My Personal Dna Report
The idea of a combined Google/Amazon or Googlezon might be a great combination to consumers. We could get the best of product delivery and online service. However, I've noticed that especially in Amazon's case bigger is not necessarily better. I kind of wish that they had narrowed their focus and increased their quality. A combination of Google and Amazon, or even an expansion of Google could bring out all sorts of quality and antitrust issues. There is also the issue of Google's awesome data reserves which are increasingly become a hot commodity. So much so that Google's data is now considered a national security issue, not to mention a privacy issue.
Other companies are trying to copy Google products and ideas in order to take back market share. Take Yahoo's attempt to release their own form of YouTube for example. One thing that I wish the Time Warners and Verizons of the world would copy off of Google is its corporate mentality and the way they treat their workers. I have friends who work for Google and I know that they really take care of their employees. They don't skimp on their employee benefits and it shows. They generally have happy and content workers which as a result have the freedom to feel creative and secure in their jobs.
I don't think that Google is too powerful, but I hope that regardless of how big they get they hold true to their ideals and create products which are genuinely useful and simple to use, created by workers who are creative and well treated.
150 things to do in your life
I don't where this started originally, but I got it off of Legally Blonde in London. Now there is a girl who reminds me of myself sometimes.
Items in bold I've done, items in italics I'd like to do. The rest, meh.
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Gone for a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery (not voluntarily)
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds (if you count the same pounds lost over and over I'd be there)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
8. UC Berkeley
28. Notre Dame
34. George Mason
34. UC Davis
36. Wake Forest
51. Arizona State University (O'Connor)
52. Yeshiva University (Cardozo) (NY)
53. Baylor University (TX)
53. Case Western Reserve University (OH)
53. Florida State University
53. University of Tennessee–Knoxville
57. University of Cincinnati
57. University of Pittsburgh
57. University of Utah (Quinney)
60. Brooklyn Law School (NY)
60. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)
60. Temple University (Beasley) (PA)
60. University of Houston
60. University of Kentucky
60. Villanova University (PA)
66. Loyola Law School (CA)
66. Pepperdine University (CA)
66. University of Kansas
66. University of Missouri–Columbia
70. Loyola University Chicago
70. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey–Camden
70. Seton Hall University (NJ)
70. St. John's University (NY)
70. University of Miami (FL)
70. University of New Mexico
70. University of Oklahoma
77. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey–Newark
77. University at Buffalo–SUNY
77. University of Denver (Sturm)
77. University of Nebraska–Lincoln
77. University of Richmond (VA)
82. Georgia State University
82. Lewis and Clark College (Northwestern) (OR)
82. University of Oregon
85. Indiana University–Indianapolis
85. Northeastern University (MA)
85. Seattle University
85. St. Louis University
85. University of San Diego
85. University of Toledo (OH)
91. DePaul University (IL)
91. Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge
91. Pennsylvania State University (Dickinson)
91. Santa Clara University (CA)
91. University of Hawaii (Richardson)
91. University of South Carolina
97. Catholic University of America (Columbus) (DC)
97. Marquette University (WI)
97. University of Louisville (Brandeis) (KY)
100. Mercer University (GA)
100. Stetson University (FL)
100. University of Nevada–Las Vegas (Boyd)
100. University of San Francisco
100. University of the Pacific (McGeorge) (CA)
From the University of Arizona comes the following recommended summer reading.
Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man
Hillerman, Tony, Skin Walkers
Traver, Robert, Anatomy of a Murder
Turow, Scott, Presumed Innocent
Alibrandi, Tom and Frank Armani, Privileged Information
Bogus, Carl T., Why Lawsuits are Good for America
Burns, Bobby, ShelterFriedman, Jane M., America’s First Woman Lawyer: The Biography of Myra Bradwell
Grey, Thomas C., The Wallace Stevens Case: Law and the Practice of Poetry
Gunther, Gerald, Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge
Harr, Jonathan, A Civil Action
Kalman, Laura, Abe Fortas: A Biography
Kelly, Michael J., Lives of Lawyers: Journeys in the Organizations of Practice
King, Martin Luther, Jr., Letter From a Birmingham Jail(available on the internet)
Kingsolver, Barbara, Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983
Kluger, Richard, Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality
Lewis, Anthony, Gideon’s Trumpet
Lucas, J. Anthony, Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets off a Struggle for the Soul of America
Mill, John Stuart, On Liberty
Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates
Rehnquist, William H., The Supreme Court: How It Was, How It Is
Rhode, Deborah L., In the Interests of Justice: Reforming the Legal Profession
Rothman, David J., et al, The Willowbrook Wars
Smith, Jean Edward, John Marshall: Definer of a Nation
Stern, Gerald, The Buffalo Creek Disaster
Stone, Irving, Darrow for the Defense
Stracher, Cameron, Double Billing: A Young Lawyer’s Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies, and the Pursuit of the Swivel Chair
Williams, Juan, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 (videotape also available)
Zitrin, Richard A. and Carol M. Langford, The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer
Introduction to Law School
Burkhart, Ann M. and Robert A. Stein, How to Study the Law and Take Law School Exams
Deaver, Jeff, The Complete Law School Companion
Hegland, Kenney F., Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law in a Nutshell
Shapo, Helene & Marshall, Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success
Stropus, Ruta K. and Charlotte D. Taylor, Bridging the Gap between College and Law School
Wydick, Richard C., Plain English for Lawyers
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It was unfortunate that we waited until so late in the season to go. Several of the sculptures had warmed up to the point where they lost structural integrity and broke apart and several of the finer more delicate pieces were not as good. However, instead of going in -40F weather, I went at a balmy 25F, it was worth the difference in comfort level. I still think that the exhibit is overpriced at $8.00, but we still enjoyed ourselves and you can see from the pictures how beautiful some of the sculptures were.
Overall it was a great date night. Ice Park, fancy dinner on the frozen waterfront, and a dvd (Holiday). The movie turned out to be surprisingly good. It surprised me in a way like Love Actually did. It was a romantic movie, but not overly cheesy. Two women who are both dissatisfied with their love lives switch houses over Christmas for two weeks and find life, love, and a part of themselves again. Good movie for when you want to believe in the good in life while snuggled up with hot tea or cocoa. It was a little unbelievable that everything happened over the course of two-weeks, but hey I got my romantic movie and hubby didn't complain once. I still think he preferred Stranger Than Fiction, our choice from earlier this week. I think we were both prepared to hate that movie, considering it has Will Farrell in it, but it pleasantly surprised us and turned out to be a great movie. This movie was well written and funny and despite its implausible nature, we enjoyed suspending belief and thinking that this IRS agent who was breaking out of his logical cocoon and beginning to enjoy life was actually a character whose life was in the hands of a novelist desperately trying to kill him off. Still, they couldn't resist putting ugly naked men in the movie so it was a Will Farrell movie after all, eck.
"Poorly written Justice Department documents cost the federal government more than $100 million in what was supposed to have been the crowning moment of the biggest tax prosecution ever.
Walter Anderson, the telecommunications entrepreneur who admitted hiding hundreds of millions of dollars from the IRS and District of Columbia tax collectors, was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison and ordered to repay about $23 million to the city.
But U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said he couldn't order Anderson to repay the federal government $100 million to $175 million because the Justice Department's binding plea agreement with Anderson listed the wrong statute."
Hmm...they listed the wrong statute in the plea agreement and didn't include standard discussion of probation which would have allowed them to recoup the money as part of the terms of probation. Wow! Somebody didn't pay attention in legal writing and research class. I bet somebody at the DOJ got an earful. Must remember, LWR has a purpose, must not fall asleep. I guess schools like Seattle U. and Gonzaga which have multi-year writing programs that count towards your GPA are onto something. This is a skill that lawyers need. LWR is one of the few skills based classes in law school so take advantage of the feedback before you do something in the real world that makes you look really stupid.
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Working for the USPTO is something I've been thinking about as the likelihood of school this year gets dimmer and dimmer. Washington D.C. would be a fun place to live for a few years and I'd be a Virginia resident if I decide to go to George Mason in the future. We'll see what happens. I did find the application process interesting. First I was required to submit my transcripts for review. The next step was an online timed quiz. I thought it was going to be a bunch of technical questions to test my background. Instead it was more of a personality test. Questions like: "The word that your friends would use most often to describe you is:" Choose one of the following. There is no way to know what they are looking for, so I figured I'll be honest and see what happens. No word yet on whether I passed phase two.
If I do get this job and find out that patents is not what I'm interested in at least I'll know that going into law school. I have a friend who just graduated law school and I agree with him, if you go into patent law you can easily be pigeon-holed and end up doing nothing else. You better know that this is what you want to do before picking summer jobs and firms. I intend to be well informed. The other option I'm pursuing is taking the patent bar (USPTO exam) before school. I could try and get a job as a patent agent with a firm then. All good options though a big part of me is still hoping that I'll hear back from Georgetown and that they'll say they want me. I'd drop all of these contingency plans in a heartbeat if they would admit me!
Claus wanted to come with so badly!
Research shows that you have the power to create your own moods. The article is based on the research of John Selby a cognitive psychologist who is the coauthor of Take Charge of Your Mind. I found some of the insights particularly relevant for those of us in the waiting game dance with law schools. Basically you can take steps to gradually change your mindset and mood. Suggestions include:
- Waking up - Come to attention and become aware of your sensory situation. Focusing on your physical being, your breath, helps you shift your attention from internal monologue to sensory experiences.
- Go deeper - Now that you've halted your downward spiral of negativism you should then become more aware. Concentrate on your breath through your nose as well as through your head, chest, and belly. Focusing on two or more sensations at the same time will help you refocus your mind on something other than negative thoughts.
- Open your heart - Now become aware of the feelings in your heart, not just your negative thoughts. For me this is also a time to listen to my spirit and see what the promptings of my heart are, they usually are hard to listen to when I'm clamoring with hypotheticals and worries, it is much easier to listen when I have consciously quieted their voices.
- Expand your joy - This is where you make the conscious decision to regain a sense of joy and empowerment. Be in the present and let your well-being create your mood.
Practicing the above has really helped me listen to the non-logical side of my brain and stop stressing. It has made me a more spiritual person as meditation and prayer are usually things that end up being interrupted by little pestering thoughts. Focusing on the physical, the breath, and then the mental has really helped me take control of my self-doubt and worry. Now if only I could restart my yoga practice I could get rid of my back pain too. Now that would be nirvana. A stress free mental and physical being. Elle Woods would be proud, she always seemed so perky and stress free. I bet she did yoga.
I really like Rule #11- Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
And we nerds, or geeks as I prefer, have our own vocabulary, so being nice to us takes extra effort.
The night before we went to dinner as a group (all 45 of us) at Legal Seafoods. This chain restaurant was actually pretty good. As an appetizer they offered us a 9 lb lobster. Do you know how old that thing was and how long it survived before it got to that size? We just couldn't bear killing him, so the guys ordered the 5 lb lobster as an appetizer along with an assortment of crab cakes, coconut shrimp, and clam chowder all around. I had lobster ravioli for dinner which was quite unusual and delicious while hubby got Alaskan King Crab and filet mignon surf and turf, very typical for him. The best part was we weren't paying. No, not really, the best part was meeting with all of my friends that I've worked with as a volunteer over the years. God bless Skype, it's the only way I can afford to talk to my friends who hail from Croatia, Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, and many MANY places around the world. Having these bi-annual meetings is really a chance to get a lot of good work done and enjoy the satisfaction of good friends, good food and new places. If only the weather in Boston had been better. They got 15 inches of snow this year, 9 of them while I was there!
Hubby's Choice, too fruity for me
Oh my God, I can now die happy. Chocolate Decadence, Boston Cream Pie, Ultimate Chocolate Cake, Molten Cake, Mousse, yum. The benefits of eating out with a bunch of people, you can snitch from everybody. Side note, dessert cost more than dinner. The Thai food was cheap with huge portions, we each spent like $20.00 on dessert.
I did end the night by getting soaked in a puddle, but at least I brought my flipflops to wear from the Arizona portion of the trip. I'll be fine. Although, I'll need to lose about 5 lbs from all of that dessert.
By the time I got here for my conference a couple of friends had already arrived. Two Germans, a Croatian, two Alaskans and a Bostonian for dinner. One request for cow and one vegetarian. So where did we go? Cheers. Wasn't too impressed as the place was mostly a touristy burger and beer joint. It was also freezing as the restaurant inexplicably had the AC turned on when it was 45F outside. Afterwards we warmed up at a local French cafe with coffee and pastries. Yum. Of course the Europeans complained about the coffee, but hey, at least it wasn't Folgers.
Now I have three days worth of committee meetings. Yay! A little break from Pre-L obsession. It will also be nice to be in the same time-zone for three days altogether after all of the travelling we've been doing.
She also suggested that if I get into Seattle U. that I should consider attending, using that year to get good grades and my Washington residency and then applying to transfer. There are a lot of people that say that the only way law schools will accept transfer students is if they have compelling reasons to have to transfer like their family needed them to move to the area to be closer to a sick relative or that they had other serious reasons to move. The UW lady said that this isn't the case there and that they readily accept transfer students. LSAT and UGPA are less important because they don't count towards the schools 25-75% statistics and that those things are really only predictors of 1L success. Your grades in 1L are the real proof of your 1L success so that is what they really look for. That was encouraging. Getting Washington state residency also makes sense as the tuition will go down a lot if I am a resident. The amount of transfers is equal to the number of students necessary to achieve the desired 180 student class size. So say that UW admits 500 students and only 160 of them take the offer, they will take 20 transfer students to fill out their class. But, the flip-side of that coin is that if 200 students take the UW admission there will be no transfers or VERY few and VERY competitive transfers.
The other myth that the admissions counselor dispelled for me is the 70% residency preference. While historically UW has had a 30-70 ratio of out-of-state to resident admissions she said that this is not the result of an actual policy but the fact that most of their applications come from Washington residents and so a disproportionate amount of their admits come from Washington.
The rest of the school was very modern. The lawbrary is in the basement and I was afraid that it wasn't going to have any natural sunlight. This fear turned out to be unfounded. The law school is actually on a hill so one side is full of windows. There are also pyramid shaped skylights which let ground-level light down into the library. The one issue that I had with the library is that it is too small for the amount of books that it has. As a result the shelves are all smashed up together into a solid wall and then individual shelves are accessed by electronically moving the gaps between shelves to be between the shelf that you are interested in.
UW Library Shelves Crammed Together
UW is on Quarters - This is what 1L Finals Studying Looks Like
I was really impressed with the UW lockers, they were the biggest and nicest of all of the schools I visited. This was also true of the lawbrary study areas. The students had huge beautiful wooden tables with natural light lamps to work with. This was much better than the typical cubbies.
In the end I had a 45 minute conversation with a very friendly and informative admissions officer. The students were taking midterms as UW is on quarters so I couldn't go in any classrooms as they were all being used by exam-takers. The environment was surprisingly low key for a bunch of students studying for midterms in law school. The downside of the exams was that all of the student ambassadors were busy so a guided tour was out of the question. We ended up wandering around and got a pretty good idea of the school. The main campus is really large, but I doubt I would use it very much as a law student. Still, its quite nice and beautiful. The area has tons of restaurants.
Pros of UW:
- Nationally recognized Tier 1 school
- Strong contacts with local IP firms
- Beautiful campus
- Big tables and natural light in the lawbrary
- Lots of faculty
- Modern and new facility
- Open to transfer students
- Students don't receive a GPA or class rank, this supposedly decreases cut-throat competitiveness and provides a more relaxed environment
- Most nearby housing is undergrad party apartments or Greek
- Rents in the area are supposedly quite obscene so a commute is probably unavoidable
- I would have to wait a year to reapply and be admitted
- Not a resident so tuition would be pricey the first year
Bye bye Seattle - Off to Boston
The school itself is relatively new, finished in 1999. Typical wood finishes throughout. Nice fully wireless with plenty of power classrooms and a pretty moot court classroom. The clinic is located within the lawschool building, but is accessed through a seperate entrance to give clients a little privacy from the law school bustle. 2Ls and 3Ls who have taken ethics can participate in the clinics which is a really cool opportunity. From my interview with the admissions counselor I found out that Seattle also has a 3 year legal writing program which is part of the GPA. This is unusual and gives the school a reputation for creating excellent legal writers. The 1st two years are manditory, with the 3rd year advanced writing program being optional.
Seattle U. 1L Classroom
I asked the student who gave me a tour why she chose to come to Seattle U vs. University of Washington as she is from the Seattle area. She told me that she was an undergrad at UW and when she went in to talk to UW law they weren't very friendly and helpful. Seattle on the otherhand gave her a better vibe from the admissions staff. I have always felt that you can find out a lot about the school by the way the admissions staff treats you. I also had a really great talk with the Seattle U. admissions staff. An actual admissions staff person spoke with me and answered all of my questions for almost 45 minutes. I was very impressed after being basically rushed out of the building at all the other schools that I've been to. The conversation at Seattle U. was easy and unpretentious and it was very nice and conversational. I found out that 2/3 of the Seattle U. law students participate in the summer start program and that both part-time and full-time options of attendence are possible. This is really nice, as I would like to get a job to start getting experience throughout school. My dream scenario would be to pass my patent bar exam this summer, start work in a law firm and have my firm pay for my law school attendance.
The one beef that I have with Seattle U. is that the neighborhood that it is in isn't all that great. There isn't a big cultural enivironment. Restaurants were minimal and it seemed like most students commuted from a long distance. At least they all get nice big lockers.
Seattle itself was not as stressful to navigate as we expected. We brought the GPS with us just in case, but it wasn't completely necessary. We could have found everything without it. Traffic is quite horrible, so it would be nice to find a close apartment or something on a bus route so that I don't have to drive/buy a 2nd car. Seattle is a nice city, although it does have a lot of peeling paint and cramped areas. It is big enough that you'll probably find an area somewhere that you like. Coming from Fairbanks, AK though where everything is less than 15 minutes away, having a commute might be a big ajustment. The average commute in Seattle is something like 50 minutes. Ouch!
Pros of Seattle U:
- Staff and students were friendly
- They have an IP focus program
- They have tons of moot court teams, plenty of clinicals, electives are bountiful
- Students seem genuinely happy to be there
- Job prospects in Seattle for IP focus are plentiful and 1Ls at Seattle have about a 2/3 law related employment rate during their 1L summer, excellent
- Brand new building
- Part-time is an option
- Campus was beautiful
- Good job prospects for both summers and upon graduation-I was told that some Seattle firms throw out non UW and Seattle U. apps aka Gonzaga, *sigh*
Cons of Seattle U:
- Large incoming class of 300+, UWs is like 180
- Private so more expensive
- No real seperation between downtown and campus edge
- Long commute for many students as housing near downtown is pricy
After Alaska Airlines almost didn't get us there for our appointment, we finally made it into Spokane on a tiny little plane. Well Gonzaga wins friendliness and facilities awards. Their building is beautiful. Built in 1999, it is by far the most modern and in the best shape. It is very cosy and I could easily see myself spending hours in their lawbrary. Although, the natural sunlight wasn't as good as ASU's lawbrary. We finally went on an informative tour. The secretary at ASU and the self guided tour at UofA made me almost think that planned tours were a waste of time, but this one was good. Also, having the tour from a student ambassador really made it nice. I had most of my questions answered before I even sat down with the admissions folks.
Spokane itself is nice. The weather wasn't nearly as warm as Arizona which = good thing for hubby, bad thing for me. We had dinner at a nice Greek restaurant so one of the prerequisites of any new city has been met. Reliable access to Tzatziki.
It isn't a major city though so not a huge culture base. I kind of wanted to use law school as a chance to have my "big city" experience. I know that I might not have the chance in future once I get a "real" job and possibly a more labor intensive family than the cats.
On a side note, I would recommend telling your cab driver to have him take you on the "scenic route" you get to see more of the city and learn about Spokane driving rules. Apparently concrete barriers are not obstacles to prevent people from driving in areas and bushes are not really barriers at all, just scenery. And apparently driving on sidewalks is an acceptable side route. But for less than $15.00 it is certainly worth the thrill.
Pros of Gonzaga:
- great IP moot court team, rising IP program
- small debt burden on graduation
- hubby says to add trees as a benefit, meh, overrated
- beautiful city
- downtown appears to be a real cultural center
- it's a walking city
- boy scouts were on the tourist map...again hubby bonus...he's outdoorsey...blech, trees again.
- has 4 different seasons not just variations of summer
- close to Seattle
- small cost of living
- cheap housing
- has PF Changs, yummy
- has Greek restaurant...so does Phoenix
Cons of Gonzaga:
- Tier 3 reputation means its a regional school
- If I want to work in Seattle, why not go to school in Seattle?
- IP program isn't the strongest even though it's growing
- Practice in Spokane after graduation isn't likely due to job opportunities
- Job opportunities for hubby are slimmer
- Not at a major hub airport therefore more expensive to travel to Phoenix for nice weather
- No family/friends/aquaintances
- Slightly better ranking than ASU (doesn't make up for the facilities difference at this point)
- Slightly better weather (10 degrees cooler than Phoenix)
- Good clinical program
- Innovative 1L internship program was impressive. Most schools don't have something like this.
- Friendly and informative admissions staff who are really proud of their school and seem willing to go the extra miles for their students.
- Soon to be new building.
- Not a "regional" school despite it's reputation.
Minuses of UofA:
- 4k higher tuition than ASU
- It's in Tucson
- Typical student housing was not impressive
- Public transportation not the best
- Apartments for classrooms?
- Not near family
- Law Science and Technology Program - awesome for IP folks, offers IP certificates, technology ventures clinic, pro bono program
- Good job placement in AZ - peer career services with most CA schools so that those getting CA jobs after school can receive support
- Part of a nice campus, close by housing, vibrant city, biking/bus commute possible so 2nd car purcahse won't be manditory
- Near relatives
- Great school time climate
Cons for ASU:
- 100+ degree summer weather
- No trees
- Job placement outside of Arizona is less strong
- Admissions tour not very helpful
- No scholarship money...yet
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As far as law school anonymity goes, I used to use acronyms like T2-D to indicate DePaul university, etc. I have gone back and changed these. This blog will not be anonymous in my choice of school and where I have gotten in/been rejected until later...maybe. I am considering referring to whatever school I go to eventually as The School, but that decision can wait. In the meantime you may all know that I have been accepted to Gonzaga, Temple, and DePaul and that I have been rejected/crushed by George Washington, American, and University of Washington. I still have 10 apps out. So, I am in at least at 2 T2 schools and one T3. Unfortunately I don't think that I can go to either of the T2s. Hubby flat out vetoed Chicago short of a Northwestern miracle acceptance (another fee waiver app) and Philadelphia is very far East for us. It's a shame as DePaul has a really cool IP program. I'm going to try and schedule a Chicago trip for us and see whether that changes anything.
DC is fine, I have interned there for two summers and we know the area and have relatives there. I'm very hesitant about Philadelphia. Ironic huh, I was born in Washington, PA. Despite the fact that I only lived there for 18 months, it would be sort of like coming home. We'll see. Right now, Spokane is looking very nice culturally. Keep in mind I am coming from Alaska. There is a reason I didn't apply to any CA schools. Too many people! Our big law school visit trip spanning Arizona, Washington, and Boston is coming up so look for pictures and comments about what a few schools are like up close and personal or as I like to say, beyond the viewbook.
Prohibited: weapons or firearms, ear plugs, books, backpacks, handbags, papers of any kind, calculators, rulers, timers, listening devices, cellular phones, recording or photographic devices, pagers, beepers, headsets, and/or other electronic devices.
Allowed: Tests takers may bring into the room only a clear plastic ziplock bag, maximum size one gallon (3.79 liter), which must be stored under the chair and may be accessed only during the break. The ziplock bag may contain only the following items: LSAT Admission Ticket stub; valid ID; wallet; keys; hygiene products; #2 or HB pencils, highlighter, erasers, pencil sharpener (no mechanical pencils); tissues; beverage in plastic container or juice box (20 oz./591 ml maximum size) and snack for break only.
This should hopefully make for a more quiet testing environment unless somebody brings along a noisy pencil sharpener. *sigh* Quiet, that would have been nice back in December. Evil proctor, making tapping noises through the whole test. At least I was taking the test in a location with like 10 other students, not one of the nightmare administrations with 200+ people and hours worth of administration. Maybe these changes will help me. So far I've only been practicing with an analog watch and a kitchen timer. At least I don't require a major timing strategy shift.
Oh and LSAC has released a new practice test for 2007 which includes comparative reading questions.
I had the pleasure last week at my real job of working a couple of contractors who were wanting to test some equipment at our facility. They met me in what I would call the equivalent of sweatshirts. I asked them whether they were ready to go and they said yes. I assumed they would be putting on their coats, but apparently said sweatshirts were their winter gear. So at -40F we all jaunted up to the roof of this 8 story building, me in my nice coat, gloves, hat, and scarf, and them in, well...sweatshirts and Old Navy gloves. Those poor guys. Not only were they freezing to the point where their fingers were numb, their nose hair had stalactites, and their glasses were unusable, but they had no idea how their equipment would handle the cold either. Apparently, they had left the equipment in the car over night. Bad decision. At -40F, LCD screens freeze, and it takes a long time for them to unfreeze.
Also, extension cords are not all created equal. In arctic environments flimsy plastic cracks. You need a different kind of extension cord to get power outdoors in the winter. Trust me, this is coming from a person who has to plug in her car everywhere in the winter. When I first moved to Alaska, I thought everyone was very environmentally friendly as they all plugged in their presumably electric cars. No, turns out the plugins in all of the grocery stores, workplaces, and homes, are merely to keep the engine warm enough to start in weather colder than 20F.
So when anybody asks me why on earth I would apply to law school somewhere as miserable as Seattle or Chicago I tell them that the weather could only get better. I currently live in a state where for much of the year it is too cold to snow. Think about that. Chicago, phh, when the dean called me it was 20 above zero, that's warm. And Washington sate, during their cold spell was 30. In Fairbanks Alaska, when it hits 20 above on a regular basis in the Spring, people start breaking out their shorts. This is part of the reason why Texas is not being considered as a law school destination and why hubby is only considering Arizona because of the proximity it has to his numerous male relatives, all of which have boats for his water-skiing pleasure.
Current IP rankings from US News:Law Specialties: Intellectual Property Law Ranked in 2004*
- University of California–Berkeley
- George Washington University (DC)
- Stanford University (CA)
- Duke University (NC)
- New York University
- Cardozo-Yeshiva University (NY)
- Franklin Pierce Law Center (NH)
- Columbia University (NY)
- DePaul University (IL) & University of Houston
- Boston University
- John Marshall Law School (IL)
- Santa Clara University (CA)
- Georgetown University (DC)
- Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)
- University of Washington
- Harvard University (MA)
- University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
- Case Western Reserve University (OH) & University of California–Los Angeles
- Fordham University (NY)
- Boston College & George Mason University (VA) & University of Texas–Austin & Washington University in St. Louis & Yale University (CT)
- American University (Washington College of Law) (DC) & University of Pennsylvania
Of course, there are those who believe that you should go to the best law school that takes you and forget about ratings. This site was written by an IP recruiter who is part of this crowd. I'm inclined to go with this plan, as having a portable, nationally recognized degree is what is most important to me. I have no idea where I'll be living after law school and I need a degree which will go with me anywhere.
Things that enhance chances of getting a good IP job: good technical background, good law school, and passing the patent bar. So in order to improve my chances at this point I can actually change items two and three. Working to get into a good school involves practicing for LSAT. I will be retaking the LSAT in June. After that I plan on spending the rest of my summer studying for and taking the USPTO exam (patent bar). It will be better to have this under my belt before law school than during school. I don't think I'll have extra time to study for this during law school, so having it out of the way will only be an advantage to me when trying to get the all important "first-job" out of school. Anybody have advice on how to prepare for the patent bar?
- Logic Games Bible
- Logic Reasoning Bible
- 10 Actual Tests (7-18)
- 10 More Actual Tests (19-28)
- The Next 10 Tests (29-38)
- The Official LSAT PrepTests 39-44
- The LSAT Explained...The Official LSAT PrepTest With Explanations Volume One
- LSAT The Official TriplePrep Plus w/Explanations
- LSAT TestPrep 5th Edition Classroom Test (from on-campus course that a friend took)
- The Princeton Review Cracking the LSAT 2004 Edition
Now, where to start? I guess taking one diagnostic test should be good. Will also be a good motivation to get my studying in gear. Now I have Intro to Justice, Latin, Thesis, and LSAT. Should be a fun couple of months till June.
Now, all I need is to find a PDF version of the answer bubble sheet so that I can completely simulate real test taking conditions. (Found. Available on LSAC website for free.) Oh yeah, I guess I'll need an annoying proctor to tap their pencil against the table for 6 hours too, then it would be JUST like the December test.
I love Ebay, it is a good source of cheap LSAT prep materials. But what I really need are tests 45-50, the most recent 5. I don't know if I can justify another $8.00 per test getting them from LSAC. Let me know if you aren't using yours anymore and we'll make a deal.