I. am. so. TIRED.

I spent all weekend learning how to write a brief and then writing one so that I could be the ONLY 1L to apply for Moot Court. I didn't get much sleep.

I found out last night that the administration won't let me participate in moot court. Sigh. Lots of hours that I should have been working on other stuff, down the drain.

So I started to work on my research memo, which is what I SHOULD have been working on all weekend. Lost track of time last night, went to bed around 1, forgot to set my alarm clock.

I was nevertheless alarmed when my poor friend K was tapping on my bedroom window at 6:45... we had agreed to go to the gym. Oy.

Very jolting wake up call, half hearted wake up, and not NEARLY enough coffee.

But my Texas beau is coming to visit this weekend! Long story- basically trying to figure out if he should move out here to be with me, which is exciting and scary all at the same time.

Needless to say, not much knitting going on.


Now THAT's progress.

Alas, no pictures.
I picked up my dreaded sleeves last Thursday and lo! it was time to start the cap shaping! I finished them Friday night and sewed them on Thursday. I'll be damned if the sweater doesn't fit. I'm THRILLED. Now I just have to knit all the seed stitch trim (I'm about halfway done with the waist...) and weave in a bunch of ends- my goal for knit night tonight.

School is good. I did REALLY well on my second memo- woohoo! In a fit of insanity I decided to apply for Moot Court as a 1L (apparently, it's a 2L or even 3L thing here...) I was wiped out yesterday but got my brief turned in, and am now trying to put together an oral argument for Thursday. I'll need to field questions, which is very intimidating. Ah well.

Had dinner last night with M last night at Orchid, a great Thai place. Mmmmm. Green curry with shrimp! I will definitely go back....



Ok, I am CUT OFF from buying more yarn AND pattern books.

So... that first picture is of my latest impulse buy... Crystal Palace Squiggle in color 9291 combined with Lane Borgosesia Oceano in Color 807. The go frighteningly well together. I'm knitting them on size 15s, which makes for a fairly open and lacy fabric. Those ladies at Village Wools are cunning- I intended to get just the Squiggle, but my $18 scarf quickly became a $38 scarf... By the way, The Oceano seems to have variegated colors that match all the Squiggle yarns. Conspiracy? I think so.

Next up is the Colinette Point 5 in Lapis combined with some Rowan KidSilk Haze on size 17s to make Knitty's Loopy and Luscious scarf (it's in the archives on Knitty and somewhere on my site- I'm too lazy to look up the link right now.)

I love the way both of these are turning out. YAY!

I ALSO got 2 knitting books in the mail today, courtesy of Amazon.com. I got Joelle Hoverson's "Last Minute Knitted Gifts" and Emma King's "25 Bags to Knit".

The Last Minute Knitted Gifts book is WONDERFUL. I've ID'd probably 10 things I want to make from this book, including adorable angora baby booties (I have to prego friends- one boy and one girl arriving in January), mini sweaters for ornaments, the pashmina cowl, a cabled purse, ADORABLE knitted toys (bear, bunny, and elephant- so darn cute!) and a gorgeously shaped but otherwise plain stockinette stitch sweater for ME.

The Knitted Bags book is OK. There are 2 I think I'll make. It seems like half the patterns are for the EXACT same bag done in differnt colors. BORING! I may return this one, actually. Very basic stuff, nothing stunning, and it feels like half the 25 patterns are the same with only basic color differences. Ah well. You win some, you lose some. And I have definitely scored some winners in the last few weeks.

Anyway, knit night was GREAT last night. We had a big turnout of largely young blonde women. My 25 year old brother was at the coffee shop where the knitting group met and seemed shocked that such young and attractive gals were knitting in public. Ha! I'm not as square as he thinks I am! Ok, I am. But whatever. :-)

Ok, I still have a ton of reading to do, so I'm going to logoff and get back to work.

How to write a legal memo.

Hurrah! I just got my first visitor looking for legal information- I hope whoever was searching google for "how to write a legal memo" found what they were looking for. I sure know you didn't find it here.

I'm in law school, so if you're out in the real world, so sorry.

My understanding of the process is this:
  1. Read over the fact pattern your professor gives you very carefully. If it's a closed memo with included research, skip steps 2 and 3.
  2. Develop a research plan. ID key words, topics, phrases. Start in secondary sources- ALR, journals, restatements, hornbooks. Get familiar with terminology, concepts, etc.
  3. Jump in to primary sources. Look at statutes first. If your state/jurisdicition has Uniform Jury Instructions, look there for a concise summary of the law in that area. Then move on to case law. If you don't find much in your jurisdiction, expand your search.
  4. Step back from your research (or the provided information) and start identifying the law. Synthesize your cases to determine key themes.
  5. Outline. We use IGPAC (Issue, General rule, Precedent, Analysis, Conclusion).
  6. Draft.
  7. Revise.
  8. Revise again.
  9. Revise again.
  10. Revise again.
  11. Turn in your memo. Cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Hope that helps!

EDITED on 2/27/06:
So many people have found this post and I am horrified at the lack of useful information here! Really, I think the key is getting to know your facts intimately. Part of what makes good memos good is really knowing how the law applies to your specific situation.
Some other suggestions:
  • Your analysis has got to make sense. Does it explain ll the undeniable facts? Does it account for inconsistencies? Does it have a solid base in the applicable law? Most importantly, does it jive with common sense? If your argument raises eyebrows, it probably won't fly.
  • Start with the general principle/governing rule. Example: All men are mortal. Then apply that principle to your facts. Socrates is a man. The conclusion should follow logically- Socrates is a mortal.
  • Edit out waffling- vague and murky writing appears weak.
  • Make clear where the law is uncertain or scanty.
  • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. Your goal is to be complete, but to address the KEY issues that affect how the issue will be resolved.
  • Assume a naive reader. This means that your reader presumably doesn't know your facts as well as you do, isn't as famniliar with the relevant law, and is neutral or otherwise undecided on the issue.
  • IGPAC: Issue identifies the general substantive issue that arises in the situation. The issue is what's important in the case.

    The general rule is a syntehsis of case law/statutes on the subject- rarely found in a single source. Synthesize the case law so you get a more comprehensive view.

    Precedent is the individual instances of the law- each piece. Give examples of how the various courts applied each rule to facts similar to yours. This shows the reader where the rule comes from and what it means. Keep this brief- focus on your case, your issue.

    Then comes Analysis/Application, the heart of your memo. This is where you apply the rules to YOUR facts. Analogize and distinguish your case from precedent. Don't assume that it's obvious how the law applies to your case. Explain your reasoning and support it with cites to your precedent cases.

    Your Conclusion simply states your position- your best judgment about the probable outcome of the issue. You can make this contingent on something else if you need to... Example: Assuming we can prove that throwing a snowball was peaceable conduct, the court will likely find that....

  • Avoid IGPAPAPAPAPAPAPA. Discuss all your precedent cases at one time. When you're done with that, apply those cases to your facts all at once.

Writing in General:
  • Topic sentences are key. Give your reader a sign post at the start of each and every paragraph. Tell your reader what the paragraph is about. Break up loger paragraphs so the reader doesn't get lost. Use simple, direct language.
  • I had a fabulous writing profess who wrote out of order. He'd write his analysis/applicationn, then his precedent, then the general rule, followed by the conclusion, and end with his issue. Then he'd take care of the formalities: framining the questions presented and the "decorations" (formatting.) I find this really helpful- focuses you on the argument and what you need to support it, and you kinda work your way back from that.
  • Read aloud often. Helps you figure out where your language isn't working, smooths transitions, ensures your writing makes sense and hangs together well.
  • Avoid: bad page breaks, rhetorical questions, "Jones is a case that...." "In Jones, the court...." (Just say: Felons are prohibited from possessing guns when... Cite.), Phrases like "It can be argued..." (Just argue it!)
  • Use: pincites. Topic sentences.



Yarn! Knitting! It was a good weekend!


OK. First up are my sleeves. I have about 6 inches to go and then I am DONE! Except for all the moss stitch trim. I'm about halfway through the neck band.
Next up, I did square #8 on my rug. Love it. This is the pattern from the summer IK.

Next two photos are my internet purchases! I love the Colinette Point 5- the lapis is an incredible color. And I am really pleased with the Chenille! It's delightfully soft and the color is perfect. AND it came with a free copy of the chenille book... I've flagged a couple patterns to think about. I really don't want to do another sweater with vast stretches of plain ole stockinette.....

Anyway, must get back to work now.


so sad...

I had to miss knit night tonight because I'm a major slacker. I have procrastinated so much on my 3 writing assignments due tomorrow. Sigh.

My memo is largely done- just need to write up the conclusion then edit. I want to spend some time reviewing this memo with my previous memo in hand so I can specifically fix the areas where I missed points last time. I wish I had gotten this done in time to trade with someone else for a quick once over sanity check. Alas. Alack.

I still have to do the cite exercise, a self-edit assignment, and write up a small research exercise. Another long night.

But THEN, tomorrow afternoon is the start of fall break! YIPPEEEEE! I'm going to be busy helping my Mom get ready to move, but I'm sure I can squeeze in some knitting time. And my packages of goodies should all start arriving soon. I think I'm going to try to head up to Santa Fe on Thursday to go to The Needle's Eye to pick up some Rowan KidSilk Haze for the Loopy and Lucsious. Needle's Eye a great little yarn store with good selection. It's incredibly well organized. Village Wools here in Albuquerque is fine, but they don't have many interesting yarns- lots of small guage wools.

I saw a girl today walking across main campus wearing a scarf made out of the "Squiggle" yarn. It was really freakin cute. Maybe I'll get some of that for myself... Hmmmm. MORE YARN! Just what I need!!!!!!!

Dinner tonight was really good. I made butternut squash risotto. Took forever, but man did it taste good. Yum. Leftovers, too.

Anyway, enough randomness for now. I promise photos of yarn and reviews of books as they arrive (oh yeah, I bought 2 knitting books on amazon... did I mention that already?)



Yarn, yarn, yarn, yarn.

Well, I don't have any pictures. But I did do a little virtual stash enhancement today!

First of all, I am insane. I don't have time to knit any of my current projects, so it makes NO sense for me to go nuts on eBay.

I bought 2 skeins of Colinette Point 5 in Lapis. I plan to combine these with some Rowan kidsilk haze (yet to be purchased- doh!) to make one of THESE loopy & lucsious scarves for my Mommy for Christmas.

I also bought a pack of Rowan Chunky Chenille in the most fabulous ice blue color. The buy it now price was less than HALF of what it would cost retail- WOOHOO! and shipping was really reasonable, especially considering it's airmail from England. I am not 100% sure what I'll make with it. I found a pattern in an older Rowan mag (22?) for a turtleneck sweater... Not sure if that's what it'll become.

I am also sorely tempted by Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, but there's never enough on eBay to make a sweater out of, and I am DONE buying random skeins or smallquantities. I'm drowning in small quantities of yarn.

Anyway, the fall weather here is really making me want to knit. That, combined with the pressure of midterms tomorrow has caused some major procrastination in the form of yarn shopping/knitting fantasizing.

I originally planned to try to get an inch a day done on the sleeves of my biker jacket. Snort. Yeah. That is so not happening. I hope I finish the sweater before Christmas. And I doubt the camo socks will get done in time, either. Alas and alack.

Anyway, I should study, since I'm paying out of state tuition for this opportunity to suffer. :-)


What a week!

I am SO GLAD next week is fall break. All I have to do between now and Wednesday morning is:
- study for and take 3 midterms
- write a 12 page legal memo analyzing 12 cases
- research and write up another legal writing piece
- do 4 pages of citation exercises
- read 150 pages for class.

EASY PEASY, I tell ya! not...

I know this is random, but I'm telling you now that I have been a very judgmental person this week. I have no patience for idiots or people who act like children.

Today has been very weird. Turns out the police found a body an apartment in the small complex NEXT DOOR to my house. Next door. Scary. I pulled out of the garage to go to a Dr's appointment and I almost couldn't get out because the alley was filled with 5 police cars, the crime investigator van, the mobile "major crime scene" lab RV, and 2 news trucks. Just saw the story on the evening news... Turns out this guy lived there, walked in front of the apartments at midnight last night and stabbed someone in the neck, then robbed the 7-11 around the corner. The stabbing victim called police with the man's name and address. When the police came to the apartment, they found a dead woman's body. Apparently they had been there before on a domestic violence call...
Then, this afternoon I was driving home and saw HUGE plumes of smoke around the Menaul/University area... turns out there was a huge fire at the Little Anita's there... Roof collapsed, building is totalled. It was pretty surreal.

Anyway, I feel like not leaving my house! Except that we're going to the Balloon Fiesta tomorrow. YAY!

I also had a little cash influx so I treated myself to Pam Allen's new book, "Scarf Style." It has some neat projects and neat ideas. I feel like my knitting time is so limited right now that, once the biker jacket is done, I should focus on smaller projects. I think I'll flip through the book a few more times before starting a project. I have a ton of random yarn- various skins, different colors and gauges... scarves would be a good way to use some of it up...

Anyway, crazy day. I'm glad it's over. Going to bed now so I can get up at the crack of dawn to go see some balloons!


I will survive!

I woke up this morning, not feeling 100%, but also not feeling like death was imminent. I felt the worst last night, but that didn't stop me from knitting!

Yes, I finished the other cardigan front. Because I was so paranoid about the fit, I went ahead and sewed up the shoulder and side seams. This is going to be a very close fitting jacket. Not ideal, but it definitely fits well. I won't wear it as outerwear, but it will be really cute over a fitted t-shirt or a camisole. The yarn is really, really soft.

I also started the neck band and I'm attempting to knit both sleeves at once. Wish me luck.

Anyway, I am feeling a little better today. I'm at a local cafe studying for contracts. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to organize the information. Linear outlines are pretty cumbersome, and the information doesn't seem to want to fit in that format anyway. Ah well.



I feel worse than expected. But not so bad that I couldn't knit...

I did sit down with the biker jacket for a few minutes last night, and I finished the second cardi front! I think it's going to be a snug fit, but not nearly the sausage casing I feared. Alas, could not find my yarn needle (must have gotten lost in one of the moves) so I must head to Hobby Lobby today so I can find one....

Just finished up my first official memo for legal writing. It's not as good as it could have been, but I've felt like junk all week and it's acceptable. I also have my first practice midterm (torts) today... doesn't count, so given junk state, didn't bother to study. Bad attitude, but I'm over it. :-)