Sunday, September 19, 2004

well, on-campus interviewing is about to enter its fourth (count 'em!) week, and i've decided to publish my marginalia documenting the emotional rollercoaster that is the 2l firm hunt. hopefully, this will be educational for those of you who've not yet experienced it.

1. anticipation. finally, we get to go lasso that steer that is our future. twenty-plus years of preparation for this-- those firms won't know what hit them when the meet... me.

2. shock. ...holy shit. i thought i was on my game, but that first interview was awful. the coffee hadn't kicked in, and i was a blathering idiot (ok, so more so than normal). fortunately, i had about fifteen more interviews that first day, and was able to recover some of my shattered composure.

3. burnout (#1). by the end of the first day (assuming you had more than 3 interviews--otherwise, this happened a bit later, i guess), i've collapsed under the combined weight of class, firm research, journal committments, psychological drain from interviewing, and the vague, creeping dread that is the pro bono requirement. this quadruple-whammy is enough to lay even the best of us low. (especially the best of us, being on law review which has, minimum, double the work of the other three esteemed publications at upls.)

4. reprioritization. specifically, forget reading for class to allow time for binge drinking. this happens around day 2 of the interview process--roughly the first friday. (here at penn, for those outside our dear law school, interviewing started on a thursday)

5. anxiety. it's tuesday, and he hasn't called. it's like fifth grade again, and i'm all aquiver with worry that i'm really worth nothing, nothing at all, and in no time at all i'll be alone, destitute, selling my body on the street for smack.

6. reassurance. a bit into the week, i realize i didn't really need to read anyway, as none of my classmates have read either. (this presents problems for socratic professors, but nobody seems too bothered about that.) also, i've gotten a callback or two, and now feel redeemed in the eyes of my soon-to-be slavedrivers.

7. zone. by the middle of the 2d week, i'd developed an inability to conduct normal speech, instead substituting life lessons, semi-witty truisms and positive spin and forced bubbly enthusiasm for anything anyone else says.

8. burnout (#5) (yeah, i know, this is only the 2d one i've listed, but there were a bunch more of them in there somewhere). i've drowned in the bubbly--all that's left is a hollow shell of a human being, with no soul or true emotion, just a kaleidescopic billboard that projects all manner of focused professionalism tempered by hints of emotional sensitivity and artfully feigned humor, expertly designed to perfectly reflect exactly what those around me want to hear.

9. restoration. after a weekend of hard drinking, i emerge, bleary-eyed, for the next go-round of mindless blather and transcript-passing. do they really give a hot damn about what a nice person i am?

10. resignation. allow me to introduce myself. i'm pork n beans, professional interviewer. i've begun looking forward to those nice light days when i've only one or two interviews scheduled. why did i sign up for those 40 gd interviews again? ah, well. soon, it will all be over, and i can actually start attending class again.

more whining to come...


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Blogflash: We're not the only snarky, sarcastic group blog at Penn Law. For those of you who haven't checked out Law School UNconfidental, I heartily recommend you do so. Their posts are hysterical. Notice that our most beloved pork product, Bacon, has been moonlighting there.


Sunday, September 12, 2004

Dear Ikea,

We're through. I've never been able to leave your dirty Nordic embrace for any less than $300. And that's always $300 worth of of $0.89 bowls and $0.50 photo frames. You've filled my home with felt curtains and heavy particle board furniture that I've had to assemble on the molecular level. Many hours have been spent trying to put together the thousand-piece Snurf organizer with only the toothpick and paste you market as a tool kit. I'm also tired of smelling your cinnamon buns when I'm in the self-service furniture section. All I want is my Pflugelkproejanik bookcase and to go home. But you never have the Pflugelkproejanik: it's always temporarily oversold in the dark brown and available only in some hideous purple faux wood grain veneer. But then I buy the purple -- not because I want it -- but because you force it upon me. I know if I don't get the purple, I'll have to come another time and buy $300 worth of bowls. So I'm done with you. And your meatballs. They were never that good anyway.


PS: Call me if you get the Pflugelkproejanik -- I still need a bookcase. Damn you, Ikea.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Some people are complaining about OCR. I am no longer complaining about OCR. If I don't get a job, it's because I'm lazy. Instead of paying attention in class, I build my Maserati quattroporto online. Some people read Dressler instead of the text for Crim. I read the Dressler outline. I've never made it to the minimum page requirement on any of my papers. Really, I'm just not a busy bee and the law firms know it. I was meant to be a second-wife. There should be some sort of entrance barrier to law school.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

texas justice
all this bs about firms has me thinking. maybe i'd rather do the clerk thing. it's like being a judge, with none of the headline risk. (and, i suppose, none of the life tenure either)

i was going to start a "we love judge sparks" fan club. in case you're not familiar with him, his honor is a federal district judge posted at the western district of texas, and recently penned an order excoriating certain petty argument practices of attorneys appearing before him. the judge complained:

When the undersigned accepted the appointment from the President of the United States of the position now held, he was ready to face the daily practice of law in federal courts with presumably competent lawyers. No one warned the undersigned that in many instances his responsibility would be the same as a person who supervised kindergarten.
and then followed that up with
The Court simply wants to scream to these lawyers, "Get a life" or "Do you have any other cases?" or "When is the last time you registered for anger management classes?"
judge sparks was first brought to my attention earlier this month by poor baby, a poster to this blog (who was kind enough to copy the entire order into three separate comment posts). my interest was piqued when gunner evan schaeffer noted some unease at judge sparks' taking liberties with his opinion-writing, referencing several other bloggers in a post on his (well written and maintained, not to mention well-named) legal underground blog.

in my not so humble opinion, judge sparks is continuing in the long and storied tradition of tongue-in-cheek affirmation of the american legal experiment, just as the case against "satan and his staff," the dismissal (with prejudice) of a "motion to kiss my ass" , and other such greats.

anyway, i said that i was about to start a sparks fan club, because i assumed (incorrectly) that he was the same texas judge who had opined

Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact--complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words--to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed.

Plaintiff "cites" to a single case from the Fourth Circuit. Plaintiff's citation, however, points to a nonexistent Volume "1886" of the Federal Reporter Third Edition and neglects to provide a pinpoint citation for what, after being located, turned out to be a forty-page decision. . . . The Court cannot even begin to comprehend why this case was selected for reference. It is almost as if Plaintiff's counsel chose the opinion by throwing long range darts at the Federal Reporter (remarkably enough hitting a nonexistent volume!)."

in fact, this was an opinion of judge kent, of the southern district of texas.

i suppose the new name of my club would have to be broadened to "we love texas judges" or the like. somehow it just doesn't have the same ring to it, particularly given my feelings on cowboy hats at the gop convention.


Monday, September 06, 2004

I think it's time to rename this blog. Thus Spake Pork and Beans strikes me as entirely appropriate, considering (s)he has been responsible for our entire output over the last month. Not to take anything away from Pork and Beans's manful effort, but this is supposed to be a group blog....

I'd post more often if I didn't feel guilty for taking the time to do so (Yes, I feel guilty when I take even a small chunk of time to post; I am motivated and ruled almost entirely by guilt in most spheres of my life). I really wish I weren't so drained all of the time. Between journal work, classes and interviews, I just can't find the energy to post anything. I'm starting to see the truth in the old saw "The first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death..."

It is a proud boast of our law school that interviewers are not allowed to prescreen students here, but I'm starting to wonder whether this privilege really benefits us in the end. The theory (I believe...if I'm wrong, please correct me) is that a student with less than stellar grades who would have been eliminated if the firm had seen his transcript may get an offer because he so impresses his interviewer during the interview.

I'd like to know whether this ever happens. The interviewers see so many students, and have so few slots, that I imagine grades still play a huge role. After all, what kind of an impression can an interviewer really get in 20 minutes? I assume that far more students interview well than the firm has slots it can devote to students from Penn, and I have a hard time believing Cravath would grant one of its precious callbacks to a student with a transcript full of Bs no matter how wonderfully well he interviewed.

If we were prescreened, we'd have far fewer interviews. We'd be better able to prepare for the smaller number of interviews, and a greater chance of impressing our interviewer, which would make Penn students look more impressive vis-a-vis students from other schools who use the non-prescreened system. Plus, the time savings on our end would make it far easier to accomplish the myriad other tasks we have on our plates during the second year.

That's all for now. I have to finish 50 pages of reading for a seminar tomorrow, and it's already after midnight.


what's the deal with firms signing on to recruit here, and then adding notes like this to the interview info?

Hiring Criteria - Top 10%; law review preferred.

look, kids. not to be too conceited or anything here, but you're interviewing at penn law. you're already looking at 250 of the most qualified people in the english-speaking world. if i were in the admissions department, i'd be rather upset about this sort of tactic, as it seems to suggest that i couldn't be trusted to screen out the idiots.

then again, maybe the folks at the firm in question really are just looking for the amazingly hardworking individuals among us, because first-years are just going to be doing contract-monkey work anyway, and volume is money. it does seem odd, though, that they advertise this by indicating they care nothing for a potential recruit's interpersonal skills (only discernable through the interview) or personal concern for his psychological well-being (which, imho, is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent in the library).

then again, maybe i'm just bitter about not being the prettiest girl at the dance and having to settle for number 18 instead of having number 1 sending me flowers and chocolate. ...or just desperately afraid of sitting at home by the phone waiting and hoping for crazy stalker guy to call...


Saturday, September 04, 2004

y'know, after arnold's speech last week on "you're a republican if... (and if not, then you're a girlie-man)," i almost --almost-- thought about returning to the gop this november. (if you missed the speech, i recommend taking a peek... it's like a breath of fresh air).

as a committed south park republican, however, i take it as my personal responsibility to boot the authoritarian, paternalistic, whack-jobs at 1600 pennsylvania avenue out on their wrinkly white, born-again asses, and take back my party, damnit. (not that i have a huge problem with born-again types, mind you, it's just a certain brand of full-court-press moralizing that bothers me)

personally, though, i blame the media. they're the ones that paint republicans as old white dudes in suits... time magazine, for instance, recently published an article observing "many students are tilting right — especially toward that brand of conservatism known as libertarianism . . . . [Y]oung Americans are repositioning themselves not only on political but also on cultural matters. More than one-fifth of last year's freshmen said they never party, twice the percentage of 1987."

give me a break. explain to me how an ideology that can't stand the 21 drinking age and the criminalization of marijuana is, at the same time, committed to "never partying." maybe i'm missing something here...