[00:00:00] Today I'm going to be talking about interviews and this is a presentation that I do in some respects. I talk about the elements that we're going to talk about today and Almost every presentation, but it's very important because w what's going on right now is that people are getting a lot more interviews than ever before, because it's much easier to interview by zoom and because they're getting more interviews it's becoming a more competitive to, to get the same jobs.
[00:00:27] And so law firms are interfering a lot more people, and when they interview more people. They have more reasons to disqualify people from jobs and it becomes actually a little bit more difficult to get the same job. So I'm going to talk about all this today and and really how to do your best in interviews.
[00:00:46] And there's essentially four things that I always cover when I talk about interviews. But I'm going to try to talk about them in a little bit more depth today. Everyone can have a good understanding of them and this isn't a very long presentation. And after the presentation, [00:01:00] what I'll do is like I do every week, I will take as many questions as people have about interviewing.
[00:01:06] And also if you want to speak up, you're welcome to speak or you can just type your questions in anonymously too, if you like. The first thing is, once you get an interview with any firm The odds are pretty good that the law firm wants to hire you. They do not waste their time interviewing most law firms.
[00:01:23]They will interview, excuse me, several people for positions sometimes, but in general they're not going to interview a lot of people for jobs because it's a lot of time. It's attorney time. It's that they don't necessarily like interviewing it costs them money to interview you because they're not billing hours.
[00:01:41]And so w when the law firms interview and do they actually really do want to hire you, and what happens is most people go into interviews and they end up disqualifying themselves because they do several things and when a law firm is interviewing you, the first thing to keep in mind is they hire people that the people that are most often hired are the people that want to [00:02:00] be there the most.
[00:02:00] And that's your, you're the first thing you need to remember if you're a wishy washy and there's no connection and you don't seem like you want to be there that's a big problem, or if your reasons that you may not want to be there and they can pick up on that. So whatever it takes, you need to be able to brainwash yourself.
[00:02:18] Before you go into the interview about the reasons you want to be at the firm and really get excited about and think about the positives and law firms can always tell when people aren't interested in working there and, it's a cultural match to some extent and for example, I just hired an attorney to work in our company and he was someone that had interviewed a couple of years ago and then said, he kept thinking about that regretted, not taking the job and wanted to come back.
[00:02:42]That's someone that really wanted to work here. And because of that, he was hired over people that were actually frankly much better qualified than hell. And so law firms are asking that, and they're also asking about whether or not you're going to fit in with a culture. And, but more importantly, they want to know that you want to be there. [00:03:00]
[00:03:00]Just remember that if a law firms interviewing you, they really want to hire you. And your job when you go into an interview is to make sure that you get the job. And then you say things that may disqualify you from getting the job later. Like for example we had someone this week and an interview in, or a job in New York.
[00:03:19] And the person that got the job in New York city was when they asked him where to send the new hire paperwork. They said to send her to Texas. I had no idea that the person was in Texas and they didn't like that. And because the person was in Texas they actually almost withdrew the offer.
[00:03:35] Because they thought that the person wanted to work remotely in Texas, even though the firm was closed and there all the work is remote. So you need to be very careful about just qualifying yourself from jobs. And that was an example of someone that if they'd asked if they could have worked remotely or if the ask was okay, if they work in for a New York firm in Texas, they would have not gotten the job if they had brought that up initially.
[00:03:57] And so a lot of times people will [00:04:00] disqualify themselves from getting jobs right up front. And just remember that anything you say that puts out in the firm's mind about hiring you early on is likely to qualify you and when there's more applicants for a job that's a real problem. Just to give you a sense of how competitive the market is.
[00:04:17]Now, law firms, if someone got an interview with a law firm in the past through us, the odds were pretty good. I would say 50 50 that they would get an offer now. Those same law firms, the odds are much less. And the reason is because there's just so many people interfering for the same positions.
[00:04:34]So these are the four questions that. I'm going to talk about today. That law firms typically will evaluate you on, and this is how you need to understand the answers to these questions when you go into interviews and really how to portray yourself in order to make sure that your employer bubble and the better off you do with these four questions the better off you'll be.
[00:04:57] And each of them are [00:05:00] important, but. In each of them have are important for certain firms and not others, but there are, they're all equally important to some extent. So the first is, can you do the job? The next is, can you be managed? The third is where you do the job long-term and fourth is do you really want the job?
[00:05:17]And then we'll talk about each of these right now. And I honestly, this is such an important topic, and I hope that you really listen closely to everything I'm saying today. I'm gonna try not to talk very long because I want I don't want people to, dose off to some extent, but It is very important that you do what, your absolute best to understand this because you will get more jobs throughout your entire career.
[00:05:41] And now if you understand this, so the first thing is, can you do the job? And the big thing is that when you get an interview The odds are that the law firm believes that whatever's on your resume shows. You can do the job, meaning, your education's good enough. Your skills are good enough.
[00:05:57]Your prior experience is good enough [00:06:00] and the odds are pretty good that you can do the job that they're interviewing you for. And it may not pay in a complete picture, but you look like you can do the job. And many times they have questions they want to flush out and things like that.
[00:06:12] But doing the job just means you have the ability to do it, or it looks like you do. So if someone were to look at your resume and ask, can this person do this type of work, the odds would be pretty good that you could they, your resume tells a story and whatever your education or whatever your experiences they're going to believe based on what they see.
[00:06:33]There that you can do the job and you may have been referred to the firm by someone that says you can do the job and all sorts of different things, but the odds are pretty good that whatever's on your resume shows, you can do the job. And for the most part, if a law firm has a certain type of opening a law student, hiring's a little bit different, but if the law firm has a certain type of opening, then they're going to be interviewing you for that job.
[00:06:56]If they need someone with five years of corporate [00:07:00] experience there are, or for, I'm sorry if they have an opening for someone with two years of erosive experience they're more likely to hire someone that has that. Than an attorney with fibers of corporate experience.
[00:07:09] So most law firms will have a certain type of job. And then they'll plug you in there. Some law firms are generalists and have generalist type jobs. Others are specialists, firms, most firms are specialists have specialist positions, but many times it's just, can you do the job?
[00:07:25] And if a law firm needs someone to be a specialist, then they, then you need to look like a specialist. If they need someone to be a generalist. Then they need someone who's willing to do work as a specialist and not afraid to learn new things. So your objective, when you go in for an interview is to study whatever the job is, the job description.
[00:07:43] And then also to understand exactly what they're looking for and different partners may be looking for different things. Different partners may be looking for here, but to work in multiple practice areas instead of one, or they may want people who only work in one practice area, you need to understand all that.
[00:07:57]And once you understand really what the [00:08:00] law firms looking for and just to some general rules, by the way if you have, if a law firm is doing plaintiff's work, they're going to want someone that does primarily plaintiff's work. If a law firms doing isn't a large market and is a large firm it's typically gonna want specialist.
[00:08:16] If a law firm is in a. A small market and as a smaller firm, it's going to want typically more generalist smaller firms. Typically a lot of times want generalists. So you just need to figure out, does a law firm expect you to be a generalist? Do they want you to be a specialist? Do they need you to be able to go into court?
[00:08:32] Do they need you to be able to run deals? Do they need you to be happy? Maybe not running deals and doing portions of the deals. And so these are aspects of being able to do the job and law firms want to make sure that you can do whatever the job that they have, and they hire people all the time for positions that don't necessarily aren't necessarily able to do the work and that's a problem.
[00:08:53]You need to make sure you understand what the job is and whether or not you can do the job that they asked, but in [00:09:00] most cases, when they bring you in, they have a pretty good sense that you can do it. Now there's different ways that they will figure out whether or not you can do the job well, and this is actually a very important point and being able to do the job well means, when you're given an assignment, do you do a good job for the attorneys that you're working for?
[00:09:21] And so they have all sorts of ways especially for lateral attorneys and for summer effort for first-year attorneys and so forth to figure that out. Yeah. If you got a job as a summer associate and got an offer, then they figure when you can probably do the job or she can probably do the job.
[00:09:36] If you didn't get an offer, they may be concerned that you can't do the job. If you're currently employed they figure you can do the job. If you have periods of long-term periods of where you've had several jobs and for short periods of time, they figure maybe you can't do the job. So if I look at someone's resume and I see three or four five months Five month or less, or, one year periods of employment.
[00:09:57] I figured that maybe there's some problem with this person's [00:10:00] work quality. So law firms will ask about different types of things during your interview to see if you can do the job many times they'll ask you what you worked on and how sophisticated the matters you've worked on.
[00:10:13]Typically, or, give some indication of whether or not you can do the job, the level of enthusiasm. You talk about that you did the work with we'll. We'll tell about whether or not you can do the job. If you give references and they'll ask your references how well you did the job.
[00:10:28] If you gave, give writing samples that can show how well you can do the job. If you the big thing that they do a lot of times is they'll ask you how busy you are.
[00:10:39]Turn busy attorneys are busy. The best attorneys are always busy because people want them to do work and assignments for them. So if a law firm thinks that you're very busy then that's a pretty good indication that you're doing good work and you can do the job. Now. It doesn't always, it's not always the case that the best attorneys are busy and some of the largest law firms [00:11:00] because everybody's busy, but.
[00:11:01] At the same time. That's one of the ways they do it. And so they're always looking for indications that you do good work and that your work quality is good. And they can figure that out many times by your willingness to give references the enthusiasm and you talk about work the blah of responsibility offers that you've had and that sort of thing.
[00:11:21] And other things that they can do is they can Many times they'll ask you what partners you're working with in your firm. And if you're working with, the best partners they'll know who they are many times, that's a good thing. If you're working on the firm's most sophisticated matters that's a good thing.
[00:11:36] And then other things you may have done would be, to show your level of confidence and charisma at your job and so forth. They're really probing when they interview you you know how well you can do the work. And if I was an interviewer, I would ask things like, how busy are you?
[00:11:50]What are you working on? Why did you leave this job? Why don't you leave that job? And so I interviewed someone yesterday for a it was very interesting for a personal assistant [00:12:00] job and he had been graduated from when did he quit? He graduated, I think from NYU, maybe in 2000?
[00:12:06] No, not 2000. Yeah. Like 2000 or 1998 or something like that. And he'd only had three jobs and they'd all been far CEOs of companies and so forth. And. When I asked him why he left each one, it was someone had retired. When I asked him, and he'd actually called here late at night because he was so busy at his existing job that he doesn't have time to speak during the day.
[00:12:30] And so that's all. Those are all very good science. And then when you asked him about his love of responsibility, he talked in great enthusiasm about that. So that's an example of someone that can do the job. And a lot of people, frankly, can't do the job. And so you need to come across. So someone that can do the job and when, the more important people you're working for shows, you can do the job.
[00:12:50]The more sophisticated the work is, and the more responsibility you can chose, whether or not you can do the job. And so these are all. Things that the law firms probate. [00:13:00] And if you, if the law firm asking you say you don't have a lot of work here there's not a lot of things to do.
[00:13:06] You don't have. Things, and it shows you probably can't do the job. Other things that are important to consider, especially for law firms are, if there's not a lot of work at your law firm, for whatever reason, then you should be doing things on the side. You should be writing memos articles and things to keep busy and have that stuff to, to show because it shows just a lot of enthusiasm for the work.
[00:13:28] So this, I hope people have questions about this, but you really need to Show, when you go into interviews that you can do the job and you also need to show that you'll do the job no matter what it is. And so many times, people are asked to go to trial. Sometimes they may be asked to do certain types of assignments and other people don't want to do.
[00:13:48] And the last thing in the world, a law firm wants to do is hire someone. That can't do the job. And the job may be many things. I had an example of someone that I used to work with [00:14:00] and he really wanted to do white collar litigation. So he was hired by a firm. And the firms said, yes, we'll give you my collar litigation due, but we also have other types of work.
[00:14:09] And so he got there and he refused to do other types of litigation other than white collar litigation. And of course, they fired him for that. And and in his career went downhill from that because he wasn't able to do other types of work. I've seen people that go from one law firm to another and they get it, the new law firm and they're given.
[00:14:27]Work that they might have done as a junior associate, as a senior associate, and then they refuse to do it and they to lose our job. All these things that that you need to do a different types of firmer firms are important. And and being able to do the job means, willing to learn to be able to, pitch in.
[00:14:44] And then also the amount of work that you may be have given been given in the past and that sort of thing. And that all comes across. And so law firms don't want to hire people that they feel can't do the job. And so these, the way you talk about this stuff will many cases. [00:15:00]
[00:15:00]Get you disqualified. And this really isn't the biggest thing that gets people disqualified. Cause most of the time when you get in the interview you're going to be okay, but on this particular matter, but it's very important. And then the next one that's very important is whether or not you can be managed.
[00:15:15] And, I, whether it's a partner or an associate everybody is, can be a real management challenge or do very well inside of law firms. And being able to be managed is extremely important. And many attorneys are not manageable, especially young ones.
[00:15:30]And that creates lot of problems. And so when you go to interview with a firm they're really are asking whether or not you are the kind of person that can be managed and people that can be managed are ones that. Are always out to support the firm and group, and then there's other people that will undermine the firm and the group they're with.
[00:15:50] And they'll do it in subtle ways. They will people that support the group also do it in Sonoma ways. But I'm sure that, wherever you're working and all the places that you've worked [00:16:00] before, the sorts of people that are supporters in the sorts of people that are undermined.
[00:16:05] And the big thing is when you go into an interview and if you start talking negatively about your firm people will view you as people that may not be able to be managed. I've seen really talented people. I remember Here's a guy. I was out with a recruiter of ours and that and we were meeting with an attorney that had gone to the university of Chicago law school and then was, had been placed at a big firm.
[00:16:26] I don't know it was when, soon as Tron or something. And they were meeting with our recruiter because they wanted to discuss the fact that they were unhappy because the firm was no longer paying for parking in the same building that they've been paying for parking port before. And people had to walk across the street now and there, they were unhappy.
[00:16:43] And, that's, these things kind of things seem trivial, but and it may have been difficult to walk across the street and added a few minutes to the person's day. But at the same time, that kind of attitude is one that. Is really, can undermine the firm because once you find something like that, you're going to find other things.
[00:16:59] And [00:17:00] there's all sorts of people that will not support the firm in their groups. And there's ones that will. And so law firms always want people that will support them. And especially the attorneys that are there want people that will support them. And if they feel that you're not on their side are not going to be on their side or you undermine them in any way.
[00:17:17]Then they're really going to try to cast you out. I had a. Really a tragic thing happened with one of my candidates. A couple of years ago, he was a first year associate had gone to a top three law school, which I guess would mean Harvard Stanford or Yale and and in, and had done, it was at the very top of his class and had gotten a job with a very like one of the top firms or Washington DC.
[00:17:43] And he was Asked to do an assignment for a partner. And he came back an hour ago after being given the assignment in Santa, it wasn't necessary because he gave all the reasons that it wasn't, and this was a partner that had a new client that was trying to build a client money.
[00:17:57] And I don't know, but and he made a big [00:18:00] stink out of it and got in a fight with him and then lost his job. And because he was so young, he was like four months out of law school. Couldn't find another job and dropped out of the practice of law. It was just astonishing. And he got a couple of good interviews.
[00:18:13] I got up with some very good firms, but that's the consequences of someone, not being manageable. You need to do, you need to be and managed and being seen as someone that supports will follow orders. And I'm not saying that what he, what happened with him was necessarily ethical.
[00:18:28] But I think that the way he handled it was probably his mistake. But at the same time he didn't look like he was manageable. And so people want to have people working for them that are manageable most Law firms from their partners and their associates, but more so from their associates need soldiers.
[00:18:45] And and so what a soldier is, if you're going into battle if you have 5,000 soldiers that all have all these different opinions about the way things should be done and whether or not we should be doing this and what weapons should we use and how should we do it? And [00:19:00] is this order really a good one?
[00:19:02] Then you have gonna have chaos and you can't. Lead a country like that you can't lead an army like that. And law firms also can't be led like that. But they want people that are going to do what they're told and follow fall into line. And in time, certainly they're open to debate and ideas, but people that are, supporting the overall cause of the law firm.
[00:19:22] And it's the same thing with partners. There's partners that are that, that are, of course a partner would be a general, but at the same time, there's generals. That are can't be managed either by the people above them. And then those people are let go. So everyone, to some extent, needs to be a soldier, to the people that are above them.
[00:19:37] And that's a lesson that, if you watch politics and CEOs and and politicians and people that lose their jobs, you always see that. There are people that kind of step out of line with what the majority thinks they should be doing. And if they do that, then they're typically cast out.
[00:19:51] And so being managed as a crucial thing in any profession, but especially for young attorneys, I've seen so many [00:20:00] careers more than I can count. The second I got in into a law firm my first position I saw people that couldn't be managed and we're constantly losing jobs.
[00:20:09] One guy lost the, for the job I was with first firm and about three months, because he thought it would be interesting to call employers, not employers, but reporters about cases he was working on and give his side as a first year associate that hadn't even been admitted to the bar, if you can believe it.
[00:20:26]So they didn't like that and just different sorts of things. And then the other thing about being managed is. You just your ability to respect authority, lines of authority. I'm not go around people's back. And and then, and that sort of thing and be careful with that.
[00:20:41] So being managed as is important. I'm going to tell you how law firms pick up on that right now, but some of the ways that law firms can pick up whether or not it can be managed it, anytime you talk negatively about your past employer. If you talk about poor morale toxic partners and so forth, it's going to show probably that you're going to be difficult [00:21:00] to manage.
[00:21:00] So as a general rule, you don't really want to ever say anything negative about your pirate firms. There's just nothing. Nothing positive that comes about that. Nothing. There's nothing really th that you can any way that there's never really any excuse for it. And it's going to hurt you.
[00:21:18] Cause it's going to show that once something bad happens at the firm, you're at. Then that you're also going to be looking for a position and talking negatively about them. So there's that. So you need to be very careful about that. And then the other thing is another way they can tell if you can be managed and this is very subtle, but it comes across usually on your resume.
[00:21:38] And and the things you say in your resume and in this a lot of times people put this stuff on their resume and think it's good, but. When you have anybody that has an outside business is typically someone that's very independent and does not group oriented.
[00:21:53] So anytime you've had an outside business and take it very seriously and brag about it on your resume and so forth, law firms are gonna think that you're [00:22:00] not going to stick around. And in my experience myself included anybody that I've ever known. That's had a fairly successful outside business before going into practicing law, always leaves because they can't be managed.
[00:22:11] So I used to be in their own boss. Being vocal very vocal about political issues can also cause problems. So there's nothing wrong with being a member of a political party and having opinions about that. But the second that becomes a dominant focus and it really comes through very hard in your resume.
[00:22:27] Then the law firms going to think that's going to inform how you look at them and how you look at the place you're in. And I've seen when I've gone into firms, people that are. Very strong in one way or another, in terms of their political opinions, it does affect it can affect their ability to be managed because they will look at different attorneys and so forth in different ways.
[00:22:47] So any strong opinion in one way or another. If it comes across in your resume, really can show many times that you could be looking for trouble and law firms don't like that something that I've [00:23:00] noticed and is that's very interesting to me is the people that get the jobs in the very best firms, which are places like.
[00:23:07]Cravath or, solving a crime on so forth. They're almost they come across almost as many times. And quite often it's almost like flat. Like there, there's just not a lot of their academics and so forth. There are extremely good, but law firms that can pick, pick and choose that have been around for a long time and that have, very strong bands and can get pretty much anyone they want.
[00:23:30] We'll pick people to work for them that. Look very stable and are going, are not going to make trouble and are not moved one way or another by very strong opinions. It can just process information to be very good attorneys, frankly. And and so you need to come across when you're talking to firms.
[00:23:47]Th is that kind of person is someone, that's there to do the work that will follow directions and get things done. And so that's very important. And so can't really emphasize this enough because I think many times when people come into law [00:24:00] firms, like they want to be they think, especially at the interview stage, they think it's an opportunity for them to be recognized and, for their individuality and so forth.
[00:24:08]And it's just, this is not. Necessarily the kind of business that it is. It's unfortunate. Th that's what it is, but it's what it is. It's law firms want people that they can manage. And you went to, if you were thinking about, if you were trying to run a large law firm or any type law firm, you would want people that could be managed.
[00:24:25] And the biggest mistakes that I've made in my career have been when I've shown people that I may not be someone, in, in employment situations that can necessarily be managed. When you, anytime you look like you could be against the boss or. Have different opinions and not carrying the party line that can hurt you.
[00:24:44] And so you need to be very aware of that. And many attorneys will put things on their resume like that will, show that they're difficult. They could be difficult when you manage, like sometimes I see some resumes sometimes where quite often very highly qualified attorneys that will [00:25:00] be, have taken a job in a major law firm.
[00:25:02]And then when they list their experience, the first experience that they list will be all this pro bono work and things that they've done on their own. And then they'll have a couple of lines after this long explanation of all the pro bono work about the actual, paid work that they did. And so those are people, obviously they can't be managed and then they can't get jobs.
[00:25:20]And so even though they have good academics, they. Take, I don't necessarily are not necessarily the kind of people that can be managed and it hurts them. And I really, I'm just bringing all this up because I want. You to get a position and when you interview and I want to show you how important that stuff is and other things happen too.
[00:25:38] Like sometimes people will say they're offended by certain clients or certain types of work that firm does. They can't do that. And th they're really asking, are you a cat or a dog? A cat is someone that, can't be herded and won't, follow it, instructions and directions.
[00:25:52] And a dog is someone that will do what you're told and be obedient. And so they also don't want people necessarily gonna push back. [00:26:00] And and then just talk, talking about anything that's unprofessional and maybe happen at your firm. Applying unethical things are happening can also hurt you.
[00:26:09]And then then there's other things to that help attorneys law firms understand whether or not you can be managed. And one of the things that the people really don't like is they don't like it. When you ask about salary or bonuses during interview we shouldn't really talk about that at all.
[00:26:28] Now you wait, that's something that you wait until you've gotten the offer, and then you talk about it. If they ask you what your salary expectations are the smartest thing to do is just say I hope I will be paid. What other people here are doing the same type of work. And then you leave it at that.
[00:26:44] And if the law firm can't pay you what you need to be paid, then you don't have to work there, but you just need to be very careful about coming in and showing that it can be managed. And another thing is a lot of times people ask about working from home. They'll ask about [00:27:00] taking certain days of the week off or working from home certain days of the week.
[00:27:03]They'll ask about hours and face time. And these are all questions that you should not be asking early in the interview because if you were an employer and just think of put yourself in the shoes of someone working for you if you needed someone to just say. Take care of your children and the, and you interviewed three people and one person came in and was great.
[00:27:26]But asked you would it be okay if I was late on Tuesdays and Thursdays and took every other Friday off and one person was good, but not great, it was available every day and the other person it wasn't so good. You'd probably choose the person in the middle, over the person that was even better because of their availability.
[00:27:46] So when you do stuff like this, it's at Fisk and disqualify you. If someone asks about, how soon till I get a raise and things like that's also going to discuss. Intentionally disqualify it. And just remember that there's a lot of people usually interviewing for the same position [00:28:00] you are more than ever before.
[00:28:02]Because of the zoom interviews, there's tons and tons of people interviewing. That's really gonna hurt you asking about pro bono work will hurt you because most law firms have a lot of choice for the people that they're interviewing with. Right now, for example the New York legal market is extremely slow for litigation.
[00:28:21] So I don't care if you're, circuit court clerk and at a top 10 firm and went to an Ivy league law school. It's still the market's still difficult. So if someone asks and say they really want to do pro bono work and another person doesn't talk about that.
[00:28:37] The person that doesn't talk about, that's going to have a better opportunity to get a job. Having too much personality can hurt you. Law firms can pick up on you having a ton of personality sometimes by how you interview. So if you if you're if you have a ton of personality that comes through in the way you dress or Tons of tattoos and visible places and long hair and all those [00:29:00] sorts of things.
[00:29:01] There's nothing wrong with any of that. But but most many law firms, depending on the location are are going to be more welcoming of that than others. So you need to be careful about that. So it's funny. Cause I talked to people all over the country all day and I talked to people. In Ohio, at conservative law firms.
[00:29:16] And they're always sitting at their desk wearing, ties and coats and stuff. And then I talked to people and LA and they're dressed like I am. And then, you just see people just have different and, talk to people in San Francisco and they may have, tattoos and it's just, people are different depending on different parts of the country.
[00:29:33] But you, to some extent you have to sublimate your personality and time you're part of a group. And and so you need to be careful about that. And then another thing that a lot of people will do that is another huge no-no about management. It's they'll ask questions that kind of put the firm on the defensive.
[00:29:49] So don't ask about things that the law firm may not do well. They'll and things that will make them uncomfortable. They may ask about different types of reviews and things they've [00:30:00] read or scandals or any other negative things about the law firm. So anytime there's anything negative about a law firm that you're seeing reading about you, you really probably don't even want to read it before you go into the interviews, honestly, because if you read it, you'll think it.
[00:30:16] And if you think it you'll show it I don't know, you know what good it does to read something from an aggrieved employee every year. Law firm out there hires people that, that have personality problems with partners and things. So reading negative information doesn't necessarily help you. I've learned that it's just not a good idea to talk negatively about others generally at all, because why would I want to influence someone negatively about someone or something, but anything you do to put the law firm on the defensive?
[00:30:43] It's not a good idea. And frankly, the best attorneys Don't do that most of the time. They realize the overall strength in the firm and the people, and there must be good things there, but you don't want to focus on any of that stuff. And there's a famous quote as people [00:31:00] do not remember what you said, they remember how you made them feel.
[00:31:02] So if you you obviously want to make the show. The law interviewer talks most of the time. There's this thing called the 80 20 rule where they should be talking 80% of the time, but it's really it doesn't need to be that high, but for the most part interviewers like people who let them talk about themselves and yeah.
[00:31:19]That's a problem. That you need to make beach, be aware of that you need to let people talk and younger people, a lot of times want to talk about other accomplishments, but in reality law firms are trying to figure out if you can be managed and and if the job is going to be something that's going to be a problem.
[00:31:35] And, there's a. Kind of a there's there's age discrimination in law firms and and in most organizations. And one of the reasons that I think that is, is that, when someone gets older meaning that, they have 10, 15, 20 years of experience they become more difficult to manage.
[00:31:52]They're set in their ways. They don't want to learn new things. They feel like they know how to do things. And so that. It can be can be hurtful for any hurt [00:32:00] people. Many times when they get older. Now I have people that are in their late seventies interfering. So I'm not saying without business that are, so not saying that it's definitely can hold you back, but it is something many times that can hold people back to some extent because law firms, most law firms want soldiers.
[00:32:17] They want people that they can manage and that will. Do the things that they want and, and the biggest thing is with young attorneys, many times is they have entitlement issues even the most highly qualified attorneys. And so these entitlement issues are things like, a belief that they should get a certain salary and they, they should work on certain types of transactions or get certain types of experience.
[00:32:39] And and that comes across. And so if a law firm sees those entitlement issues, that's going to scare them away. And your best firms. I don't know how they do it, but your very top firms are able to pick up on that and not hire people like that for the most part, unless they have to.
[00:32:54] But thinking about what you want really when you're a young attorney, especially your your You're [00:33:00] there to get training and experience, and you're getting paid a lot of money to do it. And and so all these entitlement issues and things that you think you are entitled to you, if you put that aside and just think about, you're there to get training and what would it be worth?
[00:33:15] What would it cost you not to get the training? Meaning you're going to have a much harder time ever getting. Another good position. If you don't get the training is as a way to think about it. So there's a cost to not getting the training and then there's a cost to get in the training.
[00:33:28] So worrying too much about yourself and their ego and so forth early on can be problematic. And so the management stuff is a big thing. So just think about, how, if you were interviewing somebody, what would you want? You would want them to be able to be managed.
[00:33:42] You would want them to want to do the work. He would want them to. Do all sorts of stuff. And I had an interesting experience and I'm, I don't, this is, I don't even know if this is appropriate to talk about, but I'm going to talk about it just because for me it's interesting. When I was throwing up I was a contractor and and it was very [00:34:00] difficult for me to find people to work for me where I was from in Michigan.
[00:34:03] So I would have to go in my workers and I would literally have to drive around to their homes and get them up and not a bad. And and then go get them, remind them the day before many times when there was work the next day. And and it was very difficult to get work done. And and many companies like in my industry would bring in crews from other States and so forth to do the type of work, because it was so difficult getting people to do the work and to getting them to show up to work and all sorts of things.
[00:34:32] And then when I came to California, I was astonished because. There were all these people that would stand in front of home depots and things ready to do work each day. And it's just, it's not the kind of thing you saw in Michigan and Michigan. There were unions and so people had a Teitelman issues and taught, they needed to make a lot of money and there wasn't, there was, it was just, it was a very different.
[00:34:53]Type of place and two different environments. And so being able to be managed is is a big thing. And it's [00:35:00] important for employers. If I was a contract, I would definitely choose California over Michigan but today, but you just, people go play, people, hire people that can be managed.
[00:35:09] And anything that you think about yourself? That's important if you give away those, if you give away a lot of that during your interviews, and you're not the best candidate, they're going to go with some, they're going to go with someone else most of the time. Okay. So the next one is, will you do the job?
[00:35:23] Long-term and that just means how does it look like you're going to stick around and. And so law firms are, w if you're a law firm, and just thinking about it this way, you want people to come to work for you that are likely to stay, and that it's bad for your clients when people leave, because so a new attorney needs to get up to speed.
[00:35:44] It's Yeah, it's it's, it undermines the morale of the people that are there when people are leaving all the time and it creates all sorts of problems. And then law firms want to hire people that are there because it's a lot of work interviewing and hiring people. So when they're interviewing you and so forth, law [00:36:00] firms are always asking themselves, does it look like you're going to stick around?
[00:36:03] And and there's a lot of things that people Do on their resumes and so forth that make it look like they're not going to stick around or be interested in the law firm for the longterm. So one of the things is once you go in house or if you've ever been in house law firms will presume that you don't want to come back to a law firm because even if you do, they assume that you leave again, people that go in house, it's just a different animal.
[00:36:25]It's more typically. It's more predictable hours. People go because they don't like law firms and the hours and so forth. And once you put that in your resume it can be problematic. Academics law firms are very direct and it's about finding solutions quickly, not necessarily to Baden ideas.
[00:36:43] So the more academic you look. Meaning philosophy degrees, lots of papers Yale law. School's often a bad thing to have on your resume because law firms will presume your academic. It makes it look many times like you won't do the job. Long-term most people that go to Yale law school don't end up sticking [00:37:00] around a law firm very long.
[00:37:01]Most people that have been PhDs and so forth and outside of the sciences typically will not stay in law firms very long. So they're always trying to figure out if you're going to stick around. And another thing is, having a lot of different jobs on your resume, if you've that's the big one.
[00:37:16] If you're leaving your current job, for reasons that don't make a lot of sense. Then the law firm will typically assume that you're not going to stick around. It's often easier. It's actually is easier. So I have a lot of people that I work with at BCG that will that someone may be, for example, from.
[00:37:31] Cleveland and working in Los Angeles and they may want to return to Cleveland and settled down there. They're going to get a lot more interviews in Cleveland doing that. And they probably would get in Los Angeles because they grew up in Cleveland and law firms will assume that they're going to settle down.
[00:37:46] If they're working, trying to get a job in Los Angeles where they're currently working law firms will assume that they're leaving a current firm because things aren't going well there's problems, or they will probably leave their firm too. And so that's not necessarily the most [00:38:00] helpful thing.
[00:38:00] So you have to look like you're going to stick around wherever you're going because law firms want you to commit and law firms. I believe that if you commit, you're going to do better work, you're going to work more hours. You're going to be a better attorney. You're going to be better for them around.
[00:38:15] You're going to create pressure to, to, upward mobility and so forth there. And that's going to be very helpful and then jobs doing different types of things or not. Not good. So if you're trying to switch practice areas or you've switched practice areas, if you've worked in all sorts of different practice settings, none of that's good.
[00:38:31] So they just want to see, they want to believe you're going to stick around and do the job long term. And like I told you about earlier, if you had been an entrepreneur before, they're not going to like that, or if you look like, you're more interested in policy than a law firm where you're more interested in academics, anything that shows you're not going to stick around.
[00:38:48] So you need to your resume needs to reflect that, but also the things you talk about and then. Some of the big things can the things that can actually hurt you so many times if [00:39:00] you're you have different there's different lifestyle factors. So law firms like it, for example, when when you're the primary caregiver, So if you are not primary caregiver, but you're the primary breadwinner.
[00:39:11] I'm sorry. So if you're the person that does most of the work in your household and supports your family? That's actually a very good thing to law firms because it means you're going to have to commit. You have a mortgage, you have a family to support kids and stuff. So they like that. And if and if you.
[00:39:26]Have other types of, commitments meaning even if you do have kids, you're going to need to go back to work and so forth. Those are all positive things to a law firm, but things that make it look like you may not stick around the law firms. Our businesses and they will w typically shy away from that and they want to, any, so you have to make yourself look like whatever you want to do regardless of your situation, if something you want to do permanently and being committed to an area, physically being committed to in the bean needing the money to support a family, all those sorts of things are important to law firms.
[00:39:59][00:40:00] And law firms love it by the way, when you apply, you're the primary caregiver for your family? It means if you have mortgages, kids, tuition and so forth it could be men or women. But when you have all these sorts of commitments, that means that you're going to stick around and the law firm will, you'll work for them and to be committed and any type of commitment that you have.
[00:40:21] It keeps you bound. Your job is going to demonstrate that you're going to do the job long-term having a nice car is probably one example, Apple as well. Anything that shows that you need the job and the money that the job provides is going to make make it important.
[00:40:34] And then another thing is like I talked about earlier when you're looking in your current market, if you want to leave firms law firms are going to pay a lot of attention to your reasons for switching firms. And and it may be actually harder many times to get a job in your current market than it is.
[00:40:49] If you try to relocate, because if you're relocating, the presumption is you're going home. To where you're from, and if you're going home to where you're from, the presumption is you're never going to leave. [00:41:00] And so they liked that. Whereas if you don't have any connection to a market that's also can hurt you.
[00:41:05] I had an instance when I was I was clerking for a judge in Michigan and I applied to firms Angeles. But as part of that, for some reason, the list that I built, where I did a mailing. Contained firms that were in. Fresno. And so these firms and Fresno call me and they were like, why would you possibly want to go to Fresno?
[00:41:23] And, I was able to make up some reason since about my girlfriend, one in applying to jobs and nurseries. There was, she was to be an architect, a landscape architect, but at the same time they didn't buy it because they said, you'll come and you'll leave.
[00:41:35]People. Don't like Fresno and they were right. I probably would have come and left. And it doesn't make sense to hire someone if they're going to come and they're going to leave, it's just too much work for the firm. The other thing, there's just a lot of things that they're going to consider.
[00:41:50] So they'll look at your resume. Many times attorneys believe that if you're going to go to a law firm, that's far further down the pecking order of the type of law firm that you're qualified to work [00:42:00] at, that you may not. Necessarily you may not stick around. You may the law firm may hire you.
[00:42:05] So if you're at like a very good top law firm and you apply to a law firm that pays half many attorneys believe, Oh, first of all, get hired. Why wouldn't they, I have this great resume. And in reality, a law firm. Doesn't want to hire someone that they don't think is going to stick around. So I see the situation all the time.
[00:42:22] I have very good candidates that are looking for jobs, and they may want to work in a law firm that were, it's not as good as a job that can get a fake held out for a better job. And law firms really need to be sold on that. And they, if you're trying to work at a law firm that pays a lot less, it isn't this prestigious, the law firms going to presume that you're not going to stick around.
[00:42:42] And that pretty much happens all the time. Attorneys. They get jobs in firms that aren't as good as they can work at. Don't always stay unless they really have. Of lot of desire to to, to work in a smile, laugh for some reason. And some people really want to go to boutique firms. And if that's the case, then you [00:43:00] definitely need to be sold out that Canada definitely needs to sell, offer them on that.
[00:43:04] But at the same time that's important law firms will also ask themselves what kind of options you have. So yeah. Th they know, like if law firms interviewing you and you talk about that you may have looking at these other types of jobs, they're going to think that you don't want to do it.
[00:43:20] So when I ask people what kinds of jobs they're interviewing for all the time? A lot, always ask them that. Especially if people don't want to work for me. And if they say I'm looking at working in recruiting, I'm looking at working as a real estate agent. I'm looking at working in a big law firm as a corporate attorney.
[00:43:39] I'm looking at working as a professor in the law school. There's nothing wrong with investigating different career options, but. The way to investigate that is really to make up your mind, place that before you start interviewing, it's not to take a chance on one thing. Cause if it hit a chance or one thing, they're probably going to take a chance on the next thing that comes along too.
[00:43:56] So you need to be very cognizant when you're interviewing to say, [00:44:00] I'm looking at law firms. That's really. And then if you're looking at law firms that are beneath you, you need to, the law firm needs to understand why you're doing that. The other thing that's important too. Is when the law firm asked you when, how do you speak about the work that you do and how enthusiastic are you about it?
[00:44:16] So different people have different levels of enthusiasm. If you are doing a lot of reading on your own, and you're trying to become a better person. And you're trying to really learn about your practice here and you're, you've gone and maybe gotten an L lamb, say you want to be a healthcare lawyer.
[00:44:31] You have a healthcare background, you went got an LLM in healthcare law. You or if you want to be a privacy attorney, you took some privacy classes or got a certification. All this sort of thing really shows that you're probably going to be doing this for a long time. And if you're young the way that law firms work is you're you're supposed to learn a discipline and then after you learn a discipline, you're supposed to get clients.
[00:44:53]Are you excited about, are you writing and speaking? Are you teaching, are you joining committees? Are you becoming members of [00:45:00] outside associations and so forth? What are you doing to prepare for your future? Are you just trying to make money now? And then leave. And so law firms can tell all that.
[00:45:08]Yeah. The more of the stuff that comes through on your resume. The more helpful it's going to be you should look like you're trying to get clients in the future and want to do that. And you should look like you're enthusiastic about the subject matter. And then another thing is how have you established roots in the profession?
[00:45:23]What are you doing to do you look like you're committed? Are you learning? Are you increasing your skills? Are you forming new relationships and so forth? And then another question many times a law firms will ask you is if you're interviewing with a major law firm, like a very small law firm, they'll always ask you what.
[00:45:42] Other firms are innovated with. So if you're interviewing with a six person law firm or a 10 person law firm, and then you tell them, we're also interviewing with a 500 person law firm, they're going to really wonder why you're talking to them. And they're going to assume that that your goal is not to work in a smaller law firm.
[00:45:58] So they're probably not going to hire you. I had that [00:46:00] experience once when I was younger, I was interviewing with like a very. Small very good small litigation boutique. And they asked me where I was interviewing and I told them I was talking to lethal walk-ins and I was talking to all these different big firms.
[00:46:12] And they just took it the wrong way. The interview was almost over then. And they didn't like that. And not only did I say that, but I came across I like it just didn't come out. And so that, that upset them. So you just need to be very careful. The other thing too is if they ask where your market's your interview with.
[00:46:27] So if you're interviewing with a law firm in Houston and you have no contacts with Houston and and then you're also interviewing with law firms in Florida and Jacksonville and then maybe in Chicago, they're going to wonder, what are you doing? Like, why are you doing this?
[00:46:45] And so you need to Have reasons about why you want to be in a market, why you want to be with a certain type of firm and all that sort of thing. Because if you don't then the law firms going to assume that you're not going to stick around, so you need to be very careful. Okay. And then and then the other thing [00:47:00] that happens is when you're moving laterally law firms also want to understand the big thing is why you're leaving your old firm.
[00:47:06] And there's good reasons for leaving and there's bad reasons for leaving. So some good reasons would be that your firm's going away there's problems, but that's where another good reason would be that the law firm you're trying to get a job with has a lot more work and more sophisticated work in your practice area.
[00:47:25]That the law firm you're with is changing the type of work they're doing in your practice area. They're not doing a lot of it anymore. So that's one the winning the things like the best our moving home, which I talked about earlier is when you're trying to move up in summers.
[00:47:40] So law firms want to see a period. They want to see some sort of upward mobility and realization that you're improving in some way, when. When they're interviewing you. So they'd like to see that you're trying to move up somehow, meaning you're maybe doing more sophisticated work at the new firm or you're going to get new, more sophisticated [00:48:00] clients.
[00:48:00] You're going to work with attorneys that are better, and you're going to become a better attorney that the attorney is a better brand that you'll have the opportunity to finally develop business because the firm you're with is so big that, you could only bring in these giant major institutional clients.
[00:48:13] So anything that shows. A desire for you to improve people will reward that. And that's something that. Law firms always want to see. So the better you can do with that in terms of looking like you're moving up the better off you'll be. And many times, the law firms will also want to know why you're leaving.
[00:48:32] So a good reason for leaving would be moving to a smaller firm would be one where if it's related to clients, so you can get more responsibility and more personal contact and you could give reasons like that or get business. Know another one would be if there's a very well-known attorneys in your practice area at a law firm, the new law firm and anything that gets closer to what you're trying to do and what your goal is as what your stated goal is and what it [00:49:00] looks like from your resume.
[00:49:01] You're trying to do. That will help you. One example is just if you are someone that wants to try cases and the law firm you're trying to go to does a lot of trials and you have reasons for wanting to be a trial lawyer versus an appeal lawyer that can help you. And so anything that looks makes it look like the new law firm is going to be the perfect outlet for your skills and talents, the, and something you're not getting at the current firm you're at is very helpful.
[00:49:25]And so some bad reasons for leaving that'll show, you can't do the job. Long-term are always going to be things related to conflict, meaning you're not getting along with people. Something happened you think that there's problems with the firm because of some bad news or something not having enough work to do.
[00:49:42] And a lot of times people will leave because there's not enough work to do. And there's nothing wrong with that. And these are reasons that people leave. But at the same time, you have to have reasons to explain them. No, there's no work. So all the partners in my practice area left or lost this huge case, and there's now there's no work [00:50:00] because the thing that happened, the thing about not having enough work is an every day.
[00:50:04] Law firm, the busiest associates typically are the best associates. And and the busiest partners typically are the ones that bring in the most business. You just, you need to always have a show. You have enough work and that's.