Lifestyle

XCV: C-R-A-C

CONCLUSION•RULE•ANALYSIS•CONCLUSION

First and second year law students are forever reminded of C-R-A-C, but imagine if we applied it outside of the legal writing context…

I definitely CRAC when I meet people. Yes this is kind of like judging a book by it’s cover, but let’s be real! I have to use the clues that you drop here and there to see if you are the type of person that I would align myself with.

Now, don’t get me wrong, 9 times out of 10, I am still a horrible judge of character (or maybe I’m good and most people just suck 🤔), but I do like to use the clues. Here’s an example:

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THERE WAS THIS GUY…

[I tend to befriend guys way more than girls simply because girls are more likely to lie and engage in petty, backstabbing behaviors. Guys only really lie to you when you’re dating them 😂. ]

But anyway, there was this guy, and I had already come to the CONCLUSION that he was not the type of person that I would ever be interested in getting to know. I had seen him interact with a couple of people, I paid attention at the moments where he attempted to interact with me, and I had heard him speak in a professional setting.

I learned all that I needed to know by just observing him — he was the type of person who would literally become whoever it was necessary to become to get ahead. This means that he has no sense of who he actually is, has no sense of identity, and is most likely a dishonest person. I deduced all of this by just observing him! And, the conclusion was formed that I did not want to know him!

BUT, THE RULE TELLS US THAT WE ARE TO [AT LEAST] TREAT OTHERS AS THOUGH THEY ARE ALSO HUMAN…

So, in applying that rule, when a situation brought us closer, I allowed it to happen. I befriended him! I went against what my mind had already formed as an opinion about this person, and then completely disregarded it in the name of humanity.

Now, most of the ANALYSIS portion of this post is me getting to know this person and forming a completely new idea about who he is! I spend time with him, I actually consume food in front of him (some of which he cooked!), we go to movies together, we hang out on weekends, we hang out on weekdays. A real bond is forming, and with that, I completely forgot that my analysis has to, in some way relate to/lead to my conclusion (otherwise how did I get there/what am I writing about?!).

Okay, I know I am not the only law student who has ever forgotten, mid-analysis, to either tie in her conclusion, lead to her conclusion clearly, or in some way make it all make sense in terms of her conclusion. I simply can’t be because I’ve seen the papers where we’re either too conclusory (conclude too soon with no analysis) or where we botch our analysis which is essentially the “lead up” to the conclusion.

In this instance, I got so tied up in the analysis section that I completely forgot the conclusion that I had formed by hours of observation! The conclusion that he was going to lead me to via the “getting to know each other” phase was not going to look like what I had already seen from him and concluded.

If you can recall, I had already formed the conclusion that this was a person that would say anything and become anyone to get close to a person/get what he wants/get ahead. So how did I miss it all throughout my ANALYSIS that he was doing this exact same thing to me. 🤷🏾‍♀️

  [Bright side: he wasn’t real so there was no loss]

Conclusion, I CRAC-ed the heck out of that situation, but not even law school can protect you from one who falls victim to the ways of the human. Some are able to fight off all of the ugliness that comes with trying to navigate a world that isn’t easily accepting, or that is so self-absorbed, or greedy really!  But, many aren’t able to do this, and I’m realizing that this is something that I will encounter more and more no matter how closed off I attempt to be.

I will always be walking around and observing people — concluding basically. But the human in me is what will give that person a chance to change whatever conclusion I reach (chances are it’ll be a bad one before it’ll be a good one). However, it’s up to them to shape our analysis section.

Be a good person and we can reach a new and better conclusion. Be a garbage person, and I’m going to let my conclusion stick.

See guys, we do use the crap that we learned in law school.  🎓

XCIV: What Is A J.D. Anyway?

Most of my family doesn’t know that I am still in school. And those who do know have no clue what type of degree I am working on — and honestly many people don’t know what a J.D. is, they just know what a lawyer is.

Lawyers and doctors are thought of amongst societies elite, but many people don’t even understand the process that comes before the title. So, my hope is that this post will help just a tiny bit.

THE LEVELS:

A lot of people are confused about what level of education a Juris Doctorate is, even though the answer is in the title. Don’t worry, I understand!

Many think that a J.D. and a Master’s are about the same, which is simply NOT true.  Here’s a boring spectrum, if ever there were one:

High School Diploma ➡️AA Degree ➡️BA/BS (Bachelor’s Degree) ➡️MA/MBA (Master’s Degree) ➡️ Doctorate Degrees — PsyD/Juris Doctorate/PhD/MD

Every degree in the last category are amongst the highest degrees that one can receive. So there is no ‘I got a Master’s instead of a Juris Doctorate’ because they are simply not in the same category. If it’s easier, you can think of them as stepping stones.

I know a person with a degree in every category (or degree in progress) so I just think of each of them as a stepping stone to the next where one is required before the other (except Master’s). I see each as more and more of an accomplishment along the way, but I am sure to educate myself on what each degree means so that I address each person with said degree accordingly.

You worked for the degree, but I’m not in the business of giving you more than what you worked for or of giving you less than what you worked for. So, the levels are important.

THE CONFUSION:

The only reason that I forget that I am getting a degree in the doctoral level of education is that I am not done once I finish school. I still have to sit for the bar exam (although this is an option, and not everyone who attends law school takes the bar exam).

I oftentimes forget to pat myself on the back for the work that I’ve done, the progress that I’ve made, and the places that I’ve been with the hard work that I’ve put into getting these degrees.

But, I want it to be clear that, once you get a degree such as a J.D., you have options!

  1. You can be done and simply denote that you have a J.D. by leaving those initials at the end of your name (which is cool).  _____________, J.D.

  2. You can take the part of the degree that acknowledges you as a Doctor of Jurisprudence and call yourself Dr. ____________.

  3. You can sit for the bar exam, pass, and place “Esquire/Esq.” in your surname — making you ____________, Esq.

  4. Do nothing and keep your degree a secret. I commend your humility.

  5. But, as long as you pass the bar exam (in addition to your moral character application and the MPRE), you can practice law in your state. Otherwise, you can work wherever you see fit — many with J.D.s go to the Capitol.

So, I think that I’ve said all that needs to be said about a Juris Doctorate degree.

The big takeaways here are that (1) THIS IS A BIG DEAL; (2) Acknowledge people’s degrees correctly — they worked hard for it!; (3) if you’re unsure about what someone’s degree is or what to call them, then JUST ASK THEM. If they aren’t jerks, then chances are, they’ll explain it to you (I’ve had someone try to place Master’s and J.D.’s in the same category and then get upset when I asked her what a Master’s was in comparison to a J.D.).

Moving forward! Congrats to the Class of 2019. Congrats to all receiving Juris Doctorate degrees. Hopefully this post helps to explain what the heck that actually means.

🎓🎓🎓

XCII: This Or That? - [Un]Popular Opinion

Alright! Let’s talk about it:

IN-N-OUT OR SHAKE SHACK?

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I’m from the west coast but Shake Shack > In-N-Out any day!  

Can we talk about flavor, savor, and the full package? Shake Shack has got it all! I usually go for ShackBurger, Bacon Cheese Fries and a shake, but the whole menu is literally delicious!

Although In-N-Out is good, there are many who simply HATE the fries, or they don’t like that, many times, the drinks seem a bit flat. But in all of my experience with Shake Shack, I haven’t had one bad batch of fries nor have I had one flat drink. All experiences have been good!

So, it’s Shake Shack all day for me! Yummmmmm…


NETFLIX OR HULU?

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Even though Hulu has gems like Living Single, I definitely watch Netflix way more!

I can’t say that it’s because Netflix has anything special, but I do enjoy a lot of the shows that I wouldn’t have otherwise found (like Master of None).

So, it’s Netflix > Hulu all day.


MACBOOK OR DELL?

I’ve had both, so I can honestly say that I like the flexibility of the Dell. You can buy apps without paying extreme prices in the App Store and you just have more freedom on Dells while Apple tries to get money from its consumers in any area possible.

I do prefer Macbooks over Dells, but I will say that the storage on MacBooks suck!

As for Dells, my old Dell literally went off one day and just never came back on. That hasn’t happened with my MacBook, so…

MacBook > Dell!


SHORT HAIR OR LONG HAIR?

I mean, really, this is a question of person and patience.

Since my hair has always been short and kinky, I guess I prefer shorter hair, but I’m also not opposed to long hair. I even keep my hair in a protective style that is long, so I honestly cannot choose between the two.

But, living in Cali, I wouldn’t be shocked if people preferred shorter hair during these hot summers, and longer hair during the lukewarm winters.

Short Hair > Long Hair.


NATURAL HAIR OR RELAXED HAIR?

I’ve had both natural and relaxed hair and I must say that they are BOTH a ton of work. My mom started relaxing my hair when I was younger just because it made her life a bit easier.

I have thick, course, 4C natural hair with tight kinks and coils, so I completely get her needing a break from trying to comb through that mess.

As I got older, I decided to grow it out and cut off all of the relaxed hair. I have since had nothing but natural hair that is neither tamed nor trained. I keep it in protective styles just because it makes my life easier and I love it.

Natural > Relaxed Hair for me!


INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?

I love my alone time indoors, but, being outdoors when the weather is perfect is simply perfect.

One thing that I can truly appreciate about living in California is that the amount of simply beautiful days that you get far outnumber the amount of doom-and-gloom days.

So it’s definitely…

Outdoors > Indoors for me.


GYM OR HOME WORKOUT?

There was a time when home workouts were my sole source of a workout, and then summer came.

It just got to be way too hot for me to workout in my apartment, so I switched over to the gym. Now, it’s not to say that you can’t stay home, get a full body workout, and not hotbox yourself to death in your home with sweat and body heat, but this is just to say that I couldn’t anymore.

Although going to a gym comes with driving and potentially having to interact with people, I think I’m at a point where I can get a better workout by being in a gym.

Gym > Home Workout!


NIKE OR UNDER ARMOUR?

Now, I do feel as though Nike has a bigger selection than Under Armour, but I enjoy looking at men who can pull off a nice Under Armour workout outfit too. 👀

I mean, I guess I should make this post useful and pick which brand I, as a fit woman, prefer huh? Okay, how about…

Nike > Under Armour 🤷🏾‍♀️And this is just because I have way more experience with Nike than I do with Under Armour. This is subject to change. Everyone is coming for Nike these days…


NIKE OR GYMSHARK?

I’ve always been a Nike girl. I like their shoes, their clothes, their coats, etc. But I did try out GymShark and thoroughly enjoy the fit of some of their styles.

If I had to discuss any negatives about the two then:

Nike - Price and I mean, really, that’s it.

Gymshark - Not all styles are great quality (i.e. the new energy line is thin and just not worth it) and it’s hit or miss depending on what you buy.

Nike is more of a surefire shot while Gymshark is taking a gamble. I’d say that if you actually workout during your workouts and aren’t just at the gym taking selfies and doing squats, then maybe lean more towards Nike. But, if you’re there for the looks, then Gymshark all the way.

For this post, it’s going to have to be Nike > Gymshark.


COFFEE OR TEA?

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Since I’m already addicted, I’m going to side with coffee in this debate.

There are times where tea is totally my first choice (like when I’m sick), but the thing that I go for when I wake up is always coffee.

I’m currently obsessed with Peet’s Coffee’s Major Dickason’s Blend which is a yummy dark roast that has just the right amount of flavor and boldness for my little papillae to enjoy.


THE OFFICE OR PARKS AND REC?

I’ve honestly never seen Parks and Rec, so The Office all day!


CYCLING OR RUNNING?

I used to make it a point to drive an hour and a half to attend Soulcycle.

I just had to attend the class taught by Devin, one of the coolest people that I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet, and such an inspiration during every workout.

BUT,

Since, I have to choose my preference, I’m going to go with running! The times that I can’t make it to Soulcycle, but try to cycle on my own, completely suck. Without the Soulcycle atmosphere, I just don’t push myself the same, it’s not as much fun and my cycling workouts never pass the thirty minute mark.

But, when I run, I set the pace and I find it easier to focus on pushing myself. For some reason, I feel like I’m more in control of the workout when I run rather than when I cycle.

Running > Cycling

XCI: What Area Of Law Do You Want To Practice?

This is the one questions that I get more than any other, with a strong second being, “So, will you represent me if some stuff goes down?”

When I came to law school, I simply decided that my focus would be criminal law and I’d either get a PhD in Psychology along with my JD so that I can become a criminologist, or that I’d work towards becoming a district attorney.

The DA goal, of course, has changed over time mainly because of the work that I’ve seen people in this profession doing and because of the panels that I’ve listened to and the ways that I’ve seen DAs completely unable to answer simple questions from law students. Being a criminologist is still within my grasp, but REALLY all I want is to work at a job where I am not undervalued, unappreciated, used and overworked. I want to have a job that I can develop a real passion for and I want to have a job that I am proud to go to everyday.

I don’t know if any of you have ever had this experience, but I have worked for a law firm that literally only hired me to take the information that I learned at the firm that I came from before interviewing with his. I should have completely caught onto this when the only questions asked during the interview were aligned with whether or not I remembered things from and had templates from my former employer, but sometimes you’re just ready to work and don’t have the time to check if the person you’re interviewing with is a monster or not.

In completely learning from that experience, I can say that, ALL THAT I WANT IS TO WORK IN A GOOD WORK ENVIRONMENT.

Let’s gauge this idea of a good work environment by using something that I’m sure we can all relate to, MOVIES.

I mean how many of us have seen a movie or a television show and automatically wanted that job because of how it was shown on screen? I definitely have, but let me show you why:

 

SECOND ACT (2018)

Don’t you just love the feel-good movies that give you a completely glorified idea of what the workforce is like?

Because it definitely happens everyday that you get a job, with no prior education, no former experience, and a fake resumé that offers you amazing pay, a beautiful apartment, an allowance for clothes, and an office with a view.

This movie definitely made the working world look like a slice of heaven and to say I’m not mad at it would be a lie.

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THE OFFICE

What better way is there to learn patience than by working with a bunch of crazy people who only mean well?

Honestly, if you’ve watched The Office but never wanted to work there, then there’s absolutely something wrong with you. From the antics to the laughs, I would love it so much. Not to mention, the vending machine was never empty and honestly, what more could you ask for?

Although this work environment would be annoying at times, I think that I would like it nonetheless. I mean it’s a group of people with good hearts, for the most part, working in close proximity to each other! Good things were bound to happen.

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IT’S COMPLICATED (2009)

Okay, Jane (played by Meryl Streep) legit owned her own bakery!

She set the tone, the ambiance and the aesthetics of her space and I would have LOVED to work for her. Not just because of the chocolate croissants, but because of the way that she treated people and encouraged her employees to treat people while working.

This just looked like a beautiful and fun bakery to work in and although I can’t bake to save my life, I wouldn’t mind working in Jane’s French•esque bakery for a little while.

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WHAT MEN WANT (2019)

Although Ali went through a ton of trouble to break the boy’s club feel of her office, you cannot ignore the lavishness of her job. Also, she’s getting paid to keep up with such an entertaining industry as a sports agent in the first place, and that alone, is amazing.

From her office to her assistant to her perks, it just seems like a job that I wouldn’t mind having. Plus, I get along better with guys than I do with girls anyway, so I think it’d be fun.

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Overall, I think the idea is clear: if the job has good people with good intentions who come to work to work hard, and maybe a vending machine or two, then we are well on our way to having a good work environment.

I’ve seen plenty-a-good job ruined by a horrible work environment and I’ve also seen many jobs be great because of an awesome work environment.

So, all I’m asking is to be blessed with a job that I won’t be sick about going to and co-workers who won’t make me want to quit everyday. Whichever firm offers that will have the area of law that I’ll be great at, because all I need is the space and then I can master anything!

XC: How Social Media Has Killed My Chance At A Peaceful Existence?

First off, OD! If you know me personally then you know that I am extreme when it comes to certain things and sayings. This is one of them, so I’ll start with the disclaimers:

  1. I am obviously existing. Now whether or not that is peaceful has been up to my mind lately.

  2. I cannot fully blame social media because the inventors and innovators that got this thing up and running are obviously geniuses. They are not the ones who told us to use social media for the trash that a lot of us do! I’m just saying…

  3. I’m sure that once all that I am currently feeling has had its chance to pass, I will reach a period of something-like-peace and something-like-happiness, but right now, I am suffering at the hands of all who sign onto these enticing apps (more drama — you see how this is an addiction? Lol, moving forward).

Social media has taken so much from us and also given us a ton, but this post is about what it’s taken away:

One: OUR EMPATHY

With the recent passing of Nipsey Hussle, we’ve had hours upon hours of footage, posts, comments, screenshots, and so on of his final moments or peoples thoughts on the events or conspiracy theories about why this horrible event happened.

Yes, we see the posts of those who knew him mourning the loss of their friend, mentor, and family member but the fact that the video of him lying lifeless on the ground is being shared thousands of times and the fact that people are tagging his wife in these pictures and videos shows that we, as a people, are missing something essential…

It seems as though many of us act out with the thought of a like or a comment before checking our effect on others first. The big picture is that someone lost their life mate, someone else lost their father, another person lost their son, but people’s first thought is usually to capitalize on it. Why?

TWO: OUR HONESTY

Many on social media are known for putting on airs about the goings ons of their lives. That or they are adding fake-deep captions to stock images found online, vain images from the multitude of selfies in their camera rolls, or onto plain black backgrounds.

We love to convince ourselves that we are more than what we really are, don’t we?

I’ll never understand this and maybe it’s because I am too honest with myself, but people will lie until they make themselves believe it. They will lie to get their way. They will lie to get what they want. And, they will lie to get to the top.

But, imagine a time where you just work hard and your work speaks in the place of your lies. Imagine a world where you don’t have to keep up with the facade that you’ve been living. Just imagine…

Social media is a place where it’s so easy to fake it. Filters, tags, followers, etc. make it easy and even appealing to lie, but imagine how much more influential you could be living out your real, honest-to-goodness, truth.

THREE: OUR ABILITY TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT

I used to be afraid of missing moments. I’m the person that loves to add special moments to my photo album with a brief description of what happened, who I was with, and what those moments made me feel, but, in being that person, I had to live my life through my lens or on my phone. Although my reasoning for wanting to live this way makes sense during the times that I’m adding the pictures to my album, these same reasons don’t make sense once I’ve thought about it.

Many of the moments that I allow myself to have are worth being in fully. So whether or not I want to capture them so that I can relive them later doesn’t matter! There is no experience like what you are currently experiencing!

But, you can’t have that joy if you’re constantly taking selfies into your phones camera, and you can’t have that joy if you’re too busy watching other people’s lives play out instead of living your own.

BUT, LET’S DISCUSS MY PEACE:

I decided to write this post because there are times where social media becomes so overwhelming for me. And, by that, I mean that I cannot stop flipping from one news story to the next. I’ll see news on something tragic like a plane crash, flip over to another source writing on a kidnapping, and then a story pops up about a 21-year-old college student being killed by someone who she mistakingly believed to be her Uber driver, and THEN news about an influential musical and charitable genius being gunned down in the community that he’s given so much to.

It gets overwhelming and those are the times that my peace starts to feel shaken.

And, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Well, just don’t look at the news stories”, and I’m just going to say that I wish it were that easy…

I know that many reach points of uneasiness because of social media, and I know that you get to this point for ranging reasons, but I’m just here to say DON’T BE AFRAID TO PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN AND LIVE IN THE MOMENTS.