funny pictures of cats with captionsBefore I went to Cambodia for my internship with the Open Society Institute in Summer 2010 and around the time of my 1L finals, I discovered a lump about the size of an almond in my right boob.

Somewhat scary. I know. And maybe a little TMI. Get over it.

At the time, the boob almond didn’t seem as scary as cramming all the rules for my Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, Torts and Criminal Law classes in my head. I conveniently put the slight fear that the lump could mean something scarier aside – my mother had a couple in the past that turned out to be benign – and turned my attention to more important things like collateral estoppel, equitable servitudes and the parol evidence rule.

Between studying for law school exams, worrying about trouble with the Boyfriend around that time, and focusing on the Terrifying Boob Almond, I chose to study for law school exams and deal with life. Terrifying boob almond (“TBA”) was put on the back burner.

I didn’t think about it again until I got back from Cambodia several months later: I was a carefree 2L (well, not quite carefree), and things with the Boyfriend were once again going swimmingly. And once I started thinking about it, I started panicking.

Just the December before (around 1L first-semester finals), an aunt who was very dear to me and to my family passed away from stomach cancer. Several years before that one of my uncles was taken by lung cancer. Several years before that another aunt had died from uterine cancer. It’s heart-wrenching to see a family member deal with such immense pain and know that there is nothing you can do to stop it. It was heart-stopping to think that maybe I would put my family through that again.

So I didn’t tell my family about the lump initially. However, as I scheduled visits to first a clinic, then a specialist, I felt that it would be good to have my mom with me. If she couldn’t provide moral support, she could at least provide transportation and/or celebratory, non-cancer cupcakes. I didn’t want to bring the Boyfriend to the doctor’s office. I dunno. I guess there’s something comforting about having a support person in the doc’s office who has woman parts.

I scheduled a visit with the campus clinic, which confirmed that I did in fact have a Terrifying Boob Almond (though they did use a more scientific term for it). A week or two after that, I was forwarded to a specialist, who confirmed the TBA was not a liquid-filled cyst that could just be drained of the liquid, but rather a firm growth that needed to be biopsied to rule out cancer. A week after that, the specialist performed a core-needle biopsy, and tagged the site with a little chip to mark the biopsied site. (Unfortunately, I don’t set off metal detectors. Sucks, I know. That would have been a pretty cool story to tell.)

After about four to six weeks total from clinic visit to biopsy results, I had my answer about cancer: the TBA was benign. FU, TBA.

I don’t think I was too surprised by the results: I am after all under 30, eat somewhat healthily (except for the midnight runs – no pun intended – to Del Taco), and exercise regularly.

However, in the course of my research, I learned that there is a minority of women in my age group who weren’t as lucky as I was, who do get breast cancer. What’s even worse is that the mortality rates for these women are much higher: since they are so young and healthy, they never think they are at risk. This often results in the cancer being caught during the later stages of development, making it that much more difficult to treat.

I was lucky. All I learned after my month-long ordeal was that some women do get benign, boob almonds on a fairly regular basis. Some women, sadly, aren’t as lucky and learn that they are part of the small minority of women under 30 who do get cancer.

The solution?

While there isn’t any cure for cancer yet and while we can only do so much in terms of prevention, we certainly can control the detection of these cancers. For women, that means touching your boobies. For men, that means encouraging your women to touch their boobies.

Hopefully, because of early detection and screening, that TBA will be MIA at your doctor’s office sooner rather than later.

For more information on younger women who are living with or who have survived breast cancer, please visit the Young Survivor’s Coalition website.

For an account of one law student’s ordeal with breast cancer, please visit The Merits of the Case blawg.

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Episode_4_Millennium_Falcon_1Since my last video post earlier this last month, things in law school have gone from 0 m.p.h. to being able to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. In other words: Son, this ish has picked up speed.

I turned in my final 14-page Legal, Writing and Research open memo on doorway arrests (they’re no bueno), participated in a Moot Court practice round (aka ZOMFG! Barf.)  in front of six student judges the day after the memo was due, participated in the first round of the 1L Moot Court competition, advanced to the top 32 quarter-final rounds, and accompanied The Boyfriend to his law school’s Barrister’s Ball (aka law school prom).

On top of that, the day before the memo was due, I found out that I was selected for an eight-week internship with the Open Society Justice Initiative, a non-governmental organization, in their Phnom Penh, Cambodia, office working with media rights. Another Chapman Law student was selected to intern with the same organization for six weeks to help with the monitoring of the Khmer Rouge tribunals.

For sure, I’m super excited about going and the work I’m going to be helping with, but I also had to start thinking about funding for the whole venture so I wouldn’t have to pay the costs 100 percent out-of-pocket.

whosawesomeloldogThankfully, the professor who informed me about the internship, the law school administration and upperclassmen from some student organizations were incredibly helpful in finding funding (Seriously, they’ve been super awesome). An awesome board member from the Student Bar Association arranged for me and the other student to appear before the board and request funding. It was a not-so-awesome experience there, and, um, loud to say the least, but, thankfully, the amazing people at the Public Interest Law Foundation and the law school’s Center for Global Trade & Development more than made up for the lack of support from the SBA.

So the flight and hotel have been booked, vaccinations are scheduled (so I don’t come home puking and my important bits falling off, like Zombie Cat), and now I can just focus on preparing for my flight toward the end of May.

Oh, and for those teensy, little, insignificant things called finals in two weeks.


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After crossing my fingers through my September birthday and through Christmas in the hopes of receiving a Chapman Law sweatshirt, and subsequently being disappointed that I didn’t get one (Boyfriend, I’m looking at you if you’re reading this), I finally decided to bite the bullet and just buy one for myself.

Yup. Today I ponied up the $60 for a law school sweatshirt. $60! That’s not nearly as much as the almost $200 a pop for each of my casebooks, but somehow it still seems a bit much to me. But who am I to complain? I still bought the thing, didn’t I? I guess it’s a small price to pay to keep from freezing to death in the 45-degree California winter.

While waiting in line at the bookstore to purchase said sweatshirt, one of the bookstore supervisors grabbed some bags of candy and asked if anyone knew who was in the Super Bowl this year. I looked at the undergrad girl behind me who had the same bewildered “Dude. Wtf?” look on her face.

Wrong people to ask. Seriously. When some of my Facebook friends’ feeds were abuzz with the matchup between some team and the Jets, all I could think of were scenes from West Side Story. Like this one:

Needless to say, neither I nor the undergrad behind me got the candy.

funny-pictures-kittens-may-or-may-not-be-listeningSpeaking of cool, one of the more awesome law school class moments came up this morning during Torts. The teacher, lets call him Mr. Giles because he reminds me of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, had someone on deck, but he had opened up a question to the entire class.

I sit in the front row, and I knew better than to look up and make eye contact with the teacher if I didn’t want to answer the question. I had done so in the past and had learned my lesson: Never. Look. Up.

I kept my eyes glued to my screen, typing some gibberish about a psychiatrist’s duty to warn, and maybe some lines from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Luckily, I escaped teacher’s eagle eyes. The student seated to the left of me, however, was not so lucky.

Mr. Giles: So what do you think, Mr. Student?

Mr. Student: Um. Sorry. I wasn’t listening.

There was a teensy moment of silence: Reverence for Mr. Student’s ballsy answer? Fear for Mr. Student’s life? We may never know. But rather than bite the student’s head off, Mr. Giles laughed. The student laughed. The class laughed. It was awesome.

Mr. Giles: (laughing) If I wasn’t listening, I would have at least covered it up.

Then Mr. Giles looked down onto his roll sheet to look for someone to put on deck for the next case. Mr. Giles scrunched his face, seemingly trying to decide whom to call on next. He looked up from the roll sheet, looked around the room, and, not missing a beat, turned his head to my side of the classroom once again.

Mr. Giles: Mr. Student, can you please tell us about the next case?

And scene!

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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Beavis_and_Butt-headOne thing I’ve noticed since starting law school is that when there is something even remotely funny in a case or in what a law professor says, I laugh out loud, snicker, or, at the very least, giggle on the inside.

This phenomenon had me giggling whenever I came across the words “duty” and “penal”. And you can imagine the party in my head when I read about a faulty bunghole in Torts.

What can I say. You take your laughs where you can find them when you’re a coffee-guzzling, grade-obsessing, sometimes sleep-deprived law school first year.

Second semester hasn’t changed this at all.

Based on the facts contained in a memo that we drafted last semester about the misappropriation of a trade secret, me and my fellow 1Ls now must draft a settlement letter offering the other side a reasonable settlement deal.

First thing that popped into my head?

And when we were discussing proximate cause relating to a second injury caused by a weakened condition from a prior injury in Torts, I couldn’t help but remember this scene, also from Austin Powers.

Image: Wikipedia

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worklolcatAfter three weeks of relaxing, I returned to the not-so-relaxing life of a 1L student on Monday. Call me crazy, but it felt good to be back. Prior to my return, grades had been posted, and I had outlined a plan of attack for the second semester of my 1L year.

So, unlike the first day of classes last semester, I know now what to expect and what needs to be done in order to succeed.

In addition to Property, Civil Procedure, Torts, Legal Research and Writing, and Contracts, we will also be taking Criminal Law this semester. CivPro and LRW have been reduced to 2-unit classes, but I have a feeling that doesn’t help much in terms of my workload. Whatevs. I got through my first 1L semester, I can make it through my second one! Bring it on!

New semester, new year :)

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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3370291997_3e96b89486I was expecting it. People on law school boards were saying that only about 100 applicants out of more than 2,000 were getting offers to attend. I turned in my application a little later in the cycle. I didn’t receive anything in the mail inviting me to Admitted Students’ Day. No follow-up emails. No calls. No fat envelopes. No quirky musical montage. Things were not looking up.

Still, I was a little disappointed when I received that skinny envelope from the fledgling U.C. Irvine School of Law last week. I did not get the golden ticket, the free law school education that was promised to any member of the school’s inagural class. I would not get to be an anteater. Twas a sad day in Julie-ville.

Then, yesterday I read on The Shark blawg that Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s grand expedition into the law school yonder had turned away 2,740 other students who were hoping to hitch their wagon to the new California law school. And I realized that it may have been a sad day in many other people’s villes as well.

In the spirit of reject solidarity, I offer you, the other 2,740 of my brothers and sisters in reject-dom, this.

Despite the fact that we’re not going to be going to their totally awesome school (which they themselves acknowledge is totally awesome and is almost as awesome as Harvard and Yale), we can make our peace with the fact that we will not be endowed with awesomeness. How can we accomplish this awesome feat, you ask? By learning how totally not-that-awesome U.C. Irvine’s mascot, the anteater, is:

Random Anteater Facts

  • The name anteater usually refers to the Giant Anteater but is also applied to the aardvark, the numbat, the echidna, and the pangolin. Together with the sloths, these animals comprise the order Pilosa. All these animals are known to eat ants and termites.
  • The tongue of the Giant Anteater is over 2 feet long. (via
  • Giant anteaters walk with a slow shuffle on all four legs with their nose pointed to the ground. The anteater does not walk on its paws. Instead, with the claws curled up into the paws, it walks on its “fists.”
  • Giant anteaters have no teeth but a specialized tongue that allows them to eat up to 30,000 ants and termites each day.
  • An adult female giant anteater gives birth to a single baby (twins are rare) while in a standing position, propped up by her strong tail.
  • The giant anteater’s main enemies are jaguars and pumas
  • The  giant anteater has been around for 25 million years (via

OK. Well, maybe they are kinda cool. And I have to admit that they can also be kinda cute. Here’s “Anteater eating a creamsicle”.

Here’s one called “Stewie walks on two legs”.

And I leave you with “Baby Anteaters”.

With cute, almost anything can be forgiven. Even a law school rejection. Sigh.

Photo: Smithsonian’s National Zoo / Flickr

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bunnysadThe picture just seems to get bleaker and bleaker for those of us who have yet to hear from the U.C. Irvine School of Law. Apparently, the first admitted students day for the new California law school was held Friday, April 3, and students on the Top Law Schools forum stated that 61 students were in attendance. Forum poster scantronix stated, however, that “a bunch” of the students were uncommitted.

Poster LawApp2012, who states that they went to the Friday reception for admitted students, said the school has admitted 109 students, 38 students have committed, 10 people have declined offers, leaving only 22 spots of the budgeted 60 slots for the school’s inaugural class. Hence, the sad, sad bunny picture. See, UC Irvine, you made the bunny sad.

LawApp2012 also stated:

“Dean Ortiz confirmed that (the school) will honor the admission offers to everyone who accepts even if it exceeds 60. Overall, the ASD was really inspiring and reaffirmed my decision to go to UCI.”

Scantronix, another user, followed up with a post stating that the committed students number 40, as a couple of students committed during the reception. Overall, scantronix says, the California’s newest law school made a strong showing.

“ASD was mostly meeting faculty and learning about the school and curriculum. It was really inspiring and I can’t stress how nice everyone was. That mattered to me a lot. It’s the most overtly social thing I’ve done in awhile. Also they fed us. OC legal community turned out in force, which was also very interesting. After ASD, I’d personally be surprised if they didn’t fill the class but as of leaving, there were 20 spots left. “

According to scantronix, the reception went about 11 hours.

Follow the conversation here.

Also checked the Facebook group U.C. Irvine School of Law Inaugural Class, and membership is at 31 students.

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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funny-pictures-cat-has-obvious-hatIf you’ve seen the word “gunner” in law school-related forums, you’ve probably interpreted the word to mean something bad. I mean, you can basically replace it with the word “leper” without changing the intent of the sentence too drastically.

Just how bad is a gunner? Here’s an Urban Dictionary definition:

A person who is competitive,overly-ambitious and substantially exceeds minimum requirements. A gunner will compromise his/her peer relationships and/or reputation among peers in order to obtain recognition and praise from his/her superiors.

Oh my word. Kill it. With fire. Seriously though: What does the world have against the high-performing student? I say this based purely on anecdotal evidence, but it seems that, in a scholastic setting, achieving academic prowess is seen to be at odds with ascending the popularity ladder.

Researchers in the UK, who studied children ages 12 to 13, have now discovered how to be good at both. And how is that accomplished? The researchers concluded that you can avoid being called a “nerd” (or, in the case of law school, a gunner) by … wait for it … being thought of as good looking and fashionable by your classmates. Like, ZOMFG! Obvious researcher is obvious.

Telegraph education correspondent Julie Henry writes:

“A number of the pupils interviewed were aware of the tensions inherent in being clever and popular. Some mentioned being chided jokingly for being ‘boffs’ by friends.

There was evidence that some of the pupils were carefully negotiating the “balance”. One middle-class boy said: ‘Well, you try to make yourself be funny as well as do the right answers.’ “

Read the full article here. (via Neatorama)

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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funny-pictures-lolrusSo you’ve gotten into the law school of your (or your parents’) dreams, and you’ve already done the dance of joy to The Killers’ ‘Human’ (or, like in my law school admittance fantasy, to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Sexy Back‘). If you’re not currently in work or in school, you’ve got four months to kill before they lock you in and throw away the key. What do you do?

In the tons of the articles I’ve read regarding the summer before your 1L semester, law school students and administrators have pretty much the same advice: relax homeslice. So, I will. But I am also of the mind that these next four months will be the stuff of fantasy (like chocolate cake that subtracts calories as you eat it … mmm) six months from now. As a result, I’ve compiled something of a 0L Bucket List: a list of things that I or other 0Ls may want to do before we take the plunge.

  1. Learn a new language. You may not achieve full proficiency (or even be able to ask for the women’s loo) before the end of the summer, but it may be fun to take a language class at your local community college. Or you can take a gander at the BBC’s Languages page, which has some snazzy interactive videos to help you learn French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Portugese, Chinese and snippets of other tongues.
  2. Go on a trip. If the price tag for college hasn’t already sent you looking for pennies underneath your sofa cushions, and you can bring yourself to part with several C-notes, you may want to consider taking a trip. And since you’re going to law school with the hope of changing the world someday (yes, I read your personal statement), it might be fun for you to go on a volunteer vacation. There are several programs out there that recruit people for one to three week stints for projects stateside and abroad. Through GlobeAware, which offers programs to 15 countries, you can take a one week trip to Brazil for about $1400. Or you can volunteer in the good ol’ U.S. of A with the Sierra Club, which lists dozens of volunteer trips on its Web site.
  3. Read a book. If you’re a bibliophile like me, you may want to knock out a couple of those quick reads. Judging from Boyfriend’s account of law school, most of your reading in the fall is going to be dense and done either at home or in the law library, so why not take that book tote outside to the local arboretum or park? You may also want to read some law school related books, like Scott Turow’s ‘1L: The Turbulent Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School.’
  4. Spend time with the people that matter to you. Time is to law school as fabric is to a hirsute, male, thong-wearing beach goer in Brazil: There is never enough of it, and you hope it stretches out enough to cover all the, ahem, ‘material’. Which is why it is all the more important to bank as much good will as you can by scheduling outings with your friends, family and significant other, or even going on a summer trip with them before the time leech that is law school sucks all the time away.
  5. Start a blawg. You’re going to be writing a lot in law school, so why not brush up on subjects, verbs and dangling thingamajigs by starting your very own blog. It’ll get you into a daily habit of reading and writing something, and could turn into a fun little hobby when the fall rolls around. This blawg is powered by WordPress and hosted by a hosting company, but you can get a WordPress-hosted, out-of-the-box blog at, or at, for free.

Watch for future blog posts on the 0L Bucket List!

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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I’m not one to put too much weight on things found on message boards, but, according to students posting in a forum at the Top Law Schools Web site, the UC Irvine School of Law has admitted about 83 students and is waiting to see who turns in their intent to register by the April 15 deadline before they send out another wave of admits. User lifelesslived stated, “FWIW, at least 83 have been accepted,” in a message dated March 3.

It looks like that estimate was derived from a mailing list sent out to admitted students regarding a meet and greet held in Bison Bay Cafe in Newport Beach at the beginning of March.

Post luncheon (which looks like it took place March 8), user scantronix said (on the DL, because he/she doesn’t know if it’s confidential information. We won’t tell!) that 21 students have accepted the law school’s offer:

“I went to the UC Irvine luncheon today in Newport Beach. I heard 31 admits had submitted their intent to register. Edit: someone just told me that I’m wrong about the number and it is actually lower (21), sorry about that. person also mentioned that this might be confidential information? I’m not sure why they would confirm this but not other questions that were asked. Hope I didn’t say something I’m not supposed to!”

This is all just glawsip (law gossip, get it?), but the news is a little disheartening for me. I sent in my application in a little later because I was working on the extra “Why UC Irvine?” essay the school required in addition to the standard personal statement. Now it seems, despite the March first deadline, that an ideal class may have already been assembled from the super-early applicant pool. Crap.

This could probably explain why there has been no decision activity since Feb. 2 for UC Irvine at Law School Numbers, which lists about 173 registered users who applied to the school.

So, what does this all mean? Maybe nothing. But Top Law School users have hypothesized the numbers mean relatively few admits after the April 15 intent to register deadline. Boo.

Photos: Joe Gratz / Flickr (thumbnail) TCB (screengrab)

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