How a New York Summer Associate got drunk, got naked, and still got a job: An update to the Clara V. story.
By now, anyone who’s spent any time on the law firm interview circuit in the last year has heard the story of Clara V., UVA ’06, and her infamous 2L summer. The long and short of the controversy is that at some point during the summer of 2005, Ms. V. is alleged to have been in attendance at a typical summer event hosted by her typical
Like the 1L at Michigan who CC’d his entire first-year section and the law school dean in a ranting email upbraiding his professor for turning in final grades a few days past deadline, Ms. V.'s ignominy spread throughout the inboxes of law students and young associates all across the country. The popularity of her story was partly due to its sheer gossip value, but its real appeal was its inspirational value for aspiring summer associates everywhere. If Ms. V. could teach us anything, it was that a soft offer is still an offer. You, too, could drink like a fish until you literally had to be fished out of a river by the U.S. Coast Guard, and still talk your way into another job in another city the following year. And you didn’t even have to go to Harvard to do it.
As is usually the case with all really juicy gossip, however, there is more to the story of drunken Clara and the river that made her famous. After conducting a very thorough journalistic investigation (i.e., Googling her name), your humble reporter has discovered that while Ms. V. has certainly spent a more than typical amount of time swimming in the Hudson River, not all of it has been to her chagrin. On the contrary, the alumni report of the Colorado College Department of Neuroscience (her alma mater) celebrates her for it. As it turns out, within only a few weeks of her infamous night swimming on the pier, Ms. V. won second place in the women's 20-29 age group in the 2005 “Race for the River,” a 2.4 mile swim in, you guessed it, the Hudson to raise funds for river clean-up and preservation.
In the end, however, there is still much that we can learn from our hero, Ms. V. As law students, it turns out that the sheer magnitude of our egos is sufficient to inspire us to do things that, for “the normals,” could only possibly be explained in terms of a potent combination of tequila and very poor judgment. So, for this, we thank you, Ms. V. The field of legal egology will be forever in your debt for this important contribution.
Eds: Although we included Clara's full name in the original version of this post, out of courtesy we've abbreviated her title to Clara V. To readers who may not approve of the edit, or who may find it disingenuous since we still link to her alma mater's site, we offer the following prayer: may all your faults and embarrassments remain not easily Google-able.