Shundt

Smiling and Stuff

"Hey girl, it's okay to smile!" someone shouted at me as I walked down the steps to 24th Street Mission BART two days ago.  My first reaction was: I know. What's THAT got to do with anything?  As I'm reaching towards my thirties, I notice that I'm beginning to see the role of women differently, and, being a woman, that means I am beginning to view my own place in the world differently. Namely, I'm even more aware of how women are expected to be beams of joy, light, and beauty in an often chaotic world. Why else would we be…

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Shundt

Let’s Be Real

My best friend Jess is a rockstar. So when I read an article in The New York Times a few months ago suggesting that women ought not to be themselves in a professional setting--at least not completely themselves--I knew I had to ask Jess if she agreed. Is that true? I wondered. Do you have to hide who you are to get ahead? Jess is no stranger to sticking out because of who she is. She is an environmental engineer, has worked as a technology consultant, and now is a senior product manager at a clean energy company.  In her undergraduate degree, she…

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Shundt

Until Our Own Bones Break

"There are, of course, always going to be people who hook us under the sternum and pull us forward with wire until our own bones break to make us relinquish them." --"Schuyler today and the students" by Kate Angus As a 2L inching closer to my JD, I relate to this excerpt from Angus's poem. I see myself as hooked under the sternum by assignments that force me into scary situations. Sometimes I am pulled forward into new territory, quickly prepping for cases featuring questions of law completely novel to me, so that I may represent a client in a hearing in a courtroom I…

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Shundt

Experiences, based on “Experience”

"Experience"- a poem by Carl Sandburg: "This morning I looked at the map of the day And said to myself, “This is the way! This is the way I will go; Thus shall I range on the roads of achievement, The way is so clear—it shall all be a joy on the lines marked out.” And then as I went came a place that was strange,— ’Twas a place not down on the map! And I stumbled and fell and lay in the weeds, And looked on the day with rue..." This past week, I went to a brown bag luncheon…

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Shundt

The One Time You Should Believe the Hype

You've decided you want to go to law school. First step? Comb through a bevy of information from myriad sources. It's your first lawyer-ing task as you try and sort out all the facts that come your way. The information pours forth from the depths of the internet, to the LSAC, to practicing attorneys. Tips about studying for the LSAT, what schools you should consider, what to do in your remaining days before school begins, and so forth. There's a lot to wrap your head around. In my case, the period of time between deciding I wanted to go to law school to subsequently preparing…

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Shundt

Hitting the Pause Button

Tom Petty sang that “the waiting is the hardest part.” True, the Heartbreaker was probably not talking about law school when he cooed those words in the song, "The Waiting," but somehow they work just fine to describe my feelings about the process of sorting out my career goals. For me, considering various professions in hopes to find one that really adhered to my goals was mostly fun and entertaining, but also produced a certain degree of anxiety. Petty's lyrics ring true for anyone who experiences a sense of urgency to figure your life out, meet your mark, achieve a goal. “Every day you get one…

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Shundt

Comfortable with Uncomfortable

I don’t believe in fads. Usually, I’m too tuned out from them to notice, but even if I were aware, I think I’d still turn the other cheek and let the trends roll off my face like rainwater sloshing off impervious surfaces and into the gutters. For this reason, I avoid all diets and “get fit quick” pledges and opt instead for routine fitness. But after a recent injury set me back from my regular cardio, I found myself falling vulnerable for a free personal trainer consultation at a local SF gym. This soon felt like a huge mistake. From the…

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Shundt

8 Nights of Chanukah: Life Hacks for the Legal Mind

The holiday ornaments are up in my office building’s lobby, so you know it’s official: festivus is nigh. As I somehow move into smaller and smaller apartments in this pastoral, no-name town that is San Francisco, my yearning for things has been replaced by the reality that I just don’t have the space for a bunch of gifts this season. Not to be that woman who looks a gift horse in the mouth, but I’m asking friends and family who are so kind to inquire about my interests for all things practical, consumable, or portable, as anything I do receive…

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Shundt

Warren Buffet, Zen and the LSAT

I grew up in a household where I was taught to say “yes” to all opportunities, because one never knows where an experience may lead. At the same time, I was encouraged to decide quickly which new experiences deserved greater and continuous focus.  If the chance of learning or experiencing something new could not be justified as worthy of my time, I need not even consider it a second longer. Second-guessing was essentially worthless by that standard. This efficient and seemingly pain-free way of shuffling through life choices was, and remains, difficult to consistently follow. The pay-off, though, can be…

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