Welcome to Ashley's Blog! The Life of a 2L...
I am taking on the work/life balance one day at a time as I try to conquer my second year of law school while maintaining my sanity. When I am not at the law library with an intimidating leather-bound book in front of me, you can find me spending time with family/friends, watching movies, playing sports, cooking, and trying new restaurants in the Tucson area.
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
Undergraduate: University of Southern California, Broadcast Journalism, Minors in Spanish and Business Law
Before Law School: One semester between undergrad and law school; worked as a file clerk with a Phoenix law firm
Law School Activities: Arizona Journal for Environmental Law & Policy; Phi Alpha Delta (Justice); Business Law Society; Arizona Law Delegate; LEAD Mentor; National Lawyers Guild Homeless Court Clinic; Library Legal Referral Clinic; Volunteer Lawyers Program Guardianship Clinic
1L Summer: Maricopa County Attorney's Office - Homicide Bureau
Being back at school after winter break is nothing short of bitter sweet. After a relaxing three weeks off from the leather bound books, finding motivation to even open my book to the page of my reading assignment seems like an accomplishment. Although I am still readjusting to the 6:45 a.m. wake-up call and art of balancing the “three S’s” (school, sanity, social life), I have a lot of great things to look forward to for this semester!
Fun Classes - No More Requirements!
One of the greatest things about U of A Law is that except for Evidence, Professional Responsibility, and one practical skills course, there are no more required classes after your first year. Last semester, I tackled both Evidence and Professional Responsibility, so for the rest of my time in law school, I get to choose classes that I am personally interested in. That said, I chose to enroll in Constitutional Law II, Employment Law, Trial Advocacy, Family Law, and the Family and Child Law Clinic (discussed in more detail below). With only a little bit more than a week of classes under my belt, it is hard to say which one is my favorite, but stay tuned for later posts where I am sure I will have made up my mind by then!
Child and Family Law Clinic
Although my feet are just starting to get wet with my other courses, my workload with the Child and Family Law Clinic is already in full swing. This particular clinic takes on clients that are subject to domestic violence, need to file for divorce, have children in the care of Child Protective Services, or are children themselves and need an attorney advocate to act in the child’s best interest. The clinic operates as a firm to make decisions like what cases to accept and what the best tactical approach is for a given set of facts. Additionally, the clinic is home to student social workers that work in conjunction with student attorneys to provide the best advice possible. I have already been assigned three clients for the semester, two adults and one child, and am really excited to represent these individuals in court with the help from my law-student partner and supervising attorney. I have my first hearing in Pima County Superior Court already calendared, and still cannot believe that I will be appearing on the record on behalf of our client. I am already reviewing the case file like a madwoman, and can tell that my work in the clinic will be an invaluable experience to my legal studies. Just in the week or so I have been reviewing the file, my clinic work has already helped to put the whole law school experience back into perspective. Sometimes in class when you are working through hypothetical problems or talking about a challenging case, it is easy to forget why you are going through all these motions and can lose sight of the end goal. I cannot wait to share how my first, true Superior Court appearance went!
This year, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to have a little more fun, so with that in mind, I booked a trip to San Francisco for a weekend in February. Unbeknownst to me at the time I booked the trip, the weekend I am going just happens to by the weekend that the city celebrates the Chinese New Year. I am really looking forward to see the city come alive with red and gold, and cannot wait for the delicious food that I am sure the street carnival has to offer. I plan to bring my books for the plane rides, but other than that, leave them in the hotel where they belong for the rest of the weekend! I am sure the week leading up to my trip will be chaotic to say the least, but totally worth it!
I know that this heading may sound a little silly and you may be thinking to yourself - “Law Prom, seriously?” but I can assure you, this is one of the best moments of the entire year at the James E. Rogers College of Law. Law Prom is exactly what it sounds like - prom for law students, with a twist. The event is fundraiser for the in-house clinics (like the Child and Family Law Clinic you just read about!) that includes dinner, dancing, a raffle, and best of all, an excuse to change out of yoga pants! Last year, many of us stayed overnight at the hotel the event was hosted at and made the next day into a pool day. With weather in the 70s and 80s - can you really blame us?
So in reality, with so many fun and exciting things to look forward to - amazing classes, time working in the Child and Family Law Clinic, San Francisco, and Law Prom - I am sure that this semester is going to fly by, and then - ONLY ONE YEAR LEFT!
Posted by: Ashley 03/12/2012 1:34 PM
Counting Down to Freedom
Two weeks to freedom, TWO WEEKS! In case there is any confusion about what I am so eagerly awaiting, finals will be over by December 15th, and I cannot wait until my desk no longer looks like this:
This semester, and the month of November in particular, has been absolutely excruciating. You have probably heard the saying “1L, they scare you to death; 2L, they work you to death; 3L, they bore you to death,” and my 2L year is definitely living up to its reputation. I have three finals and two papers still left on my plate before this semester is in the books, and I am able to say that I am HALFWAY DONE with law school!
Although a comprehensive, cumulative, ungodly final is the preferred torture device of law professors, they are not quite as daunting as last year because the mystery is gone. I am accustomed to sitting in the same room with the entire class typing away and flipping like madmen through their books and outlines. I am used to the nose blowers, the loud typers, the heavy breathers, and the chronic criers, and am no longer afraid or intimated by the overall setting. Subject matter, content, and test question in any shape or form, however, is another story...
At the very least, there is a dim, faint, barely visible light at the end of the tunnel, when I close one eye and squint with the other, which is Winter Break! The thought of being able to truly relax and is nothing short of exhilarating. Since I already accepted a position for the upcoming summer and submitted my comment to the journal I belong to, I have no applications to send out, no writing assignments to work on, no readings to prepare for class, and no copywork -- knock on wood -- to complete, I have worked hard this semester, and am looking forward to catching up on sleep, reading David Sedaris shorts, watching movies, and eating my weight in my family’s homemade tamales! Catch you in 2012!
Posted by: Ashley 03/12/2012 1:34 PM
Finding Strength in My Second Year
Hello University of Arizona College of Law applicants, current students, faculty, staff, and prospective employers Googling me to see whether I am a "good fit" for your firm (the answer is "YES!" by the way). I welcome all of you to my blog and invite you to follow me through the ups and downs, and everything in between, as I chronicle and try to survive my second year of law school.
Like many of you considering the UofA for law school, I did my undergraduate work outside of Arizona. I graduated from the University of Southern California in Fall 2009, and was completely foreign to all things Tucson. As such, I was worried about adjusting to a new city, new people, and completely new lifestyle as a law student. And although it has taken me some time to start rooting for the Wildcats, it took me no time at all to fall in love with the College of Law. Looking back at how I felt when I first entered law school and how I feel now as a 2L is kind of a surreal experience. My 1L year was filled with lots of hard-work, late nights, and nerves, and although the pressure and workload has intensified for 2L year, I feel like I have grown into myself as a law student both in terms of confidence and ability.
I am certain that one of the main reasons that I am so much more at ease with myself this year is the fact that the UofA gives 2 and 3Ls so many opportunities to take classes and participate in activities that interest them. I want to litigate after law school, so this semester I am tackling Evidence, Estates and Trusts, Professional Responsibility, Advanced Legal Writing, and Prosecution and Adjudication. Additionally, I am clerking for The Honorable David C. Bury of the District Court of Arizona, and am a member of several student organizations including the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy and Phi Alpha Delta - needless to say, I'm a little busy. Since it's already November, I have completed most of my class assignments (thank goodness!), and several bench memoranda for Judge Bury. I also just recently submitted a short piece about uranium mining near the Grand Canyon for the Environmental Law Journal, and will be making the final touches on it in the coming weeks. I still have one paper, one oral argument, and a few reading assignments to finish before the end of the semester, but I must admit that I am starting to see a very dim, flickering light at the end of the very long finals' tunnel.
Despite having more to do than 24-hours can reasonably accommodate (honestly, the month of November in and of itself is cruel and unusual punishment), I must admit that as far as law student standards go, I am happy. I have an amazing support system of friends and family, and dedicate at least one night a week to spending time with them. 2L is definitely living up to its "work you to death" reputation, but I make sure to make time for things that I like to do: I go on date-night with my boyfriend, I meet my sister for coffee, I run every day, I cook dinner every night, and I sit and watch at least one game of college football on the weekend (Go Trojans!). Now, I will look forward to blogging at least once a week to share the highs, lows, and all that is 2L year, and hope that you enjoy the ride with me.
Posted by: Ashley 03/12/2012 1:34 PM