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Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

 

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Apparently Taint has seen people cheat by bringing materials into closed book exams and by passing blue books. My first response is that I am shocked that people are so brave and brazen. My second response is I wonder if Taint or anyone else reported these cheaters. At least at OSU, and I'm guessing everywhere, when you sign the honor code you're saying that not only did you not cheat but that you didn't witness any cheating. I would think that turning a couple people in, making them go through some big deal honor council trial, and possibly ruining their future could have an impact on everyone. |
 
I just got callback number five! So exciting! This was interview #21 (a Columbus firm), which went really well, and I actually fully expected a callback. I haven't been that confident with many interviews, so I'm glad for once I was right. So, right now I have 5 callbacks, 10 rejections, and 6 firms that I haven't heard from. I'm fine with those numbers. Great with them actually. I'm so glad the process has slowed down. I can finally breathe.

I think tomorrow I will keep my mouth shut about exam software. If I can control myself. The fact that I may still have app ad to do after the meeting will motivate me not to contribute to its length. I'm already bitter that we have to have a meeting two weeks in a row.

Since everyone else gives advice, one piece of advice I would offer to 1Ls is not to get involved in any organizations that have mandatory meetings. I would also recommend not taking on any leadership roles within organizations. I suppose if someone has no work experience at all, it might be smart to get involved in something, but I would still try to avoid anything that demands too much commitment. I am totally serious about this. First year all you have to do is read and show up for class, so you think it will be fine. Second year, class is practically an afterthought because of all the dumb things you committed to without knowing better. DON'T JOIN ANYTHING! |
 

Monday, September 29, 2003

Law Dork (I like calling him that) makes me laugh. |
 

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I read like 150 pages of admin law today. Yuck. In theory the class is fine and I like the professor, but I cannot stand reading about imprints on tires and seatbelts. Every single case is about the most boring subject matter possible. It almost makes BA seem interesting.

I have quite a bit to do still for app ad. But in my mind I still have quite a bit of time in which to do it. I am optimistic that I will become motivated to do more today. I have to fit it into my tv schedule of course.
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Friday, September 26, 2003

First of all, everything is okay. I was slightly paranoid, but not entirely.

So...on to EXAM SOFTWARE.

To begin, a little self disclosure. I have a PC, so my concerns about Macintosh compatibility are not personal. Also, I use my computer to take notes in all my classes, but I do not use my computer for exams. Therefore, my concerns about the potential effects of downloading the software are not personal. I also freely admit that this means I am not impacted by the professors who refuse to allow students to use computers without the software. Actually, in that area I have my own theories about what the impact may be, but no way to back them up. This issue only affects me because I am a student at Ohio State and my integrity is on the line as part of the larger group.

I have never heard a single rumor of actual cheating. I have heard discussions where people say, "Oh, I bet there are people who find a way to cheat." That's it. I have never heard anyone contemplate doing anything that was even on the periphery of what the professor prohibited. There are two major factors at play here. (1) People actually have self respect and integrity and just don't cheat; and (2) People are too afraid of the consequences of being caught to risk cheating. Whatever the motivation, I do not think that cheating is rampant, and I don't even really buy that rumors of cheating are rampant.

Personally, I think that if there are people out there (and I'm sure there are a few, this is the real world) who are really determined to cheat, they will find a way. Maybe exam software keeps them from cheating in one particular manner. That doesn't stop cheating. This is how I feel about terrorism too, by the way. The school can add one protection after another, but people who are lacking in character and are resolved to cheat the system, will always find a way to do so. I'm sure some people would say I'm suggesting we make it easy for them. But that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that we need to do a little balancing and decide if it is worth it to render the honor code meaningless on the basis that it might prevent some cheating. Apparently many people's answer to that question is yes.

Honor, trust, and integrity are things that are earned and lost through actions. All I have seen indicates that the students at Ohio State have earned these things, and have done nothing to draw them into question. If there had been a dozen honor code accusations and trials last year and we had gotten all sorts of bad publicity, I might understand this situation. It would be like a teenager who comes home at 3am smelling of alcohol. But we are the straight A student who's on Key Club who ought to be allowed to go to a movie with a friend.

If the faculty determines that we need exam software, I think we should all refuse to sign the honor pledge. Instituting software would be a direct statement from the faculty that they believe the school should be responsible for monitoring our actions; that we should not monitor ourselves and our peers. If that's what they want, then let them do it. Why should I speak up if I see something out of line and risk losing friends when apparently the school is in a better position to police us?

This is my call to action: Do not sign the honor pledge again if they make us use exam software. |
 

Thursday, September 25, 2003

I'm glad I provoked Steve on the exam software issue. Not that we stand a chance again the faculty.

On a different topic, I have a feeling bad things are about to happen at school. For me. I hope I'm wrong. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I just tried to fight the good fight against exam software. Apparently it is a novel idea that an honor code implies honor. And just wait until those LINUX people get started on the fact that all the available software programs only run on Windows. They don't even run on the Windows simulators. And then there's the honor argument again! And these 1Ls who just keep complaining about having to handwrite exams make me crazy. First of all, handwriting won't kill you. Second of all, even without the exam software issue, there will always be professors who have their own little weird exam issues. Third, don't you know what an honor code is? Don't you know what honor is? Don't you have any honor? Okay, let me calm down. For now.

I got a callback to a Columbus firm! Actually, today I had my lunch with the partner, and then about 4 hours later got a callback from that firm. Coincidence? Who knows...but whatever the reason I'm happy. At least now I have an outside shot at staying in Columbus. And now there are only 9 firms that I haven't heard from. |
 

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Interview #20: This was a decent interview, but since it was a Pittsburgh firm I'm not optimistic. It's not like Pittsburgh is much further than Cleveland, but it is somehow way harder to sound believable about wanting to go there. Who knows.

Thursday will be my very last first round interview! I'm tired. I like interviews, but my face hurts from smiling too much, and my leather binder has permanent fingerprints on it, and I'm just ready for this to be over...so I can start actually looking for a job.

Right now I should be reading BA or Admin law, because I am way behind. I was fine until this weekend when I couldn't get my books. But I'm not going to get started on that again. And now I have a terrible headache and I'm sucked into watching reality tv.

Tomorrow is my lunch with the partner, at last. Hopefully I won't get cancelled on again. I'm a little nervous. This could be my chance to actually impress someone. |
 

Sunday, September 21, 2003

More drinks last night with my favorite gay friend. A few pitchers of margaritas and everything in life seems much better. Now if he was just straight and taller...

I'm in a really good mood today for some reason. Totally out of character. First, I was so drunk by the time I got home last night that I went straight to sleep at like 10:30, so I actually got a good night's sleep. Then I woke up and got to watch some 90210 and Ally McBeal - what more could a girl want? Soon I will go work on my brief, which I'm oddly looking forward to doing. And this evening I'm going to a party that one of my favorite professors is throwing. Should be fun.

The only thing that is making me slightly cranky (because there always has to be something) is that I really need to go into school for a little while today, but I don't think I will because the campus will be overrun with undergrads moving in. Yesterday I attempted to go to school in the middle of the game, figuring that campus would be really quiet. It was quiet, but I couldn't park anywhere because all the garages and lots were full of course and the parking meters were all bagged. It was the parking meters that made me mad. First of all, if people parked at the meters during the game and therefore overstayed the allotted time, it would be a way for the university or city to make money. Then they could tow, and make even more money. Secondly, and far more importantly, this is a university, and I, apparently wrongly, feel that as a student I should be able to park and utilize the university whenever I want. I was so aggravated yesterday that I wanted to go around vandalizing things by scratching out all the "U"s I could find on "OSU" merchandise to indicate that this is no university. Even my imaginary way of showing outrage is so nerdy and law student-ish. I just get so mad sometimes. This is one of the reasons I refused to apply to OSU for undergrad. But here I am, the law school is great, so I should stop complaining. But I will continue to secretly hope each week that Ohio State will lose. |
 

Friday, September 19, 2003

Interview #18: Another great interview. Really. I will be surprised if I don't get a callback for this one, but I've been wrong before. The interviewer seemed really nice and happy, which is the number one thing I'm looking for in a 20 minute interview.

Interview #19: I wasn't 100% confident going into this interview because it was another firm that was interviewing like 40 people, but it seemed to go really, really well. The guy seemed to really like me, and once again I was pleased to meet someone who seemed like the kind of person I would like to work with.

Considering how good these two interviews went, maybe I should have gone to all my interviews hung over...

As of today, I have attended 19 interviews, received 7 rejections, and received 3 callbacks. It all makes my brain hurt, but in a good way I guess.

I seriously need something in my life to think about other than interviews and school. |
 

Thursday, September 18, 2003

I have now gotten 2 more callbacks! Yay! The weird part is that both of them notified me by letter. I think that is slightly evil since seeing that thin little envelope makes me think it's another rejection. One of the callbacks is with interview #7 firm and the other is with interview #16 firm. I really felt good after interview #7, so that letter made me feel good that for once I judged an interview correctly. By the time I had interview #16 I was in such a bad mood that I couldn't judge it very well at all. I'm excited about both.

As for other matters...

No more progress with my crush, although we continue to flirt, and I continue to love my internship because of him.

I need to seriously spend some time this weekend on my app ad brief. I am on the right track according to my adjunct, but I have a long way to go. I need to force myself to be productive, because I have plans Sunday evening. Also, work boy is a bartender and I want to go to his bar Friday or Saturday night. I wonder if that is too obvious, or appropriately interested.

I love my internship, not just because of the romantic possibilities, but because it is awesome. It is the sort of environment I always imagined myself in. I am not ready, nor do I know that I ever will be, to commit to that kind of work, but I love it. The excitement, the games, the intensity, all of it. It's what I was meant for. |
 

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I'm sooooo tired! Last night I had my adjunct meeting and then went out for a few drinks afterwards. It wasn't too overboard or anything, but I didn't sleep as well as I would have minus the alcohol. Then today I didn't go home from work until 8:45pm. But that's a good thing! It feels exciting to be working late getting ready for big political events. We also made a brief appearance at a fundraiser this evening. I love that. Tomorrow I'm not going to class at all because of this big event that we were getting ready for. I don't think I'll really miss too much.

One more rejection letter, unfortunately from a firm that I thought the interview went really well. No big deal I guess. There are still so many I haven't heard anything from, and I haven't heard that other people have gotten callbacks from them either. However, I have heard from most of the Columbus firms, and that's not a good thing.

I got my first callback at 7:15am today! This was the firm from interview #10 which is based in a city that I don't want to go to. Now I'm really glad that I was upfront about where I'm willing to work, so I don't have to worry about that too much later.

Interview Update:

Interview #15: Another big New York firm. The interview seemed to go fine, but I'm not holding my breath.

Interview #16: The interview was fine, but I left feeling dejected.

The first week the interviews really felt good and yet they weren't interested. Now the interviews aren't feeling as positive, so that doesn't make me optimistic about my prospects. Part of it is hearing people talking non-stop about their callbacks (which as I mentioned, I now have one, but I didn't know that yesterday when I had these two interviews). One of the firms put huge brown envelopes in people's mailboxes who they were calling back and regular white envelopes in the mailboxes of the people they were rejecting. I thought that was very inappropriate.

Interview #17: My interview this morning was excellent. Actually, it was slightly strange. We talked very comfortably but I never got to ask any questions. I don't think that mattered at all. I had actually emailed the interviewer in early August, so he kind of knew who I was. This is also the firm where the partner works who I keep trying to meet for lunch. We're having lunch next Wednesday which seemed to kind of impress the interviewer. He ended it by saying he really looked forward to seeing me again and that I should hear from him in a day or so. I hope they call me back!

Plus all this working late means more time with the boy I adore! |
 

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Two more rejection letters today. One was the one I knew was coming and the other was from the New York firm. The New York letter had a personal note on it from the interviewer saying he was sincerely sorry they couldn't invite me back and to be in touch if he could be helpful in any way. I wonder what that means. Judging from the fact that the letter is dated the day after my interview, they couldn't have spent much time mulling over whether to invite me back... Looking back I think he completely knew when he interviewed me that I wouldn't be invited back regardless of how the interview went. I really appreciate his encouragement though. Also, he taught me something valuable - he frequently used the word "friend" when he referred to people he worked with, and he seemed genuinely happy, so now I pay attention for that sort of thing. For example, I don't think the Chicago guy knew the word "friend."

Just one callback...just one callback...just one callback.... This is why I got out of theatre! |
 

Friday, September 12, 2003

Interview #12: I wanted to just thank the man and leave. Unlike the fabulous New York firm that will never choose me, I don't even want this firm to call me back. The interview went basically fine, but if I felt that way, I'm sure it came through.

Interview #13: Good interview, but they saw so many people that it felt like a waste of time. They guys seemed pretty nice. They are going to get back to us almost immediately. Next Wednesday they're having a reception for everyone they call back. That's soon.

Interview #14: Another two nice guys, but nothing thrilling. Not that I would turn down a callback.

I got my first rejection letter today, and another one is in the mail, as I know people who have gotten calls. There is no firm I have my heart set on, so no individual letter will upset me too much. I just hope I get at least one or two callbacks out of this whole process. Today I'm feeling a little jaded about it, but not dejected or anything.

And part of why I'm just fine about the interview process, in spite of rejection, is that I have such a crush that it is making everything seem good. I feel like I'm in high school... :) |
 

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Interview #11: A little positive feedback goes a long way! I was grinning for like 15 minutes after this interview. I was terribly nervous going into my first really big deal firm interview, but it went remarkably well. The interviewer started by asking what I wanted to do with my life and basically forced me to carry the conversation, which I think I did just find without becoming obnoxious. We laughed and was very comfortable. He totally backed up all of the press saying that for a big firm, they are the place to work. Then when I was leaving he told me what a long shot it was for them to hire anyone from Ohio State, especially since they're severely cutting back their summer program, but that he wanted me. He said he would do what he could to convince them to give me a callback interview. He also said that I should feel free to email him with questions about any other firms if they couldn't offer me a job. His exact words as I left were, "I really like you." What more could I ask for? A job, but hey, I won't get too greedy.

Up for tomorrow: A big deal Chicago firm. Now I'm feeling ready for it. I also just got preselected for another big New York firm. I am invincible! |
 

Monday, September 08, 2003

Interview #7: This was an excellent interview. Based upon the admittedly biased representations of the interviewer, I think I would really like to work there. I'm hopeful.

Interview #8: This one went pretty well too. This was my first interview with a pretty prestigious firm from another city. This was also my first interview where I was asked about my grades with that tone of voice that makes you feel like the most worthless person ever to live. I think I dealt with it fine though.

Interview #9: Now this was an odd one. Not bad, just strange. Apparently at this firm there is no concrete structure. The interviewer told me that people can work basically as much or as little as they want, they just get paid based on how much they work, and people can make partner at any given time. The interviewer was nice though, and she sounded very content.

Interview #10: This was the interview I was nervous about because the firm is based in a city that I don't want to be in. However, the interviewer pretty much relieved my fears about that...and almost convinced me that it wouldn't be so bad in the smaller city.

Up for tomorrow: Interview with a NEW YORK CITY FIRM! They will never hire me so I'm pretty relaxed about it. It will be good practice for my Chicago interview later. These interviews for jobs I will never get almost make me laugh. I still can't figure out what would possibly make these firms preselect me. My best guess is that other people were too insecure to even submit their resume, so I was the best they could do. Whatever it is, I have no complaints. |
 

Sunday, September 07, 2003

I didn't finish my brief, but I did make substantial progress. Then I discovered Boy Meets Boy. This show is better than For Love or Money 2! Why do I only find gay guys attractive? Speaking of which, I will NEVER again date actors or nurses. And I hope not to have to add to that list.

I'm a little anxious about my interviews tomorrow because I have to begin playing a role more. The first interview should be fine (for an interview, that is). The second interview I'm excited about, but I don't quite know how to go into it. About all I can say about why I want to go to the city where it's located is that my roommate from college lives there. She actually just graduated from law school - maybe I can get her a job. The third interview is where it starts to go more into the acting arena. The third firm is in my third choice city and does not have the practice area that I have the most experience for - but hey, they all have litigation. And then there's number four. It could be good, but the firm is in two cities, one of which I would rather cut off my arm than live in. And that is the city where the firm is based, and according to the website all summer associates are forced to work at both firms. So I'll have to be diplomatic.

Well, time to watch the final decision on my new favorite show. |
 
Today I am going to finish my first draft of my brief if it kills me. Just as soon as I stop watching Ally McBeal reruns. The one that is on right now is where they are representing a woman who fired an employee for being overweight and then Ally finds out that her firm is known for hiring good looking women. I wonder if there are real firms with reputations for being good looking.

I got nothing done yesterday because I have too much craziness going on in my head. I have decided that starting today I'm just going to get over it. Personal issues are keeping me from doing school work, are ruining my sleep, are basically interfering with every aspect of my life, and it's time for that to stop. I want to become one of those people who doesn't even have a personal life, so it doesn't interfere. That's never going to happen (fortunately, I'm sure), but I need to take control of my life right now. So with my new determination I'm going to turn off Ally and go to the coffee shop and work. |
 

Friday, September 05, 2003

Interview #5: This one was probably my favorite so far. I just got a good feeling from the interviewer for some reason. It sounded like the kind of place where I would be challenged in a good way. And not because of cheesy things the interviewer said, just because of the sense I got. They lowered their billable hours requirement by 75 hours this past year (according to the NALP form). I wonder what, if anything, that means. One funny thing was that the interviewer had clearly not looked at my resume or cover letter, because part way through I started saying stuff from my resume and cover letter and he was highly interested and it was obviously new information to him. If interviews are anything like exams, the fact that this one felt good means they will send me a nasty letter berating me for wasting their time. It will certainly be interesting to see where this all leads.

Interview #6: This was the most unusual interview so far. Although the firm isn't that small (40 attorneys), they don't have a highly structured summer program and the interview was the least structured as well. The theory of the recruiter was that if I'm going to end up as a litigator I should be able to talk comfortably without much guidance or prodding. The funniest question yet came from this interviewer when he asked me how I would feel about going to "the dark side," because I come from a pretty liberal background including a stepmother who is a plaintiff's lawyer (and the interviewer knew her). I assured him that I was just fine with it.

I went to try to work on my brief for app ad this evening. I stared at my computer for a while without writing a single word. Then I put my computer away and read Glamour. Very productive night. Tomorrow morning I'll try again. |
 

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Apparently like 600 firms interview at Harvard. I didn't know there were 600 law firms. |
 
Interview #4 down...a million more to go. It was a weird interview. It was only 20 minutes, and there were two interviewers. It was fine, but just so short. Then this evening they had a reception for us which was very nice. Unfortunately none of the attorneys in one of the areas I'm really interested in were there. Still, it was nice. It just makes for a long day. My interview was at 9:20 this morning and I got home at 9:15pm.

Up for tomorrow: In the morning an interview with a pretty good firm that I bid on. I wonder if that turns them against you. I won't worry about it. In the afternoon, another interview with a mid-sized firm that I had never heard of until OCI started. 4:00 on Friday afternoon has got to be the worst time to interview. We'll see how that goes. It turns out it's a firm where I kind of have connections, so we'll see.

By the way, my lunch with the partner got cancelled. Again. Soon I'll start taking this personally.

On a good note, I have such a crush on a guy I work with. Who knows if that will ever lead anywhere, but it makes my time there way more entertaining. |
 

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Why is interviewing exhausting? Am I just a wuss? I had three interviews today, and they all went fairly well, but now I just want to sleep for a week.

Interview #1: This was with a Cleveland firm and it felt really good. I liked the woman interviewing and my gut feeling was that it would be a very pleasant, laid back place to work. Who knows really. She seemed to like me, but they probably seem to like everyone.

Interview #2: Columbus branch of a large firm. It seemed like a very good interview, but the interviewer was fairly formal, so it was hard to read him. I think I would definitely like to work there. At least for the summer.

Interview #3: Cleveland branch of the same large firm as #2. Okay, but the interview only lasted 18 minutes. There were 20 allotted. The other two interviews took the full 30 minutes allowed and we had to stop abruptly since it was time for the next person. I'm not sure how it went, but I would like to work for any firm that has lots of Indians tickets...

Happy Hour: Interview #3 Firm had a happy hour, and I'm very glad I went. Although they said it wasn't mandatory, and I believe them, it gave me a much better feel for them and I think allowed them to get to know me better. I think anyone who didn't go would be at a disadvantage. I have no idea if this affects interviews, but I'm still glad I decided to go.

Up for tomorrow: One more interview in the morning, lunch with a partner from another firm, and then some evening event with the firm interviewing in the morning. And then Friday it starts all over again...

One funny thing about my interviews is that every single one has started with me being asked why I chose to be on the crim law journal. Only such a radical choice could make the question about why I was a theatre major get pushed to second. |