Maggie Flynn checked her image in the mirror. Her thick red hair was styled in what she hoped projected ‘professional.’ Her charcoal grey suit was paired with a deep green silk blouse she’d borrowed from her best friend Casey and it accentuated her green eyes which sparkled with excitement. She wore basic black mid-heeled pumps, slightly elevating her five foot five stature.

It would have to do. And she didn’t think it was too bad, either. This was her opportunity, what her years in undergrad and in law school had all led up to. Law firms from around the country had sent representatives to interview newly minted lawyers at the annual job fair.

Unlike some, Maggie wasn’t worried about landing a position. She had a stellar GPA and glowing recommendations from her law professors and from the internships she’d done. She had an all-but-firm offer from the New York County District Attorney’s office, her most recent internship. There would be the formalities of an interview but Rance Stockwell, her immediate supervisor during her time there assured her that he wanted her working on his team. Truthfully, she liked the idea of working for the good guys. She wasn’t at all sure that being a defense attorney was her cup of tea. She was just idealistic enough to find distasteful the idea of helping possibly guilty clients avoid accountability.

She knew Casey thought she was crazy. “You’ll never get rich working for the DA’s office,” she’d cautioned Maggie. Which was ironic, really, coming from Casey. She herself planned to take her law degree back home to Rhode Island and slide right into place in her father’s law firm. She’d never had to worry about money because her father had paid for all her schooling. Maggie, however, had serious student loans that would come calling just as soon as she graduated.

She checked her reflection once more before gathering up her faux leather clipboard folio containing copies of her resume, and left the ladies room to join the others in the banquet hall of the law school’s main building, Vanderbilt Hall. She was surprised to see Casey standing with Ben Kauffman (seen often on, a friend of theirs who would also be graduating next week, new law degree in hand.

“What are you doing here?” she asked Casey. “You already have a job.”

“I know. I’m just checking out the action,” Casey replied. “I don’t know what you’re doing here. You could just call Rance and tell him you accept.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. “It doesn’t work like that. I have to interview along with everybody else.”

“You could always change your mind, you know,” Ben added. “Nothing says you can’t look around and find something you’d rather do than work for the prosecutor’s office. Have you seen all the firms that showed up?”

Maggie glanced around the room. The perimeter of the large banquet hall was lined with white linen-covered tables. Occupying each table were teams of three or four interviewers seated behind banners identifying their firm. The guests were themselves scanning the room, laptops and spreadsheets open before them, searching for the newest additions to their respective teams. Only the best and brightest candidates would do. Some of the firms were familiar to her, many were not. She saw the table for the New York County District Attorney. She didn’t recognize the woman and two men seated there but Rance had said he wouldn’t be attending the interviews; the team would have his recommendation, she merely needed to mention her internship there. Maggie didn’t feel in a hurry. Still perusing the field, her eyes widened when she saw a name she recognized.

Murphy, Rannigan, and Metheny, Attorneys at Law. Maggie smiled to herself. This was a firm with which she was very familiar. One of the more prestigious in all of Manhattan, the firm had an incredibly high success rate with high-profile defense cases.

Casey saw them the same time she did. “Holy shit! Look who’s here,” she exclaimed. “Murphy, Rannigan. I should interview with them.”

“You have a job,” Maggie reminded her.

“Don’t look now,” Ben said. “Michael Rannigan himself is here. Flynn, didn’t you do one of his cases for Siegler’s class?”

Maggie smiled. “I did.” She followed Ben’s gaze and saw him. He was tall, like she remembered. His expensively tousled salt and pepper waves framed his handsomely tanned face, perfectly complementing his soulful brown eyes and seemingly permanent five-o’clock shadow.

Michael Rannigan. He was the public face of the firm, young, good-looking, a hotshot who never missed his sound bite on the evening news. He occasionally showed up in gossip items in the newspaper for hosting charity events or escorting society beauties to red carpet affairs. But he dazzled juries with his legal expertise and handsome smile. And he won acquittals for the firm’s very rich, very grateful clients.

Maggie had once heard him speak at a charity event. His obvious physical appeal had not been lost on her. But she’d been impressed by his intelligence, by his earnest words about the importance of providing clients with the best representation possible. She’d studied the firm in depth and had even chosen a case tried by Rannigan to use for a project she’d done the previous year.

An idea began to form in her mind. I could simply go over and give them a resume, talk to them for a moment. No reason I couldn’t test the waters a bit, she thought. Interviewing with Murphy, Rannigan would be more competitive than with other firms, to be sure, for several reasons. A job there would pay significantly more than the DA’s office. Oh, those loans, she thought. And… he was there.

“I’m going to talk to them,” Maggie said decisively, startling Casey and Ben.

“What?” Casey asked. “I thought you were dead set on New York County.”

“Nothing ventured…” Maggie called over her shoulder, heading toward the Murphy, Rannigan table before she lost her nerve.

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