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My New Colleague

March 27, 2012

Before I started at my new firm, I spent a lot of time on their website, checking out everyone’s bio.  Of course, my first look was before I even applied.

When I was applying to firms, one of the first things I would do is check the bios to be sure that the firm hired from my law school.  Living in the Boston area, and having gone to decidedly not-Harvard, I do worry sometimes that my school will be shunned.  Objectively, this is a stupid concern.  If any firm was going to shun my not-Harvard school, it would have been my ex BigFirm. And not only did they hire me, but they kept me around for almost 5 years – there were many Harvard and Yale grads who did not make it that long.

But I digress.

Point: I looked at my new firm’s website, and the only other attorney who’d graduated from my law school did so in 1974.

So I was concerned, and thought it was possible that submitting my resume was going to be a waste of time.

Interview / offer / acceptance / hire.  During all of that time, I continued to spend time on the website, to try and get a sense of who I would be working with.  I noticed changes (someone quit, someone else was hired).

Then my first day rolled around.  On my first day, there was a party.  It would have been nice if it were for me, but it was not.  It was because a trial had been won the previous Friday.  The party included the entire firm (attorneys, paralegals, assistants, office services, etc.) as well as a champagne toast.  As the firm came flooding in, I noticed a familiar face.  But I couldn’t place where she was from. She walked over to me, and as she did, another attorney joined us, and the familiar face said, “Hi, Suz!” and I said, “Hi! How are YOU?” And she said, “I didn’t know you were coming here!” and the other attorney said, “Do you two know each other?” and familiar face said, “Yes! we went to law school together! We graduated together!”

Oof.

She had just started, was in her second week, and hadn’t made it to the website.  Hence my not spotting her and being prepared for this.

No doubt, when I was in law school, I was not the most social person.  I kept my head down. I did my work.  I went home.  I didn’t have much patience for the high school-esque antics that went on around me.  I was that old lady who was shocked to see these little whipper snappers spending their class time IMing across the room.  They annoyed me.

New Colleague is not and was not of that ilk.  Actually, as it turns out, she’s my age.  She had a full-on impressive career before law school.  I think she also was a head-down type of person.

And it’s not like we were closer than I remembered – that I forgot someone with whom I had a close friendship.  The first time she stopped by my office at work, she noticed a photo on my desk.  “Who are they?”  “They are my daughters.”  “You have KIDS???!!!!”  And that was far from a secret at school. Anyone who I did talk to knew I had kids.

But then last week we were again at a gathering with other associates, and one of these (also a relatively new hire) graduated from our law school a few years ahead of me.  She said to us, “so you graduated the same year?” and my New Colleague said, “Yes, we did.  Actually, we had a fair amount of classes together.”

Oof!  Again!!  I didn’t know that!  I didn’t remember that.

I really need to start doing some sudoku.

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