Friday, August 28, 2009

Two Years Of Marriage Has Taught Me Plenty

How I tell if my husband is simply buzzed or drunker than a hillbilly in a rooster fight...

1) Spill my drink. If he immediately swears and runs for the paper towels muttering something about the floors getting sticky, then he's still got his head on straight. BUT if he tries to do a riverdance around the melting ice cubes, he's hammered out of his mind. Oh boy, I'm in for it in the morning when his feet stick to the floor.

2) Tell him I speak elven. If he looks as if he just discovered his wife of two years has a third nipple and asks in amazement where I learned to speak it so well, there's sufficent evidence that he is lit. If he tries to converse back with me, then I know he's a goner.

3) Two words: "attemped foreplay." To the male audience out there, this is worse than no foreplay and should be a crime- seriously, you could do serious damage to my eardrum sticking that tongue so far down my ear canal). Sidenote: why is it that drunk men (who, in their drunken state, would even be hopeless with a GPS tailored to the woman's body-- "approaching intersection, turn right... a little more to the right") have no problem with foreplay while it wouldn't cross a sober man's mind even if a mime acted it out in front of him.

Law School Good News/Bad News

Trusts & Estates Professor:

"I have good news and I have bad news."

"The bad news is that we are all going to die."

"The good news is that so will our clients."


Public Health Law Professor:

"There's good news and bad news about taking this course."

"The good news is that there will be no final exam."

[Loud Applause!]

"BUT you will have a graded quiz EVERYDAY."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hey Cowgirl, Can I Borrow A Chair?

I grabbed a table at our law student common area and started tackling the reading for my next class. When I got here I was at a table alone with six chairs. Now I am at a table alone with one chair.

This just reinforces how lonely I feel. Not even the chairs LOVE ME! People keep politely approaching:

"Can I borrow this chair?"
"Are you using this chair?"
"Mind if I take this?"

They might as well call it as it is- "Since you have no friends can I take your chair so I can join my hundreds of best buddies?" I give them a friendly smile. "Of course." The chair borrower will grab the chair and drag it over to his or her table of loudly conversing chums. Leaving me and my big empty table to pour over some exciting intestate statutes.

It's alright. I can handle riding solo. I'll be the lone cowgirl just passing through on my trusty steed, this cold metal chair. Yup, I keep to myself because I know what they don't- you fair better when you're on your own. Friends just get you shot square between the shoulder blades. I'll garner curious looks from the townfolk, stride on over to the saloon for some drip coffee, make some trouble for the lawman and end up having to defend my honor in a noontime showdown.

Or I'll just sit here and finish my reading until I get a chance to make small talk with the girl next to me in Trust & Estates.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being A 4L Sucks

It feels so strange walking around the law school without the familiar faces of the people I entered law school with. It's kind of depressing and it constantly reminds me of one small but obvious fact: Things will never be the same! Officially I feel like my "traditional" law school experience is over- although I have rarely been a "traditional" law student with commuting 2 hours one way, getting married and taking a semester off to have a baby. But still, those people I bonded with are gone.

I'm stuck in a sea of new faces. These people will have no idea what I mean when I go all 1L contracts professor on them by pretending to shoot them with my finger gun. They won't laugh when I blurt out the name of crazy kid who was caught throwing snowballs and was almost kicked out of law school for inappropriate student body presidential campaigns. They won't know what I'm talking about when I reminise over evil and infamous Property professor who wasn't hired back because of how much she was the devil. My law school history had been wiped out because there is no one, besides me, that is here to remember.

Also, all my old friends are out traveling the world or starting new jobs and I'm sitting in front of That Guy II- he spits when he talks and I can feel the spit bubbled landing on the back of my neck- ew! To make it worse, I have to remind EVERYONE ELSE that I'm a 4L because in each class we had to go around the room and say our name, our level and "something about ourselves." (Notice how no one ever really says anything about themselves-- like I love horsies and disco or I am an alcoholic or I haven't washed my underwear in a week-- it's all rather cryptic and general like-- I'm from Seattle or I went to Pretentious University.)

Well in one class, I got tired of saying I was a 4L- so I proudly claimed to be a "Super 3L" and that this was my last semester. I was waiting for the professor to chuckle or comment on my Super status. But he didn't. Then I realized the whole class probably thought I meant I was graduating a semester early rather than late and now they think I'm a jerk for proudly bragging about it and calling myself "super." Fail.

I still haven't received enough books in the mail to actually do my homework this week and I have no excuse because I'm a 4L and I should know better (right?). And I realized I just spent $70 for the wrong book anyway.

Monday, August 24, 2009

LAST First Day of School

Today is my last first day of school ever! The last time I ever get to enjoy the anticipation and excitement of starting new classes and the last time I get to enjoy purchasing new school supplies. It's so bittersweet!

This semester is starting out right too- my first class was cancelled (my 8am class) and I don't have to show up at school until 1pm! For any other commuting law schools moms out there, I thought I would share how I've made my law school schedule work out with a baby.

I schedule all my classes two days a week and as back to back as possible (which usually means I take whatever classes I can get regardless of subject or professor). It seems like you have long days but then you only have to commute to school on two days - this is important for me because my commute is over an hour (more like TWO hours!) each way. My mom watched my baby while I'm at school and my husband's mom watches him two other days out of the week so that I have a designated time to get all my homework done. This works so well for me, especially because it means that I am in school and studying when my husband is at work so I can still spend time with him on evenings and weekends!

This semester I'm taking the following classes (and I'm actually excited about most of them):

Insurance Law (after my two summers in insurance defense, I could teach this class!)
Health Law (with the funniest professor ever- I had him for con law)
Professional Responsibility (ew, but what can I do- it's required)
Trusts & Estates (only thing that fit)
Pre-Trial Advocacy (so excited- we prepare motions and stuff for made up cases- this should also be easy for me after two summers of pre-trial prep. I've already written motions galore!)

Here I go, coasting into my last semester of law school as an awesome 4L!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Anatomy Lesson

While on vacation in Hawaii, I was finally able to answer a question that has plagued me since I was a teenager.

"Do boobs float?"

I always wanted to know this after reading a provocative novel wherein one male character was captivated by the boyancy of the female character's chest when they went swimming. The idea made sense but, seeing as how I have been flat practically all my life, I never had the opportunity to find out. I didn't really feel comfortable asking some stranger with "the proper instruments." And I couldn't really STARE at women on the beach or in a pool to find out (hmmm, maybe with better sunglasses?).

And there was no way in hell I was going to ask my mom. Or flatter my "blessed" sister by asking her.

Since having a baby, parts of my body kinda "shifted" -- I guess you could say. For those of you looking for one more excuse to NOT have a baby, I am delighted to report that having a baby doesn't permanently increase the size of your bust in any way, BUT it sure does leave you with a bunch of extra skin your body has no use for. Hot, I know.

And this is the reason that I could finally answer that troubling anatomical question. After spending a week in the waters of Waikiki Beach, I am happy to say that, YES, BOOBS DO FLOAT! And it's super hot (even if you have boobs that usually look like a chef accidently stapled two thick pancakes to your chest).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baby Steps!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Job That Pays More Than Salary

Ever since I received my job offer from my law firm I have felt different. On the outside, I'm mostly the same. It's an internal change. But it's also an internal change that has left some slight imprints on me externally as well- does this make any sense?

I feel like my entire educational journey has led me to this point. Every test I've taken, every pen I've purchased, every extra-curricular activity, every single time I've laced up my running shoes for a race. I feel on top of the world. I feel I have meaning and purpose and a place in this commercialized grown up world. Officialy, I am a Grown up! Without ever knowing it previously, my 18 years of education have brought me to this point and I can finally reap the benefits of all the toiling, trouble and pain of my adolescense and early adulthood. This is who I am and this is who I am supposed to be.

I think the biggest change is how pleased I am with the person I turned out to be. Like many growing children, I spent a lot of time imagining who I would grow up to be. I never wanted to be a lawyer but I always pictured myself as a smart, independent and confident adult. Coming from a "creative" but socially insecure child, this dream always seemed too distant from the reality I lived in.

But in some crazy unpredictable way, law school and my experiences in the legal profession have given me things I only used to dream about. In all aspects, I am independent, confident and I feel smart. Having the opportunity to work in a man's world in a predominantly male firm where work is hard and challenging and big corporate insurance companies are all depending on me, has finally shown me what has always been there-- I can do anything I set my mind to. It may seem lame and even insecure that it took a job offer to make me realize this -- in some way it seems like I'm measuring my self worth on the value society puts on my word-- but I finally feel like I am in a place where what I say and what I do is important and matters. I feel like I am an equal to all those fancy men in business suits with corner offices. I feel important. I feel glamorous. I feel like I'm in the big-leagues.

When I was young I wanted to be an astronaut. I will never forget the day my grandpa told me, "Girls aren't astronauts, you should just MARRY an astronaut." I was so angry and right there I made a silent vow to prove him wrong and show him I could do anything I wanted to do.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm Ba-ack! Did You Miss Me?

I'm back. Six hour flights with an almost one year old are total torture. If it wasn't for gummy bears and the empty paper cup with lid and straw that kept Jacob occupied for the two hours he wasn't squirming all over me and pooing in his shorts then I would have least five times.

It feels so great to be back. Isn't that a ridiculous thing to say? After seven days in almost paradise (the typhoon hit when we got there and five of those seven days were cloudy and rainy- but hey, I'm from Seattle and their idea of "rain" is only "mist" to me), all I could think about was getting home to my internet, my pantry of diet dr. pepper and any pair of undies that sand did not sneak its way into.

Tomorrow (or the day after) I will create a brief photo post of our trip to Hawai'i. But for now I just want to update you on a couple things my child learned to do while we were away.

  • learned to point at bananas and say "na-na" (if you don't watch him he will peel them and smoosh banana guts all over any object within smooshing distance)
  • gives kisses on command (it's just SO ADORABLE that each time adds five minutes to my life)
  • stand all by himself
  • take one step before falling down
  • put paper cups on his feet thinking they are shoes (silly baby!)
  • hold phones up to his ear
  • surf


  • spit
  • hula
  • balance a check book
  • Saturday, August 8, 2009

    Off To Waikiki Beach!!

    See you in a week!!!


    I just bought a used cell phone from a guy with a pierced penis.

    How do I know this? Because when it came in the mail last week I spent a whole day playing with all of my phone's features. This, obviously, included the built in camera and photo album. In the photo album were pictures of a girl posing provocatively on a pool table, picture of a guy clad in fatigues, and three lovely close up pictures of this guy's pierced manhood.

    I "discovered" these photos while I was sitting on the ferry, surrounded by fellow commuters. I shrieked and nearly dropped my phone. Then I blushed a cherry red. Then, I fully admit, I took one more look before I deleted them- because seriously, why would anyone pierce that? And then take a PHOTO?

    *Shudder*..... just gross.

    Lesson: Always delete your pictures before you sell your cell phone to a complete stranger over the internet.

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Second Thoughts on Negotiating Salary

    First, read CM's post on salary negotiation- she has a great lesson for us all- especially for women.

    Ok, so I had a hard time getting accurate information on the web regarding typical first year associate pay in my area. It just varies so much by firm size and type it's impossible to pin point. From what I've seen, big firms pay first years around $75-80 for the first year, while associates in small general practice firms can earn $40-50 per year. My firm is hard to profile. It's on the smaller side with 15-20 attorneys, counting the attorneys located in a second office in another state. BUT it's a litigation firm, specializing in some tricky areas of law, and our clients are mostly large insurance companies. So we don't exactly fit in one or the other and I don't know where my expectations should lie.

    However, I did talk to some associates at my office today about their own experiences. In my previous post, the overwhelming recommendation seemed to be to negotiate. But the associates at my firm were less encouraging. One attorney whose opinion I highly value, told me that she tried to negotiate her salary and the partners wouldn't budge on their offer. She is highly experienced and even owned her own firm at one point. Another associate I talked to seemed rather shocked that I would consider negotiating. I was pretty put off by his response. The overall feeling from talking to other associates at the firm is that the firm is not very flexible in salary. BUT the firm has made it clear to me that they will happily allow me to work from home some days each week and even let me go part time should I desire (they made it clear this is not something they offer to every first year associate but that I have earned this privilege by working there for these past two summers).

    The economy right now is pretty horrible and I feel luck to have this job offer and opportunity. I think it would be very, very hard to get another job right now. And considering the state of the economy, I think their offer is fair- as long as there are opportunities for promotions. So maybe I will play the gracious student who has eaten one too many frozen pizzas and be happy with any offer, for now. But I have taken all your advice to heart and I will keep it in mind a little farther in my career when I can point to my many accomplishments (hopefully).

    I think it's ridiculous that men make more simply because they are more willing to ask for it. I will definately take that peice of information with me and I will be sure to always ask for what I think I deserve!

    Advice Wanted: Negotiate Salary or Accept Offer?

    Today I received my offer letter for full time employment. I officially have my offer! The annual billable requirement seems daunting but I think it's actually less than some firms. I am pleased to note that my employment terms include subsidy for a gym membership- woo hoo! Now I don't have an excuse right? (who am I kidding, I still have millions of excuses, I'm simply minus the one about the high cost of gym memberships).

    Ok, so I'm hoping all of you out there who ever accepted a position for full time employment will give me some advice. The salary is ca-razy compared to what I'm used to earning --> zero. But I did expect the offer to be about 5-6K higher. Now I need to decide whether to just accept their offer or try to negotiate the salary.

    Reasons to Negotiate:
    First of all- what do law firms expect? They want to hire someone who will be a good lawyer right- well, I'll seem like a horrible negotiator if I simply take what they offer, right? Lawyers are expected to negotiate all the time. It's the bottom line of case management: getting a good settlement for your client. Well, I am the client here- will it look bad if I cave without a fight? Plus, I've worked for the firm for two summers, I've put in my time. I've shown them what I can do. I've already learned a lot.

    Also, the job is tough and my firm has high expectations. This is mainly because the firm does only litigation. I will be a litigator and a trial lawyer. I will frequently spend extra hours at work with no additional overtime wage-yay for salary. This slightly scares me in the exciting "I'm Just About to Jump Out A Window With A Parachute, I Hope It Opens" kind of way.

    Why Not to Negotiate:
    Will it reflect poorly on me to throw out a counter offer? Will I seem like a high maintenance and disgruntled employee even before my start date? In reality, I AM just a first year associate and my capabilites are well below that of a trained or seasoned attorney. Will I be a drain on the firm for my first couple of months? Also, the economy sucks right now. My firm is one of the only firms actively hiring. The partners have a huge stack of resumes from qualified and experienced attorneys sitting on their desks right now- I've seen them. They don't NEED me.

    Finally, I'm not good about this kind of thing. I know I'm intelligent and capable and willing to work hard, but I hate to show it. I'm confident in my abilities but the one quality I asbolutely dispise is arrogance. And I'm not very agressive when it comes to my personal needs or wants. I hate being the squeaky wheel. Negotiating will take a lot of courage and willpower. Will it make me look greedy and money hungry?

    What do you think? Do I negotiate or not? Part of me feels that three years of hell, two summers of doing time and a three day bar exam entitle me to more than what they have offered. But on the other hand, it's a heck of a lot more than I'm used to earning and I can live very well off of that salary (especially in combination with my husband's). What did you do?

    If I negotiate- how much higher should my counter offer be?

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    How To Distinguish Parent Attorneys From Non-Parents Attorneys

    From my own personal experience, these are good signs (aside from the minor fact that a doctor wrenched an eight pound baby from the incision in your gut) that you are a parent:

    After a partner recites a string of swear words you remark that he has a "poopy mouth!"

    You think your job is tough but you realize that if you went home you'd have to face diapers filled with black bean and strawberry end-product.

    You wish that you could make formal discovery requests on your kid requesting the production of the remote control battery cover, your trusty pen drive, and all the refrigerator magnets he has been hiding the past week.

    When your coworkers mention "happy hour," you immediately associate the term with a quiet room, a king sized bed, and an uninterrupted snooze.

    Out of habit, you get the urge to clap encouragingly each time someone pleases you.

    You think the office environment would improve greatly if everyone would just have some goldfish crackers and take a nap.

    An associate starts whinning and your first instinct is to locate his binky and plug it in his mouth.

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    I Can Almost Taste It!

    All summer at the law firm I've heard a rumor or two about the firm making me an offer for employment for next year (I officially graduate in December). This elusive offer is still, well elusive. But hopefully not for long!

    Today the administrative assistant walks into my office. She asks me if I have a copy of the firm's case handling guidlines. Oh Shit. Here it comes. I did something wrong and I'm about to get the lecture of my life. The admin assistant is really nice and almost like a mom to the associates and staff but, like any good mother, she can be...well, don't get on her bad side- we'll just put it that way. At least she doesn't have a wooden spanking stick.

    She closes my office door and plants herself in the extra chair. She's wearing a dress but manages to pull out a pad of paper and pencil from somewhere. She looks like she's about to recite my charges aloud to me. I get a naseous feeling way deep in my gut- even my spleen feels it. Maybe I should just fake that I have to pee and run out of the room desperately grabbing my crotch. Maybe that's the most elegant way out of this situation?



    "The partners want to make you an offer for full time employment before you leave this summer."

    WHAT THE HELL?!?! Now I do have to pee! From excitement!

    "So I need to know when you graduate and take the bar and all that.

    I tried really hard to hide my excitement. If it was possible for excitement to oooze out of your pores I would have been the sweatiest damn person on the planet. Looking back, I imagine that my eyes were swelling bigger and twinkling brighter than the eyes of a Japanese anime character on speed.

    And that was how I got the good news. The news that for the first time in my life, I will be employed full time in a position that is my CAREER not just a job. Since I started law school, one thing alone has been on my mind- landing a real job at a law school after graduation. Now, I'm so close I can almost taste it! This will likely be the job that defines my career for the foreseeable future. That's what they always say- your first job out of lawschool most likely will guide the direction the rest of your legal career will take.

    Now I just have to pass lawschool (heck, I don't even need to worry about grades anymore!) and the bar... so close and yet, so far. (Ok, I won't jump the gun, I realize the firm still needs to make me an actual offer- but stop trying to spoil my blog post with reality).