The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Classy ladyYesterday, I began writing a post about all of the law student blawgers who graduated and their contributions to the blawg-o-sphere. I was scrolling and clicking through the directory that Kurt put together and I came across a site that became the topic at a BBQ later in the evening...and boy did some interesting conversations ensue.
Before I go any further, I want to say that (usually) if I don't like or agree with a blog, I simply don't read it. I do not advocate putting the author in the "hot seat" and telling them why I think their blog is no good. It is not my place to critique a person's content since I do not have a pedestal upon which I can look down and tell anyone that she should reconsider her thoughts and words. However, I am feeling the need to break that rule and offer some advice to a young budding lawyerling (possibly NSFW).
Sweetie, you need to take your blog down. Then, you need to change your name and go to another law school.
Let's set aside the bad grammar and spelling issues that amount to so-so writing. Let's set aside the name of the blog and the fact that no matter what your content actually is, the name that you chose says a lot about you as a person. Let's set aside the moral issues surrounding your actions. Let's even set aside the illegality of what you are allegedly doing.
Let's assume for a moment that you are not just attempting to be the next Washingtonienne. Let's also assume for a moment that you are not just building off of a West Wing episode. Let's assume that you are legitimately writing about what you say you are writing about. Are you an idiot? Do you really think that the small town of Washington DC will not swallow you up and spit you out leaving you lacking any future legal career you say you want? Everyone knows everyone in this city. More specifically, everyone is a lawyer and when you start easing your way into the DC legal world, you find that everyone knows everyone's business. And in your case, worse than being "found out" or fired, you will just never get a chance to begin. I cannot fathom going through the torture of law school only to be known as a whore. Worse even, to be self-declared in that way and to have spread yourself not just all over this city, but all over the internet for all potential employers to trash your resume (or pass it around for laughs).
I'm not sure if you were actually attempting to be anonymous, but posting the due dates of your memos and posting specifics about the program you are in does not really help your anonymity. Since you are rumored to attend my school, I would refer you to the email the Career Development Office sent out yesterday in response to getting some phone calls from law firm hiring committees. Quite simply "use common sense when e-mailing, blogging, and posting personal information on the Internet." If nothing else, my dear, learn from your predecessors. I really hope, for your sake, this is all a farce. If not, you sure did pick the wrong city and profession (both of them) in which to play your games.
Friday, May 26, 2006
I am actually doing work tooI love my job. Last night was our welcome fiesta. Good times. Great margaritas. Before our fiesta, we took a Summer Associate field trip!
I call this one "Why even go to the game?"
Clarification: These two dudes are not with our group.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Lawyerly feedingsI started work yesterday. Lunch yesterday at Acadiana. Welcome breakfast today. Lunch today at Zola. Welcome Fiesta on Thursday. Wine and cheese on Friday. Welcome dinner next week at Zaytina.
THAT, my friends, is why it was easy to gain 16 pounds in 11 weeks last summer. Mark my words, that will not happen this summer! Must. Double. Gym. Time.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Summer Starts on MondaySome people call it fate. Some say the stars are aligned. Earl calls it karma. My mom calls it God appointments. However you term it, things have really fallen into place one piece at a time for what will hopefully be an amazing "rising 3L" summer experience.
When I started law school, I really had no idea what my future career would be. I wanted to be a lawyer and that is about all I knew. I figured, much like architecture school, I would get the degree and would simply be led directly into some job or career. I quickly found the legal profession to be much more vast with many more choices of paths to take. As my options began to unravel in front of me, I was overwhelmed. I could do something public-interesty and save the world...but be broke. I could make a lot of money in some Big-Law firm...but work 120 hours a week. I could go the route of politics or government affairs...but then I would have to deal with politicians. Breaking down the broad categories even further, the options seemed to multiply. Do I want the prestigious, ranked "big-law" firm job or the more humanist medium-sized firm? Do I want to work on the transactional side (building relationships) or on the litigation side (tearing them down)? Do I want to stay in DC where the legal market is so competitive and extremely hard to get into or do I want to venture back toward my homestate where my top-20 law school degree will be much appreciated? These were just way too many questions for a 1L to answer with only a few classes under her belt.
Of course, because I am a planner, I laid out some of my summer options really just based on what I thought I wanted to do. I had full knowledge these would change with time and I was not pressed to figure it out at that moment. Not to mention, certain things (ex: GPA and lack of journal) would seriously restrain my options. After a truly hilarious interview, I "fell into" an amazing opportunity with a law firm last summer. I really wanted to go to London, but I believe it's pretty unheard of for a 1L to turn down a Summer Associate position. Truth be told, I took the job for the money. I knew what kind of work they did and was convinced I would hate it. I figured if nothing else, this would be a fabulous resume builder for that wonderful 2L summer job...somewhere else.
To my utter surprise, I found everything I wanted last summer. Not only did I enjoy the work tremendously, but I was pretty good at it. The people were amazing and I actually made lasting friendships in the course of 11 short weeks. I found some really great mentors in this office. The kind that I will look back on 30 years from now and say that person helped mold my career. I found the things that really matter to me. Since I was in summer school, I missed out on most of the social events. For the most part, I was able to make my judgments without the wool of recruiting techniques being pulled over my eyes. Again, I found things that really matter to me.
Going against the "norm" and almost all advice I received, I decided to bow out of the On-Campus Interview process, put all my law firm eggs in one basket, and not split my summer with another firm. I did however, take this perfect opportunity to pick up another item from my 1L summer to-do list. I will be spending my second half of the summer in London studying International Law. So, in the end, with all the twists of fate put together, stars aligned and God appointments attended, I am looking forward to a wonderful summer.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
HypotheticalIf you were a passport and you were in an envelope alongside a birth certificate labeled "Super Important Stuff"...where might you be?
UPDATE: Phew! Found it. And to celebrate, I booked a flight to Naples, Italy.
Monday, May 15, 2006
So many questions
So, let me see if I understand this...he calls you a whore, you spend weeks being angry, then you confront him to prove him right?
(Spoiler Alert!) I have so many more unanswered questions:
Why do they finally make me like Addison and finally root for her and McDreamy only to take that away?
Why do they the sweetest ever McVet "I've got plans" conversation only to have Meredith mess it up?
Why did they feel the need to have a close-up shot of Meredith's panties?
Why must George and Callie kiss? And why must is be so awkwardly unwatchable?
Why did Denny agree to Izzy's stupid heart-stopping idea?
Why the hell would Burke ever head back to Seattle Grace without the heart?
Why, Christina, why?
Why did they end this show with me sympathizing with Alex of all people?
Why did they take from me my favorite character on the show?
Check out Marci's and EJ's take as well.
If she could see what I seeShe is one of the most intelligent people I know. Growing up, I was always one step behind her in school. I took the ACT (Southern version of the SAT) three extra times just to try to outscore her.
She is absolutely stunning. In our "Thelma and Louise" growing up days, she was always noticed first. She has such natural beauty, people just turned around to look. I got attention for being the outspoken one. She got attention just for being beautiful.
She has such an amazing relationship with her family. Her younger brother went through some tough times yet her family stuck together and it made them stronger. I have always admired that.
She is confident. Not in a "ooo, look at me I'm gorgeous" way. She has actual confidence. She carries herself with grace.
She grew up with dreams and goals and ambitions. When we were twelve, we used to lay in the grass and stare at the stars talking about our futures. She was going to be a doctor and I was going to be a lawyer. Our kids were going to grow up together just like we had.
She is stubborn. If you can imagine, she's more stubborn than me. Being stubborn got her to where she is today. Sometimes it's a good thing. Right now, it's a bad thing.
She said to me on the phone last night "I just can't figure out how things got so messed up." Her husband left her last Thursday. She is the best thing that has ever and will ever happen to him and he has never deserved her. He left her to check himself into drug rehab. Presumably, this means he will be back. She told me she's just tired of it. She is sick of people asking her what she is going to do because she just doesn't know what to do anymore. She doesn't know how she let it get this far and how to fix any of it. I held back tears because I know how hard it is for her to admit this to herself. If I could do anything to take away her hurt, I would.
I did the most important thing I could think to do for her. In a 'tough love' way, instead of trying to build her up, I tried to tear her down. I wanted her to get back to what was really inside of her. No advice or love or words of wisdom from others are going to help her make the decisions she needs to make. She needs to get the strength from within herself.
I spent the next two hours peeling back the layers she has built to keep out the hurt. While those walls may have served one purpose, they are also doing a huge disservice by keeping the smart, beautiful, confident woman hidden. She has become this cynical, unhappy, resentful person. I know my best friend is still in there, she just needs to know it too. I reminded her of what an amazing wonderful beautiful woman she is. I reminded her that no matter how seemingly bottomless the hole she has dug for herself, there is always a way to fill it. I said some things to her that I knew would sting, but that I was aware she already knew deep down. No matter what happens in her life and how bad things get, I will always see my friend for the wonderful person that she is. After 18 years, that part of her has not changed in my eyes and it never will. I just hope I can help her to see what I see.
It's hurts her that so many people around her don't truly know who she is. It's hurts me that she has lost sight of it herself.
Friday, May 12, 2006
I think Tony Snow reads my blog.To quote our new White House press secretary "It obviously at this point is just a mess."
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize for turning WonL into an emotional whiny woe-is-me pile of rubbish this past week or so. I will fix that. I will start with a weekend transformation that will include EPH with two lovely ladies, and a nice dinner and bottle(s) of wine with another hottie, and MOST IMPORTANTLY...5,500 pounds of crawfish coming straight from my homeland!!!
Have a fabulous weekend everyone.
PS - I beat financial aid!
Part DeauxFinancial Aid Saga Part 1 found here.
Imagine my surprise to receive the following email in my inbox this morning from head FALO "Your summer loan paid by wire into your account last night. You should apply for a refund right away so that you will have funds available for the program abroad." (She also attached a link to the form I need to fill out.)
For a moment, I was pleasantly surprised at how prompt they were once I got angry. For a moment, I thought that standing your ground (even with financial aid people) may actually work. For a moment, I breathed easy thinking I could tear up the check my parents over-nighted to me. For a moment, I felt bad about all the mean things I said and thought during Saga Part 1.
That moment passed.
The "Refund Request Form" says things like "refunds are not available for pick-up" and "it may take up to 14 days for my check to arrive in the MAIL." (This is, of course, a problem because my summer tuition is due in 5 days.)
So, to re-cap, the process is quite simple as a GW student, in order to get finacial aid to go to summer school through G-Town:
Contact GW...who contacts G-Town...(who never gets back to them) so contact G-Town yourself...who gets back to GW...who then asks for money from YOUR LENDER...who sends it to GW...who puts it in an account they call yours...then hold it in the account until you ask for the money (which if of course comical because chances are you began this hellish process in the first place because you wanted the money)...since they do not allow you to walk into their door, they send you a check...which you will then have to deposit in a normal bank account...to then write a tuition check to G-Town. Dear Lord, next time, I'm going to Ace!
Almost forgot my favorite part of the story: I inquired as to why I received a bill for $35 from GW and was told I am being billed for "continuous enrollment which must be in place in order for a summer loan to pay into your account." In other words, they actually charge me to f*ck this all up. Seriously
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Friends revealedI apologized to a good friend earlier via text message for getting a little emotional at a bar last night. (Yes, for those of you that are counting, that is twice in one week...and we aren't even to Friday yet.) Anyway, he responded simply "That's why we have friends."
He's right. I know that I don't need to apologize because at the risk of sounding cliche, that is what friends are for. I guess deep down, I expect that I can cry on the shoulders of my friends if need be. It's still a hard thing for me to do. People that know me the best know this about me and will always fight me on it. However, people that don't know me as well usually can't even tell there is anything wrong. It takes a real friend to see the smile on my face is covering up something.
WonL has been very theraputic for me in that regard. It has enabled me to open up and show my cards when I normally wouldn't. In doing so, it has also allowed me to welcome some really wonderful people into my life. Only recently have I begun to realize that I am finding some meaningful friendships in places I least expected. I have made a friend who will spend hours with me on instant messenger on a rough night to get my mind off things. I have made friends who will not allow me to stay home and mope, but rather will force me to play video games of non-clothed women on a Friday night. I have made a friend who will come and crash on my sofa to keep me company. I have made friends who I have never even met that can read my thoughts on their computer screens and respond offering support in the kindest of words.
I hope all of you know how very thankful I am for you.
PS...I assume my non-blogging (and former blogging *ahem*) friends know this goes double for them.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I'm glad they give me money, but must they make it so difficult?Round 1 (April 17) - Me vs. the Crabby Secretary Lady (CSL):
I filled out my paperwork to an unprecedented degree of specificity. No box left un-checked. No information missing. Every "i" dotted. I knew that applying for summer loans for a program at another school would make things tricky, so I followed every instruction to the letter. Beaming with pride, I walked into the financial aid office and handed CSL my paperwork. As I pivoted and turned to leave, I was whipped back with an astoundingly rude "Sit Down." Oh, um, okay. Flip flip flip through pages. Click click click on computer. Then, the conversation that reminded me of one with my three year old niece:
CSL: "Wait, if you aren't going to summer school here how are we supposed to know where you are going?"
ME: "Well, um, on that line beside 'other', I wrote G-Town Summer Program in London. Additionally, I attached the information from them about the program highlighting for you the costs of tuition and room and such. I also added it up in the margin for you."
flip flip click click
CSL: "Hmph. Well, where is your acceptance letter?"
ME: "At home. Nothing on that checklist said you would need a copy of my acceptance letter."
CSL: "Hmph. Well, where is your approval from our Dean saying you could take classes there?"
ME: "Well, I sent that to G-Town in order to get in."
flip flip click click
CSL: "Hmph. Where is your consortium agreement?"
ME: "I don't know what that is. Am I supposed to get that from someone?"
CSL: "Ugh. No, we get that for you."
ME: "Then, why would you ask me where it is?"
flip flip click click
CSL: "Where are your parents tax forms?"
ME: "They are with my parents. I am independent, my parents give me no money, you should not need their forms."
CSL: "We need their tax forms."
ME: "I'm pretty sure you do not need their tax forms."
CSL: "Well, I am not approving this. You are just missing too much information. Come back when you have it all."
ME: "Ma'am, with all due respect, y'all really should include a listing of your expectations on the form if you want students to actually know what you are thinking."
...I then spend a few days gathering the information including my parents tax forms in anticipation of...
Round 2 (April 20) - Me vs. the Financial Aid Lady with an Office (FALO)
FALO politely tells me to have a seat
ME: "Here are all of the forms that were missing from last time. I have my parents tax forms but I really don't think you need them...however, CSL demanded I get them."
FALO: "You probably forgot to mark the box saying xyz so she assumed you did need them."
ME: "I though for sure I marked that box."
FALO: (looking at my file) "You did mark that box. In fact, someone circled it your marking of that box. Strange."
ME: "What does that mean?"
FALO: "It means you are correct, you do not need your parents tax forms."
FALO: "Okay, well everything looks good and is in order, nothing else for you to do we will handle it from here."
ME: "CSL mentioned something about a consortium agreement. I don't know what that is, but do I need it?"
FALO: "We handle that. We will contact G-Town and get it."
...you would think at this point I'm good to go, right? Nope...
Round 3 (April 25) - Me vs. Financial Aid Man At G-Town (FAMAG)
I received an email from Head GW Financial Aid Lady with an Office (Head GW FALO) "We still have received no response to our faxed consortium agreement...cannot certify your summer loan...You may want to contact them directly and let us know what's going on." I then place a phone call to G-Town financial aid. After explaining who I am, he pulls up my file online. (They HAVE a file for me online which is a good sign.)
FAMAG: "Yes, we received a fax from your school."
ME: "Well, do you normally respond to them? I don't know what a consortium agreement is, so I'm a little confused."
FAMAG: "Hold on....(still on hold)........(still)......(still)........Oh, so, there was a problem with the computer. The person who does consortium agreements said she will fax this back to your school Friday at the latest."
...are we done yet? Of course not...
Round 4 (May 10) - Me vs. My Pride
Tuition is due in a week and as of today I have received: an email from GW that they still have not gotten anything from G-Town, my tuition bill from G-Town, and a bill from GW (which is interesting considering I am not going to school there this summer.)
Phone call #1 to G-Town FAMAG: "Yeah, Law-Rah, let us get your number and call you back. Someone needs to, um, check on something with, um, someone else." (that was two hours ago)
Phone call #2 to GW Head FALO: listen to long recording that says in essence: "There is only one person in the office this week, so things will be slow. Oh yeah, and we are closed on Wednesdays."
(Look at calendar. Sigh. Realize that both GW and G-Town have their heads up their asses this is not going to work.)
Phone call #3: (swallowing pride) "Dad, I need a huge favor."
Anyone else got fun financial aid stories to share???
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Curtain Closed"Later that day I got to thinking about fairy tales. What if Prince Charming had never shown up? Would Snow White have laid in that glass box forever? Or would she have gotten up, spit out the apple, gotten a job and a health care plan and moved on with her life." -Carrie
Sometimes, you have to make really difficult decisions in your life. You have to base these decisions on what your head and your intellect is telling you to do while you shove your heart and your emotions onto the back burner. Those are the hardest decisions to make. They hurt the most. You build whatever walls you can to numb the pain. You surround yourself with people. Alcohol. Silence. Sleep.
Then, along comes a friend. A good friend. A friend who knows you better than you know yourself. And he takes you to eat sushi and after three mojitos, you are happy that the subject has not come up. Then, he gets really quiet and stares at you and simply says "look at me." You know that explaining things to him is not going to be simple. You know that it means saying it out loud. And explaining things to your good friend means admitting things to yourself. And then you cry at the table at Cafe Asia.
Then, you feel better.
Monday, May 08, 2006
I call this one...
"But Aunt Law-Rah, I'm tired of waiting on Prince Charming."
Me too, little one. Me too.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Crass postLet's see if he is still thinking he won when he is bending over and taking it (presumably unwillingly) every single night for the rest of his pathetic life. Who will be clapping then, jerk?
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Who is "reasonable" anyway?Another exam down. I will admit that watching Law & Order as a means of reviewing for Criminal Procedure may not have been the best idea ever, but I think I fared okay. (And by 'okay', I mean C-.) What a fun test! (Said in an extremely sarcastic tone.)
I may or may not have figured out a way to integrate my hatred for Arlington County parking enforcement into the exam as an "unreasonable" Whren stop. I also may have referred to Mr. Hiibel as a "crazy redneck". And as a grand finale, I may have said that if we allow the 6th Amendment right to counsel to go too far, it will become a "lawyer free for all" (pun intended). I guess it's a really good thing I took the class pass/fail :-)
Dear Prof. K, who may or may not read this, I was totally kidding about all of this! I really loved that first policy question.
Monday, May 01, 2006
SighI had an away message on my instant messenger the other day that merely said "Sigh". That's how I've been feeling lately. When questioned by a buddy, I stumbled over words to describe it. All I could say was it's a happy sigh. What you can't see through the computer is the sparkle in my eyes and the way that the corners of my lips are curling up to form a smile. Lately, as I go through my days, my thoughts often wander to him. I think of the last time I saw him or when I will see him again. I sigh. Sometimes, I giggle. I have even found myself blushing. I close my eyes and let my thoughts bring me right back to his arms. I can feel the smile spreading across my face, the warm feelings taking over, shoulders shrugging...and I sigh.
Then came Saturday. I knew he got the job, but it became all to "real" now that he has put in notice at work. Not only that, but they want him sooner which means our time together just got truncated. I really am happy for him because I know this is what he wants. But, it hurts. When he told me he's leaving next Friday, I sighed. Only this time, instead of my sigh being joined by a smile, it was accompanied by a couple of tears. I didn't mean it, but I couldn't help it. I'm sad. My guy is going back to Texas and he's taking my happy sigh with him.