Dealing with Homesick Law Students: Henry’s Perspective

It doesn’t seem to matter how independent and strong-willed you are. Nope, everyone gets homesick at some point. That also includes us law students, even if we’ve already been in school for a long time. Some of us only left our home states in search of the best education we could get.

It’s great to know that we’re getting the best education we can, but sometimes, you just miss mom’s home-cooked meatloaf, you know?

Since we started this blog, I’ve been thinking about some of the common problems we run into, especially living together, and homesickness seems to keep popping up. So, how do we older law students deal on the days when you’re sick or alone or just missing out on holiday fun?

Far from Home

It seems like I’m the farthest away from home, and for the shortest time. I grew up in Illinois, and even when I was little, I always dreamed of being a personal injury lawyer in Chicago. I loved when we took trips into the city, so it was always an important place for me.

Now, though, I’m missing it even harder. I finished my undergrad at the University of Chicago, so I spent four years really falling in love with the city. While I’m planning to go back as soon as I’ve got my degree, I do still miss the city, my family, and my old friends.

How I Cope

For a lot of us, it’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgia and homesickness. You come down with a cold, but there’s no one to make you chicken noodle soup and bring you tissues. Still, there are a few ways I deal with homesickness.

One of the most important parts of my week is giving my parents a call. Skype doesn’t exactly make up for an in-person hug, but it can help until the holidays come around. Then, of course, I always put reminders on my calendar about the holidays. I include flight times, when to buy my tickets, and when my holiday breaks begin and end.

Adding time to my year to visit home and see people is important to me, so I always make a point to visit. When I get to go back and make new happy memories, it’s easier to wait again for the next visit.

Surviving Law School and Making Connections

My last tip for those studying out-of-state or away from home doesn’t have to do with visiting parents at all, though. Instead, I suggest making friends and building connections together.

For Nate, Mallory, Candace, Clark, Daniela, and I, that’s not too hard. We share this big house together, so of course we’re together and doing things as a group all the time. However, that’s not always so easy for others.

If you’re missing home and it’s making studying had, try going out with your friends or even meeting someone new. Sometimes, it can make your homesickness a little easier.

Studying with Law Student Roommates

Living on your own comes with a lot of responsibility. You’re expected to keep up with all your laundry, do your own dishes, and keep the place clean. At least the lawn and repairs are handled by the landlord, but sometimes, it’s hard to adjust. Some of us never even had to take care of those things before we moved off to college.

Studying comes with that, too. Plenty of smart kids know how easy it can be to coast by on a good memory when you’re in high school. Law school, though, isn’t so simple. You’re dealing with a bigger workload in general, and that’s tough to balance.

That balance is something we found out the hard way.

Learning to Study

It started with our first semester, during the first few weeks when grades are just coming in. Mallory was the first to get her papers back, and she was upset. She wasn’t a C-grade student, but there it was in red on the top of her paper.

In fact, Mallory is one of the hardest workers in the house. She’s from the rural South and got here on scholarships and grants. In fact, she even wants to return to be a car accident attorney in Alabama. Sadly, now she was worried about that dream coming true. If she’d struggled so much with a test on personal injury law, what other hurdles would the future throw at her?

When the rest of us began receiving average or even bad grades, we knew we had to do something. Sure, taking time to clean and have fun was important, but our grades were on the line!

Flashcards and Notes and Practice Tests, Oh My!

While we’re all studying different fields of law, certain things do carry over. Most importantly,we needed to learn accountability. Separately, it was easy to never ask what the other housemates were doing and whether they were taking time to study. Now, that wasn’t an option.

Unless a big event was happening, we started to meet every night at the kitchen table. It’s a big one, so there’s enough room to set up our laptops, spread out our notes, and get to work. We set a one-hour timer, too. Some of us only need that long for most nights, while others might be up for half the night on an exam week.

If we share classes, that gives us a chance to study the material together, too. Now, it’s no longer an option to sit alone in our rooms, working away at cases we don’t understand. This way, we can ask questions, get answers, and understand the work a little better.

Studying Now for Better Results Later

After all that studying, it didn’t take long to see great results. Mallory was the first, again, to get her test results back. This time, it was a perfect score, and she jumped for joy. The rest of us teased her about taking a break, but we know her too well. That night, she was right there with us, humming as she wrote out some practice summaries.

Now, though, we’re all seeing the results of our hard work. Of course, we all learned a lesson, too. When you’re in good company, even studying doesn’t have to be so bad.

What Is Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Not every U.S. state requires its motorcycle riders to wear helmets. In Michigan’s largest city, those who end up in the hospital after a traffic mishap often call a motorcycle accident attorney in Detroit. After consulting with a competent lawyer who specializes in traffic and other personal injury issues, people are often surprised to learn the fine points of the state’s laws pertaining to helmets.

What Is Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Michigan is one of the “lenient states” when it comes to rules about wearing motorcycle helmets. However, the law itself is a bit complicated. In general, anyone under the age of 21 must wear a helmet while driving or riding a motorcycle. The rules for those who are over 21, whether drivers or riders, are different.

– For drivers:

As noted above, a driver of a motorcycle must be over the age of 21 to choose not to wear a helmet. In addition, the driver must carry, at minimum, $20,000 in first-party medical benefits and must have either passed an approved safety course or held a motorcycle license for more than two years.

– For riders:

In addition to being over 21, the rider must carry his or her own $20,000 (minimum) medical first-party insurance. This amount of insurance cannot be the same as the insurance carried by the driver.

Note that the Michigan law allows those who have met the criteria above to “choose” whether they wish to wear a helmet. Good judgment dictates wearing a helmet even when the law does not. Helmets do much more that prevent scrapes and scratches. In fact, motorcycle helmets do much more than is commonly thought. Here is a short list of the advantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet:

Why Motorcycle Helmets Make Sense

  1. Helmets protect the brain and the head. Head/brain injuries are the primary cause of death for people who are in motorcycle accidents in the U.S. No, a helmet will not prevent every instance of head/brain injury, but the fact remains that they do prevent a huge percentage of serious head injuries.
  2. Helmets improve the driver’s and passenger’s visibility. Motorcycle helmets are designed to be seen by other drivers and even by pedestrians. Riders and drivers without helmets are at a much higher risk of not being noticed. That means more accidents, more injuries, and more deaths when helmets are not worn.
  3. Helmets offer face protection in accidents. There’s so much focus on the serious injuries to the brain and head that the face protection afforded by helmets is often neglected.
  4. Helmets with visors greatly improve driver visibility. Air, dust, rain, snow, and other impurities in the air can decrease visibility quickly. Wearing a helmet with a good visor eliminates this problem completely.
  5. Helmets will save you money on your motorcycle insurance. If you have an accident while wearing a helmet, some insurance companies will view that as a plus, notate the fact that you are a conscientious driver, and give you a more lenient medical payout.

Why Work with a Private Criminal Defense Attorney in TX?

When charged with a criminal offense, a person has the right to hire an attorney to defend them. If they cannot afford to hire an attorney, they can be represented by a public defender. Since many people cannot afford to hire a competent attorney, they often opt to be represented by a public defender.

Unfortunately, this is not a good idea for several reasons. This is because public defenders all over the country have a dismal record when it comes to winning. When a prosecutor takes a case to court, they are sure that they have a watertight case. Therefore, a public defender can only negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution for a lighter sentence. In fact, that is what the role of a public defender has been limited to – explaining legal situations to their clients and convincing them to take a plea deal.

Why Work with a Private Criminal Defense Attorney in TX?

Whether you are innocent or guilty of the crime you’re charged, it is crucial you hire a private criminal defense lawyer to boost your chances of getting the charges dropped. Defense lawyers who practice privately are usually highly-qualified and have a lot of experience representing clients. Therefore, they can offer quality legal services. As a result, you can expect to get the best outcomes possible when you are represented by a private lawyer.

You can also save a lot of money in terms of fines and other costs that you may be required to pay if found guilty. After all, a private lawyer can mount a successful defense, convince the prosecutor or the court that there is insufficient evidence to convict you, and help you get the charges dropped. In some cases, they can point out a problem with the way the police arrested, booked, or arraigned you in court. These procedural issues are enough to have your case thrown out.

Defense lawyers in private practice usually have a team of legal researchers who normally conduct research on case law, state law, federal law, and can even carry out an investigation of the incident privately to discover new facts or the truth. Public defenders, on the other hand, usually have tight schedules and limited resources, so they are not able to afford you the kind of legal representation you deserve.

Another reason why you should consider hiring a private defense lawyer as opposed to using a public defender or representing yourself in Texas courts is the fact that some crimes come with a death sentence. Since your life is literally on the line, you cannot afford to let a novice, in the name of a public defender, handle your case. You must hire the most qualified defense lawyer who is in private practice to handle your case. This will only boost your chances of success.

Since private lawyers usually charge a higher rate, you can hold a fundraiser after getting released on bond. You can even remortgage the house to get the funds needed to hire a competent lawyer to help you mount a strong defense. Money should not be an issue because you do not want to spend decades or life in prison or get a death sentence just because you did not have competent legal counsel. Be sure to get in touch with criminal defense lawyers Crain, Lewis, and Brogdon for the best criminal defense for your case.

How Does Negligence Work in Indiana Personal Injury Suits?

Most injuries are sustained from accidents; nobody wants them to happen, but they come about anyway. Despite the lack of malicious intent, a closer look at the facts is likely to reveal some form of negligence by one or more parties. This carelessness may be used as basis to sue for compensation. So, how does negligence work in Indiana personal injury suits? Four elements must be present for negligence claims to be valid:


First, the plaintiff will need to establish duty of care. The defendant should have a legal responsibility that should have benefited the plaintiff. For example, a doctor has the duty to care for his patients: he should provide them with competent medical advice and services. Motorists have the duty to follow traffic laws that should benefit fellow commuters and other road users. Employers have the duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for their workers. Owners of commercial establishments have the duty to care for their customers while they are on the premises.


Once the duty of care has been established, the next step is for the plaintiff to show that there was a breach of this duty. The defendant could have done this with or without full-knowledge. Failure to realize risk from actions or inactions is considered negligence, since a reasonable person in the same situation is expected to realize the fault. For example, a doctor may have failed to warn his patients about the risks involved in medical treatments before proceeding. Patients should be given pertinent information to help them make an intelligent, informed decision. An employer may have been negligent in giving workers proper training, safety gear, and well-maintained equipment.


The plaintiff must have sustained compensable losses. This could be in the form of a bodily injury which resulted in medical bills or perhaps property damage which will have to be remedied through repairs or replacement. These costly services can be a major financial burden to the plaintiff. It is reasonable to expect them to seek assistance in the form of monetary compensation from the person who has the legal liability. Other types of damages that can merit compensation include lost wages, reduced quality of life, and hardships that fall under the term “pain and suffering.”


The last step is to link the defendant’s actions to the damages. Before compensation can be awarded, the plaintiff must prove to the court that the injuries suffered were truly caused by the defendant. If a motorist was following too closely and rear-ended the vehicle in front of it, then he or she will be liable for the damage to the car and any injuries to the occupants.

Note that Indiana uses comparative fault in determining the award in a successful suit. If both parties are at-fault, then the final amount will be reduced in proportion to the blame. A plaintiff who is deemed have twenty percent of the fault will only be able to recover eighty percent of the damages. Learn more about this by consulting an Indianapolis injury attorney.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Surrogacy

Surrogacy is the term that refers to the arrangement where a woman agrees to carry a baby, usually by legal agreement, on behalf of another person or persons. That person or couple will then become the parents of the baby or babies after she has given birth. People may consider surrogacy if pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the mother, when pregnancy is not possible due to medical reasons, or when a single man or a male couple wants to have a baby.

There are, however, several factors to consider before choosing surrogacy: the type of surrogacy you want, screening a surrogate, and the legal aspect.

Which Type of Surrogacy?

There are basically two types of surrogacy to choose from if you decide to use a surrogate:

  • Traditional surrogacy– with this type of surrogacy, the surrogate is the genetic mother of the baby. Sperm from a donor, or the intended father, is used to fertilize the egg through artificial insemination and she would be the biological mother of the child.
  • General surrogacy — this is when sperm from a donor, or the intended father, is used to fertilize an egg from the intended mother in a lab and then the fertilized egg is transferred to the surrogate. In this case, the intended parents can be the biological parents.

Screening a Surrogate

For parents planning surrogacy, there are a few important factors to consider before choosing a surrogate carrier (or becoming a surrogate). A lot of careful thought needs to go into making this choice, because it will affect not only the process, but also the health of the child.

According to the experts the surrogate you choose should be older than twenty-one and should have already given birth in the past. This will increase the likelihood of fecundity and a successful birth.

List all potential surrogates; make a short-list of the few that you feel comfortable with and do background checks on them. The background check of the surrogate should include not only her physical and medical conditions, but also the type of person she is. This is essential if you want the surrogate to remain an important part of your child’s life and want to stay in touch with her.

Medical screening should cover her medical history, including a genetic profile (if she is a traditional surrogate), obstetric history, and blood tests. A clean bill of health, certification that she is able to maintain a healthy pregnancy, negative results from infectious disease checks, and good levels to main pregnancy in blood tests are all signs to look for in a good surrogate. The type of person she is may be gauged by her overall lifestyle, including any history of alcohol and drug abuse.

The Legal Aspect

Surrogacy is a complicated procedure and you will need plenty of guidance along the way. Hire a surrogate agency, an attorney, and perhaps a counselor or therapist to help you and your surrogate to get through the complex process with as little emotional pain as possible for both parties.

Keep Austin Roads Safe

Experts estimate that most Austin residents spend about twenty-five minutes to get to work. This makes it imperative for the government as well as the people to take steps to keep Austin roads safe. Some of the common reasons for car accidents include drunk driving, reckless driving, distracted driving, and speeding. This essentially means that most auto accidents could have been avoided if the driver or had been more responsible or paid more attention to the road and traffic.

How Can Citizens Keep Austin Roads Safe?

According to Austin police data sixty percent of fatal car accidents were attributed to driver impairment caused using drugs or alcohol. One third of car crashes involved either a driver without a license or one with a suspended license. Also, while more than half of the fatalities caused by the accidents were drivers and passengers, approximately thirty percent were pedestrians. Thus, when one considers the issue of how to keep Austin roads safe, a multipronged approach is recommended.  

Drivers are responsible for their behavior on the road and must understand how their driving affects passengers and other vehicles. Distracted driving is fast becoming a leading cause for motor accidents. Texting, as well as reading texts, takes the driver’s attention off the road for an average of more than four seconds. This is akin to driving the length of a football field blind! Cell phone use during driving reduces brain functioning considerably. The Texan traffic law states that while it is illegal to text and drive, it is okay to answer calls. However, it is best to put off using your phone, even to answer calls, when you are driving.

Personal responsibility is an important factor when it comes to the steps people can take to keep Austin roads safe. It is vital that drivers do not get behind the wheel when they are impaired by alcohol or drugs. They also need to be calm and have their wits about them. So, if they are angry or upset about something, it is a good idea to take few minutes to calm down before they consider driving. Drivers and passengers must always wear their seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.

Legality is also an important factor regarding accidents and personal injury. The at-fault party should take responsibility for their actions and compensate the injured and an Austin injury attorney can help with that process, from filing a lawsuit to negotiating for the best possible settlement. Keeping irresponsible and impaired drivers off the road is an important factor to keeping Austin roads safe.

How Can the Government Keep Austin Roads Safe?

The government is taking steps to address the growing automobile accidents at certain intersections in the city. This includes the creation of turn-only lanes and the use of plastic pylons that will help drivers avoid making sharp and dangerous turns. In 2014, the Vision Zero task force was created with the aim of reducing traffic deaths by focusing on infrastructure, law enforcement, and education.

Strange Laws in Illinois

Every state in the U.S. has laws. It is what keeps peace and harmony in the state. Laws also make people safe. Illinois, like all states, have laws and most of them make sense. There are certain laws in the State of Illinois; however, that just don’t make sense. To learn more about strange laws in Illinois, read on.

In Normal, Illinois, it is Against the Law to Urinate on Street Signs

This law was written after what people call the “beer riot”. It occurred in the early 80’s. According to this law, residents are not allowed to urinate on street signs. There are a few things that make this law crazy. First, it is illegal to urinate on any public street. Second, to urinate on a street sign, it would take a lot of skill. In Champaign, Illinois, it is illegal to urinate in your neighbor’s mouth. This law is beyond bizarre.

In Decatur, Don’t Drive without a Steering Wheel

If you don’t have a steering wheel in your car while driving, you could be arrested. In theory, this law makes sense. However, if you know anything about cars, you know that you couldn’t possibly drive without a steering wheel. Since it would be impossible, this is a pretty strange law.

In Mount Pulaski, Snowball Fights are Sexist

In this town it is illegal for girls to throw snowballs but boys are allowed. This is a pretty sexist law which leads you to believe that it was written decades ago. On a snow day, boys can participate in a snowball fight but girls cannot. There is a good chance that the law isn’t enforced because if a boy hits a girl with a snowball, she should be allowed to throw one back.

In Bloomington, You Cannot Feed the Birds if You Live within a Mile of Downtown Square

This law makes sense in theory. If you feed the birds within a mile of downtown, they will flock to your home looking for more food. This can result is noise and bird droppings being left on people in the square. Since the police aren’t going to search residents’ yards for bird feeders, it is a pretty strange law.

It is Illegal to Hang Anything from Your Rearview Mirror

Most people buy air fresheners to hang from their rearview mirror to keep their cars smelling nice. Others hang their baby’s shoes from the mirror, and some hang big fuzzy dice. If you live in Illinois, you might want to think twice about hanging anything from your mirror because it is illegal. This is an odd law since drivers all over the country hang things from their rearview mirror.

In Galesburg, You Cannot Own a Smelly Dog

Nobody likes a dog that smells. Officials in Galesburg, Illinois hate it so much that they wrote a law that makes it illegal. It is hard to see how this law can be enforced, however. The chances that the police go door to door smelling dogs are slim to none.

You Will be Fined if You Beat a Rat With a Baseball Bat in Galesburg

Most people don’t like rats. However, they wouldn’t go as far as beating them with a baseball bat. If you are sick enough to do this and you live in Galesburg, you can be fined $1,000. It might be cheaper to hire an exterminator.

You Can be Fined for Mispronouncing Joliet

The Town Fathers in Joliet hated when people mispronounced the name of their town. Many people pronounced it, Jolly-Ette. They hated it so much that they made mispronouncing the town’s name a misdemeanor which is punishable by a $5 fine. Talk about being strict. If you do break this law and somehow you are arrested, the lawyers Hipskind & McAninch, LLC can help.

In Kirkland, Bees are Not Allowed to Fly Over the Town or Over the Street

This is a pretty strange law considering it is the bee that would be prosecuted. If a bee does fly in no-fly zones, is it taken to jail? Will it sting the arresting officer first? Is this a crime? This is a really crazy law.

In Moline, it is Illegal to Ice Skate During July or August

This law is insane, because how can one go ice skating in Moline during July and August when these are the hottest months of the year?

Denied Social Security Disability Claim: What’s Next?

If you have been denied social security disability claim: what’s next? If you are legitimately injured or disabled and feel you have been unjustly denied your social security disability benefits, your first step will be to appeal the ruling. Appeals can be lengthy processes, so you will want to file it as quickly as possible. Pursuing an appeal on denied social security disability benefits can be complicated, which is where getting SSD legal help comes in. Legal representation can help you get the benefits you need and deserve.

Three-Step Appeal Process

While legal appeal procedures vary somewhat from state to state, generally, the appeal process falls into three steps.

Step One: Requesting a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge

After a SSD claim denial, the first step is to file a request for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is considered the most important part of the appeals process as it is where most claims are won. Your request for a hearing will have to be in writing or made online at the website. Your request will lead to you having to provide additional information regarding your disability. The hearing is an opportunity for you to present the evidence that proves you have a serious medical condition that is preventing you from working, which is why you are need of the SSD benefits.

Step Two: Appeals Council

If your claim is denied by the ALJ, the next step in the appeals process is to the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. This step does not involve a personal appearance; it simply involves the Council reviewing your file and the decision of the ALJ. The Appeals Council will review your request for review. The council will consider if the judge made a mistake, and you are allowed to submit new pertinent medical or vocational information that will support your claim. There are three possible outcomes from the Appeals Council: deny the appeal outright, reverse the ALJ’s decision, or send the claim back to the ALJ for another hearing.

Step Three: Appeal to the Federal District Court

If your claim is denied by both the ALJ and the Appeals Council, there is one recourse of action left available to you: appeal the ruling to the federal district court. In order to officially appeal the Appeals Council’s decision, you will have to file a civil complaint. You are the plaintiff in the case, and the defendant is the Commissioner of the SSA. If you have not already done so, this is where the help of an attorney experienced in federal court petitions should be sought out.

Vetting Attorneys for Your Auto Accident Case

An auto accident can complicate your life and put you in debt. Medical bills and car repairs are expensive, and worse, you might not have been responsible for the accident. You might already be considering hiring a lawyer, but how do you find one that’s right for you?

It can be tough, but finding a lawyer that fits your auto wreck claim will be important. You’ll need to vet the best attorney for your claim before you get started. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you have the best attorney for your claim.

Look at Their Record

When you’re seeking the best attorney for you, check their website or search for information about them and look at the cases they’ve won. You want a lawyer with a record of successes, after all, meaning that they’re someone you can trust with your claim.

You’ll also want a lawyer with a history of getting their clients the fullest compensation possible. Their clients may have been accused of being partly responsible for the accident, and if they didn’t fight back well enough, they could lose part or all their compensation. As such, you’ll want to ensure that they get the best compensation possible for their clients.

Experience with Auto Accident Law

You should also look at their experience with car crash laws that will affect your case. For example, if they do take car accident clients, but they focus on medical malpractice, you might want to seek out someone who will give you the full attention your claim deserves.

This is especially true of states with “no-fault” laws. These claims will require a few extra steps to ensure that you’re getting the full compensation you deserve.

For example, your insurance company should offer you a settlement regardless of fault, but what if they don’t offer the full settlement you should receive, or if your injuries are especially serious? You’ll need a lawyer to help you file a claim and fight for your compensation.

Use Your Free Consult

Fortunately, you’ll have the chance to have your case reviewed and ask these questions yourself. Auto accident lawyers who offer free consultations will discuss your claim and what makes them the best option before you ever sign or pay anything.

You’ll want to make sure you have the best attorney for your claim, so speak to them before you decide. Reach out for a free consultation today and vet your potential attorneys properly.