Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Finished up the song from yesterday. Check it out.

Today's creative endeavor... an open letter to summer job employers from a generic first-year law student. We'll call this generic first-year law student "Not-Me." I'll also stick a disclaimer here that this is designed to be funny, like this whole entire weblog is. It's all designed to be humorous, not serious. It's a creative outlet, that's all. Like the song from yesterday about the model penal code -- I don't hate the model penal code, I'm just trying to be funny. In fact, I have no overall opinion about the model penal code whatsoever, other than I've always thought the word "penal" is a funny word. And writing a song about the model penal code doesn't make me a bad person who likes to make fun of our legal regime, or if it does, that's not my intention. Disclaimers aside, here we go... an open letter to summer employers... apologies that this is in fact more serious than most of the weblog entries. The funny will return after this brief message...

Dear Potential Summer Employer,

There are lots of us, and we look awfully indistinguishable from each other. We've been at law school for just three months, and already we have to look for a summer job. We've all taken the same classes, learned the same things, and haven't even gotten any grades. We haven't seen enough law to even know everything that's out there, and the different things that lawyers do. We've only had a short opportunity to be inspired, fascinated, challenged, excited, and perplexed by the law. There are future corporate lawyers, district attorneys, policymakers, U.S. Senators, law professors, judges, advocates, arbitrators, radio talk-show hosts, and commissioners of professional sports leagues among us who simply don't know it yet. We haven't been exposed to enough law to figure it all out. So three months in, as we search for a summer job, we can't be totally sure, and we shouldn't be expected to be. The mass of us applying to corporate law firms -- most aren't doing it because of a burning desire to practice corporate law, although most aren't doing it because of a burning desire not to. The mass of us applying to public interest organizations -- many of us have issues we care about, policy ideas we're passionate about -- but many of us are just trying to figure out where our hearts lie. We're trying to figure it out, and hoping this summer lets us find out a little more about where we do want to be, where we want to end up, what we want to do. There's a difference between sending out four hundred resumes indiscriminately to anything and everything in the three cities we've decided are tolerable to work in as opposed to making a good-faith effort to identify what we want to do this summer, where we can contribute value, and what might help us decide what the future should hold -- even if in both cases the result is a cover letter and resume that look pretty similar. None of us are beyond the point where we have to make choices without full information -- we've experienced only a small piece of our law school experience. So a corporate law firm looking at a resume that screams out "passionate about the environment" can't necessarily assume the person doesn't want to work there, just like a public interest firm looking at a resume that screams out "investment banker" ought not assume the resume necessarily reveals the contents of a person's heart. We're trying to figure out what we want to do, where we want to go, who we want to be. It's a good-faith effort. Thanks."