小北的不老歌

Monthly Archive: August 2006

3rd and 4th day of OCI

Did only 6 over the past two days. Towards the end I was getting better at interviewing, but kept wondering how much I said meant anything to the interviewers at all.

Here’s what I am looking at: 18 interviews. CBs from the following so far, in the order of interviews: Sk, DPW, L&W, W&C, GDC, STB, D&P, SA, JD, PW. Will go on a few of these to see what the firms are like. Haven’t received a rejection yet but I am sure some are on the way.

2nd day of OCI

Only 4 interviews today but still as tired as yesterday.

got the first callback from a good firm I interviewed with today. Two “dinner invites,” supposedly the precursor to a callback, from two good firms. Had to skip both dinners but managed to find time to go to one of the cocktail parties before dinner — almost the whole cite-checking team from the Law Review was there. That firm attracted some good people from Michigan.

1st Day of OCI

8 interviews today, followed by an hour-long meeting in the library. I hate to hear my own voice now.

decompressing, very slowly, in my room… have to go through the drill again tomorrow.

if I could do it all over again I’d probably bid on half as many firms as I did, but, being the ultra-risk-averse type (a.k.a. law students), almost everyone of us bid both high and low in case we get screwed up by the lottery system. the law school should just allow students to cancel unwanted interviews after the schedules are released. I know it looks bad on the law school if its students keep cancelling interviews, but at least that saves both the interviewer’s time and the interviewee’s time.

Note-worthy

A full day of note researching and drafting. Will have to read up on the firms tomorrow to prepare for the OCI on Monday.

I have probably 25-30 law review articles printed out as my sources, in addition to a long list of cases and a number of articles from the economics side of the academic world, and am at a complete loss how to organize them and find information quickly.

Also some observations from reading these articles:
– some of these articles are unnecessarily long. Sometimes the basic idea can be explained in a few pages but the author decides to drag it out over almost a hundred pages.
– some of these articles repeat what’s been said by the same author in other articles, word for word. No citiations to the original were given. If this was done to someone else’s work it would be plagarism. But somehow if you are repeating what you said before elsewhere then it is OK to not cite.
– Law Review articles have unnecessarily long and odd titles. Sometimes they try to be funny too, but often fails to disguise the dry nature of the piece.
– Some legal scholars tend to use concrete examples with toy numbers when a simple formula with a few variables would do the job more elegantly.
– Law Review editors, being law students themselves, sometimes let obvious math errors slip through. See, e.g.,
Richard L. Revesz, Envrionmental Regulation, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and the Discounting of Human Lives, 99 Colum. L. Rev. 941, 990-91 (1999) (neglecting to include the present value of future damage of $600 when calculating the harm of the contamination).

Law Review Bootcamp Ends

Today. Tomorrow is the LC move-in day. I will get to see what my new room looks like, and haul in my clothes, computer, fridge and all the other good stuff stored in the basement of the LC.

Spent much of the day typing away on my laptop working on my LR Note. I have a really good feeling about it but the insecurity that someone might have already written on this issue still haunts me from time to time (how is it possible that no one caught this rather obvious problem?), but hope that this topic is yet another one of those “a-ha” things that people don’t think of unless being reminded of.

Also today I received an offer for 2L summer from WGM, the firm that I interviewed with in NY last Friday. Took them longer than usual to contact me and so I thought they had already dinged me, but it looks like I didn’t mess up that interview too badly.

OCI starts next Monday.

Law Review Bootcamp

Law Review orientation started this Monday and will last until Friday. I averaged about 30 minutes per footnote when citechecking and spent 5 hours checking 10 of them today. Also revised my outline for the note I will have to write, and am now much more confident about the note.

As it turned out, all my prior training has been useful for the law review. My note will be a law & economics note, making use of my math and econ background. I also volunteered my help with the tech editors at the law review and will help with the website stuff as well as perhaps the online companion to the law review — looks like the skills I acquired in my former life as a computer geek will be once again useful.

Will need to find some time to write down some impressions about law review and research some firms for the upcoming OCI. The firm where I went on a CB promised to call me within 2 business days… well that didn’t happen, so it doesn’t look too promising. Oh well. At least I have an offer from a firm I really like, so it’s at most one wasted trip to NY and some free airline miles.

Chicago-New York-Detroit-Ann Arbor

Left Chicago this morning. Spent the day in NYC. Will fly back to Detroit tomorrow then drive to Ann Arbor to meet up with Ping.

So my 2L year will officially begin in a few days. Supposedly it is the year “they work you to death.” (It is said that the first year they scare you to death — something that did not materialize as far as I am concerned, and the third year they bore you to death — something that I hope won’t happen.) It looks like I already have a full schedule, for the next few weeks anyway.

律所第一轮面试

本着“有一点,说一点”的精神,先把和律所第一轮面试的一点体会写下来。更多的估计要等到callback完成以后再写。

首先是不要过分紧张。虽然这是老调重谈,但是就我自己的体会来说,我觉得这是最重要的一关。一直认为自己是个内向的人,平时话也不多,面试起来多少会吃点亏,再加上中国学生从小受到的熏陶,和长辈和上级说起话来总是不由自主地拘束,所以除了点头称是以外的话说起来都小心翼翼,生怕哪句话说得不得体得罪了人家。

如果说一年级面试暑期工作的时候我还是过分拘谨的话,这一轮面试下来觉得终于把这个问题给克服了。没有什么秘诀,就是多跑几个面试,一回生二回熟,把每次面试当作一个结交新朋友的机会,谈得来则最好,谈不来,熬过那半个小时,从此各行各路,也不用再打交道。

第一轮面试我一般是这么做的,供大家参考。

进门一边寒暄一边观察细节寻找所谓“破冰点。”这里有点要随机应变,比如,看见面试官在桌上放着一个blackberry,就可以发表一些关于这个小东西的评论,调侃律师是如何离不开这种电信设备,问问公司是不是为每个律师都配一个,并可以联系到前不久关于blackberry的诉讼,接下来就可以说知识产权问题。实在没有,就谈论天气是多么的美好(或者恶劣),抱怨一下飞机晚点和机场安检,说一说自己最近在忙什么(面试官:how are you doing? 我:good, have been busy with summer job/research/moving/whatever productive activity ,之后自然就转到夏季工作的话题上了)。之所以要找“破冰点,”是因为大部分法学院的学生(中国人美国人都一样)面试一开始都会拘谨,陌生人第一次见面有些尴尬也是人之常情,被面试者一般都是选择被动回答的角色,如果能主动提供话题的开端,缓和一下气氛,是再好不过的事情了,同时也掌握了面试的主动权,可以把话题往自己准备好的方面引。

面试前要准备的话题不外乎如下几个:
为什么念法学院
为什么念XX法学院
希望做什么方向的法律,为什么
一年级夏天的工作
希望在哪里工作
最喜欢的课
中远期目标
为什么选择我们所

其实我推测面试官其实不十分在乎具体答案内容是什么,尤其是超大的律所,什么方向的法律都做,在大城市都有分所,所以不论你说你要做什么法律在哪里做,都算对,答案只要不是太离奇就好(比如:为什么念法学院,千万不要说:爸妈让我念我就念了——这样的一般是第一个从律所里逃跑的)。而我猜他们在乎的是你是否能前后连贯自圆其说,观察交流能力。在这里就要看事前准备工作了,其实也是最容易的一个环节,把想说的要点事先都归纳一下,脑子里过几遍,到时候对号入座就是了,几趟面试下来几乎都能倒背如流。另外,由于事前有充裕的时间,不妨想一些别致的答案。

总之,第一轮面试我感觉基本是一个“速配”游戏,半个小时的面试很难看出一个人的个性。除了学校,成绩等硬性指标外,就看个人事前准备和临场发挥。另外,我总结出的一个规律是:如果面试官对我抛出来的话题不十分感兴趣,敷衍一下就顺着我的简历一行一行问相关问题:“你法学院在XX念的,说一说你喜欢什么课,你本科在XX念的,说一说为什么去这个学校,你工作过一段时间,说说都做了什么,最后,你还有什么关于我们所的问题,” 这样的面试,结果一般都不好。相反,如果面试官对你引出的某一个话题感兴趣,一直聊下去的话(我记得的有:孩子教育,中国知识产权问题,律所扩张策略,法学院学生生活细节等等),多半有戏。

时间关系,前言不搭后语地写了几句,希望对即将参加校园面试的同学们有所帮助。等我callback回来以后再汇报相关经历。

另外,这里也有不少好的建议。

PLIP job fair roundup

exactly two weeks after the PLIP job fair, here’s what I am looking at:
11 interviews, 6 callbacks offers (for those of you who went to PLIP and are curious: they are, in the order of notification, WGM, OMM, K&E, DB, WFG and KS), 1 deferral (WH), 4 unknowns (presumed dings – presently I have no way to check snail mail sent to my dorm address, including two other K&E offices (understandable), Sonnenschein (hmm…) and F&L (??!!)).
—Edit 08/25/2006: F&L gave me a callback, so I am 7 for 11 at the PLIP.

Lesson learned: by the time you walk out of that 20 minute initial interview, you would have a pretty good sense of whether you’ve made it to the next round. My predictions are pretty accurate so far. It’s all about the “fit.” Unfortunately this is yet another rather random matchmaking process where you don’t get a second chance if the first impression is bad. And it goes both ways. Students who left the interview with a bad impression of the firm probably won’t bother with it again, and words travel fast in the small law school community. I still recall one anecdote from last year’s PLIP job fair, where two interviewers from a firm used the opening line of “so, let’s hear your sales pitch” or something to that effect on the poor interviewee, and I’ve learned to stay away from that firm.

Between classes, OCI and journal obligations, I probably won’t be able to go to most of these callbacks until early September. It’s going to be a lot of flying. Ann Arbor not being in or close to any of the major legal markets certainly does not help.

Illinois

算是从了伊利诺伊,驾照,车牌什么终于都换成伊利诺伊州的了。换驾照一人只要十块,暗说价格公道,可是轮到换车牌,一下收掉一百四十多,倒抽口凉气,最后得知还有个芝加哥市的税花要买,还要七十五,算下来比每年汽车的税费花销比马里兰贵了两倍都多,实在是有乡下人进城的感觉,觉得怎么干啥都这么贵呢?