AndreaKWelker

Swimming in Small Ponds:  Limited Resources

When I’m drafting a brief or other persuasive pleading, I like to throw in some unusual references whenever I can, in the form of obscure journal articles, treatises and other secondary resources that expand upon my argument.  I imagine that it makes me sound smart, or at the very least befuddles my opponent.  Unfortunately, those items are often unavailable when you are two hours away from the nearest law library.  Even small libraries are very expensive to maintain for an attorney, as well as electronic research.  However, a lack of research materials is the least of the problems concerning resources…

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AndreaKWelker

Swimming in Small Ponds:  Going Home

I must apologize to both the editors of Ms. JD and its readers for not fulfilling my column-writing duties.  It has been a very difficult two months in moving back to Lexington, trying to find a job, and realizing that just simply will not happen, setting up a solo practice.  It has been emotionally draining and mentally exhausting.  If I had imagined unemployment to be some sort of vacation where I sit on the couch and watch General Hospital, well, it just hasn’t been.  I’m busier now that I don’t have a job than when I did.  But that’s a…

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AndreaKWelker

Swimming in Small Ponds: Floating at the Top of the Bowl

When I initially imagined this column earlier this year, I didn't expect to end up unemployed half-way through writing it.  One of the dangers of small town practice is a limited client pool, and when not enough of those clients are paying their bills... well, the result is pretty obvious.So, I've packed up and moved back to Lexington.  However, as I set out to go on my own, I intend to concentrate my practice on the surrounding counties, including my hometown of Nicholasville.  In some ways, practicing "back home" will be easier, because I already have a foundation there.  I…

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AndreaKWelker

Swimming in Small Ponds:  Cultural Considerations

I spent Saturday evening with a bag of popcorn and a movie: the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2009 production of Hamlet starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart.  I highly recommend it, it’s simply phenomenal.  Seeing it though, I couldn’t help but think about a trial I watched a few months ago.  It was a medical malpractice case, and the Plaintiff’s attorney discussed Hamlet during the closing argument.  Now, that would have earned bonus points with me had I been on the jury, because I am a total nerd.  However, by the confused looks from the jury, I’d say they weren’t big…

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AndreaKWelker

Swimming in Small Ponds:  The Peculiarities of Etymology and an Overview of the Elements of Culture

My upstairs neighbor and I share a similar story: we’re both from small towns, went to school in larger cities, and last year, rented a flat in the same duplex when we started our careers.  Just last week, we were sitting on her balcony enjoying the beautiful weather of this Appalachian river valley in the springtime, the view of the charming city park across the street (and its various patrons) and, of course, a few beers.  During this time, we compared notes on being young professionals in our new community.  One of the quirks we discussed involved differences in speech…

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AndreaKWelker

Swimming in Small Ponds: Relationships

“And where are you from?” It’s the inevitable question I’m asked whenever I meet a new client.  Although I grew up in a small town in central Kentucky, I never developed much of an accent.  My last name isn’t recognizable.  I suppose I dress rather different too.  Therefore, people are curious where I come from and how I ended up out here.  Origins are important, the geographical and personal connections which define us.  There are a particular set of experiences, beliefs and values that bind together a community, and that sense of culture is the reference point in not only…

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AndreaKWelker

Swimming in Small Ponds: A Glimpse of Small Town Practice

As usual, I pull up to the courthouse five minutes before nine. I'm always pushing the limits of punctuality. In a packed courtroom, no one notices latecomers. But out here, everybody notices. I hurriedly park my car. Too hurriedly, in fact, as it takes four tries to get into the space and people have begun to stare. My parallel parking inability is embarassing, I know. I'm accustomed to parking garages and long walks down city streets, not pulling up out front and walking into the building. Somehow I finally manage to park the car. Two minutes, I note. I dart…

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AndreaKWelker

Small Town Players Can Make a Big Difference

The stories of women attorneys in top jobs are inspiring to those of us just beginning our careers. Reading the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women List, reading about women who become managing partners of global law firms, and seeing another woman appointed to the Supreme Court... it shows the great potential for women in the legal profession. However, while those stories are really inspiring, they don't really speak to me personally. I think it's pretty unlikely anyone will nominate me as a Supreme Court Justice, Skadden never called me for an interview (how rude), and I doubt Forbes will ever…

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AndreaKWelker

Ask a Mom in Law School: Balancing Schedules, and Interviewing

Cross-posted at (Formerly) Knocked Up (and in Law School): Spring Break has come to an end!  I'm now seven weeks away from completing my JD, and I have a rambunctious toddler who will be reeking havoc at graduation.  Life is good.  So, I've been asked to impart more wisdom concerning being both a parent and a law student.  Readers have asked both about balancing schedules while in law school as well as when to talk about your kids. 1.) Do you have any tips for balancing law school and family life? How do you schedule your day? Like a true…

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AndreaKWelker

Ask a Mom in Law School: The Possibility of Pregnancy

Cross-posted at (Formerly) Knocked Up (and in Law School): A new reader asks: I just found your blog after googling "taking the bar exam while pregnant." I'm not in law school, but I am in the dead middle of a PhD. What is your take on the possibility of being pregnant during a major exam (in my case my "orals"). Terrible idea? Disaster? Not as bad as it sounds? Just reading these comments on your blog makes me feel better about the prospect of pregnancy - so nice to see a bunch of women thinking about families and careers happening…

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