Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Post #200

Every law student knows and hates the gunner in the class.

What do you get when you take the gunner from the class and put him/her in a law firm as a summer associate? You get the summer gunner.

Luckily I don't deal with the particular summer gunner much, but we have these regular lunches and presentations by each of the practice areas, intended to give us an overview about what other areas of the evil legal enterprise does. These presentations are generally all extremely boring, and I try to sit in the back of the room and look vaguely awake while eating my catered lunch. (Unfortunately, there's no spider solitaire to distract me as I did in law school.)

But the particular gunner insists on asking questions during these presentations. The rest of us summers roll our eyes. The other associates all have exasperated looks on their faces, but they have to act as if they really care about the gunner's questions rather than let out that they are only there because the partners told them to be there.

And the only thing that makes these events even mildly bearable is the free alcohol.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Someone wants me

Ask any associate, and they will tell you that they get calls from legal recruiters all the time, telling them about better opportunities at other firms. These calls are apparently a fairly regular occurrence .

Yesterday, I checked my work voicemail, and I was left a message by a legal recruiter, trying to sell me on the idea of going to their client's firm. I didn't realize that legal recruiters recruited summers. Except then I realized that they knew the first few digits of the phone number for the evil legal corporation and just probably dialed consecutive numbers. But it would have been sweet had they specifically decided to call me based on all the 2-hour lunches I've taken...I mean all the fabulous work that I've done during my summer.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jumping ship

So, I think the entire law school has gotten back grades, and all of us are now busily updating our resumes and GPA and checking out what firms will hire us with our x.xx grades. And for many of us, with our type A competitive personalities, are checking on whether our GPAs will allow us to transfer to a "better" school so as to get a "better" job after school. I've given that topic a little bit of thought, and I came to a decision pretty quickly .

After checking out the various statistics for people who successfully transferred, I determined that my law school grades put in a competitive position (nobody knows for sure what goes on in the dark and smoke filled rooms of law school admissions offices, so that's all I can say). Professors generally like me. And I am also not on law review, so that is one less bind for me to stay here. (And according to several little birdies, one of the reasons Dean Schill made law review institute a limited gradeon was in an effort to keep the people with high GPAs who didn't make the writeon from jumping ship.) And I definitely would be in a more competitive position to get a job from a higher ranked firm, get that 9th or 2nd circuit clerkship, or get a shot at academia. Plus, I'd be able to walk around with a bigger swagger that comes with attending a bigger name school, an important asset in the shallow legal profession. So logically, it would make sense for me to take my GPA and my incredibly good looks elsewhere.

But I'm staying put in Westwood. I spurned many of the same schools the first time around, and it would make little sense for me to go there again. I also absolutely dislike school in New York. I came to the conclusion that the only schools I would even consider are all schools whose names and locations would matter little to me.

The last time I checked, the weather in Palo Alto, Cambridge, and New Haven are all vastly inferior to Southern California. None of those locations can offer both the beach and skiing within short drives. None of those locations are within driving distance to Vegas. And my liberal use of the word "dude" would probably be looked heavily down upon on in these stuffy places. Shorts and flipflops would either not be climatologically feasible or would get me branded as a non-serious law student in these places. Pretty shallow reasons for not transferring and opening myself to a world of increased legal opportunities, some of you might say.

Except, I'm not your typical law student. I have ZERO interest in academia. I have very little interest in clerking and seeing our legal system firsthand. And to me, White, Rich, and Old LLP is the same as Rich, Male, and White LLP, even though one might be higher ranked and more prestigious than the other. Both pay market and both have the same billables, so they are the same for my purposes--I'll put my time in a firm before leaving to be a surf bum. And transferring would also mean paying more in tuition and moving myself from LA.

Palo Alto, Cambridge, and New Haven thus have no tangible benefits for me, which is why I made the personal decision to stay.

Big brother

If you're a summer: Shouldn't you be at your 2-hour lunch?
If you're an associate: Shouldn't you be billing instead of reading my blog?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm glad that ain't me

So, my projections about law review have been coming true. My posts during the law review writeon were simply for people to stop doing the law review competition as a resume padding tool and do the writeon only if they were seriously interested in being involved with an academically-geared journal.

But I have many friends who were in the former category and unfortunately did the writeon competition and some of them (un)luckily made it on. And guess when they got their first citechecking assignments? The next morning after the end of finals, of course. More than one of my law review friends are are currently complaining about the crappy citechecking they are doing that is taking up all their time. (One already has wanted to quit, except law review makes it very difficult for people to quit and he/she will suck it up at least until the end of firm recruiting season.) Even the ones who are not in L.A. for the summer get assignments as well, and have to go to a local law school and do the citechecking there.

Meanwhile, instead of doing the writeon during spring break, I spent it surfing and skiing. And instead of citechecking now, I'm currently having a pretty good summer socially and workwise. Grades have been coming in slowly, and I'm pretty satisfied with the ones I've gotten so far.

Choices have consequences, and if you signed up to do something you're not interested in, guess what? You're not going to have a very good time.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Magic 8 ball

Dressed still in suit and tie from work. Going out with some other summers. I'm ordering drinks from bar. Strike up conversation with middle-aged woman also ordering drinks.

Her: What do you do?
Me: Take a guess. What do I look like?
Her: If I had to guess, I would guess that you're a lawyer.
Me: Not quite. Just a law student. But what made you guess law?
Her: The "look at me" suit, the power red tie, the polished shoes, and that swagger that only lawyers and pro athletes walk with.
Me: Damn. Are lawyers all that obvious?
Her: Yeah. And that your bag that's engraved with [name of evil legal enterprise] also helps.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Letter to a fellow summer

Dear fellow summer:

Don't carry around your cheap school rollie thing to your job at evil legal enterprise. It's not as if you don't have the money to buy a nicer rollie thing if you have health issues for not being able to carry a nice shoulder bag like most other lawyers. You are currently being known around the office not as "[name]," but as "the guy with the rollie bag."