I’m Jealous of My Roommate



ADVICE FROM AN EX-BITTER

[Ed. Note: For today’s “The Best of the Bitter: 2009,” we’re revisiting the three most popular advice pieces by Ex-Bitter from the last year.  “I’m Jealous of My Roommate” was the surprising winner, followed by “I’m Deciding Between a JD and an MBA” and “I’m a Miracle Paralegal.”]

I’m a 3L at a top-20 law school.  My roommate is a 3L at a T3 law school in the same city.  I’ve been published in law review, am in the top 10% of my class, and do quite well in moot court.  My roommate goes to his school’s bar review every Thursday, has no law review/journal experience, and is lucky if he’s in the top 50%.  The only thing he’s actually good at is his student prosecutor position with the DA’s office.  Yet somehow, he has three interviews set up with decent-sized firms and already has two job offers (all legitimate)…I have NADA! 

What gives?  He’s the big-man-on-campus kind of guy, everyone knows him wherever he goes, the girls at his school (and mine) “ooh” & “ahh” over him, and he’s an ex-jock from a big D1 school.  Prior to law school he was a freaking doorman at a nightclub!  I thought employers were supposed to go for the applicants with good grades and law review experience.  How is my roommate is pulling this off?

Welcome to the real world, dude.  Being affable, cool and popular actually matter.  What’s even more shocking is that you somehow suggest that this guy’s a loser because chicks dig him and guys want to hang out with him.  Why wouldn’t someone want this cat working at his law firm?  Instead of resenting him, learn something from him.  Stop acting like you’re owed some great job because you get good grades and did well on your LSAT while everyone who didn’t (or doesn’t) should be condemned to a life of perpetual mediocrity.  Law school is the beginning of the journey, not the end.  An impressive resume is a good start—not a guaranty you’ll be successful. 

Having said all that, you do seem like a highly-qualified, “employable” candidate.  On paper, anyway, which means you’re probably not so great in person.  Sorry.  But that’s the only conclusion I can draw.  Based solely on your question, I’m guessing you come across a bit entitled and self-important, which is anathema to most real-life lawyers.  Especially these days.

My advice: Step up your interpersonal/ interview skills.  Be hungry, excited and modest.  Act like you’re lucky to even be in the room. Sit on the edge of your seat during the interview (literally) and listen to every damn word out of the interviewer’s mouth—no matter how insipid or irrelevant.  In other words, try to be more likable.  Like your roommate.

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Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

34 Comments

  1. WIncredulous

    January 7, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Yep, you sound like you feel completely entitled and that must be coming across to potential employers.

  2. Al Dickman

    January 7, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Ex-Bitter is right.  Just because you’ve done well in class does not make for a desirable employee.  You must be able to get along with people.  Many lawyers from my class did well in class (by definition, 25% of them were in the top 25%!) but there was a disproportionate number of dillweeds who I would never hire, if I were looking for someone to work with.  It is those same qualities that will endear you to the ladies, so maybe you ought to take some lessons on how to be more personable.  It won’t come easy–you’ve had years of practice acting like your shit don’t stink and this will have to change if you expect to get a day job and a nice lady to come home to at nite.  Good luck, fella.

  3. Wilbur Moore

    January 7, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Dipsheet, use your head–if youre so smart.  Your roommate is getting all the jobs and the girls, but needs help studying for the bar.  You’ve got squat, other than supposedly having some brains (and law review).  Offer to barter,dummy!  –help him study for the bar if lets you hang out with him at the bar–and also agrees to throw you his tossaway broads. After he brings home these women –his sloppy seconds sounds a lot better than what you have, although they probably still have to be drunk to find you attractive after being porked by your roommate).  In this way, he will probably pass the bar exam on the first try, and you will have had access to a level of pussy you most certainly would never have had the slightest chance of snagging.  Now that I am thinking about it, I don’t think youre as smart as you think you are.  There seems to be so much low-hanging poon fruit right in front of you and not only don’t you smell it, you are too wrapped up in your own sorry situation to realize it.  Don’t wait for the fruit to turn.  Get it while it’s hot, douche!

  4. BL1Y

    January 7, 2009 at 7:14 am

    No surprise that I can’t interview my way out of a wet paper bag either.  But, this post makes me feel really good now.  I slacked off my first year, and now I know that hard work and dedication wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

  5. EX-ASSOCIATE

    January 7, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I agree with Ex-Bitter. Why don’t you take a page out of your roomate’s playbook and quit feeling like you’re owed a job simply because you were lucky enough to get into a good law school and dorky enough for law review…

    One of the most successful attorneys I know went to a Tier 4 school, but he has personality and hustle and is killing it.

  6. Bitterer

    January 7, 2009 at 8:18 am

    This email was submitted by a troll.  Trust but verify.  Yes, lawyers do have that much time on their hands and yes, they are that lame.

  7. Anonymous

    January 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

    This guy should just give up and get laid.

  8. Hot and Sophisticated

    January 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Hey loser, do you have your loser, non-law review-tier-3 roomie’s phone number?

  9. Hot and Sophisticated

    January 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Hey loser, do you have your loser, non-law review-tier-3 roomie’s phone number?

  10. Anonymous

    January 7, 2009 at 11:58 am

    This so-called “hot and sophisticated” beeotch will hump anything that moves. Maybe she should rename herself hairy and horny.  I’m surprised she’s being so pickey.  I would have matched her with BL1Y

  11. Hot and Sophisticated

    January 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    pickey?

  12. BL1Y

    January 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    OMG! Hot and Sophisticated spotted a typo! LOL! BURNED!  Haha!  I could not be more embarassed for you, dude.

  13. Content Associate

    January 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Ex-bitter is 100% right!  The writer sounds like one of these douche bags I went to law school with who graduated in the top 5%, but were unemployed after graduation, and many are still unemployed after the bar, while the rest of us “average” students were all getting offers.  This guy is a complete nerd, who may know the law better than I ever will, has no idea how to apply it to people in real life. 
    Get over yourself.

  14. Anonymous

    January 8, 2009 at 12:37 am

    BL1Y has made the first cardinal mistake of law; that is”assuming” that I am “a dude. “ The fact that I made a typo may make “Hot and Sophisticated” a “rockstar” on this website, but it does not lead to the conclusion that the instant writer possesses a penis.  BL1Y, When you review your evidence notes, make sure the statement can be admitted into evidence before making it.  Also remember that there is a difference between “fraud in the factum” and “fraud in the rectum.” This is a lesson that “Hot and Sophisticated” has already learned back in her wild and crazy college days.

  15. Anonymous

    January 8, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Harry, Bill and Steve are sitting at the corner bar enjoying themselves, when Ted walks in looking distressed.
    “Ted, you look awful. What’s wrong?” Harry asks.
    Ted says, “Last night I got really drunk, and then somewhere between here and my house, I was abducted by an alien?”
    Everyone is shocked. “I heard about this kind of thing happening!” Bills says. “What did the alien do to you?”
    “I don’t remeber all the details,” Ted says. “All I remember is being anally probed by the alien.”
    Everyone is horrified. “I heard that they’ll do that!” Steve says. “What did the alien look like?”
    Ted responds, “BL1Y.”

  16. BL1Y

    January 8, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Touche.

  17. Lady of Law

    January 8, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Wait, wait, wait….hold the f* on; If I make any sort of comment whatsoever you tell me my face makes your stomach hurt and issue edicts for guys to come and beef me, but some anonymous weirdo posts some long, laaaame joke with you as the alien-with-an-anal-probe punchline AND ALL YOU SAY IS “TOUCHE???” Give me a break!

  18. BL1Y

    January 8, 2009 at 7:06 am

    I thought it was a pretty funny joke.

  19. Bitterer

    January 8, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I will never, ever recommend this site to anyone again if you keep deleting my comments.  That is exactly how it started in Nazi Germany, first they came for the bitter commenters.  GODWIN OUT.

  20. Anonymous

    January 8, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Hey Bitter Lawyer Editors, delete this lunatic’s comment.  Please.

  21. BL1Y

    January 8, 2009 at 9:18 am

    What got deleted?  I figure if an anal rape joke can stay up, pretty much anything can.

  22. for real

    January 8, 2009 at 11:57 am

    amazing to see how the comments went from making fun of the jealous roommate to picking on each other.  Let’s get back on subject and make fun of the kid who sent this email in.  I would throw a zinger at him, but I’m just not that funny.

  23. DantheMan

    January 9, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    the poor sap definitely needs to learn how to operate from his friend

  24. Anonymous

    January 10, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Clearly sloppy seconds are in order for this putz.

  25. LMark

    January 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    You admit that your roomie is good at his internship at the DA’s office.  That may be another reason why he is getting offers—real world legal experience.

  26. Alpha Male

    January 14, 2009 at 6:03 am

    If you’re a 3L at a top 20, sounds like you are either horrible at interviewing, or had a summer job and didnt get an offer.  That means you either have horrible interpersonal skills, do terrible work, or both.

  27. LMark

    February 12, 2009 at 8:56 am

    There is another possibility:  Are you both looking for jobs in the same city?  The city where the law schools are located, I presume?  Did you grow up in that city?  If not, employers might think that you just went to the city to attend a T1 law school and will question your ties to the area.

    On the other hand, no one moves somewhere just to attend a T3 school, so your roommate doesn’t have that problem.

  28. Guano Dubango

    December 23, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I think a man has to be able to parlay what he has to gain a woman’s attention, and a woman has to parlay what she has to gain a man’s attention.  Men do this with their muscles, and women with their breasts.

  29. Ace in the Hole

    December 23, 2009 at 11:40 am

    LOL… Do the math, T3 and T20 = HLS and BU.  (None of the top 20 are in Palo Alto or New Haven other than Stanford and Yale, respectively, and the only top 20 school in Boston besides HLS is BU, ranked #20 and a stretch at that.) Dude, the idea that making review at BU should make you interchangeable with a well adjusted and already working HLS student is laughable.  You didn’t have the brains or put in the work to make it to the top before law school, now learn to live with that.  You still have the chance to succeed and succeed wildly as a lawyer, but you’ll need to kick ass and take names to carry that ball across the line, and you need to recognize that you are not going to get the same chances that someone who has already kicked ass throughout his schooling is going to get.  You haven’t earned them yet.  No go DO something that makes someone think you’ll be a great lawyer, and in case this wasn’t obvious, cite checking articles on a second rate journal will not be sufficient.

  30. Anonymous

    December 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    There is no substitute for going for hot and fresh females. Who cares if you’re smart, the broads are looking to get off, and it’s not on your little wiener.  Your roommate is probably well endowed, and capable of impaling these broads for all their worth.  So either grow yours or be happy that you can hang around and get whatever broads he doesn’t want to bang that nite.

  31. Brett

    December 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I’m curious where these guys are.  Somewhere in Illionis?  What is Minnesota’s rank?  I know they have 4 law schools in the Twin Cities area.  Where do they have a T1 and a T3 school in such close proximity that two students from those schools can live together?

  32. A

    December 23, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Ace, T3 does not = YHS; T3 = TTT.  You should have been able to infer that from several different places.  What would be the point of a post about a charming Harvard getting a job and a BU not?  Also, they could be in L.A. (UCLA/SC and Southwestern). I would also add D.C., but I assume he would have said T-14.  And don’t be a dick.

  33. Al

    December 24, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Be happy for any SLOPPY seconds you get from your roommate.  Without him, you wouldn’t get any tail whatsoever.  You sound like a whiny douche bag, and chicks don’t dig that.  They want to be pounded by a man, not a little dork like you.

  34. Ace in the Hole

    December 24, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Thanks for pointing that out A, I’m used to seeing T3 refer to top 3 rather than tier 3 or TTT in the ATL comments and while the reference to job offers at “decent sized firms” seemed odd in referring to an HLS student, etc., I wasn’t looking for alternate meaning here.  You’re right though, it of course makes much more sense the other way, that’s what I get for not paying attention.  Duh.  Of course, putting point of the comparison aside (the roommate), most of what I said about the guy still applies, I *still* think he needs to go out and do something interesting that shows he’ll make a good lawyer if he wants to find a job in this economy.

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