Dante could only dream of such exquisite torture….

I haven’t blogged a lot lately because I am staring down a particular kind of hell right now. I am not alone. There are others. We try to communicate with each other, but that mostly consists of distracted phone calls where we break down crying, or frantic emails.

Those not in hell can’t possibly understand. The civilians just look at us like we are crazy. But we are not crazy, we are in the process of OCI.

On Campus Interviews.

To those who were smart enough not to go to law school, your 2L summer internship is extremely important. The law firm where you intern will often hire students permanently at the end of the year.
These lucky folks go into their 3L year with a job. Interviews for these jobs start August 26. Bidding starts July 1 – in less than a week.

In other words, I need to start making some decisions about what I want to be when I grow up.

I thought you wanted to be a lawyer,” Yo-yo girl asked. Only someone who has not been to law school would ask something like that.

Don’t worry, you will get a job,” Jen says. That is so beside the point.

What are we doing? Why did I go to law school? Why didn’t I just stay where I was?” I won’t tell you who said this, but this I relate to.

How did I get so far without having a clue what I wanted to do with my law degree?
OCI is mostly big firms. Though I love the idea of making a gazillion dollars, working 90 hours a week does not fit into my schedule.

I’m really interested in Criminal Law but I didn’t get into Evidence, and if I can’t fix that before September 1st, my criminal law career has just been stopped in its tracks.

I’m not a scientist, so IP is out.

My lawyer in AZ loves being a Trust and Estate attorney, but where are these boutique firms everyone speaks of? I think they are all below the Mason Dixon line.

I flip through the OCI list, and then I check out Westlaw and the job postings at NALP. I start to feel overwhelmed, so I close the browser. I turn on the television, watch an episode of Judge Judy, feel like I can deal again, turn on the computer, look at the list, decide the table needs dusting, shut down the computer, forgot about the table, watch Nancy Grace, decide I would make a rocking Prosecutor, turn on the computer, remember something about a female Prosecutor being attacked in court, and remember that I didn’t get into Evidence, decide that what I really want is to live in Brookline, decide that working 90 hours a week wouldn’t be so bad, remember that I have a kid, and this isn’t going to work, wonder again how you find small firms, and on and on.

I’ve got one week to get my head on straight. What the hell am I going to do?


18 thoughts on “Dante could only dream of such exquisite torture….

  1. Have you thought at all about doing legal services work? I work as a paralegal at the Legal Aid Society, doing Health Law, and all of the lawyers here seem pretty happy. A much better work/life balance than the private firms, though of course not as much money. It’s a decent living, though, especially with seniority.

  2. Hi Zach. No. I hadn’t thought of that, but I will look into it. I think in Boston its called something like Greater Boston Legal Services or something like that.

  3. Does Neiman Marcus have a law firm? I’d love knowing someone who works somewhere important….


    I think you’ll look back at this year and smile, I hope anyhow.

  4. Sue – I think it would be really funny if Neiman’s hired a slob like me as their in house council. I would wear suits from H&M and scrunchies in my hair just to be difficult.

    I would send all of the free samples to you.

  5. Because I continued crying into the office today, someone told me that half the clerks had not passed the CA bar on the first try. This was supposed to cheer me up, to give me that surging feeling that everyone can do it. Instead I felt more likely to join the wrist-slitters next playdate. If the fucking top 5% clerks can’t pass the bar, what difference does it make if I end up in corporate purgatory or small firm poverty?

  6. Is getting into Evidence completely out of the question? Is it fixable to get in for September and then go on to Criminal Law?

  7. Did I really say that? Guess I did. I’ll own it. Sorry! Wish I had something clever and/or useful to offer, but alas I cannot. You can always teach french….or go to work in a spa with a mud bath. Just kidding! Money is good….90 hours is bad! What about law librarianship? Everyone knows librarians are hot!

  8. good luck with OCI- I completely avoided them and decided I did not want to put myself through the torture and the inevitable rejection. People told me they were doing it for “practice” I thought it would be more helpful for me to bang my head against a wall. Dont fret if OCI doesnt go well for it- because I skipped them and somehow I have a job this summer 🙂 It will all work out!

  9. What kills me is that y’all pay for the priviledge of going through this. Like if Dante got charged admission to hell.

    I have no advice. Not a clue. Except TV good. Worry bad. Crane’s Beach good. Marsh mud bad.

    But you know all that, right?

  10. FYI I’m at at big firm, and this past week was really super busy.

    I billed 54 hours.

    Not 90.

    I was in by 7 almost every day, and out well before 7, except on Friday, because my family had gone to an out of town event for the afternoon, and weren’t due home until 8 or so. So I worked later. I will work at home some this evening (Sunday).

    In my experience, if you choose your firm (and department) wisely and speak to a lot of different people about their day-to-day experiences, you will find that the 90 hour sweat-shop story is not 100% accurate. There can be weeks where a lot is required of you – but it’s not sustained. Which is a good thing, because it’s not sustainable.

    Best of luck – I remember the OCI days. They sucked. E-mail me if you like, I’m happy to talk about my past and current experiences. (Not to mention Brookline! We love it here!)

  11. Oh, also — about Evidence.

    I did okay in the class, but then when I had to use it in real life, I totally forgot everything and had to start from scratch. It made a lot more sense when working on a case than it did when working with a casebook. I’m not sure we should let our performance in law school deter us from the practice of something. It just doesn’t translate all that directly. (Boy, could I go on and on about my grade in Family Law ….)

    And, both copyright and trademark law are types of IP that requires little science (and seem pretty fun ….) Of course it’s true that most IP departments are looking for science backgrounds, so it could be tough to break into without a couple bio-related PhDs in your pocket.

  12. You actually don’t need to be a scientist to be in IP law. If you want to do patent law, then yes, you need to have a technical degree. But for others, like trademark and copyright, you can do IP law. You don’t need to be an electrical engineer to represent an author trying to protect his novel.

  13. Good luck with the OCI!! I completely understand the whole ‘what do I want to be when I grow up’ questions sneaking up on you. I think part of me went to grad school so I could put off answering this question. I now have to decide what/where internship questions, and I’m still avoiding the question. How can I have spent 6 years in this program and *not* have a firm idea of exactly what I want to do?!?! Argh.

    So, unfortunately, no good advice from me. But I sympathize! (and on a side note – Judge Judy is one of my favorite distraction tv shows as well.)

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