Category Archives: Law School

Ho hum… School Starts Again

Totally anti-climactic.

That’s how I would describe the beginning of the end of law school.

Every other year, I’ve gotten up, made Ducks a lunch, taken his picture, and all that jazz. This year, I slept in, no photo was taken and he had to take leftovers to school. It’s amazing – the difference in this year from the others. The 1L year was all about anticipation. We shopped for school supplies, did reading assignments together so we could discuss them and anxiously prepared for the heart-stopping Socratic method.

The second year, we weren’t sure how upper-level classes would differ from the 1L classes, so we were a little nervous that year as well. Plus, we had the pressure of finding an internship, finishing a 25-page writing requirement and worrying about job prospects (Notice that I say “we” on all this… weird… since I’m mostly just the bystander/cheerleader).

This year is not exactly coasting, but we know what to expect and we know what we have to do. It’s more about maintaining the status quo – passing classes and maintaining the internship and focusing on finding jobs. That part is easy for me, since – no joke – I get offered a job at least once every couple of months. Last night, I got offered a job at a mixer last night. That’s just how I roll… I guess.

One good thing about the coasting? My husband now is convinced he can go to every college football game played this season. He’s even requested tickets to go to Morgantown, WV, to watch our newest Big 12 team in action. And at that, I have to say, “Slow down, buddy!” Just because you’re not as freaked out about school doesn’t mean you’re rich. So, that “good” – that was just a tad bit sarcastic.

One more year. We can make it. How’s your year starting off, fellow law wives? And, how’s everyone else doing? 🙂

Advertisements

The [Second] First Day of School

So, this year, I didn’t chase Ducks out to the car to take his picture (which, last year, he strenuously avoided). But here’s what I did do – the preparations were by far on Sunday, rather than Monday morning:

– Made two casserole type things (one Weight Watchers baked ziti, one beans and rice) and used every Tupperware container we own to package them up. Ducks has a night class on Mondays and Wednesdays now, which means two days, at least, where he needs two meals for the day.

– Baked banana oatmeal muffins, so there are quick, healthy breakfasts and snacks available.

– Hole punched and bound syllabi and outlines.

– Reorganized our little home office.

– Carried 5,000 books up to campus to put everything into Ducks’ carrel 

– Packed a lunch for him so he could grab it out of the refrigerator in the morning and just head out to his 8 a.m. class.

– Monitored the registration schedule assiduously to try to get him into a class that works better with his finals schedule.

So, basically, where the 1L year is lots of nerves and excitement and anticipation, the 2L year is more of a checklist – “Did you remember this? Did you sign up for that? Did you get your oil changed so you don’t have to take time out of your school schedule to do that later in the semester? Did you remember to take off Sept. 2 from work so we can go to the first BU game?”

However, I do have to tell you the one thing I did last night that could have tremendous ramifications. I discovered Crock Pot oatmeal. People, this is a life-changer. At our house, we have an ongoing war against cereal. I hate buying it because it’s expensive and because my husband eats like 4 boxes in a week. And he doesn’t eat Cheerios or corn flakes. Oh no, that’s far too peasant-ish for him. He eats this stuff:

And it’s not cheap. So, I have instituted an oatmeal regime. But he complains regularly about oatmeal not only being less delicious, but also taking more time to prepare and eat. Voila – crock pot oatmeal.

I made it with regular rolled oats today, but I understand steel cut oats are better, so when I get some, I’ll post pictures and all that of this super-easy breakfast goodness.

Hope your first days of school, or just your Mondays, are off to a fantastical start! 🙂

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. 🙂

Why Did I Think This Was a Good Idea?

WHYYYY?

Why do I always think it’s a great idea to work out in the morning?

It sounds so good in theory – getting a workout out of the way, so the entire evening’s free. Last night, I was just thinking – wow, we should start the morning routine before law school classes start next week, so Ducks can study and we can still spend some time together at night.

Now, after a workout that honestly wasn’t even super-intense, I feel like I could melt into a puddle of sleepiness on the floor. I know I’ve asked about this before, so I’m not asking for advice, just pointing out one of those plans that sounds great in your head when you’re contemplating the law school schedule, but then falls flat on its face, or at least makes you want to, since standing up or propping your eyelids open is not necessarily the top-of-mind option.

Now, when it comes to law school planning, I have other things down pat. I pack breakfasts and lunches in advice so my husband can just grab them from the fridge and go (thus eating healthier and saving us money). I have a chore chart; he has a study schedule; I have separate accounts set up for things like travel that don’t necessarily fit our budget. I have other extracurricular activities to keep me busy when he’s at school late. But, why, oh why, must morning exercise continue to be out of my reach when it comes to productivity?

Sigh.

Is there anything especially challenging in your routine? Anything you’re trying to change up for the upcoming year?  

 

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/.*

1L Finals …. Part Deux

“Are you glad to have him back?”

That’s the question I keep hearing, now that we’re actually out of the last round of 1L finals. The answer, of course, is a resounding yes.

But, for the sake of posterity, and by posterity, I mean future wives and girlfriends, I’ll tell you a bit about the second round of law school finals.

First, they seemed interminably long. Really, truly ridiculously long. I guess part of that is because of my husband’s studious nature. He basically put himself on lockdown for a month before finals, only taking breaks to go to the gym. During the Fall 2010 finals, it was a little different because he would take time off to watch college basketball. This spring semester, though, had no distractions ripe enough to draw him from his books.

Second, I think it’s unfair that finals are both right around holidays. Easter and Thanksgiving are non-entities with law school finals. Basically they meant making a nice meal, spending about 20 minutes together while he ate, then parting ways again as he went into the studious abyss.

Third, these finals were a lot less stressful.  Last year, the research and writing memo completion ran right up against finals study time. This year, there was a little more time, but that wasn’t the reason for the slight relief. I think the biggest thing was just that we knew what the whole finals routine was. We were prepared, and he was even more confident than last fall.

Fourth, there was a break to look forward to. Between me and Ducks’ new boss, we convinced him that a break was required. Last Christmas, he went back to work and worked the entire break. Then, during spring break he studied the entire time. But the new boss said that wasn’t going to be allowed – that he had to take two weeks off before going to work. So, I think knowing there was a breather up ahead was probably helpful as well.

I think always during finals it’s important to have a thick skin as a spouse. Not that Ducks has been crabby or upset or anything, just that it’s a stressful time. One of my failings is trying to make a big deal about something, like a nice dinner, then getting upset because I don’t feel that it’s been appreciated enough. Don’t do this. Find things to keep yourself busy, so that you don’t feel like you’re being ignored. 😉

I took over dishwasher duty again during finals so that he would have minimal distractions. Ducks really does like to help with chores, but I didn’t want him to have too much to worry about during the stressful time of the year.

So far, things are looking to turn out well. We’ll see – all the grades won’t be out for a while. But, tell me all about y’all’s finals experiences? How was it? Congrats on making it through!

PS I have an exciting guest post coming up this week! Yaaaaay!