An anonymous Harvard 3L penned a personal essay for the Harvard Law Record lamenting the fact that, despite his or her Harvard-ness, he failed to secure a BigLaw offer.
The summary: he (or she!) knows he shouldn’t whine because he still goes to Harvard and has more opportunity than other grads from lesser-ranked schools, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t go to Harvard to get a really high paying job in the first place and therefore took a big ego hit when he wasn’t given an offer after his summer associateship last year.
Elie Mystal (himself an HLS grad) takes a scalpel to the missive at Above the Law, and it does indeed open itself up to some tough love. Some choice quotes:
- Must some of us admit that we hoped to make quite indecorous and undignified amounts of it? Or are we to put on a brave face and tell the world that our goal all along was to achieve enlightenment and live on an ashram, and for that purpose and that purpose alone did we deprive ourselves of sleep and commit ourselves to learning the Hand formula and the rule against perpetuities?
- So we studied, and we subcited, and we networked, and we keycited, and we summer associated. And employers looked at our grades, and our journals, and our work product, and our work ethic, and said, “We don’t want you.” We came from Harvard, and they were nonetheless unimpressed. Something about us was so unappealing that it outweighed the appeal of having another Harvard graduate at the firm. And so we wonder – what mark on our resume is so bad that it outweighs the Crimson H?
- I’m confident we will all land on our feet. And I’m certain that the experience will be an opportunity for us to find strength we didn’t know we had. I’ve met us. And we are, to be frank, pretty amazing.
So, what to say, really? We give him points for honest, noting that it’s of course much easier to be honest under the cloak of anonymity. And we do have some sympathy — sinking 3 years and tons of money into law school and not getting the job you want is tough.
But such is life, even if you went to Harvard. The economy collapsed and firms stopped handing out permanent offers like candy. No one is guaranteed a job. The world keeps moving, and you, anonymous 3L, must stop licking your wounds and move on, too.
We do wish we knew who this 3L is, which would allow us to piece together if the firm economy really is so restricted there are totally normal and qualified Harvard 3Ls who would jump at a BigLaw opportunity but who have no where to leap. Or did the anonymous 3L and his similarly situated cohorts misbehave, fail to do good work, or any of those other similar sorts of things that contribute to joblessness.
We do not know. But we bet the anonymous 3L does.
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