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February 16, 2005

Overloaded Update

I'm in law school, although you may not always be able to tell from the content here. Often, I talk about anything but law school, which is because I often think about anything but law school, and I sometimes wonder if I should take that as a sign: Is this really something I should be doing if I'd so often spend my time doing something else? But school is not practice, so I dismiss the question. In my spare time (what's that?) I'm trying to read Should You Really Be A Lawyer?. Perhaps that should be filed in the “better late than never category,” but I do wish I'd read this book before taking on somewhere near $100k in debt.* To those of you who are going crazy with anxiety before even starting law school, I say: Go buy this book or check it out from your local library. Read it. Challenge yourself to give it the time and real consideration it suggests you devote to the question of its title. You'll be glad you did, and this will be an excellent use of this interstice between applying and actually going to law school. And why would you want to take this decision very seriously, even if you're already at the point where you've applied or even accepted admission somewhere and already feel pretty committed to going? Well, for one thing, law school can suck. But wait, this isn't supposed to be a big fat advice post. No, this is a big fat whining post. Or just an “oh my gosh I've been busy recently” post. Last weekend alone I had interviews on Saturday (they went well, it seemed), I had to pretend to judge a “client counseling” competition for the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Board,** and I had to complete an “editorial competition” in an attempt to become some sort of editor on the journal next year. It was a busy weekend. Today I have three different interviews to become a “Dean's Fellow,” which is what GW calls the group of 20 or 30? 3Ls who help teach a small section of the first year writing and research course. This weekend I have to finish the second draft of my “note” for the journal, and although I never quite got around to posting what the editors thought of the first draft, I vaguely recall their comments ranging from, “What's the point?” to “This would never work.” So, yeah, still a bit of work to do there. Meanwhile, I'm about 60 pages behind in every class (1-2 assignments), which is actually about the most caught up I think I've ever been at this point in a law school semester, so that's kind of a bright spot, actually. Another bright spot: I got a call-back from one of the employers I interviewed w/last Saturday so I've got interview #2 coming up. It would be an awesome job (the more I think about it, the more I like it), and, if they offered me a job in the next month I may qualify for a GW summer subsidy, so that would be nice. Oh, and did I mention that we're currently days away from a 3-day weekend? It's true. As part of our v-day celebrations, L. was kind enough to give me Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando for the PS2 that has been gathering dust on a dark shelf of our entertainment center for, oh, about the last 18 months or more. Will this 3-day weekend include at least a teeny bit of PS2 time? Um yeah, I think so. (Yes, Ratchet & Clank is kind of a kiddie's game, but I'm kind of kiddie player; I haven't even made it through the first one yet—I gave up at a tough spot after playing the same screens for days. Oh, and I started law school and didn't have time to fight the evil robots and fight for truth and justice and the American way all at once. Now that I see that truth and justice are basically dead and I no longer understand “the American way,” I'd really rather play Playstation.) (I'm kidding about the truth, justice, American way part. Really.) * Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and will review it in full as soon as I finish it. From what I've read so far, it's worth the price of admission even if I'd had to pay for it—at least for me—but you should know that that opinion is so far based on just a brief skim of the whole book and a close reading of only the first chapter. ** Congrats to all who made the Board; I saw three very professional and polished teams. I hope if you competed you saw the humor in seeing 250 law students (mostly 1Ls) running around dressed up in dark suits and carrying pleather portfolios and bottles of water for their clients. Someone remarked that it looked like GW was holding mass funerals over the weekend b/c of all the dark suits (both for the ADR competition and the job fair.) Incidentally, I was shocked almost speechless by the 1Ls who actually gave their clients four-color business cards; I guess the student government's business card sale last fall was pretty popular with the 1Ls. Scary. I know, I shouldn't be scared of 1Ls with business cards that say “Juris Doctor Candidate” or whatever, but um, I am. Please keep your crazy cards to yourselves, thanks.

Posted February 16, 2005 08:31 AM | 2L law school

I think that the thought of "Juris Doctor Candidate" cards has made me more anxious than anything in the law school admissions/consideration process. Does this mean I'm okay, or just an extra-special kind of crazy?

Posted by: Janine at February 16, 2005 09:28 AM

I think I will check out that book. Maybe I can get the library to stock it.

You need to work on your whining, AI. For a big fat whining post, this contains very little. You could learn something from us pre-law types, who are whining before we even start school.

Posted by: CM at February 16, 2005 09:42 AM

Wow... 1Ls with 4C cards that say, "Juris Doctor Candidate"?

I think your student government should have a tattoo sale, so they can all tattoo "Loser" on their foreheads.

Besides, everyone knows that real attorneys scoff at anything less than high quality 100% cotton rag engraved business cards. :)

Posted by: -Dave! at February 16, 2005 10:15 AM

A note to ambib's law school readers: if you are intent on getting a law firm job, don't hand out "JD candidate" "business cards" at your interviews. You will look like a wanker.

Posted by: M at February 16, 2005 10:15 AM

Uh, what's a three day weekend? The commies at my school make us show up on glorious President's day.

Posted by: DG at February 16, 2005 01:05 PM

i'll second, third, fourth, and fifth the notion that law school sucks. oy.

ai - sounds like you're doing just fine given the craziness :)

Posted by: em at February 16, 2005 04:02 PM

Hope you had a fun weekend doing ADR...two of my best friends are on it, and one is the secretary, so they were both MIA this weekend. Makes me glad I'm a law school slacker who's not involved in anything.

Posted by: Kristin at February 16, 2005 05:07 PM

Well, I don't have anything to add to the busy at school part, except to say that I'm feeling your pain right now.

On the other hand, Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando is possibly the most fun I've ever had playing a video game, so I definitely commend you on your choice there.

Posted by: Jim at February 16, 2005 05:18 PM

hee. i just had the weirdest experience. after reading this entry for the first time, i clicked on the comments and saw a comment posted by "janine", and i was like, "hey, did i post something here?" my memory is so bad that it actually seemed possible (until i read the content of the post).

--the *other* janine

Posted by: Anonymous at February 16, 2005 06:47 PM

And we thought that "work you to death" thing was a myth.

Posted by: Meandering Law Student at February 16, 2005 09:53 PM

Hey ai, lurking gw prospective student here. Two quick questions: is there a lot of competition for those summer stipends (the 5k ones) - would a 1L have a shot at one? Also, how does the "ask-a-student" program on the gw admissions site work - are these students hand-picked trolls or random honest students?

Thanks for your help, and thanks for keeping such a great blog.

Posted by: Brett at February 16, 2005 10:01 PM

Aack, sorry! But just imagine if we were named Kate, Sarah, or Amy.

Posted by: The Unnecessary Janine at February 16, 2005 10:42 PM

Dave! and M: Your comments nearly made me bust out laughing in Fed Courts yesterday -- careful the way you throw the humor around or you're going to get me in trouble!

DG: Commies would not make you go to school on President's day -- I think you're thinking of dirty rotten *capitalists*!

Em: what happened to your blog?

Meandering: The "work ya" part of year 2 is very true, but you can avoid it through careful scheduling and by learning to say "no" to some of the things you'd like to do. Which reminds me, free tip to all 0Ls thinking of starting a blawg: A great blawg name would be "Scare Ya, Work Ya, Bore Ya. And of course, BlawgCoop would be happy to host it for you. ;-)

Brett: A response to your question will be today's post.

Posted by: ambimb at February 17, 2005 06:05 AM

Oh, Kristin: Law school slackers rule. Do you have a blog somewhere?

Posted by: ambimb at February 17, 2005 06:14 AM

i think the "work ya" part is a little self-induced in ai's case.

Posted by: monica at February 18, 2005 07:04 AM

Well, sure it is, but don't tell everyone that! How will I get any sympathy for my whining!? But seriously, you don't have to be crazy busy your second year, but w/my grades, the extracurriculars certainly won't hurt when it comes time to get that "real" job -- or even a job for this summer. Plus, I mostly enjoy all the things I do, so it's really just a matter of too many good things to do, too little time. But while I'm on the subject, that old stereotype that public interest law is for slackers who weren't smart or tough enough for BigLaw -- it's a joke. Public interest jobs are incredibly competitive, and if you get a good one, it's because you earned it. Plus, PI jobs often barely pay the rent, so the whole thing is really twice as hard as biglaw.

Oh wait, I'm just about to start whining again...

Posted by: ambimb at February 18, 2005 05:09 PM

hahhhhh business cards. oh jeez. yeah, my 1L friend is telling me i should get some made and i'm like, is that really something necessary to invest in? or would i look like an OA like 18% of my fellow pre-law types? except that friend, his were black and gold on a granite backing. but is granite more than one color? *ponder*

Posted by: Whitney at February 20, 2005 12:53 AM

Nope, no blog...slackers don't blog. It might interfere with all the time I spend sitting in the lounge talking about how much law school sucks.

Posted by: Kristin at February 20, 2005 03:47 PM

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