Bright on a Budget

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why I Went to Law School

You probably already know this, but in case you're new around here, I'm an attorney. Now, I'm more so on the Legally Blonde scale and totally not on the My Cousin Vinny scale, but I'm an attorney nonetheless.  I work as corporate counsel for a large family of companies.  It's my dream job, and a perfect fit for me.  I've been through more years of school than I care to count.  Going to law school is a tough decision to make.  It's hard to get in, and even harder to get through.  So why did I go to law school?

1. Because I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up.

When I was in elementary school, I told everyone that I wanted to be an attorney because I liked to argue (Chauncey will tell you that's still true).  And I had lofty ambitions--I went to fifth grade career day as the first woman president of the United States.  I believed I could do anything I set my mind to because my family and teachers told me so.  Seriously.  I had no notion of a glass ceiling.  I had no notion that I was going up against the odds, being an eventual first generation college student from a rural area that was steeped in poverty.  What I did have were dreams that were sky high and a support team that built the scaffolding for me to reach them.

2. Because a romance novel painted a picture in my head.

I clung to those dreams through middle school and high school. When people told me I would never obtain my goals, it drove me towards achieving them that much harder.  In high school, though, I started questioning if I really wanted to be a lawyer.  I thought about pharmacy for a while, but knew my heart wasn't in it.  Then I became fascinated with business because of some romance novels I read by Judith McNaught. . . what can I say? Sometimes inspiration comes where you least expect it.  Her heroines were self-sufficient, confident women, who had powerful careers as businesswomen. Business thrilled me and excited me.  So I shelved the law school idea for a while, but was still set on the idea of being a mover and shaker.

4. Because Elle Woods inspired a whole generation of young women.

I still love the movie Legally Blonde! Legally Blonde actually humanized the concept of law school for me.  I loved how self-confident she was, and that she was no holds barred while being herself. I mean, that courtroom scene was epic. Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods make the profession seem so exciting! Thank you, Elle Woods, for also teaching me that lawyers can be stylish and kick butt at the same time!

5. Because it fit well with my business degree.

After my sophomore year of undergrad, I decided that I was going to get my MBA.  I had some very important professors, with one in particular (here's to you, Dr. Mitch!) that pushed me to excel to and beyond my limits--always encouraging me to go farther and reach higher.  This was around the same time I transferred from the convenience store I was working at to the insurance company that was under the same family of companies. Then I had a fateful conversation with a local doctor, who oh so casually mentioned that you could get a joint MBA and JD (law degree).  Ok, done. That's what I decided I would do.  Everything in the business world is so legal, so the two just went hand-in-hand. Suddenly, I was going to accomplish everything I had ever truly wanted. I was so sure of myself that I never even thought twice that I wouldn't get in (after I went to law school, I realized how crazy I was for thinking that!).

That said. . .

Guys, I didn't even know what it took to get into law school!  I just made up my mind that I was going and that was it.  Everything else would fall into place, right?  Well, I knew you had to take the LSAT for law school and the GMAT for the MBA program.  What I didn't realize was that the LSAT was only offered a handful of times a year on certain dates.  By the time I realized it going into my senior year, I had boxed myself into a bad spot.  I ended up taking the LSAT and the GMAT twice each within two and a half months, from October to December of my senior year of undergrad. Clearly, I was a glutton for punishment.  I didn't even study the first time I took each of the exams, and scored high enough to get into both programs.  I was so excited when I received my LSAT score, then I remember going to class, sitting down beside one of my best friends, and telling her that I was going to law school. I studied a little the second time around with each, but actually did 2 points worse on the LSAT the second time around. Go figure.

I only applied to one school--the University of Kentucky.  I was getting married the summer in-between undergrad and law school, and Chauncey's job was in Lexington.  Um, and I may or may not have written in one of my admissions essays something to the effect that there were only three schools in the state that offered my program, but UK was the only one I could go to, because Northern Kentucky was too far away and as a UK sports fan, I couldn't bring myself to apply to the University of Louisville (true story).  I believed in myself so much that I was convinced UK wouldn't turn me down. AND THEY DIDN'T!!!

The rest, as they say, is history. While I was accepted into the joint JD/MBA program at UK, there were some scheduling conflicts, so I actually did law school at UK and then completed my MBA at Morehead State University after I graduated. I went in-house for the same family of company that I started working for when I was 18 years old, as a clerk in one of their convenience stores.

Law school is such a personal choice. It can be a very miserable three years. Honestly, I hated 70% of law school.  But in the end, it was so worth it. I grew immeasurably as a person and truly developed my core values and beliefs. I learned invaluable lessons, both in law and in life. And most importantly, I achieved the dreams of a little girl who was shooting for the stars!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Flirty Flamingo Dress

This post contains affiliate links.

Flamingos seem to be the theme of the summer, and I whole-heartedly support the flamingo movement.  Seriously, what's not to love? They're cute, pink, and happy!  I'd had my eye on this dress for quite a while, so when it went on flash sale on the T+J Designs Instagram page, I bought it! A quick tip for your favorite shops that are on Instagram--set up push notifications for that page so that you always get notified when big sales happen, but limit it to your top 5 favorite shops so as not to get overwhelmed!

Friday, July 22, 2016

High Five for Friday 07.22.16: Stranger Things + Sugar Cookie Batter

TGIF, H54F-ers!!! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and myself want to welcome you to the High Five for Friday link-up and the weekend. We made it!

This week's featured blogger is Heather from My Glittery Heart.  I love love love her new book bag nook featuring shiplap! She just started co-hosting the Recipe Club linkup, which takes place on the third Wednesday of every month. Be sure to check out her Etsy shop featuring the most adorable mugs and glasses

Now let's recap this week's highlights:

1. Friday night was my styling workshop out at Francesca's, which was fun. I came away with some cute dinosaur earrings myself. Then I met my friend Sheila for dinner afterwards at Palmer's Fresh Grill. We were seated out on the patio when it started to rain, but the law students sitting next to us put up their table's umbrella and invited us to sit with them. It was a fun dinner! I totally recommend having dinner with strangers at least once in your life! Ok, except one of them was not a total stranger--by the end of dinner, we established that one used to work with Sheila but it was okay, because she didn't fire him.haha

2. We went to a birthday party for a close family friend.  Kane had a blast playing outside, and it was nice to catch-up with everyone!

3. If you haven't watched Stranger Things on Netflix yet, I need you to stop reading this blog post and go start the series! I'm not a fan of anything scary, but this was so good!  It's Netflix's latest original series and it's set in the 80s. Make time for it because trust me, you're going to binge-watch all 8 episodes. You're welcome.

4. We had Cold Stone Creamery after dinner one night this week, and they have a new flavor called Sugar Cookie Batter. It was delicious with sprinkles mixed in!

5. After dinner last night, we went to Target.  I had an amazing haul, which you can see on Snapchat (add me: brightonabudget). And add Katie too (ktcupoftea). FYI, use the cartwheel app to take an extra 20% off of clearance clothes, shoes, and accessories!!! Kane found this dinosaur flashcards for $1!  It blows my mind how many dinosaurs Kane can identify!

ICYMI, here's this week's posts:

(the sale opens to everyone today, and most items should be restocked!)
(one of my ALL-TIME fav posts + a true MUST READ)

Thanks for joining us for H54F!  Be sure to link-up below and/or let us know how your week's been in the comments!

Follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or email (click here). Also, tweet us or use #H54F and we'll retweet your post!

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