Monday, August 6, 2007

First blog

Blogging is new to me but since my wife started one I thought I had better keep up. I have almost no time to do one since I am still in law school but that will change in a year when I graduate.

Last year was my 3rd year out of a 4 year law program. It was a killer. This year seems like a breeze so far comparatively. Who knows, maybe it will get worse since I have only been in school for 3 weeks!

I have Federal taxation this year which appears to be fairly easy since I am a CPA and have been doing people's tax returns for 29 years. It is a little different angle though because the class is based on the IRS Code rather than the Publications issued by them interpreting the codes.

My first year of law school I read EVERY page, briefed every case, did every little assignment and ended up with an A- average grade plus I passed the first year bar exam in California my first time taking it. Only 20% of the takers pass it. However successful I was it was too much time away from my family so the 2nd and 3rd years I did not read any of the books assigned. I literally did not even open most of the books I purchased (which cost about $800 per year). My grades went down to a "B" average which is acceptable to me for the time I put in.

The first year I was awarded "distinguished scholar" award. The 2nd year brought no awards and the 3rd year after spending 100 hours on my defendant's brief I received the "best defendant's brief" award and in a mock trial on the same issue "distinguished orator for defendant" award. There were others from other classes/teachers who obtained the same awards but I was the only one to receive them both.

However nice the awards, it about killed me trying to get the job done because it took so much of my time. My other classes suffered but I was blessed and did well on my finals.

I was blessed because I accepted a calling to be a "Pa" of a pioneer trek family which included my wife Ann as "Ma" and 10 14-16 year olds. Truthfully I did not want to accept the calling. I do not like to camp and walking 13 miles a day in the dust of the plains in Wyoming is not what I consider a thrilling use of my limited time. When an appointment was made to meet with Ken Parr I figured it was for pioneer trek and looked at my schedule for 6/18-20/07. Great, it was during my finals and I was pretty certain that Concord Law School would not allow me to change my finals dates. I felt badly that Ann REALLY wanted to go and be a part of the trek experience. I told her and Ken that I would ask permission to have my finals dates changed.

Concord said that it was not advisable to change the finals and that it would likely affect me negatively to do the trek right before the finals. My finals counted for 50-70% of my grade in each class so it was very important to do well on them to raise my grades. Miraculously, and to my chagrin, they gave me permission to change the dates of my finals.

The other complication was that we were going to Rosarito, Mexico as an extended family vacation the week before Trek so it would be hard to study while I was driving and vacationing on the beach.

As I prayed about the dilemma I was faced with I told the Lord that it was in His hands and that I was exercising my faith and being obedient to Him in accepting the calling. He promised me that I would do well on my finals if I exercised my faith. In all honesty it was a trial of my faith because I had not put in as much time during the year in those classes because of my Legal Writing and Analysis (LAW) class and I needed the extra time to study for finals so that I could do well on them and save my grades. I felt that I might even get "D's" in some of my classes if I did poorly on the final exam. I resigned myself to accepting "D's" because sometimes the blessing the Lord gives us is the ability to accept the natural consequences of our actions.

However, the Lord has shown me miracles during law school like the distinguished orator award and finishing the multiple choice portion of the first year bar exam when I was only 1/2 way done with the exam after 2/3 of the time had elapsed. The Lord definitely heard my prayer at that time and I was led by the Spirit to "feel" the right answer as I sped through the reading of long, complicated questions and answers. It was a miracle that I finished the exam and more so that I passed it. To feel which answer is correct rather than to apply one's knowledge on a difficult law school exam is certainly not a technique often used or recommended.

The end result with my finals is that again the Lord blessed me and prospered me as I exercised my faith in Him such that I did well enough to get an "A" in one class and "B's" in the rest.

We must be willing to take that step into the unknown in order to show that we have the faith necessary to produce miracles before we can be blessed with one.