Bar/Bri continues apace. Today’s lecture was WAY too long and the lecturer spends too much time repeating the stuff in the notes instead of highlighting the nuance. He is, at least, entertaining. I have given up on the Paced Program for the time being and am instead just trying to keep up with the reading.
Work is heating up—I have four cases on my desk including two court appearances scheduled for Monday, and everyone keeps giving me more responsibility. It’s actually very cool—people seem to trust that I can handle the matters they’re giving me and that gives me confidence that I, well, actually CAN handle the matters they’re giving me.
Also, my last set of grades came in today, which means I can no longer procrastinate on my clerkship applications. This weekend, therefore, is set aside not for doing practice questions but instead for writing cover letters, polishing up my writing samples, and building my online applications. Right now, it doesn’t feel quite real—I’ve been telling myself for months that I’ll send my applications once grades come in; well, grades are in, so I guess have to back that up. ((I realize this makes it sound like I don’t actually want to apply for clerkships. I actually DO want to apply for clerkships; it’s just the reality of actually having to write the cover letters and get my writing samples ready that I balk at. I think cover letters are just another opportunity to screw up, and as far as writing samples goes, I hate that I have lots of really good stuff that’s either cowritten, and so inappropriate to send, or too long, or not doctrinal enough, or is just too short. I have been looking for that perfect 10-12 page writing opportunity forever, and I have never quite achieved it. Everything I have that length is cowritten or or casual memo. Gah.))
Oh, and yes, grades are in, which means I am officially done. Even though my degree audit doesn’t actually indicate that I’ve completed my last two requirements, I know I have and I know I’m done. I am officially a Juris Doctor. Hallelujah!
I was planning to write a sort of lengthy post about the end of law school and all of the myriad emotions I’ve been feeling since taking my last exam, and about wandering around the city feeling unemployed, and how sort of strange I felt today, particularly.
But I’m not going to write about that because, today, after I got home, my graduation gift from Mr. Angst was waiting for me and I’ve spent most of this evening playing with it. Mr. Angst has even joined me.
We’ve formed a band.
So you’ll have to excuse me if I’m a little preoccupied for the next few weeks before Bar/Bri starts (and before my summer job starts)—what free time I’ll have away from revising The Task and from finishing up journal stuff may well be spend honing my guitar skills. (Yes, it’s ironic—I’m the guitarist and Mr. Angst is the singer. I am not really sure why or how that happened except that it’s my graduation present and, at least if I play by myself, it’s more fun to play the guitar than to sing. I actually think I’ll spend some time tomorrow starting a solo career.)
Excuse me—I have to run. Mr. Angst is singing Don’t Fear the Reaper, solo. I want to watch this.
I’m really in the home stretch now, and I’m starting to feel it.
That’s mostly because I just got comments back on my second draft of The Task. I’m really proud of what I’ve written, astonished that I cranked out 21,000 words and that most of them don’t suck, and, most of all, gratified that my advisor thinks it’s a great paper.
Despite the fact that I still have an exam to take, I’m really feeling the oncoming end to this thing called Law School. This paper has been a very consistent theme for me this year—it’s influenced what news I’ve read, what I think about some really interesting current events, and even how I think about an entire area of law and regulation. This, from a paper that started as a very small germ, in the vein of “I think I want to write about this particular entity,” that didn’t even really have a conclusion until two months ago.
So seeing it wrap up has me a little emotional. It represents a whole year that has been one of the hardest of my life, both personally and academically, and its success represents that all of it has been worth it. It’s exciting and sad and overwhelming all at the same time.
Of course, I say all of this knowing full well that I intend to send it out for publication in August, and will be working on it all summer, too—sending it out for comments from some of the authors I cite, revising the language, tightening it, expanding it, contracting it. I guess the distinction, though, is that it won’t be Law School this summer—it’ll just be me, writing about something that I find really, really interesting.
But for now, The Task represents an emotional end. It’s not bittersweet—I am, actually, completely ready to graduate—but it’s emotional.
I seem to like the lists lately. Here’s another one.
- I did a quick search on Westlaw today, looking for additional authority for a section of The Task that I’m reworking. It was very gratifying to note that of the top 10 results, I already have—and have read—seven of them. Two of the other three were PLI documents (so, not really what I was looking for, since those tend to just report developments in an area of law rather than craft/expound upon a new theory or interpretation). Honestly? One of the better research moments in my life. I do wish, however, that I’d been able to construct this awesome search three months ago; the benefit of hindsight, I suppose, and months of reading on the topic.
- My brother may be moving overseas. Like, in a month. This is a little weird, but really cool for him. I was just thinking that, if he does have to move overseas on short notice, it’s good that it will be right after my graduation, since that’ll be a nice family gathering where we can all say goodbye; he probably won’t be back in the States till the fall, and even that seems like a bit of a longshot.
- I get to leave tomorrow for a three-day, four-night vacation with my best friend (and some other people) and I am probably more excited about that than the fact that I had my last real law school class, EVER, today. (I have a clinic meeting tomorrow, but that’s not really class.)
I think that’s enough of a list for today.
- I picked up my disgustingly purple graduation gown this week. The purple color is really not the worst part. The worst part is the two gold-embroidered medallions Right. Over. My. Boobs. ROCK.
- I had to do my financial aid exit interview this week also. I owe a crap assload of money to various people. It’s pretty depressing, actually.
- I found out who our graduation speaker is, and I am pretty embarrassed that I now have to tell my parents and my in-laws who it is. Yeah, it’s that bad. I might just not say anything and act surprised at graduation.
- But in brighter news, all of my remaining obligations for the semester seem to be wrapping up smoothly. I’m a little surprised, actually, and I’m kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I’m pretty sure it’s not good.
Oh, I mean, it’s got good parts, and it’s probably a good start, but I’m pretty sure it’s not actually good. I can’t even add “yet” to the end of that sentence; I’m not really sure it’s going to be good. I have hope, but my hope is definitely tempered with a little bit of realistic dismay.
It’s not as long as I thought it would be; I’m sure it will grow, though. It’s not as fluid as I wanted it to be, but I think that’s expected of a first draft. The biggest problem, though, is that I’m not sure I’ve said anything new at all. Maybe that’s OK—maybe this really is just one of those papers that brings a lot of different thoughts together to bear on a particular problem. Maybe it’s OK to not break new ground in recommending a complete change in thinking if I’m breaking new ground in suggesting that a problem exists that people haven’t recognized, and that other (smarter, maybe) people than I have already outlined the solution—it’s just a matter of applying the solution.
Whatever. All I know is that I have to put the damn thing away for a few hours or days before I come back and reread it, and then send it in. And wait for the (first draft) verdict.
As much as I am enjoying the writing (and I really am, when I am actually making progress and know what I’m doing), it hit me this morning just how tired I am.
I’m tired of dealing with . . . everything. I’m tired of dealing with authors, I’m tired of being the go-to person for a variety of tasks which I thought I delegated away, I’m tired of not having time to sit and watch TV or clean my house or take Himself on a decently long walk. I’m tired of the neverending work; I can’t go home and get away from it because it is always there, needing to be worked on. I’m tired of feeling like I don’t have time to go to the gym because it takes two and a half hours to get there and back and get a decent workout done, and I don’t have two and a half hours in the day to spare. I’m just tired.
Graduation is looming, looming, looming and, while I often wish I had another year of law school so I could take all those classes I didn’t get to take and learn all that stuff I never got to learn, I know what a bad thing that would be for me. I’d just end up back in this same spot, fending off ever more work and getting more and more tired. I cannot even begin to describe how eager I am to just have a job and not feel like my minutes on the train or bus need to spent reading and thinking about The Task or exams or journal work, to be able to leave work at work (even if I leave it at work late in the day). Long hours I can deal with; neverending hours I cannot. At least not these kind of neverending hours.
Now that the MPRE is over (damn the MPRE!) I am heading into my last week of school before Spring Break with only two things on my plate—one more edit ((And this means EVER—I’m almost done with the big part of my journal duties, though I’ll be doing follow-up edits for the rest of the semester. I am pretty much totally and complete excited.)) and The Task.
I’m starting to get a little nervous about The Task. I have several pages, some of which are actually good but most of which are mediocre at best—and quite a few of which are really, really bad. I finally have a solid, concrete vision in my head of what the whole thing is going to end up looking like, but that vision has not hit the paper yet. I’ve got to get it on paper, and soon—all 60-something pages of it. With citations to authority.
So I’ve got about two weeks, maybe a little less, to get the First Draft of The Task done. I keep telling myself I work better under pressure and that once all these edits are off my plate I can just write and write and write. I hope that’s true.
The MPRE is over. I honestly have no idea how it went. What I do know is that I’m back to editing. Editing editing editing.