Monday, December 29, 2008

In retrospect...

No tagging here, I just thought this was entertaining.  =)

Where did you begin 2008?
At Christen's house in Portland, unsure of when it was exactly midnight because her cable had gone out and we had no antenna so we had no idea when the ball dropped.  We used our cell phones.  I then slept a few hours and hopped on a plane back to Boston.

What was your status by Valentine's Day?
Oh so very single.

Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Why yes, I think I was.

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Yes, for some random pain in my side that they thought was gallstones but turned out to be what I've decided to call the mysterious, unexplained pain that never returned.

Did you have any encounters with the police?
Not really, unless you count the ones in Boston holding up traffic so you can cross the street.

Where did you go on vacation?
I would count Bend, OR for Andi's wedding, it's outside of my usual part.

What did you purchase that cost $500 or more?
A new bed!

Did you know anybody who got married?
Quite a few people, actually.

Did you know anybody who passed away? cousin...

Did you move anywhere?
Yes, from part of Boston to a nearby suburb.

What sporting events did you attend?
Red Sox!

What concerts/shows did you go to?
Jason Mraz.  Three times.  Haha...

Where do you live now?
Near Boston.

Describe your birthday?
Vanessa and I had a "date" (dinner and a movie).

What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2008?
Look up a friend from my high school job at Circuit City on MySpace and contact him.

What has/have been your favorite moment(s)?
Finishing 1L year, starting my first internship, succeeding in said internship, being an LF.

What's something you learned about yourself?
I'm better off without him...

Any new additions to your family?
Not my immediate family

What was your best month?
They all had their ups and downs.

What music will you remember 2008 by?
Um, probably We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, for the most part.

Who has been your best drinking buddy?
Megan and Amanda

Made new friends?
Yes =)

Favorite Night[s] out?
Any time with Megan and Amanda.

Any regrets?
I don't regret anything.  I learn from it.

What do you want to change in 2009?
Nothing really.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
Good =)

What would you change about 2008?

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

Have any life changes in 2008?
Moved, need to sue someone, did my first internship...

Change your hairstyle?
Not really.

Get a new job?
New internships, but all related to my current employment status of "student" so not really.

How old did you turn this year?

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
Nope, I don't do those.

Did anything embarrassing?
I fell while running for the T.  Then wanted to punch the girl that had to say "you fell" in a snooty voice as I ran by after getting up.  She's lucky I caught that train.

Buy anything new from eBay?
Don't think so.  Craig's List though.

What was/were your favorite purchase[s]?
Bed, iPhone, iPod =)

Get married or divorced?

Get arrested?

Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
No, it hurts me.  I did watch "So You Think You Can Dance?" though.

Did you get sick this year?
Just a couple colds.  Aside from the mysterious, unexplained pain that never returned.

Start a new hobby?

Been snowboarding?

Are you happy to see 2008 go?
It wasn't that bad!  But I'm happy to be continuing through life.

Drank Starbucks in 2008?
Yes, I had some this morning.

Been naughty or nice?
Nice, generally ;)

What are you wishing for in 2009?
Get through most of the remainder of law school without losing my mind, get a post-graduation job offer so I can graduate in 2010 in peace.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

C'est francais!

Alright, so, I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'm working on my French again in preparation for my graduation trip to Paris.  London is included in that trip package, btw, but I don't need to learn a new language for that as long as I don't try to buy waterproof pants like my friend Liz did..."pants" means "underwear" over there, if you didn't already know.  Anywho, so during this week while my mom has been here, we keep ending up near people speaking French.  I keep picking up on it, probably due to a heightened awareness since I'm working on relearning it.

Anyway, on to tonight.  My mom and I were out for drinks for her last night here.  We've just paid the bill, and my mom ran to the bathroom while they were processing the card and all that jazz.  While she's gone, I discover that the table of 7 people that had recently been seated near us are all speaking French.  I'm guessing they're from Quebec since Massachusetts is rather close.  So, I'm listening, not catching much because I've forgotten a lot PLUS I've had two martinis.  That's not a TON of alcohol to me, but I was swaying a bit on the walk back to the train station.  I'm still having an interesting time typing right now.  I have to focus very hard to catch the typos.  I'm sure you can tell I'm a little unfocused since I seem to be going off on tangents instead of staying on topic.  Anywho.  My mom comes back and I whisper to her that they're speaking French and I want to say that I think it's funny since I keep encountering people doing that now that I've started relearning.  She says I should.  Being somewhere between tipsy and drunk, I do it.  But in French.  Here's roughly what I said.  (Translations as necessary.)

"Un moment...un moment.  (One moment.)  C'est interessant, parce que j'ai oublie un peu de mon français, mais je desire... (It's interesting, because I've forgotten a little of my French but I want...) to remember..." (at which point one of the women reminded me what it is, I believe she said souvenir, which is the verb for to remember)...

And then I finished in English by saying "and I keep ending up near people speaking French ever since I started working on it again."  My mom added some things in English about how we've ended up near people 3 or 4 times in the past week.  And then I said:

"Je desire visiter à Paris en......deux mille...dix.  (I want to visit Paris in......two thousand...ten).

One of the men then responded in French to tell me the dollar will be higher at that point (referring to the exchange rate, American dollar will be a little better, basically...).  Then I said goodbye and we left.

So, anyway.  It wasn't anything brilliant.  But I certainly feel that I'll be ready for my Paris trip when summer of 2010 rolls around.  They didn't want to kill me.  They didn't cringe at my accent (actually, I've known that won't be a problem ever since my 3rd year high school French teacher said I have a perfect accent).  They were accommodating when I got stuck and had to switch to English (granted, they were visiting my country so it's a little more acceptable to speak in my own language at that point).  They'll probably talk about it for the rest of the evening, but they were pleasant and happy to speak to me and that's what counts at this point.

And now, I feel the need to present you all with the lyrics to a song I wrote when I was still a music major back in my Sophomore year of college...before I switched to Sociology.  There's a long story you may never hear...

Dans mon jardin avec mes fleurs,  (In my garden with my flowers)
J'attends, j'attends.  (I wait, I wait.)
J'attends pour toi  (I wait for you)
Mais tu ne viens jamais.  (But you never come.)

Et tu mon ange?  (Are you my angel?)
Ou un mirage?  (Or a mirage?)
Les fleurs sont mort  (The flowers died)
Mais j'attends tojours.  (But I always wait.)
Et tu ne viens jamais.  (And you never come.)

Dans mon jardin avec mes fleurs  (In my garden with my flowers)
J'attends pour mon amour,  (I wait for my love)
Et il ne viens....
Jamais... (And he never comes...)

Pardon the translation there at the end, gramattically the "ne....jamais" around a verb means never.  Ne...pas just negates the verb, like, "je ne condius pas" means I don't drive.  And means not anymore.  There, I just taught you something.  Something rather advanced if you can't even conjugate the verbs in the first place, but there you have it.  =)

Alright, well, I know my mom and I were out for drinks which provides a bit of an excuse for being up late, but I should head off to bed now.  Goodnight all, and I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with laughter and love.  =)
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Monday, December 22, 2008

My Christmas Miracle

9:00 am, EST - My mother's plane from Portland International Airport (hereinafter "PDX") to Logan International Airport (hereinafter "BOS") was supposed to be arriving from Anchorage, AK  but got rerouted to wait in Seattle while PDX dealt with the runways so the plane could land there and then take its passengers to BOS.  We retain hope.  They're supposed to be on the plane by 8:30 am, PST, which would be 11:30 am, EST.

12:00 pm, EST - I'm about to head to lunch and haven't received the call I was waiting all morning for, telling me that they were getting on the plane.  I call my mom, she says the plane is still in Seattle and they're still working on the runways at PDX.  I get a little worried because she sounds worried and try to not cry into my chili at lunch since I'm in public and don't cry in front of people.  I get back to work at 12:30 and proceed to cry through the first hour of my afternoon alone in my office while begging whatever universal force is out there (the only way an Agnostic can pray) to just send her here.  I tell this universal force, again and again, that all I want is to be with my mom on Christmas, I could care less about the other shit.

1:30 pm, EST - I clean myself up because I have to go to a meeting with some attorneys at work.  I'm antsy through the whole meeting but still gave some rather useful input for the case we were dealing with, it was a nice break to think about something else and give my input in an important meeting and have the other attorneys say, "oh, yes, that's right, thank you."

3:10 pm, EST - I return to my office and there's a message from my mom telling me they finally started snowplowing the runways (what they were doing for the last 6 hours I'll never know) and they're supposed to be boarding by 12:30 pm PST (3:30 pm, EST, so basically 20 minutes after this call, so I'm figuring by 1 at this point).

6:15 pm, EST - I get home and find that I'd missed a call from my mom about 5 minutes before so I call her back and she tells me the plane is there and all they have to do is get the people off the plane (I'm assuming these are the people from Anchorage who waited in Seattle all day) and then they'll board and they'll be on the way to BOS.

6:45 pm, EST - My world crashes around me when I get another call from my mom telling me the flight was canceled.  I'm sobbing so hard I can't even understand what she's telling me when she's explaining why, eventually I discern that they apparently don't have a crew for the plane.  She says she's in the rebooking line, she'll tell me when she gets rebooked, and asks me to check online to see if I can find anything in the next couple days.  After I hang up, I'm sobbing so hard on my way up the stairs to my room that I sink to the floor about halfway up, hanging on the banister and screaming at the sky that all I wanted was to have my mom here for Christmas.  Eventually I get upstairs and get my computer and bring it back downstairs, sobbing the whole time, and sign on and try to check Alaska Air's website to see if I can find out any more information.  I talk with my friend Amanda and tell her they canceled the flight and Amanda assures me they will do something to get her here because the airlines try really hard around Christmas.  I try to be reassured by this and the sobbing at least reduces to just general crying.

7:05 pm, EST - My mom calls again.  I assume it's to tell me the rebooking information.  She sounds so excited when I pick up the phone I can barely tell what she's trying to say.  I finally understand that they reinstated the flight, that they talked the crew (or a crew, it's hard to tell) into flying the plane and that they're getting on the plane and she'll be here soon.  "Soon" meaning in about 5 hours because that's how long it takes to fly from PDX to BOS.  I start crying with relief and we hang up, with the assurance that she will not have to call me again until she is in Boston.  I tell Amanda it's all better.  I continue to cry, now with relief and utter joy, for the next 20 minutes or so.

I've dubbed this chain of events, mostly the moment at 7:05 pm, my own personal Christmas miracle.

I'm now going to calm down with some wine and get a bit of sleep while I wait for the call telling me she's here.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A challenge!

1. Pick 16 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions.


1. Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped.

2. The world changes, we do not, there lies the irony that finally kills us.

3. Lawyers should never marry other lawyers. This is called in-breeding; from which comes idiot children... and more lawyers.

4. But they showed no corrections of any kind. Not one. He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it as if he were just taking dictation. And music, finished as no music is ever finished. Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall.

5. With a prompter in every cellar window whispering comebacks, shy people would have the last laugh.

6. Lose it? I didn't lose it. It's not like, "Whoops! Where'd my job go?" I QUIT. Someone pass me the asparagus.

7. Your fuckin' family's dug into the Southie projects like ticks. Three-decker men at best. You, however, grew up on the North Shore, huh? Well, la-di-fuckin'-da. You were kind of a double kid, I bet, right? Huh? One kid with your old man, one kid with your mother. You're upper-middle class during the weeks, then you're droppin' your "R"s and you're hangin' in the big, bad Southie projects with your daddy, the fuckin' donkey on the weekends. I got that right? [No answer] Yup. You have different accents? You did, didn't you? You little fuckin' snake. You were like different people.

8. You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

9. Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

10. A - You got into Harvard Law? B - What, like it's hard?

11. I don't want something I need. I want something I want - something pretty.

12. A - One question about your business, boy, or there's no use going: This girl... how far are you willing to go to save her? B - I'd die for her. A - Oh good. No worries then.

13. She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.

14. A - What makes you think she's a witch? B - Well, she turned me into a newt! A - A newt? B - I got better...

15. Ma chère mademoiselle. It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents... your dinner.

16. You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true - anyone can cook... but only the fearless can be great.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

It just hurts me...

You all know how I am about spelling and grammar and typos.

Really, a single typo is generally fine, unless it's something that should have been thoroughly edited before going out.

Such as this:

Vanity Plates: Creepiness in 8 Characters or Less - I believe in a thing called SPELLING

Honestly.  It's one word.  On your license plate.  Make sure it's spelled right!  Or did you forget the old "I before E except after C..." bit?

*curls in a ball and whimpers for a bit*

Okay.  I think I've recovered.

This leads me to something I've been thinking about.  Why does this bother me so much?  I suppose it's because so many people don't even realize how unintelligent they look when they have constant spelling errors, poor sentence structure, or the wrong homonym (their, they're, there).  So, like I said, one typo is generally no big deal.  I suppose I draw the line between something that is clearly an honest mistake and something that just makes you look stupid.  It's not a bright line; if I know your writing and you rarely have errors, I'll shrug off the occasional mistake.  We all do it.  I actually edit every blog post to avoid being hypocritical by having errors of my own, but I do make them.  I've even caught myself doing the things I hate the most, like its vs. it's, or where and wear.  I laugh, then fix it.

The reason I hate when people actually cross the line and make themselves look stupid is because they could very well be highly intelligent and all the mistakes are hiding that fact.  With the internet allowing anyone and everyone a venue for proudly displaying their poor spelling and misplaced apostrophes, more and more people are looking dumber and dumber when in actuality they're not dumb at all.  So why do I care if someone else makes themselves look stupid?  Well, it's because they don't seem to care.  They don't seem to realize what it looks like to other people to have glaring errors in everything they ever write out.  Then they get angry and call you a "grammar Nazi" when you really just want to help them.  It's especially hard when the underlying thought process behind what they just wrote clearly shows that they are rather intelligent, and they're getting angry because you just want them to realize that their intelligence would come across much more clearly if they took a little time to check for errors.  Or took a little time to learn what is and is not correct, such as with commonly mixed-up homonyms.

So, there you have it.  For all my dear bloggy-friends, I hope this post sufficiently demonstrated that any typos you may make fall in the category of forgivable, honest mistakes.  I probably wouldn't read your blogs otherwise, it would be too hard.

In other news, I've discovered that just about every Christmas album has a version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Silent Night" on it.  It gets a little repetitive.

Well, I've been awake for two hours and I am still in my pajamas.  I'm off to remedy that, then wait for my new bed!  =)
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quiet! I can't hear the voices in my head!

It's weird to live in a townhouse where you pay rent so you feel like all your neighbors do too...until they start doing some random remodeling next door so the sound of drills and hammers interrupt your Christmas music. Because you just pay the owner of your one unit, so of course some people might just live in the place they own rather than rent it out. So of course they're allowed to do remodeling.

I was going to run some errands tomorrow, since it's only 28 degrees out right now and tomorrow it's supposed to be closer to 40. But I might need to escape the noise. *shrug* I have more time today anyway...maybe I should. I can enjoy my Christmas music on my iPod instead.

Speaking of which, yes, I still love my new toys. =) Jenn, in response to your question, the iPhone is fantastic. You asked about the Touch, which is different since it's not a phone and therefore isn't hooked up to the 3G network. But any of the applications you can get for the iPhone that don't require an internet connection work on the Touch, and they're a lot of fun. Lots of random games and stuff. And TONS of free applications. I'm actually kind of surprised at how many are free. And many others are only 99 cents. Anyway, if you were talking about upgrading your phone, you definitely should, and if you were talking about just upgrading to the iPod Touch, well, you should do that too. You'll love it, I promise. =)

As for my iPod...I am absolutely amazed at how long the battery lasts. I haven't charged it since I bought it on Sunday, I've listened to it on my way to and from work every day, and it's still about 1/2 full. Not only have I listened to it on my way to and from work, I've also listened to it a bit at home while cooking or cleaning. I would have charged that Zen twice by now.

Oh, and the new iPods (or at least the Nano) have this "genius" playlist thing. You select a song in your music, and tell genius to start, and it creates a playlist to match the song you selected. And it really does deserve the term "genius;" it is the smartest playlist creator I've ever seen. I've only created two lists so far, but all the songs that come up match the selected song REALLY well. The last one I did, I swear it didn't only match the artists, but also the overall tone of the song itself. So, when it was kind of a low-key song, it picked a bunch of other low-key tracks, rather than just going by artists that would match if it had just picked the right song. It's amazing.

Anywho, enough about my new toys. Work was exciting this week. I had a nice breakthrough in looking through some audit files (the collection of documents and charts and whatnot the auditors used in making their determination) on this one case. I'm starting to figure out what happened. Which is great, because it's a really complicated case. We need to do discovery (which, for you non-law people, means we need to get documents and stuff from the other party) but to do that we need to know what evidence will help us prove our case, so we need to know what's going on and what evidence we already have from the auditors. We also need to dismiss part of their claim, and I get to work on the motion to dismiss. That excites me to no end. All this background stuff like dismissals and settlements is the heart of civil litigation, very few cases actually end up at trial, so having the chance to work on this stuff makes me happy. And with how happy it makes me, that just validates the fact that I really, really do want to do civil litigation when I'm out of school.

Anyway, my other case has been in settlement negotiations on all but one of the issues, and they're just about to come to an agreement, when that happens I'll be writing up the settlement memo, which is basically the memo we send up to the big cheeses at the DOR to explain why we think we should settle on those issues and how much we're settling for and stuff.

AAAAAAND, that's as far as I can go in talking about work. But as you can see I was very careful to not mention the names of the companies.

Let's see, what else...oh, since I don't have any homework for the next few months, I'm starting to brush up on my French in anticipation of my graduation trip. Yes, it is brushing up. There was a time in my life when I was JUST on the edge of fluency...but then I stopped taking it because I went to college and it wasn't my major or my minor so I just took one semester to meet the foreign language requirement...then I graduated I'm in law school...anyway, it's been a long time since I actively worked on it, so I've lost a lot of what I used to know. I'm still pretty far beyond basic, but I'd prefer to be able to get along in Paris without needing to say "puis-je parler en anglais, s'il vous plaît?" (may I speak in English, please?) too often. Anyway, I found a podcast that got some good reviews, one of the reviews said it's not very good for "beginner-beginners" so I figured that means it won't annoy me by being overly basic. I've listened to the first two, both had at least one useful tip that I either forgot or never knew, so I'm happy with that. I also found an interesting website with some free worksheets to work on verb conjucation and stuff.

Well, I guess I should get to my errands. Until next time!

**Update: 9:15 pm, EST**

Home from my errands. Christmas shopping is almost done. I am done going to any mall-type places. Although I do still need to go to Target...that might be worse than the mall. But I have this great idea for Chris and Amanda and Target is really the best place to go. Anywho, my mom is done, as is Vanessa, and Megan, Christen and my dad are all online.

Anyway, the best part of the errands: I finally bought myself a new bed! Which I was supposed to do when I moved in September but it just wasn't quite going to happen. Got it at a HUGE sale at Sleep-a-rama (I think they're a Boston business, their website only has Boston and Cambridge locations). They have great customer service, by the way. Anywho, so I go in and I tell the guy that I'm looking for a queen size and I'd like to only spend $700, for delivery and all. He told me they had some specials going on, showed me what I could get for that, then left me alone to lay on all the beds until I decided. I figured the one I almost fell asleep on right there in the store was the one for me. So I'm checking out and the guy showed what the price was normally without the sale - $1200! So basically I just got a great mattress. Finally! I've never had a great mattress like that. Anyway, it's a plush top so it has the support underneath but the squishiness on the top so when I lay on my side (which is how I usually sleep) I won't scrunch my shoulders. And it's one of those with the separate springs that you see the commercials for, with the bowling ball. Beautyrest, I think. I didn't pay as much attention to the details, I just knew that I was falling asleep in the store. =)

So, that's my update on my successful errands. Hooray!
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just generally...

Work is going great, but I can't say much about it.  Lots of confidentiality.  Ya know, working for the Dept. of Revenue, access to people's tax stuff while it's in litigation, learning about things that big name companies have been doing...yadda yadda...

The movers I'm going to sue should have responded to the 30 day demand letter with a reasonable settlement offer by now.  They didn't, so this weekend I'm going to work on my complaint.

I passed the MPRE, so that's exciting.  Actually, I kicked its ass.  A passing score was an 85, I got a 107.  Go me!

OH!  Most exciting thing is the new toy I bought myself.  It's a phone.  Made by Apple.  With a fun touch screen and lots of cool applications to add (many are free, I'm discovering).  Yes.  That's right.  It's an iPhone.  =D  It's awfully distracting when I'm at work.  Or at home.  Or on the T.  lol.

Anywho, I also got a cute, little, purple iPod Nano.  Yes, I know the iPhone is also an iPod, but the biggest one is 16GB.  Considering I usually have about that much in music I want to take with me and then thinking about space for applications and the fact that the stuff that makes the phone work takes up space, so do contacts and text messages and ringtones...I couldn't see it working as more than just a backup iPod.  Vanessa has had an iPhone for a while now and she said the same thing.  I've also discovered since making the purchase that all the other stuff the phone does really drains the battery.  I'm sure it would start to annoy me if I had to charge it every day because I was not only doing phone stuff but listening to music too.  So anyway, I only got the 8GB phone to make up for the fact that I was getting an iPod too, and then got the 16GB cute little purple one.  Seriously, it's adorable.  And purple.  I love it.  (Did I mention that it's purple?  Have you figured out my favorite color yet?)

So, back to the actual reason I needed a new mp3 player of some sort.  My Zen (random mp3 player made by Creative) has been acting up for about a month and a half now.  Whenever I go to charge it, it only charges about halfway.  It can sit there for 6 hours, or all night, and still not get fully charged.  And the AC adaptor I'd had died over the summer so in order to leave it charging long enough to even get halfway I had to have it attached to my laptop, therefore leaving the laptop on and usually plugged in since I don't normally sit at the computer that long, therefore not only wasting electricity but also affecting the life of my laptop battery.  All signs point to not good.  So, I knew the time had come to replace it.  And after doing some price and quality comparisons I decided that iPods really are the best value.  So, there you have it.  I have converted.  And I'm quite happy with the battery life so far, much happier than I ever was with that Zen, even when it was new.

Aw...Severus just jumped in my lap and when I went to pet him I mis-timed my movement and hit him in the nose.  I must comfort the cat now.  I think that's all my news of the week anyway.
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Magical Land of NUSL

So, Bree has been rather confused by the way my school works. It's probably somewhat confusing for the rest of you too, since most of you probably expect classes to go from late summer or early fall to late spring or early summer with just a few breaks in between terms. My school is very different from any other law school. It's actually very different from any other university.

Because it's so unique, I may as well just say that I go to Northeastern University School of Law ("NUSL") in Boston, since it would be pretty easy to figure it out after learning how the program works. Just don't stalk me. ;)

Anyway, so, here's a general overview of how NUSL's program works. For your first year of law school, you're just like any other 1L. You start at the end of August, and your first semester is over in mid-December. Spring semester starts in early January and is over in mid-May. The only unique thing you get as a 1L is the LSSC program, which I've talked about before since I just spent my last term as a Lawyering Fellow in the program.

But then your second year starts. And it actually starts the summer right after your first year is done. The reason we're technically in school all year is because of the co-op program. What is co-op, you ask? Well, it's short for cooperative education, meaning that Northeastern University recognized a long time ago that people don't just learn from sitting in a classroom. The undergraduate school has had a co-op program for almost 100 years, and the students actually go to school for 5 years in order to give themselves time to get up to 18 months of full-time experience as an intern in an area of their choosing.

So, when the university added a law school 40 years ago, of course they couldn't abandon the importance of co-op. But how to implement it into a law school and still be ABA-accredited? The ABA has a lot of crazy rules, it's possible a 4-year program wouldn't fly with them, and then the school wouldn't get many students, and the ones that did attend could only sit for the bar in certain states, and the whole great idea of sending the students on co-op so they could get "experiential education" along with their classroom education wouldn't really do much. So, somehow the founders of the law school figured out that they could probably condense the classes for 2Ls and 3Ls (known as Upper Levels or ULs) into 11 weeks, rather than 15, and put the school on a quarter system for those students, rather than semesters like all the other law schools. And then, if they included summer in the school year, they could arrange the year so that every law student does four 11-week full-time internships before they graduate.

So, in order to make sure that every student gets an internship, they needed to balance out some of the competition, both among the students at NUSL and among NUSL students and the rest of the law schools. Fall, winter, and spring quarters are easy because all the other law students in the country are in school so there's only in-school competition. Summer is highly competitive because that's when all the other law students are really trying to get internships. Luckily, at most other law schools, many students don't get an internship the summer right after their first year. Also, there are more available internships in the summer. Plus, NUSL specifically prepares us for working at an internship during our first year which makes us slightly more desirable than 1Ls from other schools. So those various things balance out the competition in the summer. But then you still have to balance out the competition within the school. So, early in your first year you pick a co-op rotation. You either pick fall/spring, meaning you go on co-op during the fall and spring quarters, or you pick summer/winter, and go on co-op during those quarters. Then you are in class during the quarters when you're not on co-op.

Confused? Here's a visual of the UL calendar, with the two rotations side-by-side.

Summer Quarter
Fall Quarter
Winter Quarter
Spring Quarter



As you can see, this reduces the in-school competition so that you're only competing with half of your fellow students for your next co-op. And certain co-op employers prefer 2Ls, some prefer 3Ls. Some types of co-op, regardless of the employer preference, are better for first or second co-ops, and some are better for third or fourth co-ops when you've had more experience. So it's really pretty easy to get the internship you want in all terms besides summer.

Now that you know all that, you know what it means when I say I'm on the summer/winter rotation. And you all understand why my classes ended shortly before Thanksgiving and now I'm working for about 3 months. Anyway, the whole co-op program is why I wanted to come to NUSL in the first place. Not only having the opportunity to get not one, not two, but four full-time internships, but actually having those four internships be a requirement for graduation sounded great to me. That requirement means I actually have to look for internships, but it also means that the school is really helpful and makes sure you find an internship. They remind you of application deadlines, they have big mailing days when everyone turns in a set of application packets and they mail all your stuff where it needs to go, then they tell you if you got an interview, they filter all the interview offers once you have an internship all lined up so you're not the one that has to answer the phone and say, "oh, sorry, I already accepted a job."

So, there you go. That is why my school is fantastic.

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