Yesterday I accepted an offer from Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr. of the Tennessee Court of Civil Appeals for a clerkship in Knoxville, Tennessee, starting in September. It’s a one-year, potentially renewable position. I’m really looking forward to working for Judge Susano, who seemed like a great guy in our interview last month, and who comes highly praised by at least two Tennessee lawyers I know: Jay Johnson of DrawingDead fame, and Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit fame.
Judge Susano got his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame, graduating in 1958. After a two-year stint in the military, he went to Tennessee for law school, graduating in 1963, then practiced law in Knoxville for 30 years before being appointed to the bench in 1994. One of the reasons I think we’ll get along great — except, perhaps, one week a year — is that he’s a big sports fan. And yet he still offered me the job, despite my being a Trojan! :) Actually, as it happened, we talked by phone the day after the USC-Notre Dame game, and he offered me “grudging congratulations” — and then scheduled me for an interview. The clerk I’ll be replacing is an LSU grad, so I guess he’s used to occasional sports-based antagonism with his clerks. Heh.
Of particular interest, perhaps, is that Judge Susano loves my blog! I don’t think he was a reader before receiving my application or anything like that, but the URL is listed on my resumé, and he apparently logged on and was quite taken with it. His wallpaper at work is one of my Golden Dome at the end of the rainbow photos, and his wallpaper at home is one of my Heavenly Dome photos. When I asked him yesterday whether it would be all right if I blogged about getting the job (and about the details I just mentioned), he said, “I’d be honored to be on the blog.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this should serve as something of a rebuke to those who have tried to argue that my blog would somehow destroy my professional career. I’ve long been aware that having this blog entails a certain amount of risk to my career prospects, and that it might close some doors for me — but it’s always been my belief that, as long as I’m careful about what I post (i.e., not blogging about what I do at work, always keeping in mind that my employers and potential future employers can read anything that I put on here, etc.), the blog would open at least as many doors as it closes. Now I have a great piece of empirical evidence to back up that belief: the blog helped me get a job.
Actually, if it weren’t for the blog, I never would have been looking for a job in Tennessee in the first place. When Becky and I decided to turn our focus away, at least for the moment, from Arizona, we basically got out a map and started going through the country by process of elimination, figuring out where I should apply for clerkships. And I’ll be honest: the Volunteer State wasn’t initially on our radar. We didn’t rule it out, but we didn’t rule it in, either. But then Jay started whispering in my ear (uh, figuratively speaking) about the joys of East Tennessee, and I figured, ah, what the heck. I applied there, and the rest is history. Now, I’m really looking forward to living in Tennessee for at least a year, maybe longer. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Knoxville, and it seemed like a very nice city during my brief visit there. And of course, I’m not altogether unhappy about the prospect of perhaps being able to attend a college football game or two — at the third-largest football stadium in the country, no less — and a few college basketball games for sure. For a college sports fan like me, being in a university town definitely has its perks.
That said, no, this does not mean I’ll become the Irish Trojan Vol. (If I was going to list college-sports allegiances beyond the schools I actually attended, it would be more like Irish Trojan Zag Husky Vol. :) I’ll root for Tennessee in the SEC, though; why not? I don’t have any other allegiances there. (I may have to soften my SEC-mocking rhetoric a bit, though. Heh.) What Becky will do about her affinity for Alabama, Tennessee’s most hated rival, I’m not sure. I know I’ll still be backing the Lady Huskies in women’s basketball, whereas I’m fairly certain Becky will become a HUGE fan of Pat Summitt’s gals, just to piss me off. :) As for men’s basketball and football, my teams rarely go head-to-head with the Vols, so that’s not really a problem — and hey, I like Bruce Pearl and his ridicuous orange blazers. And I’m already a fan of “Rocky Top” … thank you, Backer!
Anyway… whether we stay in Knoxville after the clerkship, or end up in Denver or Phoenix or someplace else, remains to be seen. I’ve got contacts in all three cities, and am definitely keeping my options open. Among other things, where I take the bar this summer has yet to be determined. (I’m not required to take the Tennessee bar for the clerkship.) But for the moment, I’m just happy to know where I’m going after graduation. On May 21 (because I’m sure Becky won’t want to wait a day longer than necessary to leave South Bend), the Loy Family & Menagerie will embark for Knoxville. Go South, young man!
P.S. This is the inaugural post in my “Tennessee and environs” blog category (though I’ll probably go back and add some earlier ones as appropriate). Since I’ll be living there, I’ll doubtless do some “local interest” blogging, as I have in all of my previous “home” areas. Speaking of which: upon our move, Becky and I will have lived in the Northeast, the West Coast, the Southwest, the Midwest and the South — all in the space of just over four years.
P.P.S. Please keep in mind that, any time I talk about jobs — past, present or future — on the blog, I’m treading a fine line. As such, there are some related topics that some readers may be curious about which I will not want to discuss here. If you have a question or want to say something that you think might not be blog-appropriate, feel free to e-mail me at bloy[at]nd.edu. And if you leave a comment that I subsequently delete, please don’t take it personally; I may have to censor/edit with a heavier hand than usual, simply because of the subject matter.