Fossil Fuel and Coffee

Coming up with things to write about during this time is difficult.  By “this time”, I mean the state of limbo between taking the bar and getting results, job hunting while almost a lawyer, and generally wondering whether the law degree you worked so hard for is any better than that liberal arts degree you thought (at the time) you were working hard for.  I certainly don’t want this blog to turn into a rambling whine-fest about job hunting and running out of money.  Which is why you didn’t hear from me last week.

There are plenty of articles, blogs, facebook updates and even . . . wait for it . . .people who talk in real-life conversations about the crappy market.  So I’m not going to go into it here.  Suffice it to say that many a job-hunter has a HUGE folder full of cover letters sent off into the ether of an employer’s email with out even so much as a rejection letter in response.

As I mentioned about a month ago, I’m hitting the “informational interview” thing hard.  The basic premise of the informational interview is that you are learning about your chosen profession and building your network. The reality is closer to swapping the order of application.  Instead of sending in your resume and calling for an interview, you call for an interview and bring your resume.  I’ve gotten to the point where it’s getting fun,  as long as I don’t let myself dwell too much on wanting immediate results.  Informational interviews and networking probably work best as a slow build.  In the meantime, instead of (or, at least, in addition to) sitting at home and sending resumes off into space, I get to go for coffee with people who are successful,  articulate, and interested the same things I am interested in.

I’m meeting primarily with Criminal Defense lawyers and with Environmental Lawyers, because those are the two areas I get excited about.  The interviews are fun because they aren’t too formal, so I actually learn about the people I’m talking to and the industry itself.  I get scuttlebutt about good guys and bad guys an in-betweens.  I talk to people who secretly don’t like what they’re doing, and people who love and believe it their work with all their hearts.  I’m learning about judges and jurisdiction differences and Gerry Spence.  (Everybody interested in doing trial work should follow this link.)

So, you know, as long as I can pay for gas and coffee, I’m doing ok.*



*and yes, this is a statement I may have made, verbatim, six years ago, while I was auditioning instead of interviewing, but otherwise the situation was essentially the same.