3/31/07

PersonalDNA Test

At work I have a new boss. She is not an engineer and doesn't know much about engineering. She was appointed as a temporary boss because she has the appropriate level of procurement authority. However, she is trying, very hard to deal with 60 engineers and Cad designers. She brought in an external communications consultant to interview our customers, fellow workers, other deparments, and us and evaluate how we do customer service, how we work, and where we could improve. She also had us all take the Strengths Finder test so we can learn more about each other and work better together. The sensing session with the consultant turned into a gripe session, but it might have brought up some good points for us to work on. As the new person, I pretty much kept my mouth shut and watched.Since the Strengths Finder test costs like $20.00 and is copyrighted I can't share my results here. I'll add my strengths to the blog once I bring the sheet home from work, but the dialogue of explanations is copyright. I kind of looked at the list of strengths and figured out what I thought I was before I took the test, and I was really surprised when I got my results. I took the PersonalDNA test today to confirm. Apparently I care what others think about me and think about the future a lot, more so than I thought. I wonder if my results will change after I get my plans for the next year settled. Currently law school, employment, housing and moving have taken up a lot of my time and thoughts. Here are the results from the PersonalDNA test. Their test is kind of fun and has some interesting insights at the end. They give you this cool graphic to put on your blog as a summary.


My Personal Dna Report


Is Google Too Powerful?

As a consumer, I love Google. It makes my life more simple and its applications are easy to use. There isn't a lot of extra baggage in its applications and most of its products are free or almost free. With 65% of all Internet searches now going through Google, other tech companies are sitting up, taking notice, and a few are quaking in their boots. Business Week Online recently had an article on Is Google Too Powerful? It is an in depth analysis of how Google rivals are growing in fear of Google's spread and are now fighting back by launching similar products and pursuing intellectual property law suits. "Ecosystems always organize to curtail entities that get too powerful"

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.

3/30/07

Withdrawing Law School Applications

Does anybody know the polite way to withdraw a law school application? I don't want to burn bridges as who knows what will happen if we go with the 'Class of 2011 Plan.' I also don't want to hold open slots that people on the wait-list are desperately waiting for. Should I just say, "Thanks, but no."? Should I call/e-mail/write? One of my acceptances had a little form to mail back to them. Check this box if your coming, check this box if you aren't. If you aren't check one of the following boxes: continue other education/attend another school/job/deployment/other (please explain) What about the others. Advice would be appreciated.

150 things to do in your life

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

131. Parasailed

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

2008 US News Law School Rankings

The 2008 US News law school rankings have leaked a few days early. Apparently US News allowed subscribers to see them early and then the cat was out of the bag. For a more detailed analysis of who moved up and who moved down I would read TaxProf's blog post on the subject. Apparently American and GW are being punished for rejecting me as they both moved down a few places (-4) and (-3) respectively. DePaul also moved down (-11) places, making it one of the biggest movers. Seattle (+8) and George Mason (+3) both went up on the list and everybody else to whom I've applied stayed basically the same. Harvard and Stanford are now tied.

1. Yale
2. Harvard
2. Stanford
4. NYU
5. Columbia
6. Chicago
6. Penn
8. Michigan
8. UC Berkeley
10. Duke
10. UVA
12. Northwestern
13. Cornell
14. Georgetown
15. UCLA
16. USC
16. Vandy
18. Texas
19. WUSL
20. BU
20. Minn
22. Emory
22. GWU
24. Iowa
25. Fordham
25. Illinois
25. W&L
28. BC
28. Notre Dame
28. Washington
31. W&M
31. OSU
31. Wisconsin
34. George Mason
34. UC Davis
36. IU-B
36. Alabama
36. Hastings
36. Colorado
36. Georgia
36. Maryland
36. UNC
36. Wake Forest
44. BYU
44. Arizona
46. SMU
47. Tulane
47. UConn
47. Florida
47. American
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)

3/29/07

1L Summer Reading List

From the University of Arizona comes the following recommended summer reading.

Fiction
Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird

Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man

Hillerman, Tony, Skin Walkers

Traver, Robert, Anatomy of a Murder

Turow, Scott, Presumed Innocent

Non-Fiction
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

Accepted University of Arizona Law

I got a deceptively small envelope from UofA today. Fully expecting another rejection, I ripped it open. It was thicker than usual, but not enough to give me suspicion that it was actually...AN ACCEPTANCE! Very surprised! I got into a Tier-1 school! Woohoo, self-worth is coming back. Hubby is decidedly not happy. Neither of us liked Tucson very much when we visited and the law school will be in an apartment complex for my 1L year. But, it is a Tier-1. Does that make up for it? Hubby wants to know why I put so much emphasis on school rank and I really don't have a good answer. Any thoughts? I am really going to have to do some soul searching on this one. Will they take me again next year if I turn them down this year? Will I be happy there? Could I transfer after a year? Hmm...looking at this post again, I probably am putting too much emphasis on rank if my self-worth is defined by which law schools accept me.

I am Elrond

You can tell I'm busy at work today.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Hmm...darn, I was hoping for Jean-Luc Picard. However, this does sound like me, "A stern yet benevolent organizer who often knows best, your wits are keenly fixed on aiding efforts you deem worthy."

I'm a Democrat?

Me a democrat? My mother would never forgive me! Ack!
You are a

Social Moderate
(55% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(30% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Walking the Orient Express


Human resources at my university has created a program to help make us staff and students more healthy. "This StartWalking event is designed as a virtual bike ride that will approximate the path of the Orient Express. All participants will depart from Gare de l’Est railway station in Paris, the original starting location of the Orient Express in 1936. As with the previous StartWalking programs, participants will log their daily steps with a pedometer and enter them on the Web site. As their steps accrue, they will arrive at various European cities from which they will receive automatic eCards, and travel through seven countries collecting an entry visa stamp at each one." There are also bonuses for finding different water bottles hidden around the state which have tokens in them to prove that you found them. These are located via maps and GPS coordinates. Sounds fun, I might actually get some exercise and hubby will get to use his new GPS. Although, there is no way I'm going in this weather with a GPS trying to find some hidden water bottle in the snow. I'll wait on the bonuses until the snow melts in May. Wish me luck, I'll be walking through Europe for the next few months. Now, if only I could find a way to actually get to Europe in a non-Virtual way. Oh well, I'll have to be content with trying to keep on top of the steps standings and aiming for the grand prize gym bag or wind breaker.

Ice Park (2), Movie Reviews

We didn't make it to the ice park until yesterday. This is typical for me who does everything at the last minute. (The park closes this weekend.) The weather was perfect for it, around 25 above and not too windy. Unfortunately I was still wearing business shoes from work. If I had been in my nice warm boots I would have probably been cuter and warmer. As it was, we had to stop halfway through and go to the snack-shack to warm up my poor frozen toes. My hubby, boyscout that he is, is always prepared. He enjoyed the park a little more. I even have video of him using the kiddy slides, which are made totally out of ice. Unfortunately I took them with the camera oriented portrait-wise instead of landscape-wise, so he appears to be sliding horizontally. Any idea how to rotate a video?

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.

3/28/07

LWR Dozers Beware

CNN had this article on their main page today, Justice gets wrong statute, pays $100M price

"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.

3/27/07

My Cubicle

For all of those engineers out there sitting in small cubes and morning the loss of natural light, here's a song for you. I can't really complain too much. All of the cubes were full when I took my job so I was crammed in the file room. I have a nice big U shaped desk and my own window. I just have to deal with people having conversations on the other side of my wall (line of file cabinets) and popping their heads up like gophers when they try and talk to me over the "wall." On the positive, I have an entirely magnetic wall to my office and the window is awesome. I've worked for the last 7 years and this is my first window!


Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

3/26/07

Paid to Figure Out What I Want to Do?

I've applied for a job at the USPTO (US Patent & Trademark Office) as a patent examiner. No idea whether they will take me or not, but it would be nice to be paid to find out whether patents are what I'm interested in rather than paying a law school $50k a year to find out. I am still going into law. I am interested in contracts and other transactional issues as well as public policy. I've worked in DC for two summer which has given me a healthy respect for what engineers can do in non-technical positions.

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!

3/25/07

Photos Added

I have added pictures from the Spring Break trip, UW, Seattle U. and Boston pics. So if you've been waiting to see those, you might want scroll through the archives. If you are considering any of these schools and want more pics I'll upload more. Keep in mind that clicking on the picture makes it full-size. I just kept them small on the posts to save space.

Claus wanted to come with so badly!

Ice Park

Every year Fairbanks hosts the annual ice art competition. Up until now it has always been so cold that going to the ice park has been quite a miserable expereience even with the beautiful sculptures. The weather tomorrow promises to be 22 above, so I think we'll head over and check out the ice carvings. This is assuming that I get my latin homework done in a timely manner.

3/23/07

The Power of Optimism

For all of you Pre-L's in the waiting game here are a few thoughts inspired by my body + soul magazine. Say you spill your coffee on day #1, day one has been wonderful, you've had a date with your sweetie and your currently chatting it up with your best friend on the phone. Compare this to spilling your coffee on day #2, day two has been dreadful, you've been pulled in a million different directions and your coffee was the one good thing going for you this afternoon. The accident was the same, but your response to it will probably be different.


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.

3/22/07

Anonymous no Longer

It happened. Somebody who knows me in real life (other than hubby) has associated me with my blog. Welcome Arctic, I will refrain from telling any personal anecdotes about you from Advanced Pistol Marksmanship class. There are better people to pick on, like that one older guy, native or Chinese, black hair either way. He scares me. I had the lane next to his last night and literally thought that he was going to shoot me at a couple points. He waves his gun around and looks down the barrel whenever it has problems. One of these days he's going to shoot himself or somebody else. In future I must remember to be to his right. I did get my revenge last night when one of my casings made its way down his shirt. Despite the terror of having him wave his fully loaded gun around while trying to get the casing out of his shirt I felt a small amount of satisfaction in payback for my own two scars. Some girls have butterfly tattoos there, I have interesting scars from pistol class. Must wear belt and long shirt to pistol class.

DC Here I Come

Yeah, yeah, I know what your thinking, she got into a great DC school. No such luck, yet. Instead I have been asked by my professional society, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) to go to DC as part of their CVD (Congressional Visits Day). They try and get engineers and scientists to fly into DC and visit with their representatives. The goal is to try and personally meet with representatives and tell them what engineers' perspectives are on current issues in front of the Congress. I'm pretty excited. I get to go back to DC, which is one of my favorite cities and at the same time I get to do some good. I'll also be tacking on an extra day to visit schools in the area in case the Class of 2011 plan becomes a reality.

3/20/07

11 Rules of Life You Don’t Learn In School by Bill Gates

Chris' Blog: Entrepreneur and wannabe law student: 11 Rules of Life You Don’t Learn In School by Bill Gates

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.

Last Day of Spring Break Trip

Great Boston Weather


The last day in Boston involved meeting a friend for lunch in Chinatown and then getting off to the airport. Sounds simple, right? Well we didn't want to haul our bags around Chinatown so we decided to go to the airport at noon (flight was at 6pm) and check the bags early. Apparently the Alaska Airlines counter in boston wasn't opening until 2:30, so we had to bring the bags back to the hotel to leave with the bell-hop. I was really glad that I'm a Gold MVP with Alaska though. I looked at the 4 hour US Airways line and counted my lucky stars that I now get to skip lines at security and check-in. The whole bags fiasco took up an hour, but the food made up for it. My husband picked the place pretty much at random. I have no idea what it was called and could probably never find it again, but the food was good and VERY cheap. Like $5.99 for a turkey dinner sized platter with a pot of rice and and a pot of tea. The other strange thing was that since it was the Sunday of Saint Patty's day weekend, we were almost the only non-Chinese people there. Everyone else was celebrating elsewhere in town or at the parade.


5 lb. Lobster Appetizer


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!


USS Constitution Covered in Snow

3/17/07

Montien Thai Restaurant & Finale Dessert Mecca - Boston

Last night after a day of cabitzing around a conference table we headed downtown. The blizzard that has prevented all flights from arriving/departing the Boston airport also cleared most of the traffic from downtown so we were able to walk through the drifts in relative peace. After exciting the T we were only passed by the occasional snow plow or taxi. The tourist walking map that we had was less than useful, but the GPS we were using also proved difficult. The signals bounced off of the tall buildings and made us look like we were bouncing around in circles when we were standing still. We finally found a local who was out snow-plowing the sidewalk and got directions to our restaurant.
Dinner was 4 star thai food at Montien Thai Restaurant. They have a Thai menu and and American Thai restaurant which is nice. The food had huge portions and was yummy. The restaurant is in the theater district so seating a party of 20 required waiting until 8pm, but it was well worth the time. The restaurant also attracts a lot pre theater goers and college students so I would recommend coming later rather than earlier. The only downside to going to a distinctly ethnic restaurant is the dessert. There was of course no chocolate. Anybody who knows me knows that I am an absolute chocoholic. This required a trek through the slush over to Finale the dessert mecca of Boston.


My Dessert

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.

3/16/07

Cheers from Boston

When we arrived in Boston it was raining with wind blowing right through us. The shuttle driver said that it was 70F the day before we got here. Right now it is snowing and supposed to continue throughout the night. 10-12 inches, yay I'm somewhere where it is warm enough to snow. Not very impressed with the weather, but hey it's Boston. The city has lots of old pretty buildings so that's cool.

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.

3/15/07

University of Washington Law School

One of the UW Libraries
Ah, what a beautiful campus. Nice brick buildings and classically designed architecture. While UW is on the water you can't really see it unless your at the medical school or sports facilities. The law school itself doesn't really fit in with the campus aestetic. It is quite modern and when we were waiting for our appointment hubby noted that it felt like a hospital. After being told to wait for 15 minutes in a reception area for my appointment I was about ready to walk out and reject the school that had rejected me. I'm glad that I waited. After hearing the Seattle University law students comment about UW admissions staff I was ready to write the school off and not feel bad about not being accepted. I found that the opposite was true and that the lady who met with us was VERY helpful and friendly. She talked with me about the school itself, the area, Seattle, and my application. She gave me several great suggestions to improve my application and other insider tips on how to get into UW.

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

Library - Outside View

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.

Nice Lockers!

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
Cons of UW:
  • 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

Seattle University Law School

Seattle University is nestled along the edge of downtown Seattle. A short walk will take you to Chinatown or other areas of downtown. A pretty thorough bus system will get you almost anywhere else. The law school itself is on the edge of the campus facing a road with not surprisingly a Starbucks and a few other stores. Beyond that are small little houses nestled in a residential neighborhood. I don't know what the rents are like, but the houses are really cute and nearby. It was Spring so the cherry trees were in blossom and everything was fresh and beautiful.

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 University Courtyard

Seattle U. 1L Classroom

Interior View of Seattle U.

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

3/13/07

Gonzaga Law


Gonzaga (view from Centennial Trail along river)
Center of Gonzaga looking up

Gonzaga's Court Room

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

University of Arizona Law School

Downtown Tucson
Don't blink, you'll miss it. Downtown Tucson consists of just three tall buildings all of which were specifically on our little driving map. I actually missed downtown the first time we drove through it. I made hubby turn around and prove that I had actually driven through it. Not impressed. Tucson may have all of the components of a 900,000+ person city, but they are really spread out. It doesn't feel like a downtown with a vibrant character to it. There is no walking downtown for a show, catching a nice diner, and then driving home. We want a different feel to a city. Also, unlike Phoenix, I didn't really feel that safe in Tucson. I actually locked the car doors when we started driving through. Peeling paint, not so nice businesses, and rock yards in front of the houses were not selling points.
The campus itself is much better. Some of their buildings are quite modern and the medical school is especially nice. After driving through the rest of Tucson, the area seemed quite nice actually. The law school itself will only exist as is for another few months. This fall's 1L class will move with the rest of the law school to an apartment complex for their 1L year while the building is being renovated. While an upgrade will be nice, it's still Tucson. As is the facility lacks power supplies for laptops in classrooms and also has a really weird classroom design where all of the classrooms are located outside of the main law building in little columns which resemble the legs of a spider. The lawbrary was unimpressive and dated, lacking natural sunlight and comfy workstations. Admittedly the admissions people were much better than ASU and answered all of my questions. They realize their facility's weaknesses and realize that the current setup doesn't match the way students study today. The new facility should be much better. Hmm...maybe if I was going to be part of the 2013 class and would matriculate post renovation. In the mean time, Tucson is now at the bottom of the wish list.

UofA Law School Courtyard
Pluses UofA:
  • 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

Arizona State University Law School

ASU Law Library
Beautiful new library with lots of natural sunlight. The law school itself is circular in shape and quite nice. The classrooms are around the edge of the bottom circle. Downstairs are student lockers and upstairs are faculty offices. The main floor also has several study lounges and a student cafe. The lawbrary is in a seperate building (pictured above) and has won several design awards. The natural sunlight is a big bonus. There are also Lexis/West-Law classrooms in the lawbrary.
ASU Law Library

The one downside was that the student ambassador who was supposed to meet us didn't and so we had a secretary giving us a tour. She worked in the admissions office but didn't know that much. I asked her several specific questions including, "What is the curve?" "Is the legal writing and research class graded as part of the GPA?" "What is the process for selecting electives?" and she couldn't answer any of them. I'll have to get in touch with a local student to try and get some represenatives.

A plus was of course the fact that is was 85F when we visited which was just gorgeous. Not too hot, and a big bonus over Fairbanks which was -30F when we left. Over 100 degree difference...wonderful! Hubby thinks that its a little warm and that the 100+ degrees in the summer won't be bearable. I'm hoping the relatives with the ski boat will help to change his mind.
Phoenix is also a pretty great city. The summers are rough, but I'll probably be in some air conditioned law office during the worst part of the heat. There is also plenty to do. We have relatives in the area so hubby will have people to hang out with while I have my nose stuck in a book. There are lakes nearby for water skiing. If snow skiing is your thing that is also a short distance away. Culturally Phoenix also has all of the benefits of being the 5th biggest city in the US. We went to an Eric Clapton concert and the Phoenix botanical garden while there.
Pros for ASU:
  • 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

3/8/07

It's Called a Buggy

Your Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
15% Yankee
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern
Yes folks, you may think it's a shopping cart, but to those of us who spent any amount of time in the south it will always be a buggy.

Blogging Anonymously

My old hotmail address from back in high school is right in the URL to this blog. Anybody who even remotely knows me and is trying can find this blog. I have no real need for personal anonymity so the fact that I haven't put up my real name on this blog is mostly an indication that I don't want people looking me up in the phone-book rather than an actual attempt at anonymity.

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.

3/7/07

June LSAT Changes

Not only is LSAC adding a new comparative reading question type, but they are changing up the regulations surrounding the testing environment. Gone are the days when people could use mechanical pencils and fancy silent timers. Now you can't even where a hooded sweatshirt.

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.

3/6/07

Rejected George Washington Law School

Well, D.C. is even less likely. It now exists as a far Far FAR away dream. George Washington was my top choice even though I only had a 5.25% chance of getting in there. Retaking the LSAT is looking like more of a possibility. Apparently a 160 LSAT score doesn't go very far. Goodbye dream or hello possibilities? Imagining my life as different than I planned it is difficult, but I may be happy with the way things turn out. Ironically, my body + soul magazine came today featuring articles on lifting your mood and the power of optimism.

3/4/07

Alaskan cold vs. The Rest of the U.S.

In the last week I have woken up to weather between -45F and -38F, today was a relatively balmy -18F when I sauntered out of bed at 9am, hmm...must have warmed up a bit while I slept in.

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.

Accepted...Why am I not more Excited?

Another acceptance, this time at Temple. Not sure I am that excited. I only applied there because I had a fee waiver. I don't think I could get hubby to move that far East unless we were going to DC. However, I'm beginning to feel more confident as my Chiasu chance of getting in there was only like 40%, so better things may yet be in store. I am 3-2 for acceptance v. dings. Still working on LSAT prep and beginning to feel out Patent Bar prep programs. Ouch, those are expensive and you have to be a current law student to get any discounts. What about us proactive students who are trying to take the test before school and get it out of the way with?

165 on LSAT

Took my first ever (other than the real thing in Dec.) timed LSAT today. I spent 35 minutes per section, no cheating, and had my 15 minute break after Section 33. I still was horrible on time on the reading comprehension and logic games sections. I finished both logical reasoning sections with 5 minutes to spare each, to go over questionable answers. It showed, I missed only 5 logical reasoning questions. I also didn't get to 11 questions on the test. Timing, timing, timing. Must study strategies for reading comprehension and logic games success now that it looks like my analytical reasoning is well in hand. Now, if only I could score a 165 or better on the real thing, I would be happy.

3/3/07

IP Law School Rankings

Current IP rankings from US News:Law Specialties: Intellectual Property Law Ranked in 2004*

  1. University of California–Berkeley
  2. George Washington University (DC)
  3. Stanford University (CA)
  4. Duke University (NC)
  5. New York University
  6. Cardozo-Yeshiva University (NY)
  7. Franklin Pierce Law Center (NH)
  8. Columbia University (NY)
  9. DePaul University (IL) & University of Houston
  10. Boston University
  11. John Marshall Law School (IL)
  12. Santa Clara University (CA)
  13. Georgetown University (DC)
  14. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)
  15. University of Washington
  16. Harvard University (MA)
  17. University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
  18. Case Western Reserve University (OH) & University of California–Los Angeles
  19. Fordham University (NY)
  20. Boston College & George Mason University (VA) & University of Texas–Austin & Washington University in St. Louis & Yale University (CT)
  21. American University (Washington College of Law) (DC) & University of Pennsylvania
Actual rankings are slightly different as equally ranked schools bump others down, couldn't get the numbering right in the HTML. American University, etc. are actually 27th. Red = Applied in 2006 cycle.

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?

June LSAT Books

I am now armed and ready for intensive LSAT preperation. I have:
  • 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.