TGIF

One more day in this week and then I have a weekend to get ready for class starting next week. After a multi-hour screaming match last night, I think Chapin and I ironed out a tentative settlement agreement. I’ve sent it to my lawyer for her review and she’ll prepare it for his signature. Right now he’s acquiescing because he thinks that if he gives me what I want, I’ll give him another chance. :???: Not going to happen. Hopefully he will sign this and then the courts will move fast to give us a final hearing, maybe by the end of the summer? I’m keeping everything crossed that this will go smoothly and that we’ll be done soon. I’m not confident, just hopeful.

In the meantime, I am happy to have classes returning so that I can throw myself into something else and keep my mind off of all of this. Today I have to try to go to the doctor because my body is rebelling against the stress with an allergic-type reaction that I haven’t been able to tame with antihistamines or cortizone. Argh. I seriously think I’m a medical freak of nature. Every time I’m under serious stress, my body freaks out with hives or rashes or some kind of flu-type virus. I think I need a private island to escape to.

Is it Tuesday yet?

I don’t usually look forward to starting the week but this weekend has been torture and I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow. In fact, I really wish school was starting this week instead of next.

My husband continued to insist that we could fix things all weekend and finally my father came over today with a double bed and helped me move my office furniture into my son’s bedroom and convert the den into a bedroom for Chapin. Maybe a little distance will help him get the hint since my constantly telling him it’s over and to leave me alone hasn’t worked. Or maybe he’ll face reality when the papers I filed LAST WEDNESDAY are finally served. What good is a TRO if it takes the court five days to effect service?!? :evil: My lawyer said that it’s normal for it to take that long. Argh.

Hopefully this week will fly by and, by this time next week, I will be back in school and able to avoid Chapin’s waking hours. Thank God for our wonderful nanny who Pumpkinhead adores and who calls me morning and afternoon so I can chat with him. It is so great that Pumpkinhead not only is able to but also wants to carry on phone conversations these days. I can’t believe he’s almost five years old.

Back to school

Anyone else taking summer classes? I have 100+ pages to read before June 2 and I haven’t even cracked the cover of my book. I am seriously envious of those of you with a whole summer off. That said, it’s amazing how fast the last year has passed by. For those people out there considering going back to school, what are you waiting for? It sucks while you’re in it, but the time passes so quickly. Hopefully my next three years will continue to move fast and I’ll be graduated before I know it.

Right now I’m taking it one day at a time. I suppose LawSchoolMom was correct that I’m a selfish mother. I was going to drop out to help Pumpkinhead through this time. but my family is encouraging me to keep going. Right now I plan to continue attending law school at night. My parents are going to help me continue to pay for our nanny and as long as I have someone to give Pumpkinhead consistency, I suppose I will keep attending school. Besides, it will take my mind off of things and, with any luck, provide Pumpkinhead with a better future.

Anyway, I have another week of freedom. Today I’m cleaning out my home office and moving it into the room adjoining our master bedroom. Chapin is insisting on staying in the house with Pumpkinhead until the divorce is finalized so I’m moving him a bit further away into the room that had been my home office. Sigh… At least it gives me a good excuse to get my office cleaned up and organized.

Clear-headed

After almost two weeks on the new medication, my head is finally clear of the dopey drugs. Summer semester starts in another week and I’ve spent my mini-vacation between semesters doing some serious thinking with this newly clear head. Last weekend I left Pumpkinhead with my mother and spent part of my Saturday doing something fun just for me. Unfortunately I forgot that I was supposed to be at home with my son, only leaving the house with him and then only to see my family members — no friends, classmates, coworkers, etc. And I suffered the consequences.

But after eight years of living my life with a mind clouded by good intentions and a tender, forgiving heart, I’m finally rediscovering the strong, independent woman I used to be and the woman I want my son to know. As much as it may hurt Pumpkinhead right now, I need to show him that I can stand up for myself and for him against cruel and humiliating words. Looking back, I don’t know how I ever let myself change so much from the fearless person I was raised to be. But she’s not gone and I’m not going to let illness, financial necessity or guilt trips sway me from reclaiming her again.

Yes, I was not truthful in my last post about a “friend.” Thank you to all who responded with advice. They say that law school can be a stressful time and spur some wild life changes. In my case, it helped me regain the strength and confidence I had deep down inside and stand up for myself against a man whose insecurities caused him to doubt my love and wear me down with constant jealousy and attempts to control me. I did get a lawyer and I did file papers this week. Now I just have to stand up to this man — forcing myself to disregard the side of him that is a funny, loving father to my son — and get him out of my house. Thank God I have another week of strength stored up before school starts again and a long weekend ahead with a whole bunch of extended family around me to help me find some solutions.

Pro-Se Contested Divorce

Okay, here’s a random question for you. I have a law student friend who is considering divorcing her husband. They have small children. If you were a fairly educated law student who was contemplating divorce, would you try to avoid some costs by filing your divorce pro se or would you still seek legal representation? What if kids were involved? Do you think that law students know enough, with the help of a good pro se manual, to at least kick off the process or is that incredibly stupid? Have any of you gone through divorce? How would you lower the costs?

Weekly MILS Roundup #46

The Weekly MILS (Moms In Law School) Roundup** is the brainchild of Saramel (retired). It is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom and A Little Fish in Law School blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday morning. Next week’s MILS Roundup will be hosted by Butterflyfish.

Not feeling well today, hence my utter lack of creativity below…

Kim offers up an important monthly reminder (and is celebrating one year cancer-free!!)

GoogieBaba encourages us to give

2L Wannabe is outta here!

Andrea is done with school!

Clownfish is enjoying the show and putting on one of his own. Great words!

Dakota spent Mother’s Day pondering the best educational path for her son.

ProtoAttorney
recounted a relaxing first Mother’s Day.


LagLiv
showed us crime scene pics.

Law School Hot Mama offers up more cuteness than we can take (just want to squeeze him!!!)

Magic Cookie starts off her vacation in pain.

Meanwhile, Cee is enjoying her freedom.

If you’d like to have your blog added to the MILS blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

**Hat tip to the “original” Roundup — Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground and Divine Angst

Judgments

As women in a highly competitive school environment leading to an even more high pressure career, we have to learn how to take shit, be it from clients, bosses or colleagues. One of the reasons I started blogging was to network with other future attorneys, both female and male, who could envision a more ethical, collegial world where we share resources and help each other. I have benifitted immensely from my network of contacts and hope to help others in similar ways. I feel like, especially as women, we need to support each other against this good ol’ boys network.

That is why it was particularly disappointing to read another MILS today support my view about how we need to be honest and open and help each other and then turn around and call one of the MILS a selfish mother — basically a bad parent — for allowing multiple babysitters to watch her baby so she could attend class. Haven’t we all done that? I know I have and I’m probably the worst offender — working full-time AND using evening sitters? I never see my kid! Then she pretty much called me out directly for having a nanny “raise” my child and drive him to school.

Regardless, she throws up a desire for “blogger honesty” as the motivation for stating that mothers who use babysitters are allowing others to raise their kids. This is a tired argument that just doesn’t hold water. It takes a village to raise a child. As much as my child might love to spend every minute with me, he is enriched much more by his interactions with the diverse people who care for him each day, from his Indian Montessori teacher to his Mexican nanny to his Texan grandmother and his British grandfather. Let’s not forget the gay couple at church who babysit in a pinch or the blind elderly woman who lets him read her stories while I study during the post-service coffee hour. It takes a village and I would be a selfish mother only if I were to deprive him of those experiences.

Reality Check

Kristina at Wicked Words has written a great open letter to one of the executives at a Boston legal temporary placement firm, Counsel on Call, calling his company and others in the field out for perpetuating the myth that contract attorneys are unhireable or undesirable rather than assisting those attorneys with permanent placements.

Her most recent letter was set off by a chain of events over the past few weeks. First, this article in the Boston Globe, to which she dashed off the following letter:

It is with a dull anger that I read your article, “These temp lawyers are top-notch, a new firm in Boston promises,” (May 5, 2008), which my grandmother handed to me as I was clicking on the classifieds in a fruitless effort to find an ad for a junior-level attorney. You see, I have four years of an Ivy League education, followed by three years of law school, and bar admission.

In a world where someone with a J.D. is automatically considered to one of the top earners in the country, the Globe frittered away the opportunity to report on the underclass of lawyers that are mired in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in debt and count on document review to pay the bills. Instead, it gleefully perpetuated the “stereotype” by noting that a contract attorney is a “fancy name for recent law school graduates who are desperate for work” and touting the services of a staffing firm that refuses to hire recent graduates who “couldn’t get a job anywhere,” without bothering to interview a single contract attorney.

This recent underemployed attorney also used to be a journalist. Maybe she should have remained one, as the Globe could certainly use a refresher in one of the cardinal rules of journalism, Always Examine all Potential Angles.

To which Counsel on Call’s representative replied (on Kristina’s blog):

Chad Schmidt said…

Just wanted to drop in and clarify a couple of things, as I can understand why my “can’t find a job” quote would upset you – and I’m glad you’ve brought it up for discussion.

This is what I remember saying to the reporter (and to be honest I can’t remember my exact words, but the quote seemed like more of a paraphrase than verbatim): 10-15 years ago, the landscape was much different. The ‘knock’ or perception was that contract attorneys were only recent law grads or attorneys who were out of work.

That does sound derogatory and insensitive … not at all the way I intended. That quote, however, represents the perception many people in the profession held and propagated – one we vehemently disagreed with, not only in fact but in principle – and it left an obstacle that still exists in many circles. All of that obviously didn’t come thru in my quote, which is my fault.

We’ve made a lot of progress in recent years in opening up more career options for attorneys, and that’s what I was trying to communicate. Even though the article wasn’t about recent grads, there are so many talented people out there who can’t find the job they want, and that’s very disheartening – we’re certainly attuned to that as a company. The more attorneys who gain experience and attain the jobs they want, the more it helps us make flexible work arrangements increasingly popular, if that makes sense. There are a lot of Catch 22s involved, which I know is frustrating. It might not sound like it in that quote of mine, but there are a lot of very dedicated people here trying to make the profession better and unearthing more opportunities for everyone.

I hope to keep this dialogue going, because you’re certainly not alone in your plight and we talk to attorneys about it every day. Hopefully The Globe will do an article on the subject and shine the spotlight on it in Boston. Good luck in your professional pursuits — your blog is very relevant and I’ll certainly keep reading.

Regards,

Chad Schmidt
Counsel On Call

Read Kristina’s latest response (linked at top) and join in the conversation at Wicked Words.

To my fellow “Al Diablo Con Los Guapos” addicts

Someone searched my blog today for a link to the full summary of my current favorite Spanish novela, Al Diablo con los Guapos. Here’s the full summary. Don’t read it unless you want to know how the soap ends. I totally cried watching tonight’s episode. Poor Milli!

Fortunately/unfortunately, Chapin has me hooked on Fuego en la Sangre and those sexy cowboys. ;) No tears there (so far…).