Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In Which We Remember That Sometimes I Do Real Work...But Not Often.

So, work with Dream Boss is going fabulously.
I've resisted blogging about it so far, in the interest of some sense of anonymity/continued employment, but I think I can share a few nuggets with y'all without sending the wrath of the employment gods down on my head, so here goes:

I'm working in a court, which was a great choice for my first summer- I've gotten to see a great spread of cases, and witnessing the "diversity" (read: broad spectrum of competence between brilliant and lead-chip eating) of the lawyers has been "edifying" (read: inspiring or hilarious, depending on the day). While there have been a few truly inspiring performances there was also this brief tirade:

Judge Sparkles: No. Look. That was....that was a bad question, too. You're not doing a very good job. Lets take a 5 minute break and come back to this, shall we? Try to get your act together.
Nothing makes me happier than people who aren't me getting into trouble.

Anyway- the experience really is invaluable. We've gotten a fair amount of leeway, both in the assignments we take (lots of writing. Yeeah.), and the amount of time we spend in court observing, so I'm learning a lot, and, in theory, developing a few really great writing samples for the upcoming job search. Also, coming from a family of non-lawyers, it has been pretty remarkable to see the inner workings of the legal system.

The clerks, judges, and staff have been preternaturally friendly and positive, which is a little disorienting at first, but I have resisted the urge to say things like: "Wait. You know I'm not very qualified, right?" and am allowing them to continue under the deluded impression that I add something to the office. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, you see. The government hours are a pretty seductive argument for turning away from the big-firm lifestyle, for sure, and it has been much more stimulating that I'd expected. Believe it or not, I like the law. Phew. That was a near-miss, right?

Unfortunately, the theory was that this time would have enlightened me as to what I wanted to do when I "grew up." That moment of clarity is slow in coming. However, I have learned:
1. Do not come late to Judge Sparkles' courtroom, or there will be much public shaming and gnashing of teeth.
2. Passing the bar does not make you competent.
3. I do not want to practice Medical Malpractice.

Look at that! Worlds of knowledge, and it is barely July! Though I suspect (know) that the compensation might have been better working for a firm this summer, for a 1L job it has been a pretty remarkable introduction to the day-to-day life of the courts. We do miss out on the wining & dining that a firm has to offer, but, given the option, I would take this job again any time...I'll probably have a more coherent, useful reflection on that when I am not halfway through a bottle of Syrah, and well into my holiday weekend, though.

In the meantime:
Things That are More fun than Firm Money, Version 1.0:
1. Poop-flinging inmates: I didn't get to see this one. Because he was drunk. And in his cell. And, oh- naked.
2. Watching Crazy Plaintiff Videos: Dear plaintiff: there is no way that you swearing at an officer and getting forcibly removed from the room is going to make the jury "heart" you. It will make me giggle, but that shouldn't encourage you, because I am very mean-spirited.
3. Friday-AM Arraignments: Hey look, it's the hangover parade! Everybody turn up the lights and clap your hands!
4. Prison Mail: Don't worry, it's scanned, etc. I probably won't blow up or die of anthrax. But we get all sorts of goodies! Letters, packages, convoluted pro se claims, half-eaten candy, large boxes of crazy, etc. No body parts yet, but I am not holding my breath. Every day we get packages is like Christmas in Creepytown!

What I'm trying to say is: Courts = rad. Me = quasi-employed, quasi-useful, quasi-full-o'-Syrah. You = Sad you don't get mail from prison, too.


All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson