Sunday, July 03, 2005

I get knocked down, but I get up again

The best way for me to characterize my relationship with my law school is that it is my own personal Ike Turner. The minute I think we are getting along and doing well, and that we have begun to accept the commitments we have made to one another, it slaps me silly and I walk around dazed and reeling for a few days. This time, it got me with the one-two punch of releasing class rankings and our on-campus interview schedule and requirements within the same week. Just in time to ruin my Fourth of July weekend, too!

Unbelievably, my ranking didn't go up from first year, although my overall GPA did (by quite a serious margin, too). I felt so cheated when I saw the breakdown. All that hard work for nothing. I knew that once the fall recruitment stuff was released, I would be again left out in the cold, relying solely upon ass-kissing and attempted nepotism. Then when the materials were released, not only did I feel as though Ike had cheated on me, but had also then come home, crawled back into bed, and spit on me. I mean, really. How come the only places my school can rachet up to interview 3Ls are the firms that will only interview people in the top 10% or who have engineering backgrounds? Those people already have jobs. They don't need to be interviewed again.

But I know that as bitter as I feel about school now, something will happen to make me trust it again. Ike will buy me flowers, tell me I'm beautiful, and again I'll remember why we got into this mess in the first place and forget all about the abuse. Until the next time. For now, amuse yourselves with the actual e-mail sent out by Career Services and my interpretations thereof:

Dear []:

I hope your summer is going well.
Bad news coming, better start on a positive note. It's hard to believe, but it is already time to gear up for the Fall Recruitment Program! And by gear up, I mean stock up on Xanax to numb yourself from the imminent depression associated with seeing your douchebag classmates in suits while you're wearing sweatpants cause you have no interviews. As you prepare for Fall 2005 Recruitment, there are several things that I would like you to keep in mind.

First, there are many opportunities available to you and finding the right "fit" can be a challenge.
There are no opportunities available to you through Fall Recruitment.
It is a time to begin thinking of how you ultimately would like to use your law degree to contribute meaningfully to the work of the legal community. Face it, you came here to make money and now is the time to accept that it's not going to happen, so maybe you should work at Legal Aid and actually help people. It is easy to get caught up in the rush of the On-Campus Interview ("OCI") process and the often self-generated pressures of "the job search." You probably have rich parents who will pay off your loans, so who cares about "the job search" anyway? I would suggest that you keep "OCI" in perspective. It looks really bad when our students cry in public. Although the OCI phase of the Fall Recruitment program has been extremely successful for a great number of students, it is only one of a number of recruitment initiatives here at [redacted]. As an office, we exist only to help people who could just as easily help themselves. Typically, the employers who choose to interview on campus in the fall are large firms that can more readily anticipate their hiring needs for the following year. Are you in the top 10%? No? Why are you still reading this? Most of those firms have demanding hiring criteria and select from among some of the best students across the country. Shoulda studied harder for the LSATs! While we are encouraged by the fact that these firms appear willing to look more deeply into the class than they have in the past, the reality is that these are highly competitive positions that represent only a small fraction of the legal job market. Sometimes they hire the top 11%. But that's still not you, so fuck off. In fact, it is reported that more than 80% of lawyers in private practice are in small firms. Isn't acceptance one of the 12 steps?
This year, we are making a particularly concentrated effort to attract a larger and more diverse variety of potential employers to [redacted], including not only firms of all sizes, but also government agencies, public interest organizations and corporations. You will notice that the list below includes large firms only, and you also may remember that last spring's initiative contained only solo practitioners paying $10 an hour. I'm only paid to talk the talk. Although a good number of these employers may recruit during the upcoming fall season, many likely will wait until later in the school year to evaluate their hiring needs. You will not be employed until the absolute last minute, if at all. We intend to continue to build upon the Spring Recruitment Program that and other new recruitment-related programs, including our newly expanded alumni outreach program. While this sentence is not grammatically correct, basically it means that you're going to have to do this on your own. Remember, we're not paid to get you jobs!

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