August 31st 2006

relief

I finally think my fall schedule is set. I won’t be dropping my extra class just yet–I need to take care of some paperwork first–but it looks like the schedule I’ve been telling all my interviewers about is the schedule I’ll actually have. Whew!

So this is a good morning! I have some more interviews today, and I’m going to be finishing up some work from my summer job, and I feel really on the ball. It’s a good feeling.

August 30th 2006

a semester preview

Mr. Angst is working on his fantasy football draft right now, so I’m about to start reading some of my first week assignments. The chapter I’m about to read is about the federal courts–a subject I got to hear a very shallow lecture on today, in the class I’m TAing for. So I feel very into the federal courts vibe.

And while we’re on the subject of this semester’s classes, can I say that I got screwed by the Registrar’s office? My classes are in the WORST rooms. They are in rooms without air conditioning, they are in rooms without internet access. OK, the internet access thing isn’t the end of the world. (Or maybe I’m just saying that for the sake of the internets, though. Or am I? Who can tell?)

So anyway, that’s how my semester is shaping up: first day reading that I feel like I might already know and classrooms that REALLY REALLY suck. At least with the classrooms, I’ll probably miss a fair number of classes in the early autumn heat for callbacks. Right? Right?

August 29th 2006

i hate you

Dear Downstairs, Dirty, Loud Neighbors:

I mean, really. You’re moving. I saw you loading shit out of your apartment today. I saw instruments being carried out. And you’ve been so good over the last week and a half–keeping relatively quiet, making yourselves scarce.

So why, WHY, did you decide to start playing music NOW? Right when I am about to EAT DINNER?

OH MY GOD. YOU SUCK.

Toodles!
k

asking the tough questions

I’m going on a callback today.

In preparation, I spent some time looking online for questions I should ask–just to supplement the ready stable of questions I’ve already prepared, of course. And what I found is sort of interesting.

For instance, I found a website for associates looking to lateral into a new firm that suggested asking the tough questions–what is the partnership track? how are associates evaluated outside of billable hours? what is the firm’s growth projection? These questions are good questions because they help the interviewee figure out if the firm’s management, growth, and business model will further the interviewee’s own ambitions. I like these questions. I think I might ask some of them.

But then I found a different website on a law school’s career services website that insisted you should NEVER ask the hard questions, because those kinds of questions give off a “what’s in it for me” flair. So, no asking about the pro bono program, no asking about how many billable hours are expected (to be fair, this is often on a firm’s NALP form, but sometimes it’s not), and, yes, no asking about the partership track.

I can understand that asking, “What hours will you expect me to be here?” might come off badly. But I would think a firm would be glad that potential future associates were asking about the partnership track–wouldn’t that indicate they are interested in sticking around to try to make partner? And firms nowadays also like to talk about their pro bono programs, because it’s a way they can set themselves apart from all the other firms. Sure, don’t ask if you can substitute all of your billables with pro bono, but asking if associates get the chance to do pro bono (as a way of getting excellent training in leading a case or matter, for instance) doesn’t seem like it would get you kicked out of the office right away.

I don’t know. Maybe my experience is skewed, because I am at a “top law school” (whatever that means) and the interviewing process is less frightening. My sense throughout has been less, “I’m competing against all these people for very few positions!” and more “Some of these firms really want to impress us because they want us to work there!” And that might make it easier for me to ask tougher or more pointed questions. (Always in a very polite and non-threatening way, of course.)

One thing I won’t ask about, though, unless I get a really strong vibe that it would be an OK question, is alternative scheduling. At the very least, I’ll be choosy about who I’d approach the topic with.

August 28th 2006

soggy day blogging

Tell my why it is that UPS can’t manage to figure out a safe place to leave last week’s delivery, but they are able to stash today’s delivery behind the trash can on the porch?

Oh my God, that was a really bad sentence. OK, here’s the skinny. Last week, they wouldn’t leave my package. I didn’t want it left, so I had it rerouted to a friend’s address. This week, though, they were happy to leave my package on the porch, in a reasonably hidden place. I don’t really understand. Neither package had a signature requirement, so either could have been left with no problems. So why did they leave one but not the other? I’m not sure I like this inconsistency–what if I had ordered something expensive (like my suit, from last week) and they left it and someone decided to take it?

Even better, today, the day they decided to be creative and proactive and leave my package, is the day that it’s been POURING all day. So my box of coffee is pretty wet. That’s OK–inside, it’s happily vacuum packed and staying nice and dry. But again, this presents the question: Why leave it today, when it’s raining and gross? Did the UPS guy figure no one would be out prowling for boxes to steal today? I just don’t get it.

Also today, the day that it’s been raining all day, the post office decided to deliver my other textbook. They also left that on the porch, on a windowsill, where it too got nice and wet. It was in a reasonably drizzle-proof package, but still. Oy. Something about rain and me. Seriously.

August 27th 2006

Weekly Law School Roundup #33

Welcome to my sort of Back To School edition of the Weekly Law School Roundup! I say sort of, because I personally haven’t started school again, and some of the posts featured below are from folks who won’t be starting school again this fall (seeing as they graduated, of course).

You Know It’s the First First Day (or Week) of School When…

You Know You’ve Done it Before When…

You Know It’s the Last First Day of School When…

You Know You Never Have to Go Back When…

And that’s it for this week’s roundup! Check for it next Sunday at Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground and then, in two weeks, back here!

August 26th 2006

it’s sort of illogical, really

I think I’ve discovered what it is about OCI that makes law students crazy.

It’s the validation.

As law students, we get so little affirmation that we are doing good things, or that we are doing things well. We get almost no confirmation that we are worthy, that we are smart (or smarter), that this whole path is worth it. And OCI is a process that promises to tell us that we are OK, or reinforce our suspicions that we suck.

So for all of you out there going through this right now, or about to go through it, or thinking about going through it, remember: OCI is not a measure of your self-worth. It’s not a measure of how smart you are or even how impressive your resume is. OCI is just job interviewing on speed.

Remember (if this applies to you) when you applied for that job, and you had to meet with someone for a first interview? And then, if things went well, you got a second interview, and then maybe got asked back for more interviews, or even hired? Remember that? OCI is EXACTLY THE SAME. It’s just that you do twenty of those first interviews in a matter of a few days. And then you wait, just like you would with any other interview, to be asked back for a second interview.

So now that I’ve drawn the analogy between OCI and every other job interview you’ve ever gone on, think of this: when you would go on a job interview, would you think that every other person who might not be getting that job interview was stupider than you? If you got a second interview, would you think that all the people who didn’t get the second interview were less talented than you? If you’re like me, you didn’t. I remember being on a group interview, where everyone else in the room was clearly talented and smart and good at any number of things the job required. It’s just that I was good at something the rest of them weren’t–and I got the second interview (and eventually the job).

OCI is not about how smart you are or how talented you are. It’s about what a given interviewer values at a given time. Sometimes that’s grades. If your grades are lower than someone else’s, that doesn’t mean they are smarter than you–you already know that, right? That law school grades can be random? So when an OCI interviewer calls someone back for a second interview, and they have better grades than you, you really can’t assume it’s because that person is smarter than you. Sure, maybe the interviewer values a number or a letter on a piece of paper more than other things. Maybe. But maybe not–you really don’t know. Maybe the interviewer doesn’t like gray suits and you wore a gray suit and the other guy wore a blue suit. And that little prejudice left you out of the callback process.

Anyway. All of this to say that law students go absolutely freak-out nuts during OCI because it feels like it’s an assessment, like it’s grades. And we get so little of that sort of feedback that we just soak up that sort of attention like little sponges, and suddenly we are FULL of whatever it is that we soaked up. We can’t stop talking about it, we can’t stop thinking about it, we become completely irrational over it.

OCI is no worthwhile measure of worth, intelligence, talent. It is just job interviewing on speed. And it has all the same flaws that any job interviewing experience has. If you remember that, it becomes less a competition against your classmates and more a process of reaching a goal–a goal you’ve set on your own, based on your ambitions, desires, and dreams.

August 24th 2006

Welcome, kids!

Snarf.

Today, after my last interview of the day, I went to the big ladies room in the law school to change out of my suit. It was seriously hot down there, and I was in a HUGE hurry to take off my clothes.

So there I was, skirt halfway off, when the door opened behind me and in walked a Brand New One L. She stopped, put her hand over her mouth, and her eyes got REALLY WIDE. I am hoping this was just out of sheer shock, rather than out of, oh, I don’t know, disgust at seeing my tushy, but it was still pretty funny. I apologized, explained that I was changing clothes, and she stammered something about how nice the big ladies room was and scooted right on out of there.

By far, the BEST way to welcome new law students to campus, I think.

self-worth all wrapped up in a suit and nylons

This whole OCI process is completely weird. No matter how much perspective you say you’ll retain, you still get completely caught up in it. You start to validate yourself based on what you talked about with the interviewer, how many questions he or she asked, whether or not you got a callback yet. It’s completely stupid.

But it is the way things work, and if I want to do the kind of work I want to do, this process is one of the only ways to get there. So I let myself get excited about this or that or the other, but all the while try to remind myself that nothing about ME has changed since Monday, or since I met that person, or got that phone call. I am still the same. I might feel good about myself NOW, but I could just as easily feel like crap tomorrow. The ups and downs prove that this process really just can’t affect who I am.

August 23rd 2006

hating on the delivery service

Why is it that UPS, which usually delivers to our building around 3pm, chose today to come early, around 1:00, and right in the 1-hour-and-15-minute stretch where neither Mr. Angst nor I was home?

I think it’s because they were delivering my new suit, and they want me to have to wear the same thing over and over and over again during OCI. Thankfully, I have a good friend who let me reroute my package to her building, a building with a doorman and a mail room which can receive packages all day long. Yay! One day late is no big deal, especially since Banana Republic told me to expect it to be delivered in 4 to 7 business days and it’s only been three.

Somehow, in the last three days, this became a fashion blog. Oh well.

we are experiencing technical difficulties

I have no idea how this happened, but somehow I now have an extra interview on Friday. I didn’t add it myself, I didn’t WANT it, and yet somehow it’s now on my schedule and I can’t cancel it. I mean, the firm is a great firm, but it was ranked well below my other firms, so I can’t imagine that I got the interview because of some wait list. I guess I’m most bothered because it literally just showed up, without any action on my part. Two days ago, I had x number of interviews; today, I have x+1. Technical glitch? Gremlins? Whatever the case, it means I have to be on campus three hours earlier than I had expected to be on Friday. Sigh.

August 22nd 2006

choirs of angels singing fashion praises

Anastasia is totally spot on here–tears of joy are well-warranted over Banana Republic’s new curvy-woman pants.

See, for the last, oh, EVER, every time I’ve tried on Banana Republic pants, I’ve found them REALLY tight through my thighs and tushy, and about eight inches too big in the waist. This, frankly, shouldn’t be surprising, since they state clearly that their other pants fit “straight through the hip and thigh.” In fact, the only thing that differs about any of their other styles of pants is where they hit on the waist–low, just below, or at.

But now–now! Banana makes a pant that I can actually wear. Well, at least that I can actually have altered. Because the waist is still a bit too big. But I can have the waist taken in without destroying the line of the pants, without making my ass look like the Hindenberg. Yes, this is a Very Good Thing.

August 21st 2006

too tired to write more

Day One of interviews down. I was gone most of the day. Mr. Angst says that Himself clearly missed me and was waiting for me to get home. Sigh. I guess Himself is “my” dog.

best review EVER

Sure, sure, everyone’s all gaga over Snakes on a Plane. But have you heard about Serpentes on a Shippe! (spoylerez)? It sounds almost as good.

August 20th 2006

lookin’ for a job. again.

I think I may have forgotten to mention that OCI starts for me tomorrow. I will be getting to know my neighborhood dry cleaner very well, I think, since I’ll be rotating my suits and shirts for the next two weeks. (Sadly, I think I have more suits than shirts to wear under them. I need to go shopping. Sigh. I’ve already bought one new suit this summer, but I guess I didn’t spend enough money yet to appease the interview gods.)

Here’s to using up reams of interview paper!

movie blogging

Last night, Mr. Angst and I went to see Little Miss Sunshine and I have only one thing to say about it: drop what you are doing and get your ass to the closest movie theater showing it. It was hysterical, hilarious, heart-warming, and I left feeling so happy. I haven’t laughed that hard in a movie in a really long time–by the time it was over, I had laugh-cried all my mascara off, that’s how hard and much I laughed. I won’t say more, though, because half the fun is all the unexpected surprises it has to offer. (Although, I will say this: I totally called one plot device well before it actually came to pass but it STILL made me almost wet my pants, it was so funny. That, my friends, is the mark of a good movie. Even when you know what the next gag is, if you still fall over laughing, it’s worth the $9.50.)

GO SEE IT. It will rock your world.

dog training

Himself is beginning his crate training.

Don’t get me wrong–he’s fully housebroken, we just wanted him to also be crate trained. He seems to be taking to it well. We have the top half of his crate off, and one of his favorite blankets in the bottom half, and he’s happily sitting in it right now, chewing on his foot. We’ll try putting the top on it tomorrow, and seeing how that goes. Or maybe we’ll put his bedding in it tonight, just the bottom half again, and see if he wants to sleep in the crate. He’s pretty easily trained, though stubborn when he doesn’t want to do something, so I hope this is a something he likes.

Update: We have been lavishly praising Himself every time he gets into his half-crate, and it’s working! He did try to pull the blanket out at one point, and sit on it outside the crate; I promptly put it back in the crate, and he figured out that the blanket goes in the crate and, if he sits on it in the crate, it’s pretty comfy.

So far, we’ve got his half-crate in the living room, so he’s with us when he’s in it. I think in a day or so, we’ll put the top on the crate, and do this whole process over again; and then in a few more days (depending on how things go), we’ll move it into the kitchen, where his bed is, and then replace his bed with the kennel.

August 19th 2006

Saturday morning dog and after-party blogging

We have discovered that Himself is a voyeur. He has always enjoyed sitting on the back of the chair that’s in front of the window; today, I raised the blinds, and he has never seemed happier to be sitting there. He’s perked up, watching the people go by, keeping his eye on the other dogs on the street, making sure he’s keeping us safe.

Far too cute for words, really.

In other news, one of the downstairs neighbors (the one who plays the drums) sort of apologized to Mr. Angst for being so hard-headed last night. Notably, he was not the guy who told Mr. Angst to suck it up; we figure it’s worthless trying to deal with that guy. In any case, they are still moving out by the end of the month, and our landlord has found new tenants who, by description, seem like they’ll be better. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed over that.

Oh, and we didn’t end up calling the cops on the party, since they did turn the music down by 10:30–just enough, really, so that we WOULDN’T call the cops, but I guess that strategy worked for them. (We did call the police to figure out what our options were, and they were supportive of us, so we know it’s an option for the future, right?) Part of me thinks we should have called anyway, just because the one guy told Mr. Angst to “Go ahead, call the cops, I don’t care,” when Mr. Angst threatened that. I am sure he really would have cared if they had showed up at 3 am when the drunk people downstairs were screaming. Anyway, now we’ve handed out what might appear to be an empty threat. Sigh. Eleven days, now, eleven days.

August 18th 2006

savvy shopper, me

I should also mention that I bought two of my books online today, one for about 1/3 of the bookstore price. (Note to half.com seller: I hope when you said, “No highlighting” that you also meant “every page isn’t underlined half to hell and back.” Because that would lead me to give you negative feedback.)

Now if only the new prof teaching one of my classes would turn in his book list. Because how can I cut my books for the first day of class if I don’t have them in hand?

shut the hell up!

God, they are SO LOUD.

I have NEVER lived in a building with people this loud. Currently, they are jamming–their band, that is. Drums, electric guitar, electric bass. LOUD. We have teh TV turned up pretty damn loud so we can hear the football game, and it’s still almost not loud enough.

I keep telling myself, “Twelve more days, twelve more days…” Usually that sort of thing works. But tonight I am not so happy. Not so willing to be relaxed about it all. Maybe it’s because this morning, the neighbors UPSTAIRS were playing music at 8 am, loudly, while I was trying to catch a few more Zs. Honestly, I wasn’t so bothered by it, but I was really worried it would wake Mr. Angst, who was still sleeping soundly.

The upstairs neighbors, at least, are noisy only occasionally–like, once every couple of weeks? The downstairs neighbors? Have been jamming right under my living room every night this week. Yeah. They suck, a lot.

Update: Oh my god, they’re having an effing party. A party that looks to have more people than I would EVER invite into a space this size (dozens and dozens, I would venture to guess), and is JUST NOW ramping up. (It’s after 10 pm.) Mr. Angst went down there a couple of hours ago, before the people started showing up, and asked them to turn the amp down and they essentially told him to deal with it, because “that’s this neighborhood, and you shouldn’t have moved here if you didn’t like music.”

Why can’t our neighbors be more like this guy?