Remembering Her First Job Interview – Prof. Amy Stein

By David Sutton

I actually graduated from law school before it was cool,” University of Florida Law professor Amy Stein reminisced.

It was the first month of the 2L year, and already the major firms were interviewing at the University of Chicago for their coveted summer internships.  At stake was the big firm job that Amy Stein did not even want yet, convinced that she would instead work for the Federal Government in environmental law.  But as true today as it was then, she had to keep her options open, and interviewing for these internships was the first big step in guaranteeing good employment after graduation.  She was waiting outside a room to be interviewed, and in a great tradition that continues to this day, the other students in line were undermining each other’s confidence.

“Why weren’t you at the dinner last night?”

After failing to establish a prima facie case for IIED for such an insidious remark, Amy had to admit that she had not been invited to the dinner at all.  

UF Law Professor Amy Stein
UF Law Professor Amy Stein.

It turned out that the firm she was applying for had taken all of the law review interviewees out to dinner the previous night, and – pick your jaws up off the floor – Amy was not a member of the law review.  Confidence appropriately shot, she was immediately called in for the interview.

At this point a lot of thoughts were running through her mind, not the least of which was, “why am I here?”  Apparently she likes to think out loud, because this also happens to be the first thing she said to her interviewer.  

She had a great point though: if this firm was so concerned about the law review that it took them all out to dinner, why were they wasting everyone’s time by interviewing non-law review members?  For the first time in human history, it was the interviewer that was at a loss for words.  Not knowing what else to do, he offered her the position on the spot!

At that exact moment, Stein glanced out the window and took this classic picture:

Photo from Creative Commons, royalty-free and commercial use-approved.
“When pigs fly!” Photo from Creative Commons, royalty-free and commercial use approved.

In the real world, the interviewer was greatly impressed by her candor and spent the interview time asking how his firm could better recruit new law students.  While that may not have landed her that job, strong self-confidence is what landed her dream job: working in environmental law in Washington D.C.