I intended to post again earlier, but the J-O-B prohibited it.
Anyway, I'm trying to regain all of your confidences in me, so I'm going to make the effort to get back to a regular posting schedule. For some reason, the firm keeps asking me to go to recruiting conferences and job fairs to trick eager young law students into the rewarding and soul-fulfilling life of law firm practice.
The firm even assigned me a mentee this summer, despite the fact that I'm not good at giving the rah-rah company line speech.
This is an actual quote from a conversation between me and a friend of mine who had just started at the firm, to give you a flavor for my "advice:"
Her: D, you have a lot of involvement in the community, you write freelance, and you practice law. How do you find the time?
Me: The secret is to do everything poorly.
I also told the summer clerks this year the following: "Law school has nothing to do with the practice of law. Look at law school exams. No client is going to call you with a question and expect you to give him or her an answer in three hours, without doing research, without talking to anyone else, and while sober."
Despite my habit of giving abysmal advice and my own career-limiting actions (e.g., writing a blog that obsesses about Jessica Alba's ass), I drove to Chicago last week to interview law students.
The cool thing about the trip was that I got to try out my GPS on my Blackberry. I finally caved in and got one of these horrible torture devices, so now I can't even go to the bathroom in peace without being e-mailed. One big problem is that you can't talk on the phone and hear directions at the same time. So I'm on the phone and I miss a turn and exit the highway, figuring that the GPS would recalculate the route to get me back on track.
Well the GPS ended up sending me through some rather interesting parts of Gary, Indiana. The first place that I see is a "Gentleman's Club," but trying to make good time on my trip and not having enough singles on me, I keep going. Not too far from there I see an adult bookstore, with a huge obnoxious banner that says "Toys. DVDs. Lubes."
Excuse me, lubes? That's not something that you usually see so boldly advertised. But apparently, it's a big impulse buy, so this business highlighted its wares.
Speaking of lube advertisements, have you noticed that companies are starting to advertise "personal lubricants" openly on television and in the newspapers? I'm not a prude by any stretch, but on Sunday mornings, when I'm reading the paper while enjoying my French toast, a full size circular advertising K-Y can be a little jarring. They had a campaign that actually said "Try K-Y and see what happens." Let me tell you from personal experience, that trick only works once.
Anyway, I'm still following the GPS instructions, when I notice a woman standing on the side of the road wearing pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. I think "that's odd" and move on. The next block is another women, dressed provactively, holding up a streetlight and surveying the traffic.
It finally dawns on me. I'm driving down the Gary "ho stroll." Thanks GPS!
I keep driving when I hear instructions that alarm me. Instead of the usual cold, robotic directions my phone says:
"Lock doors in ...fifty feet."
Sure enough, I drive through the Beirut section of Gary. I grew up in the Detroit area, so I'm used to seeing urban desolation, but this was like a Stephen King novel. I saw whole blocks of empty buildings, with no people whatsoever. The GPS chimed in.
"Keep your head ...on a swivel. Crack house in ... point two miles... on the left."
Next weekend, I'm in beautiful downtown Cleveland to do some more interviewing. This time I'll be flying and you know how my luck goes with flying.