New post at The Shark about balancing law school and life with my handy, dandy hot pink planner!

The Shark: Bad blogger, good law student

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appletort

One day searching the web on a whim
I found the presence of law limericks quite slim
So here’s one I penned
Read it in depth, or instead
Read it like your case books and skim

A NEGLIGENCE FORMULA

Some would say negligence is bland
For others it’s hard to understand
But it’s not so opa-ic
And almost algebraic
When guided by one learned hand

Photo: Brisbane Falling / Flickr (It’s an apple tort)

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I didn’t want it to happen, but it did.

At the start of this first week of law school, I was too terrified to speak up in class. Over the course of the week, however, I evolved from thinking about raising my hand to actually raising it above my head to reluctantly volunteer information.

That’s not necessarily a good thing.

Before I started school, I vowed that I would quash my Steve Urkel or Hermione Granger-like tendencies to raise my hand whenever the professor raised a question.

I vowed this not as a strategic move, but rather as a way to stop myself from buying into the mindset that I had to show my legal prowess in class in order to establish my place in the 1L pack.

I didn’t want to be one of those people who strutted around making their legal pecs dance in order to “sound smart”, because, honestly, even as a 1L I know that what matters the most is how one performs on that final exam and not how much of a wunderkind your classmates or even your professors think you are.

Those thoughts went out the door when I saw how eager some of my fellow classmates were to unzip their legal zippers and lay out their legal junk on the table to measure whose just happened to be bigger.

“Oh yeah? Take a look at this!”

I can’t attest to what my fellow classmates were thinking, but I think I know why I bought into the temptation to show just how big my law balls are.

Many of us 1Ls are accomplished enough that, when we go into law school, we know what it’s like to be the big, um, fish in each of respective disciplines. It’s only in law school that we learn just how small we are.

We feel compelled to perform and posture because of feelings of inadequacy, that maybe we’re not as smart as we thought we were, that maybe we’re not cut out for law school.

Let’s call it the 1L Napoleon Complex.

I have to keep reminding myself of that old adage that size doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts.

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438037919_36785da891In The Shark Attack, the Blawgirl brings you a list of links to blog posts published at The Shark, a blawg written by and for law students.

Holy crap! Just realized I haven’t posted one of these in several weeks. Here’s a rundown of stories written by the Blawgirl published at The Shark. Chompy, chomp.

Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr

Surprise! Law school students on Twitter have a lot to say about the law and law school. The Blawgirl compiles some of her favorites from the past 24 hours or so.

We’ve all heard how competitive law school can be, but I wonder what madness Tweeter @shiratic encountered that prompted her to ponder this:

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I was a vegetarian for about five years, then I discovered that sausages and the animal(s) that go into them are delicious. But I do have to agree with Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg, Prince of Bismarck (yes, that is just one person) that learning what exactly goes into those sausages might not be the best thing if I want to retain my regard for them. The same goes for the law. [@ericdkuzma]

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After months of working on and bitching about law school applications, this next tweet just annoyed me. [@dunord]

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Despite the reputation that lawyers have, at least one law student states that he will have no problem announcing his lawyer-ness to the world. Good luck with that. Might as well write “slash my tires, break my windows and steal my GPS, please!” on the side of your car with neon spray paint. [@noelbagwell]

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[@shiratic, @ericdkuzma, @dunord, @noelbagwell]

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438037919_36785da891In The Shark Attack, the Blawgirl brings you a list of links to blog posts published at The Shark, a blawg written by and for law students.

A grout way to cheat. Bathroom breaks aren’t just for gathering pithy bits of wisdom anymore. Some law students see it as an opportunity to get ahead in their law school exams.

Anti-John Yoo protests at Berkeley’s commencement ceremonies: round two! Surprise! Students and alumni were expected to protest Capt. Waterboard John Yoo during U.C. Berkeley’s commencement ceremonies.

Shame on you, law school cheaters. Shame on you. Everyone has an opinion on cheaters. The Blawgirl is no exception. They are idiots.

Supreme Court nominee round-up. Before Sonia Sotomayor was announced as President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee earlier this week, the blawgs, blogs and pundits were doing what they do best: speculating! At The Shark, we scoured the Interwebz to find some little-known factoids about the possible nominees. Check them out: Possible SCOTUS nominees way back when: Kagan and Sotomayor in law school, SCOTUS shortlist: one scholar and two politicians, SCOTUS shortlist: The man, man

0L dates 1: Turns out law school puts some pressure on romance. As you know the Blawgirl is dating the Boyfriend, who just finished up his first year in law school. At The Shark, the Blawgirl reflects on the Boyfriend’s past 1L year.

Surprise! Law school students on Twitter have a lot to say about the law and law school. The Blawgirl compiles some of her favorites from the past 24 hours or so.

Turns out Twitter can be useful beyond finding out where the @kogibbq trucks are. It could also help train twits to condense their thoughts and use the skill to succeed in a law school torts exam.

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Many law school students are taking their finals this week. For 1Ls, their last final of the year marks the end of the most grueling year of their lives to date. For 2Ls, it means just one more year until they break free. And for 3Ls, well:

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[@e_fink, @soydelmar, @countertopdance]

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studyball2Sometimes all it takes to stay close to your desk and in front of your computer to get your work done is the promise of future academic success. Other times – like when MerDer are getting ready to walk down the aisle – you wish that someone would physically chain you down to one spot just so you can hammer out that last bit of work.

Wish no more! With the Study Ball, you don’t need another party to subject you to the torture of forced labor because you can do it yourself for the low, low price of $115!

The 21-lb. Study Ball is basically a “prison-style” ball, chain and manacle made of steel that is rigged to a timer, according to Curiosite.com. The timer unlocks the device after the specified amount of time, which is indicated on a digital display. For safety, a tiny safety key is included so that the manacle can be unlocked at any time.

According to the site, which sells “unusual gifts for unusual people”, the product is:

“especially recommended for desperate parents whose children won’t study, people preparing for civil service exams who have trouble concentrating, and for all sorts of students in general. It’s also recommended for freelance workers: web designers, computer programmers, bloggers, architects, translators, and anyone else who spends long hours sitting in front of the computer.”

The amusing gadget is the product of Spanish designer Emilio Alarcon, who thought up the idea after speaking with a friend. “The project was born of a conversation I had with a friend who was studying for a civil service exam … He said: I haven’t left the house in a week, this is like being in jail,” said Alarcon.

Sounds like The Boyfriend’s description of studying for law school.

(Gizmodo via Curiosite via FayerWayer via Newlaunches)

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438037919_36785da891In The Shark Attack, the Blawgirl brings you a list of links to blog posts published at The Shark, a blawg written by and for law students.

Not all of Chapman thrilled to see you. Last week, I was pretty thrilled to discover The Daily Chapman, a satirical blog about Chapman University, but I was even more thrilled to see to see that they had written a piece about law school visiting professor and torture memo writer John Yoo’s tortuous law school class. Yoo ought to check out the piece at The Shark, which also has a link to the article. Yoo may find it funny and Yoo-seful. OK. I’m done.

Want to learn some yoga? Go to law school. Law school seems the least likely place to get your “Ohm” on. But the Roger Williams University School of Law is trying to change that. The associate dean of students at the law school instituted a class that teaches students meditation and relaxation techniques that future lawyers can use before going into the courtroom. It also supposedly teaches them how not to be soulless, hope-eating zombies with their clients and fellow lawyers.

Wait, can a disbarred attorney work for a law school? The Yoo saga saw more developments this week after the Office of Professional Responsibility within the Justice Department indicated that it is unlikely that former Bush administration legal advisers would face criminal prosecution. It did, however, leave open the possibility of a potential disbarment for Yoo, and impeachment for his former boss Jay S. Bybee, who is now a federal appeals court judge.

mesupremeI normally tend to ignore the law school-related stuff that comes on postcards. More often than not, they are solicitations for summer programs that claim to give gunners you a head start or are offers for law student loan programs.

A postcard I received yesterday from Access Group, a non-profit student loan provider, was pretty standard as it didn’t deviate from this pattern. What was extraordinary, however, was the amount of customization that went into it.

The front of the postcard shows a newspaper clipping with the headline “Ines nominated to Supreme Court” and with the subhed “(My hometown) resident has been appointed”. What you can’t see from the photo I posted along with this story is the lede paragraph of the fake article.

“AP, (My hometown) – The President nominated U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Julieanne Ines for the Supreme Court last night. He introduced his choice for the nation’s 112th justice in a primetime East Room ceremony broadcast live on national television after a dramatic day of shifting speculation that captivated Washington. The President hailed Ines as an impressive legal figure who would interpret the Constitution and laws rather than legislate from the bench. ‘Julieanne Ines’s entire professional life has been’ entire professional life has been devoted to the cause of justice and has been widely admired for intellect, sound judgment and personal decency.’ ”

I know that it’s just a rather creative use of mail merge, but the ad got my attention.

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