The Interview: LIVING the DREAM, Webisode 1

First off, I have nothing against Loyola. It’s a great school. All 3,000 of them, which is I why I picked it. It’s not meant to be any one school in particular. It’s sort of a proxy for a good school that’s not Harvard. So please, those of you from the various Loyolas out there, don’t be offended. To me, it’s much funnier to have some partner asshole thumb his nose at a good school than some random, no-name school.

The real-life inspiration for this episode was a truly horrible interview I had years ago at some swanky Washington, D.C. firm—the kind that likes to brag that they only hire from Harvard even though they don’t. So here I am, a nervous second year with decent grades at American University Law School sitting across from some douche bag in a bow tie, when he glances at my resume and says, “American, huh?  What’s the matter, didn’t want to go to Harvard?”

And just like that, I was toast for the rest of the interview. I wanted to put a pencil through his goddamn throat. Instead, I just sat there like an insecure fool rambling about American’s highly ranked international law program. He just nodded, wallowing in my pathetic second-tier shame. Then, with a sadistic, Brahman grin, said, “Are you saying you got into Harvard and chose American instead?” Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, dick! I’m the one guy in the history of the fucking world who chose AU over Harvard. Yale too. Got into all of them. Stanford, Chicago, Columbia. I just really wanted to live in DC and go to American. Because of their terrific international law program and proximity to the Portuguese Embassy.

Anyway, you get the idea. Not a great interview. This cat was clearly the most annoying man I’d ever met. So, I figured it made sense for our lead character, Nick Conley (John T. Woods), to interview with him too.  I thought the actor (Ed Kerr) who played the asshole partner was terrific. Far more intense and intimidating than the effeminate loser I interviewed with years ago.

The whole idea of the episode is to have Nick suffer the worst interview of his life, then somehow, magically, get an offer and say yes – even though, deep down, he knows the place is a little crazy. Or evil. But he says yes. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Chase the prestige. Work at the best firm possible.

The mentally unstable, cross-dressing drunk—the thick dude Nick’s dancing with at the bar—is clearly meant to be the Ghost of Christmas Future.  The last shot of Nick says it all. I just made a deal with the devil. And I’m terrified. The exact same feeling I had years ago, when I called the hiring coordinator at Skadden Arps and said, “I accept.”

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Rick Eid spent eight long, confusing years as a lawyer and investment banker before he finally bailed out to become a writer. He was the founder of Bitter Lawyer, where he also created the web video series Living the Dream. He has since been a producer and executive producer of Law & Order, CSI, and The Hostages, among other television shows. Read articles and content from Rick Eid.

5 Comments

  1. MK-ULTRA

    July 22, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Absolutely awesome!

  2. Nick Santora

    July 22, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Great episode – on the money! Hysterical!  As disastrous as my interview at a major New York firm when I walked in and a litigation partner took one look at me and said, very disappointed: “You’re not Black.” (note: my resume listed my African American studies degree) (another note: I’m White)

  3. Walton

    July 23, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    You nailed it and it wasn’t just second tier schools.  I was at “one of the 15 law schools in the top 10”, but not the law review editor (if you catch my drift).  I was also returning 8 years after undergrad.  Mr. UVA Law Review second year associate asks me what class I remembered best from my freshman year in high school.  Not having a clue I asked him what he remembered best about fifth grade.  He couldn’t remember and asked why it was relevant.  “Because when I was a freshman, you were in fifth grade – looks like your memory is as good as mine.” No call back.

  4. NCLawyer

    August 29, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Too funny.  I had a similar interview experience with a Richmond, VA law firm once … even worse, it was before I’d even applied to lawschool. I was interviewing for the receptionist job!  And a part-time receptionist at that.
    And like Nick, I took the job.  In the long run it was a good decision … it taught me what to avoid when I went looking for a job as a lawyer.

  5. Philly Lawyer

    September 1, 2008 at 8:02 am

    This one was dead on.  I finished in the top 10 of a second tier law school and had an interview at a big Philly firm.  I walked in the guy’s office and he picked up my resume, read it as he spun his chair toward the window behind him, and then turned back and said: “You know, if you had grades like these from Penn, I’d lock the door and not let you out until you accepted an offer.  But you didn’t go to Penn, did you? What makes you think these grades at this school make you qualified even to take up my time today?” In one of my proudest moments, I said that “I didn’t know if I was qualified to take up your time, but I can tell that your firm is not qualified to take up any more of mine” and I left.  I
    Keep up the great work.

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