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1L Spring Summaries

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Best Year Ever: Outline of 1L Spring Semester

I think this is what they call closure.

So much happened spring semester. I started the semester in this weird place between college and “adulthood” – buses, cafes, living in a frat house in the UMN student village –shuffling to school through snow and ice

And then things changed, very quickly.

I moved into my first apartment, got my first car loan, a dog, my first legal-field job…and, and, and…

Where I am right now is closer to how imagined law school during my senior year of college actually.

My career counselor at the law school asked me if I thought the blog will ruin my chances of getting hired at a prestigious law firm. I’m really not worried about it. If ATL can recognize that most of my posts are mundane, then so will most employers.

They’ll probably appreciate the full disclosure and trust I won’t share the dog stories with the clients, or the client’s stories with my readers.

This summer I’m working, petitioning, taking classes, and training the MTC marathon. We’ll see how this goes…

And as promised, an outline of my 1L spring semester is after the jump.

I’ll parrot what I wrote for the fall outline:
This will hopefully provide an overview of the year and make my archives more accessible. The bullet points are linked to posts. This outline is not exhaustive, but hits the highlights of the year.
Continue reading “Best Year Ever: Outline of 1L Spring Semester” »

1L Fall Summaries 1L Spring Summaries Law School – 1L

Best Year Ever: Outline of Fall Semester

Blogging is a cumulative thing. And times like this, it is awesome to have a blog because I just finished my first year of law school and I have a record of my year. I forgot about most of the things I wrote about, and it’s nice to have a record somewhere.

So yes, I’m sitting here with a diet A&W and paging1 through my archives (cue the Wonder Years theme song) and I must say, my first year of law school was an extremely fun and hilarious experience.

An outline of fall semester is after the jump. The bullet points are linked to posts. This will hopefully provide an overview of the year and make my archives more accessible. This outline is not exhaustive, but hits the highlights of the year.

Continue reading “Best Year Ever: Outline of Fall Semester” »

1L Spring Finals 1L Spring Summaries dogs humor

Best Week Ever #16: yellow love and the creep

I think that thing they call spring is here.

The grass started turning green a month ago, but the trees have remained leafless – until this week. Sometime overnight all the trees decided to blossom.

It’s as if the mayor pressed some secret spring button.1

I feel like I’m in some parallel Paula Dean Garden universe. I got so used to winter that I forgot that there are other seasons…

Harley and I spent the week exploring the extensive park system in the neighborhood. The amount of parks, lakes, and nature trails surrounding downtown is ridiculous.

I suspect I moved back to Germany and no one has told me yet, especially when I look at the Fachwerk houses in the neighborhood:

I need to stop bringing coffee on these walks. The same thing happens every time: I start the walk with a cup of coffee and when we are 4 or 5 miles from home I realize “oh shit, I need to pee.

This is of course the point when Harley gets tired and is all, “wait, why are we rushing all of the sudden?”

He then decides that every tree, squirrel, and gardener is worth inspection.

My bladder starts crying…and disaster strikes.2

And don’t be fooled by the “Minnesota Nice” stereotype – even Minnesotans will give you filthy looks when you’re raging down the street, screaming “GOD DAMN DA COFF-FAAAY!!!” while grabbing your crotch and dragging a 100lb dog…

There have been plenty of times this week when I’ve wanted to scream upon getting home. Harley has started trashing the apartment.

I tweeted about the destruction and was directed by @Karpul to this article on the Humane Society Website. The topic? Dog Separation Anxiety. The gist? He’s destroying the apartment because he misses me and loves me.

Now before you say “awe” remember I am not seeing love when I’m cleaning up shredded novels marinating in puddles of piss.

No. That ain’t love.

And of course the article says scolding the dog will ONLY MAKE IT WORSE!

Well… crap!

You mean I come home to a destroyed, pee-soaked apartment and I can’t bitch at anyone? This is supremely unfair.

And the most ridiculous thing is that Harley didn’t start this chaos until recently. I guess that means he didn’t like me enough before…

In order to help him adjust, I decided to study at Dunn Brothers today. I left Harley a pork bone and hoped for the best. Of course he completely demolished the kitchen – broke dishes, dragged the trash everywhere, and then pissed all over the front door.

And no, he did not need to pee – we had gone on a two hour walk this morning. Minneapolis is perfumed with this dog’s pee. It was pure spite…or according to the humane society, yellow love…

One redeeming thing about Harley is his “don’t mess with me or I’ll eat you” size. He even keeps Meth Molly away.

However, Harley’s size did fail to keep the crazy away this week – we were walking in Uptown (on Lyndale) when I saw this sketchtastic guy sitting at a bus stop across the street.

He was bald, pasty-white, emaciated, and had no eye brows ala Alexander Litvinenko (or Powder) and of course STARING RIGHT AT ME.

So I smiled politely and directed Harley down the street. Of course a few blocks later I see that powder had crossed the street and was storming down the sidewalk right behind us! I have seen waaay too many zombie movies for this to be okay. Seriously, this guy looked like the last day of chemo…or day 28…

So I took a sharp turn and literally RAN down the block as much as I could before he made it to the corner. What the hay…

The sprint worked, but I ran into the creep at another bus stop on Hennepin. He glared at me from across the street. I wondered if Harley would catch whatever that guy had if Harley decided to eat him…

In addition to running from zombies and cleaning up pee, I took my first final exam this week. The subject was Property, and it was not as horrible as everyone expected. My only grief is that there were NO future interests/estates problems! Not a single one!

All that time spent on learning the vesting categories? A waste.

The $20 I spent on the supplemental future interest book? An utter waste…especially since I barely looked at the book…

Tomorrow is my Criminal Law Final, and Friday is Corporations. Crimlaw is strangely pleasant to study…which is odd given how incredibly dull that class was…

I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about “what kind of law I want to practice” and decided that it’s a silly question. I am not so limited in my interests that I wouldn’t be perfectly content practicing in most fields. I know that seems sacrilegious to say, but I don’t think I’m the only person who likes law enough to be happy in most fields…

Heck, I think most students at my school would be open to most areas of law. And most of us feel silly when lawyers (and parents, and friends) ask us what field we want to practice in, since the first year of law school gives us no clue of what private practice is actually like.3

There are a few former Business School kids and future public defenders who know exactly what they want to do (to the exclusion of all other opportunities) but most of us have no idea…

The real question is what type of firm will hire me? I love my school, but I’m aware of its limitations. UMN is reputable enough that nearly everyone will pass the bar, but not so prestigious that everyone will have a job upon graduation.

I have decided that the answer is not to claw my way into the top 5% since even biglaw has its problems.

The point (for me at least) isn’t to get a prestigious job just because that’s what everyone else is doing. My goal is to have a career that allows me to do challenging work and pay off my student loans before I’m 40.

…oh, and a job that allows me to afford dog training…since I’m sick of this yellow love business.


1 I’m pretty sure it’s between the “easy” button and the Taco Bell button.
2 And I can’t tie him up and run into a coffee shop or something because I always feel like a horrible dog owner doing that… plus I’m sure there’s some sort of ordinance against that.
3 I think that’s why next year’s 1Ls will be required to take a “work of the lawyer” course.

1L Spring Summaries dogs

Best Week Ever #14 & 15: Surprises

The past two weeks have been somewhat…surprising.

During week 14 I signed a lease for my first apartment and took a random road trip to Pease, Minnesota to pick up my new dog, Harley-Scalia Jansen.

Moving in was a painfully slow process because of classes, work, and the furniture situation: I only rented a single room at the Gamma house so I had to buy and assemble most of the furniture for the apartment. And assembling furniture is not1 my forte…

I spent that weekend lugging boxes up the stairs and got the big pieces (couch, bed) done. Good thing too because on Sunday I caught a bullet in my back

Week #15 started and ended in the ER.

I was shot Sunday, slept Monday (since I was up all of Sunday night) and then went back to school on Tuesday.

ATL picked up the shooting story, so I got to sit in class on Tuesday and watch people read about the hole in my side on their laptop screens.2

Last week was a case study in Minnesota chaotic: over the weekend there was a riot in Dinkytown (where the Gamma house is), a shooting threat that shut down part of campus, and a cyclist run over one street over from the Gamma house.

Thankfully all I had to worry about was dressing my wounds, getting new property handouts, and walking the dog:

A dog walk is what sent me to the ER the second time – Harley lunged after a squirrel in the park and the leash jerked me so violently that the bullet shifted to a new, painful position.

After six or seven hours of neglect I was finally metal-free. I feel like a B-list celebrity in a Jenny Craig commercial who says “I feel lighter than ever before!”

Yes. Thanks to the new Bullet-X plan…zap that metal in your mid-section!

Although I’m actually not lighter than ever before because my running schedule was completely annihilated by “the whole getting shot thing.”

I’m going to let the stitches and the gunshot wound heal for a few more days, and then I’m back to training. Vöt!


1Yes, that was me strangling my Ikea instruction sheet in the middle of night going “ARGG!” The dog would wake up, roll his eyes, fart, then go back to sleep.

2 THAT wasn’t awkward at all… what was awkward however was that kids from Section Fail (who we have crimlaw with) were plotting to piss me off so I would write about them…who does that? Hi.

1L Spring Summaries marathon

Best Week Ever #13: Changes & Drama

The end is near! This past week was the week of changes and drama. Finals are creeping closer and so is the law review petition…

Oh and classes are still going on apparently. Most of my section has become impatient with classes. Here’s a rundown:

  • Crimlaw is a waste of time. Even the “nice” girl has stopped reading Crimlaw and simply outlines during class. We can tell that our professor is extremely knowledgeable, but he is a thoroughly inept teacher. Our professor is also late for almost every class. What the hey?The whole Crimlaw experience is exacerbated by Billy Scratch N’Sniff. Scratch N’Sniff (SNS) is a boy from the other section who spends the entire  class period scratching his nether regions. Yes, even during the double-session we had on rape. Actually, the sex crime topic prompted an unusual amount of participation from SNS…it was bizarre. And yes, he was scratching as he opined about rape. The horror
  • Corporations has really picked up. Several of my friends refused to take corporations because of Professor M’s verbal ticks1 but the professor has really relaxed and the stuttering has almost disappeared. The class is usually amusing, with Professor M taking plenty of pot-shots at the Delaware courts. I love it.
  • Property is a death march. I really like the subject but the class has become tedious. Professor P has a stiff, mechanical style and is relentless when questioning students.It’s really painful to watch. When a student doesn’t know the answer to a question, Professor P simply repeats the question. Over, and over. Have you ever seen two kids do that, “Yeah-huh, nuh-uh, yeah-huh” bit? That’s how questioning feels in Property. Today’s class was especially brutal. please let it be over soon…
  • But there is always Civil Procedure. I have been preaching the gospel of Professor V since last semester, but most of the section hasn’t come around until this semester. Professor V is the best professor ever and has amazing powerpoints. Today’s slides started with a Yogi Berra quote. Past classes have featured Diana Ross and Anna Nicole. I love it…although we’ve spent so much time on Erie/Hanna analysis that it better be on the exam…

On Thursday I was the distraught 1L in computer services when my laptop suggested that OneNote had deleted ALL OF MY NOTES. Yeah. I was almost the kid howling “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” in the study carrels. My laptop then proceeded to do this:

Unacceptable. Everything turned out alright, but I could have done without the 20 minutes of remmidemmi…

Things in the Gamma house have deteriorated ever since the trashing. The housemates are divided into two camps. People are pissed off and it is getting hard to be civil to Slovenly Housemate.

I tried really hard to be accommodating. But I’ve had to walk over too many beer bottles, pizza boxes, and Coke Zero cans. Slovenly’s friends are also annoying people and over WAY too much.

Charity stops here. I’m pissed off.2

There is going to be a contested election for house president within the next two weeks, but I’m done. I’m moving out after finals. I refuse to live in filth.

I visited an apartment building today that I’m probably going to move into. There were two apartments for rent. The first unit was a dank place on the bottom floor that rents for $575, and the second unit was a huge place on the top floor that rents for $650 a month.

The problem is that the huge apartment is…well, huge. Like, “I entertain” huge.

I’m negotiating a lease right now. We’ll see how it goes.

The building allows dogs, which is crucial. I need a canine running partner.

I arrived for the apartment showing a bit early so I stood outside of the building while talking on the phone. While I was on the phone, a lady left the apartment building with two small dogs.

I was on the phone with Jack  and mentioned that the humane society has a lot of pitbulls on its website. My main concern is that a formerly abused pitbull is going to have a flashback and rip my throat out in my sleep. EXTRA: MINNEAPOLIS LAW STUDENT MAULED TO DEATH. DUMBASS ADOPTED AN ABUSED VICIOUS DOG.

Of course potential-neighbor-lady overheard this and started writing down websites where I can find non-throat-ripping dogs. She then detailed the various substance abuse3 problems of the tenants. It looks like it’s going to be an interesting experience…

This was definitely the week of changes. In addition to the apartment hunt, I gave up Splenda and started running because I signed up for a marathon. The marathon is in October, but I’m training now. My first run was 3 miles. The next morning I was so sore that I thought “OH MY GOD I BROKE MYSELF!”

I bitched at myself for a good half hour before I went back and ran 6 miles. The 6 miles were not as painful as I expected. Running is a great people-watching opportunity. The funniest thing I saw was a gay guy walking a pair of chihuahuas.

How do I know he was gay? Well, besides the Juicy Couture sweatpants he was wearing… there was also the fact that his DOGS were sporting pink camouflage hoodies. Diva please.

I had two “Diva Please” moments at bars this week because I was mistaken for a 32 year-old TWICE.

I’m actually 22. I think it’s the beard that does it.

Ah well. Age is overrated, as Sloven Housemate has proven…


1 Professor M used to string together “uh, uh, um, ers” … he never went over six in a row though. Yes, we counted.

2 I refuse to lecture someone who is OLDER THAN ME about “how NOT to be the dirty irritating housemate.” If you haven’t learned how to respect your peers by college, then you have some deep character flaw that’s not getting fixed any time before your wife serves divorce papers on you…

3 Sounds like a UMiami dorm…