Jeana's World of Law

Jeana's World of Law

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Next Three Months

Well today is the big day: the start of my LSAT class and the end of my life as I know it. Running February 28 to May 30, I am enrolled in the Kaplan Advantage online/on site LSAT prep course.

As soon as the class ends, the actual LSAT and law school applying phase begins. After two years "off" from college, it all seems super intense...but definitely worth it. I've been telling myself since I can remember that I wanted to become a lawyer, and now it's actually (almost) on the road to happening.

I will be as obsessed with the LSAT as Russell is with saving his wife.

Before it all goes down, I'd like to send thanks to all my friends and family who helped my pick (and fund) the right course for me. I've taken the practice LSAT, but - like most pre-law schoolers - liked, not loved, my score. Luckily, I have enough time and motivation to study to get my grade up. This is me pre-course. Let's see how I feel in three months.

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'" - Mohammad Ali.

Muhammed = Me. Sonny = the LSAT.

This all being said, I will be taking a break from my blog. I will update it as much as possible, perhaps as a procrastination method, but if not - at least you will know the reason why!

I would like to keep my blog as relevant as possible in my hiatus, so here is my call to guest bloggers. If anyone has any material relevant to law, law school, the LSAT, being a lawyer, politics, business, etc; that they would like to submit as a guest blog post then please don't hesitate to send it my way! Either message me on Facebook or shoot me an email.

Don't be scared to send me your guest post !

As my law life progresses, I hope to keep this blog so that it may one day turn into a resource for others who share the same interests. I acknowledge that this is a pretty big dream, but hey, might as well give it a shot. Wait, am I still talking about my blog, or my life? I guess they're about the same!

Soon to be me. Okay so I may be getting ahead of myself.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Forgot to send that special someone a message of your love? Then check out these hilarious President's of Love e-cards before it's too late.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Renewable Energy Guest Post

The high, up-front cost of solar panel installation causes many people to reconsider utilizing this renewable energy source, despite the fact that it not only lessens monthly electricity bills but also reduces our carbon footprint. However, the new option of "solar leases" are a great alternative and are expected to lead to more installations nationwide.

Want to learn more about solar leases? Check out my guest blog post about them!

Does your state offer solar leases? Check here to find out.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

You Took the LSAT, Now What?

Good luck to everyone who rocked the February LSAT today! Although I am not taking the LSAT for another four months (hello June LSAT), I think about it quite often. For most of us who have always known that we wanted to become a lawyer, the LSAT is the mighty gatekeeper. I think about all the preparation that went into today, all the time and money spent, just for this test.

he February LSAT scores are scheduled to be released via email by Wednesday, March 6, 2013, so you'll have to wait about one month for your LSAT score. Your future could very well rest on these results, and they make you wait? That being said, now what? T

Your first priority, provided you’re applying this year, should be to finish your law school applications. Polish your personal statement, check to make sure that The Credential Assembly Service (CAS) has all the necessary documentation, and generally prepare everything so that you can submit your applications the instant your LSAT score drops.

In case you didn't know, the CAS creates your law school report by combining:
  • LSAT score(s) and writing sample(s)
  • an academic summary report
  • all undergraduate, graduate, and law/professional school transcripts
  • letters of recommendation/evaluations, if applicable
  • other relevant information, such as prior matriculation
But wait, you’ve done all that haven't you. And it's all there in a neat little pile - or its already at your beloved potential law school waiting for the LSAT score to come join its friends. And now the uncertainty of not knowing your LSAT score is driving you up the wall.

In that case, you have two options. 1) Think about all the questions you were unsure of. You know, that one logic question you thought you nailed, but now you're not sure. 2) Login to your Law School Admission Council (LSAC) account page and click 'refresh'. Keep doing this until you see your LSAT score - that's right - a good 10 seconds or so before you would have received it by email. 

Not interested in those plans? I didn't think so. Instead, a better, saner plan would be to distract yourself. Don't become inactive, because when you do, your mind will go right back to your February LSAT score and its affect on your not-so-distant future. Need help? Here are some ideas:

1. Train. Now that you have all this free time, pick an athletic event and start training. Find something, make a schedule. At this point it’s likely to be something that’ll come after your LSAT scores come out, but that’s fine; after all, the nervous anticipation isn’t going to end when you submit your law school applications. Get to work at getting in shape, and reap the benefits: you’ll be distracted, you’ll be tired, and you’ll probably have an easier time getting your mind off the LSAT and sleeping at night. Also, those feel-good endorphins can really help overcome anxiety!

In just 1 month you can easily train for a 5k

2. Obsess. No, not about your future - about something fictional. Find some form of entertainment that will obsess you. It could be a series of books, a TV series, or anything else. The important thing is that it be something that captivates you to the point of absolutely needing to see what comes next. Channel your obsession into reading the next chapter, or watching the next episode, not into thinking about your LSAT score. My personal recommendation? TV series: Homeland and/or Breaking Bad. Books: Game of Thrones (which coincidentally is a series too, but not as good as the book). You'll thank me later.

As time consuming as studying for the LSAT, but way more addicting

3. Hobby. Okay so that's not an action verb, but you get it: pick up a new hobby. It can be an activity, interest, or pastime. Whether it's knitting a sweater, learning how to cook, playing tennis (or ping pong), or researching the World War II, get to it! Your newfound skills and knowledge will not only keep you occupied until your scores are released, but they can last a lifetime if you want them to.

This could be your new sweater!

4. Work. Get a job! You may not be able to find your dream job within a month, but perhaps at a local business, restaurant, or retail store, or for a family needing a babysitter. If you're up front about your time frame, many jobs may be happy to have a short-term hire to give a hand. This is not only a great way to pass the time, but an amazing opportunity to make new connections and some cash along the way! If a job is not for you, then volunteer your time. No matter where you live, there is always a cause you can devote your time to. If not a local shelter or charity, there are many politicians up for re-election that would never turn down a (free) helping hand. And while altruism is great and all, this time spent can go on your resume. And if you enjoy it, you can keep it up!

With practice, even you can carry two plates at once!

Whatever you end up doing with your time, good luck. Keep your eyes off your LSAC page, get out and enjoy the world. After all, in law school you won't have that much free time! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Aspiring Bitter Lawyer

Check out my latest two guest posts featured on Bitter Lawyer - one of my all time favorite law humor blogs.

Although I've been busy studying for the LSATs (while balancing my work internship and my social life) I still managed to pop out some guest posts.

Check them out here:

1. Law School Applications From Potheads Up 350%

2. Krazy Glue May Not Really Be “All Purpose”

Are you an aspiring bitter lawyer interested in guest posting? Then contact me at for a chance to guest post on my blog!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chris Christie: A Self-Loathing Republican?

Usually I try and remain as un-biased as a recent college graduate living in Washington D.C. interning for an environmental law firm can be, but today I wanted to write about Chris Christie. I like you, Christie. You do it for me.

I started thinking about the Republican Governor of New Jersey this afternoon when I came across a Huffington Post article detailing his interview with the Washington Post in which he condemned of the GOP by calling their decision to lengthen the nomination process in 2012 the "stupidest thing the Republican Party ever did." A party, keep in mind, that he is very much a part of. 

Last February he made a similar remark in an interview with Fox News (gasp), in which he called the Republican National Committee's decision to award delegates in most states proportionally "the dumbest idea anybody ever had."

I can't help but be brought back to the controversial Hurricane Sandy. You know, that annoyance that disrupted the 2012 campaign trail. When Sandy quite literally ripped open the east coast, both presidential candidates took barely a moment to comment before jumping back on the trail. But not Christie. In my opinion, this was the game changer.

Here was Christie with his state, his people, his beaches, destroyed. He praised Obama for his "outstanding" action post-disaster and politely declined the Republican's request to attend a pro-Romney event. Isn't this exactly what a leader is supposed to do? Put party sides away, and fix the problem? But of course this drew out the peanut gallery, proclaiming that Christie was throwing Romney under the proverbial bus. Why? Because he was there to support the people of the state he governs?

When asked on Fox & Friends about his oh-so-questionable actions, he replied that he doesn't "give a damn about presidential politics" right now. 

Continuing on with Sandy, more recently, Christie pushed for Congress to pass a bill for disaster relief aid. We all know now that in the eleventh hour...the bill was not passed. Pulling no punches, Christie stated: "[Last night,] the House majority failed most basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state. ... It was disappointing and disgusting to watch." He also unapologetically named names: "There's only one group to blame ... the House majority, and their Speaker, John Boehner." He added that the relief bill "just could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House majority."

Burn! And in case you didn't know, John Boehner is a Republican. Christie also took the high road in terms of decrying the overall atmosphere of hyperpartisanship in the government, arguing very correctly that "Americans are tired of the palace intrigue and political partisanship of this Congress ... this used to be something that was not political. Disaster relief was something that you didn't play games with."

His strong statements of non-conformity are more than anomaly in today's polarized world of Democrat vs. Republican. Why does a Republican have to be one way and a Democrat another? Can't we all be a bit self-loathing to our registered parties? Can't some people be pro-gay rights and anti-abortion? 

Although I do not agree with everything Christie stands for, I believe he is a model politician. In are some of this beliefs:
  • Abortion: Pro-life, but supports the exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. He opposes public funding for abortions.
  • Homosexual rights: For same-sex rights in form of civil union. Believes homosexuality is not a sin; people are born that way.
  • Energy: Pro-renewable/green energy. Currently considering a windfarm off the coast of NJ. Does not oppose NJ's state-wide cap-and-trade legislation.
  • Environment: Acknowledges the reality of climate change.
  • Immigration: Supports amnesty for illegal aliens, has expressed support for a pathway to citizenship.
  • Education: For the protection of teacher pensions and collective bargaining.
  • Gun control: Governor Christie supports gun conrtrol laws. He has supported the assault weapons ban, opposes concealed carry laws, and supports the New Jersey one gun per month law. Would expand 'gun control' into broader 'violence control'.
  • Government: Stricter limits on PAC campaign donation, cut wasteful spending, improve transparency. His Ethics Reform plan in 2010 sought to increase transparency in government, accountability to the public from elected officials and strengthen New Jersey's existing laws to ensure that the electoral process is conducted with integrity – a critical step in gaining and keeping the public's trust in their government.
I am very interested to see how Christie's future pans out. Although he has not directly come out and said it, there have been many indications that he is considering a run at the 2016 president elections. Either way, it's refreshing to see a politician who doesn't fit the cookie cutter mold his or her party has created.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Happened in Benghazi?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today (Wednesday, January 23) took on Republican critics of her department's handling of the Benghazi incident.

Headlines since September 11, 2012, have been circulating regarding the situation, leaving many Americans wondering, "Where is Benghazi" and "What happened in Benghazi" and "Wait, didn't the September 11th attacks happen in 2001?"

Where is Benghazi?

Let's start with a geography lesson. Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya. Libya is located in Northern Africa, sandwiched between Algeria and Egypt. To it's north, is the Mediterranean Sea. Libya is included in the generalization of the 'Middle East.'

What has been happening in Benghazi?

Now a history lesson. In 1951, the United States supported the United Nations resolution that provided Libya its independence. Oil was discovered in 1959 and the country began to take advantage of this commodity. To make a long story short, in their attempt to make the oil industry as profitable as possible, the government (led by King Idris) replaced the federal system with a centralized one, causing problems in a country that was deeply divided along regional, ethnic and tribal lines.

This lead to Muammar Gaddafi's 1969 coup d'etat - the revolution he lead to overtake the King and government. Since then, the US-Libyan relations became increasingly strained when Gaddafi nationalized the oil companies. In 1972, the United States recalled its ambassador. Export controls on military and civil aircraft were imposed during the 1970s, and US embassy staff members were withdrawn from the after a mob attacked and set fire to the embassy in December 1979. The US Government designated Libya a "state sponsor of terrorism" on December 29, 1979.

Gaddafi led the country, and its oil exports, until February/March 2011, when anti-government protests broke out in Tunisia and Egypt, marking the start of the Arab Spring - and when the Libyan civil war occurred. At this point, the US had cut ties with Gaddafi. The US, along with several European and Arab nations, called for the UN to authorize military intervention in the conflict. In the end, Gaddafi lost (he died) and his opposition (National Transitional Council) won.

Shortly after the fall, on March 14, 2011, Hilary Clinton made first direct contact with the anti-Gaddafi opposition leader and then on July 15 recognized this as Libya's legitimate authority. The US then led an effort at the UN to repeal parts of UN Security Council Resolution 1970 in order to allow unfrozen Libyan assets to be transferred to the interim government. In October 2011, President Obama pledged to work with the new Libyan government as a partner, and said the US was "committed to the Libyan people". Up to this point, all seemed okay.

September 11, 2012

Now we can continue onto what happened on September 11, 2012. On this day, the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi was attacked by a heavily armed group. Four Americans were killed, including US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, and ten others were injured. Note: this attack was completely separate than the attacks on New York City on September 11, 2012. The groups behind the attacks were not associated with one another.

The 2012 attack was strongly condemned by the governments of Libya and the US, and an investigation into who the attackers were is ongoing. Obama went as far as to call it an 'Act of terror' (does that bring a certain Mitt Romney debate fail to mind?),

So where does Clinton fall into it all? 

Well, since the attacks she has repeatedly distanced herself from a direct role in specific situations. Critics of Clinton (mostly Conservative Republicans, go figure) challenged her on two things: 1) the lack of security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, and 2) the erroneous account provided four days later by UN Ambassador Susan Rice that the attack grew spontaneously from a protest over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

So today, Wednesday January 23, Clinton testified and defended her handling of the attack and denied any effort to mislead people.

Clinton took responsibility for the failures that led to those deaths, citing a "personal" commitment to improving diplomatic security abroad. Although she accepted responsibility, she still defended the actions of herself and her department.

A Senate committee report said the State Department made a "grievous mistake" in keeping the Benghazi mission open despite inadequate security and increasingly alarming threat assessments in the weeks before the attack. She placed the incident as part of a long history of such violence as well as the result of regional instability since the Arab Spring in 2011.

In addition, Clinton acknowledged the "systemic breakdown" cited in a report by an Accountability Review Board she appointed and noted that she had accepted all 29 of its recommendations. She also said that her department was taking additional steps to increase security at US diplomatic facilities around the world.

The independent report from the review board said it did not find "that any individual U.S. government employee engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored his or her responsibilities" leading up to the attack. However, one State Department official resigned and three others were placed on administrative leave after the report was released in December 2012.

This is a particularly big deal for Clinton, who ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2008 and was considering running again in 2016, as this may tarnish her chances.