Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Chess with Partners at the Law Firm

I wanted to take a moment and reflect on my externship at the law firm. My semester at law school is now complete, which means so are my rights to stay here and work for free at the patent law firm. In a way I am a bit sad to move on, yet in a big way I am overjoyed because now the partners need to decide whether they want to keep me on as a student associate or whether they want to say thank you and good bye.

Since Passover has just taken us for a one-week joyride, it was time to get back to work. The problem for me was that right before the holidays, I approached one of the partners and presented to him why I should get a job here as a summer associate... Then I took a week off. However, I decided to add to my holiday, and so I took that Friday off, and additionally, today I did not show up at the scheduled time. Instead, I made two phone calls, which saved the day.

As a preface, because I took all this time off, I felt like if I were a paid employee that I would be fired. However as much of a wonderful time as I had during this Passover, this was a real holiday that required real praying and time. Plus, the few days in the interim that weren't holiday that required that I abstain from work were used up with me sitting in a park or at the beach under the sun with my Constitutional Law textbooks. However, this doesn't change the fact that I wasn't at work.

The two phone calls I made today were 1) to the partner who is my boss, and 2) to the partner for whom I am working on a project. I called the partner to set up a meeting so that we can review the work I did for the firm and close my externship. My real purpose was to review my contributions to influence him to offer me summer employment in spite of my one-month hiatus to the China IP Summer Law Program. I would also like to secure a job for the fall and for when I graduate, and I believe that this would be the opportune time to do so. We set the meeting for Friday.

My second phone call was to set a review meeting slightly before my meeting with the other partner to review the office action (part of the cumbersome process of submitting patents for review and acceptance). Obviously the task he wants me to do will take many more weeks to complete. However, I wanted to give him a status report of what I've done, and hint to him that if I stay that I could help him get this patent submitted and approved. Did I mention that this meeting was set for one hour before my meeting with the general partner? *grin*

However, life is not all about positioning and playing life as if it were a chessboard. I needed significant progress to show this partner that I can be of value to him in getting his patent through the system. The time is now 10:45pm, and everyone went home at 6:00pm. These extra few hours, although they have been allocated for studying Constitutional Law and Trusts & Estates were well spent mastering the patent application and the nuances. I feel that by doing this, even if I am not offered a job, at least I will have made another significant contribution before I left the firm and returned to student life. After all, this is where I likely want to work once I graduate law school and pass the bar exam.

1 comment:

Daphnewood said...

Go get 'em Tiger!