Legal Quandary

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Jumping on the Bandwagon for Hurricane Relief

Unless you live in a cave, you know that there are people on the Gulf Coast who need help.

TTLB (of ecosystem fame) and Glenn Reynolds came up with the idea of HURRICANE RELIEF BLOG DAY (Sept 1), described as:

A day of blogging focused on raising awareness of and funds for relief efforts to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

is the registration page if you'd like to join and add your blog (and your time and effort) to the fund-raising campaign for Hurricane Katrina victims.

Or, please consider taking a few moments and making a donation to Mercy Corps...

Just Like Home

TVPNU Hooded Sweatshirt*? Check. Thermos full of SBC Post Alley Blend. Check Check. Overcast outdoor environment. Yup.

If only I were wearing some kind of polar-fleece garment, it would be just like being back at TVPNU.


* No, it doesn't actually say TVPNU on it. But I think it would be awesome if E.Spat had some made up. I would totally buy one of those.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Take Me Out to The Ball Game

Yesterday, while I languished in Labor Law, Mr. Q and the kids went to see the Orioles play get beat by the A's.

Both kids enjoyed it, but Lil Q seemed disappointed that there wasn't a train during the game. She also kept asking to see the "Reindeer."

I guess that's just her way of saying she misses Safeco Field, where trains regularly pass alongside Right Field, and the mascot is the Mariner Moose.

I'm just not sure the Bird is ever going to be able to compete.

The Word of the Day is....

Can you say that boys and girls? If your momma slaps you, you said it right!

Your word is FUCK. You like to come across as rude
and rebellious, and often you do. You also are
intelligent and maybe surprisingly sensitive,
though God help anyone who said that in front
of your friends.

Which Swear (Curse) Word Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

As seen over at Zuska's place.

Ring! Ring!

LQ: Hello?

Caller: Mrs. Quandary?

LQ: Yes.

Caller: This is Tiffany at TVPNU Child Care Center - we have good news! There's an opening for Lil Q! Now if you wanted to schedule a time, we have tours available on Tuesday and Thursday at 10am and 1pm....

LQ: That's great - there's only one problem. We were put on the waiting list 3 years ago and have now moved to the Washington DC area.

Caller: Oh. That would be a long commute. So, do you want us to remove you from the waiting list?

Here's the lesson for law students with children: Be sure to sign up for day care 1 year before you get pregnant if you want to use on-campus childcare.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Dear Santa,

I know I'm a little early...

But between people sneezing, sniffling, and wearing flip-flops in the law library, I really NEED an iPod. It's important to my mental health. Seriously.

Also, I am about the last person on Earth without one.

I've been really mostly good this year.



Sunday, August 28, 2005

Bulletin Announcement

For the Male Parishioners of St. Jimbo's

Re: Dress Code

It has come to our attention that there has been some confusion among our male parishioners (under 60) regarding the Sunday Dress code. We have included the following suggestions to assist you in your Sunday wardrobing decisions. These are intended as guidance for regular Sunday mass during Ordinary time. The Dress code for weddings and/or funerals, Easter, and Christmas is not covered here. The subject will be addressed separately in an upcoming bulletin.

1. Khakis are the only acceptable pants option. You may express your individuality through the varying shades of khaki. We recommend that lighter shades, such as "stone" only be worn from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Shorts are strictly verboten regardless of outside temperature. One warm hour a week may encourage you to seriously reflect on the alternatives for eternity.

2. Jeans are permitted only if you are visiting. Indeed, if you are vacationing in our area, we highly encourage you to wear your jeans to Mass, as this allows us to easily identify you as an outsider. Visitors attending services more than 2 consecutive weeks will be expected to conform to the dress code of the rest of the congregation.

3. Belts are expected. Brown or black leather. No fabric.

4. Ditto for shoes. No sandals or sneakers. Brown leather loafers preferred. (Please be sure to match your shoes to your belt.)

5. Shirts. Collared shirt tucked into khaki pants. Polo-type shirts are acceptable. Suggested colors (in order of preference) are as follows: Blue, Green (Hunter or Sage), White, Black, and Yellow. Patterns (in order of perference) are: solid colors, tasteful stripes, and subdued plaids. We strongly suggest refraining from brighter colors - it tends to distract from the liturgy (this means you, Mr. Purple Shirt man.)

6. Women, Children, and Gentlemen over 60 may wear whatever they like, within the bounds of good taste. Please be sure garments cover adequately. This is especially important for our older gentlemen and teenaged girls.

We hope this guide will make everyone's Sunday more esthetically pleasing. If you are ever unsure as to whether you are dressed appropriately, please just look around. If no one within 4 pews has on an identical outfit, you may wish to consult the "Business Casual" section of the latest Eddie Bauer catalog.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

The Staff of St. Jimbo's

Friday, August 26, 2005

To Cut or Not to Cut

That is the question.

Well, in my case, the answer is - without a doubt - to cut. My books that is.

Someone was asking about cutting their texts the other day. I forget who because...well, did I mention I was 1453 posts behind? 1453, people!

At any rate, if I had any doubts as to whether to hack the little bastards into more manageable pieces, they were resolved this morning on the mile-long trek to the metro. My back was killing me - and that was carrying only 3 books. So, Kinkos, here I come.

I'm generally not a big fan of cutting my books. I did it during my first 2 quarters of 1L, and yes, it made the trip to and from school much easier. But it makes the pages more difficult to manage, and since you're taking them out of one binder to put them in another binder, only to replace them in the original binder once the week is over, you risk tearing some of the pages. If you decide to cut, be sure to buy some reinforcements (or as we so lovingly called them in the Air Force - Paper Assholes.)

Things I hate about cutting: 1) You actually have to be a little careful about putting your pages back in the correct order. Not so tough if your prof marches straight through the text, but more challenging if your prof skips around. 2) It's more difficult to refer back. I typically carry a whole week's worth of reading for each class with me, but you still can't look up the stuff you did last week. Or the statute on page 912 that's referenced in the case on page 115. 3) You have to buy binders in which to store the chopped books. And the binders are bigger and bulkier than the book's original binding. No problem, you say, I'll only be keeping them at home. Except if you have an open book final - you'll be schlepping the damned thing with you. Large binders are also not nearly as easy to flip through when you're looking for something in a hurry. Like on a final. 4) There's not much of a market for cut books, so if you cut 'em, you're stuck with 'em.

All that said, I'm still going to do it. When Mr. Q replaced my computer bag, he bought me a computer backpack which can only realistically carry 3 books. This becomes a problem on Wednesdays when I have all 5 of my classes. Also, I think the bag itself is one of the heaviest backpacks out there. Combined with the weight of my laptop AND all those damned books, my backpack can easily weigh about 40 pounds. And that's really heavy. One binder filled with all my reading for the week seems so much more manageable.

And it leaves room in the backpack for things like lunch. And that's a really good reason.


I have not checked Bloglines since sometime toward the end of July. Until tonight, that is. I have 1453 unread posts. 1453!

Some of you all have way too much time on your hands.

I'm just saying.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Academic Tourist

I've gotten some questions about some of my recent posts, and thought I would try to clarify things a little.

A little history:
I was supposed to be a member of the class of 2005. Shortly after all my application paperwork was submitted, we found out about Lil Q - chalk it up to a New Years without EC around...San Diego, margaritas, you get the idea. Anyway, a couple of months later, I got my acceptance letter from TVPNU. I was pretty stressed about this, since 1L doesn't have a reputation for being much fun. I thought it would be even less fun with a newborn, and asked to defer for a year. This was a pretty simple process - I think I was able to email a letter to the school that simply said I was pregnant and due to deliver the week classes started. Or words to that effect. My deferment was approved within 24 hours.

Then, toward the end of 1L, we found out that we would probably be moving before my 3L year, but didn't know where. I talked with our dean, who was really helpful and very supportive. Even so, there was some information she didn't give me. I'll try to highlight those points for you.

1. There is a difference between transferring and visiting.

You can typically only transfer after 1L - and this will mean that your degree will come from the school you transfer to. (For example - one of my TVPNU professors started at Berkeley. After 1L, he transferred to Harvard to be with his wife. His degree says "Harvard" on it.) Lots of people do this to "upgrade" schools if they've done particularly well in 1L. If you didn't get into your #1 choice school because of the "C" you got in Calculus your freshman year of college, this may be your second chance - but remember you have to do well in 1L.

Once you've spent 2 years at your school, you can visit for your third year (or a portion thereof). Your degree still comes from your original school, but they agree to accept credits from another school.

You can also visit other schools for 2L or for a portion of any year but 1L. People who do the "study abroad" programs are usually visiting students.

2. You pay the other school's tuition, and will have to go through the other school's financial aid process UNLESS your home school does a consortium agreement with the other school. Essentially what this means is that your school will agree to seek financial aid on your behalf, and then allow the money to be used at another school. TVPNU has a strict policy AGAINST consortium agreements. If you have the luxury of time, be sure to ask about this upfront, since it can be a nasty surprise to find out you have to scramble for financial aid.

3. Your grades will usually show up as Credit/No Credit on your home school's transcripts. When future employers want to see transcripts, you'll have to order sets from both schools for your all your grades to be reflected.

4. Be sure to finish your graduation requirements at your home school if you will be visiting your 3L year. As I think I've mentioned before, visiting students are last in line to get into classes. So, if you somehow neglect to take Professional Responsibility, which I think everyone has to take, and you don't manage to get into a class - too bad, so sad, you don't graduate. If your home school has a writing requirement, you'll also want to make sure it's done before you go - they may not (read: probably won't) accept it from another school. Don't be too discouraged by the last in line thing. Remember - there's always the drop and add period, as well as the possibility of talking to the professor. Although I think some schools are stricter on class size than others.

4a. A corollary to the above. Do your clinics and Trial Advocacy at your home school before you go. Some schools won't let you take those classes. Even if there are openings. Ditto for externships.

5. When you're shopping for schools to visit, take a look at the admissions process. For some schools, you might as well be applying to law school all over again - including the personal statement. The only thing you won't have to do is retake the LSAT. Other schools are a lot more relaxed.

6. Call up the Admissions office and see roughly how many visiting students they admit. Smaller schools will tend to have fewer spaces, so the competition for those spots will be greater. Also - oddly enough, I've been told it's easier to visit a private school than a state school. The reason for this is that state schools are taxpayer subsidized and only have as many spaces as the state will fund. Unless they have lots of their own students transferring or visiting other schools, it's not likely that many spaces will open up. State schools also tend to give instate residents preference. (Duh.)

Visiting another school is probably not the easiest route to go. I know the transition has not been great fun for me - but mainly because I've had so many other things going on in my life the past couple of months. A cross-country move with children and the death of a parent has a way of sucking the "fun" right out of a summer.

Despite the challenges, I think visiting is a terrific opportunity to see how other schools do things and to put your own legal education into perspective.

Q: What Does it Feel Like

When you've been on the go for almost a year solid with no real breaks? When you're so stressed out that other people can sense it when you walk into a room? When you wake up in the middle of the night in a panic and feel the need to jot half a dozen things onto your list of things to do? When your head hurts and you can barely keep your eyes open and you just ache all over? When you have to take a Tylenol PM just to be able to sleep.

A: It feels remarkably like a sinus infection. Which is exactly what I have. It only took 3 days of nauseating headaches for me to figure it out.

And here I thought it was just stress. Or a nervous breakdown.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Good News is That You've Got Your Whole Life Ahead of You...

2 days down and so far, so good.

I don't know anyone yet, so that's a little strange. And lonely. That's something no one mentions about transfering/visiting.

When I went for "Orientation" last week, the registration people I talked to didn't have a clue what to do with me. ("A visiting student? Um, we don't have a name tag for you - here's a stick-on one and a checklist. Please just follow the checklist and don't bother us.") So I ended up sitting through the 1L pep talk where the administration tells a bunch of lies about how "this school is different" and "you're going to meet your best friends here."

Except this time I was able to view it through the (admittedly) jaded eyes of a 3L. I also thought it was funny that the guy doing most of the lying talking strongly resembled the Geico insurance guy. Not the gecko himself, but the other guy. I kept expecting him to break out and do the robot. Sadly, I was disappointed. Maybe I can talk him into it at the Transfer/Visiting students reception at a date yet to be determined. I'll keep you posted.

The classes themselves seem to be about the same as at TVPNU, except the class lengths are all sort of bizarre. 50 minutes here, 1 hour and 15 minutes there, 1 hour and 50 minutes in another. The good news is I think I've already identified the one class I can kinda get away with slacking in. Which is good - because it's the one class where my book hasn't shown up yet.

I cannot slack in Family Law. My prof - the one who wrote the text I asked about, seems - in a word - awesome. He's very animated, gets everyone involved in the discussion, and is wicked smart. Because it's Family Law where nobody gets to stay married, the discussion of every case so far has included the phrase "Honey, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is you've got your whole life ahead of you...."

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Just Out of Curiosity

Does anyone have any experience taking a class from a professor who authored or co-authored the text? Better? Worse? More or less nitpicky? Doesn't matter?

Our Con-Law professor was purportedly writing a text and inflicted it on shared it with us, but that doesn't so much count.

We also had a prof at TVPNU who was, for many years, *the* expert on Property law. So much so that the Property book I used (not in his class, thankfully) would refer to him on about every other page. But he had a reputation for being the worst 1L professor out there. And for giving bad grades to boot. The administration finally "strongly encouraged him to retire," and I heard that he cried openly on the last day of class.

They kept an office for him (after all - he was a legal legend.) Last I heard, he was still showing up to school every day last year.

The Terrible Twos Threes

Even though Lil Q has a little more than 2 weeks to go until her third birthday, she's already acting like a 3 year old. I seem to remember with EC, that 3 was MUCH more dramatic than 2.

This morning, Lil Q was frustrated with something EC did and shouted "Damnit, EC!" I suspect I'm to blame for teaching her that. It also probably doesn't help that I laughed. I'm pretty sure EC didn't understand what Lil Q said - at least I hope not.

Just for the record, I think that all the books and "experts" who encourage you to space your kids 2 years apart are taking part in a vast conspiracy. Because you don't find out until after you've got the second child that the older one becomes a little beastie right around 3.

Of course, I waited 8 years between kids. I guess that just makes me a slow learner.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

There Ain't No Cure For the Summertime Blues


I find myself with a serious case of the doldrums, and I'm not exactly sure why.

Is it because it Professor Snape turns out to be the traitor we always knew he was?* Maybe.

More likely it's that school starts on Monday and I'm not the least bit excited. I haven't even bothered to look up my first day reading assignments yet. Part of the lack of enthusiasm might have to do with this being the shortest summer on record, since I left a quarter school and am visiting a semester school, and have put over 3000 miles between the two. Or it could be that we're still not completely unpacked. Or perhaps I'm still up to my ears in trying to straighten out my dad's estate. Which seems to grow more complicated every day. Or that I drove E. Spat to the airport today, so I no longer even have the option of hanging out with her.

Or maybe it's just that being a visiting student is somewhat akin to being a red-headed step-child. For anyone who is considering this route, be aware that you have LAST priority for classes (next in line after the Girl Scouts), and that even if there are spaces available, there may be some classes which "school policy" dictates that you cannot take. For example, Trial Advocacy.

Or does every 3L go through this?

On the plus side, I did bake my first cake/cupcakes since I've been here. We're celebrating EC's birthday tomorrow, so I made one of my famous chocolate cakes, and froze 2 dozen cupcakes for our future eating pleasure.

* Yeah, I'm behind the times. EC got the book for her birthday, and I didn't feel like spending the $15 just to read it a month ago.

Friday, August 19, 2005

DSL = FMC*'s been a while. How's everyone been?

My celebration over the sweet coolness that is air conditioning was a tad premature. It appears that in addition to the compressor being shot, there was a leak in the system. Thankfully, it's been cooler the last few days, and the leaky part is now on order. The AC guy (who is practically my new best friend) also charged the freon, so the AC will at least work - until all the freon leaks back out in a couple of days.

Also, the Earthlink DSL people were remarkably unhelpful in getting our internet to function, but after countless hours over the past week, the stellar technicians (who all seem to reside in India) finally discovered that no, it wasn't our password, but their line that was causing the problem. Ooops. Mr. Q is a wise and patient man, in that he made all the phone calls. Mainly because he knows I would have started calling people names after about the first hour. When he expressed frustration on about day 3, I told him that I generally feel better after calling someone an "Ass Monkey." It's not my fault if he didn't take my advice.

EC is home as of Wednesday. I have a school to start attending on Monday. Theoretically there will be air conditioning in the near future. And I'm back online.

If I could just do something about all the damned boxes I have left to unpack, life would be pretty good.

* Fully Mission Capable

Saturday, August 13, 2005

And On The Fifth Day

God said, "Let there be Air Conditioning."

And there was air conditioning.

And it was good.

It was very, very good.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Move From Hell Purgatory: Update 5

So Purgatory doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but things are getting better, so I thought I should lower the alert level.

No AC yet, and kudos to E.Spat for dealing with both that and MiL's rather tangential ramblings. If you're at all familiar with the phrase "all thrust, no vector," it describes MiL to a tee. And no, the phrase isn't meant to be dirty...

The phone is working (absent a little hiccup today while they were installing my DSL - now if Earthlink will get me my modem...) I have almost a whole side of the kitchen clutter free - or at least as uncluttered as my kitchen ever gets. I was also amazingly productive today.

And E.Spat is here! And already we've eaten at McDonalds for lunch and had nachos and margaritas for dinner. I somehow sense that any weight I've lost over the summer might rapidly be regained.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Move From Hell: Update 4


Would you believe the air conditioner broke?

Luckily, it rained tonight, so it's much cooler than the approximately 12 degrees hotter than hell that it has been...

They estimate a couple of days to either get a new compressor or a whole new AC unit.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Move From Hell: Update 3


They must have read the previous post because the only thing (so far) that's turned up missing is the hardware to MY bed.

Most of the rest of the stuff is here (we have another small shipment showing up next week - thankfully almost all furniture). The last couple of days have been spent enjoying the packer's bad spelling/grammar (linnens, pantery, and plastic's are but a few examples) and their even worse sense of humor. Usually you can figure out what's in a box by what is written on the box - dishes, glassware, etc. In a pinch, you can narrow things down by where the box was packed - bedroom, kitchen, storage closet, etc.

Not so with our fine friends. I'd regale you with some of the strange places we've found some of our items packed, but Mr. Q informs me that it is time to get ready to go out to dinner.

Whe-woo! An evening away from the cardboard!

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Move From Hell: Update 2

Dear Moving Company,

When you tell us you will be delivering our household goods today, we were sort of under the impression you would arrive before lunchtime. After all, it took them 2 full days to pack it and load it onto the truck. While I applaud your general sense of optimism, don't you think that alloting 4 hours to unload, assemble furniture, and unpack the majority of the boxes might be cutting it a wee bit short?

Because if you think you are leaving me with an unassembled bed after a week of sleeping on a futon on the floor, YOU ARE SEVERELY MISTAKEN.

I will buy you pizza, but only because I think you will be better able to lift things like, say, the piano if you've conumed some calories. However, you'd better plan on being here late. And bring your own soda, because you can't have any of mine.

Just so you know.



The Move From Hell: An Update

Dear Verizon,

What kind of a company are you ass-monkeys running anyway?

Oddly enough, when you agree to have service set up for me on the 3rd of August, I expect the phone to actually work *ON* the 3rd of August. Do you see how Thursday, the 4th of August at 6 PM is not quite the same thing as Wednesday, the 3rd of August by 7 PM? Also, just so you know, normal people do not consider "before 7 PM" to be any sort of reasonable indicator as to when your technician might show up. And IF your technician is NOT able to make it, I think a call or at least an email might be in order. After all, I provided you with both my email address and cell phone number so you "could contact me to notify me of changes in my service." I don't consider that just to mean when YOU want to call to try to swindle more money out of me.

I know it's summer and I know this is "the busy season." But do you see how I just don't give a good God-damn about your internal staffing problems?

In summary, you suck.

Yours in hatred and general derision,