Monday, October 20, 2008

FFJ: How Interviewing for Big Law is Just Like Dating

From FFJ:

I do... want to bill 2400 hours a year for you!

I do... want to bill 2400 hours a year for you!

The parellels between the 2L interviewing process and dating are so obvious and many that it’s probably not worth pointing out. But since the majority of this audience is either not in law school and thus has no idea what the process is like or a typical law student and thus has no idea what dating is like, I’ll make the comparisons for y’all.

1. Picking Your Potential Mates/Firms:

I guess to be more specific, interviewing is like online dating. To pick the firms you’re going to interview with/date, you have to go online and pick them out of a list of seemingly identical firms. Unfortunately, UVa doesn’t provide some search method to help you match interests.

(In the ideal world, CASE would go like this: Where do you want your firm/date to live? What specialties/interests do you want your firm/date to provide/have? What is your ideal firm’s/date’s size/size?)

Anyway, after you pick who you want to interview/date with, you wait to hear back from your firm/date to find out if they want to interview/date you. If they don’t want to date/interview you, you’ll never talk to them again and avoid eye contact if you ever bump into eachother/googlebomb the firm’s good name on internet message boards.

But, if your firm/date wants to meet you, then teh awkward first date/OGI is on!

2. The First Date/OGI

If you were a Supreme Court Justice which justice would you be?

Firm #1: If you were a Supreme Court Justice which justice would you be?

So, OGI is like a first date (except your date/firm is seeing 29 other dates/annoying law students that day too). You guys set up a time at a fairly neutral place. You make sure you get there a little early. The first few moments when you meet are a little awkward but after an exchange of pleasantries, the date/interview is on. The interviewee and student talk about each other: their interests, specialties, law school experience, etc. Basically, you try to just keep talking the whole time to make sure things don’t get awkward. If your firm/date doesn’t care for you, it’ll become apparent quickly as they shift the topic away from you and talk solely about themselves. At the end of the date/interview, if things seemed to go well, you say your goodbyes and hope they call you back in a couple of days.

3. Waiting for the Callback

So, I guess to make this scenario work, we have to imagine that the law student always plays the role of the female and the firm the male because the student can’t call the firm back, but rather, must wait for the firm to call her back to express its interest in another date (we could also keep this metaphor going and mention how when things work out well, the firm’s screwing the law student over during her time as an associate, but we won’t). Often, a firm with whom your first date went grandly won’t call you back, leaving you feeling a bit empty and sad inside. But don’t get too down on yourself, no matter how well things seemed to go, there’ll always be a few dates/firms that inexplicably got away.

But, if your date/firm liked you and called back, then you get to have a second date…AT THEIR PLACE!!

4. The Second Date

Now, let me preface this by saying the interviewing process doesn’t exactly follow the dating process. It’s been my experience that the girl comes back to your place after the first date and always calls you back. I’m sure that’s been all of your experiences too, so just play along and act as if you don’t always take the girl home at the end of the first date (I’m sure that’s really difficult for you law nerds).

Anyway, second date/interview is a big deal. If things go well, you can probably turn this into a longer-term deal. So you get to know a little more about eachother. Maybe the firm/date sees some of your flaws which they didn’t notice during that short first date. Often, the second date/interview will include a dinner/dinner where the date/firm can judge you on your eating habits/eating habits. Keeping with our girl = law students (and let’s be honest, even the dudes are pretty feminine at LS, author excepted) and boy = firm metaphor, the firm/guy pays for the meal.

But, if all goes well and you chew your food w/ your mouth closed, you’ll probably hear back from the firm/date who’ll ask for a longer-term relationship with ya!

5. Receiving the Offer/Facebook Relationship Status Change Request

Looks Like Somebody got an Offer!

Looks Like Somebody got an Offer!

So, after the second date, you have a pretty good idea how things went and whether your date/firm is going to ever want to talk to you again. If they like ya, they’ll offer you a job/request to list themself as in a relationship with you on facebook. If they don’t like you, they’ll awkardly send you a letter in a couple of weeks/never call you again (or so I hear, since no woman has ever desired to reject me).

As has been my experience in dating, often you’ll have multiple firms/girls pining over you. It can be tough choosing between a handful of women/firms. Each one seems to have some great characteristics that you really like. Often, though, there are some tradeoffs you have to choose between (read: great ass v. seductive blue eyes/ great QoL v. great $$$, if only one could find both characteristics in one girl/firm!). Sometimes, as has been my experience in dating, girls/firms will let you hook up with/work for another girl/firm to help you make a decision about which one you like better. When you have this option, you should always take it!

6. The Early Relationship Bliss Period/Being a Summer Associate

So, when your relationship first begins, everything’s still new and exciting. You’re getting to know eachother, still trying to impress eachother (or as has been my case in dating, she’s still trying really hard to impress me while I w/o any effort am naturally charming and impressive…swoon!) and you probably really like eachother. Likewise, when you first go to work for a firm as a summer associate, everything’s new and exciting, the firm wines and dines you for 13 weeks, and you probably still like working. If the relationship/summer goes well, (again the firm plays the guy role), the firm/guy might ask the law student/date to work full-time/marry the firm/guy. Oh, and like half of marriages in the U.S., in a few years the shine wears off the realtionship/job and one party or the other fires/leaves/divorces the other. Swoon.


Anonymous said...

I personally like the analogy to fraternity rush, but this is solid too. Well done.

Anonymous said...

ever notice how the FFJ posts are relatively upbeat compared to Rule12(f)'s cyncism and such?

FFJ said...

Oh, sarcasm. I see what you're doing there.