300 words no names no holdsworths
Tis the season for legal events, and applications. I've been to such Events with four firms; at Baker & McKenzie's dinner at the Mailbox, everyone had a wonderful I-want-to-work-with-these-people vibe, even if their applications are utterly, viciously competitive, and everyone was incredibly encouraging except the actual admissions person, who once told I'd got a C at A-level Computing started advising me to apply for regional firms (the hell; my academic record at university is literally first-class, and if this one bad A-level is an albatross round my neck I'm going to be vexed.) Hogan Lovells was a very last-minute thing as another L4NL person bailed, but I'd got a good feeling off the associates I'd met at Cousin Jonathan's wedding partner, and this was further confirmed: the associates there were delightfully competent and personable and the partner was really genuinely fun. Linklaters, by contrast, seemed rather unpleasantly polished and soulless, an event put together carefully by a marketing committee according to some synergistic leverage algorithm, and I excused myself after scoffing a few canapes. I didn't even bother asking them about the A-levels. Finally, the lunchtime with Berwin Leighton Paisner was the smallest and most low-key of the events so far, but very warm and welcoming, with two extremely friendly trainees and presentation so comprehensive I was (for once) without anything to really ask at the end.
Plus, free sandwiches. I have to say, as a student, providing free food at these events is about the best way to get people interested. I am as convinced as ever that this law business is a good idea, something that I can do and something that I want. I have so far applied to four firms (Burges Salmon, Herbert Smith, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Slaughter and May) and am planning several more.
Being one of the few who seems to actually pay attention to the my.bham feed, I scored a brief part-time JOB from the university - the Space Utilisation Survey, ie wandering around the Arts block sticking my head round doors and counting students. Basically, a sort of civilised, academic version of the census, sans the slum-exploring, spitting, and threats of random violence, and the hourly pay worked out about the same. Even the feeling of large institutions as facelessly incompetent and corrupt was the same: it was worrying to see how many 60-person lecture theatres had 15 people in them, and how many 12-man rooms contained 20 student sardines breathlessly trying to avoid mutual sexual harassment. Not that it didn't have the odd smart aleck, as on my first shift:
Myself, holding up my clipboard like a shield: Just taking a head count, please ignore the interruption.
Lecturer: Well, that's a logical contradiction, isn't it? I can't ignore an interruption, it's like-
Myself: Please pay as little attention to the interruption as possible. (unspoken, but thought so hard everyone probably heard it anyway: Wanker.)