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.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Excerpted from the piece I might run in this week's law school newspaper, although not if I can come up with something better, since this is probably ok but not especially thrilling:

Summer’s Coming!

The driving rain and forty-degree temperatures tell me summer’s close here in Cambridge. The year’s gone almost as fast as the coffee available each morning, even though each class on its own seems to move as slow as the automatic handicapped doors in the student center. As we open our casebooks for the first time all semester and begin studying for exams, a flood of memories fills our heads -- the time we signed up to subcite for the Journal of Unmatched Density thinking it sounded like fun; the time we ran for publicity director of the Students For Negligible Reform thinking it would look good on a resume; the time we went with our friends to the professor’s office hours hoping to extract some exam hints; the time we stepped over the body of the law review editor who’d leaped from the second-floor window of the law review building to his death; and the time we fell asleep on a bean-bag chair in the library and woke up sticky.

We’ll start the summer relieved to be out of the classroom and finally putting our legal education into practice, applying what we’ve learned about sitting in assigned seats, navigating complex and counter-intuitive bureaucratic processes, skating on thin ice (even if that doesn’t make sense, I like the double meaning), and drinking free coffee. But after a few weeks away from this place, I feel confident saying we’ll wish we were back. Our community of highly-motivated largely self-absorbed young people will have been replaced by a community of highly-motivated largely self-absorbed older people; our perhaps-less-than-inspiring extracurricular pursuits will be replaced with perhaps-less-than-inspiring uber-organized mandatory social activities; our inspiring professor mentors will be replaced by people who finished just below them in their graduating classes here or in New Haven and are now actually forced to practice law; an evening at Redline [a Harvard Square bar] will be replaced by evenings redlining; lunch at Finagle-a-Bagel [a Harvard Square bagel shop] will be replaced by lunch at Prepare-a-File-for-Trial; dinner at Brother Jimmy’s [a Harvard Square barbeque joint; part of a chain] will be replaced by dinner with Partner Johnny; and nights in the Hark [our student center] will be replaced by nights in the dark, if you’re in New York and there’s another blackout. [You like the wordplay, don't you?]

I’ll be at a firm this summer, for the first time ever, so I may not be the right person to provide advice about how to make the most of your summer. But why should I let that stop me? So here’s three ideas to make your summer worthwhile:

1. Convince as many paralegals as you can that law school really isn’t the right choice for them. They look up to us; we’re where they wish they might someday be; isn’t that sad? Show them your casebooks. Let them see a copy of a journal and explain to them that the reason that semicolon isn’t there anymore is all thanks to you. See them flee. Save them before it’s too late.

2. Steal stuff. Staplers, post-it notes, personal shredding machines, trophies and plaques from people’s offices, diplomas off the wall, valuable art in the hallways, sensitive documents, the spare $5000 suit in the partner’s closet, a new BMW, the Yankees skybox pass, the pictures of the partner’s children (they won’t notice), the firm’s financial statements, your 43rd-story view. Come on, it’s fun!

3. And, finally, if you’re a high achiever, try and single-handedly undermine the rule of law in just twelve weeks. This is an awesome goal: Can one summer associate alone bring down a nation? Send Polaroid’s secret strategy memo over to Kodak. Send the partner’s uncorrected brief to The Smoking Gun. Tell the client the deposition will be held on the set of The Daily Show. I don’t know how to do it, but maybe you can figure it out. One summer. Make a big mess. You can do it. I have faith.