Cute Lawyers #28: The New York Catacombs
Wow, have I really not updated in a month? Anyway, here’s a comic about document review—the job that Hayley and Kate will get if they don’t get the job they came to interview for.
I hear the HEAD of the U.N. is quite a guy pfffftsnrk
Congratulations to all my friends graduating from Harvard Law School this year (and also all the ones who aren’t my friends.) I sat in your uncomfortably warm place just a year ago and I know what it must be like over there right now—crazy, tumultuous, a little foreboding; you’ve done everything you were supposed to and now, you ask yourself, what’s next?
Your graduation speakers and many other august figures will try to answer that question for you. Don’t listen to them. Not because they’re bad—on the contrary, they’re awesome. So awesome, in fact, that they become inured to their own awesomeness, and without realizing it they begin to give advice that’s really meant for similarly awesome people. In other words, doing what these people do is great if you have the same awesome personal qualities that made them so awesome in first place. If not, then they have no more to tell you than Usain Bolt has to tell a baby about how to crawl. These awesome people are playing a whole different ballgame, and trying to ape their moves is a great way to get blown out.
Again, I have no ill will towards awesome people and their inspiring words. But the danger of paying them too much attention is that it feeds into a pernicious myth—propagated by Legally Blonde and Grisham novels and your oh-so-proud parents—that the competition is over; that anything is assured; that going to Harvard somehow insulates you from the all-but-total collapse of the legal market, makes you somehow special. That may be true at Wonder Bar, but not in the real world.
When I was applying for clerkships, I listened to an OCS podcast. Its advice? Steel yourself for the deluge of calls you’ll get the moment the federal Hiring Plan allows prospective judges to contact you. Have room in your voicemail box, have a professional voicemail message, and when the storm passes, start dealing out return calls with a vengeance.
Well, the day the Hiring Plan allowed judges to start scheduling interviews, I sat down with an empty voicemail box, and a nice-sounding voicemail message, and a notepad. The hour of destiny came, then the next hour came, then the one after that. There was no deluge of calls, of course. There wasn’t even one. When I did get a clerkship, it was because I networked my ass off and when I finally got an interview (I called them, by the way), I prepared for that interview like it was a full-time job. OCS told me there was a clerkship for everyone; they were wrong. There’s a clerkship for everyone who’s hungry as hell and impressive as hell and lucky as hell. Actually, scratch that. There’s a clerkship for maybe half to a third of those people.
I realize that OCS has started coming around to the reality of the new legal job landscape, as it were. But progress has been slow. And cute remarks about “Planet Harvard” versus the real world aside, the best career advice I ever got wasn’t from Harvard, but from my dear old mom:
No job is beneath you.
Which is not to say my current job is bad; I’ve talked to a friend with a vaunted Circuit Court clerkship, and I still think my state clerkship is better. But you wouldn’t know it from listening to the law schools, or the law student forums, or the firms who give clerkship bonuses for federal clerkships only. It’s not time to start hungrily eyeing that SCOTUS clerkship or that Bristow Fellowship. It’s time to start looking in places you wouldn’t have thought of, places you were never told to look—not only because you might find a pleasant surprise, but because you have no other choice. When the gates close, you don’t start throwing yourself at the locked portcullis. You dig under the walls, you do what you have to. There may have been a time when the HLS alum didn’t have to scrape and scrabble like the Thomas Jefferson School of Law alum; not anymore.
Congratulations on your graduation, men and women of Harvard, and welcome to the only game in town.
Windansea Beach, La Jolla, California. That isn’t a typo, by the way. Hey, I didn’t name the place. It named itself.
Comic returns soon.
Kind of a fusion take on the Chinese classic gan bian si ji dou, dry-fried green beans. It’s not quite as authentic, but at least you can shop for it at a Wal-Mart. You’ll notice that the given ingredient quantities are less than precise. That’s because I never measure out ingredients when I prepare this dish—experimentation is half the fun of cooking, at least for me. So go nuts and adjust anything and everything to your taste. Hell, you could stick one green bean in a pile of chorizo like a birthday candle if you wanted. I won’t judge.
1. Wash the green beans and dry them carefully. Break off the ends and break each bean into approximately 2-inch pieces. As you break the beans, you’ll probably notice a little light green string coming out of the crease in the bean. This is normal; pull the string out like the sand vein on a shrimp. It’ll help your beans stay tender.
2. Heat up your oil in a good cooking pan/pot until it flows easily and a wooden chopstick pressed against the bottom of the pan creates tiny little bubbles at a rapid rate. (Don’t try this with a plastic chopstick.)
3. Dump in the green beans and stir-fry for 4-6 minutes or until the beans start to blister up and look kind of wrinkly. It’s important that you stir vigorously here to ensure even cooking.
4. Remove the beans from your pan and set them aside. Now throw your garlic into the pan and let it crisp up a little in the residual oil. Once the garlic starts to go from white to blonde, immediately add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine. If you’re like me and used chorizo from a plastic ‘sausage wrapping’, you’ll want to break up the big hunk of chorizo with your chopsticks or whatever. Just smash it up like a canned cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving.
5. Cook the chorizo through, letting it get a nice angry dark red. Depending on how much chorizo you used, this shouldn’t take very long, like maybe a couple minutes.
6. Add the green beans back into the pan and stir. Turn off the heat and let the flavors marry a bit while you serve your rice.
7. Pour the pan out over the rice and enjoy. If you’re serving this to friends, feel free to smugly tell them, “It’s called gan bian si (pronounced like a short, sharp ‘tsuh’) ji dou. You’ve probably never heard of it.” If you don’t have friends, take a picture of the food next to an anime figurine.
Serve with beer or wine or Kool-Aid or whatever’s on hand. Sichuan food isn’t picky, not even when it’s adulterated in ways that would make P.F. Chang cry.
Cute Lawyers #27.5: An Anniversary Comic
Goodness, have I already been doing this comic for a year? And in-universe, only two days have passed. I’d better get cracking on that. For now, you may assume for the purposes of this comic that Hayley was hired by Yonson Urmy.
Cute Lawyers #27: A Lawyer Joke
Again, sorry for the delay. Here I tried some stuff with shading and contrast. The writing is based on a conversation I had with Boston’s Skiffy the Green Cab Driver. That was one night out that I actually remembered.
This is what happens when I stay up late listening to the Boston Police scanner. Great job to BPD, Cambridge Police, MIT campus police, MBTA police, and everyone else who helped catch Dzhokhar in one piece! You guys are my heroes, seriously.
(I don’t know what a bomb robot looks like so I drew an Aibo, wanna fight about it)