Law School Doesn’t care that your broke: Basic Tips for getting through those 0L expenses

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks. Life and moving preparations have gotten in the way of my blogger dreams.

In the midst of all these preparations I’ve realized (even more so) the title of this post-“Law School doesn’t care that I’m broke”. If I estimate the total cost of applications, transcripts, seat deposits, housing deposit, and first months rent, moving expenses (etc.) I think I’ve spent (or am going to spend in the next 30 days) almost $3000…three-thousand-dollars…and that’s just in the last few months. I knew law school would be expensive, but no one ever tells you it starts BEFORE you even get to take a class. For those stable adults with full time jobs who have decided to go back to school to get their JD or those trust fund babies who have handbags worth more than that, I’m sure it’s not as big of a deal.

But for a new college grad who isn’t working…

nervous laughter

lets just say I owe it to God for making it all possible.

Since I don’t think there’s enough advice or posts about expenses as a “0L” here’s a few basic financial tips for those thinking of applying to law school!

Here we Go…

Continue reading

Kristin Does [0L Prep-MINI Update]

I’m still getting through Getting to Maybe. I’ve been kind of distracted but time’s winding down and I’ve been working harder on getting through it this week so I can get to the next book.

Hopefully I’ll finish by this weekend and and I can do a real update on some of the things I’m learning. I haven’t finished and I haven’t started law school, but I’ve gotta say it feels like it is helping me a lot. I’m already understanding how I should be thinking, and it’s helped me to think about and plan how I’ll take notes and what I should focus on. Additionally through the various examples explaining techniques I’ve also  learned a couple things about the law! Nothing extensive, but some points in major cases that everyone learns about first year so that’s also a benefit.

It’s 15 chapters, and each chapter has like 4 parts to it so it’s a lot to get through but I’m definitely feeling like it’s worth it. Look out for a ‘for real’ update next week and I’ll talk about some of the major points in the book.

P.S. If you’re looking for the book, it was pretty easy for me to find it online, but if you can’t, I’m going to add a “contact form” page this week and if you fill it out I’ll email it to you or send you a link to where I found it (some schools/professors have posted it so definitely all safe sites).

Law School Worries: 1L 15?

You know that whole rumor about people going to college and gaining the “freshman 15”?

Well…it’s not a rumor.

I’m those people…and shameful to say, it actually turned out to be more like a freshman 30 and it didnt take freshman year, it only took the first semester.

It’s pretty common, you go from having your meals cooked or decided for you by your parents to fending for youself. Cooking for yourself, choosing your own meals, staying up however late and being in dorms makes it no easier. Hanging out in the lounge till 2am, what else are you going to do but have midnight snacks? Cafeteria food not looking good today? Burger, pizza, or burrito (my weakness) it is!

Especially when your like me and you came from a house where you never had as much access to all these things. I grew up eating chex and kix, takeout/fastfood was a treat, and buying anything beyond water,icetea or fruit juice meant it was probably a special occasion (party, bbq etc.).

So when I say I went wild, I WENT WILD. I discovered the gloriousness that is Ben&Jerrys, probably had fast food for at least 1 meal 5 times a week,  drank all the soda, starbucks, and energy drinks I wanted, it was a lot of unhealthy madness.

Freshman Year’s motto

After first semester I tried a little harder to watch all the junk food but I fluctuated a lot, losing some, gaining some, losing some gaining some.

An annoying cycle…BUT

Junior year I got it together!

I worked hard, I ate good, and it paid off. I lost 40lbs (and kept it off)! I was even pretty close to some abs coming in before I moved back in January.

However, as I’ve said in a previous post the last 6 months of my life have mainly been like

couch potato status

so I feel like I’ve lost my fitness drive and I really need to get back to it. I don’t want to get so overwhelmed with law school that I forget to take care of myself. With the amount of work and studying I’ll be doing it’s easy to fall into a habit of takeout or frozen dinners every night, along with energy drink induced all nighters.

If I’m going to get back in the groove of regularly working out and getting on that Jada Pinkett status (because how is it legal to look that good? and at 43!) I’ve got to start now.

I’ve just got to get my motivation back…

Surprisingly a lot of the 1L advice post I’ve read (links here) have stressed the importance of exercise. Not only is it good for your overall health, but it’s good for your brain, it keeps you energized and keeps those endorphins up to fend off that ever present law school depression. And as cliche as it is to say, when you eat good you feel good. And when you feel good the studying will probably be a lot easier.

On the one hand it wont be the same as Freshman year. I’ve been on my own, I’m a pretty good (nearing ridiculously awesome) cook and I’ve made exercising a regular part of my life before. On the other hand, it’s the getting back to it that takes all the work. I’m hoping blogging about it will force me to be a little more accountable, because if it’s up to me to make myself go workout I’d rather play sims all day, but if I blog about it don’t I actually have to do it? haha

I think I might do an ab or leg challenge for the month of July so I may post a general plan or inspiration (once I get some).

But in the mean time, any tips for getting motivated? How do you do it? Let me know! I need hellpp

currently

.

Let Me Tell You a Secret

Secret timmeee

I wasn’t a Polisci major all 4 years in college. I actually went in as a Biology major and Political Science minor.

okay okay…it’s not really a secret

From the 3rd grade on I was absolutely sure I wanted to be a pediatric surgeon. I wanted to specialize in transplants, and later be part of Doctors Without Borders traveling the world and saving the lives of those who couldn’t afford it. I’ve always wanted to help people, and I’ve always been interested in the body. And even as I got older it stuck. I used to watch discovery health religiously. Twins getting separated, moms giving birth, transplant stories… back when they used to have the crazy real life graphic stuff.

I was (and still kind of am) really in love with science.

Then in middle school when I first got my interest in political science I decided I would still be a surgeon but retire by 40/50 and be a politician. I was so sure I was going to be a pediatric surgeon that pretty much everything, including even going to a Medical Magnet high school surrounded the idea of becoming a surgeon.

14 years later… I’m on my way to law school and A LOT in my life plan has changed. If 8 year old, or even 17 year old college freshman Kristin could see me now, she’d be pretty confused.

Continue reading

My Light Will Not Be Extinguished

rage

Every Month, Every Week, Every Day…a new hashtag, a new tragedy, a new death.

When you have to fear for your life, even in a place of worship (and there was a second church shooting in Memphis today, probably because someone has idolized the Charleston attack), it’s hard to go about your life without being in a constant state of fear.

Fear that the next hashtag will be your mother, your father, your brothers, your sisters…YOU.

Sometimes I’m filled with rage…

I think, will it ever end? How much pain, and oppression must we endure?

Sometimes…I can’t breathe and I can’t focus and it seems like there’s no hope. It’s hard to do anything but think about all of the injustice. Not only in America, and not only to black people but to people of color all over the world. Palestine, the Dominican Republic..there is injustice and oppression everywhere.

I can’t let it kill my drive though.

It is things like this that push me further and deepen my passion for law and becoming a person who causes and contributes to change. Change in the system, change in our communities, and overall change in our society.

I will not let my light be extinguished.

I will work to use every opportunity God gives me to contribute to changing this ugly world.

-Kristin

Kristin Does [0L Prep]-Goals

and now the moment you’ve all be waiting for

First, there are 2 types of prep, General Prep and Substantive Prep.

General Prep consist of things like learning how to brief cases, learning the basics of issue spotting, learning the process of outlining (and how best to outline specifically in relation to law school exams), learning how to read opinions (or getting used to reading opinions), or any law school exam test taking prep/studying tips. The idea of general prep is working to build a really great foundation that you can further build on throughout the semester. It should help you structure your studying from the very beginning, as well as give you a good idea of what you should be focusing on during class and as you read cases. It should also give you tools and tips to make “thinking like a lawyer” and legal analysis come easier. Additionally my version of general prep will help me begin the basics of learning how to write like a lawyer.

Substantive prep is actually getting into the law and beginning to learn the basics of all the classes (or the hardest classes) 1Ls typically take (such as torts, property, or constitutional law). Some people do this by reading Explanations & Examples (E&Es) books or Hornbooks (which are somewhat like the law school version of “sparknotes”) on these different subjects. The idea of substantive prep is that you try to grasp some of the basic legal concepts before you officially start school, which could make class easier to understand and take away some of the learning curve to also contribute to structuring your studying and helping you understand cases and hypotheticals better.

My focus is going to be on general prep because I personally don’t think substantive prep is necessary or significantly helpful.

Continue reading