Category Archives: Law School Wonderings

The End of an Era (Not Really)

Yesterday was Ducks’ last day of work before starting back to school for his 2L year. It shouldn’t be a big epoch or anything because he’s still working at the same firm all throughout the school year.

What I’m wondering is – what should he do after that?

To those of you who have already done law school in a brilliant manner, what do you recommend? Staying with the same firm throughout school if they’ll have you? Going somewhere different to get experience in another area of law? Making more connections and just seeing what might happen?

Ducks is extremely sure of the area(s) of law he’s planning to focus on, which is probably common when you start law school at an advanced age like he did. 😉 So, should he stay at this firm, knowing they plan to give him a job when he graduates? Or should he see if the grass is greener elsewhere. We don’t know if we plan to stay in this city forever; we don’t know what a long-term job at this firm might pay. We don’t really know anything (which I feel is kind of a trend when it comes to most things associated with law school). He’s talked about just doing two jobs next summer to try to get experience in the other area of law that interests him. I just want him to do well, learn a lot and make connections that will mean a good job and good benefits after law school so we can plan on starting a family (and I can have more time to write my novel!).

Okay, so with all that information, what do you think? I appeal to your superior knowledge and experience. 🙂

August is Upon Us

It’s a new month, which means, not only is everyone’s mortgage/rent due, it ALSO means…

Law school starts again this month.

(( cue menacing sound track ))

In some ways, it’s hard to believe the summer has gone by so quickly. In other ways, it’s also hard to believe that we’re already to the 2L year. It’s exciting to think about starting a new year and about Ducks having a new schedule. It’s a little nervewracking to think about the difference in the 1L year and the 2L year, although it’s certainly not as scary as the whole getting-ready-for-law-school-and-what-to-expect feeling of the first year!

Around this time last year, Ducks was leaving his job because I wanted him to take some time off and rest before school. Of course, workaholic that he is, he didn’t want to, but I convinced him, and I think he was glad he did. Around this time, we were forking out a substantial portion of a tuition payment and taking student loans for the rest. Around this time, he was buying hundreds of dollars worth of books, and I was worrying and stressing about how we’d pay for books, how we’d pay for classes and how we’d pay to keep a roof over our heads.

This year, it’s a little easier. I got a raise in January, which helped a lot, plus he’ll have an internship throughout the year this upcoming year, which will help us with little “extras,” which means football and basketball season tickets, and gas to travel to the games. We know what to expect in the way of expenses, and we know how to adapt to a different schedule. We’ve got the saving money on lunches routine down, and we’re getting used to spending less.

However, I’m sure this new year will come with its own challenges. Classes will probably be harder and more competitive. Working will take away from study time, which will then take away from time we can spend together. Costs will continue to go up ridiculously, which will then eat away at the extra money we’re making.

So, life’s not a bed of roses, but it’s nice to know that we’ve made it through one year, and we can definitely persevere through the two to come.

How are you planning for the new year upon us (if you’re in school)? Would love to hear advice from all those who have been there and done that, also. 😉  What else are you looking forward to this month?

Guest Post: LSW Alumna

Tangles is a wife, mom and, like us, has gone through the whole law school experience. She’s also just completely amazing – I’ve enjoyed reading her blog and learning about her life. After reading her blog, I asked her to give us some advice from the other side – advice about being in a relationship with a professional student. Since I gave you my 1L-alum spin on things, I thought someone like Tangles might be a good adviser for all of us, since she’s been through it all! Give her a read, then stop by her blog! 🙂

From Tangles:

I would like to thank Legally Married for asking me to write a guest post.  She is such a sweetie and I am incredibly flattered!

 Life on the Outside: 

Tips for Life as a Girlfriend/Fiancee/Wife of a Law Student

 This was our timeline of the roller coaster ride that was law school.

  •  1/2002   Hubs and I meet for the first time.  He’s beginning his second year at Baylor Law School.
  • 5/2002   We’re engaged!
  • 6/2002   Hubs is in Dallas for six weeks for a clerkship at a law firm. 
  • 7/2002   We’re married!
  • 8/2002   Hubs is in Guadalajara, Mexico for two weeks for a class for law school.
  • 5/2003   We’re moving to Amarillo for the summer.  I didn’t want to be apart from Hubs for four months, so I quit my job in Waco.
  • 8/2003   We’re back in Waco so Hubs can finish up law school. 
  • 2004       Hubs graduated!  We’re moving back to Amarillo.  I’ll miss my family, but I’m excited about embarking on this adventure! 

 As a girlfriend, it’s so exciting at first, to be dating a law student.  He is so mature and attending law school seems so grown up!  Then reality sets in.  He’s busy almost all the time – either attending class or studying.  It makes you cherish the time you get to spend together.

 As a fiancee, it’s frustrating.  You’re trying to plan a wedding and dealing with family issues while he’s clerking at a law firm.  You enjoy getting to go to fancy parties and wine tastings, but what you really want is just to be with him.

 As a wife, it’s little easier because you’re married now and living together.  You can finally see the end in sight.  It’s so exciting because he’s been looking for jobs.

 Benefits:

  1. Having lots of free time when he’s studying/working.  (Enjoy that time, but cherish the time you spend together.)
  2. Attending law school banquets, parties (fancy or not!), and trips with the law firms.
  3. Once he secures a job, hopefully a nice salary and peace of mind!
  4. Knowing that he is a diligent worker.  (Law school is hard!)
  5. Not running the household when he has free time.  (I hardly did any housework the first two years of our marriage because he was home/studying more than I was!

 Challenges:

  1. Missing each other and making time for each other.
  2. Allowing him to do what he needs to do – whether it’s studying, working, or free time for himself.
  3. Living on a small budget.
  4. Both of you having full-time jobs with different schedules.
  5. Running a household mainly by yourself sometimes (i.e. paying bills, cleaning, cooking, etc.)
  6. Feeling like an outsider.  (It seems that every conversation revolves around law school, but I definitely don’t advocate going to law school to follow a guy or get away from a guy.  If you go to law school, do it because you love the law!)

 Helpful Tips:

  1. Law school is a full-time job.  Always be supportive, encouraging, and understanding.
  2. Try to help him in any way you can – whether it’s mailing applications, licking envelopes, etc.
  3.  Take a vacation together before he begins his lawyer job!  (We did not do this, but kind of wish we did!)
  4. Save your $$$.  (I wouldn’t recommend buying a home right away.  Make sure the job and location are going to work out.)
  5. Don’t bog him down with all the details of something.  Keep it short and sweet.
  6. Don’t bombard him with anything (good or bad) as soon as he walks in the door.

 *Tangles and Hubs live near Dallas with their 13 month old son, Babe.  Hubs quit his lawyer job to pursue his dream of being a teacher.  He is currently a principal in the public school system.  Tangles quit her job as a banking officer to be a stay-at-home mom.  

Visit her blog at http://tangledintexas.blogspot.com/.*

Delightfulness and Ten Days

First, the delightfulness.

My co-workers (with a very few exceptions) are wonderful to work with. Today, I arrived to my desk to this adorable little friend:

It’s a tiny, adorable little Starbucks cake doughnut. Tiny versions of things are so much cuter than giant versions and this will be just enough sweetness, especially since I skipped breakfast this morning because I rolled my lazy self out of bed at 7:05 and have to leave for my carpool by 7:30.

My coworker brought it as a thank you for helping out with an event this weekend — just the pleasantness of a little surprise has started this sure-to-be-long day on the right track.

Okay, on to the next order of business.

Friday, instead of going out or doing anything exciting, I enjoyed an evening at home with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, watching the Project Runway contestants make it work. This is one of the first seasons where I don’t have a clear favorite, so I’m a very passive observer this season. While I was doing this, I decided to work on my “Ten Days” posts. I was inspired by Sara from Running from the Law and her Ten Days series and decided I wanted to create a series of posts for myself. So, I worked on some drafts and hopefully, if I can wrangle the laptop from my husband’s backpack, I’ll post the first entry tonight or tomorrow morning.

Speaking of which, as a final note, do most of you have more than one computer in your house? I really want to get my own laptop because we have a desktop but it’s from college and REALLY REALLY slow. Just trying to decide if it’s worth it so that I can read blogs and look at Facebook when I’m at home by myself.

Have a WONDERFUL day! 🙂

Thoughts and Fantasy

Most people celebrate four seasons in the year However, in the Legally Married household, we really only acknowledge three.

It’s  not because we live in Texas. If we were basing it off that, we’d really only celebrate two – the 362 days of summer and the 3 days of winter.

Here in our home/family, it seems, our seasons revolve thus: football season, basketball season, baseball season. I’ve talked a bit before about how I like sports and bracketology, but my love of sports (with the possible exception of college basketball) pales in comparison with my husband’s. Thanks to the continuing proliferation of the seasons – longer baseball seasons, more preseason football, etc., etc., it’s doubtful that there is ever a day when some form of athletic competition is not shown on our television.

What’s my point with this?

Fantasy football. Well, fantasy anything really – sports-wise that is. My husband is o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d when it comes to fantasy sports. I once told him that if there were such a thing as fantasy grass-growing, he’d probably join a league for that. Seriously. And, to once and for all relegate my husband to the world of nerds and Mugglecast listeners, he also listens daily to the Fantasy Focus podcast. He’s these kids, pretty much:

(Video courtesy of ESPN)

Maybe I’m being a little overly sarcastic about this, because I also like fantasy sports. I’m in a fantasy league; I watch SportsCenter on a regular basis and I –oh, shame of shame — read ….and post… on message boards about the sports programs at my alma mater. I’ve even been known to listen to the Fantasy Focus podcast myself and to fantasize about being welcomed to the podcast’s Man’s League (which, as it sounds, has very few women in it). But, I mostly listen to the podcast for its freakishly amazing theme song, performed by international recording superstar Eric Hutchinson.

Alright, so I still haven’t gotten to the point. But here it is.

On Sunday night as I was driving home from the gym, I was so proud of my little law student for spending his Sunday in diligent study at the law school library. Then, I got a call from him that went a little something like this.

Ducks: Hey – I want to tell you something but don’t be mad (sidenote: Writing this, I’m seeing a trend that many of our blog-worthy conversations start with this phrase).

Me: Okay…?

Ducks: I just might have agreed to play in a fourth fantasy football league.

Me: ?!?!?!?!

Ducks: And, don’t get mad…..but I might have to pay to play.

Me: ?!?!?!

At least, according to the case I was reading the other day, there’s a difference in non-professional, person-to-person recreational gambling and professional. I can’t remember what that case was called, so you actual law students might have to help me out with this.

My concern is not so much with the money part, because he is a walking sports dictionary so I’m sure he’ll come out well in the league. The issue is the time needed to manage four — yes, FOUR — fantasy sports teams, along with all the research and gamewatching that Ducks finds essential to adequately performing his role as a fantasy owner. Yes, that was more sarcasm there.

How are you, the other students out there, finding your free time? Do you have time for extracurricular activities of this or a similar nature? Ducks has been great about spending a lot of time at the library and keeping up with his reading, but do those of you with more graduate school-type experience think that there’s time to do this kind of fun activity and stay on top of your homework and study responsibilities at the same time?

He is certain that he can handle it all and that he won’t get distracted, because fantasy football is apparently much less time-consuming than fantasy baseball or fantasy basketball. What do you think? Useful outlet for stress relief or possibility for distraction?

Welcome Back, Old Friend!

Today at work, I noticed that my eye felt strange, like an accumulation of sleep was gathering around my eye. When I reached up to touch them, some type of foreign substance had indeed accumulated on my lashes. It was…..GASP….mascara!

Yes, I finally was able to wear mascara again today, after about a 2-month hiatus of scary-eye. Why, you might ask? It wasn’t Lent or anything, right? Nope. I had the eye infection from Hades, then following that, the eye doctor prescribed me new contacts that I was allergic to. Who knew you could even be allergic to contacts?

So, I spent two months+ wearing spectacle and I was afraid to put on mascara and aggravate the demon-that-was-my-cornea. Maybe it sounds like I’m exaggerating the severity of the infection and was just using it as an excuse not to put on makeup? Ladies and gentlemen (okay, really, just ladies, pretty sure no men read this blog), I give you: the infected oculus sinister.

Gruesome, no? But, now, after approximately 15 appointments, two different clinics and four different doctors, I have been proclaimed healed and cleared for contact wear. My oculus sinister is not so sinister anymore:

While I’m so thankful that it’s healed and back-to-normal, this type of situation is so scary to me. After all, vision is pretty important to being able to work or function. When we’re a real law school family with one income and a strict budget, how would we be able to afford a dozen eye appointments and co-pays? I know that Law School Wife has blogged about the frustration of health issues during school and I know that many people have much more daunting issues before them than an itchy red eye. But, how do you handle it? Do you have an emergency fund, or do you just hope for the best?

Anyway, you guys won’t see me today, but you’ll be happy to hear that I’m sporting both eye makeup and lipstick in honor of my recovered eyeball! 🙂