Just over 2 weeks (and another year) left!

So last night my wife, who might be counting down to the end of law school more intensely than I, did the math and advised me that as of this wednesday there are only 2 weeks left in this summer schedule, then a final exam of course.

Although this is exciting, for the time being, I still have 2 fairly full semesters left in my law school career.

Positives: This fall I’m only taking “classes that matter.”

Negatives: It’s still another year of working part-time and parenting part-time.

My classes for the fall include:

Criminal Practice Clinic, which basically means going and being a public defender 2 days/week- Under rule 16 in Maryland I will actually be an attorney within the confines of this program.

Maryland Criminal Practice- If this isn’t an extension of the previous, I don’t know what is.

Trial Advocacy- I already spoke to the professor. There is a book of fact patterns, we break out and do direct and cross examinations, then we critique and move onto the next.

Maryland Civil Procedure- This may not be exciting, but its the backbone of what I do day to day in my real job. Somewhat important.

Advanced Legal Research- I will independently, with an advisor, write a 20-25 page law review type comment. I’ve already begun work on this

I will also take part in the ABA Labor & Employment trial team again.

Should be an incredibly busy schedule, but it sets me up to only need 11 credits in the spring. Since I can get credit for the ABA labor & employment trial team, I may bump the ALR to the spring, and really only need to take 9 classroom credits, but if I do this I will have 2 writing classes to take in the spring. These 2 writing classes are all I have left in my “required courses”

Should be a busy, but rewarding fall…and a somewhat more laid back spring, then….bar prep!

My Free Law Library or why its sometimes good to lose

So today I happened across an entirely free law library. I know you’re probably thinking “everything is on lexis or west, who reads books?” and you’d be right, but books are cool. At least, to me–and now you’ve stopped reading!

For those of you who are like minded, and appreciate books, you’ll get it. To a lawyer, or future lawyer like me, books are gold. Even if you get the same info in on the web and never open the books, just having them makes you feel warm inside. When I say that I now have an entire law library, I mean it:

This is half of my new law library

 

This is the first trip, about half. This is an entirely FULL Honda Crosstour, with seats down, and the front seat full to the brim!

I’m talking open the door and books fall out full. Wowza!

 

So how the hell did I get these books? Yes, the purpose of the post, almost revealed…..

Several months ago a Baltimore Chiropractor friend of mine (yeah, why not give a free back link?) told me about a building around the corner from his office that was for sale. He told me it would be a great location to open a law practice. I reminded him that I still had about 18 months of law school left, then the bar, then I’d be a lawyer….Lets not count chickens yet. He convinced me to take a look. The building was of a retired lawyer, who apparently had either shut his practice down, or whatever–he wasnt practicing any longer. He had volumes and volumes of books. Everything a lawyer could imagine, replace your relevant state with Maryland, all the federal stuff, TONS of CLE documentation, even though Maryland doesnt require CLE, there used to be a thing called MICPEL that put on CLE courses on a ton of subjects.

I was giddy as shit when I saw this building, it was a law office, so clearly it would be perfect as a law office. Still we run into the problem…..I’m not a lawyer yet!

So…we convince my boss, who runs a large volume Baltimore Auto Accident Lawyer (ooh shit, another backlink??) that if we bought the property that we’d move the office there. Easy enough, right? Well the day that we put an offer in on the building, we learn its under contract. Shit on me, too little, too late!

Oh well, it wasn’t the best plan anyway, but it would burn me up to find out that another lawyer bought it.

For the next few weeks I continually check the SDAT recordings to find out who bought the building…two months go buy, and I think its been way too long, so I google the property. Lo and behold, its now up for auction. Whomever bought the property in the first place, apparently couldn’t use it for their intended purpose, and now its up for auction. So of course we go to the auction.

Without going into the details and the snafu that was the auction (the auctioneers could not and would not confirm whether or not the entire parking area conveyed with the property, which was a dealbreaker) we did not win the auction.

I told my chiropractor colleague, who walks by this building almost every day, to pay attention to the property. The guy who won the auction looked like a contractor, and I’d put good money on him eventually cleaning the place out and throwing out the books.

This happened today, and of course my boy clued me in on the ability to move in, and help out the guys who were getting rid of everything.

Now a 3rd year law student has an entire law library, primarily due to losing an auction!

 

Uh oh!

So, I’ve learned a lesson that I knew from the past…iPhones are glass. Glass breaks, especially when you throw it.

So, learn a lesson from me, and don’t throw your iPhone…otherwise this might happen:

 

Ouch! It's time for a new phone

 

So due to the “trauma” that i put my old iPhone through, I got one of the new ones…new for now, because I’m sure tomorrow Apple will announce their next iPhone.

Anyway, my main concern with this phone in general has been the battery life. I’ve now learned how to remedy some of this situation, and mitigate the battery loss. What I’ve always known is that all apps/programs/whatever that you run on your phone continue to run “in the background” and essentially suck up battery life.

I’m sure that anyone reading this already knows it, but if you double tap the home button you get the list of running/recent apps. you can scroll though this list, and hold one in(like you would to delete it) and it’ll start shaking, and you can now select apps to turn off!

I’m going to keep everything turned off that I’m not readily using, and hopefully this will save some battery life, so I’m not at 10% left at about 5pm every day!

Spam filter initiated…commenting might be possible soon!

So I haven’t paid much attention to the comments that have been left on this blog since its inception. Mostly because they are almost all spam! There are currently 10,019 unapproved comments awaiting my auditing….I would venture a guess that perhaps less than 5 of them are legitimate. I have been told that people read this blog, real people. In fact, some people have found my you tube videos and thanked me for teaching them civil procedure….good thing someone learned something from those videos!

Anyway, this spam filter is supposed to automatically delete the robot spam crap, and i’ll actually be able to view and approve real comments. So if you have something to say about something that I have to say, say it!

From to classroom to the courtroom

This summer is a bit different of a summer for me, as far as classes are going. I am in the home stretch, this summer and 2 more semesters to go, then I should be finished with law school (whew!).

Last summer I took 2 classroom lecture style classes, this summer is a bit different. I am taking a classroom lecture style class, constitutional criminal procedure 1, and I am also taking a for-credit internship at the office of the public defender in Cecil County. I may have mentioned this previously, as for 2 days/week the 12 minute commute is incredibly relaxing compared to my normal hour+ commute to the city for work and/or school.

The semester is more than just a quick commute 2 days a week—I’m actually learning real life application of the law. Perhaps I am taking the perfect combination of “classes” by learning about constitutional criminal law issues and applying them in a corresponding internship. It could be, also, the the con crim pro 1 class is probably the “closest to the action” as any other course I’ve taken in the first 2 years of my law school career. Sure, most courses tackled issues that are real, but still somewhat at arm’s length. Here, I’m meeting clients who are dealing with situations in the internship that I’ve learned about, or will learn about in the class. Hearing comments and conversation from lawyers in the OPD office about things like “wing span” and then 2 weeks later learn about the relevance of what the “wing span” argument is for what police officers can and cannot search subsequent to a legal arrest.

Not only is this perhaps the perfect summer combination of courses, but it also serves as a good “priming of the pump” so to speak for my fall semester, when I will be involved in the rule 16 attorney practice clinic program, also at the public defender’s office.

Good times, and looking forward to rounding out the last year of law school, and of course taking the bar next July!

Phones, Cars, Trash….

Like most professionals, at least most young to middle aged professionals, I use my phone a lot for work. E-mail, calls, etc. My office is very client centered, so when I leave the office I hit a button that forwards my extension to my cell phone. My wife doesn’t necessarily like it, but for me it works. I also screw around on my phone, and this contributes to killing the battery life quickly.

 

Usually by 4pm my iPhone 4s is nearing the 20% battery mark. I charge the phone every night, and for some strange reason it only works on one charger, plugged into one plug in my house. This prevents me from taking another charger to work, or using one in the car. However, I have a solution that may help solve this problem, as well as other problems.

New cars who are outfitted for satellite radio should be phones, too. Yes- I mean this. In theory this may sound useless, but I think it would solve a lot of problems. I have an hour or more commute each day. I use my commute into the office to call insurance adjusters, doctors, therapists, etc. I use my evening commute home to call clients and follow up with them. I am always talking calls as the phone rings. If my car were a cell phone, too–and what I means is that I get into the car, pop out my sim from my iPhone and pop it into a slot on the car, I am now making calls that should be clear as the car is outfitted with a satellite antenna, and my phone is off, thus preserving battery life.

Why would anyone do this? Well, I’ve also come up with an interesting safety/public policy reason for this. I must be through 2 years of law school to be looking at things this big picture. However, think about this: there is a HUGE issue in our country, at least in the metropolises, with people texting while driving. My phone has text capabilities. If my car were to be a phone, it wouldn’t. It could have software that automatically shoots back a text that says caller is connected to his car, your text will be delivered when sim is placed back into phone, or something like that.

I’m sick of dealing with overpriced plans, and over priced phones for sub-par service. I drop no less than 8 calls per day. My battery is dead by the time I am driving home, unless I am lucky. It’s dead by 3pm if i decide to sling birds at pigs–but here enters the assumption of risk defense.

I pay $28 every month to have a private company come to my curb weekly and take away my trash. I pay $178 every month to have AT&T deliver the trash they call service to my and my wife’s iPhones. I’m sick of it. P.S. Don’t think this is a direct dig on AT&T. If I thought any other company gave a damn enough to provide solid, decent service, I’d have switched to them months ago.

 

Year 2: nearly complete

Its been a crazy year, I mean absolutely insane.

I have, on a variety of fronts, completely overloaded myself with life, school, work, etc.

Now, I am about a week away from finals at the end of my second year of law school.

 

There is hope…however.

 

Things change a little in the semesters to follow.

This summer, I am taking just one class (its like a vacation) and I have an internship 2 days a week only 10 minutes from my house(yay less driving!).

My hope is to learn a lot working in the Public Defender’s office in Cecil County.

Then–in the fall, I will be a part of the Criminal Practice Clinic at UB. Which means I will actually be practicing law under the supervision of the public defender. Tremendous–I cannot wait.

Things at my office are solidifying, clicking into place, and starting to be much more consistent. We’ve gotten some serious cases recently, and those should be incredibly fruitful in the next year or so.

Maryland bar results are released next friday. I am looking forward to the results, as my colleague PJ, a Pennsylvania Lawyer, recently took it and awaits the results.

 

I need a break. I need to go to Disney World or something like that.

 

 

Spring Break and summer “vacation”

I’m taking a vacation this summer!

Not really….However, I am taking one classroom class (Constitutional Criminal Procedure 1) and doing a summer internship at the Office of the Public Defender in Cecil County.

Why am I calling this a vacation?

1) Taking only one class means only thinking along one doctrinal line….right now I am taking 5 classes and thinking about 5 different things at any given time.

2) The internship is local: Right now I drive into Baltimore from my home 5 days most weeks. This summer I will only be driving in 3 days for week. This is a big break.

3) I am also beginning my “clone myself” process, hopefully in the next few weeks. My valued assistant at work, who left a few months ago, is likely returning. My goal is to train her to replace me, once I am a lawyer. My schedule this semester has created a significant disconnect between me and the office. Essentially, I’m only in the office 2 and a half days per week, I really have no idea what is going on day to day. When I serve as the “office manager” this is a big deal, negatively. My hope is to train a new office manager. One that I know well, trust, and will kick ass and take over for me.

We are working hard to create significantly streamlined systems in the office, and we are getting very close.

There are a few pieces of the puzzle that are missing, some of which we are working to fill and solidify.

A lot of this should get ironed out over the next week, during my spring break. I’ll be spending much more time in the office.

 

 

Looks what Sandy left in my path

Here’s a fun one… Due to hurricane Sandy, I had to take a few days off of my running regimen. I recently found a trail near my house that I have been running on. It provides a “less boring” experience than running on the road, or in circles, or on a treadmill. It is suspected by most, if not all, who know me, that I may suffer from some attention deficit disorder, so this is a good thing for me. Scenery, music, and structure help with doing pretty much anything. So earlier this week I got “back on track” or trail if you will when it comes to the running, only to find this fun little gem in my path:

Well, I can’t say that was inserted or uploaded quite as I had intended, so I suppose you’ll have to turn your head to see the full image.

Fun times, but it hasn’t gotten in my way.

I am interested to see how long this stays there…..I may not even still live here when/if it is removed!