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Ready, Set, Go-Go! 2006 July 22

Posted by MrSmittie in 0L, Introductions.

So, everything seems to have come together for me in the past two weeks, in regards to moving from California to Las Vegas and starting Law school at UNLV.

On July 11th, I leased an awesome house in the Green Valley area of Henderson Nevada, for a great price. It is only about 3 blocks away from Wayne Newton’s Shenandoah Estate. I have an option to purchase it at the end of the lease.

On the same day, I received a strong offer on the house I have for sale in
California. After a minor counteroffer, basically involving some re-wording of the buyer’s original offer, we reached an agreement and the house went into escrow by the end of that week. On the very next day, I was offered an ok job with a pretty decent company.

Everything that needed to happen in order for me to pull this whole law school thing off, has happened! Although I have been taking steps and trying to make things flow smoothly since last March, nothing was working out as planned. Then, everything comes together in just one week’s time span. AMAZING!

I had originally hoped to transfer to my current employer’s Las Vegas area operations, but due to budgetary constraints, they put a freeze on filling any open positions. Still, there may be some hope left for that prospect. I was out in Vegas again this week (Wednesday & Thursday) to officially accept the new position, and as I was getting ready to keep that appointment, I received a call from a co-worker. It seems that someone from our Las Vegas ops was on the phone with my supervisor asking about me. He wanted to interview me over the phone, but since I was in town, we set up a face-to-face meeting. That went pretty well. The funny thing is, the guy told me that he didn’t even know he had an opening in his department. All he knew was that he was told by the area Vice President that he needed to interview me. I guess it does pay to know people who know people :). I don’t know if they are actually going to offer me a job, but if so, it pays about $5 more per hour than the one I have recently accepted. On top of that, I will get to retain my seniority – which means I get 3 + weeks of vacation/year and I won’t have to pay them back for my undergraduate education (for which they paid 100%).

I am getting pumped for school and have already registered for my 1st semester classes. My schedule will be :

Mon/Wed 6:15pm to 7:40pm – Contracts I,

Tues/Thurs 6:15pm to 7:40pm – Civ Pro/ADR I,

Tues/Thurs 7:50pm to 9:15pm Lawyering Process I (this is my Legal Writing/Research class).

I am offering my employer (either one) a work schedule that would include overnights/weekends. I would love to work four 10-hour shifts, say Friday through Monday, or even third shift starting Thursday nights and being done by Monday afternoon. This may be a real possibility, and I think it would be cool because then I would be off all day during most school days. I am not too worried about missing out on “weekend” things, cause Vegas is a 24/7 kind of town.

That’s it for now.




1. schooled - 2006 July 23

Isn’t it crazy how sometimes everything just falls into place? It’s like those little Rubic’s Cubes that you jsut keep twisting and twisting and not getting anywhere, until all of a sudden it’s solved.

How do you think you’ll manage juggling working and night school? I can’t even imagine how difficult that would be. Will it take you longer to graduate? Or will you switch to full time somewhere along the line? Just curious–most of us are full-timers, but we’d love to hear how you’re doing.

2. MrSmittie - 2006 July 23

It really IS amazing how these things sometimes happen! I promise, I won’t go getting all religious or anything, but let’s just say that I believe that some things are divinely destined to occur. Indeed, my faith has been tested over the past few months, and although my mind was frequently clouded in doubt – deep down I knew things would come together as they have.

As far as handling working full time and attending school, I know it won’t be easy. Nothing good ever really is. I do, however, have some experience in juggling many hats. I have been working full-time for nearly 20 years. For the past 7, I have worked an average of about 60 hours per week. At the same time, I have engaged in many extra-occupational activities. Several years ago, I started (a now defunct) talent management business, in which I managed several independent bands and recording artists. I did everything from complete recording project management, to helping write songs, setting up routine gigs, and coordinating entire events. I also started a youth prison music outreach program that continues even in my own personal absence. Years ago, I wrote directed produced and hosted my own local cable television program, and later a local radio show. I also volunteered for a search and rescue team that assist the LAPD in urban and rural search and rescue, as well as crime scene searches, traffic control, and undercover surveillance in high-crime areas of the San Fernando Valley. I also studied (and taught) the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu San Soo and wrote and self-published a poetry collection and a short horror tale.

I did all these things (not all at the same time) while holding down a full-time job and starting a family. Two years ago, I dissolved my management business – which took an enormous amount of time, and decided to finally finish my UG degree. I completed an average of 12 units per semester, and although most of my schoolwork was completed online, the courses were, indeed, very involved. An additional challenge came in the fact that right after my first semester began, I was sent on temporary duty to the White Sands Missile Range in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I was working as much as 18 hours some days, and my shifts were often overnight. When I thought I might fail (or at least not do as well as I should), I pushed through it all and committed myself to doing my best. I guess it worked, because I managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA in that degree program. Admittedly, I surprised even myself – generally speaking, I consider myself to be a rather lazy and often anti-motivated. Nevertheless, when things seemed to be working out for the best, I told myself that if I could pull this off (maintaining decent grades despite these challenges) then I could do just about anything I wanted – academically speaking.

The burning question that I could not escape was, “What do you want to do?” I thought about it and decided that I wanted to see if I was good enough to get into Law School. This was something that I had often thought about in my younger years, but life would inevitably always hand me a different set of cards. In any case, I decided to take the LSAT, but unfortunately, knew very little about that process and paid zero attention to LS rankings. I studied a bit on my own, but did not engage in any formal prep. You can probably tell by my score. Nevertheless, all I wanted to do was score high enough to get accepted somewhere, preferably at UNLV , to where my family wanted to move, or in one of the Los Angeles area schools. I knew that I would have to attend part-time, while maintaining full-time employment, as I have been the sole financial provider for the past 13 years; this definitely limited my school choices. In the end, I was accepted at UNLV, and actually found out far in advance of their notification cycle. This really fortified my belief that this was meant to happen (see paragraph # 1). Now, if it WAS meant to be; I am powerless to screw it up. Of course, I could if I really tried, but if I hang onto that belief, I will manage.

As for how I will actually manage my time, I am in the process of working out an actual schedule that allows for ample study time. I definitely plan to ignore any other extra-occupational temptations while I’m in LS. Because I will have only 1 class on M &W, I plan to stay at the school on those evenings to prep for my T&Th classes. I will devote a little time on weekends to those as well, but will focus on getting my M&W work done. If I end up working an overnight and/or weekend shift, I will use my days to prep for classes. LS will take me 4 years instead of 3, unless I pick up an extra class or two during the summer semesters. As it is now, I will have 2 classes in the summer and I’ll have to see if I am able to take 3 instead.

In any case, 4 years is ok with me even though I will be 43 when I graduate. One thing that keeps me going is that my family will be exponentially better off in 4 years than we are today. My income will be nearly doubled – and then some if my wife sticks with her plan to finish her degree and go into full-time teaching. With that in mind, it will be worth any sacrifices that are necessary.

I suppose the short answer to the question of how I will handle working full-time and going to LS at night is… I will simply bust my a$$ for the next 4 years, and continue to hone my time management skills.

Plus…we will be living in Vegas! No one can say that there isn’t a lot of money to be made in that town. Money has never been the “end-all-be-all” in our life, but it sure will be nice to be more financially secure, and to be able to buy a few toys here and there – not that we’ve ever really had to go without. That serves as inspiration/motivation in and of itself.

3. nicolasix - 2006 July 23

I never had the attention span to solve a Rubic’s Cube. Ah well.

As for things coming together, it’s a beautiful thing. Congrats to you dude. A lot of people would love to be in your position.

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