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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Job Fair

Last week was a job fair that wasn't really a job fair. It was more a meet and greet shindig to see the players and hand out some resumes. Most people I know hate these things. No good way exists to ask the question, "Do you have any positions open and would you like to look at my resume?" This proves more frustrating when most of the operations there admit that nothing is open with them now, but they'll keep your resume on file in case something opens up. The fact almost no potential applicant is licensed yet compounds the empty feeling we have.

Neither fish nor fowl: degreed but unlicensed because the bar results aren't in yet. MBAs have it easier in this respect: once they have the degree they're already assumed to be minimally competent.

No longer being a student represents change. The first change was figuring out where to park as my old parking pass is no longer valid. Luckily a parking garage where 'Visitors' can park is only 2 blocks from school. I'm a visitor now.

Two blocks in a black suit and a hot, muggy afternoon is not fun. I'm already having streams of water coming down my scalp. Despite appearances I'm not really sweating that much, but I took a shower just before I drove downtown. My hair is long (and thick) enough now that it traps the water beneath the outer layer of hair that gets dry from the hair dryer. My hair is way too thick to allow the hot air to reach my scalp so humid days are horrible for me. The humidity squeezes out the shower water. It didn't help that our atrium is impossible to maintain at a decent temperature and is running hot this summer. Hot, humid air makes it look like I'm taking a shower yet again in my suit. Oh what a lovely confidence inspiring sight I must have been. I just get a paper towel and dry off a bit. This is why I love a military buzzcut from April to October. The hair gets dry in 5 seconds if it is short enough. I’m thinking it is time for another haircut.

Another change is I see many of the same people, but I don't belong with them now. Plenty of new 1L faces that I've never seen before and don't care about to be honest. I chat with someone from Professional Development. She’s right once we graduate we quickly find it easy to not step foot in the building again.

I know to not even bother with one group. I’m intrigued by the work, but I’ve heard their reps for three years always say they NEVER hire anyone just out of school, but prefer people with some experience. It is odd to chat with the legal side of work many of my engineering friends work on. Someone has to grab land for those engineers.

I feel incredibly stupid with one group. Aside from what was learned in bar prep I know nothing about their area of law, but the employer is interesting so I want to chat a little bit with them.

I’m chatting with an employer that has seen me several times over the past few years. The diversity of law they offer is the most appealing to me. They stress they’ll train you, but you’ll get to handle real responsibility quickly. The only downside is I have a good guess what the paycheck will be and I wish it were just a little bit more. Still the position offers great benefits, health care insurance, and the paycheck is still more than I ever earned in my previous career. If money is an issue I can swing a part time retail job if need be. Assuming I pass on Friday they asked I send them an email with an updated resume just to let them know if I still want a position.

The lesson in all this is odds are no perfect job exists. The key is to find something that is good enough for at least awhile, get experience and see what the real world is like from a legal point of view. At least I do have the advantage of real world experience. I am very different than a 25 year old and my experience is an asset in many ways, regardless of the fact my experience was in other fields. I have proof of past performance and not mere potential. Not a slam on you Gen Y people, but it is the truth.

Oh well I’m not nervous about passing. I’m more anxious just too finally have the knowledge. If PASS go to Plan A. If FAIL go to Plan B. I just prefer Plan A.

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