August 30, 2012 by williamsjustliving
I entered law school with big firm dreams. Until I went on a big firm interview (I’ll call this firm BF, LLP).
It was a dog and pony show–starring me as the dog and the pony. BF, LLP had only one Black person interviewing that day–oh, yeah, that’s right. Me. If you have never had the experience of being the _____ in the room (fill in the blank with whatever characteristic applies to you: man, woman, disabled person, adult over 40, etc.), I gotta tell you it is a WEIRD trip. The partners at BF, LLP were genuinely nice people. I could tell that they wanted more diversity at BF, LLP.
I would be lying if I didn’t say that the money was good and attractive. I wanted that job. Working at that job for one week put me in reach of my first ever Louis Vuitton bag. Alas, I didn’t get the call back and (I can only assume since I received no further communication from BF, LLP) I did not get the job. I was disappointed, but a little relieved. I would not have to spend my summer looking for acceptable shades of pale pink nail polish and carefully monitoring my (admittedly Decatur) accent. I wouldn’t have to worry about partners not liking me, or whether I would get an offer at the end of the summer.
Maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t get that BF, LLP job. Maybe they would have been unhappy with me. Maybe I’m too loud, too stubborn, too “ethnic,” and too female to fit in comfortably with their firm culture. Also, losing an opportunity with BF, LLP forced me to look at other ways to be an attorney and be happy with myself on an everyday basis. I realize now that I would never have the right characteristics to suit me to BF, LLP and its counterparts. My grades would never be good enough–but, they are pretty good for a little Black girl out of unincorporated Decatur 🙂 I now have an opportunity to do law the Frank Sinatra way…..and, I’m here to tell you that you, my 1L/2L/3L, can as well. And, yes, if you click the link you will be taken to Frank Sinatra singing.