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Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

 

Thursday, July 31, 2003

I'm getting slightly nervous about going back to school. Not enough to outweigh the excitement, but a little bit. The fact that I will be so busy is what's making me nervous. I will be doing the following:

Crim Law Journal - but hey, it could be worse, I could have picked one of the other journals!

Clinic - one of my classes is a clinic, so that will mean lots of extra hours of work...why did I sign up for this?

Reasearch Assistanting - I am officially hired, as of this morning, to work for a second professor. Yes, that's right, I already have one research assistant position. Should I have told the second one about the first? Am I being unfaithful to the first one with the second? Oh, scandal. The first one is unlikely to really use me much. He's sort of a contingency kind of guy. The second is expecting about 10 hours per week. So, it shouldn't be too rough.

My summer job - despite the fact that I will be hundreds of miles away from my boss, I have apparently been so fabulous this summer that they want to keep me on retainer. Okay, not an actual retainer, because that would mean they would pay me regularly. But they want me to be available to do little projects for them, and my boss wants me to commit to a certain number of hours per month. So that's job #3.

OCI - I'm not really expecting this to be a big deal. I'm sure I won't get that many interviews, and they're only like 20 minutes each. Still, it's one more thing.

Student groups - I'm president of one and have some semi-intensive responsibilities for another. School hasn't even started yet and they are taking up time.

Classes - oh yeah, I still have to take classes. Including app ad, which They say is awful.

On top of all this, I have to make time in my schedule for Friends - the TV kind, but the real kind, too. Can I just say, I can't wait to see what happens with Joey and Rachel!


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I must give credit where it's due. I have spent the last couple months frequently reading the highly entertaining blog of a fellow OSU law student, Steve. Steve was my inspiration. And now, he has just been joined by another Moritz-er, Chris, who so far is not letting his funny side come out nearly enough on his page. We're gonna start a revolution... |
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

This whole blogging thing is addictive...

I am getting more excited about OCI every day. It's not because I think I'm going to get some great job. I may not get any job offers out of it at all, and if I do, they may not be the kind of work I really want to do anyway. I'm getting excited because I love interviews. I love wearing a suit and having all the right answers and being charming. It's like a fun game or a favorite role in a play. I guess that's a good quality for a lawyer.

I also like the preparation that goes into OCI. I love researching all the firms. I have looked up information about every single person who the cover letters will be addressed to. I have also looked up information about who the actual interviewer will be, if that information is available. I have researched the firms reputation. NALP forms are for beginners...I'm into finding out that the recruiting coordinator also played clarinet in high school.

The worst part is actually updating the resume and cover letter and writing sample. I don't mind doing it; I mind sending it to other people to review. I'm smart enough to know that's the right thing to do, but it is so painful. I think almost all law students are both perfectionists and people who don't take criticism very well, so this is a challenging process. Of course, I get valuable advice, I say thank you, I incorporate it, and I have a better product to send to employers. But it still bugs me that I couldn't do it perfectly myself. Hmm...could that be my greatest weakness? Better thing of something even more benign. |
 

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

It was hard, but I finally made a decision. I accepted the position on the crim law journal, and officially declined the other two. I got so much different advice, but in the end I had no choice. Even with the supposed prestige of Law Journal, I knew what I really wanted. For so many reasons I am confident I made the right choice. Now I can't wait. I'm sure it will be tedious and frustrating, but I think it will also be rewarding and even fun.

I updated my resume, so it's real. And my boss submitted an OpEd with my name as a co-author and wrote that I'm a member of the crim law journal in my mini-bio, so the world knows now! The last two days I have been smiling almost non-stop. I have been so unhappy for so long that I almost didn't feel like myself being so happy, but it has been great. For the rest of school, for the rest of life, I can look back and remember how this moment felt when other things bring me down.

I cannot wait to go back to school. It's like everything is falling into place. I am going to be insanely busy, but that's good because it will keep my mind off my personal life.

Only 11 more days until I go back to Columbus! |
 

Sunday, July 27, 2003

JOURNAL NEWS

I got on all 3! I got on all 3! I got on all 3!

I'm a little excited. They sent out emails this afternoon, and I got accepted to all three journals. They still don't have the final grades and rankings, so that's what took so long. They figured that they better go ahead and let as many people as possible know they were on, since it's only 2 weeks until journal orientation. So, somehow, my paper about immigration and plenary power (I still don't know what that word means!) got me on! Now, I have the difficult and enviable task of choosing which offer to accept.

In current order of preference:

1. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law -
Pros: Most interesting topic, some of my friends will be on it, more likely to get my note published, will definitely have a leadership role during third year, small group so it's probably the friendliest, Dressler is an advisor, so is Berman who everyone seems to like
Cons: Despite everything they say, it's probably not as prestigious as Law Journal.

2. Ohio State Law Journal -
Pros: Prestigious, everything that goes with prestige
Cons: Probably the most time consuming, everyone who I met during the open house seemed really, really stuffy, all the opposites of OSJCL pros

3. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution -
Pros: Hot editor-in-chief, very widely read and cited in the dispute resolution world
Cons: I could care less about dispute resolution, hot editor is recently divorced

I am very strongly leaning towards crim law. I think I have a week to decide, but I don't know what I'm waiting for, because really I already have decided. The most frustrating part of all of this is that the one person I want to tell so badly, I'm never speaking to again, so I have to sit alone in my rented room and enjoy this by myself. Still, YAY!!!!!!! |
 

Friday, July 25, 2003

Applying to Journal: A process of torture (like everything else we go through for 3 years)

May 8th was my last final and the next day I picked up the application packet for journal. Law Journal and the Journal on Dispute Resolution had a joint application which consisted of writing a paper on one of two topics with canned research and completing a blue booking exercise. The Criminal Law Journal had its own application which included the same blue booking assignment as the other journals, an application with questions about your interest in criminal law and references and that sort of stuff, and a paper was required, but it didn’t have to be something brand new and unedited, so we all turned in our legal writing briefs. I happened to leave Columbus on May 11th, so I had to complete the entire application during my first week of work. This was very challenging, but I did it. I was far from pleased with the results, and I am not too optimistic about getting on any of the journals. Law journal accepts half of its staff members because they are the top 10% at the end of first year. Not me. JDR accepts half of its staff members because they are the top 2 students in their legal writing class. Again, not me. Crim Law accepts all of its staff members on the basis of their applications, but they only accept approximately 15 students. So, my awful paper on immigration is my only chance at the first two (combined with my odd enthusiasm for blue booking), and my genuine, but undemonstrated interest in criminal law, coupled with a really boring paper on public records is my only chance for crim law journal.

So, anyway, I submitted my application in May (via certified mail, of course), and promptly forced myself to forget about it. I figured my chances were terrible, and they were going to notify us until mid-July anyway. Well, a couple weeks ago a friend emailed me and asked if I had heard anything, and that she was getting anxious. So, then I started getting anxious. Last Sunday, July 20, we all received the following email:

“Dear journal applicants,

We would like to take a moment to update you with regard to the law journal
selection process. All three journals are currently waiting for the final
grades and rankings to be released. Once the law school administration
releases this information, we will contact you with our official decisions
via e-mail. We apologize for the informality, but in order to help with
your summer planning and decision making, we want to provide you with this
information as soon as possible. We will follow our official e-mail
notification with written notification shortly thereafter.

Please keep in mind that orientation for all three journals begins at 9:00
a.m. on Monday, August 11, 2003. Further information with regard to
orientation specifics will follow.

If there are changes in your summer contact information (i.e., mailing
address, phone number, and e-mail address where you can receive
notification), please send them to the all three of the following e-mail
addresses: [removed for the sake of the semi-innocent].
This update is essential for timely notification.

Thank you for your patience in these matters. We are working to notify you
as soon as possible.”

So, that email put in all of our minds that we would be getting an email any day. That was Sunday. Now it’s the following Friday. No word at all. But by waiting for the email all day, every day, it has grown to be this huge deal. Plus I suddenly feel like I can’t plan for anything. I get back to Columbus on August 9th, the Saturday before journal boot camp starts, and just a week before classes start. If I get on journal, then I know how that week will be spent. If I don’t, I need to schedule all kinds of doctors appointments, and a hair cut, and make lunch plans, and do all sorts of stuff during that week. But of course, since they refuse to let us know about journal, I can make no plans. I just want to know already. I don’t think I will even be that disappointed if I don’t make it, but at least I will know. There have been much greater disappointments both in law school and in life lately, so I can handle it. JUST TELL ME!!!
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Thursday, July 24, 2003

Okay, this is the inaguaral post to my new blawg. I have tried to do this before, and I've never had the discipline to get beyond one post! Hopefully it will go better this time. Lately I've had so much on my mind that maybe I will be compelled to write. Plus we have wireless web at school, so when classes start, I will have all the time in the world to post...but if any professors ever read this - I promise I'm not doing it in your class.


In 25 days I start my second year of law school at THE Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. I think I am nearly as excited as I was at this time last year. Reasons I am excited/dreading going back:

1. On Campus Interviewing - within days of returning to school, the amazing, wonderful, horrible, ego crushing process of on campus interviewing will begin. I have an entire database created with all of the contact information of the firms I am interested in, random facts about the interviewers, all kinds of useful stuff. I check for updates all day on MonsterTrak. Is this information going to be of any actual use to me? The process at OSU is that the interviews are "Bid/Pre-select/50-50," which means that half of the interview spots are filled based upon the firms preselection, and half are based upon bidding. The impression I get is that the preselect spots will probably all go to the same dozen people who are at the very top of the class. As for the bid spots, there is this ridiculously complicated bidding process where we get different number of bid points to submit for our favorite firms, and as far as I can tell, in the end it is very similar to buying a powerball ticket. So, basically, to get an interview I have to hope that through a totally random process my name gets picked from amongst 245 (minus dropouts) students in our class who will all probably submit for almost every firm. And then if I get any interviews I can start stressing about the actual interview process.

2. Seeing my friends again - Last year I didn't really feel like I had many friends at the law school, although everyone said hello to me, and I occasionally went out with the people in my section. Somehow being away for the summer has me convinced that I have friends, and that I can't wait to see them all again. I think that is a good attitude, because I think it was my shyness that made me feel semi-friendless last year, not a real lack of friends. Also, I had this psycho guy in my life, who after several years I have finally broken away from forever, so he will not be consuming all of my time.

3. Appellate Advocacy - App ad is the class that all OSU law students dread. I am sure that a month from now I will be complaining about it, but right now I can't wait. It seems like the closest thing in law school to pretending to be a "real" lawyer. We write briefs and then we get to do oral arguments. The briefs are supposed to be like 55 pages long, which has me a little scared, but I'm so excited about the oral arguments that I don't care. Everyone who has been through it has assured me that my enthusiasm will quickly fade, so we'll see.

4. New classes - I have always loved registering for classes and have eagerly anticipated starting new classes. There is a promise of something great to come. In undergrad, that promise was always short lived, and I must say second semester of first year was a HUGE disappointment, but still, hope springs eternal. So at this moment I can't wait to meet my new professors and start learning about new areas of law. I'll probably get over it quickly.

5. Not having to work - I worked for four years between undergrad and law school, and I'm working this summer, and I have to say that law school is way more fun that working. It's not that I don't like work itself, but I like to use my mind, and none of the jobs I have had so far has really exercised my brain extensively. For that reason, I hope that when I am actually a practicing attorney, I will like work significantly more. But right now, I would much prefer to read case law than to make photocopies and update databases. And I actually may work during the school year, so I might not be getting out of it entirely. It is just so nice to have control of my own time and to decide for myself how to spend my day to be productive, or not.

Well, I have reached the end of my very first post. Hope that someone out there will eventually read this, but if not, it's still cathartic and therefore worthwhile. |