Here are the factors that traditionally affect the number of interviews you receive:

1. Your Chances Of Being Interviewed By A Law Firm Depend On Whether Or Not You Seem To Be Qualified For The Job

Almost all law firms hire people to do a specific type of work. You will not get hired unless your resume presents you as the sort of person who can do the law firm's job.

Your resume needs to SCREAM that you are the right person for the SPECIFIC JOB description and practice area you are applying to
One of the worst mistakes that attorneys job seekers make when seeking specific types of jobs is to clutter their resumes and cover letters with all sorts of irrelevant work experience. Legal employers do not want to see irrelevant work experience with nothing to do with their current opening. You may be proud that you did a bunch of different types of law practice in your previous jobs (or your current one), but law firms want to hire attorneys who are the best fit for their openings. In most instances, attorneys are employed with the most relevant legal experience.

For example, if you are applying for a position doing environmental litigation, the smartest thing you can do is make it look like this is all you do and have ever been interested in. Your jobs before and during law school might have been environmental-oriented. Maybe you were in an environmental journal. Or perhaps you worked for the EPA one summer.

Showing a focus in the practice area is most likely to get you hired. If you have the legal experience that does not match the opening requirements, or it seems like you are interested in something else, this will hurt you.

Sometimes people will put stuff all over their resume that makes it look like they are interested in something completely different than what they are doing. We frequently see resumes that discuss interests completely unrelated to the sort of job the person is trying to get.
  • Not too long ago, I worked with a woman in a major American city who had graduated near the top of her class at Columbia Law School and had spent the past four years doing plaintiff’s labor and employment litigation. She was interested in switching over to labor and employment defense. Despite a stellar record, most defense law firms would not interview her because they did not like that she had been a plaintiff’s labor and employment attorney. 

An attorney interested in corporate law should not discuss all the litigation experience. It just does not look good. Law firms want to hire people they know can do their job.
  • Suppose you are applying for a position doing construction litigation. In that case, you should do your best to remove and tone down anything on your resume that discusses other practice areas and experience you have gotten—such as labor and employment litigation. That is a liability. The law firm wants to hire specialist knowledge; they believe hiring someone with varied experience is dangerous because you may not be focused on their practice area.