The default has been set to patience and politeness.
For decades I have two separate conversations. One out loud, one silently. The verbal one is politically correct. The silent conversation is honest.
About a year ago, words started spilling out.
“I am sorry, but the answer is still no.”
“I need you to stop talking for a minute and listen to what I have to say.”
The feeling of honesty? Incredible. The more times I say “no,” the more empowering it feels.
I know it has been several months since I signed online. But where is everybody? My reader is not showing any new posts for the past three+ months. Some of the blogs have disappeared or become privatized.
I am starting to feel like a dinosaur.
At the end of the summer, my law clerk said it was the best experience ever. Naturally I was flattered. I am currently working with another law clerk, who is extremely bright as well. Both clerks taught me a few things or two. I am very fortunate that they believe in my ability to mentor them.
I got myself a law clerk for the summer. This is very exciting, since I have never supervised anyone professionally. The law student is very excited as well.
Now I just need to make sure the student gains practical experience.
And so begins a new chapter in my career.
Just for giggle’s sake, remember the yesteryears when yours truly was a bright-eyed and bushy tailed second year law clerk?
Recently I have the opportunity to sit on the other side of the table. It’s not that I have never served as an interviewer – I had interviewed candidates for attorney positions – but I have not interviewed law students, ever.
My colleagues and I were fairly easy with our questioning – we didn’t ask hypotheticals about what they would do in a situation. Rather, we asked about what the law students want to learn from this clerking experience. We want to help them gain something out of the clerkship.
I could tell one candidate was clearly more interested than others, because he did his research about the law office. He came across enthusiastic and genuine about his interest. There were others that came across relaxed (maybe too relaxed, because I didn’t sense the same level of enthusiasm about clerking for us), or too nervous (therefore missing out on the opportunity to ask us important questions.)
It’s fairly amusing that I am sitting on this side of the table, when less than 10 years ago I was on the other side with no actual legal experience.
A list of memorable quotes from clients over the years.
- You don’t sound like a real lawyer.
- Did you attend an American law school?
- Can you come pick me up?
- Can you friend me on Facebook?
- Are you single?
About every year or so, my employer requires that I learn a new area of law. And every single time, it feels like a herculean task to go through the sink or swim routine.
Eventually I make it through. I know I have it figured out when I can tell the judge what the applicable laws are without sounding like a blabbering fool.
Is it worth it spinning the hamster wheel, year after year?
Yes, it is.