Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I met the other intern today where I work. He's in a band, and his band has a Myspace page of course. One day all the content of their page - photos, music, 900+ friends - disappeared. They eventually determined that a band member's exgirlfriend had the password and took her revenge. (Hell hath no fury and all that.) Me and the intern puzzled over a legal theory to cover this kind of thing. Trespass of chattels? Is an internet site a chattel? Is that considered hacking, since she had the password? Do they even own the chattel, since the site is free?

Moral of the story: Never give your S.O. your passwords.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Working on the wharf

So I started my summer intership today. I gave myself a week of vacation because I thought I'd get bored. I did get bored, but unfortunately that didn't make going to work any easier.

It was a good day anyway. The woman I work with is nice and helpful, and she closed the window when I put my jacket on; she noticed I got cold. Most of the day was spent trying to figure out why the network was down, or the printer, or the new operating system, or the upgraded version of FileMaker. Technical troubles everywhere I turned, and I'm good with technology. Plight of the nonprofits, I suppose.

Most of our clients (all artists) were women, and most of the attorneys we referred them to were men. I was in a good position though. I got to comfort our clients without having to do any of the legal legwork that they needed. (We only refer them to attorneys, we don't give legal advice.)

I didn't eat the entire day. There wasn't a lunch break, and I didn't bring any food. Strangely, I don't think I've ever had a job where I ate the first day. I'm always stuffed full of stress.

I noticed a sign on my building that read: "This building contains substances known by the state of California to cause cancer." And another below it: "This building is not a fall-out shelter and should be vacated during an earthquake." Very comforting.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


It's weird, but after finishing finals I don't feel that elated. It's not so much feeling happy, but rather feeling not stressed out. Feeling neutral again.

After I got back from my exam, I sat on the couch and read awhile. Finally I whined to my boy, "I'm bored!" He raised his eyebrows and said, "Four hours into summer vacation and you're bored already?"

Saturday, May 20, 2006

First Year Over

Finished my first year of law school! Property was my last exam, 9 AM on a Saturday. Not that the day of the week matters during exam's all about how many days till the next one, as Flossy said. The exam felt pretty easy, but that's usually bad. If the exam felt easy there are three scenarios: 1) you did well, 2) you completely missed the boat, or 3) the curve is gonna be a bitch. I got a cold from my friend a few days ago. I always pitied those poor souls who got sick during finals; now my empathy is for real. I was pretty drugged up for the exam, sudafed and afrin and tylenol. They all seemed to meld into a general feeling of disconnect, but during the exam I never even thought about it. I just sank into the groove without a sniffle. The worst part, actually, is that I can't savor my new freedom as intimately. (I can't taste anything.)

All my exams felt easier this semester. It's all about those practice exams and model answers. It's funny when you get out of an exam, and you start probing people about what they got for this question or that one, but you're hesitant, on tip toes, frightened that they'll tell you about something you missed. There are two camps after an exam: people who wanna discuss everything, and people who don't even want to hear you discussing it, and who may become violent if you do. Which camp you're in depends on how you face that fear of missing something. If you felt good about the exam, you don't think you missed anything major, so you overcome the fear.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Down with Multiple Choice

Why my Contracts professor gives essay-only exams:

"How many judges ask multiple-choice questions in court?"

No More Fun With Finals

I'm in the middle of my second law school round of finals. It feels totally different from first semester; I know this sounds weird, but it's not as fun. Last semester it all seemed so insurmountable, and that gave me this kind of giddiness about it. Like when I was in college and on the diving team, we would go on training trips. And the pool was outdoors, and we'd have to get up at some ungodly hour and then dive into this icy pool over and over again...there was this comedy-of-the-absurd feeling. You'd be laughing about how torturous and ridiculous the whole thing was. That was what first semester felt like.

This semester it's all in the natural course of things. It's all business. Memorizing all these factors is within the realm of possibility - it's just a task you have to plod through.

It's not as fun.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


If you haven't gotten a summer job yet, let me apologize in advance. Because there's nothing more annoying when you're unemployed than to hear somebody say: I got a job! In typical 1L fashion, I'm not paid, but I figure I can moonlight as a bartender/waitress with the struggling actors of the employment world.

Here's how I got it:
1. I researched attorneys on Martindale, searching by my law school.
2. I sent a cold cover letter to an attorney I really liked, who also happened to be an alum of my undergraduate school. I never heard back from him, but more on that in a minute.
3. Looking at that attorney's website, I noticed he was part of a non-profit outfit for artists.
4. I talked to my career advisor, who said I should call them and see if they were hiring. (I know this sounds unbelievable: law school career office advisor actually helped me get a job? Yeah, believe it.)
5. The organization told me to send my resume to one of their departments. I got an interview the next day.
6. I talked to one of my professors, casually, and he happened to have done some work for the organization. He called them up for me.

I got the affirmative call-back the next day.

As for the attorney who never called me: I made a follow-up call to him about 10 days later (as instructed by my career office), but I only left him a voice mail. I was planning on calling him again when I got this internship, so who knows what would have happened. Probably nothing.

Something else I did, which although it didn't get me a job, was informative: I called friends who knew people in SF. They referred me to their friends, who referred me to attorneys they knew.

Lots of good advice, but the main purpose of that networking was to make me feel like I was searching for a job, without ever having to hunt for one. (It's a more refined form of procrastination, like cleaning your room instead of doing your homework.) I just didn't feel like sending my resume out to a ton of places. Job searching is so evil! A terrible task. That tickle that gets your heart racing when you're lying in bed at night. That voice in your brain every day that says, 'I'm going to job-search tomorrow.' That stab of envy when you see somebody dressed up for an interview at school. Bleh, why do I dwell on it?

When my boy heard the news, he was really pleased. He said with a sly grin, "But you know I'm happier for my own sake than for your's..." Meaning, he was relieved to escape the job-search-bitchiness that emanated from me like bad breath after a hot meal.

The best part of this was my thank-you emails. It was so gratifying to share good news with people who helped create it.

Tomorrow is the last day of my first year of law school.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Low-hanging Fruit

(From my Contracts Professor, advice on exam taking:)

The exam is an orchard. Don't struggle to climb one tree and try to pick all the fruit on it, top to bottom. Run around the whole orchard and pick all the low-hanging fruit.

(And on law school exams in general:)

The law school world wants you to think that you everything you've learned in your life is useless, that you have to learn how to think in a completely different way. It's not true. Your knowledge is applicable. And they want you to think that law school is a universe that must consume you. It's not. Your exams are just a blip in your life, and law school is only the beginning for you. It's only the end for law professors. All you have to do is get one job after law school, which you all will, and then no one will ever ask how you did on your Contracts exam.

(It's true. They do tell you that you have to learn how to think like a lawyer, that you have to rearrange your brain. They do try and indoctrinate you into the microcosm of law school.)

(I feel grounded again.)