Last week I took a few days to go out to California. It was ostensibly a job-hunting trip, but it ended up mostly being a time to catch up with old friends. Which was perfect, because that's really what I needed, particularly with not feeling so good about myself. Because there wasn't a person I saw who didn't give me the hugest pat on the back for my accomplishment: finishing law school. At first it baffled me, because I didn't think it was such a hard thing to do. I mean, while I found law school to be hard to be perfect at, but I didn't find it hard to do. I liked it, I understood everything… Yes it was intense, challenging, and a lot of work, but I still wouldn't say it was hard.
But then, I've been so busy staring at the hole that I may have missed the donut. Instead of defining myself by what I didn't do, my friends all wanted to define me by what I did do. It's good to have friends to do that. And by the end of my time there I was inclined to believe them…
The trip also had a couple of other really positive moments. One came with a visit to the place I worked last summer. I've sometimes had concerns about whether it was a good idea to have taken that job, since it involved neither litigation nor an area of the law I'm likely to practice in. But my visit erased all my doubts - it was absolutely the right thing to have done. Even if just for the people. They are some of the most dedicated, supportive, and generous people I've ever had the pleasure to work with. I'm lucky to have had that experience and them in my life. And yeah, maybe from a subject matter standpoint it stands out as a little esoteric on my resume - but that's a good thing. I'm obviously passionate about tech law and the related civil liberties issues, and that's not hard to see. But there's other things out there in the world, and other people with their particular needs for justice. Ultimately I will be a better person and a better lawyer for having had the occasion to really understand this.
Meanwhile the other positive moment came when I cold-called on a staffing agency. I picked one I'd heard of when I was a webmaster and got in touch with their legal services arm. I met two recruiters who generously went over my resume, gave me some great advice, and explained how to get into the system to be staffed out. And both of them confirmed that I am indeed employable. It was definitely a happy day to find out that, if my dream job should not happen to fall in my lap between now and then, come the end of summer I'll still be able to pay the rent.