December 8, 2009

last week of my first term

It's the last week of classes for my first term of law school. Last week, we wrapped up all the substantive material in our classes and read our last set of cases. This week, each of our professors is doing a review of all the material learned over the past 13 weeks. Then, next week, we have our FINAL EXAMS! I can't believe I'm almost done with my first term. It has flown by. I was just talking to JB today about how we both agree that law school is both very different and a lot more fun than we could have ever imagined.

So it's time to hunker down for the battles ahead and make sure we really know the material and can recite the "words of art" to show the profs our mastery of the law. It's incredible to think of how much time Matt, JB, and I spent in my living room, aka "the war room," studying this weekend alone. We just have to keep up the hard work for about 10 days and then we're free!...for two weeks :)

My living room: JB using my white board to outline some Constitutional law; Matt studying Torts (my kitchen table has been in the middle of the living room since midterms week)

I'm really excited to come home for the holidays. I didn't go home to Washington for Thanksgiving (first time I've ever had to make the decision to forego a holiday with my family) so that I would have enough time to get some much needed work done and start prepping for finals.

November 23, 2009

God made Louisiana

Excerpt from last night's Property reading:

I am in receipt of your letter of the fifth of this month inquiring as to the state of the title prior to the year 1803.
Please be advised that in the year 1803 the United States of America acquired the Territory of Louisiana from the Republic of France by purchase. The Republic of France previously acquired title from the Spanish Crown by conquest. Spain acquired title by virtue of the discoveries of one Christopher Columbus, a Genoese sailor who had been duly authorized to embark upon his voyage of discovery by Isabella, Queen of Spain. Before granting such authority, Isabella, a pious and cautious woman, obtained the sanction of His Holiness, the Pope. The Pope is the Vicar on earth of Jesus Christ, the only son and heir apparent of God. God made Louisiana."

This made my night. It's just too good.

October 30, 2009

sentence first...verdict afterwards

This year, I am dressing up as the Queen of Hearts for Halloween (see previous post "queen of hearts"). Here are some pictures I found while browsing for costuming inspiration. Little bit of the queen, little bit of Alice.

"Now, I give you fair warning, either you or your head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!"

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"

October 18, 2009

church shopping

Today, was my second time trying out a new church. I enjoyed it even more than the first time I went. I'm feeling really encouraged by the fact that I have quickly found a church that I feel comfortable at. I'm finding the sermons to be very personally inspirational and educational. And the music today was fantastic. Hopefully, I'll continue to like it more and more and I will want to settle at this church for the duration of my law school career.

Trying out new churches and hearing other people's perspectives on what they do or do not like about a particular church's sermon, music, doctrine, or overall style makes me truly appreciate how personal it is finding a church that "fits" and how challenging the church shopping process can be.

Today, the pastor started a sermon called "The Undead," which addresses big issues such as death, Heaven, and Hell, but more specifically: what happens to us after we die (depending on whether you're a believe or non-believer) and how we're to conduct ourselves during our lifetime. One thing that really spoke to me, even though I've heard it preached about many times in my life, was the discussion of salvation at the moment you accept Christ as your savior. In the past, I think I've had a hard time remedying the relationship between salvation given by Christ and how our deeds/acts/conduct as Christians affect salvation. Because if I'm saved what difference does it make if I sin or not? I'm saved, but I'm always going to sin due to my human (fallen) nature, and thus fall short of performance that would warrant my salvation.

The pastor cited the well-known verse, among many other passages throughout the sermon, John 3:16-18. "For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life....Whoever believes in Him is not condemned (judged)..." The pastor explained that judgment that was to be passed on us is whipped away at the moment that we accepted Christ as our savior. Only through my belief of Christ's sacrifice and belief in His existence, can I be saved and my condemnation spared. Once that moment of accepting my salvation through my belief in Christ has taken place, my salvation can never be stripped from me or whipped away from any reason. And actions alone can NEVER secure my redemption/salvation. However, the part that I hadn't remedied in mind is the idea of our acts as Christians. Basically, what I learned today is that we have salvation unconditionally at the moment we've asked for it, but what I believe about eternity should and will inevitably determine the way I live my life, even though the way I live my life will not change my salvation if I have received it.

When I ascend after death, my actions will be looked at, but only for the bestowing of a crown (apparently there's 5 different crowns...and I missed the sermon a couple months back teaching about them), rewarding my acts as a "good and faithful servant." I should desire to live in such a way that is pleasing to my Lord. The pastor spoke about this in the context of non-believers being judged before the Great White Throne (Revelations 20: 11-15) and believers coming before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Non-believers ("the dead") are judged in order to determine their fate in Hell (sorry no other way to put that gently) and believers appear before the judgment seat to receive what is due to him/her for the things they have done on Earth. So believers received a sort of reward or recognition for the good they have done in their life.

Bottome line: The good and bad we have done in our lives by no means affects the salvation we have been given through our belief in Christ Jesus, but our actions as believers should be affected and compelled by the fact that we're saved, know Jesus, and know about eternity. And I would add, that the love we receive in our hearts from Jesus should ultimately inspire our words and actions.

Hopefully, this makes the slightest bit of sense. My understanding of some of this stuff is new, but I just felt like sharing. So there you go.

If you're interested in listening to the sermon from today or any others given at this church the mp3 and video are on the homepage:

October 16, 2009

midterms: mission accomplished

I took my last midterm (in Criminal Law) this afternoon. I will never again, in my law school career, have to take another midterm. Woo hoo! All students have midterms in Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law during their first term. Surprisingly, surviving this week was not as terrible as I expected. I didn't lose too much sleep and my study groupers provided ample comic relief. I just can't believe I've completed my first series of law school exams.

Time seems to be flying by! We just completed our sixth week of classes. I'll be home visiting for Thanksgiving in one month. I booked my ticket home for the winter break, yesterday. And what's even more incredible is the amount of material that we've already learned and can just rattle off to one another. We actually sound like we might know what we're talking about. It's crazy to think that in two months we'll be taking our finals and our first term of law school will be done. Ok - that's enough for now. It's pretty easy to get overwhelmed with the prospect of finals.

Besides the conquering of midterms, life is so amazing and fantastic. I feel much more at home than I thought I would living in a new state and being so far away from family, and I know a HUGE part of that is the wonderful friends that I have made. My apartment is slowly starting to come together, one piece of furniture at a time. We actually moved my kitchen table into the living room this week so that we had plenty of surface space for each of us to be studying in the same area. We (Matt, JB, and I) were spread out amongst my desk, couch, and kitchen table, and we deemed the living room the "war room" for the duration of studying for midterms.

And I'm loving the beautiful fall season. I recently went around my neighborhood to take pictures of the school and capitol. The park across from my apartment had the most beautiful display of fall leaves. Here are some pictures from that recent "walk about."

park across the street

Cooley Center Building

Temple Building (part of Cooley)


fall foliage

fall foliage

fall foliage

fall foliage

October 12, 2009


this video sums up how my study group and i feel about studying for midterms.

"Is this real life?...Ahhhh....Is this going to be forever?"

October 2, 2009

queen of hearts

My friends have come to refer to me as the "Queen of Hearts" because in reading/discussing our cases, I have expressed some pretty strict ideas on punishment for criminals and tortious actors. They think I have a very "off with their heads" mentality. What can I say, I have the prosecutor perspective, rather than that of a defense attorney (*cough* Matt). It's actually really great that Matt and I have opposite views on things because that way we get a dynamic grasp on the issues by talking through our different take on things (example: why the Court impose one rule or standard vs another...last night, we had particularly good convos on the Courts' decisions on forcible rape and the resistance requirement).

In other news, it has been a splendid Friday indeed. Matt and I watched a couple episodes of TrueBlood, then we went to dinner with Sarah, Brennan, and their friend Patrick for some delicious Indian food. Now, for a bottle of wine and some more TrueBlood. Life is good. Classes are good. Next week (week 5), will make the 1/3 mark of our 1st term of law school. Week 6 we have midterms in Contracts, Crim Law, and Torts. Ahhh!

Oh also, last weekend, I bought a kitchen table w/ 4 chairs, a dresser, and a nightstand from Ikea. My hero, Matt, assembled most of the furniture for several hours while I assembled my nightstand (two movies and an episode of Project Runway worth of furniture assembling). I also bought a fabulous red couch, which is being delivered tomorrow. I'll post pics and/or video once I get the couch.

Happy Friday!

October 1, 2009

what gets us through the day

Here is one video that my friends and I watch on a daily basis when we hit that point when we need a good laugh after endless studying. Don't ask me why, but it is funny every time, without fail.

September 19, 2009

house of the living dead

Simply put, this week was rough....

Pre-rough-week stories:
Last week, after the first week of classes, ended in a perfect fashion. First, I met my next door neighbor, Matt, before Criminal Law Friday afternoon. Both of our apartments got buzzed, we opened our doors at the same time and walked over to the front entrance to figure out what was going on. Turns out it was a police officer responding to a call that someone's apartment was broken into (their window was open, someone they didn't know entered through that window, but apparently nothing was stolen). Fyi, we have additional security locks on our windows, at least on the ground/garden level, so that we can have our windows half way open, but then still have locks preventing someone from opening the window all the way open and entering illegally. I feel completely safe despite that little debacle. Plus, Matt is 6'6", so it's like having a body guard across the hall. We now say that "the law brought us together," in more ways than one.

Friday night, I went to the Cooley Honors Society's "Welcome Back to School" party at a local bar. Got to meet tons of cool 1Ls (first years), hang out at a fun VIP table, and dance to my heart's content. It was an incredibly fun night.

Saturday morning (9/12), Matt and I went furniture shopping for my apartment and I found the most beautiful desk, my second piece of furniture (woo hoo!). Later that day, Matt and I met up with our new friend, Jenn (who we call Jenn-Brittany or JB because of her deep longing as a child to be called Brittany), for dinner at the best dining venue of all time, Taco Bell, and then we went to a movie. We saw 500 Days of Summer and it was fantastic, so well done. Loved it.

Story time:
Then, we got back from the movie only to find that the ceiling in my dining nook was gushing water from a crack. There was water flowing onto the top of my fridge and then all over my precious hard wood floors. The water continued to geyser from the ceiling - panic ensued. I immediately called emergency maintenance while Matt and Jenn graciously mopped up my floor that had nearly become a kiddy pool. Thankfully the water tapered off and we waited for maintenance to arrive.

So because of an old pipe giving out above my apartment, the landlord instigated an overhaul of the aged plumbing. There was construction (tearing walls and ceilings apart) in both mine and Matt's apartment starting Tuesday morning and not ending til Firday night. It...was...miserable. Not only was the tearing apart of my apartment and turning off my water all day long for construction a huge imposition to me (I had become accustomed to doing all my homework in the comfort of my apartment), but they unexpectedly had to do work in Matt's apartment (my safe haven) too.

Fun fact: Our apartment building is really old and has lead-based paint under layers of new paint. When they sawed off pieces of wall, guess what was getting blown all over the apartment...lead paint dust particles. Certain things in my apartment were COVERED in this dust (including kitchen appliances). That stuff gets everywhere. I'm now officially paranoid that this fact will somehow be the death of me - death by lead poisoning (it may be irrational, but that's just how I roll).

Anyways, needless to say, neither of us were happy with the whole situation. We were also paying for the fact that we had chosen to have fun all weekend long before the week of classes. Construction + choice to have fun during the weekend = lack of sleep and overall grumpiness. Matt deemed us as the living dead.

By Friday (9/18), it was amazing we were still functioning enough to go to class. The silver lining in all this is that fact that Matt allowed me to invade his slightly more functional apartment for the duration. I was over there for everything except sleeping. I couldn't even shower at my own apartment. *Thanks, Matt, for letting me become your roommate for the week*

The construction is DONE! Hopefully, nothing else busts and I don't die of lead poisoning.

I'm feeling much more human after getting many, many hours of needed sleep last night.

And bonus, I just got the rest of my financial aid money directly deposited into my checking account, which means I can go buy more furniture for my place.

Side note - Two countdowns there are regularly taking place in my head are...
New Moon theatrical release: 62 days from today
Thanksgiving with family: 68 days from today

September 10, 2009

"skull full of mush"

Today, I had my first Contracts class and I was called on. Standing up in front of the whole class wasn't too scary. I just had to give my thoughts on a hypothetical in our book. So far this first week of classes has been smooth sailing. I'm 3 down, 1 to go. Tomorrow, I have Criminal Law. I'm really happy with the professors so far, and tomorrow should be any different. My "ambassador" from Cooley tells me good things about the prof I have for Crim Law.

Before I went to Contracts this afternoon, I couldn't help but to think of The Paper Chase. Thankfully, my class wasn't quite the same. The movie, made in the 70's, is about a first year student at Harvard Law. It particularly focuses on his Contracts class with the greatly feared Kingsfield. Not sure how many of you would enjoy it, but it's a classic and I found it to be entertaining and frightening. In honor of my Contracts class, I present you with a link for a clip from the movie.

September 6, 2009

Good bye Seattle, Hello Lansing

I made it! I can't believe I'm actually in Michigan FOR law school. I never could have imagined what God had in store for my life. His plans are always greater than our own. Never, would I have imagined myself going to Michigan to pursue my dream of law school. But now that I'm here, everything seems to have clicked right into place. I have a wonderful apartment across from a lovely park with a fountain that sparkles pretty colors at night, and I really like the school's facility and the way they've taken care of the incoming students during orientation. Now, I just need some more furniture. I have literally been living on my sole piece of furniture, my bed. It's where I sleep, eat, study, and attempt to talk on the phone (spotty service in my bedroom).

The road to Lansing:

I wanted to blog along our journey from WA to MI, but internet service wasn't readily available, plus I was completely beat whenever we called it quits for the day. I never thought sitting in the same confined space for 10 hours a day could be so physically painful and exhausting. BUT, I had the time of my life, and that's because my best friend and sister, Jenna agreed to tag along and share in the driving duties. I'd already done the drive with her from CA to WA twice, so I guess she sort of owed me. Although this roadtrip was a beast compared to that drive. We entertained ourselves as we always do on our roadtrips together....make videos that are ridiculous and funny (probably only to us).

Day 1 we drove from Puyallup, WA to Butte, MT ("That's BUTT with an E").

my car was completely packed!

Day 2 (Jenna's 20th Birthday!) we drove from Butte, with a pit stop in Billings, MT to have some Red Robin for lunch...a sad excuse for a birthday celebration, through Wyoming, and stopped in Rapid City, SD (20 miles outside of Keystone, SD/Mt. Rushmore). Man! Montana was the state that just wouldn't end.

*fabulous coffee suggestion from Noel: iced, non-fat, toffee nut latte, with caramel drizzle*
we hit a Starbucks at least once a day, in almost every state we passed through

Day 3 we started with a morning visit to Mt. Rushmore. This day was BY FAR my favorite day (and Jen's too). From Rapid City to Keystone you drive on Highway 16 and it is a strip of Roadtrip USA things to do. We wished we had the time to stop and visit all of the interesting attractions: Reptile Gardens, Petting Farm, Cosmos (mystery mysterious, we didn't know what it even was), Bear Country USA, 99 cent Cowboy pancakes, etc. It all looked like so much fun! We quickly popped into a store called Christmas Village and got some Mt. Rushmore Christmas ornaments. And then, before driving the last stretch of highway to Mt. Rushmore, we stopped in Keystone. Cool town. I felt like we were in the Frontierland section of Disneyland. Very cowboys and indians. Jenna got her first pair of Minnetonka moccassins. We also made an obligatory purchase of $3 trucker hats with ridiculous captions. When in SD...... Mt. Rushmore was amazing! I'm so glad that we got to stop there. Hard to believe what was made out of the side of some mountains. After reluctantly hitting the road, we made our way through the rest of SD and we PUSHED through Minnesota before finally stopping in La Cross, WI (Right at the MN/WI border on the Mississippi River). I couldn't believe we were able to cross all of MN in the course of an evening.

trucker chic

Mt. Rushmore!

Avenue of Flags at Mt. Rushmore

Day 4 we drove the FINAL miles to Lansing, MI. Driving through WI was beautiful. Finally, some different terrain other than flat lands consisting of agriculture and very little civilization. We also drove through Chicago (note to self: never drive to Chicago again, instead take the train), hit a million tolls in IL, and unexpectedly spent an hour or so crossing northern Indiana. Arriving at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing, where I had stayed during my visit for orientation in June, was like reaching an oasis. Guaranteed amazing beds, familiar surroundings, no more thousands of miles to drive...we were in heaven. End of roadtrip.

The next day, I moved into my apartment at 9 am. The rest of the day was spent unpacking, shopping for supplies, showing Jen the bits of Lansing I knew how to navigate to, and dinner+movie on my living room floor. Jenna: "It's like we're newlyweds on our first night in our new apartment."---Thanks, Jen (Bale). You made this whole experience wonderfully memorable.


I've been living in my new apartment for one and a half weeks. I got to have dinner at the parents' house of my new friend, Sarah, which was fabulous. I attended two more afternoons of orientation. Thursday (9/3) was convocation where we took an oath, before a judge, to not "lie, cheat, steal, or plagiarize," nor tolerate "anyone who lies, cheats, steals, or plagiarizes." Friday (9/4) was a State Bar of Michigan event where we discussed professional problems in small groups with our fellow students and local lawyers and judges. Tonight, I just finished my first set of case briefs on Property Law for my first day of class (Tuesday, 9/8). I still have three classes' cases I need to read and brief for my first week. Thank goodness tomorrow is a holiday, although I won't have classes on Mondays this term anyways :) I can't wait to see what classes are like.

July 21, 2009

life and law school

I’ve always wanted to keep a general blog about what’s going on in my life, and I feel like now is the perfect time to start. I’m moving to Lansing, Michigan at the end of August to attend Thomas M. Cooley Law School, so I thought that this would be a great way for my family and friends to be in the loop once I’m away.

We’ll see how well I can keep it up. I know I’m in for quite a busy time at law school. I already feel so busy and I’m not even back in school yet.

Right now, I’m wrapping up my job in Seattle. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working at a law firm, Stokes Lawrence, in downtown Seattle for the past ten months in the administrative services department (before that I was working part time as a paralegal at a different law firm in Puyallup while completing a paralegal program at TCC). I have loved getting to work at this firm. The people here make up such a special community, and I’ve learned so much...about different areas of law, my interests, and my goals. It’s kind of sad and scary to leave, but I know really exciting things are ahead.

It’s also time to pack up my apartment in the U District- YUCK! Who doesn’t hate moving, seriously. So between wrapping up my work, packing, trying to see friends before I leave Seattle, spending time with family in Puyallup, closing out various cable and electric bills, trying to get in time at the lake on the weekends, and whatever has felt pretty busy lately.

I also went to Lansing, MI to attend Cooley’s new student orientation in June. I had a blast! Things could not have gone any smoother. I took a red eye flight to Lansing, arrived early in the morning the day before orientation started, got some sleep, worked on some assigned case briefing, and then met up with my assigned mentor/ambassador, Patrick (2 year student), for a tour of the school and its surroundings. Not everyone in our group came on the tour, since it was just an offer of Patrick’s to show us around before all the official festivities, but in the group of people who did come I met a fellow Seattleite. The next day, the first of three, orientation started. There, I met a bunch more people, and had a group of friends that I ended up hanging out with the rest of the time. It was a lot of fun. I even made friends with a girl who is from Lansing and she’s going to show me around when I get back for school.

Everything about orientation was great. We had lots of sessions on various topics regarding time management, financial management for all those loans we’re sure to accumulate, legal analysis for briefing cases and writing essays for our exams, etc. We even had our first Socratic lecture with a Torts professor on the last day. It was extremely terrifying, but great at the same time. I was used as an example of the professor committing (or not committing, that was the question) battery against me...she was totally guilty. The school did a great job of touching on lots of important information and introducing us to several staff members and current students. I feel like all my questions were answered, my nerves are settled, and I’m ready to head back with confidence. However, I still have a healthy fear and a realistic belief that this will be HARD. One other thing the school did for us was host a housing fair and I found the perfect apartment just around the corner from the school (literally, it’s on the same block). I’m set!

I’m leaving August 23rd to drive to Lansing and classes start September 8th. So follow me as I venture into this new chapter of my life and blog about law school and anything else that comes along.

Thanks to everyone that has given me support and encouragement! You've help make following my dream of attending law school possible.

capital building in Lansing, MI