Friday, February 01, 2008

My Odd Fetish?

I think I must have a thing for bricks. I had to drive to down to my undergrad town this morning to obtain some essential documents for my bar application. As I was driving through town to the parking garage (that was not there when I actually went to school there), I noticed an odd thing. The entire street through downtown is not paved. Rather it is laden with bricks. And given the icy and snowy conditions striking the midwest this week, driving on brick is quite undesirable.

Then I realized that my neighborhood where I live at law school is also full of brick streets. Sure, it is a nice throwback, but the uneven pavement that fucks up my suspension and causes my car to scrape brick is decidedly unfavorable. So I had to ask myself, why do I surround myself with brick streets when I know they suck? Do I have some sort of brick fetish? I have nothing against bricks. I am ambivalent towards bricks. But I never really looked at a brick that way, you know? Think about it; a nice rectangular shape. Fits into places. Makes building easy. Maybe I could see myself in bed with one.

OK, definitely not. I cannot help that cheap rents follow brick streets. But I got my the final documents I needed for my bar today. I was able to obtain my final undergrad professor recommendation yesterday (after much more work than should have been necessary (at least for lazy people like me)). And I am $712 poorer thanks to the egregiously large IL Bar filing fee. But I have jumped through the first hurdle. I recalled all of my prior bad acts, found two professors who would tell the Bar that I got a "B" in their classes, and managed to manipulate six people into being character references. Not bad for a days work.

But here is the thing. You look at anyone's life under the microscope and you will be disappointed. The only way we learn is to make mistakes. Everyone fucks up, and they want us to get all paranoid that a couple of fuck-ups in teh past my screw up my entire life. I am not talking now to the people who never been arrested or had a speeding ticket, but you all should know, that when someone is too perfect, you can tear them down too. I think the bar application is more about self-awareness.

I have never been convicted of a felony, but I have two major misdemeanors and a couple speeding tickets on my record. On top of that, I was disciplined by my undergrad for telling a cop I was 21 when only 19 when he caught me with a beer. This resulted in my undergrad charging my with a dishonesty violation. Had I been to law school before this happened, and if the school was required by the 14th to give me due process, I would know that I have a right to lie to that cop. Sure, lying to a cop is not the best idea, but the fifth amendment is premised on the fact that we are allowed to lie to cops.

A couple years ago I got a public intoxication. See, I had learned my lesson. That lesson was, Do not lie to cops. So, I told the cop the truth. I was on a porch and quite drunk. The cop wanted to give me and the others on the porch a public intox. I explained, as calmly as I could, why the cop could not give me a public intox. I was on a fucking porch. There is a zone around the home that is considered to be the home. We call it curtilage. The cop did not appreciate my reasoned, though slurred, exposition of the law, put me in the back of the cop car and later gave me a ticket.

What did the other law students on the porch do? Nothing. At least I fought tyranny. And the sad end to this parable is that I ended up paying the goddamn ticket because it was only $80 and would have been a major inconvenience for me to show up to court (cost benefit analysis), and everyone else got the charges dismissed. Why? Because they were on a fucking porch.

This is what I have learned as a lawyer. There is always a story. Rarely is anything the same. In appellate eyes they are the same, but at the human level, there are no set of circumstances that are the same. All the red marks on my bar app have a rational explanation, and I only wish the opportunity to be heard. I only hope that my interviewers listen to me on the human level rather than the disinterested final disposition level.

Anyway, I filed my IL character and fitness application today. I am officially registered to take the IL bar. I cut it about as close as possible, tendering my documents to an overnight carrier at about 3:30 p.m. today. Thank god. one less thing on my mind.

But to be safe, as a cheesy as it sounds, I think I am going to walk into my character interview and play The Reason by Hoobastank for the attorneys (them being the persons the song is directed towards):

I'm not a perfect person
As many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

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