Thursday, March 31, 2011

My favorite coffee shop

For the last three years, I have gone to the same coffee shop that is one block away from my front door. On good months, I go once a week. On bad months, I go once a day. But I always go. Yesterday, I cashed in my latest buy-eight-get-one-free coffee.

This morning, I was putting on my shoes and glanced at my blackberry to check my email, preparing to saddle up the dog and head over for a caffeine fix before class. The first email I saw was from Best Woman: "Isn't this horrible?" it said. And below that, an article from our local neighborhood bulletin board.

My favorite coffee shop had been robbed that very morning, while one block away, my husband, dog and I slept soundly. Not only that, but one of the baristas, the lovely baristas that I love so much because they are friendly, unpretentious and always remember my order... one of them was brutally sexually assaulted in one of the spacious bathrooms with the automatic light fixtures. It happened around 6:30 a.m. Right around the time they were opening.

Why should I write about this? It's not my trauma. These things happen around big cities every day. More than that. They happen in small cities, in suburbs, in towns across America. It happened in Richmond just before we moved there, to the family that owned our favorite toy store. It was worse, then.

But this is different because these are people I know. It touched my life. Rape. Robbery. Violence. It touched my life, in a way I've been privileged not to know. And more than scared, I am sad and angry. Why did this happen to someone I know? Why did they have to suffer this way, while just a couple hundred yards away, we were so close by? She ran to the convenience store that shares a corner with my apartment, and the guy who works mornings there called the cops. The cops, the news, they responded right away. And for that, this neighborhood is lucky.

I pray for justice, and for healing, and for repentance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My unconvential search for a way to get paid to do what I love.

Okay, so I'm starting to get creative with some ideas for what to do after graduation now. Just today a friend of mine forwarded me a Craigslist posting for an immigration firm from another part of the state looking to hire an immigration attorney part-time to represent their clients in the Big City immigration court at Master Calendar Hearings. Duh. I can do that! So I'm not technically an attorney yet (which matters a lot, yeah, yeah) but I could totally market myself out to immigration firms around the state who don't want to make the trek to the big city for something as minor a time-suck as a MCH. Not the most glamorous job in the world, but it could make me some money while I weigh my options, and it beats doc review, from what I've heard.

Another idea floating around in my head that I'm trying to figure out how to put to good use is my serious interest in immigration holds (aka ICE holds, immigration detainers, deportation holds). Check out these immigration attorneys who market themselves to the families of non-citizens who are stuck in jail waiting for federal immigration agents to come take custody:

Here's one in San Diego.
Here's one in Dallas, TX.
Oh! Hello, Virginia Beach, Virginia! This one is in my home state!
And I like this one because it straight up challenges the very legality of immigration holds by ICE attorneys. (Something I have a lot to say about, and wish more of people were examining.)

The point is there are lots of attorneys out there doing what I want to do, and I want to learn how I can get into that field. I'm also surprised and intrigued by the fact that this style of marketing and/or just direct address of the immigration hold problem is not found in my particular area. Let's get on that!

Then there's yet another piece of the puzzle that I'm trying to work into my master plan of supporting myself after graduation. My other blog. I want to rework it, make it more user/search friendly, think about focusing my audience and maybe add some original content about immigration enforcement. Over the three years I've been running that blog, I've certainly seen enough to have a strong sense for the shifts in policy over the last several years. (Hint: Employers and human resources directors everywhere, be on your guard. Specifically those in Southern Missouri, in the immediate future.) It's amazing what you learn just by following the headlines on a semi-regular basis.

Ok, T is back from walking the dog and I need to calm myself down enough to take care of more pressing issues... like completing that pesky bar exam application and working on my research paper. But as I continue my unconventional search for a legal career, I'll keep on posting. Maybe something interesting will turn up. In the meantime, if anyone from any of those law firms ends up on here, I hope you'll consider letting me know. I'd love to talk!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One of these days...

I'm going to return to updating the blog with some sort of normalcy. But for now, nothing feels very normal, and yet everything feels almost TOO normal. I'm in that weird period of limbo that is referred to as senioritis by high schoolers across America, but in law school is merely summarized by the last part of that overused yet strikingly accurate saying:

First year, they scare you to death.
Second year, they work you to death.
Third year, they bore you to death.

I would so rather be working than thinking about how I'm going to pull together a 30-page paper on truth commissions. I flat out refuse to think about what on earth got into me when I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for Transitional Justice in my last semester and fulfill my writing requirement by doing a paper on something NOT RELATED TO US DOMESTIC LAW when it's taken me 3 years to have even a whiff of understanding of that legal framework. Why did I think I could pull off a research paper on an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT KIND OF "LAW"?

Oh well.

At least I'm getting some amusement out of the fact that the two legal briefs I have to churn out for my clinical (aka actual cases, with real life consequences) seem like a piece of cake, a mere inconvenience. Feels like just a couple of months ago that I was terrified and avoiding my first-year memo. Bwahahaha.

It gets better, 1Ls.

Outside of law school and the slow death of my formal legal education (and our savings, which is now devoted exclusively to surviving the Bar), life appears to be at a standstill. I am knocking off things from my 30 Before 30 list (just about done with Revelation, the end is near!) and fantasizing with T about our next apartment and life with two incomes instead of one. (We're conveniently ignoring the part about how it comes with a giant mass of student loan debt.) I'm trying SO HARD to imagine what my future will look like, all the while knowing that I cannot possibly imagine it. All I know for sure-ish is that it will involve us staying in the Big City, for now, which means for the next year at least, and as far as I'm concerned that's all the future I need to think about right now. I can hardly handle that much.

Can you tell I'm overwhelmed? I'm overwhelmed. On the upside (not that any of the above is necessarily a downside) I am looking forward to a kick-a$$ graduation party!