Thursday, August 26, 2004

You come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer.

A while back I promised at least one post about something related to law school. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) the quarter system means that I don't actually start school for about 5 more weeks, so not a lot is going on. But, here's what's coming up...and as these things get closer I'm sure I'll have a lot to say.

(1) I signed up to be a peer mentor, so as the new class comes in and starts Orientation and stuff I guess it's my job to get them totally drunk and pry their deepest, darkest secrets out of mean help them adjust to the rigors of law school.

(2) OCI results came out yesterday and I have three interviews in late Sept./early Oct. It might not sound like much, but I only applied to three places so I'm pretty happy. Because I'm primarily looking at public interest jobs I didn't really get too into OCI, and so I'm sort of on the self-directed find-your-own-damn-job program which in turn means that Career Services, as always, is sending me notifications to apply for jobs whose application periods have already passed and directing me to very helpful databases of government jobs that need passwords which nobody seems to have. And, as always, I am so thankful I'm paying for all of this.

(3) I think I've mentioned before I am an officer in the Military Law Association, so I've been spending some time plotting...uh, I mean planning, how we can better use our organization's money for events. Last year we went shooting once, and this year I'd like to get everyone out to the range at least three or four times, and also have some happy hours and things like that. The typical meeting during lunch with free pizza just doesn't work when you only have about 8 people in your club and the rest of the school would rather be boiled in oil than have anything to do with the military.

And as an aside to point #3, let me tell you about my interview experience last fall during our Public Interest Career Fair. I got an interview with a local (local to TVPNM) organization that specializes in the type of law I am interested in, for a job that I am VERY qualified for, perhaps even overqualified considering my masters degree and Air Force experience. AND I had previously met the interviewer at a training I went to that he held for people who wanted to work at his organization doing free clinic work. So, this should have been a pretty easy interview. It went like this.

Interviewer: "So, it says here you were in the Air Force"
Me: Answer affirmatively, give pre-rehearsed spiel on military experience, how valuable it is, all the great stuff I got to do...etc.
Interviewer: "And it also says that you are the secretary for the Military Law Assocation"
Me: "Yes"
Interviewer: "So, does that organization actively support the military?"
Me: "Ummm, well, what we try to do is be a place where current and former military people can meet other people with similar interests, discuss military law, network, etc...we also welcome any member of the school who would like to learn more about the military or just come to the meetings and ask questions or observe."
Interviewer: "So, would you say that you support the military's general"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Interviewer: "Do you think that your military experience and your current involvement with this organization at school is detrimental to your objectivity?"
Me: "What? What are you talking about?"
Interviewer: "Well, I'm just wondering if, with your background, you can come into an organization like ours and be impartial to the kinds of clients we serve"

And then he ended the interview and I never did find out exactly what types of clients I would be so unable to serve due to my military experience. I can make some assumptions, but I'm not sure how anyone with that big of an issue with the military could EVER look at my resume and decide to interview me unless it was only for the opportunity to try to get me to argue with him or to try to show me up by not giving me the if I would want to work at a place where the boss is that openly hostile about me and my past. The kicker though is that while this person did not offer me a summer position, he left me a voicemail that if I was interested in a position during the year I should call him. Yeah, right. And, so as not to end this post on a sour note, I will say that the vast majority of interviews I've had and people I've talked to have been really supportive and enthusiastic (and sometimes downright impressed) with military experience on a resume, in general. The experience described above was an isolated occurence and the place I ended up working this summer I think really valued my previous work history and had a lot of other former military types working there, so it was also fun for me to be back in that type of atmosphere again.

I guess I got a little sidetracked in this post -- so I'll quit while I'm sort of ahead. I am trying to complete my answers to Milbarge's questions over at BTQ...but some of the other guest bloggers have already posted theirs, so go read what Soupie and Scott had to say, and maybe I'll finish by tomorrow.
This blog is sponsored by The Reeves Law Group at 515 South Flower Street, 36th Floor. Los Angeles CA 90071. (213) 271-9318