State of the Blog: Midterm Crisis

Oct 28, 2014

Woof.  My end-of-summer finals were such a blur, that I forgot how distressing comprehensive testing is.  There will be posts every day this week, just not as many as usual.

If you need another distraction, my Pinterest page has become my 10-minute study-break of choice.  I’ve also been posting to Instagram a bit.

As for other blogs to recommend, I always enjoy Mizhattan.  Gal Meets Glam has lovely, well-done photos.  If you like sleek neutrals, try Fashion Mugging.  And if you’re looking for well-layered casual styling, have a look at Seersucker + Saddles.

Back to Contracts.  xoxo, Belle

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  1. Maggie says:

    Any suggestions for women’s professional blogs other than Corporette? I need more professional development, less fashion.

    • V says:

      I really like Ask A Manager for professional advice/perspective. It’s not geared toward women (or men) specifically, but the comments section often raises women-centric perspectives that I find valuable.

  2. Monica says:

    Belle–As a practicing attorney, I hate to break it to you but practicing law is actually a lot harder than law school. So you might want to reign it in on all the complaining and “man up.”

    • Belle says:

      Thanks for the empathy; I deeply appreciate your concern.

      • Monica says:

        My comment was an effort to “keep it real,” after reading many of your complaints about law school since you started. It wasn’t intended as a criticism of your blog which I think is great. I enjoy being a lawyer but you need to recognize that going to law school is as privilege and it is not an option for many people. Also, when you graduate from law school to to work in a legal environment (especially a law firm environment) no one cares that you stayed up all night or had to work really hard. I am just trying to help you avoid getting the reputation of a “complainer” which is the kiss of death in many legal environments. Law school is hard, no doubt, but chin up.

        • Amanda says:

          Another practicing attorney here, and I second all of this!

        • R says:

          Also a practicing attorney, and I find the tone of these posts to be really condescending. Belle had a successful career prior to going to law school — I think she knows how to handle herself in a professional environment, be it a law firm or elsewhere.

          Everyone complains about law school – it’s difficult, and sometimes you need to vent. It doesn’t mean that those law students don’t recognize the privilege of attending. Belle’s complaints just happen to be more public because they double as explanations for why posts are light.

        • Belle says:

          I appreciate the clarification. I mostly love law school, I think the “complaints” are more visible or seem more prevalent/serious because you don’t see both. A post saying, I’m cutting back to study for stressful midterms, to me, is more of an explanation than a complaint. But I see your point.

    • Practicing15Years says:

      I love when lawyers get high and mighty with 1Ls and 2Ls. Usually the ones who are quick to point out that being an attorney is hard are the ones who complained the most during law school. Being a trial attorney is hard, but I’d face a jury of demons before I’d take my evidence final again.

    • R says:

      Everyone’s experience is different. I’ve been practicing 7 years now, first at a federal agency and now at a mid-sized firm in DC. In my opinion, law school is a lot harder, much more stressful, and my quality of life is much better now. Other attorneys might disagree — depends on your law school experience and your experience in your current practice, of course. I woudln’t be so quick to make such a generalization.

    • Carolyn says:

      Belle writes this blog out of the kindness of her heart. Stop trolling.

      • Jamie says:

        Out of the kindness of her heart? Look, I like this blog a lot and Belle has really helped me improve my wardrobe but let’s not kid ourselves here. Belle makes good money off this blog. True, it’s not her full time job but I think there is a little more to it than out of the kindness of her heart. And I think the OP has a point, even if she was a little harsh. Belle, I would prefer if you just lowered your overall rate of posting while in law school and made the posts a little more “meaty” rather than excuses every week.

        • C says:

          Who are you, the blog police? It’s her blog, she can run it how she wants. It’s a hobby that happens to make some money as well, which is great. Belle goes to a lot of trouble to write it, and we don’t pay a dime to read it, so she can write whatever she wants, whenever she wants. It’s not up to you (or any reader, really) to whine about how often she posts or how “meaty” the posts are.

          • E says:

            Seconded!!!

          • P says:

            Agree. If you don’t like what she’s writing, then skip over the post or read a different blog. Belle could turn this blog into a mommy blog tomorrow if she wants to — it’s her blog, her content. She’s not going to please everybody, nor should she.

            I hate listening to Taylor Swift, but I don’t call the radio station to gripe at them about playing her songs. I switch to a different station or suffer through it. It’s no different.

        • Jenn S. says:

          It isn’t as though she started writing CHS as a money-making venture.

          Why do so many people throw successful bloggers shade when Real Life intervenes a little? Damn.

        • Belle says:

          I’ve definitely considered that. What worked this summer is not working as well in the fall (because there are now activities–pro bono hours, etc.–that need to be done as well). So I’ll take that perspective into account because I’m planning some post Christmas changes anyway.

          Also, as for the profit issue, you’re right. It is not correct that this blog is entirely a kindness. CHS would still exist without the earnings, because it existed for almost 4 yrs just covering server costs, but there would be far fewer posts.

      • Good grief says:

        The kindness of her heart? Are you twelve years old?

        • Carolyn says:

          Yes, I’m 12 years old. Several of the blogs I follow have either shut down or have openly discussed it due to burnout, unwarranted criticism, or just overwhelming reader negativity. This blog is a free service to the reader; if you don’t like the content, there’s no reason to be rude about it.

    • TechWriter says:

      Belle, keep doing what you’re doing, however you need to do it. The blog has helped me in direct, measurable ways and is a daily oasis. I, for one, support hearing the trials of law school and haven’t once read it as whining or complaining. You did something hard by uprooting yourself from personally meaningful work in a city you loved to pursue something that would further enhance your ability to do the work. I have a good friend who just passed the bar after three grueling years. She needed to vent on how tough it could be and said how important her friends’ support was during those times. You do a lot for your readers. Please continue to let us know how the pursuit of a JD is going and thank you for all you put into this blog.

    • Kate says:

      This is just so mean spirited. She is checking in about the schedule for this blog that she provides to us for free . . . Good luck with all your work Belle and noli te illigitimi carborundum.

  3. Phoebe says:

    Thanks for the tip on Fashion Mugging. That is exactly how I like to dress!!

  4. AsiahAmina says:

    Hang in there Belle! I know that you’ll come through this round of tests fabulously!!!

  5. . says:

    So you don’t have the time to write legitimate posts yet you have the time to do this? Interesting.

    CapitolHillStyle @CapHillStyle · Oct 28
    Drive half an hour each way for Five Guys. Totally worth it.

  6. Miss M says:

    Kudos to Belle for allowing these posts to be visible. Many moderators would have deleted some of the comments above. Let’s be supportive of one another!

    • Good Grief says:

      So criticism of any kind is not allowed? From what I could tell none of the comments above were attacking Abra’s personal character, threatening her, or harassing her. She is in law school and likes to LOUDLY proclaim her maturity and vast wealth of life-skills on this blog and her twitter (both platforms are also used by her to criticize other law students and professors might I add). Considering she used to work for the NRA and plans to go back into politics (attending law school later in life after working in DC just screams I’m planning a run for office at some point) I would expect her to have thick enough skin to handle a few legitimate comments form other individuals in the legal profession, as well as from those of us who are also in graduate school and are busy with dissertation defenses, teaching, coursework, thesis writing, exams, etc. Grow up, ‘Miss M’.

      • KS says:

        To say that “attending law school later in life after working in DC just screams I’m planning to run for office at some point” is a gross generalization. As a lawyer who works on policy issues in DC, I will tell you that I have no intention of running for office. I would say a large percentage of Hill employees are lawyers who have no intention of running for office.

    • Belle says:

      Unless there are curse words, someone is attacking another commenter unreasonably, or the comment isn’t pertinent, I almost never delete. This is the Internet, dissent is a reality.

      Every blogger has to decide, will I moderate comments to only show positive things, or will I allow critical ones and either 1) not respond or 2) respond. I’m a debater at heart so I can’t help but respond, but if you read here, I think you’re entitled to an opinion even if I don’t agree (or just hate it). The only time it has really eaten me up in the past (not in several years) is when someone leaves a negative comment on every post (or many of them). At that point, it becomes a “Why are you here if you hate it?” issue for me, but that’s extremely rare.

      I try to get it right, I’m the first to say that I don’t always. I try to admit when I realize I’m wrong, or could have done better. I make an effort, but I still get it wrong sometimes, I’m human.

      Also, there are forums where bloggers are criticized, sometimes in very hateful ways, but as long as they keep that commentary on their own site, I don’t care. They have free speech rights, that’s their space, let em say what they want there.

      • Good Grief says:

        Thank you Belle. I may not always appreciate your content but I understand that running the blog and being in grad school is difficult. Your continuing to allow comments through when other bloggers resort to moderating and deleting anything negative is refreshing.

        Good luck with midterms!

  7. Erica says:

    I don’t take these posts as “complaining” or anything like that. Frankly, I find it considerate that you keep us updated if for some reason a post is out of the cards. I think we all (lawyers, law students, other professionals) can understand that work gets in the way of our other commitments sometimes. Belle, keep working hard in law school, it’s a bitch. I’ll enjoy your posts as they come…and if they come a day late, I think we’ll all survive.

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