Thursday, September 6, 2007

To Rise

At least at KU, no one really knows why one person might get a job offer or call-back where another person will be totally ignored. The prevailing myth is that law firms run a numbers game. There is an unspoken rule that large firms need X number of people of color, Y number of women, Z number of students returning from their 1L summer, and, once those slots have been filled, the remainder may go to the nearly 65% white, male population.

I'm willing to believe that this equation is at least somewhat true. In fact, were I in the shoes of the casual observer or the firm, I'd think such an equation was eminently reasonable.

It's only when I happen to be a white male who is getting so few interviews, call-backs, and job offers that I start to get antsy.

A second theory is that women as a group aren't being hired. Rather, small, pretty, (possibly) blonde women are being hired, because juries like to vote for attractive women. This also does not lie outside the realm of possibility. Honestly, can one fault a firm for trying to stack the cards in its favor?

I mention all of this because I have a very major interview tomorrow. More than having any kind of desire to practice in one particular field, I want to practice on a national level. I don't want to be a small town or local lawyer. I want to feel a connection with the world and the nation. I want to feel that my efforts affect not two or three people, but hundreds or thousands.

Tomorrow I interview with my first multi-office, multi-state firm. Because of my GPA, because of my standing, because of my lack of inherent multi-culturalness, and because of my lack of a hard science undergraduate degree, I have found myself relegated to small firms in small towns.
I say all of this, not to sound snide or snotty or uppity to my roots, but rather to shout out that I want to be someone on a grand stage. I am too young. I am unoccupied and unmarried. My dreams remain vast and have not yet been shot down, deflated, degraded, or sundered.

And yet all of these hopes rest in slingshotting myself into the stratosphere now.

As Americans, we pride ourselves as being individuals, men and women, who can be born in 90 year old, cobweb ridden farmhouses, born not in barns, but close enough that the smell of manure is a comfort, and yet who rise up to be President or Sam Walton or the "Can you hear me now" guy.

Tomorrow I have been granted one of the many lucky shots of my life. If I mess it up, if I totally fall apart, or even if I never had a shot and they selected me because they needed to fill all of their slots, I don't imagine that I'll feel crushed in any way. Trees don't die after a little bit of hail.

But getting this shot sure would be nice.


Kathleen said...

Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

Nate, you haven't updated and I just now got to read your post so I hope that your interview went VERY well. Having my fingers crossed for you, Audrie