Tag Archives: eip

Opinion  /  November 15, 2012  / 

The Irony of Firmly Refuse

In the latest installment of the Firmly Refuse, the authors end their article by stating their intention to start a conversation.  But by the time one gets to that point, it’s pretty clear that this is a bit disingenuous.  They don’t actually want to start a conversation; they’ve already made up their minds. They’ve already decided, for instance, that everyone who goes and works for a corporate law firm (all of whom, by the way, have no “relevant professional experience”) practices corporate defense where they will “defend tobacco” and the BP oil spill.  They’ve decided that everyone who chooses to work for a law firm does so for the money (and presumably they find such a motivation morally suspect).  They’ve decided that securities law and antitrust are mind-numbing and the work they involve resembles “criminal activity.”  In short, to enter a career in Big Law is to “waste the vast … Continue reading

Opinion  /  November 12, 2012  / 

We’re Back: The Five Goals of Firmly Refuse

Dear 1Ls, Welcome to the funnel. Really, we hate to burst your bubble. It pains us to do so. Your first few months of law school have been a blast, click clacking your way up a huge rollercoaster lift, and you have no idea how far you have to fall. It’s late autumn and your peers rush to schedule OPIA appointments. Click. Everyone’s doing something positive for their 1L summer. Clack. And you have no reason to believe that your friends will abandon their ambitions for easy money. Click. After all, how could somebody who did TFA go on to defend the corrupt actors responsible for our national foreclosure crisis? Clack. Or the tens of thousands of cancer-causing chemicals in everyday products? Click. Or the climate change that caused Hurricane Sandy? Clack. Clack. Clack. But defend them they will. Your peers will put aside their hopes and dreams and good … Continue reading

Opinion  /  October 18, 2012  / 

What Changed Our Minds?

It is no secret that the 1L class undergoes a transformation every year.  Large numbers of HLS students begin law school having no intention of working at large corporate law firms, yet without fail, a large majority of students opt for the well-trodden path toward Big Law.  What could possibly account for such a rapid reversal of opinion?  This past spring, under the title “Firmly Refuse,” a group of students suggested that this change is due to what they consider to be the coercive and fear-based approach adopted by Office of Career Services that funnels students into the private-sector Early Interview Process regardless of their actual career ambitions.   This claim, however, fails to comport with my own experience and the experiences of many of my classmates.  When I reflect on my own decision-making process, I feel as though I made the choice to begin my career at a large … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor / Opinion  /  April 17, 2012  / 

LIPP Works

I enjoyed the recent “Firmly Refuse” column on the Early Interview Program, as encouraging students who knew they didn’t want to work for large law firms to avoid arriving there by inertia was an interest of mine at Harvard Law.  I wrote several pieces for The Record on this, one being not-so-subtly titled “You’re Not Weird if You Don’t Want to Do OCI.”  (This was before the program switched to being called EIP.)  It’s nice to see this spirit is alive and encouraging dialogue. I can’t speak for Firmly Refuse, but the point of this dialogue for me, was never to vilify students who go to work for Biglaw firms, nor to dump on those who are actually interested in it. It was to provide a space for the hundreds of students who entered HLS committed to public interest work, but found themselves doubting whether they could or should leave HLS actually … Continue reading

Opinion  /  April 16, 2012  / 

Why Firmly Refuse?

You’ve made it into Harvard Law. The hard part is over. In a packed Memorial Hall, Dean Martha Minow recites the remarkable and diverse achievements of your peers. The future, you are told, will be even brighter. But fast forward just a few months and the mood is hardly optimistic. Overwhelmingly, students say that they “have to“ work at a corporate law firm. That they are afraid of unemployment. That they will never pay off their loans. That the legal market, that their parents, that that that. Can anything explain this violent shift? Was Harvard insincere in promising a world of professional opportunity, or is the 1L experience of desperation, pressure and job scarcity entirely contrived? If Dean Minow spoke with hopeful assurance at orientation, the Office of Career Services quickly retorted with fear. As early as November, every 1L began to receive two kinds of emails from OCS: alarmist … Continue reading

Opinion  /  April 10, 2012  / 

A 2L’s Reflections on EIP

If the Office of Career Services is adopting the same approach it did last year, then 1Ls will by now have been instructed by Assistant Dean of Career Services Mark Weber that they need not worry about the Early Interview Program because everyone will be fine and will get a great job—except of course for those who won’t be fine and won’t get a great job, because, after all, it’s not 2007 anymore. OCS’s simultaneously anxiety-inducing and reassuring message is one of the many odd aspects of EIP that stand out in my mind as I reflect on the bizarre experience that is EIP. The oddities of EIP only just begin with OCS, and the experience suprised me in a number of ways. For instance, EIP was actually a lot of fun. While the thought of participating in somewhere around 25 interviews over the course of five days was daunting, … Continue reading