might feel differently. For now though, yeah, I'm glad I'm done with law school.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Did I miss something

So I'm reading Grand Poobah's blog and the comments to this post and apparently he's starting to study for the bar exam again, despite having just taken it and being 85 days away from getting results. Although his rationale sounds logical, I'm floored. Is this a California thing? Something you only do if you went to an unaccredited law school in California? (I think I read something over the summer about him taking the "Baby Bar" which as far as I know is only for those who go to unaccredited California law schools, but I'm not sure. In any case, I mean no disrespect by suggesting he went to an unaccredited school).

Do people from our school start studying too, just in case? Am I missing something? This seems strange. I have no better idea today than I did on July 25 as to whether I passed, but I'll be damned if I'll start studying. If I failed I'll look at my BarBri schedule from the summer and count backward from the date of the February bar, and then start studying again at that time. I think that would be about two weeks before X-mas because I think the bar is at the end of February but I haven't even looked up the date. Why would I? As I wrote several times before, by the day of the exam I knew the law. I knew it. I did. This is fact. If I failed it's because despite having done 2,000 or more questions, I couldn't figure out what the hell the questions and answers were saying.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

dumb luck?

Someone posted a comment asking me how I got my job, because they knew I didn't get it through the school's career center. Unfortunately I don't have much advice or wisdom to offer anyone still looking for a job, but I can tell you what I did.

Early in the second semester I made a list of firms with practice areas I liked in the area I wanted (it's a niche field - almost no firms in this state do this area solely because there isn't enough business) and started cold calling and mailing them. I had three interviews with them. It helped that a partner there was formerly partners with a guy I interned for one summer.

I had interviews at maybe seven or eight places. I had two offers and a third was almost certainly coming had I not accepted the one that I did. The one I didn't accept was a firm that my Lit Skills professor steered me towards because she's close friends with the managing partner. The third was a tiny firm; I liked it but couldn't shake the feeling that the firm was basically the one guy and what if he got hit by a bus or became a judge or got struck by lightning or was in a bad mood one day and decided to fire me. Anyway, I'm happy with my choice.

I chose one over the other for these reasons (not necessarily in this order): (1) my firm has the practice area I most want to do, although it's not as lucrative as other fields so they made it clear to me that although I might be able to do it when cases come in (and they stressed the 'might' part but when I talked to rank-and-file types they explained how you can get yourself assigned to a certain department), I'll also have to do other stuff (2) I liked all the people I met with and (3) I wanted to move to a different part of town and was unwilling to commute 40 miles each way. No. 3 might sound strange to some people depending on where you live, but with a new baby and a job involving billable hours, the last thing I want is to be spending two or more hours a day in the car. That would have a huge (negative, obviously) impact on my quality of life and state of mind.

That's it. I guess my only other suggestion would be to talk to other law students, including employed ones. I saw at least two people get jobs over the summer essentially because friends (fellow graduates) had offers that they turned down or reneged on. Personally I haven't got a clue if my new firm still needs people but once I start I'm sure I'll get a sense of it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

it starts soon

I start my job two weeks from today. So far I've had a great time not working. I'm sure the fact that I actually have a job is a factor but I'll be honest - I love not having a job. I don't so much love not having a paycheck but I've always liked being out and about in the middle of the day. Before law school my career often had me working odd hours so I could be doing stuff during the day when most people were in the office. It seemed a little bit unconventional, like I was doing something that others couldn't.

For the past couple of days I've been doing errands and stuff around my new place. Today I discovered a few cool things in my neighborhood. Today in my new neighborhood I found a store/restaurant that sells only South African food (owned by a South African woman, not surprisingly). Strange. I bought some meat pies. I've always wanted to go to South Africa, but it's so damn far away. I thought Japan was far - the 12 and a half hour flight from Tokyo to D.C. was brutal but South Africa is even farther. More importantly thought, now I have all this time off, which is why we went to Japan. Soon, I won't have all that time off so going somewhere that takes 24-36 hours just to get there doesn't make much sense.

So the point is that I like doing nothing. I got some forms from my law firm in a fedex package today and just tossed them aside. I'll fill them out before I start, but the last thing I want to do during my final two weeks of freedom is think about working.

Actually, several of my friends have made a similar comment to me about how this is the end of my "freedom" and the grind is starting and it's all downhill from here and blah blah blah now I'm going to be a working stiff and that sucks.

I don't really look at it that way. I see my first day of work as the start of a new chapter in my life. On the one hand, I've been working toward this for a long, long time (three years of law schoool, not to mention the year before law school, at which point I knew I'd be doing to law school, when I worked at a job with one cool person and a bunch of people straight out of the movie Office Space). On the other hand, everything now is new. A new city, new house, new career (assuming I passed the fucking bar exam, but I have to assume I did for now), new stage of life (Superbee was correct-my daughter is on the way-she's arriving on Thanksgiving).

So, yeah, I don't know. I don't look at this job as a prison. I don't see this as something that will last an eternity. I have no idea if I'll be there for a year, three years or 30 years. Although I hope to soon be able to call myself a lawyer, I don't even know if I'll spend the rest of my adult life as a lawyer. How can I know without trying it out for a while? I can't. So it's the beginning of an adventure.

Monday, August 20, 2007

a few pictures of Japan

Bizarre ritual during baseball game
We saw the Seibu Lions beat the Chiba Lotte Marines, 4-3

Nikko (I don't know who that guy is - it's not me)


I was born in this hospital (like you care, right?)

Sake barrels at Meiji Shrine

Imperial Palace in Kyoto

Silver Pavilion in Kyoto

The Japanese don't always get it right when try English

Gold Pavillion in Kyoto

Friday, August 17, 2007


I'm back from Japan and finally on line in my new place. Had a great time in Japan. I barely thought about the bar exam at all. But, unfortunately, it did pop into my head at random times. Oh well. I don't have much else to say, but I'll try to think of something soon.