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, August 16, 2004

I spent my day at a place where clients don't have to pay their lawyers $500 an hour, doing the first 8 hours of my 40-hour pro bono requirement. I can admit I'm only there because of the requirement, which means the requirement is a pretty good one. But, really, it has no teeth -- what's 40 hours? What can I possibly do in 40 hours that will really (a) make a tremendous difference in anything substantive or (b) teach me what it's like to do this kind of work. And I know the answers to those questions are, in part, (i) you can do a lot in 40 hours if you really try and (ii) nothing's stopping me from doing more than 40 hours.

So I went in with no expectations at all -- they want me to photocopy, I'll photocopy. They want me to clean the floor, I'll clean the floor. They want me to do Lexis searching for them with my free student account, by golly, that's what I'll do!

And they did keep me occupied today, although I won't say they kept me busy. They had some case files that needed some cleanup work -- fix some papers with mistakes, go through and clean out duplicate copies, cut and paste information into some forms, get some stuff ready to be sent to a court. Relatively mindless but necessary work that mostly makes me wonder why we have to have such complicated systems that require so much paperwork, but nothing unexpected or bad or extraordinary or captivating or thrilling or awful. It was sort of boring but fine, and I'm sure it'll be sort of boring but fine all week.

Minus: There was no screen in the elevator summarizing the day's news in 8 words or less

Plus: If I was billing my time, I think I got to about 6.5 hours today, which is
more than in any single day at the law firm except the two days I went to court

Minus: I had to eat lunch alone

Plus: I didn't have to talk to any lawyers there

Minus: I nearly stapled myself with the electric stapler

Plus: I didn't actually staple myself with the electric stapler

Reluctant to do anything much more than check e-mail on the computer, since I'm very exposed in the hallway I'm sitting at, any e-mail anyone sends me while I'm at the job will be met with gratitude and quick replies. :) It breaks up the day.