- Following the 'herd' - law firms often have good or bad seasons based simply on friends following friends to certain firms - think advanced concepts of fraternity/ sorority rush.
- Because it is an easier decision to make. Even though this is one of the most important decisions of their life - the buffet table of law school is jammed to the point of being a groaning board. It is just easier to take the risk averse job with a large law firm than to do the work necessary to find an opportunity that does not appear during campus interviews.
- Law students and attorneys are risk averse and tend to follow the crowd - both this year's crowd and the shadow cast by earlier generations.
- Because that is who comes to campus - the high paying for-profit employers dominate the scene on campus. Many mid-size and small firms will not interview on campus at Top 10 schools because they know they will come up empty interviewing against the mega firms.
- Because this choice looks better than other alternatives - which may include risk, less income, or the possibility of critical remarks from other students.
- Training - Most law students and attorneys realize there is a huge benefit to learning from exceptional attorneys inside of large law firms.
- Many law students are the first in the family to practice law and have little understanding of what the profession has to offer. The predictable course seems more comfortable.
- Law students are ambitious and competitive - the notion of "getting into XYZ" plays into their competitive nature. If the best and the brightest are going the mega firm route, they may feel compelled to take the same course so they won't seem to be a 'lesser person.'
- The cost of law school (and college) forces students toward high income career choices - many students graduate with $75-250,000 in debt and must work for high-paying law firms.
- Peer pressure - don't discount the importance of bragging rights among peers - this factor continues to play a role throughout one's career. The deafening drumbeats of 'who-got-in-where-and-who-did-not' have a powerful influence on the intensely competitive communities in the nation's best law schools.
Harrison Barnes is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter. He is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in job searches and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.
About BCG Attorney Search
BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.