BY TAYLOR DASHER
It’s that time of year. It’s interview season, and it worries me. The most prestigious firms are coming to campus to recruit the best and brightest, and somehow I’m supposed to land a job in this mess. I recently uploaded my resume to the OCI website, which didn’t help matters. In a fit of requisite paranoia, I imagined the resumes of my fellow students and felt like it was prom night at Beverly Hills 90210 and I was wearing Urkel’s pants with an old hooker for my date.
On a resume, you’re supposed to make past jobs and experiences sound stimulating and sexy, but obviously you wouldn’t have left for law school if they were. Luckily for me, I have neatly skirted this problem by having done absolutely no real work. The money wasn’t great, but the hours were unbeatable. Working as a server at a fast food restaurant in college is the closest I’ve had to a “real” job. I’m omitting it from my resume because I can’t find a way of making a job that required me to wear a paper hat, bow tie, and apron sound remotely respectable. So I’m forced to find ways to make the cush employment I got through my undergraduate university not sound like I was defrauding the state educational system.
My lack of experience also means I have conspicuous voids on my resume. I tried inserting cute pictures of puppies with big, floppy ears so that the potential interviewer would associate me with warm and fuzzy feelings. OCS, however, recommended that I try something more professional and less ridiculous after I resumed taking my medication.
I understand that a professional appearance is important. I know the resume will be a potential employer’s first impression of me, but I can’t find any way of making it particularly impressive. I’ve had one year of law school and one summer legal job, which is to say I’m as useful as a three-legged Chia pet. The sum of my legal powers is staring into Lexis for hours on end while accomplishing nothing except preventing drool from dripping onto the keyboard through strategic placement of my necktie. I feel I should put together a decent resume, but I have the suspicion that its true purpose (at least in my case) will be to serve as little more than an icebreaker. This is fine with me, but I prefer icebreakers where I don’t have to worry about spelling and justifying the margins. Perhaps next year we could play “Truth or Dare” and “Spin the Bottle” instead of sending out resumes.
But to be honest, I’m not too concerned about how I present myself on paper. I’m far too concerned about presenting myself as sane and studious in person, since that will be a stretch for me. Besides, the firms themselves aren’t wowing me with their paper presentations. Every firm will give you pamphlets about how different it is, and every firm is different in exactly the same way. Unlike those other firms, every firm has early responsibility, cutting-edge work, major high-profile clients, excellent opportunities, and fabulous relationships between associates and partners. I wonder if they don’t all have the same sniveling little prevaricator write their promotional materials. I also wonder if that unoriginal hack is nearing retirement, and if so, to whom I should address my cover letter. I think I could do an equally good job of making OCI sound like the Attack of the Clones.
Because all firms sound alike, I may as well have had a monkey bid on interviews for me. OCS has a criteria chart for you to assess what is most important to you in a firm. It’s cleanly laid out on paper that’s a calming shade of blue. I like it, but I’d like it better if it told me what firms matched what I wanted instead of referring me to a number of vague and conflicting resources. It’s like filling out a form for your ideal mail order bride and then receiving a generic list of everyone living in Siberia. You study the names to decide which ones have potential, but how can you tell if “Szchynychycha” is the name of a hot model or an alcoholic circus bear? I also tried to use American Lawyer and Vault to decide which firms were best, but I later found a superior source of information. Those magic eight balls are awesome.
While my criteria for picking firms was analytical enough, I took ridiculousness to new levels when it was time to rank my bids. In order to have an intelligent ranking method, I estimated my odds at getting an interview by comparing past figures of how many people bid on a firm to how many people actually received an interview. In doing so, I rediscovered my reason for going to law school – I suck at math.
After figuring that I had a 132.4% chance at an interview at 343% of firms, I decided to use a new scientific sorting method. Firm names starting with letters I liked went to the top of the list. Firm names starting with letters I didn’t like went to the bottom. I think “Q” is a ridiculous letter since it never travels alone, thus causing Quinn Emanuel to tumble in my rankings. Akin Gump also took a precipitous drop, not because I dislike the letter “A” but because I decided the letter “A” disliked me, judging by its complete aversion to my transcript. Baker Botts, on the other hand, rose swiftly since all sorts of wonderful words like “buxom” “babe” and “Batman action figure” start with the letter “B.”
Now that I’ve finished with the preliminary stages of OCI, I can’t help but wonder if employers don’t use similar methods. Maybe they have special student sorting magic eight balls of their own. I just hope they realize that fabulous things such as “trains” “tractors” and “tater tots” all start with the letter “T.”
Taylor Dasher is a 2L. His column will appear regularly.
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