I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

There is a tombstone in the Granary Cemetary in Boston, dating from 1696, I believe. And it says thus:
Harken all ye passersby
As you are now, so once was I;
As I am now, soon you will be,
Prepare for Death and follow me.

It just seems fitting for some reason... maybe the, "I was where you are now" factor.

The Law Review Office Groupies...

I...hate being in the law review office.

There are two main reasons.

The first reason is that it is the repository of false hope. When I found out I had walked on to the main law review, it was as though the doors of St. Peter's had been thrown open, and streaming sunlight suddenly glistened upon the Baroque statuary of my future. Everything would be shiny and scrolly - I would waltz out of law school with a job that would pay me six figures at 25-years-old, and I'd buy houses and cars and bling, and pay off my student loans, and I'd have a fancy boyfriend who would cluck his tongue at my long hours, but all would be forgotten as we jetted off to our Pottery-Barn inspired house on the Hamptons, or took fancy skiing vacations in Austria, we'd fly first-class and would bring along another two couples; I would buy my parents expensive housewares from Nieman Marcus and Jonathan Adler to thank them for putting me through college and law school, and my closet would be a monument to John Varvatos and the Barney's Collection; there would be personal trainers and a waterfront house on Dilido Island or North Bay Road, with a pool to die for in the back, and a modest 1-cabin yacht, where we would take our friends out on the weekends when I wasn't working, to wear tasteful bathing suits, and drink Grey Goose with the Miami skyline behind us.

These aspirations fade, one by one, as the clock ticks closer and closer to graduation, and I recall that fateful day on September 13th when I was informed that my law firm had one opening for a new associate...and I didn't get it. Interviews come and go, each law firm more distasteful than the last, each rejection more expected than the last...made even more bitter when I recall the hours spent, 2L year, doing print chairs and subchecks, and writing a 100 page article on a topic that I simply did not care about. All in that goddamn office; the door code to which was supposed to be the first part of the "secret handshake" to the "Skull and Bones" of Miami - the one club that promised gilded success to its members. I see other people scooping up jobs - jobs that at one time would have made my nose turn up, but now, their success is bittersweet. "Good for them," I think, as for the third time that day, an icy wave of panic sweeps down my face, and down my legs, "but if they got a job, why the FUCK don't I have one?!"

The second reason I hate the law review office is the 2L contingent... Classes through law school seem to alternate...very type A, very type B. I would say that my class is a type B class, sandwiched between two severe type A classes. And nowhere is type A more on display than in the law review office. I freely admit that I'm a type A bitch. I know I am, and when I'm being crazy or obnoxious, I try to stay away from others. The law review office, however, is the place where the crazy freaks come to BE crazy and obnoxious. This year, at OCI time, was the worst. The Law Review office was the bastion of the faux-pity party. Shortly after I found out that my life was ruined, and that I would be working as a Denny's short-order cook upon my graduation, I was subjected to the anal-retentive sighs emanating like so many lethal mouthfarts, from the 2L class, as they whinnied nasally about how it was such a hard choice - whether to go with Carlton Fields or White & Case, and how they simply didn't know if they wanted to go with Cravath or Baker McKenzie or Greenberg, and the deadline for accepting a position was rapidly approaching, and they simply didn't know which firm would be best for regulatory governmental whogivesafuck. Over and over and over and over again, the same troubled sighs from the same ugly people, whining about the same hard life choices, compounded by the fact that they had already agreed to go to Slovakia with Professor Whoever, and fretting about whether they would still be able to complete their Miami Law Women volunteering duties, while working during the summer. Endlessly picking apart interviews and callbacks, and thank you letters and lunches, and mentioning certain firms loudly enough, with just a subtle hint of emphasis, to make sure that everyone else in the law review office could hear just what a painful decision they were going to have to make. ::sigh.:: Names are quoted, the Captial Grille is mentioned, and delicate "Secret scented" armpits give off just a hint of the inner turmoil of these poor tortured souls, who never asked for this lot in life, but who now must cut the baby in half.


And yes, I was jealous. I was the LAST string pick for my firm this summer - I know this. I got my job in mid-January, wayyyyy after everyone else in my class had long since shut up about whether Hunton & Williams or Akerman Senterfitt would be the right place to go. They had probably extended someone else an offer which had been accepted...and subsequently rejected for a position at Skadden. I had my summer job, I showed up in business casual every day, I was handed boring assignments that made me want to claw my eyes out, I drank my cocktails and made awkward conversation with people with concave asses and large Adam's apples. I smirked as lawyers tore their peers to shreds and bet upon their firing date over three courses at whatever the restaurant du jour was - Smith & Wollensky, the Captial Grille, the Capital Grille, the Capital Grille, and Nemo. I went on the boat rides, and Dewars Sponsored events for the future power elite of the United States' southernmost large city. I was told that my job was mine to lose. And then I lost it. I was assured that it hadn't been anything that I had done, that I had been a great employee. Other lawyers, when we awkwardly run into each other, tell me they still don't understand what happened, how this could have happened to me...


My cold comfort is that I'm not alone in my law review class. Many of us without grating personalities also find ourselves jobless, hurtling towards the great void of unemployment...wondering why we spent three years and over 100K on this miserable occupation that causes ulcers, alcoholism, large bank accounts and cheating wives. Personally, I'm done. I don't even want to be a lawyer anymore. I have had one job that I actually liked, and I probably only liked that one because it was my first one, and everything was so new and scary, just like 1L year. The rest of them just run together, boring assignment after boring assignment - answers that I think are crap, being praised, as I think, "Well hell, I didn't think I answered your issue..."

Whenever I sit in the law review office, and listen to these idealistic and fresh-faced 2L souls, yammering about how this summer is going to ROCK, I wonder...and hope... that many of them find themselves in precisely my situation the following year. Is it bitter and spiteful? Absolutely. But it's gotta be Karma. I know I'm probably in my position, because I was too proud of the firm I was going to work for, before I worked there. I was vocal about where I was going, and I would feign sympathy for those poor assholes without jobs..."Don't worry, something will come around..." as I patted myself on the back for landing where I was supposed to...better late than never, right?

Well, now's when it actually counts, and I seem to be heading towards never, rather than later. And it sucks. I did what I was supposed to. I did everything by the book, but as usual, I talked my shit up too much, and landed with the buttered side of my toast down, the connecting flight to my cruise port canceled, and my country of destination not accepting Americans, due to political upheaval, after shouting from the rooftops that next week, I'm departing to Turkey for eleven days.

It just goes to show you - never get too excited about anything, and shut the hell up when you have good news. Be modest, be humble, and be sympathetic. Because one day that phone's gonna ring, and when you hear the news, your face is going to go white, and your mouth is going to go dry, and your best laid plans that everyone knows about are going to go to shit. And you'll know it was because one day, you sat in the law review office, dreaming big, planning huge, and telling everyone just what a hotshot you'd be -- you jinxed it, and you have no one to blame but yourself, and those cruel twists of fate lying just out of sight.

Go. Here. Now.

If ye happen to be in Law School, I highly recommend that you check this out. I will post it here, because I am semi-Blogspot illiterate (for such an easy-templated site, they don't make obvious things easy...like posting links...or maybe it's just because I'm too fucking impatient to look for directions. Searching for federal cases where a party objects to "marshalling evidence," and then doing one's taxes tends to make one's eyes lazy - especially when the last eye checkup one had was Junior year in college...)

Anyhoo, I like these guys' page. Be forewarned, I may steal ideas from it, but I will never, EVER plagiarize, as I don't feel like amending my bar application. P.S. They've started my background check. Say nice things.


I likes it. Although, they once took a dig at people in business casual in backpacks. I must look like a royal asshole, while stomping around in fancy, fancy I-talian suits, with a Northface Mainframe (the dorkiest of the North Face line) slung casually over one of my shoulders, destroying the padding in each and every one of my suits....

They have also given me an idea for a blog post, which I will now throw up there, as I am avoiding writing a 25 page paper on where to click on Lexis Nexis to find Immigration law review articles. It's the most brainless paper I have ever written, and it hurts.