In today’s video, I give my thoughts on the pundits who counsel that this is such a bad time to go to law school:

My perception of these articles is that they focus on the traditional path of working for a big law firm. If students are willing to realize that the path traditionally lauded as “successful” is just one of the available paths, then they may see a much broader field of options. Of all the arguments that these doomsday articles tend to bring up, the high cost of law school is the issue to which prospective students should give serious thought.

At this point, I am quite certain that coming to law school was a good decision. I suppose my confidence may waiver a bit if I get to next December without a job in the wings, but I am confident that will not be a problem. Somewhere, the perfect position for me is waiting or waiting to be created.

Feel free to reach out if you believe that position is within your organization.

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

Before I came to law school, I was concerned about what I would do if something happened to my parents while I was in school. They are both in their 80’s, so having issues is becoming more of a possibility. However, it turns out that emergencies can arise where you least expect them. Less than a month into my 2L year, my husband suffered a stroke. For today’s video, I review the mnemonic FAST. (Because I am in law school, I am contractually obligated* to disclose that I am not a physician, have no medical training, and this video is meant to be informational, not diagnostic).

There are certainly other signs of a stroke, but my husband’s symptoms were classic FAST. My father has suffered two strokes. After one, he did not exhibit these symptoms in such a recognizable manner, but with the other, he did. With strokes, time is of the essence, so knowing these symptoms and getting help fast is crucial.

Once again, here are the signs:

Fface drooping

Aarm weakness

Sspeech difficulty

Ttime to call 911

If you would like to learn more, the American Stroke Association is a good resource.

*I’m kidding about the contractual obligation (but not the lack of medical training).

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

There is no shame in being wrong about something unless you are unwilling to see the error in your thinking. I readily admit to mistakes because I know that I have learned from them. Sometimes the lessons are harder to grasp than others, and sometimes the consequences are difficult. Learning from mistakes can sometimes be the only way to progress though. Today, I confess to being wrong about something:

If I hadn’t taken that leap during my first year of law school, I would have missed out on so many opportunities. Twitter educates me daily on new areas of law, ideas, and topics that I wouldn’t be exposed to on my own. I am a better person for being exposed to the ideas of others-both the good and bad.

Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to try something new or to change our mind. During that leap, we have the opportunity to see the world from a new perspective or to close our eyes in fear. What we do upon landing will make the difference.

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

My parents were both teachers at a small college. My mom taught nursing and served as the school nurse. Yet, I remember that she made special desserts for each holiday. For example, she made an Easter Bunny cake complete with a basket full of eggs one spring. I’m not sure why this stands out so much except for the fact that, years later, I remember feeling like I failed my kids by not having time to do something similar. Looking back now, I can see that maybe cake decorating for her was like chain maille for me; a crafty way to relax, but more edible.

Several years ago, I was working nights for a police department and then coming home to homeschool our boys. During that time, there was no balance in my life at all. In fact, I don’t recall much about that time except projects I completed for work. Yet, I know that I was still trying to fill all my roles without admitting that I needed help. Since then, I have come to believe that work-life balance is a myth. Perhaps some people are able to do a better job of juggling, but the reality is that sometimes something is going to get dropped. Watch the video for my thoughts:

Law school is a full-time job–maybe it is more than a full-time job. For students without families, it can be a struggle. Students with families face a greater challenge as they try to meet the demands. I think if we are willing to admit that some things may be lost in order to gain our goal of completing law school, we will all be happier because we will be able to choose what things are most important and what things we are willing to drop.

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

The danger of making assumptions is an easy mistake that we can make every day. I explore that thought and how my assumptions almost kept me from a book series that I have enjoyed more than any in quite a while.

I listened to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse’s series about Mycroft Holmes on Audible narrated by Damian Lynch. A complete list of Abdul-Jabbar’s books is available on Good Reads.

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

It has been fun “meeting” new people through the video per day experiment. I truly enjoy learning about new places; this has been very useful since I married someone in the US Navy. Through the years, we moved multiple times and I feel fortunate to have experienced so much of our country. In the video, you will learn all of the states that I have lived (10). I have also visited 42 of the states and hope to round that out to the entire 50 soon.

Beyond moving around our country, we also lived in Japan twice.  I am so thankful that my kids and I were able to experience a different culture. We made so many wonderful memories and friends during that time. We also were the entertainment for our little neighborhood–which is a story (or several) for another day perhaps.


See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

The video per day experiment has been great because I am getting to know people around the world and in different professions. I received so many encouraging comments on social media from the group in response to my video about grades. It was truly heartwarming! After that video, the grades for the fall semester were released. Watch the video and then scroll down for a bit more information.

Honestly, receiving the Jurisprudence Award was something that never entered my mind. Coming back to my room and discovering the grammar error on Twitter was the perfect way to end the day!

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

I am a sucker for a good podcast and today’s video for the video per day experiment gives a glimpse into some of my favorites. I am limiting today’s selection to those that are not related to the law so they have a broader appeal and I will discuss legal podcasts in a future video.




See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

Today’s video focuses on grades in law school. Give it a view, and then scroll down for further thoughts:

Law students spend a lot of time agonizing over exams and grades. Being in school, this seems somewhat normal. However, law school throws an additional twist into the mix. In law school, each student is ranked in comparison to their classmates. Many large law firms use class rank as one factor in their hiring process. This usually consists of the law firm not considering students who fall below a certain rank in their class. In all, the whole thing becomes an unhealthy obsession for many students.

Many law school courses still follow the traditional testing model wherein the student’s entire grade is determined by one exam at the end of the semester. But, it doesn’t end there. Most schools grade on a curve with professors given guidelines on how many students can fall into a grade category and what the average grade for a certain percentage of students must be. To make things even more fun, the curve for different years or different sized classes can be different. For some schools, the tougher 1L (what first year students are called) curve is meant to weed students out before they get to the point of taking (and failing) the bar exam. This sad state of affairs is because law schools are also graded and one of the factors is bar exam passage rates.

I am going to be honest here–I didn’t end up at the top of my class at the end of our first year. It was discouraging and disappointing because I had worked hard. Unfortunately, my effort was not reflected in my grades. However, I learned from that experience and formed a different strategy wherein I look for classes that have more opportunities to demonstrate my understanding of the material. After a semester spent working for a legal aid organization, I also learned that I retain information better when I have a chance to apply it-whether for a client or in a paper. Understanding these things about myself and my learning style has made a world of difference, and I am happy to say that the strategy seems to be working as I claw my way back up the GPA hill.

Why be so open about this struggle? For one thing, anyone who sees my transcripts or asks my class rank will be able to view it in black and white. I also believe that showing the struggle and how I have learned from it shows resilience and determination. But, I am really writing this for all of the other students who may experience something similar. I hope that my story will encourage them to keep going. After all, at the end of our time in law school, everyone will receive the same degree. Perhaps, those of us who had to work harder should be the candidates in which firms should be most interested.

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.

Professional associations like the American Bar Association are seeing memberships drop in recent years. I believe that one of the reasons is that students do not see the value. Combine this with the increasing debt load that students carry after school, and students are less likely to see the need for an association-particularly in a day where one can find instructions on almost anything online. I believe one of the ways to combat this problem is to invite the students to get involved while they are in school. Hear my thoughts in today’s video:

Last fall, I and several other students were able to attend an e-discovery conference thanks to the generosity of the Detroit Chapter of ACEDS who made it affordable for students. The membership made us feel so welcome and I believe we all left with a positive view of the benefits of joining the organization. For many of us, it was a highlight of the semester and helped us to understand the bigger picture of what was being taught in the classroom.

Next month,  the Michigan Lean Consortium has invited Michigan State College of Law students to their Lean in Legal workshop. I am looking forward to attending and hope that many of my fellow students will do so as well.

Beyond the knowledge available at these events, the chance to talk with professionals and get their insight and advice is invaluable to students. I believe the groups also benefit because they get a fresh perspective from students who haven’t been jaded or frustrated by roadblocks to progress.

What is frustrating to me is that state bar associations often limit student membership to students going to school in that state. For many students who go to school in a state other than where they will practice, this is a difficult situation. We will be expected to know state rules on the bar exam, but the organization that is most able to provide that information blocks the way. Yet, once admitted to practice, that same organization will want us to join. Why not open membership for all students who believe they will practice in the state?

In the future, I hope to see more groups reaching out to students. I also hope more students will take advantage of these opportunities, but that is a subject or another day.

See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.