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8/12/2003

Getting It Together...What I'm Doing to Prepare for Law School

Ok. So I have gotten a lot of my exterior checklist accomplished. Most of my belongings are now packed, I've sent in all of the required paperwork (updated transcripts from my last semester of undergrad, immunization records, dorm acceptance forms, etc.), and I have even begun to build my work appropriate wardrobe.

But I have also been doing a little bit of prep for law school itself (*gasp!*). I haven't gone so far as to start briefing cases or reading hornbooks (which seems to be a pretty silly and probably counterproductive thing to do), but I have been thumbing though a few conventional how to succeed in lawschool-type books. Some of the movies I have seen and books I have read have been for entertainment purposes only (from Scott Turow's OneL to The Paper Chase). But some of the things I've read have been really informative. The best reads to far have been Law School Basics and Getting To Maybe. The former provided great general law school related info and just helped to calm my nerves. The latter is more geared towards exams and is very detailed. I'll probably get more out of it once I read it again closer to finals time, but it is well written and even though I have very little legal knowledge, I can say that it is enlightening book (as it realates to preparing for exams) that I have read so far. I highly recommend those two books.



8/10/2003

And now for my 'weigh in of the week'...

Weight: 156 lbs
Oops of the day: 2 Rice Krispy Treats (they were worth it)

8/09/2003

Moving On...

So I have been on hiatus because I have been busy packing up my apartment in anticipation of my move across the country (law school, here I come!). Making matters even more complex, my boyfriend went out of town and left me to babysit his two dogs and three Oscar fish. Let me tell you, I will not have another maternal urge for at least the next 5 years! While I was sorting and boxing all of my belongings, I was also busy scooping up poop and keeping the beloved pooches from chewing up all of the cardboard boxes. Plus, my boyfriend TOTALLY spoils the two dogs, so God forbid you dont talk or rub or play with them at least once every five minutes...and dont even think about leaving the room without them (you ever tried taking a #@!* with two grown pit bulls in a tiny bathroom -- it aint fun).

Exept for a few odds and ends its all pretty much done, and I will be making the big move soon. Everything is boxed up and sitting in the middle of the living room. I must say, it was really creepy sleeping in a room that I have spent almost all of my life in, devoid of anything exept for a mattress and an alarm clock. It took me a really long time to get to sleep. I kept staring at the bare walls thinking about how much I would miss home, and realizing that there is a distinct possibility that I won't be back (on a permanent basis) ever again...*sniff* *sniff*

Well, I guess I should get going. One dog is chewing on the carpet and the other looks like he needs to go pee (ahh...the fun a 'mother' gets to have on a Saturday night)...

8/04/2003

Here is one of the little blurbs posted on Boortz.com today.

"MORE OF YOUR GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS AT WORK

This time from Lawrence , Mass. It seems that the school superintendent in Lawrence has fired about 24 teachers for failing a basic English proficiency test. So far, so good … right? After all, if a government school teacher can’t pass a basic proficiency test in America ’s most widely spoken language, what business do they have in the classroom? Remember --- and this is going to rub many of you the wrong way – but remember, in America ’s colleges and universities those studying for their education degree are usually at the bottom of the academic rankings. So … no real surprise that they can’t pass a basic English test.

Now … here’s the kicker. The superintendent himself has failed a basic literacy test three times. He hasn’t fired himself though. He’s just sitting back taking his three percent raise."





8/02/2003

Here is a funny quiz with a bit of a greed theme, titled The 10 Million Dollar Test (I scored a 60, and no I would not spend 3 hours in a giant vat of human excrement )

and

a short little law related quiz you can take online

and

A funny quiz about Sen. Hillary Clinton


Prestige

Hello. My name is Proper Binge...and I am a prestige whore.

Well, I guess thats not totally true since the 'highest ranked' school I was admitted to is not the school I will be attending this fall. The point is, I keep trying to convince a friend of mine that law school prestige is important. And not just for reasons of vanity. I believe that there is a correlation between the prestige of a school and the opportunites you have both in law school and once your career begins. I mean, the more you move away from the comfort of the top 14, the more you have to worry about your grades and how your ranking will affect job prospects. Its true within the top 14 as well. A Harvard law student will probably be a little less concerned about his/her class rank than a student at Cornell, right? And there is something to be said for the 'quality' of student body and faculty that you find as you move up the food chain...

Anyway, this friend of mine could probably get into any law school in the country. She has a degree in Electrical Engineering from one of the best engineering schools in the country. She also has a physics degree, is a URM, has work experience, lots of community service, blah, blah, blah... She keeps telling me that she will take a full ride from a tier 2 school (that has an admittedly good IP program) over an acceptance at 'top school' (whateveryou may define that as). I think that this could be a good move in certain situations -- say if you have to family constraints, or are interested in working in a specific region, etc. But if you are young and unattached (like she is), why narrow your options and limit your opportunities? I think she might change her mind once she does a little reserach and gets more into the whole application process.



8/01/2003

Thoughts on the Admissions Process...From Somebody Who Has Been There, Done That.


Applying to law school (henceforth to be called 'The Process') has been one of the most stressful times in my life. It probably took more years off of my life than the three months I spent smoking cigarettes back in freshman year (by the way smoking is totally, gross. Dont do it). And while I'll be an incoming 1L this fall, The Process officially began way back in late March of 2002 when I picked up my first LSAT study book...

Studying for the LSAT
Early on I eliminated the idea of taking an actual Prep Course (Kaplan, TestMasters, etc.). The prices were a little too steep for me, and I figured that I had the intellegence (and discipline) enough to study for the test myself. I spent the next two and a half months with my head pretty much buried in the requisite LSAT prep books -- you know the ones, Kaplan, Kaplan 180, Princeton Review, Arco,... I studied for about 2-4 hours while I was still enrolled in classes, but after school let out in early May I cranked it up to about 6 hrs a day. After getting my strategies down (mastering to the best of my ability the different test sections), I probably took about 20 or so full timed tests -- pretty much until my score plateaued at an acceptable level. I guess I should state that I did take the Kaplan class for the SAT back in highschool, so I think some of that knowledge transferred into this study process as well. I took the LSAT in June, and managed to get through test day with out incident. Leaving the testing center I felt confindent. Well!, it was looking like The Process wasn't so bad afterall. Ahhhh....naivete, naivete,....

Where to Apply
I piddled around for weeks getting the perfect range of law schools in which to apply. I finally settled on 1 dream, two 'reaches', 1 safety, and 4 'maybe' schools. My rationale was as follows: I have an engineering degree, so my safety was a tier 2 school with a highly regarded IP program (the rationale being that my numbers would surely get me in but I could still get a lot of mileage out of the higher ranked IP program). The 4 'maybe' schools I applied to were Vandy, Emory, UC-Davis, and GW. I had a laundry list of schools to choose from in this 'maybe' catagory. Since my chances were pretty good anyway, I decided to use more subtle and personal factors to help me narrow down the list. Emory made sense for a variety of reasons including the fact that I have family in Atlanta. After visiting Vanderbilt, I got some good vibes from the law schools administration and students, and I liked the city of Nashville. I applied to Davis because I also wanted a west coast school and Davis' curriculum strengths match well with my interests. I wrestled between GULC and GW for a while. I interned in D.C. one summer, so I knew that it would be an awesome place to go to law school. GW won out because of the strength of its IP program, and because GULC was more of a 'reach school' numbers-wise, and I already had enough of those. Plus I heard that GULC had a reputation for being overly competitive, and that kind of turned me off. The three reach school I applied to were all in the top 10 or so range.

The Deadline
Ok, we all know this law school thing is on a rolling admissions cycle -- so my goal was to have all my apps completed and mailed out by the last week in November. HA! As a self-identified perfectionist, it just never seemed like I could get those damn applications put together to my satisfaction. I decided to type the apps, which was kind of labourious, seeing as I am used to the ease of a PC. Getting my letters of rec and putting my resume together wasn't too much of a hassle. But by far, the worst part was completing my personal statements. It only took me about a week to settle on the three distinct themes of essays (not counting addendums), corresponding loosely to the requirements of the nine schools I was appying to. Unfortunately, it took me months of tweaking those essays to get them written and taylored perfectly to each school. By Thanksgiving, I had them essentially written, but they stll weren't good enough for scrutiny by an adcom member. By around the second week in December I began to panic. I was juggling one of my most difficult academic semesters, a part time job, and a 6,000 lb. elephant named LawApp standing over my shoulder. By New Years I still wasnt done and the stress was making me physically ill. I decided to solicit the help of a cousin on mine who is a junior at USC who is an intern at Warner Bros and a great writer. He helped me get over the couple of humps I was grappling with, and by the second week in January all my apps were out of my hands and in the mail. Bottom line...I should have asked for help sooner. Dont make my mistake. If you need help, find someone, and dont try and shoulder it all on your own.

The Payoff
Well, all my hard work came into fruition, because I managed to get into every school that I applied to (guess I could have aimed a 'little' higher). I consider myself truly blessed. Even though turning down $$$$ at one of my 'maybe' schools for $ at my dream school was a little sad (its always hard to turn down 93K), I know I made the right choice...at least I hope :c)

Tip of the Day: Go and buy (or borrow) HOW TO GET INTO THE TOP LAW SCHOOLS by Richard Montauk. It was indispensable in getting me through The Process. It covers everything from beginning to end and really helped me keep myself focused, organized, and informed.




Recurring Themes

I guess the lightly food-related theme running through this blog is appropriate -- seeing as I am having food issues.


Well, I guess its a little deeper than that. Sure, I have had a nice calm summer. I've enjoyed spending time with friends and working a fairly relaxing job as a research assistant at my UG school. But change is a'comin. I'll soon be moving to an entirely different part of the county, meeting new people, and entering a whole new phase of my life. And with all of these life altering changes, I am having the most difficulty with a relatively simple one: my weight.

I set a goal for myself at the beginning of this summer to lose 10-15 lbs. I mean, with all these great transformations taking place why not tack on a nice tone bod' to boot. Well, I was a pudgy 159 at graduation time this May (I'm 5' 7.5") and I tipped the scales this morning at 158 -- hardly outside the margin of error. But hey, I'm a girl on a budget - so instead of self-medicating by going to the mall and buying a slick pair of shoes, I go to the grocery store and pick up a french silk pie and a tub of CoolWhip. So here I am, 2/3 of my summer break over, and 1/10 of my goal accomplished. But I suppose I shouldn't obsess (although you know I most certainly will)...Afterall, life itself is the proper binge.

Weight: 158 lb.
Oops of the day: 1.5 slices Apple Pie (Ms. Smith) and 3 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
Greetings all!

Welcome to my weblog.

Summer break is coming to an end, and in a manner of weeks I will be a 1L at one of this nation's top law schools. I must admit, that for a recent graduate of a first rate engineering program (with an engineering degree no less!), I am pretty internet Un-savy. Nevertheless, I do hope this site will become a well utilized forum for me to express myself, organize my thoughts, and dish about my life -- both inside the world of law and in the "real world".


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