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.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

"Stressballs and Bagels"

On Monday at noon, I went to the student center and got a free highlighter and stress ball from Dorsey & Whitney LLP, which, I'm guessing, is a law firm whose name I should probably know by now. Or perhaps I shouldn't know their name, and they know that, so they feel like they need to give me free things so I'll learn their name. What bothers me is that it worked. A few months from now, when I'm preparing my list of firms to bid for on-campus interviews with --

Digression: I don't like how they call the process "bidding" -- it's all about money with these people; there's not even any money involved in the process, yet still it has a money-associated name. And it's not just the term "bidding." They assign the interviews with a "lottery." Another money word. And if you don't like your interview times, you have to "change" them. Yet another money word. And employers look at the number of "credit"s on your transcript. Will it ever end?

(as I was saying) -- I'm going to remember Dorsey & Whitney, but not remember that the only reason I remember them is because they gave me a free stress ball, and I'm going to check off their name as a place I really ought to be trying to get a job at. They're buying me off with a stress ball. But it works.

The other place I'm going to make sure I bid for an on-campus interview with is Finagle-A-Bagel, thanks to the bagel study break they sponsored on Monday night. I spent fifteen minutes on line for a free bagel, which costs about a dollar. That means I value my time at about four dollars an hour, which is actually good, because that's just about what I'd be making at Finagle-A-Bagel if I work there. It's also what I'd probably end up making at a law firm, if you take into account that I'd probably try and bill forty hours a day. But only work twenty-three. Because I'm lazy.

I've practiced billing my hours this week, as I've been studying for exams. Yesterday I billed two six-minute increments for "counting how many socks I have left until I have to do laundry." I billed one six-minute increment for "flossing really thoroughly." And I billed five six-minute increments for watching the American Idol weekly results show. I just realized this afternoon that the American Idol finale will be the night before my Torts final. Not good. Not good at all. Stresses me out just thinking about the conflict. Good thing I have my Dorsey & Whitney LLP stress ball to help relieve the tension. And my Dorsey & Whitney LLP heroin.

But Dorsey and Whitney LLP isn't my favorite law firm, even with the stress ball. No, no, that honor belongs to Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP (what's up with the LLP at the end of all the names? I know I should probably know what it means, because it's probably important... my best guess is something like Lucrative Limited Partnership, but I'm not even sure that I'm close here).

Stroock put a brochure in our mailboxes last semester telling us that all of the other firms lie to us and just tell us what we want to hear, and that being an associate is long hours, not a lot of fun, and pretty unpleasant overall -- but at least they're honest about it. A few weeks ago, they followed that up with an advertisement filled with mysterious pictures of bees and captions that don't seem to be particularly related to the photos. A picture of lots of bees -- "you will work at a highly-ranked and prestigious firm." Okay, I understand -- they're illustrating the herd mentality here. Gotcha. A picture of one big bee and lots of little bees around it -- "you will work one-on-one with partners on real matters." Again, I think I'm following. Now it gets confusing. One bee, all alone -- "you will find the collaborative nature of the environment rewarding and thrilling." Collaborative nature, but only one bee... are they telling us that's a lie, and we're stuck in an office by ourselves the whole time? I don't know. Finally, close-up of one bee -- "you will never seem to leave the office but still find time for adequate sleep." Does the bee look tired? How can we tell what a tired bee looks like? Are they trying to say we're all just interchangeable honeybees who'll never leave the office? Are they saying they give out free honey? Are they saying their office building looks like a hive? I'm confused! It gives me stress. I need my stress ball.

If I worked for Stroock, I'd want to be the guy making the brochures instead of the one doing legal research. That's probably not a good thing. I'm also mildly allergic to bee stings. So I probably shouldn't work there anyway. And I'm mildly allergic to legal research. So maybe this whole firm thing is a bad idea. But at least I have a stress ball.

Excerpts from Dr. Seuss's recently-discovered unpublished manuscript, "Oh, the Law School Exams You'll Take."

One case is long
The other is short
This case is property
That one is tort

Issues here, issues there
Issues, issues everywhere
Issues hidden on the sheet
You won't find unless you cheat
Issues on the front and back
Issues that your outlines lack
Issues that you won't remember
Till you're a 1L, once more, in September

I know the statute
Do you know it too?
Do you think it would pass a judicial review?
Do you think you can ponder the writer's intent?
What the senator wanted, what the congressman meant?
And the precedent cases I hoped that you'd find --
Even the ones that I didn't assign --
Do they cause any questions to pop in your head?
If you wrote the opinion what would you have said?
Would you remand the case or affirm it instead?

I is for issue, just give it a try
R is for rule that the court should apply
A, application, it counts for a ton
C for conclusion -- and then you're all done!

Look at the outline your classmate has made
Your feeble note cards won't be of much aid
Should have been studying; instead you played
But what does it matter, you'll get the same grade

One test, two test
Have-no-clue test
Three test, four test
Please no more test
Five test, six test
Full-of-tricks test
Seven test, eight test
Hand-in-late test
Nine test, ten test
In-the-fall, all-again test.