Begging The Question

Thursday, June 21, 2007

E. McPan asks if I have any advice for someone looking for a job. Sadly, no. It's all about who you know. Probably not helpful if all you're doing is backward networking. I got one job based totally on knowing the right person, and another thanks to stumbling on it on a law school career services database. So I don't really have any tips for doing actual work finding a job. Good luck, though.

Here's someone else who might not be able to help: the AutoAdmit plaintiffs. Lots of background and discussion here and here and the complaint available here. One of the plaintiffs claims that the comments about her on the AutoAdmit boards harmed her because (among other effects) she couldn't get a job. She alleges that prospective employers saw the comments and didn't hire her because of them. But her evidence is that she had sixteen on-campus interviews and four callbacks, but no offers. So, horror of horrors, she had to resign herself to looking for a job outside the OCI process! If that's enough to state a case, I know a lot of people with potential federal lawsuits.

PG asks about a comment of mine about "putting out fires" at work. Well, to be honest, some of those fires I set, or at least allowed to smolder. I know I should probably take more of a Frankenstein approach to things (i.e., "Fire bad!"), but it's just the way I juggle deadlines. If you tell me to get something done "as soon as you can," I'm going to end up doing it after anything else with a firmer deadline. I had a summer job once where I was given lots of day-to-day tasks, and one big project I needed to finish by the end of the summer. Naturally, I was working late nights to finish it on Labor Day weekend.

PG wonders if I've ever had trouble being reliable. I'll say no, I don't think so. I've never had a big problem about something important being late. But it's probably safe to say that some of my employers wished I prioritized differently. My position is that if you want something by next Monday, tell me that, but don't put me on double secret probation and expect me to divine that "when you get around to it" actually means "right now."

So I guess I don't really have any advice for PG if she's looking for tips on how to be the fireman. I think it probably takes more self-discipline than I have, doing things like setting early personal deadlines so you're not pushing the official ones. That kind of reliability eventually turns into a reputation. Of course, reliability breeds dependability, and if people have low expectations, they won't ask you to put out someone else's fires. After all, Fire bad!

Monday, June 18, 2007

ALL-REQUEST: Bar Exam Advice
Coob asks for advice for preparing for and taking the bar exam. Fitz and I have written a little about this topic before. Try here and here and here.

I did BarBri and Fitz did MicroMash, and it worked out well for both of us. I needed the imposed discipline of the BarBri program, and even then I dogged it most of the summer. I went to (most of) the lectures and filled in (most of) the blanks, but didn't do anything else for the first month. Finally, in July, I buckled down and read the outlines. Well, the short ones. Basically, I was pretty lazy. I never did even one full-length practice exam. Fitz was pretty diligent about doing a ton of multistate questions. In the end, we both passed on the first try, so I can't really say that one method is necessarily better than the other.

The best advice I can give anyone is to not panic. You'll remember more than you think you will, most states curve the scores, and most importantly, remember that the bar exam is a test of minimal competence. Very few states write the thing to weed out all but the very best. Think about all the lawyers you know. They're not all geniuses. When you get to the exam, look around. All those dorks aren't geniuses, either. You'll be fine.

Actually, let me revise. The best advice I can give is to listen to the Derailers' song "Bar Exam," over and over. Trust me, it'll help.

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    The views presented here are personal and in no way reflect the view of my employer. In addition, while legal issues are discussed here from time to time, what you read at BTQ is not legal advice. I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. If you need legal advice, then go see another lawyer.

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