Friday, June 05, 2009

Updates from the Job Front: Coming to Terms with Working Life

I am two weeks into my summer job at Work Hard, Play Hard, LLP, and things are bopping along more or less smoothly. I like the people. The work, for the most part, is interesting. I have a window! And yet, I don't feel quite settled in yet.

I have yet to purchase a meal on my own dime, and am starting to long for a grilled cheese sandwich and baby carrots straight out of the bag. You know: normal, law student food. As much as I enjoy the free meals, the pressure of always being "on" is starting to wear me a little thin. When I get home, all I want is a Coors Light, a pair of sweatpants, and to talk to someone who doesn't look at me like a flighty $100k investment.

And, to be honest, I am a very flighty investment for them. Apparently the firm expects me to have "interests" and an "emphasis." It's so cute how they think that I have "a life plan" or "direction." At the beginning of the summer, rather than saying anything about how my interests were "whatever you are most interested in paying me to do, thanks," I was as honest as I could be, given the circumstances. Bascially, this means I said "employment" and "environmental" off the top of my head.

Two weeks in, I have learned that these are not really fun areas of law. Rule bound, annoying to research, and full of red tape, yes. Fun, no. Over the last few weeks, I've started to appreciate how unbelieveably decadent it is to have the liberty to just sit in class and think big thoughts, and then chase those big ideas down whereever they may lead. Big, esoteric, questions are not highly encouraged in the 6-minute-increments world, and it is a little bit frustrating to see so many interesting questions go unanswered.

Hi, yes. I gun. Pleased to meet you, here's my nerd card. Carry on, Internet.

This revelation prompted a minor identity crisis: I just like being a law student. I remain unconvinced about this whole "practice" thing. Please let me do nerdy things, preferably as far away from OSHA and the administrative courts as I can possibly get....Ok, thanks.

I'm trying to get back into my nerd groove, working on the journal and writing a little in my down time. In my deep, dark, secret soul, I'm a little afraid of getting too attached to this life. The people are amazing, the pay is wonderful, but the constant timekeeping? Being at the beck and call of clients? The overwhelming amount of bureaucracy and red tape? Not so much.

I have been floating around from assignment to assignment trying to find a good fit, but I've had no luck just yet. Oh, except I'm crossing things off the list: goodbye, employment. Next week: hellooooo commercial real estate. In an effort to find some kind of inner peace, there will be writing (copious amounts), and sitting around cross-legged and be spectacled, thinking nerdy thoughts and eating cheezits. You know, just to stay in touch with my nerdy, sweat-pants loving roots.

Is there a balance in law firm life, after the summer-long job interview is over? I sure hope so, because I'm not really cut out for a Phd.


Butterflyfish said...

oh man, I could have written this post last summer. Except, you know, not as well.

paragon2pieces said...

Ironically, read this while "sitting around cross-legged and be spectacled, thinking nerdy thoughts and eating cheezits." lol.

Is a job as a law prof out of the question?

teasinglydiverse said...

I'm glad that your summer is going well, even if frustrating at times!

You could always bring some baby carrots in a ziploc and keep 'em in your desk drawer :)

dood2008 said...

Amen- sounds like you have broken the "law firm recruiting" code. Once you go to work for them, just be prepared for the eventuality that things will change- they will really, really change. That said, I'm betting this doesn't surprise you. You might want to visit my website,

Best of luck in your legal career and endeavors.

Molly said...

I kind of agree. The idea of grander, digging deeper kind of questions interest me more than procedural ones, but maybe that'll change with time... Hopefully you'll find a niche that captures your interest soon!

Also, I tagged you for an award on my blog. I've been reading your blog for a little while, sorry to be a bit of a creeper! I start law school in the fall so I've been reading blogs to gather more of a perspective on the experience.

Anonymous said...

Do tax - it's the fun area of law!

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