we get a lot of pressure at Law School to take internships over the Summer.
having a Summer internship wasn't a part of my plan. i am a firm believer that Summers are for fucking around.
but, apparently Summer internships are a big thing for prospective lawyers. when you're looking for a lawyer-job, they like to see that you've done things over Summer break.
all of my friends peers at Law School have got the message and gone out and secured themselves internships for the Summer but i never found the time to worry about it.
i had enough to worry about keeping up with the relentless torrent of work Law School gives you, while still managing to churn out a LiveJournal once a day and watch two to five hours of television.
also, because i don't ever plan on looking for a lawyer-job if and when i ever do find myself graduating Law School and passing the bar - i plan on just hanging up a shingle and going into business for myself- so i wasn't all too worried about how a Summer internship would look for my resume.
but all of our Professors, faculty advisers, and administrators STRONGLY ENCOURAGE us to take Summer internships, so, just to say that i made an effort, one day a few weeks back i went on the Law School's Internships and Employment website to see what was being offered.

there were several internships that didn't interest me in the slightest: The Texas Railroad Commission, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Department of Justice's Department of Immigration.
i mean, sure, working at the DOJ might be fun but the internship was in Washington DC.
but, mixed in there with all the stuff i didn't want i found two internships that caught my eye.
the first was for a clerkship for a local misdemeanor criminal court Judge.
i like criminal law and, more importantly, i like low-stakes criminal law.
i don't want to be in the life-and-death business. if i ever become a lawyer, defending shoplifters and vandals is right where i want to be.
but, what was really attractive to me about the clerkship was that in the description it said that the position required about five (5!) hours a week.
i can get a line on my resume and only have to put in five hours on Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons!?! well hell, i can handle that!
the other internship that caught my eye was with the Tarrant County Bar Association, working with their pro bono initiative.
that one would require more of me then five hours a week, but there was a pay stipend of $3,500.
most Summer legal internships are unpaid.
i talk to my classmates who have taken unpaid Summer internships and i can't help but wonder what the fuck their problem is?
i don't want to end up being a scab. if i'm gonna do a day's work, i expect a days wage.
mostly, though, what attracted me to both of the aforementioned Summer internships was that i could apply by just clicking a button to submit my already-uploaded resume.
i didn't have to do anything else, like write up a cover-letter or send off a writing sample like a lot of other internships require.
so, because it was that easy, i clicked the button and applied.

a week later i got an e-mail from some lady in the Law School's Office of Career Services.
she told me that the Bar Association would like to schedule an appointment with me for an interview and we arranged to do so last Wednesday at 3:30pm.
this was the dead week between the end of the semester and finals.
i was supposed to spend the time studying but, i guess i could find the time to put on a fancy dress and go try to impress somebody.
the following day the Dean of Career Services called me on the phone to say that the Judge would also like to schedule an appointment with me for an interview and can i do Wednesday at 2:45?
well that's fortuitous timing. sure i can.
both internship interviews would be held at the Law School. most internship interviews aren't, but these two were.

i woke up Wednesday in the early afternoon and got myself ready for the day.
after walking the Monster, having a poo, eating a banana and brushing my teeth i took ten minutes to prepare myself for the task at hand.
what the hell was i doing? who are these people? what do they want from me?
the last time i had a job interview, many, many years ago back in Austin it was like a loud fart in a quiet room.
what do i need to do this time to not embarrass myself too bad.
i thought of things to say to both the Judge and the Bar Association lady about how i have such a passion for X and how X is what i have always wanted to do for Y and Z reasons.
where X equals criminal justice or legal aid poverty law, and Y and Z equal seeking justice and doing good for the world, depending on who i was talking to.
then i went into my closet which is really just a bar that hangs above my chest-of-drawers in my bedroom because my actual closet is my office, and i took down my suit..
i got myself dressed up fancy like i was going to a bar mitzvah.
i put on my understated gray shirt instead of my loud white-and-pink one because the PSE tells me i look like a Black guy going to church when i wear that one.
i flipped up my septum ring and gathered my long, scraggly hair into as neat a bun as i could make, at the back of my head, not on top like a hipster.
the night before, i even took off my black nail polish.
which says something about how seriously i was taking this whole endeavor.

i got to the Law School at 2:30 planing on pacing the halls for fifteen minutes but when i got to Career Services the receptionist said the Judge was running early and i could go right in.
i really would have preferred to pace the halls working on how to be impressive some more, but i went right in to meet the Judge like i was told.
the Judge was small framed and maybe eighty years old. he was wearing a cross lapel pin on his suit jacket and he had a deep Southern drawl.
i can't remember what the judge on My Cousin Vinny looked like, but this could have been him.
anyways, i shook the old stereotype's bony hand and sat down at a small conference table.
the Judge launched into a recital he'd clearly given no less then a thousand times over his long career of interviewing clerks.
he told me that the job would be to sit in with him when the Court holds hearings on Motions to Suppress every Thursday and then to write the Judge a brief about how he should rule and why.
then the Judge finished telling me about the position and that was apparently it.
no questions for me, no opportunities for me to try to show off.
he asked if i had any questions and i tried to think of one, as a way to try to make myself stand out.
“if it's such a busy schedule,” i started, because he spent some time talking about how the Motions to Suppress never fucking stop “do you ever tell the prosecution that their case is lacking in the merits and that they should drop it?”
which i thought was a totally fair question, prosecutors can't try every criminal and, especially in misdemeanor court, a lot of shit should just be let go.
but the Judge told me no, that's a stupid question. not in so many words, but that was his point.
with that he thanked me, and sent me out on my way.

i went and walked around the school for forty-five minutes waiting for my 3:30 appointment with the Tarrant County Bar Association.
i met several of my classmates studying for finals and i stopped to make chit-chat.
then, at 3:25 i went back to the Career Services offices to sit down in a different little office to meet with the lady in charge of the Bar Association's Pro Bono Initiate.
like the Judge, she spent most of our interview time talking to me about what the internship would entail.
she almost seemed like she was trying to sell me on the deal. and, to her credit, it worked.
i wasn't too excited about going to work for the Tarrant County Bar Association, doing anything more then five hours a week over the Summer seemed awful, but after the lady told me that i would be traveling around to different clinics that the Bar Association holds, helping to do client intake and sort different poor people with problems to different volunteer pro bono attorneys, i got interested.
i would be able to get my hands into cases, to watch real lawyers work and to help them out, which seemed like fun.
the lady asked me how many hours per week i wanted to work. ten? twenty? thirty?
i told her twenty sounded about right.
i was not at all interested in pissing away twenty hours a week of my Summer break, but maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
our conversation was mostly one-sided, though the woman was pleasant enough and i thought we got on well.
after a few minutes, she thanked me and sent me on my way.

i left my second interview of the day and drove home to get undressed and put my suit away.
Wednesday evening i was kind of excited about the Tarrant County Bar Association Pro Bono Initiative internship.
the clerkship with the Judge put me off because he said it would involve writing memos, and i don't really want to do that.
then, Thursday, i was in a panic that i might actually get one of these internships.
good golly! i was just interviewing to interview! i don't actually want to do this stuff, do i!?!
no. i want to have my Summer off. i need to have my Summer off.
then i wanted to get one of the internships so i could have a decent resume like all my peers.
then i wanted my Summers off again.

finally, late Friday afternoon i got an e-mail saying that the Judge picked somebody else.
Saturday i got an e-mail saying that the Tarrant County Bar Association also picked somebody else.
and i was disappointed. and relieved. and insulted.
looks like i'll have my Summer to myself after all.
which is for the best. or maybe it's not? i don't know.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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