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Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer, First Half 

So, I spent the first half of my summer in my hometown working a firm I've wanted to work for since before I even started law school. Some say that when you build something up so much, there's no way the real thing can ever live up to it. Well, tell this omnipotent "some" that they're wrong!

I had a absolutely fabulous summer at "The Firm," as I'll call it. Really, the only way it could have been better is if they'd let me stay the whole summer instead of just half. I truly liked every attorney I met there. Some I liked better on a professional level, and some I liked better on a personal level, but everyone was terrific.

I rotated through several practice groups at The Firm, mostly transactional, which is what I wanted. I went into the summer positive that I wanted to do Corporate work, specifically Securities. I tried to pretend I was going to be open-minded, but I really wasn't planning on it. Then a funny thing happened. Another team changed my mind. In the end I put the Real Estate team as my first choice, Corporate as my second. I liked the work on both teams, and I liked the people on both teams, but I felt like I had found my place on the Real Estate team.

I know I've posted this analogy once before (in the context of OCI), but I can't resist drawing it again. The rotations at the firm reminded me a lot of sorority rush. Each team thinks they're the best. You rotate around the teams, shaking hands, chit-chatting about what they do on their team, what you're looking for in a team, etc. When I went through sorority rush 7 years ago (wow, I can't believe it's been that long), everyone told me that when you got the right house, you'd just know it. You'd feel like you were home. Sounds cheesy, but it was mostly true. Just like with the law firm, I went into sorority rush sure I knew which house I wanted. Again, I wasn't planning on being open-minded, my mind was made up. Then in the end, one house felt more like home and I chose it. I got the same feeling at the firm. While each team had it's strengths and it's appeal, one just felt like home.

All that being said, I no longer have any control over which team I land on. At this point, I just want to get an offer from them and land on any team. I can't imagine being with another firm, this one has set the bar too high for anyone else to match. (Perhaps I'll blog later about the specific things I liked about this firm, but this post is already too long.) I think I have a few more weeks until I find out if I received a permanent offer and, if so, which team it's for. Luckily, I've been busy with my job second half and have done lots of traveling on the weekends, so I haven't had much time to think about it. However, as OCI is gearing up, I'm thinking about it more and more. I can't imagine how I'll feel or what I'll do if I don't get an offer from this firm. So, let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

Oh, and for those who haven't had a shot at summering with a big firm yet...boy, do you have something to look forward to! You get taken to lunch everyday, go to concerts, wine tastings, sporting events, the beach, the mountains, you name it. It's the ultimate wining and dining experience! You feel special, you feel important, you feel wanted. Must be what it feels like to be in a relationship, but I don't remember! :) Anyhow, it's fantastic. I highly recommend trying out the big firm lifestyle for at least part of a summer, just so you don't wonder what you're missing out on. True, there are big firms that do the dog and pony show to cover up the fact that they're a soul-stealing sweatshop, but there are those who mean well and are only trying to compete to reel in the big talent. Just gotta go with your gut on that one.

In my next post, for a little compare and contrast, I'll share what it was like to intern with the General Counsel of a sports entity (ie, what I did the second half of my summer).

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