Friday, March 30, 2007


This morning I sort of got into it with the ill-prepared one. She was saying free healthcare was a bad idea because it would encourage the underpriviliged to be unhealthy. She says they would be less likely to take care of themselves because they knew they could go to the doctor whenever they wanted to. So, I observed, the poor should be the most healthy class of society because they're motivated by their inability to afford medical care, right? It's the stupidist thing I've heard in a while. Mind you, this person is licensed to practice law.

However, she might never practice law. She's going to a jobfair for an area school district; she's considering teaching middle school. Why? It pays better than the lawyer jobs she's found. Hard to believe? Check out this gem from the UH job board:

Description: Personal injury law firm has entry level position available. No experience necessary. Bilingual (English/Spanish) a must. Class ranking irrelevant.
Location: Texas - Houston area
Position Type: Associate Attorney
Practice Area(s): Personal Injury
Desired Class Level(s): Graduate/Alumni
Salary Range: 30,000 - 39,999

Yikes! Whoever takes that job will no doubt end up leaving for a better opportunity, like assistant manager of a Pizza Hut or a Starbucks!

Whlie I haven't completely given up, I have set up an interview with an IT consulting company for Monday morning after my shift. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

On the Nightshift

Gonna be some sweet sounds coming down
On the nightshift.

I'm doing the graveyard shift again, but they let us listen to music with headphones so I brought some CDs. One of the women who comes in is perpetually ill-prepared. Last time she didn't bring a lunch. Today she had headphones but no CDs. So let her borrow from mine. I used to travel and when I would visit a country I would pick up CDs of the pop music in the country at the time (I recommend that to all you travellers. It's so much better than a stupid knick-knack you'll throw in a drawer.) So. She's looking through my CDs. She holds up Hisham Abbas. "What's this?" Egyptian pop. She tries another one. "Oh... What about this one?" Mor ve Ă–tesi. "OK..." She took The Who.

The work isn't bad; I just sift through documents deciding which folder to dump them in. The only problem is that the two supervisors seem to have different criteria for what goes where. TweedleDee says, "Put those in folder A." Then TweedleDum comes up to me and says, "Why are you putting those in folder A? They obviously go in folder B!" I'm not used to being confronted by Office Space scenarios. At the tech company, my dealings with management were pretty much limited to scheduling and strategizing company focus. So here I am wondering how to proceed. Do I just say, "Sorry, you're right. How stupid of me?" Or do I blame Tweedledee? Will that get me on Tweedledee's bad side? Or do I need him now that TweedleDum thinks I'm a moron? School does not prepare you for this.

OK, here's one for you. Is this picture from a legal services company or a J.C. Penney's catalog? It's the former. What do you think? I'm not sure I would want to be a part of this team. They look like the Cheetah Girls trying to do Boston Legal. See? Chanel thinks she's Bill Shatner. Alternatively, the skewed angles remind me of a U2 album cover. They always look like they are milling about in different directions too. Lawyers like the word "alternatively."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Very Temp!

My temp job was so temp!
How temp was it?
It was so temp, they called me six hours after I ended my first day, to tell me they had run out of work for the time being and I should expect to take the rest of the week off.

That gives me the rest of the week to find a day job.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Temp work!

The agency I interviewed with on Thursday has a document review project that is running 24 hours a day. They need people for the night shift, from midnight to 8:00 a.m. I told her I would take it. She said, "You don't sound too sure. Why don't you think about it?" She's probably right; I'm sure I didn't sound thrilled. But I told her there was nothing to think about; I would be there. I'm not sure how long it will last--she said it could be a week or a month. I figure if I sleep in the mornings, I will still have the afternoons and evenings free. I'll let you know how it goes.

An event I don't plan to attend

The University of Houston Law Center is hosting a Business and Industry Table Talk Attendee Information tomorrow, but it isn't sounding very useful. Of the 23 attending companies, 13 have no positions to offer at all: "attending talk to give information only; no open positions anticipated." Of those that offer internships, only three of them are even legal positions. The rest are sales, financial services, and other things that don't even require being a licensed attorney. I'm not too excited about going to talk to companies who aren't hiring about the non-legal work I could be doing if they were hiring, which they're not. If I go, I can talk to New York Life about being an insurance agent(!) and Exxon is looking for an intern for 2008 to put in a position that's not even in the legal department.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Today I am of a mind to pillory a pillock or two.

While looking for legal work, I started running a parallel job search for contract IT training. Microsoft has a message board for certified instructors. Sometimes a broker will post a message seeking bids for contract training. Most of them are for developer training, which isn't my expertise. Some of them are admin classes, but the messages depress me because I don't know how to answer them. Take these gems:

I need 2 individuals that is familiar with Longhorn. Are you skilled? Then I need to talk to you. This is your chance to work with Microsoft and make history.

Make history? Is he kidding? "Dear Sir: I is familiar with Longhorn. I have nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, and computer hacking skills. Let's make some history!"

Or how about this one:

I need a instructor for a SQL Querying class. It is in sunny, Tampa, FL. So, if you want to be where the sun is then this is the assignment. The class ... is a custom SQL class. So, you get three days of fun in the sun.

There's SQL 2000 and SQL 2005. For that matter, there's also Oracle SQL and mySQL. Which one do they want? The ad says it's 'customized' but it doesn't say in what respect. And what's with three days of fun in the sun? Is that the customization? Is the class to be held outside?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Moody Gardens

My daughter wanted to take a trip for her spring break, but I didn't want to go too far, so we spent two days on Galveston Island. (Those of you who sent birthday money last month, some of it went on this much-needed trip!) For those who don't recognize Moody Gardens from the picture above, it's an education and entertainment complex. The main attractions are three pyramids; the blue one is an aquarium, the clear one is a rainforest, and the red one showcases different hands-on exhibits for younger kids. We got some good pictures of the wildlife. I'm posting some here:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Silver or Gold?

Yesterday I picked up one of the new Washington dollars at the local bank. Yes, I know that there are probably about 125 million other people who will be collecting them. Still. I can't help but squirrel one away. One thing has confused me, though. I thought they were supposed to be gold, like the Sacagawea dollars. And some of the "error" dollars on eBay look gold. Mine is silver; the color of a dime. Are they supposed be be silver, gold, or both? I just spent an hour looking online for an explanation, but I can't find one. I suppose I have more important things to worry about, but this is my issue of the moment.

Monday, March 05, 2007


In case you're wondering what I've been up to since the bar exam, well, Friday I came back to Houston. Saturday I attended an informational meeting on starting an independent practice. Sunday I bought a diploma frame and saw Wild Hogs, and today I started cleaning up as I've been promising to do. It's nice to have no assigned reading! A few of us have been emailing back and forth about the exam, and trying to be encouraging and supportive as we settle in for a long wait.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bar Exam, Day 3

Yesterday was the last day of the Texas Bar Exam. Six essays in the morning, six in the afternoon. The essays this time were somteimes very different than thay had been in the last few exams. The surprises:
Topics I expectedWhat it asked for
Corporate directorsLLC members
Holder in due course /transfer warrantiesAccord and satisfaction
PMSIs and priority under Art. 9Repossession and sale
Child support or custodyCommunity property (2x)
A tough wills questionAn easy wills question
Oil & gas royaltiesPooling

From what I gather by talking to other test-takers, the accord and satisfaction question threw everyone for a loop. We spent so much time making sure we knew what would happen with things like purchase-money security interests in inventory that when we got to the question that asked "Was there an accord and satisfaction?" we all gave a collective "Huh?"

Sometimes the questions were so direct and straightforward that people didn't believe the test takers' recitation of the facts and included what the result would be in other scenarios, just in case the question's author was lying about the facts. Example: H marries W1. He takes out a life insurance policy and names W1 the beneficiary. They have no children. They later divorce, and H marries W2. H doesn't change the policy, but he does make a will that leaves the life insurance money to W2. H dies. Who gets the insurance money? OK, where's the adoption by estoppel, the pretermitted child, the 20-year-old stranger claiming to be H's child, born from H's indiscretion? Where's the holographic will written in a state that doesn'gt recognize holographic wills, but brought to Texas? It wasn't there! So some people made it up. "If H had children..." as if it mattered. No, I didn't do that.

After the exam, those of us who went through law school together walked over to the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner. Everyone said they were glad it was over, and how we would all see each other at the swearing-in ceremony in May, which seems like a loong way off.