Bittersweet Partings

July 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm (0L Summer Prep, Personal Thoughts)

In preparation of the next chapter of my life, I have parted ways with the firm and attorneys who have served as my mentors and without even knowing my goals, encouraged me to follow my dreams.  If you are just stopping by, this may not make sense to you (what does she mean “without even knowing my goals . . .”?)

I was a Dreamer. I didn’t have the self-assurance to know with certainty that it would be possible for me to begin and complete an undergraduate program (3/4 of which was achieved thanks to night school and online classes), nor the confidence in myself to study for and take the LSAT. To get up the nerve to ask for a Letter of Recommendation from my boss (and professors I admired, who in turn, seemed to admire me too). I wasn’t entirely sure I would be accepted to law school, and even then, be able to afford it and sacrifice my income.  I wasn’t sure I could make the giant leap of faith and leave my security blanket (the quid pro quo of a full-time, stable job) to enter law school. Therefore, I kept my aspirations of becoming an attorney a secret.  The first person at the firm I told about my goals was the boss who wrote my LOR (and even then I swore him to secrecy). But yet, the attorneys encouraged me by congratulating me on each step of my academic undergraduate career, exposing me to new things, and by encouraging me to take on greater responsibility via leadership roles and projects (thereby building self-confidence and learning more about the legal profession).  Once I had been admitted to several schools, the secret came out.  Feelings were mixed. My five years with them were life-changing, fulfilling, and a major part of my journey. This made my parting particularly bittersweet.

I plan to stay in-touch but I know it won’t be the same. There is also a finality in leaving a job as a paralegal to go to law school. I will never again be the support staff, but this doesn’t mean I can’t continue to be the student. I have learned so many things from the wonderful attorneys I worked with and I hope that mentor/mentee relationship will continue through law school.  One female partner at the firm (who graduated from Dreamer School of Law) warmly welcomed any questions I may have about the law school, legal profession, etc. It was in conversing with her that I realized a new relationship is also emerging, that of colleague.  As she shared stories about her days at the law school, “Professor Dread is very intimidating but you will learn the most from him . . .” I felt a closeness that I hadn’t felt before.

By the end of my last day I packed two banker’s boxes containing the contents of my cubicle, ate far too much cake, and said my goodbyes.

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Dreamer, Where Are You?

June 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm (0L Summer Prep, Personal Thoughts, Relocating for Law School)

I received a very nice email yesterday asking where I’ve been, why I haven’t posted in a while, and asking me to post something soon.  I was warmed by my noted absence, so to “J” and all of my other friends, this is for you.

I’m very happy to begin law school in T-56 days! But, in terms of blogging, this is a weird time for me. I literally have nothing to blog about. It’s kind of amazing how I went from constant LSAT prep obsession to application mode to receiving decisions to actually making a decision (and then changing multiple times). Now, however, there isn’t a lot going on. I promise that as soon as things get interesting again I will return to blogging more regularly. In fact, I’m really excited to share my law school experiences with you.  But now, for the sake of posting and letting you all know what I’m up to, here’s a summary of my currently less-exciting-life . . .

  • Since receiving the additional scholarship offer from Dreamer School of Law which happens to be an hour away from my current home, I’ve gotten really excited about attending and have gotten to know a few of my future classmates thanks to a Facebook group.
  • Initially, my husband and I thought I would commute to Dreamer School of Law but then realized spending two hours in a car would really cutdown my study time and spending roughly $3,000 a year on gasoline would be a major drain. So we found a nice house 1.5 miles from campus and I’ve entered into a wager with my husband as to how many days I will actually ride my bike as I promised him I would.  Our house will also be a little closer to my husband’s job, too.
  • So, for the last two weeks I have been packing up all of my belongings, minus those items that I’m putting in a garage sale. Muscles I didn’t even know I had are hurting! But, it’s kind of fun going through all of my stuff and reminiscing . . . and purging.
  • I’ve been reading law school success guides and have updated my reviews of them on this blog post.
  • I’m also thinking a lot about how I want to carry all of my books around school.  I have this really great messenger bag that I got on Zappos (they really do have the best customer service ever, by the way!). But I’ve been thinking about switching to a back-pack. My only hesitation is that I don’t want to look like I’m hiking through the mountains . . .or an undergrad. So, I’m really not sure what I want to do. Recommendations would be much appreciated!
  • I found a blog that was written by a student who went to Dreamer School of Law nearly 15 years ago (blogs really did exist then, apparently).  It’s been really cool reading it. I found it using a blog directory and I highly recommend doing so.
  • I also purchased some official Dreamer School of Law swag (t-shirts, coffee mug, etc.) I’m completely outfitted!
  • I’m considering buying an entire case of paper. Staples has it on-sale through today for 50% off, making it $25 (coupon is in this week’s flyer). I go through paper so fast and even though I will have a printing allowance at Dreamer School of Law, I question how much I will actually use it since I prefer to work in my home office. I’m also on  the lookout for any other items that may make my 1L life a little easier (again, would love to hear your recommendations!)
  • I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I have been spending entirely way too much time watching the Casey Anthony Trial on TruTV. It’s been quite an education.
  • Generally, I have just been “taking it easy” and trying to relax. I’m also mentally preparing myself for the rigors of law school (in other words, “kick back and relax now because I’m giving 210% when I start law school).
Full steam ahead . . . .

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3 Things I Love Right Now

March 23, 2011 at 1:28 am (Personal Thoughts)

I apologize in advance for my randomness of this post – but there are three things that I’m absolutely loving right now and thought I’d share.

1) The Good Wife is new (finally!) so you know what I will be doing at 10 p.m. tonight . . .

2) The iPhone app “Find my iPhone.” But not for its intended purposes.  You see, my boss turned 50 and the office planned a surprise party. Because I of course, had set up his Apple ID account name and password, I switched the “mobile me” app on while a co-worker distracted him – then we sent him off on a wild goose chase at the court across town. While the cat was away, the mice played. We brought out the usual “over the hill” garb and spewed black crepe paper all over his office – all the while tracking his whereabouts using the app.  I’m totally evil muahahahah!

3) Dropbox. Oh Em Gee. I don’t have to carry around my flashdrive anymore! I absolutely LOVE using the Dropbox (and yes, I realize I’m a bit “behind the times” with cloud computing. I also love that its free!!!! Well, 2GB’s are free – if you want more it costs. Except if you click this link, you’ll get an additional 250 mb.  It is great that I can sync my files across several computers (my PC at the office, my Mac at home, and even my iPhone) which is so handy! 

Oh . . .and I love that I’m 150 days away from officially being a law student!

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Last, But Certainly Not Least

January 21, 2011 at 1:57 am (Choosing a law school, Personal Thoughts)

The day of my Grandma’s funeral had been bittersweet.  I was truly mourning her death but also celebrating her life.  I was able to spend many hours with her before she passed. I thought to myself how fortunate I was that I had no regrets about my last moments with her.  When I returned home from the funeral, I became regretful. 

I had received my final law school response.

There is just one law school in this nation that my Grandma would have been particularly delighted if I was admitted.  I applied really to spare myself the “what if?” question. But I knew there was no chance I would get in. While my GPA is above the 75th percentile for “Prestigious School of Law,” my LSAT is about 10 points below their 25th.  Getting waitlisted would have been an honor.  It is afterall, a top 25 law school. Because I grew up just 2 miles away, I always admired from afar but always knew (or so I thought) that I would never feel what it would be like to be a part of that institution.   And, I’m in. . . With a 50% scholarship.

I just wish that this could have come just one week before, so I could tell Grandma.  Whether I will go, I am unsure. On several visits I have felt inferior, out-of-place, and in comparison – poor. I also do not know how I would ever come up with the other $25,000 per year needed to cover tuition, books, and fees.  I am still committed to doing the work I feel I am called to do and do not want to lose sight of this by crippling debt.  On the other hand, a degree from this school may open many more doors than any other school to which I have been accepted. The question is, are those doors anything I want to walk through anyway?

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Validation

January 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm (Personal Thoughts)

I am blogging from the hospital today.  My grandma has been ill and will soon pass.  While this is of course a very sad time for me, I am at peace with what is happening.  Last evening, Grandma was able to talk to our close family members (which really consist of only three people: her two daughters and then me). I am an only child, and an only grandchild. So needless to say, my grandma and I have always been very close (read, she spoiled me senseless).  Though my mother, father, step-father, and aunt have had their doubts about my education, Grandma is the one person who always “got it.” My Grandpa died a year before I was born. So she has spent the last three decades as an independent woman. She never remarried (which was her deliberate, conscious choice). Grandma also comes from a different time. Growing up in the Great Depression left her very frugal about finances but also very worried about her two daughters’ (my aunt and mother) financial well being.  Both my aunt and mother have always been financially dependent on the men in their lives.  My mother had her first husband and then a wonderful second husband.  My aunt, however, lost her fiance just months before their wedding. My aunt never recovered (emotionally) and has lived with my Grandmother for the last 25 years.  I, on the other hand am bossy, bull-headed, and independent.  Anyway, the reason I am sharing this on my blog is not to solicit sympathy but to share with you the greatest form of validation I could have ever received. It was also the greatest gift my Grandmother could have ever given me.  Last night, my Grandmother drifted between both ‘worlds.’ One minute she would be carrying on a conversation with her late husband and the next she would be speaking to my aunt, mother, and I.  At one point she held my hand, struggled to get close to me and said, “finish school, be a lawyer.” Both my aunt and mother heard my Grandma’s directive and my aunt said to me,  “Well, you heard the woman.”

Thank you Grandma for always understanding and believing in me.  You will always be with me and I will always think of you.  I know that when I graduate from college in May that you will be looking down on me with pride.  You will be proud when I begin law school in the fall.  And Grandma, I want you to know that you played a great part in raising me to believe in myself. I am the woman I am today because of you, Grandma.

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