Archive for the ‘Admissions’ Category

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Fall 2010 Class Schedule

July 2, 2010

I just got my class schedule for the Fall 2010 semester, and I’m absolutely giddy. Don’t ask me why, but this schedule has been the NUMBER ONE thing I have wanted to know for months! So here it is:

  • Lawyering Process – 10:30 a.m., M/W
  • Criminal Law – 2:45 p.m., M/T/Th
  • Civil Procedure – 9:00 a.m., T/Th/F
  • Torts – 10:35 a.m., T/Th/F

Overall, I’m really pleased with this schedule. My two younger kids will be in school from 9:00 to 3:30, and my older child will be able to look after herself, more or less, though it looks like I’ll mostly be around when she’s around.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, I’ll be able to drop my two younger kids off at school and make it in plenty of time for my own classes. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, I’ll have to leave the house at 8:00 am for my own class, so I will have to arrange either a friend or “before care” at the school for that hour. However, I expect one child to be in choir on T/Th, starting at 8:00, so it could work out really well, actually.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, I’ll be able to be home in time to get the kids from school. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, I won’t get out of class until almost 4:00, and I won’t get home until at least 4:45. That is where Supportive Hubby comes into play and may have to leave work early to get the kids, or pony up for child care.

There are a few minor challenges with the kids’ schedules, but it could have been much, much worse. I’ll have lots of study time each afternoon, and I will be trying to make the most of it. (I’ll be doing as much as I can AT the school, as opposed to facing distractions like laundry at home.) And I’m thrilled that I have NO 8:00 a.m. classes! Can I get an AMEN?

This is officially what the life of a mom-law student begins to look like. In case you ever wondered.

Update: Now it will be revealed to you just what a dork I am. I spent way too much time on my little visual schedule (which could change, because this schedule is unconfirmed). But I am kinda proud of it. Isn’t it pretty?

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‘Twas the Summer before Law School

July 1, 2010

It’s time for a new post. I’ve been riding the inertia for long enough. Besides, the volume of emails I’ve been getting from DU has picked up, so I know things are gearing up for next month. You know — the month when law school starts. (Gaahhhhh!)

Regardless of what my previous post would suggest, I actually do have a plan to prepare me for law school. The plan is to become so completely bored and disgusted with myself over my lack of routine over the summer that I am absolutely dying to go back to school, even law school. So far, it is working. Like a charm. I’ve been off schedule for less than a month and I am already going stir-crazy. I have no desire to live a life of endless, unproductive days, but sometimes I need to live a few just to remind myself of that fact. Now and then, I need to give myself reason to crave routine. It’s easy to forget when I’m busy.

The only summer task that I have left to complete is copy my immunization record and mail it to the school. Thanks to last year’s college course, I already have my MMR shots and so I don’t need to get poked this summer. A small blessing, to be sure, but a blessing nonetheless!

I am also watching for the magical money to arrive (federal student loans–thanks, Big Brother!) so that I know they will let me do this.

My orientation packet arrived in the mail today. If the schedule is any indication, it looks like four long days of very dry stuff (I know, I know, don’t say it!). But I guess Campus Safety is really important. I’ll be picking up my books and getting my student ID card and things like that, too. Nerves!!! Excitement!!! Nerves!!!

I checked webCentral and found that my first four courses have been assigned to me (or I to them — is probably more accurate). Though I still don’t know the class times (which is what I REALLY want to know), I am to be attending:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Criminal Law
  • Lawyering Process I
  • Torts

I should also take this opportunity to complain that my student ID number is 9 digits with no memorable sequence whatsoever. Usually, there’s a 2-4-8 in there, or a 3-6-9, or a 2-6-4-6 or something to latch onto. This time? Nothing. Nada. I must remember it anyway, because to DU I am not a name, I am a number.

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Financial Aid Award

April 12, 2010

As I’m sure many students did, I received my financial aid award last week. I was actually surprised at how much was being offered. I was thinking I needed enough to cover tuition; they offered enough to cover living expenses (to a point) as well. Between the Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and Grad/Prof PLUS loans, they offered nearly $37K, which is wayyyy more than I need.*

The lower interest Sub and Unsub loans leave me about $2,000 short. Of course. I don’t want to take out more loans than I need, as I am a strong believer that less debt is better than more debt, so the question is whether to accept the PLUS loan.

Hubby made an interesting point, though. All college and college-related expenses are tax deductible. Therefore, if I keep receipts on everything from food to transporation to books, etc., we should get a tax kickback come next April. We’re going to ask our tax preparer about whether it only counts if we use loan money for it, though. Of course, one has to weigh everything, including the interest I would be paying on that money when the loans become due. Still, it’s something to consider.

So now that I know the financing of law school is taken care of, there is no excuse whatsoever to not follow through, is there? If I back out I can’t blame it on lack of financing. Not that I’m going to back out. Of course not. That would be crazy.

*The Grad PLUS loan is dependent on a credit check. Fortunately, I have excellent credit. I am also happy to find out I can accept as much or little of this as I want.

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Here’s a related link on how the new “health care” bill affects student loans for law students. Personally, I am opposed to the government running even more things, but whatever. The bottom line, according to this link, is that nothing much is changing for most of us.

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The blood drawing has begun

April 5, 2010

I’m expecting law school-related news to trickle in from here to August. DU does a good job of reminding me of their presence, though. Today I got an email reminding me that it’s time to start drawing blood: the first tuition deposit ($300) is due by April 29. Yeah, I had forgotten that this is going to cost me an arm and a leg. Thanks.

I’ve been checking for my financial aid award, which is supposed to be made available “in April,” but nothing’s there yet. I think all the waiting is what drives me crazy the most. The whole process, from beginning to end, has been a test of my already saintly patience.

They said I can join the DU 2010 Admitted Students group on Facebook. That’s pretty cool. I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow students. I’ve also been reading up on their admitted student page. The main thing I learned there was that they charge for parking. A LOT. I guess they just can’t eke it out of our $36K+ tuition.

So here’s what they expect my costs to be:

Tuition            $36,480
Fees               $   672 (Does this include parking? Ha!)
Books              $ 1,749
Health Insurance   $ 2,550
Room               $ 6,975
Board              $ 2,988
Personal Expenses  $ 1,269 (How they get this figure, I don't know)
Transportation     $ 1,176
Total              $53,859
                   $38,901

Some things, like room and board, transportation, and health insurance don’t really apply to me since those are things I already have and are in our regular budget. With my scholarship, that leaves about $22K left to finance. I’m hoping my financial aid award covers it.

I have signed up for the Summer Preview class, which is a week-long, full-day seminar the week before orientation. I decided to do this to just prepare myself and get in the mindset. I want to go into class feeling like I know what to expect–sort of. Other than this, I’m not planning to spend my summer preparing. I’m planning to spend my summer enjoying my last summer of freedom.

Orientation week begins August 9, I think. So it’s kind of like going to school before it even starts. Awesome.

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Admitted Students Day

April 2, 2010

Today was the open house for DU’s admitted students. I wish I could say it was really interesting, but honestly I found myself straining with impatience at some of the panels’ long, drawn out answers. Informative, yes, but as is usually the case with panels, we could have covered three times the number of questions if the answers had been efficient.

My main takeaway from today: I definitely can do this. In fact, I’m more convinced than ever that my advanced years will give me an edge. And that technical writing experience will likely come in pretty handy, too.

Being the people watcher that I am, I paid a lot of attention to the other prospective students. My initial impression of all of us gathered together was “This is a group of very over-confident and self-assured people.” If anyone had doubts about their abilities, they were hiding it very well.

Someone from DU said this in November: “All incoming law students are used to being in the top 10% of their class. In law school, half those people are going to be in the bottom 50%.” It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

While some students (like me) don’t really know what they want to specialize in yet, others have a laser-sharp focus. Those also seem to be the same people who seem to be taking it for granted that they’ll be on the Law Review and getting all the clinicals and so forth. It’s great that they have so much energy. Really.

I got to meet someone who is also from Wisconsin (I lived there throughout my junior high and high school years, and college summers). It was fun talking to him and his wife about their coming out to Denver. He had contacted me via LawSchoolNumbers.com, and I literally walked up to him and asked if he’s from Osh Kosh. LOL Whatever works, right? I would have liked to meet more people, but everyone was pretty shy, including me. Oh well, we’ll warm up to each other in August.

Which I’m really starting to look forward to.

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Class visit

April 1, 2010

As part of DU’s Admitted Students Open House, I attended a Criminal Law class this evening. Positive sign: not only was I able to follow it, I actually found it interesting! (For the most part.) We visitors got there before the students and took up the last row. I was feeling kind of old until the students walked in … then, not so much. There were plenty of, shall we say, mature students. Of course, this was the night division, which is for working adults. I’ll be in the day division, so we’ll see how different the students are (if at all).

So before class started, a few of us chatted about our admissions experiences, or rather, one girl talked. And talked. And talked. These are actual things she said; I am not exaggerating or making things up:

“I was really considering Wake Forest, but then I got a full ride to here and I was like, there’s no way I’m turning down a full ride!”

“The people at Wake Forest were really pretentious, like all they talked about was how smart they are and where they went to school and who their parents are. Nobody cares, seriously! I would never fit in there.”

“At first, I was doing what everyone wanted me to do, that’s why I went into Broadcasting. But you don’t need an education to do that. All I learned to do is look pretty and talk eloquently.”

She majored in Legal Studies and Public Policy. “I got a really great job offer, I mean, I can’t even conceieve of that kind of money. I know myself well enough to know that I couldn’t handle that kind of money. And bills! That’s why I decided to stay in school for now.”

When I asked when she graduated: “Oh, I’m just 20 years old. I’m graduating this year with two degrees.”

And the people at Wake Forest are pretentious. She may be a genius, but clearly maturity and brains are not mutually inclusive.

Though she did say she thought I looked like a recent graduate, so she did earn a few brownie points with me on that.

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FAFSA completed

March 26, 2010

This is totally not worth its own blog post, but as I am using this blog as sort of a diary for myself, I should mention that I finally completed the FAFSA tonight. It was a lot less painful than I expected. I thought they’d be asking for a lot more detail.

Of course, the older you get, the more complicated these things get. You go from one W-2 and a checking account at 22 to several investments, property, savings/checking, and who knows what else at 33 (okay, mostly thanks to my husband, who is … older).

Yay loans.

On Deck:

  • DU’s Admitted Students Open House and class visit on April 1 & 2
  • Looking for Financial Aid info sometime in April
  • Paying the first deposit by April 29
  • Submitting official transcripts
  • Completing immunization form (thanks to Regis, I already have the required MMR)
  • Paying the second deposit by June 10
  • Attending DU’s Law School Prep seminar in August

They never really let us forget about law school at any time, do they?