Saturday, August 18, 2012

10 years: 2002-2005. THE LAW SCHOOL YEARS

The first day of law school, I got up early to ensure I'd make it on time for my very first class, which was Torts at 9 a.m. Unfortunately, I did not take into account that parking was a nightmare at school. I was about five minutes late to my first class and I slipped in the door taking the very first seat I saw in the back row of the room. This seat happened to be in the diagonal line of sight of the professor. And that my friends is how I ended up being called on multiple times during the semester. The professor chose a panel of students (usually three) to discuss the cases for the day. I thought for sure I'd be on panel maybe twice. Oh no, no. I was on panel at least five times that semester. It was a nightmare and I learned not to sit in the line of sight of the professor ever again.

That first semester of law school was challenging, exhausting, and invigorating. I met a friend in one of my classes who would become my closest friend in law school and later a source of emotional pain. But that first semester, it was a God send to have someone to talk to who was going through the same thing I was. At the end of the first semester, I had also met a second friend who would join the first one in being a close friend and later, a source of emotional pain. 

At the end of the first semester, I was certain I was going to flunk out. For those who do not know how law school works, you do not have assignments as you go along. You have a lot (A LOT) of reading cases and trying to understand the law. You keep a running outline of the law you are learning and at the end of the semester, you take one exam from which you get your grade. The exams are graded on a curve and getting an A in law school is a major achievement. There are very few available and you have to do extremely well to get that grade. After I took my exams, I was certain an A wasn't even on the table. I was hoping for a D. The grades did not come out for several weeks so it was a long wait to see how I would fare. As it turned out, I worried needlessly because, while I didn't ace the exams by any means, my grades were respectable. 

Law school continued on and I finished the first year. That summer, I spent a lot of time with the family friend who was a year ahead of me in law school. We had so much fun! He is an awesome friend and we became very close that summer. We remain good friends today and I just adore his wife and son as well. They are all like family.

That first summer is also when I began dating again. I had been wrapped up in school the first year so I didn't date at all then. But I felt it was time to get out there. I spent the second year dating a few people, one of whom broke my heart. It was a hard time, but I got through it with the support of my family and friends. Before the summer of my third year, I met my (now ex) husband and had a falling out with my two close friends, whom I mentioned above. That story is long and involved, but suffice it to say that the third year was difficult because I was without the two women who had been my closest friends. I had other casual friends in school so I was not alone, but it's hard when you lose those who were closest to you.

In any case, I finished the first semester of my last year (the third year) and I made the decision to take the bar exam in February 2005. Generally, you do not take the bar exam until the July following May graduation. But, I decided to be a go-getter and take it before I graduated. You can only do this if you have at least 89 of the 93 required credits to graduate law school. I had managed to amass those credits so I signed up for the exam and began the very long journey of studying for the bar exam. I should mention that I was still taking classes, planning my upcoming wedding that took place in July, and writing my seminar paper. The seminar paper amounts to a thesis because it is a very arduous and long research and writing process. It took me five months to research and write my paper and I did that while I was studying and taking the bar exam as well as taking two other classes. It was a tough semester.

I took the bar in late February and I had to wait until May for the results. That was the longest wait in the world, but thankfully I had the seminar paper and the other classes as well as wedding planning to occupy my time. I still remember the day bar exam results came out - May 4, 2005. You can check them on the computer and they list your name along with your exam number if you pass. I began checking early in the morning and continued on throughout the afternoon until about 3 p.m. when they finally posted results. I will never forget the anxiety of seeing the Pass List link on the page and knowing that I was about to be very elated or very disappointed. I clicked on the link and then clicked the link for the first letter of my last name since the list is alphabetized that way. And I saw my name! I PASSED THE BAR!! 7 years later I can still remember the absolute relief and elation I felt. I began crying, sobbing really and I immediately called my parents to share the news. The very next day, I had my last law school exam, but as you can imagine, I didn't really care that much about studying for it because hey, I PASSED THE BAR! :) I did fine on that last law school exam by the way.

Finally, after three years of hard work and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, I graduated law school on May 13, 2005. My parents came to attend the ceremony as did my bestie all the way from Oregon. I was so grateful to have her be a part of the celebration because she had been so supportive from the very beginning. It was a great celebration and a great time with those closest to me who had made my dreams possible in so many ways.

After law school, I got married and worked at the law firm from hell. I started this blog in the summer of 2006 so you can read more of my journey if you go back to the archives, but it's been an interesting 10 years in Houston and I wouldn't trade it for anything. In the last 10 years I have:

Moved to Houston from Oregon
Got my Law Degree
Got my Master's Degree
Got married
Got divorced
Learned to scuba dive
Survived and thrived!

Here's to the next decade! You never know what it will bring, but as my Dad said, it's always an adventure!


The Reckmonster said...

Whoa. Kudos to you, mamasita! I do not "do" major tests very well at all...hence, I picked a graduate program that did not require the GRE (but this was wayyyy back in the early 90s, so that is pretty much unheard of today!). I cannot IMAGINE the torture of taking the Bar Exam (I would just have to go ahead and make my reservation at the Betty Ford Clinic!! lol)

It's always interesting to look at your life in terms of "chunks" like the last 10 years or the last 20 years. Personally, I'm just pissed that I am in that age group that allows me to actually remember the last 35+ years!!!

I'm glad I hopped over to your blog :)

Legally Lovely said...

Thank you for this post! I've learned more about you from this one. I cannot believe that you managed to plan a wedding, take classes, write a paper, and PASS THE BAR (!!) all at the same time! You are a wonderwoman!

Lawfrog said...

Reck - Yeah, the bar exam can only be described as torturous and addiction inducing. LOL! Interestingly enough, I did not have to take the GRE for my M.A., but that is because I already had the law degree so the University waived that entrance requirement. Good thing too because the last thing I needed was another entrance exam at that point.

Thanks for coming over and commenting. I am really glad to have found your blog, I love your writing style!

@Legally Lovely - Thanks for the compliment!! I sometimes can't believe I managed all that at once either. I honestly don't know if I could do it again. I don't have nearly as much energy, or stupidity, as I did back then. LOL!

Dauphyfan said...

What amazes me (besides you just being your amazing self)is that I remember that weekend you graduated so well. We all gathered to celebrate your awesome accomplishments in law school, work on your wedding details, and yet you managed to be my touchstone at a very tough time in my own life. 2004-2005 had been a ROUGH year for me personally and you selflessly lifted my spirits like no other ever could. That is just small reason you are such a treasure to so many. I love you and proudly wear the badge of being your best friend. No one deserves more happiness in this life than you my friend. Cheers to the next 10!

Lawfrog said...

Britters - I love you too and also proudly wear the badge of being your best friend. There is no one I'd rather go through this crazy, incredible, scary, awesome life with than you!!

Gregor Renk said...

Good to know about it. I am also busy with my Bar Exam Prep now days and study in the best law school possible. I got to know a lot after reading this post. thanks a lot for sharing such an edifying post. It just updated my knowledge a lot.