Sunday, August 31, 2008

OGI Post #9: Don't Forget About Phase II!

The deadline for phase II interview requests is tonight at midnight (source: UVA Career Services talk last Friday). Approximately 1/3 of all law firms coming to campus interview in Phase II. We're not sure about the cancellation date, but here's what we have to go on.

The deadline for signing up for Phase II firms is 10 p.m. Thursday, August 28 (sic), and the deadline for canceling interviews granted, confirming alternates, and making special requests for Phase II Employers will occur four days before the Phase II interview date. [UVA Career Services]

So don't forget to get those requests in if you haven't already. Also, NB, that this round isn't limited to law firms. Many public interest / government employers - like the DC Public Defender Service - will be there as well.


Previous OGI coverage:

CALLBACKS (continuously updated)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guys At My High School Use to Get Blown Out By Pac-10 Teams All The Time; It Was No Big Deal

Here's an idea. When you notice your offense is totally ineffectual just keep running the same play over and over again. Shot-gun, one to two backs, short-out. Rinse and repeat - no need to do anything other than this 85% of the time. (not coincidentally, the Cav's lone score came when they actually decided to run the ball on a nifty counter).

Nope - didn't work on try # 23 either!

As for the defense, nobody was expecting much - but not pressuring the quarterback and attempting to take advantage of the Trojans big losses up front for the entire first quarter (in which the Trojans scored 21 points in 11 minutes) probably didn't help.   With Sanchez having literally eons to throw, it's no wonder that the Cavaliers only stopped USC from scoring twice in the first half. 

See, even if you complete those outs, they don't go anywhere . . .

The spread here was 19.5 points.  The Trojans managed to double it. Nobody expected a UVA victory, but with the possible exception of an interception an impressive TD run by Mike Simpson, there was very little positive to take away from this game. Swaths of fans left at half-time, and for good reason - UVA not only didn't score in the second half, but also managed to give up another four touchdowns. 



Yes - you beat an unranked ACC team - kind of like passing LRW - time to P A R T Y!

Finally, has anyone noticed that USC fans - at least the ones who were out at the Corner last night - were almost uniformly classless, rude, loud, drunken, rubes?  A group of them threw a GLASS BOTTLE at our (mostly female) party, and then proceed to jeer at us, wanting to start a physical altercation.  Way to be decent guests, guys - now I see why Sparta sent an armada to slaughter you after you trashed their crib.

What?  Someone from USC getting belligerent?!? 

 Let USC have it's football, UVA will always win the competition of  . . . having a modicum of class. 

Images from ESPN.com (link to game summary).

I am lame and hate football - take me to the CALLBACKS

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rumor Is . . .

TJ's Double Play is history.  Conjecture?  Some.  Hearsay?  Definitely.  Either way we'll miss you.  Godspeed.  


Jump to the callbacks . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

RAVE/RANT: LawReg 2.0

First week's almost over so here's hoping y'all have your schedule for the semester figured out.  I had a bit of a scheduling crisis on Wednesday and had to do some scrambling and put in some quality time with the new version of LawReg.

Ok, the tale's a bit complicated, so stick with me here:

Basically what happened was I walked into my first class on Wednesday and realized it wasn't quite what I had expected.  Coincidentally, it was a class with a no laptop policy, but I swear that didn't contribute to my decision to drop.  Anyway, I decided to drop it, found an open spot in a class I hadn't been able to get into during the lottery, and tried to switch out.  

BUT: apparently that class conflicted with my P.R. section.  
BUT: I realized if I switched sections of P.R., all time conflicts would be resolved.  
BUT: Apparently the makers of LawReg are fans of the American League as the system doesn't provide any way to make a double switch (which, by the way would be a great name for an NL-centric blog).  
SO: I had to add/drop my original class for the other P.R. section and then add/drop my old P.R. section for the class I wanted.  
BUT: The open spot in the class I wanted was reserved for peeps on the waitlist and so I couldn't enroll.  I found myself with spot four on the WL.  
EVEN WORSE: I couldn't switch back to my original schedule b/c all of the spots in my former class were also reserved for peeps on the waitlist.  
RESULT: I was kind of screwed.  I managed to scramble my way into another class with some open spots so I'd have the mandatory 12 credits in case I couldn't get in off the waitlist.

I eventually lucked out though.  After two days on the waitlist enough spots opened up and I got the class I wanted.  So while it was a scary couple of days, LawReg 2.0 came through for me in the end.

So, some quick rants/raves regarding the current version of LawReg:
  • Rant: It's only accessible from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Rave: The waitlist system is a lot better than last year's free-for-all for open spots.
  • Rave: While I'm not sure why it took until this year to include it (the system at teh UG had it way back in freshman year), the add/drop feature is much appreciated.
  • Rant: Since there's no way to make a double switch, there's still the possibility of being blocked out of the classes you started with when you try to switch classes.
  • Rant: The lottery system is way too drawn out and should not take a full month to complete.
  • Rant: Having to sign up for both semesters at the same time makes it difficult to get the class you want and satisfy prerequisites.  
  • Rant: The capacity for certain classes is much lower than the actual number of seats in the classrooms.  Why?  Especially for more popular classes, the school should open classes up to allow as many students to take each class as possible
Previous Coverage:

Got a LawReg nightmare/fairy tale of your own?  Want to just rant/rave about this year's version of the system?  Write it up in the comments or e-mail it to thenotoriousFFJ@gmail.com.

In Re Professors Who Don't Allow Computers In Classes


Let's be frank. 

Almost nothing will get us out of a class more quickly than a professor who decides not to allow computers in class.   And we think that there are very few other ways in which a professor can more quickly and severely inconvenience his students and impede their educational experience than by saying - on the first day, no less, with no warning in the course description! -  that computers are verboten. 

There are several independent reasons for this conclusion, outlined briefly below:

1) COMPUTERS IN CLASS ARE AN EXTREMELY VALUABLE NOTE-TAKING, ORGANIZATIONAL, AND OUTLINING TOOL

In order to be successful in law school, you have to be able to absorb a large wealth of information extremely quickly.  While it's true - as everyone says - that being successful involves a composite understanding of the "big-picture", it also involves understanding the nuances in cases and statutes, in being able to distinguish conflicting precedents, in being able internalize dueling rationales of opinions, and even being able to parse a holding's language to the point that the understanding of a single word can make the difference between true insight into an opinion's significance and merely coming away with a wikipedia-esque  summary.  

There's no better tool to do this than a computer.  Professors in class talk a mile-a-minute, and it can be difficult during the lecture and even immediately afterwards to get down what's most important.  For students that choose to, using a computer allows them to take down  much more information. 

And, lest you think that not all the information that a student can take down isn't important and/or useful on a final exam, we would strongly disagree.  We had the pleasure of taking a course with Professor Caleb Nelson, and can safely say that the man said very little that wasn't significant to some degree, insightful to some greater understanding, or key to internalizing the main aspects of the subject.  Even with a computer, it was impossible to get it all down - but that said, having a computer was invaluable.  Like in many other courses, not having it would have been a serious - almost insurmountable - handicap to understanding the material.

Doubtless, some students will always prefer to take notes by hand, and nobody is foreclosing that option.  But taking notes on computer means that students - especially those who have organizational difficulties or poor/slow handwriting (like us) -  have a chance to record and lter analyze and parse the information in a way that is fast and efficient.

Not at all coincidentally, it is recommended (by PAs and everyone else) that students use a computer to organize and condense their notes into an outline.  What would be the point if students were first required to transfer their notes - likely less detailed than they otherwise would be - from a paper notebook to electronic form first.  In fairness, one student suggested to us that this helped him review - but again, no one is foreclosing that option.  We're merely saying that law students are busy enough and there's no need for Professors to impose an extra-step in the already laborious process of preparing for exams.

Finally, the exams themselves are taking on a computer. Since the major method of evaluation is done - almost without exception - electronically, students should be allowed to prepare using a computer as well - and that includes having a computer in class to take notes, as class attendance and participation (i.e. paying attendance) is one of the most important aspects of preparing for exams.

2) HAVING THE INTERNET IN CLASS CAN ENHANCE STUDENT PARTICIPATION AND UNDERSTANDING

Being able to use the internet is extremely useful for a student.  In Property, when we were discussing the landmark case of Penn Central v. New York, we - being upstaters and not knowledgeable of what happens on the island - were able to google to the history of Penn Station and thereby understand the posture of the case and the Professor's lecture a little bit better (also if you laughed at the pun, you *are* a gunner).   In Civil Procedure, it helped a LOT to have a searchable version of the FRCP at our fingertips, and the same is true of Ks and the UCC.  And that's to say nothing of the benefits of having Lexis and Westlaw at our finger tips in class (Hey - we *BIKE* to school - sometimes we don't feel like shlepping a 13 pound, 150 dollar piece of some professor's retirement fund 4 miles everyday, OK?).

On that note, I'll address the issue people who surf the internet  / play games / whatever during class:  Who cares?  If they want to use their hard-earned tuition money to surf the internet, that's their business - if you think this will affect what they get out of the class than you should be thankful because it means they'll find themselves at a lower spot on the curve (Our problem with curved grading will have to be saved for another time).  And if you're "distracted" by all this - kindly ask them to stop, or to move to the back row, or move yourself.  Don't insist that the professor take away a valuable resource that most are using responsibly and intelligently because of your hang-ups. 

3) UVA REQUIRES STUDENTS TO OWN COMPUTERS - WHAT IS THE LOGIC IN DOING SO IF STUDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE THEM TO TAKE NOTES?

We are not at all sure. UVA sells computer "bundles" at high rates, and then allows its professors to ban the use of computers in school?  So we're supposed to shell out another 2 grand - a lot of which doubtless goes to the universities tech-support people - for an expensive piece of equipment that we are not allowed to use?  

4) THE DECISION OF WHETHER OR NOT TO ALLOW COMPUTERS IN CLASS SHOULD BE MADE BY STUDENTS

Why?  Because we're paying for it. Law professors have a pretty sweet gig - a competitive job that a lot of people want with great hours, great salary, and great benefits.  Law students pay annually significantly more than the average American makes in a year, finding themselves in a virtual indentured servitude for years if not decades after the fact, to come to law school.  Throw on top of that the outrageous tuition increases of the this year, and I can see no reason why it should be up to the professors alone to abolish our use of computers by fiat.  At very least a vote should be held.  To have a Professor strip the students of an extremely valuable and heretofore oft-relied upon study tool is antithetical to the democratic principles of UVA. 

We can anticipate the counter-argument here - since when has the way a class been run ever been a democracy?  Point is that IT SHOULD BE, especially with the fortunes we're shelling out to be here. We could have gone to other law schools, and if UVA Profs continue down this no-computer road, you can bet that word will get out and that prospective students will avoid it like the plague - especially if someone tells them how truly useful if not necessary having a computer in class is (it will be interesting to see what happens with UChicago in this area; as they recently banned internet use in class).

NB: We heard of one professor holding a vote between "No Computers" and "Can Use Computers But Pledge Not To Use the Internet".  While this is better than nothing, we feel that the internet - in class - can be a valuable learning tool, supra. Nonetheless we congratulate this Professor on giving the students some choice 

5) CONCLUSION 

To us, there are few justifiable reasons to disallow computers in class, especially by Professor fiat - and those reasons that there are seem to be readily outweighed by the litany of uses a computer has in the classroom, and what we see as a truism that the decision should lie in the hands of the students. 

If anyone wants to take the opposite perspective - that Professor's *should* be allowed to outlaw the use ofcomputers in their classes - or maybe that the school should outlaw computers altogether - let us know.  Apologies for the typos. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OGI Post #8: OPEN THREAD: OGI CALLBACKS

(Editor's note #2 - 8/29 6.00 PM: A couple people have asked us about Covington and Burling (NY and DC), who use writing samples and references to determine a callback. SEE BELOW )

(Editors' note: We'll sticky this post, and update it often over the next couple days - keep checking back! - recent additions in bold)
Ok, kids, now that the first round of interviews are over, everyone's anxiously watching their cellphones and inboxes as the callbacks start trickling in. While career services mantains that many firms will wait two to three weeks before making decisions, many firms make at least some of their callbacks within a couple of days of the screening interviews.

So, which firms have started sending out callbacks? Let's get a list going. Post firms you've heard back from in the comments or if you want to stay anonymous e-mail your list to thenotoriousFFJ@gmail.com. Be sure to specify which office made the callback.


Firms (allegedly) making callbacks:


Akin Gump (NY, DC)
Allen and Overy (London)

Alston & Bird (NY, Dallas)
Arnall Golden Gregory (ATL)
Baker Hostetler (Cleveland)
Bingham McCutchen (NY, Boston)
Bingham (NY)

Beveridge and Diamond (DC)
Boies Schiller (NY)
Brown Rudnick
Bryan Cave (DC, St. Louis)
Carrington Coleman (Dallas)
Clifford Chance (NY)
Cravath (NY)
Cooley Godward (Palo Alto, SF, Boston)
Crowell Morning (DC)
Covington and Burling (DC)
Debevoise (NY, DC)
Dechert
Dewey and LeBeouff (NY)
Dorsey & Whitney (Seattle)
Faegre Benson (Denver, Minneapolis)
Foley (Boston)
Fried Frank (NY, DC, SF, LA)
Gibson Dunn (NY, DC, Dallas)
Harter Secrest Emery (Rochester)
Haynes & Boone (Dallas 9/2)
Hogan & Hartson (NY, DC)
Holland and Knight (Denver)
Hunton Williams (DC)
JonesDay (DC, SF, Cleveland, ATL, TX, NY, Chicago) Keller & Heckman (DC)
King and Spalding (ATL, DC, TX)
KL Gates (Pittsburgh, Seattle)
Kramer Levin (NY)
Latham (NY, DC, LA, TX, SF, Chicago)
Loper and Tuesch (St. Louis)
Miles and Stockbridge
Mintz Levin (Boston)
McDermitt (DC)
Morgan Lewis (Philly, NY, DC, SF)
Morrison Forrester (NY, SF)
Nutter (Boston)
O'Melveny (DC, LA)
Orrick (NY, DC)
Perkins Coie (Seattle)

Pillsbury Winthrop (DC, NYC, Chicago)
Ropes Gray (NY, DC, Boston)
Sedgewick (SF)
Shearman & Sterling (NY)
Sheppard Mulin (SF)
Sidley Austin
Simpson (DC, NY)
Skadden (NY, LA, DC, Chicago)
Stroock (NY)
Sullivan & Cromwell (NY)
Sutherland (DC)
Venable (DC)
Vinson & Elkins (Houston, Dallas)
Vorys (Columbus)
Wiley Rein (DC)
Williams & Connelly (DC)
Willkie (NY, DC)
Wilmer Hale (Boston)
WilmerHale (DC)
Wilson Sonsini

Somebody Give Me A Contracts Book

And pull up Williams v. Walker Thomas because this has *got* to be unconsciable.

Comcast. I can't believe it. Their "triple play" is a scam - they sucker you in with $33/month cable only to *nearly double it* after being enrolled for a year. Because I'm pretty sure there's "gross disparity" in bargaining power here or whatever under UCC 2-203 and we also feel that we were forced into it because Comcast is the only game in town for TVs and if we don't have cable who is going to watch the Redskins play. And what about public policy - do we really want to live in a country where the man can just arbitrarily raise your cable bill from $33 to $53?

OK so we didn't exactly nail K's, but look it up you crazy 1Ls 121 U.S. App. D.C. 315, we're pretty sure we could get this past summary judgment and it'd be so worth it.


Previous coverage:
Unconscionability

Monday, August 25, 2008

Overheard in Slaughter

Biglaw associates talking about how awesome the Wire is. N I C E.

Previous Coverage:
Criminal Procedure Exam: The Checklist

Sunday, August 24, 2008

1LS: Having Trouble With LRW?


Aren't those group assignments annoying? Don't you wish that there were a quicker way?

Actually, there is. And soon-to-be Vice Preisdent Joe Biden found it (link to a 1987 NYT article):

A law school faculty report, dated Dec. 1, 1965, . . . concluded that Mr. Biden had ''used five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribution'' and that he ought to be failed in the legal methods course for which he had submitted the 15-page paper.

The plagiarized article, ''Tortious Acts as a Basis for Jurisdiction in Products Liability Cases,'' was published in the Fordham Law Review of May 1965. Mr. Biden drew large chunks of heavy legal prose directly from it, including such sentences as: ''The trend of judicial opinion in various jurisdictions has been that the breach of an implied warranty of fitness is actionable without privity, because it is a tortious wrong upon which suit may be brought by a non-contracting party.'' Just One Footnote.

Seriously, we're just kidding - while this sort of thing might fly at Syracuse, or even at Harvard, it won't here, and you'll be out of here so fast you won't even have time to collect your softball mitt and popped-collar-polo. But see:

In a letter defending himself, dated Nov. 30, 1965, Mr. Biden pleaded with the faculty not to dismiss him from the school.

Wha? Come on man. Well at least he learned his lesson and never plagarized anything again . .

Who says we ain't fair and balanced? Seriously, who?

Also, on a related note, when this breaks (again) how much will the public "get" it? Not defending Biden, but they might understand just what a pain legal writing is (the same way they don't get that being law review pres is . . . kind of a big deal).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

OCI Post #7: On Edge, and Questions

Tom Brady didn't get an immediate call-back either

People grown claws and not just the usual suspects (you know who you are).   Dressing up might be fun (not for us) and going to swanky receptions is great (Bang, so far, has made the best Gin and Tonic . . .) but the maybe it's the waiting for the "call-back-call" that has turned us all into nervous wrecks.  So on that note - we'll respond to some real and imaginary reader questions: 

1) ****** WILL YOU PLEASE POST A LIST OF FIRMS THAT HAVE ALREADY TOLD PEOPLE WHO IS GETTING A CALLBACK?  TY TY XOXO. 

What makes you think that we even have that kind of information - sure, we've got conjecture and hearsay - but not much else - anyway we know of a few but our list is incomplete so throwing it up wouldn't do too much good.   Besides, such a list might be misleading (infra.)  So do what law students do best and pick that up from the gossip. Or, find them law review folk and ask who's hit them up if you really want to know.

2) IF I HAVEN'T HEARD BACK FROM FIRM X LLP AND A BUNCH OF OTHER PEOPLE DID, IS IT A LOST CAUSE AT THIS POINT?

Not at all.  The early callbacks are basically going out to the Kobe's and Lebron's  - the superstars, as it were - but you still gotta fill out the entire bench.  Rest assured that (on information and belief) most people don't have many or any callbacks at this point - and - imagine that - will still have jobs this summer.  Remember that Tom Brady was picked something like 200th overall and in the sixth round - and that patience is a virtue.  

If that's not enough, check the career cervices take (from lawweb) - we won't post it on here because it's protected by the login screen.  But it pretty much confirms that most firms inform candidates of their callbacks sometime in September.  

3) WHAT FIRMS HAVE GIVEN OUT THE BEST SWAG SO FAR?

Not sure.  We heard that Wachtell is giving out yachts to OGI candidates who get a callback. But it also doesn't seem like they are participating in OGI. [We had a line here about one of the "conservative" firms letting its candidates club baby seals at the recruitment dinner, but we let it go - you know we only kid cause we love]. 

4)  GUYS HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE WALK TO DARDEN WEST AS THEIR SHOES ARE NOT NEARLY AS UNCOMFORTABLE AS THOSE THAT GIRLS WEAR!

This isn't really a question but we'll answer it anyway.  While it's true that girls generally have to wear more uncomfortable shoes, we've seen a lot of females slip into flip-flops to make the 長征 and then switch back into to their heels.  We assure everyones them flip-flops are an order of magnitude more uncomfortable than our bostonians.  But the flip-flop option just isn't available for dudes, so we're gonna have to say the guys win this one.  On a related note, we concede that jamming a heel in a crack on either the bricks at Darden or the downtown mall would be majorly unpleasant.

5) HOW DO I HANDLE SPILLING COFFEE ON MYSELF AT THE HOSPITALITY SUITE?

There is only one solution to this: you must grab another cup of coffee, head to the appropriate bathroom, and drench your shirt/blouse in it.  This will turn your boring all-white ensemble into an exciting light brown affair.  

Bonus points if you do this while wearing SAID shirt or in front of your interviewer.

Previous OGI coverage:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Overheard / Tired of Small Talk

1L:  There's a lot of work, but it's really interesting!   

That will change - er, at least half of it will. 

Also overheard:

Different 1L:  I never really thought about why we punished people, but now that I think about all those dead babies cases . . . it's a really interesting question, you know?

Yea, we had Professor Harmon too. 

In other news, we're officially tired of small talk. Let's talk something substantive - go ahead, Mr. Interviewer - ask us *anything* bout the law - we won't know the answer but like any gunner worth his salt will be able to tell you what rule or standard *should* be.  Who's with me?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

OGI Post #6: Pre-Screen? More Like Pre-Ding . . .


Anybody get an interview where the the guy (or lady as it were) will just lean forward, put his hands together, and ask "Soooo, what can I tell you about [the firm]?"  You ask a few well-prepared questions - not any of the "so, do you guys, do, uh, litigashun?" - but real questions about the firm - the not-on-the-website-stuff that Polly Lawson loves (see the OGI podcast).  Anyway, you get an answer, and then again, "Soooo what can I can tell you about [the firm]?" and you ask another and the process starts to repeats.  After 10 minutes - 12 at most - you've pretty much asked all your questions and you're waiting for them to ask something about YOU and you want to be like "Sooo - what do you want to know about me?" - but of course you don't SAY that and, hmmm - strange because you think you are a VERY interesting topic of conversation.  So we wonder how those sorts of interviews play if you actually do have really intresting / intelligent / important questions, but they don't have any for you?   . . . Call back?

Come on - we want to talk about *us*.  (also, see how clunky it is to write in first person plural?  Shouda taken LEEWS).

On an unrelated note, the new 1Ls are really nice - they've been holding doors open and even complementing us on our shabby appearance.  Kudos.  Another unrelated note, just because we (and there are actually multiple people running this thing so if you think you know who we are or are not you are probably partially right at best) get to throw stuff up on the blog that we have already said in real life - blogging rules, so stop complaining about that, mmkay?

Finally, good luck on the interviews everyone.  If you are an upper classman DON'T FORGET TO BUY YOUR BOOKS ASAP, as the used ones go fast.

Previous OGI coverage:

PSA: Candy In the Library

There is candy - the GOOD type of candy - on the second floor of the library.  Hurry before the 1-Ls eat it all. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

100 Sketch Points

Open Season On 1Ls

Honesty IS the best policy - and ulterior motives = violation of the honor code.

Don't Forget . . .

PILA Booksale at 12-5 (get dem commercial outlines so you don't have to pay extra at the store) EDIT: THIS IS FOR 1-Ls ONLY, OUR BAD.

OGI meeting (for 2Ls) at 3.

Rainmaking at the Emmet Courts After the meeting (4.30)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

OGI Post #5: Firm Receptions


* On the subject of firm receptions for OGI, here's some advice from our favorite 3L contributor.

Receptions are pretty sweet, but you got to play it cool. Don't get hammered, don't dress like a slob, don't be that guy, and don't hit on any actual lawyers, or even classmates. Don't ask "What separates your law firm from every other $160k-per-year sweatshop?", or, at least, not in those terms. Be sure not to ask about layoffs, either - it's those layoffs that are paying for your drink and seafood-filled-thing! Your best bet is to:


1) Grab a drink and a snack.
2) Tell partner/associate how much you like law school and how you love teh law.
3) Ask said partner about the firm. Avoid stuff that's available on the internet and questions about "lifestyle"
4) ???
5) Profit

In all seriousness, receptions are great opporunity to meet with attorneys and get a better sense of what the firm is actually "like", and if you're interested in working at the firm you should make a real effort to go unless it's Shabat or something. Yes, even if you already have/will interview with the firm. Just be on your best behavior because you reppin' UVA, son.


Previous coverage:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

OGI Post #4: Random Advice Culled From Other People on the WWW

We're out for the next week or so, but there might be updates from another source.

In the mean time, random internet surfing as brought up the following threads.

ATL: A couple open threads on OGI.  A few people there are [claiming to be] hiring partners. This might be useful:

As someone who does OCIs for a top-30 firm, I can tell you that the following won't guarantee a callback, but will substantially increase your chances:

1. Practice your basic talking points - you don't have to have everything in a canned, ready to go speech, but you should be ready to give a succinct 30 second answer to the 8 or 9 obvious questions (e.g., why are you interested in our city? what practice groups are you interested in? what interests you about our firm?) There are few things more brutal for an OCI than when a basic question like this gets fumbled. An important part of this is integrating an open-ended question (in your response) that keeps the conversation going. So easy to do, yet a surprisingly large number of people don't do it. Example: I'm interested in coming to DC because of X and Y. What brought you to DC?

2. Do your homework - if you have 15 OCIs in the space of a week (3 per day), you should plan to set aside at least 4 or 5 hours for preparation. You don't need to be capable of writing an essay on the firm in question, but you should have a basic understanding of their key practice areas, recent high-profile matters, and who you're interviewing with. It takes suprisingly little time to accomplish this. When you think about the arc of a legal career, the networks, etc., and the key role that your first 3 or 4 years plays in that progression, the OCI process is actually one of the key points in your career, and you should treat it as such.

3. Come prepared and come early. First impressions are exactly that. All of the cliches are true. Simple things such as having an extra copy of your resume can make a big impression. Back when I was interviewing, I met with a lawyer from a big NY firm who spilled coffee all over his copy of my resume and the simple act of me giving him a clean copy on the spot made a nice impression. This rule is also defensive in a sense - if you're not ready for contingencies like that, it leaves a very poor impression.

4. Don't shy away from talking about social things, as long as they are (a) not controversial and (b) truthful. If you were selected for an OCI, it probably means that you already satisfy the firm's requirements for grades and resume and that the OCI is focused primarily on whether you are normal, a good fit for the firm, etc. Some of the best OCIs I did while in law school or as an interviewer were the ones where we barely discussed the law at all.

5. Don't draw too many inferences from who is interviewing you - some firms send senior partners, some send junior associates. The one thing that you should assume is that whoever the firm sent is trusted and respected by the firm and is assessed by the firm as a good judge of character.

6. Memorize the name of the interviewer - do whatever you need to do to get the interviewer's name down cold, but you need to do whatever is necessary to lock this down. THERE IS ALMOST NOTHING THAT WILL KILL YOU QUICKER THAN FUCKING UP THE INTERVIEWER'S NAME.

7.
Be proud of your school and enjoy your time as a law student [emphasis added] - the odds are overwhelming that the people who interview you fondly remember their law school days and would pay a huge sum of money to switch places with you so they could relive them. Its not that working in a firm isn't fun, its just that law school was (for most people) an awesome time in their lives.

That's all well and good - but with if interviewers name is wicked hard to pronounce?  Better to just end with, "Thank you for the interview, Sir (or Madam)!" And I guess that puts a spear in our "we-hate-law-school-strategy."   There's some more wheat (and a lot of chaff) in the original thread, but I won't repost it here. 

The hiring partner blog also has some tips.  In addition to the above, he tells us not to screw it up, because getting a job will be tough especially in this economy.  That means:

-- do not focus on work/life balance issues in an interview...you can get into those after you have an offer.

Anyway, we have faith in UVA's employment statistics, and you should too.  That said, if this summer don't pan out at a firm, we'll offer ourself to handle Favre's contract disputes. 

Previous coverage:

He's Just a Big Kid Out There . . .


And now he's going to New Jersey B.   Too bad the Jets don't play the Packers.  On the plus side, they face off against the Patriots in week two.  Word on the street is that Green Bay didn't want to trade him to an NFC team (like the Vikings or front-running Buccaneers), because any head-to-head play would be too much for the Cheeseheads to bear.  

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Inflating Tires > Offshore Drilling

At least in terms of the overall effect on gas economy. Strange, but true - from the (relatively conservative) Time Magazine:

But who's really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right.

This being the case, why is it that John McCain's campaign has started a ridiculous maneuver whereby if you give his campaign $25 dollars or more, they will send you a "free" tire-pressure-gauge. It's the sort of thing that panders to people who 1) have $25 and 2) are dumb:

Americans across the country are feeling the effects of high gasoline prices. John McCain believes that we need offshore oil drilling and we need it now. Senator Obama opposes offshore drilling – calling it a “gimmick.” Literally, Senator Obama’s solution to high gasoline prices is to tell Americans to make sure their tires are inflated.

Well, let’s have some fun and put Senator Obama’s “tire gauge” energy policy to the test. With an immediate donation of $25 or more, the McCain campaign will send you an exclusive “Obama Energy Plan” tire pressure gauge.

Make no mistake, off-shore drilling is a "gimmick" and its effects, if any, will be minimal Put another way, off-shore drilling will not change the situation at the pump. Moreover the whole bit - the idea that all Obama wants to do is have people properly inflate their tires and that is his entire energy proposal - is a sham insofar as it clutters Obama's real position - which includes heavy investment into the research, development, and implementation of alternative energy as well as (in fact!) some limited measure of expanded drilling, in a way that actually makes sense and isn't presented as a solution that is radically disproportionate from what its real effect would be.

Talk about the low road express.

Obama's Energy Plan Factsheet
(.pdf)

Previous Coverage
Freidman on Gas
Finding a New Way Home

Monday, August 04, 2008

Re-cess-sion - Presidential Campaign Redux

Okay. Some off-the-cuff thoughts.

So we all know the economy is in the tubes. We covered earlier what that might mean for lawyers, and to see how big-law is being affected, one need look no further than ATL's coverage. And there's been the endless litany of press coverage. But what about the Presidential campaign.

Talking earlier about the implications of the now full-blown recession for the campaign trail - indicating that it *should*, in theory, be both the critical issue and provide a huge boost for Barack Obama, seeing as John McCain's plan for the economy sits somewhere between non-existent and non-nonsensical.

Paul Krugman, in his column today, examined this:

Incidentally, it’s surprising that the lousy economy hasn’t yet had more impact on the campaign. Mr. McCain essentially proposes continuing the policies of a president whose approval rating on economics is only 20 percent. So why isn’t Mr. Obama further ahead in the polls?

One answer may be that Mr. Obama, perhaps inhibited by his desire to transcend partisanship (and avoid praising the last Democratic president?), has been surprisingly diffident about attacking the Bush economic record. An illustration: if you go to the official Obama Web site and click on the economic issues page, what you see first isn’t a call for change — what you see is a long quote from the candidate extolling the wonders of the free market, which could just as easily have come from a speech by President Bush.

The "free market" is nothing more than a massive joke on feeble-minded libertarians and free market ideologues when it comes to the current recession. Consider a brief, simplified version of the mortgage-backed security crisis that partially explains the current fix. Companies took advantage of lax/non-existent regulations in the housing industry to get the sub-prime ball rolling. If the regulations ("restrictions on private ordering" if you will) were stricter, the predatory sub-primers don't get off the ground, period.

Anyway, the companies make this risky investment and enjoy the profits for a while, until the whole thing explodes, and they lose all their money - - - so the system works - - - except that it doesn't, really, because these companies - "quasi public" insitutitions as Krugman puts it - get bailed out by the Federal government, kind of like what happened with the savings and loan industry. Point: In this 21st century situation, there is no option of a "free market" economy (unless your suggesting that Bear Sterns / Freddie Mac/ Fannie Mae shouldn't get the bailout), there's only the option of regulating things beforehand or after they goto shit. All Obama needs to do is point out how the Bush administration - (with whom McCain has virtually identical views on the economy) encourage the lax regulation that helped start this mess in the first place. But, (see above) he doesn't really.

We get the feeling that what's happened is that a lot of this talk is getting obfuscated by McCain's promise to be a true fiscal conservative. Balderdash. A Republican preaching "fiscally conservativism" is like a street whore preaching abstinence (which R's also wrong-headedly advocate). Somehow, everyone has forgotten how this three-trillion-dollar war which Bush and McCain started took the Clinton surplus and turned it into a huge deficit.

Obama needs to dig in on this issue. In addition to higher taxes on the wealthy to fund a rebuilding of our national infrastructure, he needs to make tighter economic regulation of . When the debates come, it's time to ridicule McCain's (lack of) knowledge of economics (and numerous other subjects, such as foreign policy and computers).

Previous coverage:

Oh Noes! A Recession, Or, A Time for Someone Who "Doesn't Understand" Economics?
The Recession and You (Law Weekly)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

OGI Post #3: Fashion Observations (Contributor)

NB: Anonymous contributor(s) to this post - we don't know anything about fashion and prefer our under-armor and new balances, thanks.


We briefly covered some good fashion choices for OGI a few months ago, but limited discussion of the matter to footwear.  Today, we delve into the subject in some more detail with some do's and do not do's of the male sartorial for OGI week.  We (collective, editorial) don't know anything about female fashion, but if someone wants to pick up that ball and run with it (difficult given the shoes you have to wear) let us know, and we'll make it happen.

Now, without further ado, in a rough order of importance.

1) DO wear a decent belt.

I can't stress how awful it looks when I sa
w someone walking around grounds last year in a nice suit, tie, shoes, etc. and NO belt. The belt, somewhat literally, is holding your entire outfit together.  Obvious you're going to look just awful without one.  But for the 99.7% of people who already know that, here's something else to consider: chances are your belt is going to be as dark or darker than the rest of outfit (shoes, shirt), so it's going to "stand out" in the sense that no matter with whom you speak - especially during that handshake moment - your belt is going to get a glance.  

Two more points here.  First, you don't have to break the bank and get something super-flashy - just a nice belt that is the same size as your pants, and doesn't show any visible signs of tear will be fine.

Second, please, please, make sure your belt matches your shoes.  This may be the number one fashion-faux-pas; if you wear a black belt with brown shoes this again just lo
oks awful and is quite frankly on the same level of not wearing a belt in the first place!  It's not hard; brown shoes go with a brown belt, black shoes go with a black belt. We're also told that it's never a bad idea to make your watch strap match your belt/shoes. 

2) DO NOT DO use as OGIs as an opportunity to be avant-garde. 

You want to stand out, but you need to stand out by dressing conservatively and intelligently.  There is only one way do this: wearing a nice suit.  Anything else is incorrect. 

That said, we think a little variation is OK.  A light grey suit instead of the usual charcoal is on the boundary, but for people who can pull it off . . .  props. Similarly, while the white shirt is the default, other colors - conservative and matching (see below) can work just as well. 

On that note, let's jump back to shoes and belt again.  If you have black or near-black suit, it is *very* risky to wear anything but a black belt and black shoes with said suit.  While it might be possible to "pull-off" certain shades (insert variations of red-brown-etc here), it's a bit iffy (see right) and if you blow it you'll leave the nice man from Calwalader's Real Estate division wondering why, if you figured out how to get an A on your Torts exam, can you not figure out how to dress yourself? 

Finally we saw someone wear gym-socks with a suit once.  Please do not do this as it embarrasses us all. 

3) DO get a suit that actually fits you.

There's a myth that you need to spend a lot of 
money on a suit to make it look nice.  The veracity of this rumor, of course, depends on what you mean as a "lot".  (Hey, what's another $3-large between friends?)  You want to look professional, and you can do that quite nicely with an off-the-rack affair from Men's Warehouse for well under $400 and save the Brooks Brothers for . . . whenever you feel like spending that much money on clothes, we guess.

The key here is to get it adjusted so that it actually fits you.  This is really critical, especially if you've put on some weight since law school started (We know we have - USA! USA! USA!).  Take it back to get adjusted again.  Aside from the belt/shoes issues mentioned above, there's not much more awkward than watching someone walk around in a suit doesn't quite fit them.

While we're on the subject of suits, remember not to over-dry-clean; if you followed the advice above and got the Men's Warehouse-price-line type, then over-dry-cleaning will KILL your suit.  Better just get it pressed when necessary.  

4) DO Match

We're talking tie/suit/shirt combos here people.   Solid white shirts are a no-brainer, as most ties can go with white.  If you wear a different color shirt (permissible and even desirable if done right in our opinion), be SURE that your tie matches.  As mentioned above this is not a time to be - errm - ironical.  If you're not sure if something matches, it probably don't.  Or, in the alternative, make friends with a girl and ask her.  They usually have a good grip on thse things. 

5) DO NOT DO Wear Dirty Clothes

If you pick up a stain on someone's shirt, chances are other people will to - including your interviewer.  What to do hear: get a (white, for matching ease above) shirt washed and pressed and a nice tie to boot and keep it on a hanger in your locker.  That way, when the gunner with the huge back-pack knocks into at the line at Greenberries, you'll be prepared. 

Make sure all your shirts that you wear are pressed.  Don't over-starch --- telling the people at Millmont cleaners that you want *light* starch is usually the best bet. 

6) DO NOT DO Wear Your Backpack to the Interview

As a general rule, backpacks and suits do
not go together, especially the bulky Swiss / Northface / Targus apparatuses that everyone uses in law school these days.  If you bring it to school, ditch it in your locker or somewhere else.  Ideally, you should just show up with a portfolio (which should contain everything you need for the interview: writing sample, references, transcript, extra resumes, as well as a pad of paper and pen for taking notes).  Should you need more, get a brief case.  Even the dealies that Westlaw gives out are far better than a backpack. 

There's other obvious stuff (haircut, shaving, teeth-brushing), but we're not going to insult anyone's intelligence by getting into it.  Let us know if there's anything super important that needs to be added.

Previous coverage:


Friday, August 01, 2008

Big Changes

(EDIT 8/2): We're keeping the former title. We also are bringing on another writer from the UVA Law blogosphere who will introduce himself shortly. Finally, expect a small (but not total) slowdown in the next two weeks as we will be traveling.


Change is good.


* The address of this blog is now: http://www.uvalawblog.com/

* The format has changed and now includes the ridiculous blogger heading. Suggestions for improvement welcome.

* The content will remain the same, which is to say . . . mediocre at best.