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ATL Idol: Alex’s Farewell

avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This is the farewell post of ALEX, who was recently eliminated from ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
Farewell, all. And thank you for everything — the support and the criticism.
This is a bitter-sweet moment. I was excited about the possibility of becoming the new editor, but I was also terrified.
There are minutes every hour where I enjoy being a lawyer, but usually I spend my time daydreaming about doing something else. Those daydreams, however, never entail an honest appraisal of the difficulties that confront every job, even the cool-sounding ones. So, naturally, when I read that ATL was looking for a new editor, I jumped at the chance. No hesitation.
I envisioned myself writing bon mots to an adoring audience of thousands, rarely taking more than a few hours out of each day to “work.” Tom Goldstein would invite me to his notorious sex parties, and MSNBC and Fox News would fight over having me on as a guest. Of course I wanted to be the new editor.
Blogging, however, is hard. Research, writing, deadlines, criticism. These were familiar stressors in unfamiliar waters. I felt like a first-year associate again. Sure, I would have improved, but blogging would have never been the cure to what ails me.
So I’ll continue to daydream and plot and scheme from the relative safety of my little biglaw office. I’ll leave the blogging to the pros. Good luck, Sophist and F&D.

avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
We received nearly 200 comments on the OCI Open Thread, and to my surprise, most of them were not directed solely at how badly I suck. Small victory.
Many of the comments offered helpful advice from self-professed recruiting attorneys. Others offered glimmers of hope for the anxious and the under-performing. And some left no doubt that, no matter how badly you think you’re going to do in interviews, others have done and will do worse.
hot seat hotseat.jpgFirst, though, take a deep breathe. A large number of 2ls from top-fifteen law schools get biglaw jobs. And many top-performing law students from other schools get biglaw jobs, too.
But even if you don’t, it’s no big deal. Seriously. OCI creates the false impression that the only sensible thing that you can do with a law degree is work at an AmLaw 100 firm. Don’t be fooled.
Being a junior associate at a large law firm is not very fulfilling. You’re not even really a lawyer; you’re a low-level corporate employee with legal knowledge. Go try a case or counsel somebody with a problem. You’ll undoubtedly wonder why you ever cared about this week.
With a little perspective, you’ll do much better in your interviews. As commenters have repeatedly pointed out to me over the last two weeks, nobody likes someone who appears to be trying too hard. If you don’t care so much, you’ll be yourself. See Exley’s excellent farewell post.
Okay, helpful advice and uncomfortable stories after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “OCI Open Thread Follow-Up”

avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
On-campus interviews are just around the corner. Biglaw firms are soldiering on with their recruiting efforts despite a crap economy. We can’t help but think, though, that recent layoffs and OCI cancellations have introduced a new level of anxiety into the process. Poor little 2ls; the gravy days are over. If it was critical before, it’s even more critical now: don’t mess up your interview.
It’s hard to say exactly what it takes to ace a 20-minute interview in a cramped hotel room or a cubbyhole in your law school. I’ve been on both sides of the ball for OCI, and I’m still not sure.
hot seat hotseat.jpgI had an interview as a law student where one of the two partners talked on his cell phone (loudly) in the bathroom while the other, feet resting on the bed, spoke without pause for 20 minutes about character. I didn’t say a word. I work at that firm now.
I’ve recommended that my firm hire less accomplished kids because they had funny hobbies and didn’t breath out of their mouths. And, as a general rule, I’ve nixed anyone who recited information from my bio.
The entire process is somewhat arbitrary. It really depends, in large part, on the personality of your interviewer. I think we can agree, however, that there are things that you should never say or do.
Tell us your OCI horror stories in the comments. Awful questions, awful answers, inappropriate comments, etc. We’ll post the best of the worst on Thursday.

avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
Biglaw lawyers:
Every single one of your non-lawyer friends and family members think that you know “the law” because you’re lawyers. You don’t. You work in biglaw. Don’t worry, ATL will give you some small-building law to use when the inevitable email arrives or you need some lawyerly advice yourself.
Today’s topic: landlord-tenant law.
August is almost upon us. Lots of people are moving. Summers, law-school grads, Cadwalader attorneys. Maybe there’s still time to knock some dollars off of your last rent check. I spoke to an attorney who handles landlord-tenant issues in New York. He works in a really small building and likes to golf on Thursday afternoons.
Nutshell after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small-Building Law for Tall-Building Lawyers: Landlord-Tenant”

avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
I heard once that people don’t like lawyers. Upon honest reflection, I’m inclined to agree with them. Hell, some people might not like me, even though I’m pathologically nice, fun at parties, and a member of the ABA.
Of course, hating lawyers is never justification for killing lawyers. Shakespeare be damned.
Earlier this month, the wife of a Tennessee lawyer became the avatar of lawyer-hate, strangling her husband and hiding his body in the bedroom closet with, presumably, all of the other unmentionables.
So reports WATE News Channel 6:

Nashville police arrested the estranged wife of an attorney in his strangulation killing. A housekeeper found the body of 44-year-old James Cannon in a bedroom closet on June 23. Police said Cannon had custody of the couple’s children, who are 9 years old, 7 years old and 18 months old. Cannon had filed for divorce from Kelly Cannon in February and obtained an order of protection to keep her away from him and the children.

Mrs. Cannon’s story seems, um, airtight:

Police said Kelly Cannon told them she went to her husband’s home the night of June 22, but said she couldn’t find him.

Kelly Cannon.jpgYou know, I would have never seen this coming from Mrs. Cannon. I’ve always trusted women with arty glasses. Never again.
It’s a shame, though; there are much more entertaining and lawful ways to seek revenge on a lawyer, like deleting the serial commas throughout the final draft of a brief or replacing all of his two-button suits with three-button suits.
In any event, this woman is clearly a threat to our people and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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