So I definitely fail at doing things when I say I’m going to do them. I have two posts that I’ve been meaning to write up and post, one about the weather, and another about the extra-curricular activities I’m a part of, or that I’m going to be a part of. While the weather is certainly important, and I’ve got some pictures of weird white stuff all over, I’ve done that same post a couple times including some pictures. (Spoiler, there’s lots of white, and there might even be a snowman!) So, keeping that in mind, I’m going to start with what I’ve been up to (law and school related) but not classes. (Shocking that I do things other than classes, right?)
First things first. I had anticipated making lots of posts about the job search and On Campus Interviews and the Public Interest Law Center’s Career Fair. Well. As some (most?) of you know, I got a summer job at the end of winter break. (Yaaaay!) So that means, obviously, that I’m not going to spend this semester interviewing for summer positions. (It’s frowned upon to interview for positions you have no intention of accepting.) Keeping that in mind, though, I have been participating in some networking events, and I’m seeing all of my classmates (or the vast majority of them) going through the process. The process as a whole just looks really stressful. I’ve been able to somewhat enjoy getting food and drinks at fancy, swanky hotels in the area while chatting with hiring staff from some of the more prestigious law firms. They’re essentially wining and dining us in the hopes that we’ll apply to work there for our 2L summer.
The one drawback to having a job lined up (more or less) is that I only interviewed once, so I’m not getting the same kind of practice at interviewing and prepping for interviews that my peers are. It would be nice to have a little bit of practice before we go into Early Interview Week (EIW) at the end of the summer. It’s not quite a full week – closer to 4 or 5 days – that essentially consist of 10 hours worth of 20 minute interviews. I’ve heard of people doing 40 or more interviews over the course of the week. The employers and students are all in a couple hotels, and you just to to interview after interview. You have at least 30 minutes between each interview, but you could have an interview every hour. From what I’ve heard, it’s one of the more grueling law school experiences. On the plus side, that’s how quite a few 2Ls get their summer jobs, and then you’re essentially done with the process for another year. I’ll try to remember to let you know how that goes, but it’s not until August, so I have lots of time to dread it.
The other thing I’m finding is that getting everything together for a job is kind of a pain in the butt. Although, it’s likely primarily because I’m going to be working for the feds. I’ve had to complete information for a background check (all online now, which is nice!) and some other forms and paperwork that they need – signatures saying that they can access various documents and records, as well as promising I’ll keep my work confidential, and a signature stating that I am, in fact, and NYU Law student. The most difficult part of this is the fingerprinting. I really should’ve thought about it, and put it together that I would need fingerprints done for the background check. Unfortunately, everything happened so quickly that it didn’t even cross my mind. If I’d thought of it when I was still in Arizona, I could’ve very easily gotten them taken care of because I’ve got a contact at my local Police Department. Here, on the other hand, I have to get myself over to the local police precinct, and it sounds like it’s going to be a $26 fee to get the two cards taken care of. I’m still waiting to hear back from my contact in Arizona on whether or not she has any advice on a way to get those done cheaper or for free… But hopefully that’ll work out.
Other than my job, I’ve been volunteering more this semester. I’m working with an organization called Covenant House, which provides services including housing, education, and work readiness programs to homeless youth in the area. There’s a group of NYU Law students that go – each of us spends about 3 hours a week there. We are primarily supposed to do intake interviews with the kids there to see what legal (or general) help they need. Then we research the issues that come up, and report back to our supervising attorneys on what actually needs to be done. We also work on general educational things – there’s a powerpoint that’s being made for domestic violence awareness and supposedly we’re going to be working on a “Know Your Rights” presentation. This is essentially replacing a volunteer program I did last semester – it’s with the same on campus group, but a different organization. Last semester, I was doing research on the prostitution diversion programs that various states have implemented. It was interesting, and I enjoyed the research, but I’m really glad to be starting work with more direct services and actually working with clients.
This past Monday, I volunteered with another student organization that holds mock interviews with a welfare-to-work program. We go through general interview questions, look over their resumes, and give them feedback on what they’re doing well, and what they can think about doing to improve. It was a pretty rewarding experience – I worked with two clients, and one of them was really excited and appreciative. The other was a little more subdued, but still seemed like she was glad to have someone offering advice. There’s a certain point where I feel like I’m completely unqualified to advise people on interviews, considering I’ve only had one “real” interview, and a couple for student worker positions. The other great thing about that program, is that they provide pizza for everyone involved, so I get free food! There’s no real time requirement for it – from week to week we can decide whether or not we want to participate, but I did enjoy it, and will probably participate in a couple more throughout the semester.
Finally, the last volunteer work I’ll be doing is going to the Immigration Detention Centers in New Jersey, and basically doing intake interviews with them to see if the detainees qualify for pro bono representation. I’m looking forward to that too, especially because I’ll be able to use my Spanish skills.