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Final Days of Bar Prep

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel . . . and it’s not an oncoming train!

Reminder: Rob-tastic and I teamed up with Barbri to document and share our stories from studying for the July 2017 California Bar Exam.

Going to the Bar Exam!

The California Bar Exam is less than a week away. Rob and I have our admission tickets and ExamSoft on our laptops (it’s the software we use for the test that locks us out of the rest of our computer), and I have M&Ms for our flight crews and Jolly Ranchers for test day. (It’s tradition, just got with it.) I also had a custom running shirt made for the bar exam that says “I Beat the Kobayashi Maru.”

(Rob says he doesn’t have any lucky charms, but he carries his ornate pocket knife – not his everyday pocket knife – for things like this. But, of course, we can’t carry weapons onto the airplane or into the bar exam.)

I’ve heard the Ontario Convention Center is historically freezing cold during the bar exam. Since Rob run warm and I don’t, I suspect on test day he’ll be comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt while I’ll be shivering while doing an impression of Kenny from South Park, or at least I would if I were allowed to put the hood up on my Scottevest.

1,000+ Barbri flash cards

Last Days of Studying
At this point, our job is to maximize retention of information. Over the last month, I turned all 15 Barbri lecture outlines into flash cards – over 1,000 of them. Each day, I review several sets of them, trying to lock in as much information as I can. There will be 5 essay questions on the test, and the only topic I can predict will be on there is Professional Responsibility.

Sometimes I like to walk when I review my cards, and since it’s blazing hot in the afternoon in Phoenix, I took my flash cards for a walk at Scottsdale Fashion Square. With earbuds in my ears and my eyes focused on the cards in my hands, no one paid me much mind. The clerk at the Lovesac shop was a bit confused when I walked in, jumped into a Lovesac, muttered through my Evidence cards to myself, and left without saying a word.

Rob-tastic’s reviewing his materials as well. As he goes through practice MBE questions, he said he has to remember to go strictly on the information given, and avoid implying outside information. He’s continuing to go through essay questions as well.

We got this.

We Know Stuff
Even when we’re somewhat overwhelmed by the volume of information we might be tested on, we definitely know stuff. Yesterday, we were easily spit balling back and forth the various rules that are different in California compared to the Federal rules, common law, or the model rules. This is a test where I’m not sure it’s possible to feel completely prepared, but we’re ready to go in and say something effective on every issue. That’s probably the most we can ask of ourselves.

As our Barbri instructors reminded us, we only have to get a D- on a test that’s graded on a curve. We don’t need the highest scores; we just need to pass.

Calling on Higher Powers
Not that I’m not above calling upon divine powers. At least thirty of my friends are actual reverends and pastors or at least ordained online. I’m not a religious person, but I called on all of them to send good vibes. The response was waves of love from officially recognized churches, including Christian, Wiccan, and Pagan, and some I didn’t know existed, including several blessing from The Church of the Dude.

We’ll take all the good vibes we can get. We’ll see you on the flip side!
Good luck to everyone taking a bar exam next week!

Marathon Training Week 18 Recap – Final Prep

Colts Experience by Valerie Everett from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Colts Experience by Valerie Everett from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

The last week of marathon training was pretty uneventful. My marathon training program had me taper down so much that I ran less this week than any other week during training. I did a 3-mile run on Tuesday and a 4-mile run on Wednesday. I was supposed to do a 2-mile run on Thursday, but my chest hurt that afternoon so I opted to skip it. A lot of people, myself included, are wondering why I’m doing this race with my current health issues. The only real reasons I have are sheer determination and because I want to do it.

I got some great advice from my friends who have run a marathon previously. Some of the best tidbits were don’t do anything different on race day than you did during your training and trust your training. I was really nervous about the race a few days ago and I reached out to a friend who is done plenty of marathon and Ironman races for a pep talk. He told me that I’ve done a 20-mile training run and I’ve run a 10K. A marathon is just the opportunity to do them consecutively. That made me feel better.

My Race Shirt for Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon 2015

My Race Shirt for Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon 2015

My friend and I went to the race expo on Friday. We both ran the half marathon 2 years ago and I beat him by 67 seconds so his goal this year is to beat my half marathon time. He ran the full marathon last year and I wouldn’t mind beating his time of 4:30:16. But my real goal at this point is to just finish. We did a quick lap for the expo exhibitors, looking at products and grabbing samples, and I got taped up at the Rock Tape booth. (And for those of you who are wondering, yes I altered the race waiver and they accepted it.)

A few days ago I picked up my custom race shirt at Brand X in Tempe. I had them put “One More Mile” on the back of a highlighter yellow running shirt in silver lettering. It came out beautifully. I hope it will inspire anyone running behind me during the race.

At this point I’m enjoying carb loading and just trying to get everything ready for race day. I hope it will be a low-stress high-fun day.

Finally! Funny Legal T-shirts that are Comfy to Wear

This is the first time I’ve found legal eagle t-shirts that aren’t cheap and itchy.

RP shirt2

Anyone who knows me knows I love t-shirts. My law firm even celebrates T-shirt Friday every week where I wear a t-shirt not matter what’s on my calendar. I love shirts that are witty, have beautiful artwork, or are affiliated with an event or cause that’s important to me.

There are lots of fun legal t-shirts out there. I thought it was hilarious when my lawyer friends told me that he and his buddies all wore t-shirts that said “Reasonable Person” to their bar exam.

Hal Cohen rocking his Reasonable Person shirt during a study break

Hal Cohen rocking his Reasonable Person shirt during a study break

(For those of you who aren’t legal eagles, like the unicorn, the Reasonable Person doesn’t exist. It’s a fictitious person who acts in a reasonable manner in every situation. In many cases, the court compares what a person actually did to what the Reasonable Person would have done under similar circumstances to determine if the person should be held responsible for causing harm.)

Unfortunately, most legal t-shirt aren’t worth buying because they’re cheaply made, uncomfortable to wear, and horribly overpriced. I have seen or can think of at least six legal t-shirts that I would wear if I could find them. I’m contemplating having a shirt made with a quote from my Administrative Law professor: “Most of law is totally flawed.  Just go with it.

Posita shirt2Thankfully, Brand X in Tempe has stepped in to fill the void.  They recently created their own version of the “Reasonable Person” t-shirt. I love Brand X. They make all the shirts for Ignite Phoenix and they’ve made at least eight custom shirts for me, including my “Life is Blog Material” shirt and my “GeekLawFirm.com” shirts. Their base shirt is super soft and the quality of their work is top-notch. I’m so glad someone is making shirts for legal eagles that I can wear. I may have to ask them to make some more legal eagle shirts for me for some of my upcoming projects.

At the request of one of my patent-enthusiast friends, they’ve also made a “Person of Ordinary Skill in the Art” shirt. (And yes, you can buy both shirts online and have them shipped to you if you want.)

For full disclosure: I am not a paid spokesperson for Brand X. I receive no financial benefit from either of these shirts. I just love Brand X, and I want people to know that there are high quality legal t-shirts available so we don’t have to settle for the crappy ones anymore.  

 

My Favorite Things 2013

Oprah used to do a “My Favorite Things” show every year so I decided to do the same, but without all the freebies. Sorry.

I reviewed my calendar and Yelp reviews from the past year and here’s my list of my favorite things. Everything on this list is something I use or do and enjoy. I’ve not been compensated in any way for including anyone in this post.

Working Out
2013 half marathon pre raceFavorite Phoenix Area Race: P.F. Chang Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Favorite Place to get Running Shoes: Runner’s Den

Favorite Place to Work Out: Arizona Canal

Favorite Device for Sore Muscles: The Stick

Favorite Place to get Fixed when I Break Myself: Endurance Rehab

Food
Favorite Doughnut: Buttermilk bar from BoSa Donuts (open ‘til 10pm)

0702131205Favorite Mexican Food: Jordan’s

Favorite Greek Food: Greektown

Favorite Indian Food: The Dhaba

Favorite Dessert for Lunch: Yogurtland

Favorite Food Truck: Jamburritos

Favorite Dessert Food Truck: Mamma Toledo’s

Favorite Ice Krem (Phoenix): Churn

Favorite Ice Krem (Scottsdale): Sugar Bowl

Favorite Place for Late-Night Eats and Work: Gay Denny’s

Life
0511131339Favorite Dog Park: Margaret T. Hance Dog Park

Favorite Place for Shirts with Custom Verbiage: Brand X Custom T-shirts

Favorite Site for Shirts with Original Artwork: Threadless

Favorite Snuggle Wear: REI Yoga Pants

Favorite Person for Fixing my Sore Body: Thomas Porter

Favorite Shop for Music Geeks: Central Music

Favorite Bookstore: Changing Hands

Favorite TV Show: The Big Bang Theory

Favorite Reality Show: Deadliest Catch

Favorite Place to Go When I Really Need to Escape: Firefly Room at the Phoenix Art Museum

No Pants Ride 2013 - Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

No Pants Ride 2013 – Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

Online
Favorite Webhost: Dreamhost

Favorite Social Media Platform: Twitter

Favorite Podcast: Savage Lovecast

Favorite Online Cartoon: Foamy the Squirrel

Favorite Site for Travel Suggestions: Roadside America

Favorite Site for Everything Else: Reddit

Events and Activities
Favorite Flash Mob: Improv AZ’s No Pants Light Rail Ride

Favorite Community Event: Ignite Phoenix

Favorite Place on a Friday Night: ASU Women’s Gymnastics Meets

Favorite Phoenix Geek Event: Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown (PUGS)

Favorite Place to see Who’s Who in the Local Zoo: Local First Arizona Fall Festival

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list and perhaps it’s inspired you to try some of my favorite things. 😉

Minimalism and Gift Giving

When I decided to pursue my minimalism project this year, one of first questions I had was about giving and receiving gifts from others. As a general rule, I like to give people practical gifts – things they’ll use and enjoy. I don’t believe in dust collectors, so much so that I haven’t been able to figure out what kind of shwag to get for my law firm because I don’t believe in giving people useless crap. In terms of giving gifts, I often give people consumables like gift cards to places they like to go out to eat.

Project 365 #49: 180211 Never Too Late by comedy_nose from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Project 365 #49: 180211 Never Too Late by comedy_nose from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

When it comes to receiving gifts, I’m a big believer in writing a list. I’ve been writing a birthday list that turns into my Christmas list every year since I was probably 10. I will tell you exactly what I want – including the size, color, and a link to where you can buy it. I have a t-shirt registry at Brand X Custom T-shirts where I’ve pre-designed the shirts I want and all a person has to do is call them to execute the order. And I ask for mostly practical stuff – I’m that person who will ask Santa for underwear and postage stamps. I also like to ask for experiential gifts. I’ve regularly asked to go on adventures since I was 15 – like flying an airplane and taking a hot air balloon ride – instead of getting tangible gifts. This year I’m asking for trapeze lessons and a gift certificate for my masseur.

(Yes, for sake of full-disclosure I ask for stuff I just want. I’m pretty sure I don’t need a new Starfleet uniform, but I really want Uhura’s dress from the new Star Trek movies.)

The challenge I run into is with people who don’t shop from the list. If I didn’t put something on the list, more often than not, I’m not going to like it. I’ll appreciate the gesture, of course, but historically I’d put it on the shelf in my closet for 6 months before giving it away to charity. Something in my brain says I should hold onto it for a period of time even though I don’t want it, I’m not going to use it, and it’s only going to take space. For this holiday season I’m giving myself permission to immediately give away any gift that does not enhance my life. It can enhance someone else’s instead of collecting dust.

A friend made a good suggestion that if someone doesn’t know what I want but they want to give something, they can always give a gift to charity. I  guarantee you will make me smile by taking whatever money you were thinking about spending on me and giving it to the Arizona Basset Hound Rescue, Arizona Women in Tune, or the Phoenix Innovation Foundation.

One thing I’m not sure about is how to communicate the fact that I’m trying to be more of a minimalist to others. I think when people know that you’re not into stuff that they’ll be more likely to think about getting you’re a gift card to your favorite lunch place or coffee shop, movie or concert tickets, or asking what you would like. I’m not an ultra-100-possessions minimalist, but at the same time, I’ll tell you what’s on my list or give you suggestions if you ask me.

I Want to Wear Your Art

In case you didn’t know it, I love wearing custom t-shirts. I see myself as the lawyer who wears t-shirts. I think it works when it comes to working with entrepreneurs. I have quite a few shirts that were made at Brand X Custom T-shirts in Tempe.  They make the shirts for Ignite Phoenix and they’ve made quite a few custom pieces for me.

Ruth Carter at Phoenix Comicon, Photo by Devon Christopher Adams

Speaking at Phoenix Comicon – Photo by Phoenix Comicon and Devon Christopher Adams

Brand X has made me spoiled when it comes to my shirts. They carry the super soft American Apparel shirts. I rarely buy a t-shirt if it’s not as soft as the Brand X shirts. I had trouble shirt shopping at Phoenix Comicon because most vendors use cheaper shirts which are somewhat stiff and itchy compared to Brand X.

I have quite a few ideas for verbiage for shirts. I think my next custom shirt will be hot pink and have my Twitter handle on the front (@rbcarter) and say “Do Epic Shit” across the back in white lettering. (Thank you to Charlie Gilkey for inspiring this shirt.) I also want to have a running shirt made for my next half marathon that says “Masochist” on the front and “Run Bitch” on the back.

I want to expand my shirt collection to include more shirts with artwork on it. I was recently in San Francisco. I saw a craft booth near the Ferry Building where a vendor was selling shirts with original artwork on them. I saw a tank top with a line drawing of an octopus wearing glasses on it. It was so random and wonderful. If I had more disposable income, I would have bought it.

I would love to have more shirts with original artwork in it, but I have no artistic talent when it comes to drawing, so I invite all of my readers to send me artwork that you think I should turn into a shirt. Please send me your line drawings of pictures or patterns that would only require 1 color to put on a shirt, in PDF form, to Ruth@CarterLawAZ.com.

Legal Disclaimer: There’s no guarantee that I’ll have every shirt made, but I promise if I have a shirt made with your artwork that I’ll attribute the art to you and publish a photo of the shirt on this site. By sending me art work, you attest that the art is your original work and that I have permission to put it on a t-shirt and if I get sued for copyright infringement because of what you send me, agree to indemnify me against all claims for copyright infringement and to pay for all my related legal expenses.

Brand X is always on my wish list for my birthday and Christmas. This year instead of asking for gift cards, Brand X is letting me build a registry of all the shirts I want to have made which will eliminate all the guesswork. I hope some new original art will be added to my wardrobe soon!

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Is That Legal – Apple Store Flash Mob

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. In accordance with ABA policy, this blog should not be viewed as legal advice. It is simply my experiences, opinions, and stuff I looked up on the internet.

(cc) Devon Christopher Adams

This past weekend, Improv AZ organized a flash mob that invaded the Apple Store in Scottsdale. Our friends at Brand X Custom T-Shirts made ours shirts that resembled the Apple Store employees’. Each participant wore a royal blue shirt with a heart on it that had a leaf coming out of the top and a bite taken out of the side. Our group of about 30 participants walked into the store in small groups and proceeded to browse around for about 30 minutes, looking at and buying merchandise. We never represented ourselves as Apple employees, but if someone mistook us for an employee, we answered their question if we could or directed them to an Apple employee. If anyone asked us what we doing, we denied any implications that were acting in conjunction with each other. At the end of our invasion, we walked out calmly, took some pictures in front of the store, and left.

Did We Trespass?
No. The Apple Store is open to do business with the public. In legal terms, we were invitees. If we were asked to leave and we refused, then we would have been trespassing.

But You Weren’t There To Shop . . .
And how many times have you gone into a store just to look around with no intention of buying anything? At least one person in our group purchased something and several others looked at products that they were possibly interested in buying in the future. Additionally, we did not do anything that interfered with other shoppers’ ability to shop or employees’ ability to work.

Did We Commit Disorderly Conduct? Unlawful Assembly?
No. You have to behave pretty badly for those charges to stick. Peacefully walking through a business that is open to the public in matching shirts is not illegal. We weren’t rioting, fighting, disrupting business, making unreasonable noise, or refusing a lawful order to disperse.

Our Shirt vs. Their Shirt (cc) Devon Christopher Adams

Did We Commit Trademark Infringement?
Apple uses the apple with the bite out of it as a symbol of the source of its goods. Our apple-heart was not indicative of the source of any goods or services. There’s no trademark infringement because we weren’t claiming anything as a trademark.

Did We Commit Copyright Infringement?
I wouldn’t be surprised if Improv AZ and/or Brand X get cease and desist letters based on copyright infringement because our design was inspired by Apple’s logo. However, I’d argue that we created a parody that is protected under the fair use doctrine. A parody needs to resemble the original in order for people to get it; thus our shirts had to resemble the Apple shirts to be funny. Improv AZ did not make any money of these shirts, and Brand X probably isn’t turning a big profit either. Additionally, Apple doesn’t sell its shirt to the general public, and there’s no way someone who wants an Apple shirt would buy ours thinking it was close enough to what they wanted.

Thank you to everyone who came out to make this event a success and to Devon Christopher Adams and Sheila Dee for shooting such wonderful pictures of the event! If you want your own apple-heart shirt, they are available at Brand X Custom T-shirts.

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SALK Day 32 – Brand X Custom T-shirts

I absolutely love today’s sponsor, Brand X Custom T-shirts in Tempe, Arizona.  They create customized shirts, hoodies, hats, bags, onesies, underwear, and more.  If you can conceptualize it, they can make it a reality.  They even have an iphone app for creating shirts.  You can also get a quote online or just bee-bop into their store on to speak with one of their awesome staff members.  Even when the shop is busy, they carefully walk each client through the design process to make sure that each person gets exactly what they want.  They have locations on Mill Ave and at Arizona State University.

Copyright Brand X Custom T-Shirts, used with permission

Brand X has a massive selection of apparel to choose from, and they are all high quality pieces.  If they don’t have what you want on hand, they can order it for you.  If you’re putting words on your shirt, they have a huge variety of fonts, colors, and textures for your lettering.  You can bring in your own design, or use one of theirs.  This past Christmas, I ordered matching Rabies Awareness running shirts for my sister and brother-in-law so people will think that they did a Rabies Awareness Run.

I love that Brand X is so connected to the local community.  Brand X has made the shirts for every Podcamp and Ignite Phoenix event that I’ve ever attended.  They also make the shirts of events for charity like Twestival and have events featuring local artists in their store.  At the last Podcamp AZ, Brand X was on-site at the event making Podcamp shirts as they were ordered with their mobile set up.  It was awesome.  My Brand X shirts are among of my favorite things to wear, and being a future professional geek, it’s very important to have good t-shirts.  Brand X also made my underwear for the 2010 No Pants Light Rail Ride.  I can’t wait until I’m earning a living wage again so I can create more pieces.  I have at least two ideas that I can’t wait to turn into wearable art.

And it’s not just me who loves Brand X.  Everyone on Yelp has nothing but good things to say about Brand X, their high quality work, their fast service, and their wonderful staff.  One of my friends goes to the South by Southwest conference every year, the most awesomest film, music, and interactive media conference in the U.S.   He has Brand X make a shirt for every day of the event.

If you need to make a personal statement or if you need a special gift for someone else, please consider Brand X.  You won’t be disappointed.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Brand X Custom T-shirts.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.