Category Archives: Law School

Exciting times!

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and the temperature is rising. Summer is right around the corner! These last couple of months have been a great learning experience for me and have presented me with many opportunities. I have been very busy working at Leads On Demand and the Orlando Predators these last couple of months and it’s been a great learning experience as I have been able to learn more about the ins and outs of the internet marketing business, as well as the running of a sports team.

It’s been an interesting and nervous but exciting time at the Predators this last month because we are currently going through an ownership change and I have never been a part of something like this. Our previous owner didn’t leave on the best of terms as he wasn’t paying his bills, so the AFL took the team away from him and he wasn’t too happy about it. So, even though it’s a little dicey right now for the Predators, there are a couple ownership groups out there who are very interested in buying the team. It’s kind of exciting and very interesting to be of part of this kind of experience because it’s nothing like anything I’ve been a part of before. Hopefully it all works out in the end!

Erik Slaby Lake Legal NewsAlso, in these last couple months, I got the opportunity to be the feature article and cover for a local magazine called Lake Legal News (LLN)! LLN is local legal magazine here in Lake County and I was contacted by the publisher and editor of the magazine, James Hope about working together on a feature article for their upcoming edition. Mr. Hope said that he “discovered” me by reading an edition of The Bunk Room and coming across my blog and becoming very interested in my story. I’m very excited to be a part of LLN and honored that someone in the legal community has taken an interest in my story and has read my blog. It is hard for me to know if people are actually reading my blog, so when something like this happens, I get very excited and happy that people actually are reading my blog. It also makes me feel satisfied and proud that my blog is being read and it’s an awesome feeling!

Starting Fresh

Moving Forward

 

There’s a nervous tension in the air. The air is also filled with excitement about what the future might bring and what it might hold. I am excited and nervous for what the future might hold for me as for the first time in my life, I have no set destination with any direction. I am like Jack’s compass in Pirates of the Caribbean that doesn’t point north, but to the thing the holder wants most. I am spinning like that compass, as I’m not sure what I want to do, or where to go, but I have a lot of ideas and plans that I have to figure out.

All throughout my time at Rasmussen College I had a set direction: Finish school, get your bachelor’s degree and then go to law school. Now, I am no longer in law school so my compass has changed. It is no longer pointing in one direction, but spinning in a multitude of directions. I am very disappointed that I’m going to be back for another semester of law school but I already have a few ideas in the works. I have to plan them out a little more extensively, but I have the foundation set.

Right now, I’m going to be focusing on getting a job so that I can pay off my student loans as quickly as possible and start saving some money for the future. Ideally, I’d like to get a job in law firm so that can earn money, while still learning about the law. I’m also going to be working a lot more on my bike rental business, EL Bike Rental, to try to expand it and generate more revenue from it.

A project that I have in the works, is probably one of the most exciting things I’m going to be doing! I’m going to be working on a book about NFL General Managers! I’m planning on interviewing all the NFL General Managers and asking them a series of questions about their job and their life. Hopefully, I will be able to talk to all of the GMs and the book will be a success.

So, while I’m not quite sure what my final destination is and I don’t have everything planned out yet, I have a lot of ideas for projects for me to do. Once I get everything organized and a plan down, I’m hoping that everything goes smoothly from there on out!

The Grades are in

As the last grade came in, my heart dropped. A sinking feeling entered my chest and I immediately felt sick and worried. At this moment, I realized that I would not be back at FAMU for a second semester of law school.

I needed a B- in my last exam to stay in law school in order to meet the GPA standards set by FAMU. I did not get it. While I was happy to say that I passed all of my courses, my GPA didn’t meet FAMU’s requirements. It is very hard to make it from being a first-year law student (1L) to being a second-year law student (2L) in law school. According to the last published ABA (American Bar Association) data just over 40% of 1L students did not make it to the second year for any number of reasons. Based on grades, about 1 in 6 didn’t make it for academic reasons, like me.

I’ve had a very stressful, exciting and eventful semester. I’ve been stressed with so many different things from driving downtown Orlando to FAMU at 6 am, to turning in legal papers 15 minutes before the midnight deadline, learning how to write legally and making sure that I’ve prepared for class.

On my final exams, it was particularly stressful because a couple times the software that I was using to write my essays, froze up and I wasn’t able to write as much as I wanted.

Another time I had handwrite the whole essay! I definitely think that hurt me because I wasn’t able easily to go back and fix anything. Also, in the majority of my classes, 100% of my grade in the class was determined by the exam. Now that was super stressful! I’ll definitely want to meet with my professors to find out what I did wrong and also, hopefully, learn what I did right.

It’s extremely disappointing to me that I won’t be back for a second semester as I feel like I blew a golden opportunity to get done with law school before I was 21. There were definitely some things that I probably could have done better and there were a couple issues that I had that probably hindered me throughout this process.

One issue was the exams themselves. These law school exams were unlike any tests I’ve taken before. The material was harder, the questions were much more confusing than any questions I’ve seen on other tests, or practice exam questions. The second issue was that during the semester, I had thought that I understood the material that I was learning, but I didn’t really begin to fully understand it until November. Meaning, I understood the material on the surface level but I didn’t begin to understand it on a deeper level until November. That is too late to be fully understanding the material in law school and I suspect that I needed to know it at a deeper level.

I started to understand things better as the term progressed and really caught fire towards the end. That won’t work in law school. Also, I jumped into the fire not knowing what to expect or how I was supposed to do anything, such as writing case briefs, reading cases, taking tests and legal writing. That played a major part in the struggles I had. It definitely would’ve been better if I had more experience in all of these things before law school. But I know that the reason I started law school at 17 was because I wanted to give it a try rather than wait several years before trying.

I am definitely very disappointed that I didn’t make it this time. I feel like I let my family and my friends down and didn’t live up to the standards I set for myself. I had a great opportunity and I couldn’t capitalize on it. It’s like starting at your opponents 17 yard line in football and not being able to score the touchdown. It’s disappointing but all I can do is move on and learn from my experiences and better myself. I’ve got the future in front of me and all I can do is continue to do better and make my way.

I definitely plan on coming back to law school. In the meantime though, I plan to get a job or two, maybe one at a law firm and earn enough money to pay off my student loans and save some money for law school. I’ve also have some ideas on some blogging, book writing and putting some more effort into my bike rental business, ELBikeRental.com.

There’s that old saying, “when one door closes, another opens.” In my case, the door hasn’t been locked, but rather just closed. All I have to do is reach for the doorknob when I’m ready and open it back up again! I’m disappointed but very excited to see what the future holds for me! Stay Tuned.

Semester Recap!

This has been a very crazy and very interesting last four months of my life! I have experienced so many ups and downs and new things in this journey so far and I’m happy to say that I have the first part of it done. I roughly have about two an a half years left to complete my journey through law school.

My classes, Torts, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure and Legal Methods, along with Analytical Skills, have demanded a high level of work from me and a lot of discipline. The work level was completely different than anything I’ve ever done, it’s been a lot more difficult because of all the reading I have to do and then the style of writing is different from the type of writing I did in undergrad. Probably the hardest thing I had to do was to stay disciplined and have good time management of all of my work and other activities.

I was not very efficient with my time for the first half of the semester and so much more would have been gotten done had I been better at time management. For example, I did not set up a schedule for the time that I would have to workout so because I didn’t go to the gym very often. I put on about 15-20 pounds in four months. That’s not good. So next semester, and to all aspiring law students, make sure you have a schedule and great time management skills. One professor told me that one problem that lawyers have at first is that they procrastinate a lot. I had trouble with procrastination early in the semester but I think I got much better later in the semester as I was able to understand the subjects better and I had a better schedule.

The exam period was very stressful as I had to basically study everything I had learned so far in a span of two weeks! Together, Dustin, Audrey, Brandon and I studied for all of our exams during that two week period and then when the two week exam period rolled around, we studied very hard during that period of time too. It was very stressful during exams because I was studying all of the time, I didn’t know how I was doing in my classes and I was very worried how my grades might turn out. So far, a couple my grades have come in and I continue to be hopeful that I will be back at FAMU for my second semester of law school!

This semester has been difficult, but a blast at the same time as I have met so many cool people and have learned so many new things!

Confidence in Law School

These last two week have been pretty crazy for me! I’ve been super busy with law school and all of my classes as the teachers have started to buckle down and start throwing a ton of material and knowledge at us. It is very stressful. Right now, I feel like I’m doing alright in all of my classes but it’s hard to tell sometimes because I don’t have a grade in the classes and that’s a little nerve-wracking for me because I don’t know if I’m doing well or not.

In some of my classes when the teachers ask questions to other students, I answer them in my head and get them right but sometimes I get them wrong. Right now, I would say I’m doing the best in Torts, ok in Contracts, ok in Property, ok in Civil Procedure and good in Legal Methods.

I believe that I can definitely improve in all of my classes but I think the two things that I have to improve the most on in class and out of class is my confidence and my outlines. When I’m in class, I get a little nervous about being called on, even though I’m prepared and sometimes I just kind of blank out when I’m asked questions that I should know the answers. It’s very worrying for me because I do not want to be taking the final exam and kind of draw a blank because I’m nervous. I’ve been volunteering more in classes and while I don’t get called on all the time, I do sometimes. It’s helped build my confidence a lot from where it was at before. My confidence is still a little shaky but hopefully I can continue to improve it.

My outlines have been a bit of an issue for me because while I know how to follow one, I’m not exactly how to create a law school outline. Should it be just the topics we’ve covered in class listed out, or do I need to write definitions under each thing we’ve covered. I’ve heard different things from almost everybody I’ve talked to about it. My new plan is to spend at least one or two hours everyday on my outlines so that I have a great outline to take into the final exams.

Overall though, while it has been very tiring and stressful lately, I know that this little bit of suffering will pay off in a big way in the future!

Phew! Completion!

Today was very stressful and a bit crazy! I spent most if the day working on a Rules assignment for Legal Methods where I had to read about four to five different cases and synthesize them in order to come up with a rule statement. Yeah, even explaining it stresses me out.

Writing the statement was a bit difficult for me because the instructions were not very clear and I was having a hard time finding out what exactly was needed in the assignment. Eventually though, I was able to get some clarification on the instructions from some classmates and I was able to get the assignment done before the deadline — not a lot before, but before!

Missing Classes Get You a Star

Today was a very interesting day to say the least. Labor Day is coming up so some of my classmates were talking about their plans for the weekend and Monday since we didn’t have class that day. When I was in Property, I noticed that there were about six people missing from class. I’m not sure why they were missing class but I felt sorry for them and just a little relieved. Law school classes are graded on a Bell Curve and attendance is taken into account, so if people miss classes, that gives me a better chance of getting a higher grade than them because they lose points for missing class. The Torts professor was not happy about them missing class so she had everybody who was there put a star by their names. I’m not sure what the stars mean, but it can’t mean anything good for the people who weren’t there.

Hypothetically….

Today was a great day! Today we just had Contracts and it was a ton of fun! Professor Fineman split us up into groups where we discussed one of the hypothetical cases. The situation was between two companies over the fact that both parties were negotiating a licensing deal and both sides had agreed in principle to the terms that would be written in the contract. The parties also agreed to write a contract and give it to their presidents to sign. One of the parties had not signed the contract or communicated with the other party about why they hadn’t signed it. Now the offering party wants to get out of the contract because they got a better offer from a different buyer, so the president wanted to know if the company would be liable for anything.

My group spent some time discussing this and I believe I contributed a lot to the discussion. Actually, I know I did.

Woo! Interactive Student here!

Today was probably the best day I have had in class in regards to interacting with the professors. In Property, I answered several questions and I was right on target and I also asked a couple questions that Professor Whitman was happy that I brought up. My confidence has improved a ton from the first week now that I’m starting to get more comfortable and I can really start to tell. Hopefully the professors can too! Torts was also pretty good today and while I interacted more in Property, I did interact a little bit with giving the facts of a case and the issue statement.