What Law Firms Look for When Hiring Associates, Partners and Law Students: The Only Three Questions they Are Asking When they Decide Who to Hire You

When a law firm evaluates your resume and [hopefully] interviews you they are only concerned with three things.

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Do you want to do the job?
  3. Will you commit to the job?
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Ultimately, everything comes down to these three questions. If you convince an employer that the answer to these three questions is "YES," you can get any job you apply for. If the answer to two of them is "YES," you might get the job. Most attorneys never get all three answers as "YES," which is why it is so difficult to get jobs in competitive law firms. These three questions are all that a law firm is asking when it reviews your resume and talks to you.

It AMAZES ME that so few attorneys understand the importance of these three questions. Very few attorneys understand just how important these three questions are, and they continually blow their job search time because they do not understand them. If you are an unemployed attorney, you are unemployed because these questions are being answered improperly.

Regardless of your background, understanding how to frame yourself in response to these three questions is the key to succeeding in any job search. It is the key to longevity in the legal profession and getting started in the first place.


Can You Do The Job?


One of the most frustrating things for me in working with candidates is speaking with people who have the skills to do a certain job, but I know they will never be able to do it.