Where Have You Been?

I know!! Months have passed (almost a year!!) and you have received no new updates from me. I am sure you are wondering, “where have you been?” Well, busy.

I took a break after passing the test to be quite honest. I do not believe that I read or gave a second thought to anything legal (outside of the office of course) for a couple of months after. Rather, I focused instead on sewing (I made ties and a vest – kinda, more on that later), Husband’s end of year concerts, and planning our summer. It was the first summer in a few years that the Husband did not take summer classes so I packed in as much as I reasonably could. Then, mid-summer, our oldest son was in a car accident and we had to alter our plans a bit to accommodate his month-long concussion. He has a rad new scar but has not come around to being Harry Potter for Halloween.

Out of the multiple options available, I narrowed down the ACP classes I want to take to six. Considering there are like 24 options, six is a good compromise. I am hopeful to start this March but we will see how life goes. 🙂 I am interested in the following:

  1. Discovery
  2. C.A.S. Discovery
  3. Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation
  4. Division of Property and Spousal Support
  5. Dissolution Case Management
  6. Adoption and Assisted Reproduction

I did not completely slack off though. In September I attended the Beyond the Basics Family Law Bootcamp at Disneyland! It was a great experience and something that I would recommend to anyone, especially those new to family law.

During the summer I also took on another job, because who needs sleep?! So, not only am I a wife and mother, paralegal, crafter, blogger, and IORG advisory board member, I also sell LuLaRoe! (FYI – LuLaRoe is a clothing company that is sold by direct sales like Mary Kay/Pampered Chef/etc. but without catalogs. Search for me on Facebook and Instagram for more info! LuLaRoe Samantha Armijo) I love it and have tried ever since to find a good balance between it all. It is a work in progress and I am diligently working on finding balance. Some days I fail miserably and others are great. Mostly, I have been just getting by.

As you can see, I have been around, and sometimes spread a little too thin. Years in the legal field have prepared me well though and I am making an effort to be more present here.

I hope that all of you are well and have achieved the goals you set for yourself.

My Favorite Legal Movies

Let’s be honest, we all like a good movie. Movies about our chosen profession or passion add that much more interest. I love a good legal movie. I like to sit and comment on the realistic, or unrealistic, image of the legal profession that the movie portrays. Below is a list (in no particular order) of some of my favorite movies that involve the law, lawyers, or some legal element.

Best Legal Movies

  1. Goodfellas
  2. Mrs. Doubtfire
  3. Liar, Liar
  4. A Time to Kill
  5. War of the Roses
  6. Intolerable Cruelty
  7. Kramer v. Kramer
  8. Devil’s Advocate
  9. The Client
  10. My Cousin Vinny
  11. Chicago
  12. 12 Angry Men
  13. Philadelphia
  14. Erin Brockovich
  15. To Kill a Mocking Bird
  16. A Few Good Men
  17. People v. Larry Flint

On a side note, People v. Larry Flint is not something to watch with children in the vicinity of the TV, maybe not even in the house. This is something for adults only – think Wolf of Wall Street.

Fun facts: I lived in Hinkley, California – down the street from the PG&E plant that contaminated the ground water in Hinkley. I know many of the extras in the film and my little sister got to meet the real Erin Brockovich. The movie was filmed while I was in middle school (I attended Hinkley Elementary/Middle School). Now, my family and I were very fortunate that we were not affected by the contamination and only lived in Hinkley for about one and a half years. We were able to continue going to that school after moving as part of a school of choice program through the district. Our parents kept us there because it offered a bilingual program – my sisters and I are fluent in Spanish because of this amazing program.

Movies are great and can transport us to different places and times. They can help us get away from it all. I realize that I might be doing something wrong because, as I look at this list, I realize that seven of the movies have a little something (if not the whole movie) to do with family law.

If you have not seen one, some, or any, of the movies on this list, I highly recommend that you do!

 

“I don’t want to survive, I want to live.”

Some find the Disney movie Wall-E to be a bit depressing but I LOVE IT. I believe that there are many, many life lessons that we can learn from watching this wonderful movie. Not to mention, the music is fantastic.

In the movie, the captain says, “I don’t want to survive, I want to live.” This quote rings true to me in that many of us become so consumed with work and making it through the day, that we do not take time to live. We are simply surviving. I want to live. I want to live a life where I take time to enjoy my boys, to pursue the gifts I was blessed with, to appreciate nature, to be happy.

It can be very difficult for paralegals and other members of the legal industry to remove themselves from survival mode. We live our lives in the pursuit of helping others and often forget that we, too, have families and a right to enjoy our own lives. Many attorneys that I know absolutely dislike family law. It is too stressful, too emotional, too engulfing. I, too, found myself becoming engulfed by the client’s issues. When they called to complain that they did not have enough money to pay their utilities, I took on that stress and concern – even though I could barely pay my own utilities. The burden of their issues was overwhelming me. Then I had the great fortune of reading someone’s signature line on her email. It read, “I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed.” That became my mantra. I wrote it across my bathroom mirror in lipstick so I could be reminded every day. At that moment, I chose to live.

So now, I remind you, or perhaps implore you, to choose to LIVE. Our client’s have issues, that is why they are seeking legal assistance. However, when the time comes to head home for the day, leave your clients at the office. Trust me that choosing to live will actually make you a better paralegal. Live for yourself and your family. 

Top 5

My top five ways to decompress from Family Law:


 

  1. Try to understand son’s common core math homework.
  2. Sing the “A, B, C’s” with the baby.
  3. Read books about love, or murder, or love and murder. My favorites are the Lady Alexander series by Tasha Alexander, and the Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen. There are many others that I read; but these are my favorites.
  4. Watch BBC or PBS shows or something random on Netflix with the husband.
  5. Drink a bottle of wine (or one glass if it is red wine) and search Pinterest.