Saturday, October 17, 2009

Been Too Long!!

What's up everybody?? It's been a real long time since my last post, I know, but I wanted to try to get back in the game with this new post.

Since I wrote last, I've been experiencing what it is that people call "First Year Law School." Man, I was expecting a lot of challenging work, but I never expected anything like this. My study habits have done a complete 180 since college. Don't get me wrong, I got done what I had to get done in college, but that kind of approach just doesn't cut it in law school. My day usually starts around 7am when I wake up and get ready to head into town. I try to get to school around 8am when the library opens and I can usually spend a good 2-3 hours studying before my first class which is typically at 11 or 12. My day is usually over by 4:15 at the latest and then I hit the gym real quick before catching a ride home with Momma Lemmons.

I have grown accustomed to spending every extra hour I have doing some kind of school work and I usually dedicate Saturdays to the library. Now before you judge me, the only reason I devote Saturdays to the library is so I can do nothing on Sundays except watch football all day and's a beautiful thing.

Another development in my life is that I enrolled in the "Pro Bono Program" at Suffolk Law and through that program I was set up with an internship at the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC). Pro Bono is basically community service in a legal field. Because it is community service it is an unpaid internship but even though I started about 3 weeks ago, I have already gotten a great deal of valuable insight. MHLAC is a sub-committee of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court charged with protecting the interests of those afflicted with mental health diagnoses and promoting awareness in the community at large about how mental health affects many people in our society.

My job at MHLAC is to help manage the intake line. Intake at MHLAC is an open hotline where people with mental health diagnoses can call in with their legal problems. Most of what I do is getting information from the people regarding their legal issues, which range from guardianship and housing issues to issues regarding negligent treatment by mental hospital workers and claims about discrimination. The invaluable experience of talking directly with clients and trying to wade through their stories (which are usually very long and scattered) to spot the key issues and critical facts is really going to help me out down the road.

Besides the schoolwork and internship, I am starting to meet some really cool kids in my section. Our 1L class is divided into 4 sections of about 80 students per section and we take all of them same classes. I am in Section 1D and so we have all of our classes together. The six classes I am taking now (they are mandatory, 1Ls don't choose their schedule) are Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, and Legal Practice Skills (LPS). These are all full year courses except for Criminal Law which is just a one semester class, and we pick up Constitutional Law in it's place in the Spring. The first week or two nobody really talked to each other but it's been nice to see the kids in our section start to ease up a little and become friends. I really look forward to getting to know all of them better as the year goes on (we see plenty of each other!)

My beautiful sister Shayla started pre-K this past September also. I spoke with my stepmom, Michelle, the other night and she told me that Shayla is really enjoying school and that she got her first progress report. The teachers say that she is a delight to have and that she is a little shy in school, which is SO hard to believe because her personality is huge. She really is a sweetheart though and I'm really proud of her. I went over to their house on the morning of her first day of school and she was so happy. Her little school uniform (navy sweats and a t shirt) is adorable and I love that she is happy.

I also got to talk to my other sister, Safiya, for a second on the phone and hearing her say "Hi Chris!" and "Bye Chris!" just warms me up. I am so lucky to have such beautiful sisters and my love for them is indescribable.

Whew! I know I must be forgetting things but I'll ease back into this, don't want the post to be too long. I am going to try to keep up with this much more as a way to communicate with people. My schedule is so busy that I just don't have the time to see or talk to all the people that I want to, but along with me keeping you updated on my life, I'd love to hear from everyone else about how things with you are going.

I hope everyone is well and hopefully I can keep this up.

Until next time...

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