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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lawyer-Versary

This week marks one year as an attorney. I can't even believe how much I've learned and how much I've grown. I went from dreading....hating...almost breaking down in tears when I knew a hearing was a month away, to going to court multiple times a week without batting an eye. I still wouldn't say I enjoy the courtroom, but I can tell you its a necessary evil that I've gotten over. I think of it like cleaning a toilet, its not fun...and you don't particularly want to do it, but you don't dread it, you simply do things in life that sometimes you don't want to do.

Don't get me wrong, there have been a couple times I've actually really looked forward to it. It's all about the preparation. The more I do it, the more I just become accustomed to it. Maybe the legal world will make a litigator out of me yet.

The experiences I've received at a mid-sized firm (8 attorneys is mid-sized in Omaha) has been amazing. I've been working with my own clients since day 1 and handling my own case load. I am now so grateful that I'm at a firm that throws you into everything to get experience.

Also, I still laugh at the looks I get from people when I tell them I'm a lawyer (especially on the weekends when I'm dressed more like an artist during my part-time photography job that I refuse to give up!) I like to think I'm helping shed light on the legal world, maybe even helping get through the stereotype that all lawyers are evil.



Don't get me wrong, sometimes at work I'm pretty sure all lawyers are evil. I think that has been the most eye-opening thing for me this past year. What they teach you in law school really has very little impact on the real legal world. They teach you to think like a lawyer in law school, but not to BE a lawyer. Discovery deadlines? 90% of the cases I deal with no one follows them until forced. So much of being a lawyer (in my line of work) is simply holding a client's hand, breaking down the process, and repeating what you say multiple times to reassure them it is being taken care of. In my first year I've learned its about learning to "teach" yourself how to do new processes and new things. Every case is different, and hopefully the things you learn will help you in something similar down the road.

That being said, I know each of my classmates in law school has a unique experience their first year. Some are doing contract review, some aren't specifically using their law degree, others are at large firms where they continue to do research and memos, some chose alternative careers, while others started their own practice...its all over the board.

It has been amazing and so fun to reflect back on how much has happened over the last year. I've learned a ton at work, paid off all of my law school debt, learned (and still learning) to balance a career as a newlywed and simply can't believe how much has happened since I first decided to go to law school.

To those of you thinking of going to law school, I wish you the best and hope you make the right choice for you! For those in law school, its not to late to quit and do something more fun :) Just kidding, you'll make it through! Just put in the work, you've made it this far!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Whovian Etsy Items



As you know, Kevin and I operate a thriving Etsy shop. You may also recall that we love Doctor Who. We were approached by Buildasign.com to review their products, and jumped at the chance! It took us a week to think and determine what Kevin would be designing for the shop (and for our own personal use) and we came up with this:


We love every single one of these. My personal favorite is the fridge magnets. The price on these were great, and I could see so many cool opportunities for fridge magnets. I envision brides using them as save the dates, or it'd be a great way to show off your business instead of business cards! 


Kevin LOVES how the decal looks on his blue jeep too! So fitting seeing as how its a big blue box (and bigger on the inside).

Our items arrived just when they were supposed to, arrived safely and looked great
Great product, great website, great prices! 






*this is a product review request. I received product compensation in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Extraordinary Rendition: Book Giveaway

In law school I decided it was time for me to branch out and learn more about the lawyer shows and books that everyone had been talking about. Lawyer shows often gave me the creeps, as criminal law is just to spooky and yucky for my taste! I decided to start with some John Grisham books. About 15 books later, I'm still learning about criminal law through these books :) 

That being said, I've loved reading fictional stories about lawyers. I was approached by the publicist of "Extraordinary Rendition" to share this book with my readers. One of you will get a free copy to read as well! 



What is the book about?
When Ali Hussein, suspected terrorist and alleged banker for Al Qaeda, is finally transported from Guantanamo Bay to the US mainland to stand trial, many are stunned when Byron Carlos Johnson, a pre-eminent lawyer and son of a high-profile diplomat, volunteers to represent him. On principle, Johnson thought he was merely defending a man unjustly captured through Rendition and water-boarded illegally. But Johnson soon learns that there is much more at stake than one man’s civil rights.</p><p>Hussein’s intimate knowledge of key financial transactions could lead to the capture of—or the unabated funding of—the world’s most dangerous terror cells. This makes Hussein the target of corrupt US intelligence forces on one side, and ruthless international terrorists on the other. And, it puts Byron Carlos Johnson squarely in the crosshairs of both.Pulled irresistibly by forces he can and cannot see, Johnson enters a lethal maze of espionage, manipulation, legal traps and murder. But when his life, his love, and his acclaimed principles are on the line, Johnson may have one gambit left that can save them all; a play that even his confidants could not have anticipated. He must become the hunter among hunters in the deadliest game.Written by no-holds-barred-attorney Paul Batista, Extraordinary Rendition excels not only as an action thriller, but as a sophisticated legal procedural as well. Batista’s keen legal mind and feel for suspense bleed onto every the page. Smart. Fast. Heart-pounding. A legal thriller of the highest order. (Description from Amazon)



I was also given a copy to read as well, who wants to read it with me? Enter to win by letting me know what your favorite legal book/movie/show is and why!

Giveaway will be open for 1 week til 8/5/14

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Letter to Those Taking the Bar Exam

I had a friend message me today who will be taking the bar exam this summer. She was going through what many recent graduates are going through this time of year...and they are probably going crazy. She asked for advice. There may be more people out there that need to hear this, so here is my letter to those of you that may need to hear this right now:

Hey! I know its hard, I was a total mess. I'd feel great about it one minute, and totally bomb the multiple choice questions the next minute.
That being said, I don't have a great answer for you. I walked out of the bar thinking "I 100% just failed this" and ended up doing awesome...better than most everyone I knew.
To me, it was putting in the time. I forget if you have Barbri but they have an ipad/iphone app with multiple choice. Sometimes I needed to get away, sit outside, and just run through them to do something new. Sometimes I needed to just play the video before I went to sleep and listen to it rather than watch.
I heard barbri questions were harder too (she had asked if it was true that Barbri questions were harder than the real exam) . I would have to say they must be, because I never did great on the practice stuff, but did well on the test. If you're like me, I was never very consistent. One day I'd get 30% of the questions right, the next was 80%.
I will not say that you will pass. I will say that you won't ever regret putting MORE time into studying. I passed with plenty of wiggle room, but I would not go back and exchange one day of studying for a day of relaxation.... every day that went into it could have been the day that made me go from passing to not passing.
That probably didn't help much, but you will get through it. If you're like me, nothing I can say will actually comfort you unless its a lie I can tell you by far passing the bar has been the best feeling I've ever felt, its a big accomplishment, and you CAN do it.

So there you have it. Those are my words for those of you taking the upcoming bar. If you'd like to go back and see what I was like during bar prep, I blogged a couple times as I was going through it-- Look here

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

1 Year Since Graduation

Still here, still lawyering! It has now been 1 entire year since I graduated from law school. 

A lot happens in that first year. If you have a job ready for when you pass the bar, that is wonderful! If not, you're pretty concerned with finding that first job. 

I have friends, like me, that took a job where they'd been clerking...so it wasn't a huge change. I also have friends that have switched jobs 3 times since graduation. I know of people that still haven't passed the bar, as it is only offered twice a year. 

A year ago I was fretting about the bar exam, and just starting the process of studying. It seemed awful. There was so much material, and seemingly so little time. 

This year was full of first. My first time calling myself an attorney, my first hearing by myself, my first time prepping for trial. I'm finally seeing cases all the way through. Its great being able to see all steps in the process now, from the initial client consult to the final resolution of their matter. 

For all of you studying for the bar exam, good luck! I won't say "You'll pass" or any reassuring comments...because I remember how frustrating those were to me. I can say...eventually it will be over. Study hard, commit the time to studying more than you've ever studied, and just go for it. I still think the best feeling in the world was when I opened the letter saying I passed :) 

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