January 12, 2005

Inefficient Hors D'oeuvres

by PG

Second semester of 1L year, and at least in New York City, that means one thing for law students. Not establishing an individual sense of jurisprudence, or becoming a New Yorker, or even knowing all of one's classmates.

Nope, January is Firm Reception Month. The first few weeks back are booked solid with various events around the city: pool halls, bars, restaurants, even law offices. A few are scheduled at the same time, giving us the difficult dilemma of picking between an Asian dinner and American appetizers. Certainly most of us never would enter some of these establishments without the assurance that we wouldn't be saddled with the check.

The classmate on my left at tonight's affair wondered what the point of this exercise was. He'd talked to an associate at the sponsoring Somebody & That Other Dude, and he was enjoying the free food and drink, but he couldn't figure out what was in it for the firms. They weren't courting us to work for them this summer; heck, most of them wouldn't even look at our resumes. Is it building good will for the summer associate hiring process we'd undergo this fall? or for recruiting us after graduation? Or do the big firms really just have this much money to burn, and figure to expiate their sins by feting hungry students?

January 12, 2005 10:19 PM | TrackBack

PG, it's advertising for them. They're hoping when you put together your firm lineup next fall you'll remember the free beer they gave you and somehow think their firm would be a better place to work. No one there is going to remember your name, nor you their names, so unless you like the free food and alcohol, I'd say don't waste your time. I think I went to 2 of them and then decided they were a waste.

Posted by: Publius at January 14, 2005 02:48 PM

Hiring partner: Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But uh, until that day - accept these drinks and appetizers as a gift....

Even in new york, it's a small town. someday you might need a big firm cocounsel; someday you may be opposing counsel ready to negotiate a settlement.
when that day comes, consciously or unconsciously, you will remember the free drink.
a few years ago, a lawyer tried to buy me lunch, and we joked about this, and i let him buy me lunch. the case he was urging me to hurry up on still drags on, and price of that lunch grows heavier and heavier.
now, as a law student, take all the free lunches you can get, and collect the business cards. because someday you will be offered a case you don't want, and you can whisper "i know a guy..."

Posted by: arbitraryaardvark at January 14, 2005 04:20 PM

I don't have working trackbacks, but I have some speculative thoughts about why firms might do this.

Posted by: washerdreyer at January 14, 2005 05:30 PM
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