Note: This series is fictional.
On his way home from OPIA, Fenno flipped through The First-Year’s Guide to the Law School’s “SPIF” entry:
A pretty good deal. The Law School would prefer to cultivate a public image as something other than a factory mass-producing cogs in the machines that support the powerful, and so in that weakness and desire to throw the public off its scent HLS rounds up enough dough to keep first-years in grocery money during the last two months of meaningful professional activity most of them will ever experience. From here, it’s all shuffling money from one corporate monolith to another, so grab that funding and spend a summer making an insignificant contribution to the greater good.
That’s all well and good, but the trick, as Fenno was quickly realizing, was figuring out what sort of job to use that sweet, sweet cash towards. Because, as it turns out, the first year of law school doesn’t exactly point the uninitiated in any particular direction. To wit:
Scene: Civ Pro Professor’s Office; afternoon
Fenno: So, I think I actually like Civil Procedure. What does that mean? What do I do with that?
Professor: Well, maybe you should think about litigation.
Fenno: Alright. But that seems pretty broad; any tips on narrowing it down?
Professor: I’d recommend focusing on litigation that involves claims one party brings against someone else.
Fenno: I’ll show myself out.
Flipping through job postings wasn’t much help; wholly unqualified for anything interesting, wholly uninterested in anything plausibly attainable. “Think networking,” one friend suggested. “I found a gig through my mom’s ex-husband’s accountant’s niece’s job with this nonprofit in DC—it’s that easy!”
Fenno’s “network” consisted primarily of people in their fifth year of “writing my dissertation—no, really, it’s finally coming together.” These avenues did not prove fruitful w/r/t the employment issue.
And so it was with typically ambivalent thoughts in the back of his head that Fenno, a bottle of something brown in tow, cornered Chevy for a bit of serious mentoring.
“I don’t think I’ve ever asked you what you did over your first summer. Ice?”
“Unsanitary. Just pour.”
“I was working for this clinic that tried to help dance crews manage their intellectual property. Cutting-edge stuff.”
“Ah, I think I’ve heard of those guys. Fixation With Representation?” Fenno served himself amply and slouched back on the couch.
“Nope, those are the guys working with sand-artists. So fleeting, their beauty. I was with Step Up 2 Suggestive (Or at Least Establish Secondary Meaning). Cumbersome acronym, I admit. But they do good work.”
“I didn’t know you were so IP-focused. Does your firm do any of that stuff?”
“Not a shred. But it gave me a couple stories to tell in interviews. Did you know Jabbawockeez almost called themselves “B@nderSn@tch,” but their t-shirt printer didn’t allow the use of symbols?”
“Good to know.” Fenno paused. “I guess what I’m getting at is this: how am I supposed to figure out what to apply for when I don’t have anything that could even charitably be called an ‘interest’ or a ‘goal?’”
“Hey man, that’s the best place to be. Just means you can apply for anything, and tell each of ‘em that they happen to work precisely on your greatest passion. Can I recommend something near a beach?”
Seems like as good a filter as any.
“Fenno” is a fictional serial written by an anonymous law student. The main character is always named Fenno and is always a law student, but his or her character changes every school year. This is the penultimate installment of the series for the 2012-13 school year, entitled “Fenno: Mostly Harmful.”