I am in panic mode. I am reviewing the tapes from BarBri that I paid 1,000 dollars for (that I don’t get to keep) and I’ve discovered that my dream of working retail must be put on hold until this test is finished. Why I waited until two weeks before to study, I don’t know. But, I did and now I am flipping out. However, I’ve discovered that the bar pass rate for this exam is usually around 87% so unless I am in the bottom 15% or so, I can’t fail (I’m going to keep telling myself that).
So I’m doing the BarBri thing and its telling me just to skim the law books, tab them well, and then do practice exams. It says not to question anything, stop thinking, just do. I’m doing okay with it, but then there are times when I stop and wonder what the point is of a certain rule if there are no consequences to violating it. It’s because I am naturally inquisitive and I don’t know if there is anything the man in the BarBri lectures can do to stop it. Errr.. . . or I’m procrastinating. Anyway, here is an example:
There is a lovely rule in the criminal section of the Maryland Rules that talks about what information must be provided to a defendant before the judge can take a guilty plea. One of the issues to be discussed is the collateral consequences of a plea – the judge does not have to inform the defendant of the collateral consequences, but he/she must be satisfied that the defendant knows that there might be collateral consequences if they are not citizens of the United States (deportation, etc) and that they have discussed these consequences with their lawyer. I was very excited by this statute, since the law of the land is that if you are a non-citizen and are deported as a result of a guilty plea, tough shit. Even if your lawyer didn’t tell you that it might happen and you went ahead and plead guilty thinking, I’ve been living here for twenty years, I’ve paid taxes forever, I’ve got a good job, there’s no way I’m going to get deported and you do get deported anyway, you are totally shit out of luck. There is no remedy for you. Too bad, so sad, pack your shit and get out of our country. So I thought wow! That’s an awesome rule making attorneys responsible for talking about and being aware of collateral consequences! What a great state this Maryland is! But, as I read further, I came to this clause: “The omission of advice concerning the collateral consequences of a plea does not itself mandate that the plea be declared invalid”
Hmmm. . . . Does this mean that if you are not damaged, i.e., not deported, then you can’t have your plea taken back? Okay, I get that. Or, is it more insidious? Does it mean that the fact that you are deported and your lawyer didn’t discuss this potential consequence with you is not grounds for invalidating the plea without something more, like evidence of innocence? So, now I’m inclined to look it up, reasearch it, do exactly what BarBri told me not to do. And I wonder, is this just more procrastination or is it simply my love, nay, my overwhelming joy and lust for the law that is driving me to discover what this could possibly mean? I think I will spend the next hour trying to delve deeper into my psyche to figure out which it is. That’s a good use of time.
If any of you especially smart law students out there care to research this for me, so I can keep tabbing (hey, go to that lawyer, notguilty, I hear her lawbooks are super tabbed. She’s not cheap, but post-it tabs are expensive) here is the statue in the Maryland Rules it is Section 4-242(e).
1. Buy things to organize your apartment. Leave all the organizational purchases in a corner of the room.
2. Get cookbooks out of the library, put them with the organizational items.
3. Run. Occasionaly.
4. Study. Occassionaly.
5. Learn how to spell ocassionally.
6. Take belly-dancing lessons!!
7. Try to get a job. Not too hard.
8. Download music and make C.D.’s for when you do those occasional runs.
9. Travel to europe. Of course.
Once you have done these things, you are ready to get down to work!
You should check this out, in case you are into time travel and all that is H.G. Wells. I am not, but this still cracks me up.
I have found my new passion – Tutti Dolci at Bath and body works. They have lipgloss that you can actually eat. Not like that Jessica Simpson stuff that you can’t really eat and I’ve heard tastes horrible. No, they have lipglosses that are actually sweet in flavors like Chocolate Fondue and Angel Food Cake. I’m sure its all natural flavorings too. But it smells like heaven in there. So, of course, I had to ask if they were hiring because I can’t afford to buy everything in there without the discount.
While studying today (yes, I actually did study today, even though it is a glorious, sunny 52 degrees outside) I started thinking that this system of each state having control over its own government might be a bad idea. Think about it, when you move to a new state you are required to get a new driver’s license for that state and re-register your car (paying new taxes) to that state. Why? Why not have a great computer system for the entire country, a universal driver’s license and car registry? How about licensing for things like, I don’t know, lawyers maybe? Why do we have to be licensed separately in each state. Same for real estate agents and doctors. It’s not like performing brain surgery in New York is any different than in Maryland, so why does a Dr. need a new Maryland license?
Money. That’s what it comes down to. Each state wants to make sure they can stick their grubby hands in your pockets. I just spent one thousand dollars on tapes from Barbri on the attorney exam in Maryland. Now, mind you, I don’t even get to KEEP the tapes. I just paid that much for the information contained in them. This is separate and distinct from the 800 I paid for the privilege of taking the exam. Why? Look me up in NY. I was fine! I know my shit! But, how would MD not guarantee a piece of your quickly depleting savings if not for re-licensing. God forbid they allow you to come in from a foreign state and make a living in this one.
I’m bitter because I am not good at studying. I am bitter because I have no job. I am bitter because studying the law just reinforces my feeling that I no longer want to practice it.
I wrote earlier about running in the harbor, but I realized I haven’t really blogged very much about the things I like and don’t like about living in Baltimore. So, before I go to study, I figured I’d make a list of pros and cons, that way when I decide I hate it here I can look at my list and go “oh, right, that part doesn’t suck”.
1. The harbor is really cool. They have street performers and you can sit and look at the water and the tourist.
2. The park above the harbor. It has the best view of the Bay and the harbor and the city. Wow.
3. Little Italy.
4. More tapas restaurants per capita than any other city.
5. While I can only see the yankees play a couple of times, it will only take me 10 minutes to get to the stadium as opposed to three hours.
6. D.C. = 45 minutes away
7. Philly = 90 minutes away
8. Mom and dad and little bro = 45 minutes away
9. Peeps in Albany 45 minutes by plane.
10. Mount Vernon and everything in it including Red Maple, Red Emma’s, Grand Central, The Owl Bar, BREWER’S ART. Umm. . . yes, those are all bars, except Red Emmas, which is our local, friendly anarchist bookstore. Doesn’t every neighborhood have one of those.
11. HM = 15 minutes away
12. People are super nice, so nice it makes me scared sometimes.
13. Lexington market and 4 dollar crabcakes
14. Fell’s Point
15. The fact that the Battle of Baltimore was the breaking point of the brits in the war of 1812 and that’s why we have the Star Spangled Banner
16. Our mayor is awesome (see post about my garbage cans!)
17. Very mild winters
1. Horrible public transportation system – the light rail and the metro only run in one part of the city – North to South on the west side. It is so stupid, but apparently part of the history of corporate America. In case you didn’t know, GM used to buy trolley and light rail lines and then rip them out to make sure people bought cars.
2. Ridiculous murder rate. I think there have been like 30 murders already.
3. Cars get broken into all the time.
4. Getting your car registered is a freaking nightmare.
6. Housing prices (although, much cheaper than DC and nothern VA, still outrageous)
7. RATS! Seriously, the biggest rats in the entire world.
Hmmm. . . I can’t really think of anymore cons right now, but I’m sure they will come to me. So, it looks like overall, Baltimore doesn’t suck as bad as I think it does sometimes. That’s good, right?
I should be studying, and I really want to be studying, but I can’t. Not today. It is going to be 57 degrees out today. And sunny. And it’s February. So, instead, since it is only 8:30 and only 37 degrees right now, I am going to write about a couple of ‘small world’ stories. You know we all have them and when you tell someone about yours the person you are talking to always wants to tell you about theirs. So, here is my forum to tell you (or just me) about some of mine without getting one-upped, punk:
1. When my brother and I were travelling several years ago, we met a guy we’ll call Steve. We shared a room at a pensione in Florence with him and then kept travelling through Italy with him for the next week or so. One day, we were getting off a train in a really remote part of Italy. We needed to get on another train to get to Venice. As we are getting off, there is this old couple and all I can hear is some old lady long island voice saying “Stevie? Is that you Stevie?” It was Steve’s grandmother’s best friend. They were getting on the train we were getting on so they could get to Florence. They don’t ever see each other in the state’s, but ran into each other in some remote part of Italy.
2. When I was in college I helped start a coffee house in my little suck-ass college town. It was wildly popular and we had some t-shirts made, maybe only three or four dozen, we wanted to keep it ‘limited edition’. What the hell did we know? So, I am in a swimming hole in Portofino – same trip, and we are swimming around having a grand old time and then I look up and there is a woman coming down the path in one of our T-Shirts! Bizzarre. She had been to our place and like it and bought a t-shirt then had come to Italy on vacation.
3. I blogged before about my trip to London a couple of weeks ago and the drunk woman sitting next to me. No, I didn’t run into her, but yesterday as we were running through the harbor I saw the family sitting in front of me, the one to whom she was directing all of her drunkeness! When I realized it was them, I had to approach. Husband said “no, we’ll look like stalkers.” Stalkers? What? We LIVE in this town and they came to us. THEY are stalking us. So, before he could stop me I went up to them and even the little kids recognized us! They don’t live in Baltimore, in fact, they had never even been there before. They live in the same town that HM’s parents live in. Weird, huh?
I’ll leave you with three, although I can think of at least three or four more because I really should study before it gets too nice out. Or I should just have more coffee and read more blogs. I’ll let you know which I decide.