2 points for naming the band. Actually it should be “too much to blog,” but I will attempt it anyway.
Yesterday wrapped up the Equal Justice Works Fair in nearby MD. Several hundred employers, about 8 times that number of students, speakers, chatter, and lots and lots of good conversations.
First off, I want to thank Audacity and Woman of the Law for their advice and support. We all know they’re awesome, given who they are and what they do, but they both took time out of busy schedules to tell me about their experiences and offer me insight into different programs. Drop in to their blogs and give them some props. Also, a big thanks to She Likes Lattes at the OPICS office at our school (that’s our public interest law office), and to the usual motley crew whose kind words and deeds and advice and humor and presence and example-through-presence support me in a very tangible way; Lyco, Seth, Scheule (where the hell is the new blog? edit: it's here), Tamboli, The Dapper Floridian, Handful of Dates, the Imbroglio, the Clinic Peeps, and dozens of others. Lastly, thanks to everyone who takes the time to blog about PD hiring issues and PD life. Woman of the Law recently pointed out the burdens of the PDs life, but it's people like her and Skelly who take that extra step and contribute something *else* to the world. In fact, who knows how many law students, law clerks, judges, or potential jurors they've educated by simply posting about their day to day human concerns and what they find interesting?
Of the ten resumes I sent out, I landed seven defender interviews, and talked my way into two more.
- State level PD, Appalachia
- State level PD, New England
- State level PD, New England
- State level PD, Southern
- City PD, Atlantic States
- City PD, NY
- State PD, Appellate division.
- PD Capital unit, Southern.
- A fellowship for a group that specializes in capital crime representation, trial and appellate, Southern.
I figured I’d let things hang out, talk about the poetry a bit (which I usually keep under wraps), and be a bit more “cocktail” than I usually would be if I were seriously responding to questions. I had the World’s Worst Headcold during the process, and took a cup of tea with me to all my interviews to keep my throat wet. I apologized for that as a first order of business, but made it pretty clear that I wasn’t going to croak my way through an interview to keep up some interviewing convention. Between the cover letter, the cold, the prior bad interview experience, and the sterling PI Law candidates who flew in from all over the country, I figured that it was time to roll the dice and go on a respectful offensive. I think it worked.
All of the interviews seemed to go well. There were some tough but good questions, and a shared feeling that we were all slogging through an exhausting process together. I’d say there was a clear Mason-Dixon line split in interviewing styles and the type of information the various PDs solicited.
Out of that bunch I got one “call me this week to set up a second interview, you’ll be speaking with Xperson and Yperson,” one “you’ll certainly hear from me soon, can you fly in to the second interview?” one “oh, no need to send additional documents, you can bring those with you when we interview you again; just have them ready to go,” one “I’m going to hand-walk your resume to the hiring director’s office,” one “and I’ll also willing to help your girlfriend find a job,” and 3 nice but not glowing responses.
That has to be considered a successful 3 days I think. I may not get a job offer out of it all (which is the ultimate goal), but I’m happy with how things have gone thusfar.
- One of the PDs took digital photos of their interviewees to help them remember faces later on. I thought that was a great idea and posed “despondent mug-shot style” for the camera, holding my conference name card with both hands like an id plate.
- Responding to case load estimates with “Are you fucking kidding me? – You’re trying to do something about that, right?”
- Quoting Tolkien/Gandalf to capital defenders. (Asked where my opposition to the death penalty came from, I said I was wrestling with a lot of religious issues when I was 8-10 and questioning the Catholic church. I read The Lord of the Rings during this time. Gandalf’s response to Frodo’s wish that Bilbo should have killed Gollum and thus prevented a lot of subsequent misery perfectly summed up what I was feeling: “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.” That segued into a discussion about human subjectivity and how elusive and invisible objective justice is. But I can blog about the death penalty some other time. . .)
- Talking about drinking with Vic Chestnut and Coleman Barks.
- Responding to a role-play fact pattern with, “Listen, I hear what you’re telling me, but I’m your lawyer, not your plumber.” (Had to be there.)
- Running into my 1L summer boss and chatting with her. She’s one of my role models for a humane and engaged public defender.