Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy Blog Post :)

I originally posted this last night but have decided that I need to remove a lot of the details for the sake of anonymity, but here's the gist!

I've been duly informed by my mother that my last blog post was just a little depressing and I need to write something happy . . . and I totally agree with that! I am so excited about what I get to write about tonight, readers. SO excited. I have waited for a long, long time to tell you all about this, because I had to wait until all the details were fully in place. I've made some cryptic and vague references to this situation in posts over the last few weeks, but haven't been able to share it outright.

I am praising the Lord right now because I just got my dream job!! I have waited SO long for this and worked SO hard for this (and that's exactly what that last blog post was really about). I have really struggled in law school to find good jobs in the summers, and have often struck out completely in that pursuit and been stuck in positions that either weren't related to my law degree at all or in positions with bosses who don't treat their staff with respect. And this is the first time in my life that a truly GOOD job has come through for me. Because I struggled all through college and law school to find good summer jobs and internships, and because in law school I never got the summer associate jobs at nice law firms where they take you out to lunch every day and pay you a very handsome salary. I've also experienced firsthand just how competitive the legal job market is, and all in all in my law school journey, I would guess that I've interviewed about 20 times for jobs that I didn't get. And that is a lot. And it was incredibly discouraging.

But then. Last fall, I wrote a lot in my journal about the kind of job I wanted to get. I wanted to do family law litigation in a small firm in the city I worked in last summer, I wanted to work with great people and to have at least some Christian coworkers, I wanted to be in court a lot, and perhaps most of all, I was hoping and praying that for once--for once--finding a permanent job could just fall into place and be EASY and not like pulling teeth and not full of disappointments and rejection letters. Because let me tell you, I was really tired of getting rejection letters! So anyway, I wrote and wrote on those pages of my journal about the kind of job I wanted, and I prayed and prayed about it too.

In late January, I submitted a resume to a wonderful law firm in the city with a very well-respected family law practice group. The firm has less than 20 attorneys (perfect size for me!) and their family law practice group is considered one of the best in the whole region. So I emailed them my resume and a letter of interest in joining the family law group, not really expecting to even hear anything back. But I did hear back--two hours later. They invited me to come up for an initial interview and lunch with two partners in the family law group. That night, I started researching the firm more online, and I realized that several of the firm's attorneys went to my undergrad . . . and I started realizing that probably played a big part in why they had gotten back to me so fast.

The first interview went so well, and the two partners were wonderful and friendly and put me at ease so much. I had such a good feeling about everyone and everything, and it didn't even feel like an interview because they were so nice, and we just talked and laughed for a couple hours over lunch. So they were wonderful and I had SUCH a great feeling about the firm, and I also loved everything I had learned about the practice group, the type of work, the lifestyle, the culture, and so forth. And it was the biggest breath of fresh air in the world to be in a law firm where people were kind, professional, polite, and respectful. I know this sounds so dramatic, but I think you'll know what I mean when I say my heart instantly ached to be a part of this firm. I just wanted it so badly. It was SO good for me to be around attorneys like those two partners I met with. They were so genuine, and talked to me about how they love their families and their churches and their community activities and so on. (Oh, and the church thing? I know that being highly involved in church is of course not dispositive of the issue of being Christian, but just based on that alone, my educated guess would be that at least 10 of the attorneys in this firm are Christian. Check that off the list too of things I really, really wanted in a job).

Then I went to Seattle for the Moot Court competition, and had a great time with my teammates up there but admittedly was distracted the entire time, wondering if I'd get good news back from the firm and daydreaming about how much I wanted to work there and how it was everything I wanted and would fulfill ALL the criteria I wrote down in my journal last fall--because I'd be doing family law, and in the courtroom all the time, and working with wonderful people, in the city I love. I got on the plane to fly back home on Monday morning after the trip, and I prayed about the job thing once more. I sensed very deeply that there would be a rejection letter waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home, even though I thought the interview had gone very well. I wasn't trying to be negative at all, but it was honestly very hard for me to expect anything else when that is how essentially every other interview I have had in law school, regardless of how well or poorly it's gone, has ended. I wanted to believe that this was the year that God would do a new thing, but oh, readers, it was hard to believe that. That's what I was also dealing with when I wrote that last post--it's the feeling of wanting to believe that THIS TIME it will be different and God will give you the thing that has become a very deep and heartfelt desire, but not having any basis for believing it will be different because it's always, always gone the same way before. But that morning on the plane from Seattle, I prayed about it one more time, and I instantly felt a deep, enveloping sense of peace come over me. I was truly overcome by peace, and I just knew that no matter what happened, it would be ok. I got back that night and checked my mail and there wasn't a letter. So I hadn't been rejected yet!

As it turns out, the week I got back from Seattle, I was invited for a callback interview after finding out that two people at my law school made calls to the firm on my behalf without me having to ask. So I had the callbacks this past Friday, and again, they went so well. I absolutely loved everyone I met, and they were all every bit as nice as the two attorneys I met in the first interview. At dinner, for example, we were acting like we had all known each other for years--laughing, joking around, recommending wines, and just having a good time. Normally I wouldn't let down my guard at all during an interview situation like that, but they put me so much at ease that I knew it was ok to just relax, laugh, and enjoy myself. And I fell in love with this law firm all that much more.

Then the waiting game began, and that's why this past weekend was tough. I knew that you don't get the answer right away, but I was driving myself crazy waiting for news, and it was like, "You need to call me NOW." The partner had told me they were having a shareholders' meeting on Tuesday and would probably have an answer for me after that. And sure enough, Tuesday night at about 6:30 pm, she called me and told me the firm would like to extend an offer to me! I could not be happier right now. God has had His hand in this SO much. This is what I've been waiting for. It is not an exaggeration to say that I have worked and waited for years for this opportunity, even though until about eight weeks ago, I didn't know what, exactly, I was working for, but only the type of job I wanted. But this is what I came to law school for, and it is exactly what I have wanted to do for so long.

I just can't get over how incredibly redemptive this whole thing is. This is one of those very rare moments where God gives you a bird's-eye view of your life and you can SEE why some things happened in the way that they did. If I hadn't been totally determined to go to my undergrad and nowhere else for college, I would never have had that strong alumni connection with several of the people at this firm. If I hadn't had the job I had last summer, even though it wasn't a pleasant experience, I wouldn't have acquired nearly enough practical experience in family law to get my resume noticed by this firm. If I hadn't had the job I had my 1L summer, one of those calls would never have been made on my behalf--because it was my supervisor that called for me and was able to vouch for my work ethic.

And on and on. I have seen God redeem those tough work experiences and all those rejection letters and all that waiting and turn it into something good. Something so, so good! Because like I said earlier, this is truly my dream job. God is just so good, y'all. He is so wonderfully good. He is truly able to do far more than anything we could ever ask or imagine, and like I wrote about a few weeks ago, THIS is the year of the Lord's favor and the year that God is doing a new thing in my life. A brand new thing. An offer instead of rejection, the opportunity I've worked for after a long, long wait, and the chance to do what I love in the city I love for the Lord I love. I'm pondering anew what the Almighty can do--and what He has already done. With God, all things are possible, and He is unstoppable. And it's worth the wait.

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