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#esquired.

1 Dec

So this post is long overdue — but I passed the California Bar Exam — so I thought I’d share some final thoughts about the whole (ridiculously long and arduous) process.

First, my biggest tip to anyone studying or about to study for the bar is to get on a schedule and stick to it.  Treat your study schedule like a job and take it day by day. Mine was a bit on the intense side and looked like this:

  • 5:00-5:15: Wake Up
  • 5:30- 7:00 (depending on the day) – work out – either running with BOMF or lifting at the gym
  • 8 AM head to school
  • 9-12: Barbri Lecture
  • 12-1 Lunch Break
  • 1-6ish: Review that day’s lecture notes, practice essays, practice MBE questions (aka whatever was on the Barbri schedule plus possibly some additional MBE questions if I was feeling particularly unconfident).
  • 6-on: Sometimes I would go home and call it a night (read: usually) and take the rest of the night off and either watch TV, occasionally see friends, or go to my running group or teach a spin class.  Sometimes I’d study for a couple of hours after (8:30-10:30 or so) but usually I called it quits around 6.

I was completely unwilling to let go of my weekend workouts, so for those I’d get up at 8, workout 9-11, come home and eat, shower, and be into the library to do whatever Barbri had me doing by 1. I’d be done by 6 or so.

My workouts SAVED me during this time — it was like beating the system getting to see non law people in the morning and having “me” time before an intense day of sitting and feeling like you knew nothing happened.  Also, all the days started to run together so it helped me to figure out what day it was by which workout I did in the morning (Sad, right?)

Other suggestions:

  • Follow Barbri (or whichever course’s program you select).  I opted to go with Barbri and I followed their instructions to a T.  Sure, I know people who deviated who passed. I also know people who deviated and didn’t pass.  I was not trying to take this exam twice so I did what they told me to do, when they told me to do it, how they told me to do it.  Sure, it was weird and annoying to take a practice essay in test conditions when you learned the subject 15 minutes ago and it’s not your favorite. But it’s also not Barbri’s first rodeo so I went with it.

 

  • Live lecture.  Not much more to say about this other than that NOTHING replicates being in a room with live person teaching you things. I’m sure there’s a study somewhere out there (feivel reference, y’all) that confirms this.

 

  • I sound like a broken record — but healthy eating and working out.  This thing is marathon and not a sprint.  don’t pull all-nighters or sabotage yourself before “race day.”

 

  • Support:  I had an amazing group of study buddies during this — you know who you are.  Huge shoutout to Aviva for getting me through every day (and often showing up in the morning with a Starbucks coffee for me). I also (randomly) made a lot of solid connections during the summer with people all over the country through twitter who were studying for various (read: non-three day) bar exams.  It was awesome being able to connect and commiserate with other social media freaks.

 

  • Minimize stressors/other things you normally have to think about:
    • My buddy Ross and I realized the smallest things started annoying us — traffic, people who can’t merge on the freeway, dumb people, etc.  So to the extent you can, get rid of it.
    • I did grocery shopping for the week and meal-prepped every Sunday (huge step for those who know me because I do not love grocery shopping).
    • At the same time, it’s okay to build in little breaks — I went and visited my friends Blake and Heather in Newport Beach one weekend before studying got too intense, did a couple of races, occasionally “went out,” and visited my parents a few times.

 

  • Test day(s) are weird.  People’s nerves manifest themselves in the weirdest ways.  I saw one girl (woman?)’s dad walk her literally into the exam room. Others were reading their outlines up until we had to go into the test. You’ll hear stories of the guy who passed out or the girl who was wheeled out on a stretcher during the exam. Heck, in the 1990s there was an Earthquake during the test.  You can’t control this stuff, but you can control how prepared you are walking in there.  I found the test itself to be straight-forward — there were not the insane curve-ball type-questions Barbri had warned us of and that we had practiced on. Some were even sort of fun to write (#glamping and undercooked chicken wings, anyone?) I also made the decision NOT to stay at the hotel (Century City) and to drive myself to and from the test each day. I am SO glad I did this — it was less stressful getting out of there then festering with a bunch of nervous people. Also, I brought my lunch each day (because lines) and sat with my friends by the hotel pool.

The time in between finishing the exam and getting results (approx. 4 months) is a little ridiculous.  I had no idea how stressed I was until I got my results and realized my body stopped physcially manifesting stress at that very moment.

Good luck to everyone taking Februrary and beyond — I’m happy to answer any questions (although I am by no means an expert).

post-bar thoughts

12 Aug

Ok so the bar exam is done.  I won’t get results until November, so there’s no point in stewing over it.  That said, I wanted to share my experience just in case a future examinee stumbles upon this post.

I took the exam at the Century Plaza Hotel location in Century City.  I opted not to stay at the hotel and just drove to and from the test each of the three days, to save money and to get to sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, and remove myself from all of the really intense crazy people. This was THE BEST decision.  It minimized stress (except there was bad traffic coming home each day).  I would 100% recommend not staying in the hotel if you live close enough.

My friends and I all met up in the morning and at the lunch break by the pool each day, and we packed lunches so we didn’t have to stray too far to make sure we were fed.  I was also surprised by how relaxed the proctors were (more or less). I was lucky that I didn’t have any hiccups with my plan (didn’t forget my laptop or the charger on any of the days and my car didn’t break down!)

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During bar studying, I was ALL ABOUT routine.  I woke up at 5 every day, worked out, headed to school by 8, studied until 4 or 5, came home and either took the rest of the night off or sometimes took a break (possibly to work out again) and then did some more studying in the later evening.

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Oprah quotes + caffeine were pretty clutch.

I also made law jokes whenever possible…

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I am so grateful for my family and friends for supporting me while they could literally watch me go crazy…

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…and my gym people for being around to talk to me about something other than the bar.

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Finally, I met some fellow examinees via Twitter (through the hashtag #barpreplife as well as the handle @barpreplife ).  It was so nice to commiserate with people (even though they were strangers) and it was a nice reminder that we were all in it together.

How do you handle stress? 

my top 10 law school experiences.

19 Jun

So right now I am 5 weeks deep into studying for the CA bar exam.  It’s going fine — the days are long but also go by fast, but the constant nagging feeling of wondering whether I am doing enough is a little weird.  As a break from reviewing, I thought I’d put together a list of my Top 10 Favorite Law School experiences.  I am one of those weirdos who actually loved law school.  I had a great experience at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and want to re-cap why.

In no particular order…

(1) Judicial Externship with the United States District Court for the Central District of California

I had the honor and privilege to extern for the Hon. R. Gary Klausner of the US District Court for a semester of my 2L year.  Hands down, this was the best thing I did academically all of law school.  Not only did I get to observe jury selection and trial, but I wrote an insane number of motions on issues and cases before the court.  It was incredibly challenging and  I learned way more in those four months than I did in any class.

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I also developed a strong bond with my co-externs Taylor, Ben, and Colleen.  Watch out for one of them on the Supreme Court one day (okay, maybe just Ben and Colleen out of the four of us are in the running for that — but they’ll all do big things).

(2) Spending a week in Vienna, Austria as a member of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team.

I joined this team as a 2L (second-year law student).  The five of us wrote two briefs (one for Claimant and one for Respondent) and then we practiced 3-4 times per week for our oral arguments.  The competition was located in Vienna (no that is not the sole reason I tried out for this particular team).

counsel for Respondent at the Juridicum

My teammate Rachael and I outside Vienna’s law school. Oh and it was FREEZING.

The competition itself was interesting and fun – we went up against teams from all over the world and had arbitrators that were equally international.

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We didn’t advance very far in the competition, but we had so much fun exploring Vienna’s sights and beer halls.  Oh, and schnitzel and spaetzle. The best.

with my friend and teammate Rachael and Professor McDermott on our last night in Vienna.

Our advisor, Professor McDermott, me, and Rachael.

(3) Bar Reviews.

No, not what I am currently doing. “Bar Review” is law school shorthand for “drinking a lot.”  It’s the law school equivalent of a sorority invite – except people are more excited because going out happens with less regularity than it did in undergrad.  I’ve racked up a few funny bar review stories over the years — but my favorite one was the end of 1L bar review.

law school bests celebrating the end of the year.

my law school posse SO STOKED to be done with 1L.

(4) Research Assistant for my favorite professor

I don’t have a photo for this — that’d just be weird — but during my 3L year I worked as a Research Assistant for my favorite professor at LLS, Professor Kevin Lapp.  I had him for Evidence and LOVED his enthusiasm so I jumped at the chance to help him with some research (about juvenile DNA collections and fingerprinting) this past year.  It was a good experience and I loved picking his brain a little bit.

(5)  Trial Advocacy

This past fall, I took a course called Trial Advocacy. This was a fun, practical class where we practiced real substantive lawyering skills, and our final was to conduct a trial.  A few things made this class fun: (1) it was taught by an actual judge who gave amazing, substantive feedback, (2) we had one class in the judge’s actual courtroom in downtown LA, and (3) one of my law school friends/arch-nemesis/biggest rival was in the class, and we went head-to-head in our final trial.

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Who do we think won this little show-down?  (Answer: The judge didn’t reach a verdict, but I got a higher grade in the class. Yes, this is how competitive Taylor and I are.  We’re still waiting on our final transcripts…)

(6) Surviving 1L

1L (or 1-hell) is pretty grueling.  ALL of the biggest classes are front-loaded, so in one year, you take criminal law, property, torts, contracts, civil procedure, legal research and writing, and an elective.  1L grades matter the most, so stress is pretty high all year.  It was arduous, but I sort of didn’t hate the “right of passage” nature of it.  Again, I am a freak and people call me a gunner.  Didn’t really realize it until writing this post. Whatever.

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(7) Finals rituals

My law school posse developed two traditions that I loved to help us get through 6 rounds of finals.

First, during our long days of studying, we took a walk break to the nearest Starbucks (at LA Live) and re-caffeinated or got some sort of treat.  The break to chat, stretch our legs, and check out whatever was going on at LA Live kept us sane during finals, and we always looked forward to when 3 pm would roll around.

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We also often would go out for a drink or a meal after each final as a tiny celebration before studying for the next one resumed.  After one 1L final, we went out to dinner and then went bowling which was fun, but usually we’d go to Yardhouse at LA Live for beers and bad food.

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(8) Pro Bono with Team Prime Time

My law school has a pro bono requirement – we had to do 40 hours total of community service — either in the form of free legal work, or through a variety of enrichment programs bringing law and law school to kids. I worked with a few other students to develop a mock trial that a bunch of middle schoolers from LA worked to present, before a real judge in one of our mock courtroom classrooms.  It was so awesome getting to know these kids and have them deliver opening statements and closing arguments as well as watching them cross-examine witnesses and create exhibits.

Team Emerson, about to head into court.

(9) Law School Summers

I had a lot of fun in my summers between 1L and 2L (when I worked for a Superior Court Judge) and 2L and 3L (#bigfirmlife).  I loved the opportunity to get first-hand experience and to hit up many a farmer’s market and firm happy hour.

(10) LLS Ambassador 

As a self-proclaimed Loyola Cheerleader, it was only natural that I become a Loyola Ambassador.  I gave a couple of tours, wrote for the Admitted Students Blog, and attended several Admitted Students Days events and panels where I spoke to prospective and admitted students. These are THE BEST. People are excited and ask the most ridiculous questions…

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Admitted Students Event at DTLA’s City Club.

this view wasn't too bad either.

an Admitted Students event at the Dodger’s Stadium Club.

  • Law students: FAVORITE thing you did in law school?  Am I crazy for liking it? Wait don’t answer that. 
  • Non-law students: What was your favorite thing you were involved with in college (my sorority and studying abroad.  And I realize how cliché I am for typing that.)

a tiny blip of freedom.

23 May

I finished law school last Wednesday, graduated on Sunday, and started studying for the bar on Monday.  All of that is super weird and surreal.  In some weird way, I am not hating studying for the bar (so far) but it’s a LONG summer.  I feel like staying positive and on a routine will be really important for me.

I wanted to share how I spent my tiny little blip of freedom between my last final and graduation.  I enjoyed the scorching LA temps last week during my 4-day summer!

I snapped this shot as I walked out of my last final, ever.  I love my law school’s campus and am not taking it for granted as I study here this summer…unnamed-3 Did you know LLS was designed by Frank Gehry?

I’ve been enjoying runs with the DTLA Running Group…

10259724_10100432816539089_4098723907841158522_n…as well as gym workouts and following along (as best I can) with the Tone it Up #BIKINISERIES.

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Last Thursday, my friend Alexis and I celebrated finishing law school (me) and 1L (her) with some pool time at our apartment complex!

10339719_10202493016820630_7271715590359263422_nand on Saturday I walked into the spin room to teach my class and my people had balloons, a grad gift basket, and a card signed by everyone for me! It was one of the sweetest, most unexpected things and almost made me cry.  They also gave me a Quest Bar, furthering the obsession…

unnamed-2After my class on Saturday, I met up with my parents and my aunt and uncle who were in town for my graduation.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at City Tavern.

After lunch,  I headed out to Santa Monica for my friend Chris’ graduation party.  We ended up at the Shangri-La rooftop bar.  I loved spending the afternoon with my classmates as well as my best friend, Whitney, and her roommate Molly. The vodka sodas were great too. #cheatday.

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Before bar studying started I obviously stopped to smell the roses stare at this gorgeous building.

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I also made a paleo-ish recipe: Pizza with Cauliflower Crust.  SO good.  If I were an annoying person I would say it is “TO DIE.” The cauliflower, parsley, cheese, and egg combo create a crust that is very bread-like. Definitely will be making this again.

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Since Monday, I have been studying TORTS ON TORTS ON TORTS and have fallen back into the 1L-like routine of making torts related jokes, so that’s clearly good. I’ve also been working out a lot (surprising no one) and going to bed early like an old person.

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What’s been the highlight of your week?

J.D.

20 May

Hi everyone!  On Sunday, I graduated from law school.  It was an amazing and memorable day so I wanted to share it with you guys!  I know this is a detour from my normal fitness posts — but bear with me.

Our ceremony was held at LMU’s main campus in Westchester.  The law school is in DTLA, so it was fun (albeit a bit odd) to graduate from a place we never actually attended. It was a gorgeous day but a little on the hot side.

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We all met a little before 10 am to get “robed” before the ceremony.  I quickly found my “posse.” Below are Armita, Aviva, Ross, Blake, Me, and Taylor.  This group of people were my “people” throughout law school — we hung out together, studied together, sat next to each other in classes, took practice exams and numerous Starbucks breaks together, and  of course celebrated being done with finals together.  Blake is a JD/MBA and has one more year which is why he didn’t graduate with us (so sad, but secretly I am looking forward to all of us getting together in a year when he graduates!)

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I made sure to grab a photo with my co-extern fam.  Last spring, I spent 4 months as judicial extern in federal court for the Honorable Judge R. Gary Klausner (USDC).  It was an amazing learning experience — and quite the bonding experience — for the four of us: Taylor, me, Ben, and Colleen.

10366318_10103110771765253_1729034612964955238_nAfter taking a huge class photo, we lined up to begin the processional. Section 3 held it down.

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Armita, Aviva, Me, Randy, and Jordan.

10252089_10103112178730683_3024128634732116476_nThe ceremony was short and sweet — about 90 minutes.  The student speeches were succinct and thoughtful, and the commencement address was given by a 1985 Loyola alum who is now the US ambassador to Korea.  He cracked a couple of jokes which I appreciated. After the ceremony, I found my family and friends and took more photos.

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my fam.

My aunt Melinda and my uncle Casey came down from the Bay Area for the weekend.  My uncle is a lawyer in SF and has been a huge source of support throughout the last few years.  He went to Hastings (where I almmmmost went). 10268473_10103112180043053_4643401039386369098_nJenn and Whitney came to the ceremony as well.  As you may know, Jenn and I lived together through my entire law school experience (minus the last 6 weeks).  She was a HUGE help to me guidance-wise, and was one of the very first people to call me out for being a “gunner.”  Whitney was also always in my corner, asking questions about the process, and encouraging me.  Spending time with her was also always a nice outlet from my law school world.

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Spotted Blake again! I joke that I always need a member of his family around me and it’s funnily true.  During one day of finals studying I was sitting next to Blake studying, g-chatting with his brother, and texting with his wife! (I promise, I am not as creepy as this sounds).

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Me, Taylor, and Ross.

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my brother and me.

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Me and Whitney.

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J.D. Clows (and hopefully soon both will be Esquires!)

After graduation we all went over to a restaurant along the marina in Marina del Rey. I did a pretty good job of sticking to my paleo routine…until I decided to cheat for dessert. Not mad about it.  10270720_10103110949778513_6016269532752424199_n We took a few more photos along the water…

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Jenn, me, and her fiancé, Daniel.

It was a great and memorable day – thanks to everyone for all of the warm wishes.  Bar study began the following day (less than 24 hours later, no less).  I will be posting pretty irregularly in the next two months, but I’ll still be around with updates (and a few “I am losing my mind” posts).

What’s your favorite graduation memory? 

legality of influence. [Fashion Law Symposium]

24 Mar

This past Saturday, March 22nd, I spent a few hours on campus (weird, I know) to attend a symposium put on by the Fashion Law clinic at my law school.  The name of the symposium was “One Channel Does Not Fit All:  The Fashion Law Implications of Omnichannel Marketing.”

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Let’s be real — I will be the first to tell you I am NOT interested in high-fashion (or even low-fashion, if that’s a thing).  My best friend is always on me about buying clothes that actually fit and spending time in stores that aren’t Lululemon.  So I didn’t go to this symposium because I want a career in fashion law.  I peeped the different panel discussions and one of them — about the legality of influence and the laws governing disclosures for bloggers — really interested me.

I had to miss the panels before lunch (because spin class) but I showered quickly, threw on a business-y dress that passes for fashionable in my eyes (even though I’m pretty sure peplum is pretty 2012), and headed over just in time for the lunch program.

Lunch was awesome for two reasons – first, it was catered by Joan’s on Third.  Second, it featured an interesting discussion between Bernard Campbell, co-founder of Fi3, and Crosby Noricks, Founder and Fashion Marketing Strategist at PR Couture.

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One component of the discussion was whether or not there is a place for stores in this era of digital marketing.  Crosby emphasized that she thinks stores will gain importance again, but it will be about the experience as opposed to the products themselves.  Again, I had to think about this as it applies to my life — but there’s definitely something about the Lululemon experience that makes me willing to spend a little more as opposed to trudging through clearance bins at the Nike Outlet.

Crosby also commented on the prominence of social tools — like bulletin boards — on brand websites, and how brands like Free People are reacting to consumer behavior by encouraging the use of things like selfies and hashtags and integrating them into the in-store and online shopping experience.

After lunch was the panel I was super stoked on — “Legality of Influence (Advertising & Disclosures).”

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Moderator:  Oren Bitan, Attorney,  Buchalter Nemer

Speakers:

  • Candice Hyon, Corporate Counsel of Marketing, Privacy, and Property at Forever 21
  • Lauren Indvik, Editor in Chief, Fashionista.com
  • Stacy Procter, Staff Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
  • Rey Kim, General Counsel and Senior VP, Legal and Business Development, HALSTON

I nerded out HARD while listening to this panel because it was pretty much a direct convergence of my professional (ish) life with one of my passions – blogging/social media.

First, I found it interesting that the FTC governs bloggers (I’m living in a cave and never really gave it much thought).

The FTC  is a civil enforcement agency.  It serves to protect consumers and to protect competition, and specifically focuses on policing unfair or deceptive acts.  Unfair or deceptive acts consist of:

  • a representation/omission
  • that is material
  • and is likely to mislead the consumer [a reasonable consumer, not someone who is ingrained in the industry and should know that posts are sponsored, etc.]

Under Section 5 of the FTC Act,  ALL material connections between bloggers and the advertisers/sponsor must be disclosed.  This applies to all types of blogs, and fashion bloggers are not exempt even though it could change the reader’s perception of them. Stacy suggested bloggers err on the side of caution and DISCLOSE material connections.  Makes sense.

Disclosures don’t have to take any specific form — they just need to be clear and conspicuous to the reader.

Here’s some other facts from the discussion I found fascinating:

  • Pinterest is the highest grossing social network.  The average user is on it for 1 hr and 15 minutes and spends $175.  Take that, Instagram.
  • One audience member explained that many brands mentioned in rap songs are paid placements. (Example: “Pass the Courvoisier” was paid, but “Tom Ford” was not).  He also emphasized the fact that rappers are held to a different standard because there is no disclosure requirement.  I thought that was really interesting — I had no idea these were paid, but it makes sense.
  • While there may be some confusion between who is a “blogger” and who is a “journalist,”  journalists are governed by a Code of Ethics that requires that they do not accept gifts.
  • One panelist mentioned GOMI in the context that readers  are aware of when bloggers aren’t disclosing things they should be. LOVED the GOMI shout-out and I am pretty sure I was the only person in the audience who had heard of it.

I stuck around for the last panel —  “Legally Good: How to be Socially Responsible and Why it’s the ‘Right Thing to Do’ for Fashion Brands” — but I started to zone out a little and didn’t find this one quite as interesting.

After the presentation, I chatted with some of my friends who are in the Fashion Law clinic and got to meet Professor Riordan and some other people who attended the symposium.

I’m glad I checked it out!  If you made it all the way to the bottom of this nerd-fest, do me a solid and answer one of the following:

  • Favorite apparel brand (fitness or normal “fashion”)?  Why? 
  • Do any of your favorite brands do anything marketing related that you find particularly innovative? 
  • Favorite marketing slogan (currently)? 
  • What is your personal policy for your blog re: disclosures? 

law talk tuesday: semester overview.

28 Jan

It’s a new semester, so that means I should have law-related things to talk about at least once a week, so I’m reviving the Law Talk Tuesday portion of this blog.  (I meant to do it two weeks ago, but…#3LProblems).  I thought I’d kick off this segment with an overview of what I’m up to this semester.  I’m half-way through week 3 and I can already say this semester is way better than the worst semester of law school last semester.

Classes

I’m taking four classes this semester — two bar courses, and two fun electives.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Business Associations (also known as “Biz Ass”).  I was not looking forward to taking this class, mostly due to the fact that business/corporate things like “securities” and “mergers” make no sense to me, at least on first glance. So far, the class is interesting and not as crazy convoluted as I had worried.  We’re finishing up a segment on agency law now and I don’t hate it.  Also, the way our professor repeatedly asks “so far, so good?” and uses muppet characters as hypos is super endearing.
  • Remedies  Ah, the classic 3L, pre-bar course.  Although a lot of Remedies is a review of torts and contracts, I am enjoying this class.  Sure, you might ask how a whole semester can be devoted to a concept of “what does the Plaintiff get if they win?” but it is a nice and welcome review.  I am also obsessed with my professor.  He interrupts lectures to ask us trivia questions, movie quotes, and to show us photos from his days as a high school girls’ basketball coach.  Just yesterday in class he stopped his lecture to tell my friend Ben that the fist-bump he offered another classmate when she got a question right was insufficient.  Love when professors make it fun.
  • Sports Law  This is another fun one so far.  We meet once a week and have covered spectator injuries (i.e. foul balls) and participant injuries.  In some ways, this is a torts review course, but we will also cover concepts like anti-trust and employment.  I also like that this course keeps me up to date in the sports world.
  • Reality TV and New Media Production and Distribution  I know, I know…could I be more LA?  I could not leave law school without taking this class from the name alone.  I don’t plan to go into entertainment, nor do I plan to be a transactional attorney, so this one is just for fun.  Oh, and we may or may not get a field trip to see a live taping of The Voice at the end of the semester.

Worth it just to see this guy… #amiright?

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Extracurriculars

I’m finally taking a chill pill and toning down my law school extra-curriculars.  I figure I better use my free time to focus on my true passions, i.e. spin-instructor-ing, running, and Back on My Feet. But with that said,  I’m still involved in a couple of things:

  • Research Assistant.  I’m still an RA for my favorite professor.  He’s writing a couple of law review articles dealing with DNA collection of juvenile offenders, and I’m helping him with some discrete research assignments.  It’s cool to learn a little bit more about the topic and to gain that experience.
  • Entertainment & Sports Law Review Editor. I’m not the biggest fan of the law review/journal experience.  Sure, it’s a necessary evil (because jobs), but the experience itself hasn’t been particularly enlightening or rewarding.  That said, I’m minimally involved as a Research Editor for my journal.

Anyway, that about sums up what I have going on this semester — if anything changes I’m sure it’ll come up on a future #LTT.

Law students — fav law school class? Why?