Master Up. Учебное пособие по английскому языку | Страница 1 | Онлайн-библиотека
Учебное пособие по английскому языку
© Елена Картушина, 2018
Создано в интеллектуальной издательской системе Ridero
№1. Read the text. Check the Vocabulary list while reading the text
«The Firm» by J.Grisham
The senior partner studied the resume for the hundredth time and again found nothing he disliked about Mitchell Y. McDeere, at least not on paper. He had the brains, the ambition, the good looks. And he was hungry; with his background, he had to be. He was married, and that was mandatory. The firm had never hired an unmarried lawyer, and it frowned heavily on divorce, as well as womanizing and drinking. Drug testing was in the contract. He had a degree in accounting, and wanted to be a tax lawyer, which of course was a requirement with a tax firm. He looked good, on paper. He was their top choice. In fact, for this year there were no other prospects. The list was very short. It was McDeere or no one.
The managing partner, Royce McKnight, studied a dossier labelled «Mitchell Y. McDeere – Harvard.» An inch thick with small print and a few photographs, it had been prepared by some ex-CIA agents in a private intelligence outfit in Bethesda. They were clients of the firm and each year did the investigating for no fee. It was easy work, they said, checking out unsuspecting law students. They learned, for instance, that he preferred to leave the Northeast, that he was holding three job offers, two in New York and one in Chicago, and that the highest offer was $76,000 and the lowest was $68,000. He was in demand. He had been given the opportunity to cheat on a securities exam during his second year. He declined, and made the highest grade in the class. He drank an occasional beer, but drinking was expensive and he had no money. He owed close to $23,000 in student loans. He was hungry.
Royce McKnight flipped through the dossier and smiled. McDeere was their man. Lamar Quin checked his watch. He glanced at the two partners sitting at the small conference table near the windows.
Precisely at two-thirty someone knocked on the door. Lamar looked at the partners, who slid the resume and dossier into an open briefcase.
«Mitchell McDeere?» he asked with a huge smile and a hand thrust forward.
«Yes.» They shook hands violently.
«Nice to meet you, Mitchell. I’m Lamar Quin.»
«My pleasure. Please call me Mitch.»
He stepped inside, and quickly surveyed the spacious room.
«Sure, Mitch.» Lamar led him across the suite, where the partners introduced themselves. They were exceedingly warm and cordial. They offered him coffee, then water. They sat ar ound conference table and exchanged pleasantries. McDeere unbuttoned his coat and crossed his legs. He was now a seasoned veteran in the search of employment, and he knew they wanted him. He relaxed. With three job offers from three of the most prestigious firms in the country, he did not need this interview, this firm. He could afford to be a little overconfident now. He was there out of curiosity.
Oliver Lambert, the senior partner, leaned forward on his elbows and took control of the preliminary chitchat. At sixty-one, he was the grandfather of the firm. He was the counselor, the one the younger associates went to with their troubles. Mr. Lambert also handled the recruiting, and it was his mission to sign Mitchell Y. McDeere.
«Are you tired of interviewing?» asked Oliver Lambert.
«Not really. It’s part of it.» Yes, yes, they all agreed. Seemed like yesterday they were interviewing and submitting resumes and scared to death they wouldn’t find a job and three years of sweat and torture would be down the drain. They knew what he was going through, all right.
«May I ask a question?» Mitch asked.
«Why are we interviewing in this hotel room? The other firms interview on campus through the placement office.»
«Good question.» They all nodded and looked at each other and agreed it was a good question.
«Perhaps I can answer that, Mitch,» said Royce McKnight, the managing partner. «You must understand our firm. We are different, and we take pride in that. We have forty-one lawyers, so we are small compared with other firms. We don’t hire too many people; about one every other year. We offer the highest salary and fringes in the country, and I’m not exaggerating. So we are very selective. We selected you. The letter you received last month was sent after we screened over two thousand third-year law students at the best schools. Only one letter was sent. We don’t advertise openings and we don’t solicit applications. We keep a low profile, and we do things differently. That’s our explanation.»
«Fair enough. What kind of firm is it?»
«Tax. Some securities, real estate and banking, but eighty percent is tax work. That’s why we wanted to meet you, Mitch. You have an incredibly strong tax background»
«Why’d you go to Western Kentucky?» asked Oliver Lambert.
«Simple. They offered me a full scholarship to play football. Had it not been for that, college would’ve been impossible.»
«Tell us about your family.»
«Why is that important?»
«It’s very important to us, Mitch,» Royce McKnight said warmly. They all say that, thought McDeere.
«Okay, my father was killed in the coal mines when I was seven years old. My mother remarried and lives in Florida. I had two brothers. Rusty was killed in Vietnam. I have a brother named Ray McDeere.»
«Where is he?»
«I’m afraid that’s none of your business.»
«I’m sorry,» the managing partner said softly.
«Mitch, our firm is in Memphis,» Lamar said.
«Does that bother you?»
«Not at all. I’m not fond of cold weather.»
«Have you ever been to Memphis?»
«We’ll have you down soon. You’ll love it.»
Mitch smiled and nodded and played along. Were these guys serious? How could he consider such a small firm in such a small town when Wall Street was waiting?
«How are you ranked in your class?» Mr. Lambert asked.
«Top five.» That was enough of an answer for all of them.
«Why did you select Harvard?»
«Actually, Harvard selected me. I applied at several schools and was accepted everywhere. Harvard offered more financial assistance. I thought it was the best school. Still do.»
«You’ve done quite well here, Mitch,» Mr. Lambert said, admiring the resume. The dossier was in the briefcase, under the table.
«Thank you. I’ve worked hard.»
«You made extremely high grades in your tax and securities courses.»
«That’s where my interest lies.»
«We’ve reviewed your writing sample, and it’s quite impressive.»
«Thank you. I enjoy research.»
«Tell us about your wife,» Royce McKnight said. It was a standard, non sacred area explored by every firm.
«Her name is Abby. She has a degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky. We graduated one week and got married the next. For the past three years she’s taught at a private kindergarten near Boston College.»
«And is the marriage -»
«We’re very happy. We’ve known each other since high school.»
«Mitch, our firm frowns on drinking and chasing women. We put business ahead of everything. We work very hard. And we make plenty of money,» Oliver Lambert said
«I can live with all that.»
«We reserve the right to test any member of the firm for drug use.»
«I don’t use drugs.»
«Good. What’s your religious affiliation?»
«Good. You’ll find a wide variety in our firm. Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians. It’s really none of our business, but we like to know. We want stable families. Happy lawyers are productive lawyers. That’s why we ask these questions.» Mitch smiled and nodded. He’d heard this before. The three looked at each other, then at Mitch. This meant they had reached the point in the interview where the interviewee was supposed to ask one or two intelligent questions. Money, that was the big question, particularly how it compared to his other offers. If it isn’t enough, thought Mitch, then it was nice to meet you fellas. If the pay is attractive, then we can discuss families and marriages and football and churches.
But, he knew, like all the other firms they had to shadowbox around the issue until things got awkward and it was apparent they had discussed everything in the world but money. So, hit them with a soft question first.
«What type of work will I do initially?» They nodded and approved of the question. Lambert and McKnight looked at Lamar. This answer was his.
«We have something similar to a two-year apprenticeship, although we don’t call it that. We’ll send you all over the country to tax seminars. Your education is far from over. You’ll spend two weeks next winter in Washington at the American Tax Institute. As far as practicing law, it won’t be very exciting for the first two years. You’ll do a lot of research and generally boring stuff. But you’ll be paid handsomely.»
Lamar looked at Royce McKnight, who eyed Mitch and said, «We’ll discuss the compensation and other benefits when you come to Memphis.»
«I want a ballpark figure or I may not come to Memphis.»
He smiled, arrogant but cordial. He spoke like a man with three job offers. The partners smiled at each other, and Mr. Lambert spoke first.
«Okay. A base salary of eighty thousand the first year, plus bonuses. Eighty-five the second year, plus bonuses. A low-interest mortgage so you can buy a home. Two country club memberships. And a new BMW. You pick the color, of course.»
He tried to conceal a smile, but it was impossible. He chuckled.
«That’s incredible», he mumbled. Eighty thousand in Memphis equalled a hundred and twenty thousand in New York.
Mitch thought about this for a second and figured by the time he was thirty he could be well over a hundred thousand, maybe close to two hundred thousand. At the age of thirty! They watched him carefully and knew exactly what he was calculating.
«Tell me about your firm.»
«It’s an impressive firm, Mitch,» Oliver Lambert said, «and we’re very proud of it. We’re small and we take care of each other. We don’t have the cutthroat competition the big firms are famous for. We’re very careful whom we hire, and our goal is for each new associate to become a partner as soon as possible. Toward that end we invest an enormous amount of time and money in ourselves, especially our new people. It is a rare, extremely rare occasion when a lawyer leaves our firm. It is simply unheard of. We go the extra mile to keep careers on track. We want our people happy. We think it is the most profitable way to operate.» «I have another impressive statistic,» Mr. McKnight added. «Last year, for firms our size or larger, the average turnover rate among associates was twenty-eight percent. At Bendini, Lambert & Locke, it was zero. Year before, zero. It’s been a long time since a lawyer left our firm.» They watched him carefully to make sure all of this sank in. They explained as best they could, for now. Further explanation would come later.
№2. Answer the following questions about the text, use the words and expressions from the Vocabulary list.
1. Why did the senior partner of the law firm in Memphis consider Mitchell Y.McDeere to be their best prospect for the year?
2. Why did ex – CIA agents do investigating for the firm for no fee?
3. What did they find out about Mitch while investigating his background?
4. Why did Mitch think he could afford to be a little overconfident at the interview?
5. What did you learn from the text about Oliver Lambert’s position in the firm?
6. What did Oliver Lambert think all interviewees went through’ when being interviewed for a job?
7. How did Royce McKnight, the managing partner explain to Mitch the difference between their firm and other law firms?
8. What activities was the firm involved in?
9. What questions was Mitch asked at the interview?
10. What did Mitch tell his interviewers about his educational background (his family, his wife, his religious affiliation)?
11. What type of work was Mitch to do initially if he joined the firm?
12. What compensation and benefits was Mitch offered?
13. Why was Mitch impressed by the offer?
14. What kind of clients did the firm deal with?
15. What career prospects did the firm offer Mitch?
16. Why did the firm invest a lot of time and money in their new people?
17. What did Mr. Lambert tell Mitch about the history of their firm?
Questions for Discussion
18. Do you think Mitch will accept the offer? Why?
19. Considering Mitch’s behaviour during the interview, do you think he fancies such a job?
20. Could you trace how Mitch’s attitude and behaviour changed during the interview?
21. Would you take up such a job offer if you were Mitch? Why/ why not?
№3. Study the vocabulary list