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Messages - rrdm78

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Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: LOW LSAT Score
« on: April 14, 2007, 07:25:34 AM »
 >:( >:( >:( >:(

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Family Life and Law School
« on: February 18, 2007, 08:20:07 AM »

Relax (especially if you're pregnant):
"I became pregnant at the beginning of Winter Quarter my first year and am expecting a baby boy at the end of October. My husband and I were ready to start a family. We both felt that the flexibility you have when you are in school is unique and well-suited to starting a family. I'm taking Fall Quarter off (yes, you can do that!) and have found that other students and professors are all very supportive. I'm not a parent yet, but I can offer one piece of advice to anyone who is already pregnant or is thinking about becoming pregnant in law school: relax. You can always, always, always find something to stress about in law school (grades, homework, exams, moot court, etc), but try not to get caught up in it. None of these items is as important as your health and sanity."

Don't forget your partner/spouse:
"When I started my 1L year, my daughter was only three and a half months old. I took out extra loans so my husband could stay home with her while I was in class. My advice for incoming student/parents is: 1. Don't forget your other half. This person will probably pick up a lot of your slack during the school year, so let him or her know you appreciate it. For me, knowing that my husband was doing an awesome job taking care of our daughter really helped minimize the guilt I felt for spending so much time away from home. 2. Find some students that you really click with and be proactive about maintaining those friendships. Law school can be pretty isolating, especially when you're racing to get home to your kids after class instead of hanging out with other students. It's okay to have coffee with someone and come home a little later than usual sometimes. Your emotional health is more important to the well-being of your family than your constant presence. 3. Know that, as long as you get through your first year, you can take time off. A 2L or 3L can take up to a two year leave of absence without having to reapply. If you're having a hard time finding that balance between family and school, take a break. I just found out that I'm pregnant again. I'm considering taking a year off to stay home with my daughter and the new baby while my husband works. I don't feel that, for me, it's worth it to go through another year of trying to balance the responsibilities of school with raising an infant. Once was okay, but twice... That being said, there are a lot of student parents who really do an awesome and commendable job of figuring out how to balance their dual lives. Good luck."

Be disciplined with your time:
"I'm 29 years old, and my wife and I have been married for 7 years. We have two kids. I left active duty (Army) in the Fall of '04 to start law school, but have remained in the Washington Army National Guard, so I drill one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer. I'm primarily responsible for my kids since my wife's schedule is far more demanding than mine. She works 80 hours a week during inpatient rotations, including two overnights in the hospital per week. I usually wake my kids up at 6 AM, leave the house at 6:25, drop them off at daycare at Fort Lewis, drive up to Tacoma, and catch a University Express bus most mornings at 7:15. I usually get into school about 8:15, and spend an hour or so finishing readings for class. Between classes, I usually run or go work out at the IMA, shower & eat lunch. After my afternoon class, I usually have a little reading time before I catch the bus at 3:00. I get into Tacoma about 4:10, then usually stop at a coffee shop and study until 5. I pick up my kids then, play with them until both are in bed around 9:30, then study for an hour before I go to sleep. I try not to leave much work to do on the weekends, primarily because I'm either working (drill) or my wife's is one or both days, and I usually can't get anything done with the kids around unless my wife's home (and awake). My biggest advice is just to be disciplined with your time -- capitalize as best you can on time at school (or on the bus) so you aren't trying to do things at home that will cut into your parenting time. Papers present a particular challenge to time management, as they can suck seemingly endless amounts of time. As soon as you get a paper assigned, start writing it immediately -- don't procrastinate with research. Let your writing process expose your research holes and drive where you're looking rather than waiting for your initial research to answer all the questions and then begin the actual writing. I'd also advise being very concise on your case briefing to speed up your reading. Try and just write a paragraph capturing what's important about the case (i.e., why it's included) and what the holding was (i.e., the rule that can be applied to future cases). It will make your reading much faster if you're not trying to write so much on each case and it will make distilling your notes faster when you outline. The outline should help you answer the fact pattern presented, so you'll want just enough facts about the briefed case to draw some parallels and then apply the rule from it. Don't worry about having a perfect product before class -- you can always amend it based on a better understanding of the holding after the class discussion."

Take time for yourself:
"My only real advice to incoming 1L's, whether they are parents or not, is to take a bit of time each day to do something they enjoy that has nothing to do with school. Whether it is going for a run, playing with your kids, or even just watching TV, I think it's very important to not let law school control every aspect of your life. I think this mentality helped an unbelievable amount when I entered my second year pregnant, because it helped me to be able to relax instead of always stressing about homework, which in the end is better for both you and your kids. Don't let law school control your life, and the odds are you will do a lot better at school because you won't be as stressed."

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Family Life and Law School
« on: February 18, 2007, 08:18:25 AM »
Balancing Law School and Family

Tips, tricks and advice from UW law students with children:

(names have been omitted)

Have confidence in yourself:
"I started law school with a 2 year old and am expecting another baby in March. My husband is also a college student. I did a 15-credit externship my 1L summer so I will be able to take Spring quarter off. I took advantage of the childcare voucher program and everyone at the law school has been very supportive of me being a parent. My best advice is as follows: ignore what everyone else is doing/saying and just do your best, have confidence in your academic and parenting abilities, take time out for yourself and for your spouse, routinize and organize, do as much ahead of time as you can, and keep yourself healthy. Remember, at the end, everyone graduates a lawyer, you WILL make it and you are NOT alone."

Learn balance:
"My son was born on May 11th, about three weeks before spring quarter finals. The last couple weeks were definitely a challenge, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be (in terms of school, having my baby was more than I ever thought it could be). What I learned from the first day that my son, my partner and I came home from the hospital was how much can be done in less time than I ever thought possible. My son came to school with me for the last couple weeks of class and we watched my classes from the monitors in the Remote Learning Room. I did well on my finals and managed to participate in the write-on competition for law review and the law journals. I will be on the Shidler Journal this year so if anyone wants to know how that is going with a baby, just ask! Personally, I believe that being pregnant and a new parent in law school made me a better student than I otherwise would have been. I was more disciplined and really was careful with my time. Law school can easily take over your life; learning to balance things now will be a big help when we are all attorneys with deadlines and time pressures. Like the other parents, I found that what works best for me is to have school at school and home at home."

Put your kids first:
"As far as advice or balancing or surviving with kids, to me it has come down to being clear about priorities, making choices, being OK with the repercussions, and working really, really hard. Before I started last year, I committed to myself that I would not abandon my kids for school. If I had to choose between school and compromising my kids, school would go. I committed to continuing to be involved with my kids' schools and athletics. This sometimes meant that I had to miss class when I didn't want to, but when I gave Professors advanced notice, they were always very supportive and understanding. While I would have loved to have been involved in a lot more activities and organizations outside of class, time was too precious for much of that. So, while I don't have a big list of student organizations to put on my resume, I do have a couple of kids who have continued to have Mommy's attention every single day."

Treat law school like a job:
"From day one, I've treated law like a job. I attend it 8-5 Monday through Friday, and I don't take work home. For the first two years, I felt like I needed to add a block of a few hours on the weekend, too, but for my last year, I'm going to try to drop that as well. Family is just too important! My advice is to take any advice with a grain of salt. We are all different, our families are all different, and there is no one-size-fits-all way of doing this. That being said, here are some things I found helpful, in addition to stuff about working 8-5:
1. Bring your child to school! I have not done nearly enough of this. People need to see that you are a parent, and be reminded about this part of your life. Plus, it's fun to play with cute little kiddos in the halls!
2. This is also advice for those of you who are married or partnered even if you don't have kid(s): please remember, your law school career is not the most important thing in the world. It's not more important than your spouse's job. It's just what you do. Doubtless your partner will have to make sacrifices so you can attend law school. Do what you can to keep this to a minimum.
3. Please, please, please, just make a promise to yourself that you won't get hung up on grades. First of all, you are smart enough to get into a good law school. That means you're plenty smart enough to get through it in one piece. Grades mean so much less, SO MUCH LESS, than you think they do. We're graded on a curve anyway. A tiny percentage of students dream of and aspire to a job in a top, top, top law firm. Those are the places that care if you're a top ten student. NO ONE ELSE CARES. You'll just put your family through unnecessary stress if you get hung up on grades. Don't do it. Enjoy law school. Work hard, but have fun."

Keep school at school:
"I started law school with a 6-month old boy. My only advice is to keep school at school. I don't do any homework at home. The only exception is in early mornings on a weekend when everyone else is asleep (finals is also an exception). I do all my homework at school or on the bus on the way home. I hope this helps. One more thing. I keep my priorities. My family (wife and child) comes before school (no exceptions). "

Limit your "extra" activities:
"I am a 3L who has two little boys. They were about ages 18 months and 4 when I started my first year. I think, as emotionally difficult as it was, my boys have been a grounding source for me and have actually contributed to my success in law school. It is easy to get swallowed by law school, which could result in frustration, apathy, or at least a general distortion on reality and what is important in life. As a parent, I did not allow myself to be sucked into that. My little guys daily remind me of what is really important and are a constant source of joy and love. It is amazing how therapeutic ten minutes of playing "dinosaurs" with a two-year-old can be! The other thing that helped, I think, was being incredibly choosy about the "extra" things I participated in. There are a lot of things to choose from, but I don't think it is a good idea to participate in too many of them. Practically every day there is a lunch-time meeting available. Be picky about these as well... lunches are often better spent studying or just refreshing yourself. Keep your eye on a goal. If it is business law you want to go into, then by all means go ahead and participate in the contract drafting competition, but if not, (or you are not sure) then realize that it sucks up a lot of precious time. As a student/parent you are already working on a time deficit. Same thing for moot court in the Spring. My personal opinion is that many students get really wrapped up in it at the expense of their actual classes and there is really nothing to be gained from moot court that will be on the bar exam. It is better to participate than to argue in front of professors (the alternative), but don't pour precious time into something that won't give back to you. "

Be realistic:
"One of the most satisfying events in my life was carrying my son up to the Dean to receive our diploma. I took my son to school with me almost every day. I set up a monitor in the classroom and sat out in the hall with him listening on headphones. While my son didn't really affect my 1L experience (as far as time spent caring for him), I will tell you that the key is in scheduling and recognizing which study habits work for you. Some info that helped me relax: there are outlines for every book, subject and professor that will hit all the major points for any class; most tests are open note so you can bring in your own outlines; there is a mandatory curve that will almost guarantee you a B or better if you know the major points of a subject; no one is rooting for your failure at law school; anything you really need to know to pass any subject can be learned the night before the exam; there will be many classmates in the same boat as you; and finally, if you got in to the U, you are really bright. I chose to accept that I would not be a straight A student, a moot court honor board member, a law review or journal member, or an SBA candidate (not that I am confident that I could have been any of those even if I had chosen to pursue it). However, there are many folks in similar positions that were very successful in those activities. Each of our journeys is our own, so you must take the path through law school that is right for you."

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Family Life and Law School
« on: February 17, 2007, 07:41:52 AM »
You may find more substantive discussion about this issue in the Non-Traditionals section of the board, versus the LSAT section.  And btw - take some of the comments already posted with a grain of salt.  Motherhood is an honor and a high calling.  Some people only view it with incredulity and derision, but I believe that a mother who does her job will raise children who come to respect and appreciate the station.  Good luck to you!

Thank you

I am a very determine person I went to graduate school and worked full-time and went to school full time with no children.  I like a challenge and I  know having a baby will be a challenge for me and my husband thank God for a very supportive family it can be done it will be done they may be some obstacles and some bumps in the roads but that what life can be.  Everybody has an opinion whether it is good or bad and I respected every one's opinion. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Family Life and Law School
« on: February 17, 2007, 03:01:13 AM »
Don't need to, I'm smart enough to do it such that I don't knock anyone up.

Enjoy mommyhood!

That is what married people do open their legs. I am not single and I will be attending law school next Fall 07. I have a very supported husband and I have talked to several laws school and they do offer daycare .My dream of becoming a lawyer will not be a dream it will be a reality. People face obstacles everyday God has blessed me with being pregnant.  However, I respected your opinion on this subject and you have a nice day.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Family Life and Law School
« on: February 16, 2007, 04:43:05 PM »
defer and keep your legs closed for 3 years

Maybe you should defer and keep your legs close.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Family Life and Law School
« on: February 16, 2007, 03:55:31 PM »
I have a very supported husband and he said to me just because I am pregnant doesn't mean I have to put off law school.

Studying for the LSAT / Family Life and Law School
« on: February 16, 2007, 03:43:34 PM »
Family life and law school for those who are married and have children are your going to law school part- time or full-time.  I wanted to start  law school next Fall 07, however I just found out that I am pregnant I am happy but sad in a way I wanted to wait until  I finish law school before I had children. Any one have any suggestions?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: I just got a email
« on: February 12, 2007, 03:08:56 PM »

Studying for the LSAT / Re: SCORES
« on: February 12, 2007, 03:06:55 PM »
I took the LSAt in DEC and recieved my score 19 days later which was 12/21.

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