Biglaw, In-House Counsel, Interview Stories, Job Searches

Should You Tell Them?

Ed. note: This post is by Will Meyerhofer, a former Sullivan & Cromwell attorney turned psychotherapist. He holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work, and he blogs at The People’s Therapist. His new book, Way Worse Than Being A Dentist, is available on Amazon, as is his previous book, Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy (affiliate links).

I was hiking in Iceland this past summer. We were pretty high up – around 1,000 meters – and it was raining hard, high wind, snow on the ground.

“Damn, it’s cold,” grumbled one of my American companions.

An Englishman behind us stumbled over a patch of frozen volcanic ash. “There’s a clue in the name, mate,” he offered helpfully.

Some things are so obvious they really don’t need to be explained anymore. Like it’s icy in Iceland. Like it sucks working at a big law firm. You kinda ought to know that by now — which is why interviewing 2L’s feels so heart-breaking.

I should know; I’ve been listening to senior and mid-level associates for the past month, telling me how much it sucks interviewing 2L’s….

Why? Because if you hate them, you’re interviewing someone you hate. And if you like them… then you feel a moral obligation to clue them in on the hellish misery they’re clambering to claim for themselves.

It’s hard not to hate law students, especially from the vantage point of a senior or mid-level associate. They’re clueless, and yes, many conform to the worst stereotypes. There’s always the tall dork who wears a suit to class and raises his hand to ask obvious, meandering questions. There’s the girl with hair dangling over her face, who trails the professor after class to smarm, in her peculiarly nasal voice, over the subtle charms of today’s lecture. We all hate them.

One of my senior associate clients reserves her remaining tolerance for part-time law students. “At least they’ve got a clue,” she says. Maximum disdain is reserved for the full-timers who slid into law school directly out of undergrad, scribbling their name on loan documents like so many fevered lemmings racing to be the first off a ledge.

The worst story I’ve heard so far came from a mid-level associate, miserable and deeply in debt, who interviewed the obnoxious 2L son of a huge corporate client’s CEO. While this over-privileged sack of ordure grinned in his preppy suit and barely bothered answering her questions, she returned to an old fantasy of firing a pistol into her mouth in the firm’s dining room, taking special care to splatter the head of litigation.

Continue reading at The People’s Therapist….

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