[00:00:00] this, presentation, this week is going to be about, the sales tricks and kind of ways that. law firms, get you to work there and, law firms are, sales org. they have to have a way and reasons to get people to want to work there.
[00:00:14]when you're looking for a job and when you're, getting offers from firms or considering where to work, and most instances you will, get an, go there for one of these reasons. And. The point of this talk today is to get you to understand, whether those reasons aren't going to be valid reasons for you, and whether or not you're making the right decision a lot of time.
[00:00:36]and this is actually a very important talk because people will make very, major decisions with their lives and their careers, based on, stuff. what I'm going to do today is I'm going to go through, these reasons. I hope, it should give you all a lot of insight into reasons that you may be interested in certain firms decisions you've made in the past, or are currently making.
[00:00:56] And then at the end of the presentation, what I'll do is I'll take questions, about [00:01:00] me, any questions and so forth that you may have, regarding, anything to do with your career, whether it's, what I'm talking about today, or, any, anything, whatsoever. And if you're new to these calls, typically, I'll spend as much time and answer as many questions, as anyone has.
[00:01:15] So thank you for me here today. Okay. one of the best pieces of, marketing advice I ever saw for a law firm, was written, by, Quinn Emanuel. and at that point, the firm only had 40 attorneys and it was written on, very nice stations. Okay. they didn't have like formal brochures and stuff at that point.
[00:01:35] And. they put together in the, they bounded at Kinko's and it was just on their law firm, letterhead stationary. And, it highlighted some very simple aspects of the firm. it said that, the attorneys had all been at law review going to top law schools and that federal clerkships, they talked about how the fact that there were, several women partners and people of color at the firm.
[00:01:57]only lot that it was the only law firm in the country with no dress [00:02:00] code, that it was, easy to make a partner at the firm you could do so quickly. everyone that went there and did trials, they called themselves trial lawyers, not litigators, which is something that I've seen lots of law firms, call them saying, at this point in time, a lot of law firms say they're that.
[00:02:16] And, I think Quinn is the one that invented that, they talked about how people were casual with one another. There was no hierarchy. lawyers worked directly with clients as soon as they started and it didn't have to wait years to do they talked about firm retreats. people got together for drinks on Fridays.
[00:02:30]they talked about, they had several students from Harvard law school that were, finished their first year of law school as among the top three students in their class. talked about, most of the attorneys had gone to a lot. Ivy league law schools talked about how much money people made, and, that it was called upon to, do bet the company cases and that it, had, so much work.
[00:02:51] You didn't need to bring in clients to make partner advance. And all of this was true. And what the firm had done was it had positioned [00:03:00] itself in a way that, really made it, Positioned for growth and success. And it was appealing to all sorts of attorneys. It was appealing to people that wanted to make money.
[00:03:08] It was appealing to people that wanted to make partner quickly. It was appealing to people that wanted to be around other good students. it works. the way that the law firm positioned himself, was very effective. And after the law firms started growing, it started saying different things and said, it started appealing to people that wanted to be within an established firm or international law firm, the largest pure litigation firm and so forth.
[00:03:29] But at that point in time, the way it was positioning itself was, in a way to make itself grow and to grow, very quickly. And it worked, it was appealing to all people. So one idea, to consider, in that you should ask yourself when you're looking at law firms to work in is how does a law firm sell itself to attorneys and get them to work there.
[00:03:49] And. Law firms will, identify many things that make them unique. And if a law firm is going to make money and grow, the most important thing you can do really is to have [00:04:00] people go to work for it and go to work. They're enthusiastically, meaning, they really want to be part of this mission. And, cause when you get down to it, you're really, every law firm is fairly similar.
[00:04:11]you're expected to sit down at a desk you're expected to bill hours and not get into trouble and complain as little as possible. And in return for this, you're expecting, you're expected to, to pick the money that the firm pays you and there's nothing, more important for law firms than how they market themselves to you.
[00:04:27] And many law firms go out of business. They have all sorts of problems. They never grow. And a lot of that is because of the fact that they're not able to, appeal to others, in the right way. And, law firms need to look like the absolute best option, for the types of attorneys that the law firm wants to hire.
[00:04:46]it's just that way all the time. it's very important. And, in order to do that, it needs to, appeal to them and, they need to portray themselves as different and better. And. and they need to speak to you in some method and they need to look like the best option [00:05:00] for the people out there among the thousands of law firms out there in the market that, you can choose from.
[00:05:04] And typically when law firms go out of business, they stopped trying at any of this and it's just, it's a cycle of creative destruction it happens in the law firm world. most older law firms, I've seen that go out of business, take all this stuff for granted.
[00:05:16]So law firms try when you're interviewing with them. And when you're talking to them, they try to figure out how they can get you, interested in them. And they do this by trying to have, the best marketing pitch to appeal, to certain types of attorneys. And, I've seen, in the 20 plus years, I guess I've been in this business.
[00:05:35] I've seen attorneys give all sorts of reasons for either taking or not taking offers and interviews and applying. or not applying to various firms their marketing and branding messages that law firms will use to get you to work there. And these are the main ones and you need to decide, the ones that are important to you and you also need to decide whether or not, those methods are true when the law firms telling you that.
[00:05:58] the most [00:06:00] important thing for most attorneys of course, is the money that they get paid. I don't know why that's the most important, but, especially for, young attorneys, it can be very important. and that's often a major determining whether, an attorney will go to work there. people will ignore, all sorts of things.
[00:06:16]in order to, go to work in a firm, money's right. A few decades ago when I was practicing law, all the largest and most prestigious law firms in Los Angeles paid $85,000 a year to have a third year associates and a few law firms. do we balance that out and Skadden Arps, and there might've been one other one I think, brought a New York scale.
[00:06:35] That was almost twice that it was $155,000 a year, which is. you can imagine it's just absolutely insane compared to what other people were paying. And while I enjoyed Quinn and it was a great experience, making twice as much money for essentially the same amount of work seemed to me to be a no brainer.
[00:06:52] And that was especially so since I realized that I probably didn't want to be practicing law for my whole career. At that point. And the two [00:07:00] firms had very different cultures. One was very formal and hierarchical. people literally called themselves, they put mr and so forth on the doors and mrs.
[00:07:09] And miss, or Mister and miss. do we had a lot of work or hardly any work and Quinn had a ton. And literally when I got at that, from that, there was, I had no work for three weeks. Because the firm didn't have any work. going there was a big mistake and. and it continued to get worse and worse, with botch mergers, partners getting, let go and more sorts of stuff.
[00:07:30] And it was not a great place to work. And, so being guided by money, was a huge mistake. And I, there's some potential life still going to be practicing law, had it not been like that. that from hidden, essentially being, being, subsidized by the New York office.
[00:07:43]but this is not the sort of thing I ever would have known, as a law student. while it's, people do kick minced by money, it can be, a very, bad decision. If you based your, your, your employment decisions based on it. there's all sorts of things.
[00:07:57]for example, different class here, some law firms will [00:08:00] pay. first years, salaries that are, more than, that are very high, but then they won't increase them later. And there's the funny thing that happens at a lot of firms, is that for some firms will pay the same starting salaries, but then they won't increase the sours year after year.
[00:08:15] And then you get the situation that happens at a lot of firms and it's going on all over where, people. that are more senior are making less than first year associates in summer associates like fifth and sixth year attorneys, which is very funny, but it actually happens quite a bit. and you need to understand whether or not your salary is going to be a lockstep or based on your hours and performance.
[00:08:36]you need to understand how business has compensated that you bring in. you need to understand whether, participation in committees and so forth was towards the hours you build, whether or not. law firms pay year-end bonuses, or sometimes they pay them throughout the year. then there's things about clerkship bonuses.
[00:08:53] Like you could leave and do a clerkship if you want some times and come back and get a bonus sometimes to lead and pay launch activity, [00:09:00] bonuses for being there, longer, there's also factors and determine, whether or not you get credit for business, and bonuses. and then there's also salaries in different markets.
[00:09:09]yeah. the cost of living in the tap. Since they're so high in New York that that, you might, you actually would be better off, making, 50, $60,000 a year instead of $185,000 a year in several markets, compared to what the cost of living is in New York. you need to understand what salaries mean in different markets and what they equate to because.
[00:09:30] Just having a high salary, doesn't necessarily mean anything. especially if there's a long commute and there's other things that are involved, and, working in a firm, so basing decisions based on salaries, it can be very risky. and the other reason, you know, some of the reasons that attorneys gave when they choose law firms based on the amount of money, the pay to say, they will say things like the firm made me the best offer.
[00:09:52]I can make more money there to pay more money than I'm making now. and working there, it was a no-brainer because the amount of money they're paying and [00:10:00] all that sort of thing, those are very, risky, things, other reasons that people give for not.
[00:10:06] Choosing law firms because of the amount of money they attorneys are paid is they may say that the law firm doesn't pay enough. they may say they have student loans and need to pay them off. They may say they need to make more money, lower bonuses and that sort of thing. But the thing to understand, most law firms.
[00:10:22]don't, really, you don't really need to know, about, most people in the market know about how much a law firm will pay. so they don't really need to say much publicly at all. it's a very good way for the law firm to market themselves because.
[00:10:34]once everybody finds out, how much that law firm is paying or how much people can make there, then everyone wants to work there. when I got a job at Dewey, all my friends when started sending me their resumes, tons of them did because they wanted to make twice as much money.
[00:10:48] And, it's a good way for a law firm to market itself and established its brand. there's a law firm, NLA that decided to pay the highest salaries of any, from in the country, it's a very small law firm of 20 people. [00:11:00] And when it did that, it got all sorts of publicity, which, completely paid for itself, and then law firms often, will not pay a lot.
[00:11:09] And, it's very common for law firms not to have, obviously high starting salaries or even high salaries and the long run. So yeah. Many times because they want to get the best attorneys to work there. they will say things to try to convince you to work there. And some of the things that they will say are things like, we don't pay as much, but everyone here can make partner.
[00:11:29]we're a lifestyle firm, and people here do not work as hard as they do in larger firms. they may require a buy-in to be partner, but we pay have a lower buy-in. we have more employment security. and then a lot of times they'll say things about being merit-based, you can make more money there if you work harder, if you work as hard as you do at a big firm.
[00:11:47] So there's all sorts of ways. That the law firm, often is able to, convince you, to work there. other things that they can say are, that they have more interesting work, and that there's a price for that. they'll [00:12:00] get better. You'll get better experience.
[00:12:01] You'll get more client contact, I don't know, other firms that they don't lay people off on the market slows down. And so those are all, valid reasons. But in order to really understand, yeah, those are true. typically after get an offer, it's important. Talk to people in the firm about that and see if those are things that you believe.
[00:12:20]and it may be true. and especially, for younger attorneys, younger attorneys that, and I always emphasize this. your most important thing you can do is get experience early on. It doesn't really, you want to get into the most prestigious frame. You can early in your career.
[00:12:34] In most cases. But, a career is a long thing. a career can go for, if you start your career at the age of 23 or 24, you literally will, could be practicing 60 years from now. So whatever happens, in the first few years of your career, isn't really that important now to be in a major firm anytime.
[00:12:53] So it is important to start out on the best farm you can, but even that, there's plenty of people that go to major firms later in their [00:13:00] careers that didn't start there. you don't need to, stress about any of this, too much. your important thing is to get experienced and not really in my opinion, to worry about the money.
[00:13:10]but you do want to get experienced being trained by the best attorney as you can. Another, reason, that attorneys go to work in various law firms, is the reputation of the firm. And that can determine, many times where the attorney will go to work for the most part are very aware of the reputation of different law firms.
[00:13:29] their various rankings, yeah. Law firms in the market, that people review before deciding where to work find these rankings, very important. and often it's a, second, most important thing that attorneys. Choose in some cases, when, the most highly qualified attorneys or the best law schools, not just care about money though.
[00:13:48] They'll sort things based on their reputation and, the very best attorneys, many times. if they're looking at firms in New York or the Bay area, for example, they will only look at, a few firms. that have the best, rankings [00:14:00] and so forth. And so the reputation of a firm is typically going to be determined based on, what your peers think.
[00:14:06]what different reputation sites say about the firm, seeing where the best attorneys with the best grades end up getting jobs, how much the firm pays, of course, the types of clients the firm represents and then how difficult. it's considered to get a position at a given firm.
[00:14:21] those are, other things. I, or just the accomplishments or the attorneys working at the firm. I was very impressed when I was interviewing with Dewey, for example, because they had the former attorney general of California there.
[00:14:31] They had the president of the state bar and some other people and, that looked good. age of the firm is often a very important criteria. the size, Supreme court clerks, how much money partners of the firm make, the, law firms reputation in your practice area? the absence of bad news about the firm.
[00:14:48]a lot of firms have scandals, Know, I'm representing a firm right now and there's been some scandals people, we'll leave. not go to places because of, various things. those affect the reputation of the firm then other things that can affect [00:15:00] them would be, No, the reputation of the firm for lane or lane enough not laying off associates.
[00:15:04]there's some big law firms in New York that, used to be considered much more prestigious than they are right now that ended up laying people off, during, various recessions and, 2000, 2008, they, they took a big hit and went down from tier one to a little bit because of that.
[00:15:20]other things are famous. People that have worked at the firm, that can, then you have all sorts of rankings. You have, we have our own rankings that we, feel pretty good about. And then there's Paul rankings, there's chambers, there's local Sydney and market ranking, so different magazines and so forth.
[00:15:34] We'll have rankings. and then how, what the law firm says about itself in various brochures, in my opinion, honestly, all this stuff is important. But I think a lot of times. what makes the reputation of the firm, so strong and it's really, who's calling on that firm to represent them.
[00:15:51] And in what kind of matters is that firm working on? How big are the clients, the firm that, the is a client, is a firm representing. Those are very important things. [00:16:00] So most, attorneys will choose law firms based on the law firm's overall reputation. if they get a law firm with, with the best reputation there, know pretty much if a firm's pain they'll take that.
[00:16:10]and I noticed that people think the reputation of a law firm is so important that, No, I have lots of clients that I represent and attorneys, and they literally, are so eager to work in better firms that, they will, apply to the one. I still want to work and still very hungry, people that are in their late fifties and sixties and to work in the best firms.
[00:16:31] And so I think, many times attorneys really want to work in the very best firms they can. And it's just very important. and the reasons that you would want to work in a better firm, are things like, access to better work, more money, the ability to easily move, laterally later on, to another firm and how sort of the government, so there are very good reasons, that you should want to work in a good firm.
[00:16:53]but at the same time, there, it's not always, the most important, one of the things about working in a [00:17:00] better firm is that if you do work in a better firm and the long run, your resume is going to look better, attorneys will many times accord, respect to, people, based on, You know of the quality of from they're coming from, if you're working at a very good firm with very high standards, things that the people there do are gonna rub off on you, you may have actually, the ability to attract better clients.
[00:17:22] If you're a partner. and, so people want to be in the best tribe they can. and many attorneys, a good portion of them, will consider leaving jobs many times. So they get an offer with a firm that has a better reputation. many times, I get attorneys interviews with places.
[00:17:38] I get them a job offers with various places and, the attorneys will come and say that they're not interested in the firm. many times they get interviews with, or even when they get offers. And they'll say they're not interested for trivial reasons. most attorneys, we'll say that, the, Are interested in procedures firms and many are not.
[00:17:54]they'll say things like, I've heard bad things about the firm. I don't, think working with will help my resume. [00:18:00] I'm nervous about how it look if I went to work there and wanted to work somewhere else. And so those are some clues that, the reputation of the firm, is taking a hit and, law firms definitely use the reputation to get people to work there.
[00:18:13] have all sorts of ways of doing that. the law firm will, tell people that are interviewing there that, the attorneys in the firm are considered the best for a certain type of work. they'll often highlight the accomplishments of individual attorneys.
[00:18:25]they'll tell you that attorneys went to work there that had offers a more prestigious firms. they'll talk about clients that chose their law firm or were more prestigious firms. they'll tell the attorney very few people can get offers and interviews there and that they're special. we'll talk about how the firm is growing.
[00:18:41] And then many times the law firm is old and established. We'll discuss its history and say that, it was involved in the founding of the city and all sorts of things like that. so all those things are, clues into law firms trying to use its reputation, to get you to work there.
[00:18:56]many times, when the law firm is having reputational issues or can [00:19:00] respond to that and, make these reputational issues look more positive. for example, if they're having, factions, issues in the media and so forth, the law firm will often make statements such as, the ones that left are the people we don't want.
[00:19:11]no one here was involved in search and scandal. now we're getting stronger. I heard one firm that was very close to going out of business saying, the bad people are gone, we're close, we're doing our best work ever. they could talk about, younger leadership, now they can finally grow these sorts of things, that they can use when they're experiencing reputational issues.
[00:19:32]So those are, the main things about reputation. That's the second way that law firms will get you to work there. and then the next thing that law firms use, that's very important is their culture. And the culture is very difficult, I think, to define, but for me, I think it's honestly one of the most important things.
[00:19:49]it means that the attorney's going to be comfortable, around the sorts of attorneys that are working there. And, culture is important. if you're not with a firm of the right culture, it can be very [00:20:00] damaging and you can be, have problems that are not too well, as opposed to, a from where the culture is right for you.
[00:20:05] And, it can be defined as things like, how important the attorneys consider making money. and that can be one thing, or, it can be, a lot of other things, it can be. You know how honest the attorneys are likely to be in business. some attorneys are not, some law firms are, not that honest, most of them are, but a lot of them aren't, it can be what the law firms stands for.
[00:20:24] Some law firms are, founded by big firm. Refugees don't want to work hard, even in the middle of big cases. other, law firms believe, that. the quality of work is the most important and, so every possible cultural attribute a law firm has, the attorneys are, the law firm, is going to have methods, for hooking you things that, you know, that, from informed different types of behaviors they consider necessary important.
[00:20:46] other things, I would say, or, the sorts of attorneys, the law firm considers role models. So they, when you go out to, Lunch and so forth with attorneys or what are they talking about or what kind of attorneys did they seem to admire from other firms?
[00:20:59]many times there [00:21:00] may be a lot of hierarchy. like I talked about Dewey where people will call each other Mr. And miss and so forth that's, how the attorneys address one another, the sort of people. That aspire to do work at the firm. and many firms are composed of different people that are from different types of backgrounds.
[00:21:16] So some law firms are composed to working class people, others middle-class and different social, socioeconomic backgrounds. So these are all kinds of cultural things. And I don't need to get in, to all of them too much, but, open doors, closed doors, all these sorts of things, in terms of how.
[00:21:32]people interact and how people dress and, where most of the people in the country come from, there's firms in LA that are Texas firms that have a lot of people from Texas, there's firms where, the people are complete lush. Doesn't like to drink a lot.
[00:21:44] There's others where they're not, there's firms that are in LA that are composed primarily Republicans who you can believe in. And there's others in the majority of Democrats. yeah. other people, are into pro bono and how there's I was a staff treated, are they, where people in sororities and stuff in [00:22:00] college.
[00:22:00] And all these things that kind of dominate. culture, smoking outside socialization, business development, where the business comes from, all these things, are very important in terms of the culture of affirm so you need to, understand it what makes you comfortable.
[00:22:16] And you can walk into many law firms and know. right away, if you're comfortable there, you can tell by how people decorate their offices. some offices are, the partners have a bunch of sports stuff in all of them and there's people that would be comfortable with that.
[00:22:30] And others that are, there's, different types of music that people listen to. Some people listen to music in their office, others. That wouldn't be normal. a lot of firms everyone's divorced. there's, they're not, some attorneys are very competitive with one another others, are in a culture where they're not.
[00:22:46] So all those things, really have a lot to do. with it, and there's just so much more that goes into it. the cars they drive, certain firms, people would never be caught, dropped, dead driving, a really nice car, but another [00:23:00] firm's, that's very common.
[00:23:01]many people belong to clubs, the, how, are the desks a mess here? They clean. all these things are things that people pick up. And so there's just so many of them. that it's really difficult to, put them, all into a, I'll here, but in general, most law firms, we'll have a culture and that culture is going to be something that, you will pick up on you need to, if, go to a place where you're comfortable and so law firms will figure out the kind of person you are.
[00:23:31]and then they'll emphasize, aspects of their culture that make it make. Them seem, appealing to you. if you see it for identifying with you because of one, one thing or another, many times they're doing, they're using their culture, to hook you up.
[00:23:43]I personally, the mistakes that I made in my, as a summer associate in my legal career were about, I was choosing firms, with the very best culture and, the call and match me. And I've been happiest when I, and so the culture of the firm you're joining me is very important because if you're around people that, [00:24:00] and supporting look on the world and how you think about things, you're much more likely to do better there than if you don't.
[00:24:07] And if you, are in an atmosphere that can be, extremely, and people choose firms, because the culture is just all the time, no religious stuff, not people that are, have left religions or I've seen in certain firms, I've seen, people that would be misfits and certain firms that are not misfits and others.
[00:24:26] And, so all that stuff, is very important. many times, when an attorney doesn't choose a firm based on, culture, they'll say things like, they think the people are strange. they just don't feel comfortable. they'll, attorneys don't look happy to them.
[00:24:39]they'll say things about, the quality of schools or, how smart they think that people are, or, the, how dedicated to work people. and so when a law firm starts, interviewing, you're typically they'll try to figure out, what kind of stuff aren't you.
[00:24:53] So if they think you're into sports, they'll try to have you talk to people that are into sports. So they think you're into, your, a certain mood. [00:25:00] They may actually introduce you to people from that. If they think you're from a certain, other type of background, we'll try to find people, like that, who look like you, that they think you'll be comfortable with, and so forth.
[00:25:10] they'll emphasize all these things because they want you. to work there and it's important to them. subtle, they'll often try to, shield you from people that you might not like. And people that I think you will like. when I was in, interviewing, Los Angeles wants, I walked into an interview and, the attorney, started chewing tobacco and this was in Los Angeles, which I couldn't believe.
[00:25:31]and I couldn't believe, someone would actually be doing this in a law firm. and I thought it was so funny it made me comfortable, and, many people would have been offended by that. I never worked there ever, but, I thought it was very funny. maybe the fact that someone was comfortable enough to do that in interview, made me really think highly of the firm.
[00:25:48]so it just depends on, the person, but, Law firms definitely. we'll use their culture to make you comfortable working there. Okay. Another thing that law firms often do, is they, they market [00:26:00] themselves, by making themselves, seem, very exciting and emphasizing the high morale, their attorneys all businesses law firms.
[00:26:07]go through seasons and sometimes they appear like they're doing very well and people are excited and other times, they don't. So when a law firms expanding, it can be. a very exciting time for the firm. and then other times, the law firm may be shrinking. it can be at some times, knit place to work after a large case verdict or transaction, sometimes a very important attorney will join the firm that makes him look, with a lot of business and well known that will make them look attractive so all these sorts of things.
[00:26:36]can help the firm, but other times the firm actually look, generally, the opposite and people, may not be happy in the firm. And actually, you may get the impression that people are not unhappy and, No. So people will often join firms because of the fact that it just seems like a fun place to work.
[00:26:53] And the law firm can make itself feel fun by including people and doing, outside activities and, by the happiness of the [00:27:00] firm and the people there. And you can really get a sense of how happy people are when you walk around a firm and you see how people interact. And if the interactions are negative, Then, many times, that will tell you something about, the fact that, may not be a good place to work.
[00:27:14]but people say things like all the people are young, which, they'll say that they'll talk about retreats so forth then, because you spent so much time at work. you want to be around other people that are happy, it does impact, how well your happiness and so forth.
[00:27:26]all this stuff is fairly important. when people don't join a firm because it doesn't seem exciting or they get a bad sense of it, they will say things like people not seem happy there. they'll talk about the turn turnover, though they may say that, it feels, everything feels siloed.
[00:27:42]meaning partners keep all their work and don't, share clients. And so those are just some things that kind of happen, when the law firm maybe, not feeling, that good. to make people excited, they may, talk about how young people are, and, they'll also, talk about how people work together as a team.
[00:27:58]people stay there for the people take trips [00:28:00] and so forth and they'll make that kind of same, like a fun thing. So one of the big things, especially, over the past several years has been, law firms marketing, their commitment to diversity to get people to work there. And, honestly, this has become, such a huge topic.
[00:28:16]so many different levels that, almost every law firm has something, about their commitment to the diversity, in their upper level navigation on their own pages right now. young attorneys, take it very seriously, diversity, any group that I've had any involvement with, joining, business groups and so forth.
[00:28:35] Every single one of them over the past several years, has brought up. How they have diversity. even it's something as simple as an eight member, business networking group, where people are getting together, we'll talk about diversity. diversity is very important, to attorneys now to all organizations in the country even, for pretty much everything, people are, very interested in diversity.
[00:28:56] And, so if a firm isn't diverse, it really does hurt their ability to [00:29:00] track clients. certain clients will only work with firms if they're diverse. so they need to have a diversity, many law firms, lose business from not being diverse. They also gained business by being diverse. so law firms are very, interested in, being diverse also need to, attract diverse attorneys, that are qualified to work there, which isn't difficult to do.
[00:29:21] But at the same time, Diverse people tend to want to work where there's more diverse people. So if a law firm doesn't have initial diversity, it can be, difficult. law attorneys will measure diversity based on, the number of people of different races and so forth.
[00:29:34]to some extent, there, diversity. Doesn't necessarily mean tolerance from different viewpoints. but it does mean, different types of people. so that's important. having, different types of people, and as long as their views are similar, not too far, one way or the other, they want, they liked that.
[00:29:53]the, the staff diversity, People, some people, want different political parties in the firm, but to some people [00:30:00] diversity means, only one political party, presidents and people from different, economic educational and other backgrounds is important. especially I think economic diversity is important, and law firms, another very important thing is having people in power.
[00:30:13]In a law firm who are diverse. And that there's, law firms should be able to demonstrate that people that are diverse can rise, in many cases that doesn't happen and that, shows that there could be problems if you're a diverse attorney joining there.
[00:30:26]law firms need to show that, and then also how. Likely diverse people are to stay there and how comfortable they seem. then, and then law firms also, don't want to look like they tolerate any people, that have any type of diversity, issues with diversity or done something that, could be considered racist or sexist or, or.
[00:30:46]otherwise, against the university policy. So that's important. So there's just lots of things that are important for diversity. And because, we're getting to the point where, you know, a substantial portion of the country, meaning, I don't know what a percentage is diverse. [00:31:00] not having a diverse firm is insane.
[00:31:02] And so that's something that people, take very seriously and. and when attorneys choose a law firm, they'll say things about the diversity of the firm, that make them, happy to join. And law firms really do need to promote, their diversity, law firms that have a hard time promoting the diversity.
[00:31:18]Attorneys will say things like, everyone's, there's white male or, law firm doesn't care about diversity. diverse attorneys are leaving, and those sorts of things, or they will bring up different lawsuits, many law firms or a majority of them, the big ones who've had, public spats about diversity and sometimes lawsuits.
[00:31:36] And that's a problem. And then older leadership many times is a problem too. in order for a law firm to attract diverse attorneys, they'll go to diversity fairs. they'll all, they all have diversity sections on their websites. many now have diversity directors. they'll also highlight the diversity in marketing and materials.
[00:31:54]many will do diversity related training. and then an interview is still make it though, take people around, to do [00:32:00] that. so it's just very important, for diversity and that's something that, many people will, act on one thing I can say about diversity.
[00:32:07]I wrote a book about it cause I was interested in a couple of years ago, as I saw it was becoming a big issue. is that, many law firms do, are under kind of an older model and many, and especially in, many parts of the country where there isn't necessarily a lot of diversity.
[00:32:22]if you are a diverse attorney, you, it is a good opportunity to, potentially try to. To get in the door at certain firms because, th when there's not diverse attorneys, and just because you're the first person, or one of the first people, this diverse going to work there, it doesn't necessarily mean, that it's fail.
[00:32:39]there's a real demand. And I think, to. The tolerance in society now, for things that aren't diverse is pretty, ex extreme against, non diverse things. I do think that, looking at markets for people typically wouldn't work as opposed to ones where diversity will want to work is often a very good idea.
[00:32:58]because you can get [00:33:00] into, Watson different firms. And certainly, being in a very diverse environment is a good thing as well. But, it also opens up a lot of opportunities and there are a lot of law firms that, need diverse people where, where, they're very eager to advance people that are diverse.
[00:33:14] So another thing, this is back to advancement. that way attorneys, law firms will market themselves and something you should consider is, the advanced potential, the attorneys work in there law firms will certainly use that to market themselves. joining law firms are very concerned about getting the pad.
[00:33:29]that's both as partners, many times want to join firms where they feel like they can have the same management. But in addition to your partners, associates want to make partner partners wanna increase their compensation. and so law firms, will judge, the attorneys will judge that advancement potential of, where the partners are coming from.
[00:33:46] Or most of them lateral, they make partner there. did they need, did they typically leave. and what does advance look like in terms of the partner's compensation so recent, things people will say, by joining a firm, is, they'll say, they'll [00:34:00] have a client development budget.
[00:34:01] They may say it's easy to make partner there, in smaller firms. they may say things like it's easy to advance our compared to a big firm. and then many partners in many people can join firms where they can take over a book of business and. So people have all sorts of reasons for joining firms, based on, advanced potential.
[00:34:18] And then they also have lots of reasons for, not joining firms, based on demands for potential. And, I know certain firms where people have never made a partner in a branch office that had been, has been open, 20 plus years. there's very few, there's some firms that have a very small.
[00:34:32]equity partnership and where it's almost impossible to get in there. so those are, some things and, in law firms will say things, about how much money their partners make, if you can be partner, they'll say how easy it is to make partners sometimes. they'll sometimes they'll say.
[00:34:46]that will show you how to generate business and become one of us. they'll say that they'll give you a client development budget. They may say they have large institutional clients, and you don't need to bring any work. so they'll have all sorts of things, that they'll say [00:35:00] to convince you to join there.
[00:35:02]and that always, No, it doesn't work. I remember, this is funny. I was talking to, like another big New York law from one time about working for them and in Los Angeles. And this is a firm that has never made a partner in their Los Angeles office. And when I was talking to the partner, he said something and I was in the New York office and he said something like, we're, if you do come to work here, because of, such and such, would you be willing for us to look at you to make partner.
[00:35:27] Her to be a partner after five or, after six, instead of five years or something. And which is just ridiculous because in the history of that firm, they've never made a partner in Los Angeles and, but that was a way to, make it seem possible, when you're hearing that from the head of the firm, which, it was funny if you think about it.
[00:35:45]but law firms, will often try to convince you to join based on your advanced potential. law firms, one of the smart ways of them marketing themselves is, they'll market. The fact that they have a lot of work, to get attorneys to work there. And that's something that they often do. that, frankly, that's a very [00:36:00] good reason to go to work in many law firms.
[00:36:01]the, the presence of having a lot of work, is employment security. And I do think that's a major competitive advantage. if the there's a lot of work in a law firm, it means that, the you're going to have some Metro of employment, stability, busy law firms, are obviously doing something incorrect in the market.
[00:36:17] From a business standpoint that keeps them busy. they, provide upper mobility for attorneys. there's a lot of learning, train other opportunities those types of firms, rarely lay people off. there, there's firms that are very busy that's actually a good thing.
[00:36:29]they have opportunities many times, but yeah, that other firms don't, they, many times you can make partner without having any work and so forth. But, one of the things, attorneys say is they don't want to go to work at different firms because there's too much work.
[00:36:42] So they call them sweat shops. They, they, they, they say that, personal relationships aren't, valued and so forth. So larger firms that have a lot of work, tend to be. why they criticized and it's always been that way. but it's actually, as a young attorney, it's a very good thing to get experienced in these firms.
[00:36:59] it also is assigned [00:37:00] many times that there is operative, mobility opportunity, but it could also cut the other way because, a firm that has a lot of work may actually be very difficult to, advance it. and the reason is because, they just need people to do the work.
[00:37:12] They don't need to share the problems. typically the busy law firm, will tell you that it's easier to make partner there because of the work. they talk about the fact that they're growing. They talk about the fact that you can make your bonus. they talked about the fact you get a lot of experience, And all that stuff is very important.
[00:37:28]corporate attorneys in many firms, the litigators and different people, typically, need to get a lot of experience. And the more experience you get early on in your career, the better off you'll be. th there's nothing worse, for an attorney than not having any work to do.
[00:37:43] And, it's just completely demoralized. And so attorneys always want to have work. And, one of the most important things you can do is work at a firm that does have a lot of work. certainly, you need to, have basic concerns about your health and so forth, but having access to a lot of work as a cook, other law [00:38:00] firms.
[00:38:00] So market their expertise in different practice areas to get people, they'll talk about, You know that they're the go-to firm for given practice area. we'll talk about the fact that they have the largest, number of attorneys in their practice area. one law firm, I remember placing someone in, in a market said, we're the only firm for this practice area, which, the only choice that the person would possibly have, so they'll talk about all sorts of things.
[00:38:23] They'll talk about the size of their deals, and that will get people interested in those are all factors, that you should consider, and those are all very important. and so things like they'll say that the only game in town, does nothing, but my practice area in the firm is strongest in my practice area.
[00:38:37] Those are all, really important things. and these are just some statements, the kind of law firms will say, they'll say, if you wanted to get public company work or the best place to do it, we got all the best cases, there's no place to get better experience in many times.
[00:38:49] They're right. different law firms will have different ways of kind of marketing that stuff. and many times attorneys will not go to work in different firms because of the practice area. And frankly, that can be a very good [00:39:00] decision. I've spoken to, the attorneys many times that haven't taken jobs in certain firms and they haven't taken them because the firm simply doesn't have the work.
[00:39:09]and they don't have, in the law, the attorney will, if the attorneys, the corporate attorney, they may only have, small private company work or, mid-sized private clients. Or if the firm is a litigation client, they may not be taking big litigation cases. do we Ballantine, it was famous that when they would bring in co-counsel on the West coast, they would never bring in their own people.
[00:39:29] They would bring in other firms, which is just, must've been demoralizing, for the partners there. And, in other practice areas are, support practice areas. So tax is a famous one that typically will support, the corporate practice, but there are some independent tax practices they're independent.
[00:39:44] So people have all sorts of reasons for not choosing firms based on a practice area. this is something that, you really need to, consider, when you're joining a firm, whether or not, does that practice as a firm generate its own work? So that's very important.
[00:39:59]Another [00:40:00] thing, that's that law firms will do is they'll Mark a connection that's actually important. they'll have mentors, they'll have, other forms of support and some law firms don't believe they need to do that. Especially, many, established firms, not, and law firm, people can be persuaded to join law firms and they believe they're going to get the opportunity.
[00:40:18]to work with certain other attorneys, are there other attorneys out there who are protect them? So they may be learned by the fact that, they're, someone very highly regarded at the firm, that they want to work with. So there may be, a very well known attorney, that they wanted, that they could work with.
[00:40:33]if an attorney reaches out and recruits an attorney, from that from riches out and recruits them, or the firm takes an interest in them specifically from someone that they know, or the has a recruiter call them or something that actually makes them feel very good. I've had people, recruited away from here.
[00:40:49] one of the reasons they give me is that, that they were recruited, attorneys, like feeling, valued, and many times, they simply may believe that there's people in power there that will [00:41:00] help them, and that sort of thing.
[00:41:01] So all this stuff, having a bond, is important people will say things like, I'm going to work for a, a huge judge, my practice area. I'll be working with friends, people have my back, and those sorts of things. and honestly, I think, having that sort of connection, with someone at affirm and having a mentor and someone that's going to look out for you is unbelievably important.
[00:41:21] I just, I don't, just going to affirm is a nameless, cognitive wheel. it can be very dangerous. if you really do have a connection with someone and someone that you think will help you and we'll look out for your career and take you under their wing, it can make a huge difference.
[00:41:35] I know, I've had, people that I've known that, their whole careers have, function based on that. And it can be very helpful. Candidates will often, not our attorneys will often not use law firms based on mentors. they'll feel like there's not people there, that will go to bat for them.
[00:41:52]they feel completely alone, and those sorts of things. And so that, often, can hurt, the attorneys as well. So the way [00:42:00] law firms will use that is they will, typically, they'll have, interview with attorneys. I went to, anytime that I interviewed with a firm that was very serious about hiring, they would always bring me back and, have me go out to eat, whether for lunch or drinks or something with an older attorney, that I might be working with.
[00:42:15] And that would be a bonding thing. the law firm, what often, have sometimes I would be called by people that I worked with in the past. many times, the attorneys will try to give advice about other law firms, that the person might be interviewing with, or, the remote mentorship programs and so forth to the attorneys.
[00:42:32] And, one of the, like I said, the most effective strategy typically is to have a perspective attorney go out with an older attorney, for a one-on-one meeting, you know, questions about hobbies, try to bond with a person and so forth. And that, will make the younger attorney feel like someone's in their corner.
[00:42:48] that connection, is important. it makes people feel supported and, really dose does wonders for getting people. Hi, good to work there. another thing that people do and there's 15 of these, but the last [00:43:00] five are fairly quick. the market, our office location, depending on their, office location, that can be important.
[00:43:06]people, typically will work in different places because of where offices are. And especially in markets like Los Angeles, or even in New York, if you want to be downtown or uptown. Yeah. And all those sorts of things, parking, that can make a big difference.
[00:43:20] And many times, law firms or in the suburbs actually have a real advantage, for different people, like in Los Angeles, a lot of times there's firms in Santa Monica, people would love to love working at Santa Monica. even in Detroit there's firms in Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham, as opposed to Detroit.
[00:43:35]in every market, there's places like that where people would prefer to work as opposed to, that. And so people would choose, firms based on that and whether or not the firm's close to their house and, whether train, stop nearby and so forth. and many times, law firms will open offices and, or have offices that are in just bad locations and people will literally turn down, offers with good firms.
[00:43:56] They might not otherwise work with, because of the, office [00:44:00] locations. and I remember, I used to live and work in Pasadena, which is a suburb of Los Angeles and there were a few firms there and they actually paid a lot less than those downtown. But people would literally go to work there because they didn't want to have to make this a commute on the one 10 freeway to go downtown every day.
[00:44:16]it can be very important. And there's another law firm. I remember in Santa Monica that, whose, where the rent was, they had an opposite kind of overlook the ocean and this nice building on ocean Avenue. when they couldn't afford any longer. it destroyed the whole culture of the firm action to closing.
[00:44:32] benefits and perks are often used to get people to work there. I remember an attorney once accepted an offer that I knew, because the firm had free lunch, during the week, every day, I've seen partners, turned down offers where they were getting more money at affirm because it got a large, business, development budget.
[00:44:50]I remember when I was in law school, there was a firm in Detroit that was giving people down payment assistance, to buy a house. it made the firm, actually seemed very attractive, especially compared to, [00:45:00] other firms. I remember, another firm, Wachtell offering, messengers to use.
[00:45:05]Skadden Arps having a short closet. there's all sorts of, if you worked all night, and so people, will choose, law firms many times based on, those sorts of things. And then another big one actually is relocation expenses. I have, seen offers. fall through, all the time, because a law firm, isn't offering relocate patient expenses.
[00:45:25] I don't know, that's very important to many people and, Yeah, take us to sporting events can be important. So all those sorts of things, same-sex partner benefits, CLA reimbursement from retreats, different sorts of, gyms are another big lawn.
[00:45:38]sometimes even firms will pay for dry cleaning, so all those things, cafeteria can make a big difference. many times, attorneys will just say that they chose a firm because it had better health insurance. I've seen that happen. I've seen many partners take, offers because of the business development budget.
[00:45:54]and, I've seen people, turn down offers, because of quality of health insurance and so forth. [00:46:00] to get attorneys interested in this sort of stuff are working there. Typically, it doesn't come up until the person gets an offer, but if it does come up, these are, the, the best way to get all the information about these, benefits is really for the law firm, just to answer questions about them as they come up, after the person gets an offer.
[00:46:17]Okay. another big one now, and this is, is attorneys having the ability, to choose when and where they work. And this is absolutely essential for many attorneys these days, and it may actually be a higher one. people want to be able to work at home. sometimes people don't want to have to do FaceTime then they w they want to know, how often they're expected to.
[00:46:36]during the day, that's all very important. working at home is often a condition of employment or having a few days, at home a week. especially for, mothers or, I knew one man, that needed to take care of his wife two days a week. many people will actually, as work is becoming more and more virtual, will work, far away from the office most of the week.
[00:46:57] And then. may take a day or two in the office. [00:47:00] And that the firm's kind of policies regarding that, are very important. many attorneys will just flat out take jobs because of the ability to work remotely. that's important to them. and many times they will. reject jobs because they can't work remotely or need to be in the office all the time.
[00:47:15] And it really depends many cases within the attorney's practice area and the need for face-to-face interaction. But, many attorneys do find they get a lot hard work done at home, and, working remotely and others, the law firm needs them to be, in a, in an environment where they're interacting with other attorneys, I personally, I'm not sure how well that works.
[00:47:36]there were companies, for example, Yahoo that allowed everyone to work remotely that, beliefs, they ran or believe they ran into a lot of trouble because of that. other companies, in law firms, virtual law firms, that there are several of them, but, for the most part they haven't grown.
[00:47:50]I think there is a need, even, as. People were prohibited during the pandemic from, working in offices, many law firms, the leadership was still in there, in [00:48:00] the office most days. it's something to think about. Yeah. law firms, so market themselves based on early responsibility.
[00:48:07] So those are things that go into court, running deals, depositions, briefs, and telling attorneys about that. So that's something that. the market, and attorneys often will leave firms, because they're not getting early responsibility. I saw one woman who started a career at Solomon Cramo, where she was getting at time, which is it's a mass, very prestigious firm and running deals.
[00:48:27] then she went to another firm. It wasn't getting, early responsibility, like she was getting before and left, partners. sometimes we'll not trust people with various sophisticated work. I remember, several instances where people weren't, haven't been, trust to a sophisticated work to left.
[00:48:41]so many times people do want, early responsibility and, they don't like people looking over their back and they want to do things their way. And some law firms will tower it, that others won't, and encourage it. And so you need to go. where, they feel comfortable and, many people will feel like they're not getting, early [00:49:00] responsibility and, we'll leave or not take offers because of that.
[00:49:03] And those are valid reasons. there are firms, where you can be very senior and not getting responsibility. if a law firm, census that you want early responsibility, I've been in interviews before where our partners with said stuff like I hate going to court. I need someone that I can rely on to go to court for me all the time.
[00:49:19] Why would I want to go to court? I don't want to be involved in this and that sort of thing. And these, those are some ways that a law firm will, sell you on that. sometimes we'll just market themselves based on offices. I've visited. I visited one firm, not too long ago where, the firm gave me a tour.
[00:49:35]it must've been, I don't know how long it was, but it was long, where they took me through and, showed me how nice their offices were. they were nice. but. that's not necessarily, the reason that people go to work places, but sometimes they do.