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Year One And Not Done

I haven’t written here since December 2014.  That’s a long time to go without an update, I know.  Who would have thought that the first year in law school would be so…busy?  Okay, I did. Everyone told me it would be.

It's true. Your life ends the moment you enter the first orientation workshop.

It’s true. Your life ends the moment you enter the first orientation workshop.

And then it began.

August – December

Contracts I, Crim Law, Legal Writing (yes, three classes because I’m part-time. I’m not that crazy).  I joined everything. Tried to do everything.  I ended up doing just what I needed.  Different SBA orgs, study hours.  It was enough for me.

Goals. I set lots of goals.  I didn’t quite meet them all.  Here’s the thing about law school: It’s not your average ballgame. It doesn’t matter if you were queen bee at your old school.  It won’t matter if you were the big man on campus, top of the class, president of every club, etc.  If you work, it won’t matter that you were the go to person for your department.  It won’t matter because EVERYONE is a gunner, a go-getter.  Everyone is fiercely competitive.  Here’s the biggest thing: Everyone can’t get an A. Remember in high school or elementary school where everyone who had the grade can get an A?

Not in law school!  In my 1L year I learned that there can only be a certain number of A grades. That number varies by class but one thing is constant: You better have the top of the top grade and great in-class contribution to secure that A-spot.  It’s because we are graded on a curve and the grades will fall along that curve. It’s not uncommon for a B+ to jump to an A or even down to a B.  So we gun. We compete. We go to office hours, TA hours, make study groups…we fight (academically of course!).

And then…finals

You have no idea

You have no idea

Did you know that the only grade you get for the semester is from your final exam? Thought you’d get a push because of perfect attendance? Ha! Even the midterms (if there are any) are ungraded.  That’s another thing.  Midterms are like a mini-final.  It has all the stress of a final, it’s taken like a final, and you will get the same feedback from professors as a final.  You just won’t get a grade.

And that’s IF you get a midterm.  Back to finals.

It’s hell week all over again.  For the last month every student, at least us 1Ls are taking up every corner of the library.  Study rooms become prime real estate and you hear this word “outlines” being thrown around.  To the average person, “outline” probably just means a skeleton of notes.  To the law student, outlines are gold. No. They are diamond encrusted gold.  A good outline (that you actually worked on for yourself) is what gets you closer to that coveted A.

And then it’s over.  First semester ends.  Enter Freedom.  Not complete freedom of course.  That’d be too easy.  Remember, classes begin again in just a few weeks and it all begins again.

January – May

Second semester.  For me this meant Contracts II, Torts and Legal Writing II.  For me this meant spending my entire break wondering if I made it over the threshold GPA requirement for Contracts and then for the school.  I did…but I wasn’t satisfied. When it comes to my grades I’m never satisfied.

Second semester was much like the first with the added bonus of mandatory LAWS rounds.  Yes that yearlong writing requirement? Not only does it include 15 page briefs, but it also includes a weekend mandatory public speaking!  I can’t lie though.  I thoroughly enjoyed that part.  I’m in the Trial Advocacy track and this was my chance to do something I love: public speaking. It was great. It was wonderful and I decided to continue subjecting myself to the extra pressure and participate in the Intramural competitions.  GUESS WHAT?! I made it to the Semi-Finals!  I still think if I had just did my prosecution argument in that round I had a chance at the Finals.  I did well though!

But the work didn’t end.  We still had our doctrinal classes.  Once our final brief was submitted, it was just a matter of topping off our other classes.  That fateful day came in May.  I walked into my Torts final. The skies were grey.  I walked out. They were greyer.  It was  a sign.  I would spend the next several weeks obsessively checking my student portal for my Spring grades and rank while also trying to conquer this summer class.  Yup!! Who needs a summer break? Not this girl.

Did I mention I started volunteering with a legal service in February? Because THIS girl is a mental masochist.  The point is I survived.

I survived 1L and I’m ready to do it all over again.

Here’s to us law students and our futures.

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Soon To Be – TLanice, JD!

Class of 2018

         Soon. But not soon enough

I’ve been away because . . . I GOT INTO LAW SCHOOL! Yes, after all my lamenting, I got in.  I am now a Juris Doctorate Candidate at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. I am at the end of my semester and preparing for finals.  Now, anyone who’s looked into law school will know (because I didn’t even after research) that your final grade is your ONLY grade. This means it’s all or nothing!

ALL OR NOTHING

No other option

I’ve made a couple of moves since I’ve enrolled.  Me being me (remember: all or nothing), I scoped out every student organization of interest.  I am a member of the Latino Law Student Association, or LLSA, and a newly initiated member of Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, McComb Senate – which boasts members like Sandra Day O’Conner.  Yes, that’s who I named because #girlpower!  I immediately jumped at an opportunity to work with the Public Interest Law Committee and Public Service Program …working on my 75hrs of legal volunteerism.

In all, the second half of the year has been quite busy.  I still have a company, a home to keep, and a life to live.  Just 3 and a half more years before you can call me: T.L. Simmons, esq.

One Step Closer…

December 7th has come and gone.  I took my LSAT!  Now it’s just waiting game.  I have about a week and a half left before I know the damage.  You guys, I don’t think you understand just how important this is for me.  LSAT scores (plus my application of course) determine, not just whether or not I get into law school, but also if I get into the ones I want.  Right now there are two at the top of my list.

Do you know what this waiting feels like? It’s like waiting for the results of an STD test after a weekend of “freelove” -_-.  It’s that serious.

Give freely, receive freely...just sayin

Give freely, receive freely…just sayin

I haven’t put my other goals on the back burner, though.  I’ve been a little less motivated but it’s still happening.  I’ve tried the whole save-money-use-the-apartment-gym thing but, I think the lack of other people is making it a little jaded for me.  I still have my gym membership so, I’ll be back in there.  ZUMBA EH!  I’ll admit, I do come up with a lot A LOT of excuses for not doing what I need to do but, as any GLO member can ask, “What are excuses?”  Answer: The tools of the weak and incompetent.

I am neither weak nor incompetent.  I’m a champion.

It’s true though.  I have a reason or two…or more for:

  1.  Not eating right (“Well, I don’t live alone and don’t want to have to cook two separate meals” or “Healthy food is expensive, if I just eat less I’ll be okay” or “I didn’t have time to pack a lunch before I left”).  I call BS on myself! I can make food that’s healthier for the both of us and still tastes good. I’ve done it before.  The farmer’s market just moved RIGHT across the street from me and if I can get over 3lbs of something for barely $5 why not?  And fine, there’s always the night before.
  2. Not working out as I should (“I workout better with a trainer but, they’re expensive” or “The equipment I need is not accessible for people like me” or the top excuse “I’ll go tomorrow at some point”)  Again BS on myself! Why? Because there are classes that are included with my membership.  Because I’ve already proven I don’t need special equipment. Hello! I’m a double-amputee and can do squats! Tomorrow’s today, point-blank-period.

You get it, I’m sure.

In OTHER news: I’ve invited my college friend “TW” of Success Weight Program to do a guest-post on my blog.  This girl…THIS woman is such an inspiration and I implore you to check out the FB page and blog.  1 year, 100 lbs and counting.  Ms. W is doing amazing things the healthy way and I can honestly say that watching her journey has been great.  I remember the days in college when we’d be up at almost 1AM ordering from a local spot called Crave Cave.  Yup, 1AM eating wings, wraps and whatever was greasy, because we could.  Not anymore.

Step One (revised): Find my motivation.  I think the ever-expanding rolls on my midsection and ill-fitting bras (I refuse to buy another size up) are motivation enough on the “looks” level.

Step Two (revised): Set a goal.  I promise myself that ONE YEAR from today I will be so many pounds lighter.  Because of my wheelchair it’s hard to set a weight goal, so let’s just say I’ll no longer be a XXL-XXXL but an XL or smaller.

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