My firm has a Europeanvisiting for a while. Apparently his dad lived in for a while when he was younger and knows somebody who knows my boss (isn’t that how these things always happen?). Anyway, the European is a law student (LL.B., naturally. Because the rest of the world has figured out how to make who are perfectly capable with only a . We of course cannot do this, because all the political science undergrad professors would be out of a job without prelaw students) and he wants to learn about .
He’s from a civil law country, so he doesn’t quite get the common law thing. Just like we don’t really understand the civil law thing. He speaksvery well, and is positively adorable. He’s from one of those European fashion capital type places, so he wears impeccably tailored suits. He has a crooked little smile that just melts my heart when he leans across my desk and says, “K, I need your help.” He’s astounded by my ability to make such beautiful spreadsheets in Excel. The language barrier prevents me from explaining it’s just me fucking around with it to make it print on one page.
Boss took him toone morning. Boss warned the European to not speak to the judge, because he’s not licensed. European grins with half of his mouth and says, “Don’ worry.” He will not be in trouble for illegal practice of law. It’s just a status hearing anyway. What in the world are status hearings? Do you REALLY mean to tell me that the courts here in aren’t busy enough without making EVERY SINGLE CASE show up once a month to tell the judge how things are going?? It seems so inefficient.
The European also gets to play carpenter for us. One office has a gazillion framed things that apparently have been sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall, since the lawyer moved to that office 3-ish years ago. So the European hung them. He delivered some papers to an arbitrator today as well. He was terrified that he would have to say anything, even though his language skills ROCK. “K, I just deliver? Or should I say words?” “Just say they’re for Arbitrator.” “Ok, perfect. I will be back in fifteen – twenty minutes. Don’ worry.”
I love it when he tells me not to worry. And I love his accent. And his little half smile. He’s a lot of fun to have around. He puts up well with all the characters in the office. Today one asked him, “how do you find the food in America?” meaning, “our food is crap compared toI’m sure, but do you like it?” His rather literal response? “In the supermarket, just like you do.”
He’s astonished by all the coffee we drink. “Here, compared to my country, everything is so different for me. Here, you can have all the Coke you want for free! And you Americans, with your coffee always in your hand. Why is this?” My explanation on the coffee: we work too much and don’t sleep enough. Same on free soda refills. But the kid makes a good point – we’re terribly overcaffeinated, and it doesn’t seem to do us any darn good.