Hello, my name is Patricia Bredlau. I am originally from Virginia but moved to Washington from Alabama. I studied at James Madison University in Virginia majoring in history and secondary education. After graduating I married my amazing husband, Jason. We then moved to Fort Rucker, Alabama so he could pursue his Army Aviation career by attending flight school. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer but the timing to attend law school never seemed quite right until being stationed here at Joint Base Lewis McChord. I hope to pursue a career as a JAG officer and serve the military community that I love. When I'm not studying I enjoy crafting, exploring the outdoors, and playing with my Siberian Husky, Kojo.
So last time I left you I talked about the craziness of finals approaching. Well now it is really crazy! Finals are only a week away and I need to get myself into full gear. Normally I have my outlines prepared by now but this semester I cannot seem to get motivated. I think the nice weather has been too much of a distraction lately. Every night I get home I take Kojo for a walk or to the park instead of studying at my computer. I know everything will come together in the end. I just need to get started!
Another thing adding to law school stress is my summer job search. My interview for the summer position has been pushed back until next week. I know something will fall into place but I have been hoping that I will be offered this position. One thing I have learned in law school is you have to keep applying and not feel too bad if you are rejected. If you put yourself out there then you can open a lot of doors to opportunities but it also opens yourself up to the possibility of rejection.
In other exciting news, Jason and I found out that we are having a baby!! I know, how the heck am I going to add that to the crazy mix of law school? I am not due till September so I have plenty of time to plan and get organized before then. I have a great support system of friends and faculty at the school who I know will be cheering me on the whole time. Also, I will have a lighter class load next year because I have taken summer credits which will make things a bit easier. It will be interesting but I am very excited to begin that chapter of my life. Well, I need to get cracking on these outlines. Send good vibes my way for finals!!
Ahh, the craziness continues. Only a month till finals!! Spring semester always seems to sneak up on me. I am trying to get so many things done before summer while also looking ahead to finals that are approaching fast. I think with Jason deploying and spring break being so jam packed, I have not had time to sit back and relax for a moment. Jason deployed in the middle of spring break so we were running around getting all his last minute things before he left. Definitely did not make for a relaxing time but at least it was productive.
When I last left you I said I was running for SBA President. Unfortunately, I did not win but have been appointed to another position so I will still be active in the organization. A lot of my friends were elected though so it should make for a fun and productive year. Even though our meetings are early in the morning, I encourage all students to go to at least one meeting. It is interesting to see how all the organizations work with another and how students can get involved.
I also am not ready for summer because I have not locked down my summer job yet. I have had a few offers but it was not the type of experience I was looking for this summer. I want to have a Rule 9 position and do litigation this summer but the competition for those jobs is intense. I have another interview next week so I am hoping I get that job and no longer have to worry about it! Well it is back to outlining, I can’t believe finals are coming so soon!
This month has been crazy!!! Last year February was pretty hectic and the trend is continuing this year. Since it is spring semester, a lot of the student orgs I am involved in are putting on annual events. Somehow all the events seem to squeeze themselves into a short two week period of time that comes too quickly. Additionally, Jason’s deployment is around the corner so we are trying to tie up all the loose ends around the house before he leaves. Spring break is only a few weeks away and it cannot come soon enough!
A big event I went to this month was the ABA Law Student Division Circuit Meeting. It was a gathering of the all the law schools in Alaska, Idaho, Montano, Oregon, and Washington. This year it was held in Portland so it was only a two hour drive from my house. I have never been to Portland so it was fun to get lost in a new place. I also was able to meet students and attorneys from throughout the Circuit which I thought was a great networking experience. At the meeting I was elected the new 12th Circuit Governor so I will be spending much more time next year getting to know students from across the country. I am excited to get more involved with the ABA and bring opportunities to the schools within our Circuit.
Another exciting thing happening on campus this month is the Student Bar Association elections. I have really loved being a part of the SBA and am running for president for next year. Because I am so involved in the school, I really want to be a voice of the students. I love being a law student at Seattle U and can’t think of a better way to give back to a place that has given me so much. I should know the results by next time so keep your fingers crossed.
Since grades have posted I can officially say that I am half way done with school!! Some days it seems like I was sitting in orientation yesterday while other days I feel like I have been at law school forever. Since I am in the building so much, it has become a second home that I enjoy coming to but also like to take long vacations from. The holiday break was much needed but I am ready to get back into my routine.
This month I found out I did not receive the JAG internship. I was pretty bummed about it and had a pity party for a day. One of the hardest lessons in law school is that you will be rejected many, many times. You have to put yourself out there in hopes of getting the position but you also must be ready for the denial. I had not prepared myself for a rejection so it took a little longer for me to move on. I am keeping my hopes up for next year when I will apply for active duty.
Since not getting the internship I have been working diligently with the Center for Professional Development to ensure I have a good summer position. Most 2L’s apply and find jobs in the fall so I thought I would be way behind on the curve. Turns out that there are still tons of opportunities for me to take advantage of in areas of law I had not previously considered working in. I have been mostly looking at government related jobs but find corporations and business law to be interesting as well. At the moment I am hoping to secure an internship and possibly a Rule 9 position with the Attorney General’s office in Olympia.
Also, now that school has begun it means Jason will be deploying soon. We have booked a trip to go home next month and see our family before he leaves which will serve as a nice mid semester treat. Although 2L year has been hectic, I have designated more time to family so that we can spend more quality time before he leaves. He leaves a little bit before finals so I can get into study mode early without feeling guilty about. Then again, when you are in law school study mode never really shuts off.
Whew, finals are done!! Next time I try to cram four finals into seven days someone tell me no! I had to move a few of my exams so that I could leave early enough for my vacation. It was a ton of studying in a short time period and I do not plan on doing that to myself again.
Every time I finish finals I think of all the little improvements I could have made throughout the semester and how much more studying I could have done. I’m starting to realize that self-reflection is a vital tool in law school. I am constantly tweaking my methods of learning and improving my studying skills hoping it will pay off once grades are posted. But grades are the last thing on my mind now that finals are behind me.
Next semester I am taking one less credit which doesn’t sound like a lot but hopefully will make a big impact on my schedule. I felt like I was too busy this semester and really pushing the boundaries of what I could get done. Next semester I think I am going to try to take a two credit course. A lot of 3L’s have enjoyed their two credit courses because they tend to be more oddball topics but said it is a lot of work. I figure I will give it a shot to see if I like it.
I thought I would know by now about my internship with JAG for this summer but they are taking longer to decide this year. It was probably good I didn’t find out the results in the middle of finals because I would have become really sad and not wanted to study or really excited and not wanted to study. Either way it would have been a distraction when I least needed it. Now that finals are done I can start looking at other possibilities for my summer but not until I get back from vacation. We leave tomorrow for Jamaica and I can’t wait to relax in the warm sunshine before another semester starts!
Finals begin in a few weeks, how is that possible?! This semester has gone by so fast! It seems like last week that everyone was getting back from their summer jobs. The weather has been great this year which tricks you into thinking it is earlier in the semester than it really is. The Christmas tree going up in the school was my wake up that finals are coming and studying needs to go into full gear!
As finals approach, I always try to take a step back and see what I can do better than the last round of finals. Last semester I used flashcards a lot more which I think helped. It also gave Jason the chance to quiz me and learn a little bit about the law. I sometimes forget that he doesn't know all the law school jargon and the flashcards give him a little taste of it. He is busying studying for a big flight coming up in a few weeks so our house will be very quite. Perfect for studying!
Next month I should also find out about the JAG internship. They are going to start announcements right around finals so hopefully it will be good news. I have already started looking at other options like the summer in DC program. The Center for Professional Development directed me to the program because of the vast opportunities in government law. So even though I really want JAG, it may be cool to spend the summer in DC doing something different.
Like I hinted last time, we have booked an amazing vacation for the holidays. Instead of Hawaii we decided to go all out and booked a vacation for Christmas in Jamaica. If that is not motivation to get through finals then I don't know what is! It doesn't make me feel as bad about studying a lot if we will have a week of just each other on an island.
Man, I could really use a Time-Turner! Everyday I feel like I need just one or two more hours to fit everything in. Classes are going well as expected but there always seems to be more to do on campus. I often find myself staying late to go to an event that interests me. I know I said I would do better with the whole time management thing, but I don't think I have quite found my balance.
With classes being in full grind, it doesn't help that most summer applications and scholarship deadlines are now. As a 2L you have to be on top of the deadlines because they come up so much faster than your 1L year. Even though it feels like school has just started, employers are already looking to fill their seats for next summer. I have been working on updating my resume and application materials and think they are just about right. I have been putting off doing it for awhile so I know I need to hunker down and get it done.
On a more exciting note, Jason and I have decided to take a well deserved winter break this year. Since Hawaii is not too far from Seattle, Jason and I think it would be an easy hop to get away to. I know I will want something relaxing after this next round of finals and Jason would like some quality time before his deployment. Plus, once I book that vacation it will be like my prize for getting through the semester. I will be halfway done with law school, so why not celebrate?!
The school year is upon us once again. It feels like I was taking finals only a week ago but I guess time flies when you are having fun. I had the most wonderful experience with the JAG office this summer and am looking forward to possibly working for them again next summer. Not only did I get a ton of legal experience, but I also had the opportunity to partake in Army activities like obstacle courses and morning work outs. My office was very willing to give me the full JAG experience, providing me support and answering all my questions along the way. This summer made me want to go JAG even more than I did before.
It is a good thing that my summer was so awesome because I think I will need the motivation for my 2L year. Although I know how to tackle my school work this year, I feel like I will be continuing to learn how to balance everything in my life. So far my 2L year has been extremely busy and it is only the second week of classes. I want to be involved as much as possible but I am going to have to start setting boundaries and creating more time for me and my family. Many people warned me that this year will be the one you work the hardest and I am starting to see that as true. This summer I was able to spend a lot of time with Jason and Kojo exploring the surrounding area. We went to Mt. Rainier and even though it was July, we had a great time sliding down the snowy hills. We also had time to hike a few places we had never been before including Nisqually. There are so many places to go to but it is hard finding the time to squeeze it all in. I made a Washington bucket list and am going to try to check off one thing a month. Hopefully we can get it all in before graduation.
Only a few more weeks until finals! I can not believe I am almost finished with my ENTIRE 1L year. It seems like yesterday I was nervously sitting with my classmates at orientation anticipating the long year ahead. While it has been a fun journey as a 1L, I am very excited to be a 2L soon.
Finals do not seem nearly as scary as they did in the Fall. I think going through the process once has reassured me that you can sleep, have a tiny bit of a life, and still do well. Although I am not interested in most of my classes this semester, I have been able to keep up with my readings and make a decent outline to study with. As long as I stick to my study schedule and outlines I should make it to the summer.The next time I write I should be in the JAG office this summer. I can't wait to update you on what I will be doing! The excitement of working there has kept me going. I know I will be doing a lot of researching and busy work since I have little experience but working on real cases and issues will be a great change of pace. Until sweet summertime...
Normally I am excited for the summer because it brings warm weather, sunshine, and long relaxing days. This year I am excited because I got the JAG externship I was desperately hoping for!!! Last week I went to their office to smooth out all the details and I am beyond excited to work there this summer. Even though I am a little intimidated, I am ready to put into action all the law I have been cramming into my head the past several months.
Speaking of cramming, there are only six weeks left in the semester before finals take over my life. I thought I would be super productive on spring break and outline but that just didn't happen. I will definitely be allocating hours each weekend to get my notes in order. It is just so hard to stay inside and do homework when we have had such nice weather the past week. I know I will have to buckle down and make it happen. The best part about having a little time off of school during spring break was being able to spend some time with Jason and Kojo. We went on two hikes to places we haven't been before and were able to spend some quality time with one another. Kojo even wore his backpack without whining which was a huge improvement from previous times! I am going to try to be more conscious about setting aside time the rest of the semester to enjoy just being with my family, even if it is just a walk around the neighborhood.
Why did I think I was superwoman and join so many clubs? That has been a constant question in my mind this last month. Don't get me wrong, I love being a member of so many diverse groups on campus but I miss being able to indulge in my trashy television. I heard that this month would be really busy and everyone was right. This month has seemed to be full of lunches, networking, and seminars for every club or group on campus. The upside to so many events is free food. When I have so much going on the last thing I want to think about is packing a lunch or making dinner!
I was able to apply to a variety of internships this summer and had a few interviews recently. I am still waiting to hear back from one in particular that I have my heart set on. The Center for Professional Development helped me out so much getting my resume together as well as doing mock interviews with me. They also helped relieve some of the pre interview jitters that I was feeling. Hopefully by my next update I can firmly let you know where I will be this summer.
Officially done with one semester of law school and man does it feel good!! I think after doing finals once, it will become much easier the second, third, and fourth time around. I tried to keep myself level headed and not let the pressure get to me. My biggest problem was stressing out because I was not stressing out as much as everyone else. It took a few deep breaths and maybe a few pints of Ben and Jerry's but it all worked out fine in the end. I was pretty happy with my grades at the end of it all.
Coming back to school this semester I was a mix of emotions. I was excited to see my friends again and catch up with everyone but also a little sad to be starting back up so soon. Don't get me wrong, I like a scheduled and organized day but was not ready to dive back into my readings. After finishing the first semester I felt like I needed more time to relax and enjoy being done before starting all over again. I think the summer break with be nice especially if I am able to land one of the awesome internships I have applied for. Now if only I can finish writing this last cover letter. Until next time.
Midterms are coming, ahhhhh!!! At least that is what the majority of people in my class are thinking, but I am excited in a slightly nerdish way for the challenge they bring. All of my classes have a midterm and for once I am grateful for that, it gives me a chance to see how my professors format exams and a sneak peek into what the final will be like. Plus, only one of my classes has a graded midterm so it is the perfect opportunity to find out where I need to improve.
Since I have never written anything in the IRAC format that most of my professors prefer, I have been doing a ton of practice essays. My TAs have been really good about looking over my practice questions and have had some good feedback for me to improve. I think as long as I continue to work on my structure and making sure I have all of my elements I should do ok. I'm trying to stay confident and positive!
I recently tried a different Vietnamese restaurant close to campus and their curry was the bomb.com Slowly I have been trying all the different restaurants around campus and this one has been my favorite by far.
I think it is fair to say that I am quickly becoming a commuter extraordinaire. With the download of my One Bus Away app I have been able to track my buses pretty effectively. Commuting such a far distance, from JBLM, has been trying at times but I think I am managing it pretty well. I am able to get a cat nap in on my way into school and study my notes on the way home. Commuting has also enabled me to explore downtown Seattle a little bit more. I found a cute little bakery that has awesome cookies that I treat myself to on Fridays. I think they will become very handy once finals arrive...
It seems like only yesterday we were unpacking our moving truck on a warm summer day excited for the adventures Washington would bring us but alas the fall weather and lurking midterms are quickly approaching. I have hung on to my sundresses and cowboy boots the first few weeks of class like a toddler with their blankie. I am just not ready to give them up! It has been a little bit of an adjustment moving to the city from small town Enterprise, Alabama but I have almost mastered the never stop attitude of the city with the help of my classmates.
Like every other 1L I am taking: Criminal Law, Legal Writing I, Torts, Contracts, and Civil Procedure. I have been surprised with my interest in Contracts; it was one of the classes I was dreading but my professor has made it clear and easy to understand. It also helps that he plays music before class to get us in the mood. Torts also has been pleasantly surprising because of the enthusiasm and fun power points my professor, Professor Kass, uses every class. She makes Friday afternoon class actually fun to go to, as nerdy as that sounds. I mean how many professors use costumes to help explain cases?! I am also trying to maintain some involvement with organizations on campus and a home life.
So far I have been actively pursuing involvement in three different activities and I am looking to get involved more. My involvement in Seattle Youth Traffic Court has been the most rewarding so far. The opportunity to work with high school students, which I have missed since my student teaching in undergrad, has been the highlight of my weeks. They bring so much energy which helps everyone perk up a little bit. I am definitely looking forward to our first trial in a few weeks.
The only downside of school so far is my guiltiness of leaving my family all day. I know my dog will forgive me but it's a little harder to bribe my husband, Jason. He has been super supportive so far and even vacuumed the house for me the other day!! I just hope my superwoman mode can continue until December. By then maybe my Christmas cookies will erase all the time I have been away.