小北的不老歌

Monthly Archive: December 2005

面试

趁着寒假回家的时候安排了几个面试,希望能有一份一年级夏天实习的工作。巧得很,一共三个面试,分别在三个不同类型的地方:一个是一家在华盛顿的大型律所,一个是马里兰州的联邦法官,还有一个是在巴尔地摩的中型律所。前天和昨天分别去了前两处,记录一下体会。

华盛顿的律所给我留下的印象很不错,和我原先设想的大律所里的场景差不多。人事部的MM果然如同传说中的一样漂亮,看来做人力资源的得有点天生的资本才行,于是心里暗喜当初没有去学这行。一个很恐怖的事情是,在我和人事MM寒暄几句以后,她说,我看了你的网站,很不错啊。我不知道该怎么回答——我根本没有把网址列在简历上的!同时脑子里立刻飞速运转,想想有没有什么不该说的话留在网站上。她说,“我就是好奇,所以在网上搜了你一下,发现了关于你的不少东西。” 看来上个学期我们career services的人告诫的话还是有道理的:如果有什么不希望让你未来的雇主发现的东西,就不要把它放在互联网上。下个学期回去一定要在同学们之间广而告之。

一共六个人轮流面试我,三个Partner,三个Associate,合伙人都十分和蔼可亲,两个从哈佛毕业,另一个是乔治敦的,都很能说,每个人半个小时的面试时间基本都超了一些。Associate中有一个比较萎靡的样子,一起吃午饭的时候用手遮着在他自己的冰茶里捻了点白色的粉末正好被我看见(暂且不去猜测他下的是什么东西),说话也有一搭没一搭的——此人也是哈佛毕业,看来各个学校出来的都有衰人。另外两个Associate倒是精神抖擞谈笑风生,Duke毕业的在做诉讼,Georgia毕业的在做公司法,好像业务进展都不错,在谈度假是去加勒比海还是斐济。

因为很久没有面试过了,所以特地把这个律所的面试安排在法官之前,这样有个热身,不至于真正和法官面试的时候口无遮拦胡说八道。如果说有没有律所的工作我不是特别的在乎的话,那么如果能在这个法官手下做一夏天的实习对我来说是太重要了。昨天忐忑不安地去了这个联邦法院,经过重重安检,终于有生以来第一次到了法官的办公室。

法官是一个很和颜悦色的老头子,一谈起话来就立刻能感觉到他思维的敏锐和发问的咄咄逼人。他能从我一页纸的简历里推断出不少我不少没有写进去的事,尤其能把我念的中学猜得八九不离十,把我吓出了一身冷汗。他似乎和中国有挺厚的交情,桌子上一块中国最高人民法院送的镇纸,门口一幅上海市高院赠的画,书架上还有一尊毛主席挥手的铜像。

十五分钟以后谈话结束,接下来一小时和他的clerk谈话,得知这个法院的一些基本情况以及处理案件的基本流程。实习生一开始要负责处理在押囚犯的habeas corpus,其后看个人进度可以参与一些复杂的民事诉讼,同时可以随意旁听任何法官审理的案件。接下来他介绍一些最近结了的案子,以及形形色色的出庭律师在庭上的表演,听得我怦然心动。

下个月初还有一个中等律所的面试,这样下来各式有代表性的雇主算是见了个遍。接下来就是无尽地等待回音了……都说第一年夏天的工作难找,不要抱太大希望,可是两个地方跑下来,感觉都很不错,尤其是法官那里,真的好希望能在那里学到些东西,也没准能借他的名字写点短的审判书啥的,于是还是格外地期盼。

学期小结

一个学期似乎很长的样子,一直到最后一个月时间仿佛才快了起来,复习时间总是不够用。一个字:累。好象从来就没有学得这么卖命过。按说不应该在乎成绩,可是在大环境的感染下,也不由自主地开始惶惶然。累归累,学的东西还是很有意思的,同学们也大多都是锋芒毕露地聪明,法学院果然是人尖扎堆的地方,想必这三年熏陶下来应该长进不少。

原来在大学的时候历来上课不做笔记不划课本,一个学期下来课本崭新,当旧书卖都亏。现在可好,学期开始的两个礼拜坚持不划书不记笔记,第三个星期觉得信息量实在太大,撑不住了,于是一个学期下来几本课本上用highlighter画得红红绿绿,每门课笔记算算也有近百页。

每门课随机回忆点案例:

Contracts:
磨坊生产为什么被耽误 (Hadley v. Baxendale)
不育的母牛产下了牛犊 (Sherwood v. Walker)
男人白拿女士貂皮大衣 (Lefkowitz v. Minneapolis Surplus)
教授喝酒也能照样写书 (Clark v. West)

Torts:
防弹衣不防弹 (Linegar v. Armour of America)
面粉桶会捣乱 (Byrne v. Boadle)
医生见死不救 (Hurley v. Eddingfield)
狗咬邻居不算 (Gehrts v. Bateen)

Criminal Law:
纽约地铁里的正当防卫 (People v. Goetz)
老公向老婆扔个啤酒杯 (Mayes v. People)
没有殊死抵抗不算强奸 (People v. Brown)
毒品成瘾并不构成犯罪 (Robinson v. California)

Done

I can’t believe I am all done with finals. With what probably constitutes recklessness under the Model Penal Code (conscious disregard of an unreasonable and substantial harm), I decided to write the 24-hour take home exam today, instead of Monday as I had planned originally.

14 hours later, I am all done. Tomorrow morning when I hand in my exam, I will be officially done with the first half of the first year of law school.

Mmm… beer…

Crash, crash and crash

Still one more exam to go, but it’s a take-home, so I am eager to resume my blog and write down three crashes that happened in the past couple weeks.

Crashing for exams is actually pretty fun. Flipping through my casebooks I almost couldn’t believe we’ve done this much in a semester. Almost 1000 pages of reading in every class – 3000 pages – that’s like three years’ worth of reading outside of work before law school. Looking at my 80-page notes and the casebooks which were highlighted beyond recognition and had random notes scribbled in the margins, I was pretty proud of myself for having the patience to do all of this – only a few months ago this was unthinkable: Rarely did I take any notes in undergrad. Nor did I ever write or highlight anything on my textbooks back then ( so my textbooks were almost as good as new at the end of the semester, and always commanded a higher resale value).

The second crash was my four-month-old thinkpad. One day before my first exam, it simply refused to boot. On my second phone call to IBM/Lenovo I was able to get a hold of a rep, who calmly told me that there was nothing he could do. “It’s not a hardware problem. If you want, sir, you can pay $35 per hour to Microsoft and have them troubleshoot for you.”

I wanted to tell him to go to hell. It seemed like it’s been forever, but I still remember my former life as a Java coder. In the distant past I used to turn people back and say, it’s not our software’s problem, it’s your hardware’s problem. But I never said that to my fellow computer geeks. We geeks should be brothers. We band together. If one of us goes down, all go down. It’s only been 3 months since I left my former brotherhood, and now I get the “it’s not our problem” problem?

I hung up the phone and proceeded to format my hard drive and reinstall the OS. That was five hours of my life I am never going to get back, and they were five precious hours one day before my first exam.

The third crash happen yesterday. After the contracts final exam, a few of us came back to my room to watch the Ali G show and have some beer. It was either due to the hilarious Ali G or the delicious Tsing-tao, or a combination of both — I laughed so hard that I leaned perhaps a bit too far back in my chair for a split second, and before I knew it, I landed on the floor with the chair completely disintegrated underneath me.

By completely disintegrated, I mean, completely disintegrated. Any more disintegrated the chair would have become a pile of saw dust. The folks were impressed by my chair-crashing skill and kept on laughing for another couple minutes, until we turned our attention back to Ali G and Tsing-tao.

Maybe it’s time for me to lose some weight…