[00:00:00] Today we're talking about how law firms interview entires in attorneys and lost students and the three questions they evaluate applicants by. And this is a topic that I've talked about with everyone here before. But I'm talking about it again, just because it's honestly, in my opinion, probably the most important topic and something that a lot of times people do not ever understand.
[00:00:23] And I want to make sure that at least I push it through one last time this week I'm also going to be doing a webinar on these three things tomorrow for law firms. And but today I'm going to this is for candidates. And after the webinar like I always do, I will also be taking questions about pretty much anything that you want to ask about your career.
[00:00:44] Law firms evaluate resumes of candidates that are applying there whether they're law students or attorneys by asking really only three things. And the first one is, can you do the job? The second is do you want to do the job? And the third is where you [00:01:00] commit to the job and there's different ways that, you can approach these questions.
[00:01:04]But this, these are the most important, the three. Everything comes down to these questions. And if you tell an employer if you can convince an employer, the answer to these questions is yes. Then you'll typically get the jobs you're applying for. And if two of them is yes, then you might get the job and most attorneys never get all three answers this yet.
[00:01:22] So that's why it's very difficult to get positions, especially in, in the most competitive law firms. And and these questions are really the most important thing that law firms are asking when they review your resume and they speak to you. Very few attorneys by the way, understand these questions and and they, and, and a lot of times people get very discouraged in their job search because they don't understand them.
[00:01:43] And if you're unemployed, you're probably unemployed right now because you're not.
[00:01:48]And these questions properly from the standpoint of employers and understanding how to frame yourself is really the key to not just getting a job, but to stay employed in the first place. So [00:02:00] the first question is, can you do the job? And and this is really probably the most important and lots of people out there can do the job, the work that a job requires, but very few people can actually do the job.
[00:02:12] And many people will come to me all the time, they'll have experience that they, it looks like they can do a job but this doesn't really mean that they can do the job. In June, the job really means that you can fit in that you're willing to play by the rules of the employer that you have the background to work in the firm and you're willing to do everything that the job requires.
[00:02:34] And if you think about these things it's not, it wouldn't doing the job just doesn't mean the idea that. You have the background and do the work. It means that you're willing to fit in and play by the rules. And, I've taken the statement and broken it down to three, three different things about, can you do the job?
[00:02:50] And I've many times I've said, can, you could be managed or, will is another one that's number two is the number one. But the big one really for a lot of employers is whether or not you can fit in. [00:03:00] And, but I had, I'll never forget it. It was it was not too long ago. No.
[00:03:05] And I was speaking with a very strong patent attorney who was unemployed. And she had a great background. There's a dearth of African American patent attorneys and she was an African-American patent attorney and she was poor from a, poor urban background. She gone to a top engineering school and the very well there and then also had gone to an Ivy league school.
[00:03:25] And when I was speaking to her on the phone, she was very no the tone and not connecting with me and not easy to speak with. And and just giving me very flat answers and not, really not talking about, refusing to talk about herself, refusing to, connect when I was trying to do that and mean that's common with a lot of people with science and engineering backgrounds sometimes it's not the most common, usually you can get people to open up and, laugh or stuff when you're talking to them because you want to bring out their personality because you want to be able to sell.
[00:03:57] The person fitting into a certain firm [00:04:00] and and so that's important. And so this particular person I said to her, I said, you know what, I'm sensing some hostility. I'm not sure why. And I said, in order to represent you, you're going to be able to need to get, go to a law firm.
[00:04:11] You're gonna need to be able to fit in and get along with people. And I personally can't do that. I can't represent to them that you can be able to get along if you can't even get along with me. My job is to, I have an incentive to get along with you and and I really want to get along with you, but I'm not able to do that.
[00:04:26] And, in response she said the education skills, so the work set, that's all that matters. Your job is to speak with me and then for the resume, the employer that's it. And so the way she was coming at, it was just because she'd had these degrees and experience that she was qualified for the job and her ability to connect with people and her ability to, fit in and different environments and so forth, which is a personality thing, by the way, it has nothing to do with all these other things that people bring into it, which could be, male, female, different [00:05:00] religions and backgrounds.
[00:05:01]It's really just the, whether or not your personality will click and you'll get along and people will like you and and this sort of attitude that just because you have a degree or just because you have experience is going to get you a job is. Is not true. It's absolutely not true.
[00:05:16]If you don't have the right attitude and and you're not connecting with people, then you're not going to get the job. They don't care. Having a degree is fine, when you're like four or five years out of school no, one's going to care about your degrees.
[00:05:29] They don't care. And they won't even care very much about where you work. The, most of the jobs you'll get will be a people that you know, that you relate to connect with. And I was on a meeting with our recruiters the other day or yesterday. Yeah. I was thinking about recruiters that I've hired.
[00:05:46] And most of them come through people that I know. They haven't, when people, when I put jobs out, I might get sometimes, like most employers have no good, a lot of applications. Sometimes, hundreds or thousands for one, jobs as a recruiter and [00:06:00] in our company.
[00:06:01] And and but the people that are getting hired are people that are able to connect with me many times through other people then and that sort of thing. So you need to be able to get along with people and you need to be seen as someone that is going to connect. Cause they don't when it comes down to it, it's your qualifications matter.
[00:06:18]But fitting in with the people that you're applying to is really important. And you fit in by many times being from the same location. That's a big time when you think when you move home of knowing the same people that have good relationships with them of the all those sorts of things of having had shared experience of working, having to work for similar people, having similar hobbies and all those sorts of things make you fit in.
[00:06:42] It's not, it's not your your race or your religion or your sex. It's your ability to many times fit in is your ability to connect with people. And it's just, it's very important. And and people hire people that they like. So they want to like you they want to be able to get along with you and feel that they're gonna, [00:07:00] that you're going to have a positive working relationship with them.
[00:07:02] And then they also want people that are going to bring positive energy into the office. And and that are going to bring people up and not down. And so this woman that was, believe that her job was just to show up to the office and do the job and leave and not connect with people is a real killer.
[00:07:19]Because it, when you walk in around an office or you're trying to work with someone, who's dragging everyone down and not positive. It, it can really put a kibosh on everything and make it a, not make it an unpleasant place to work and make people unhappy. And I'm sure you can relate to that and interpersonal situations where, in your family or maybe someone is very unpleasant and so you avoid them and you don't want to admit it events and so forth.
[00:07:42] And it's like that when you're not connecting. And so people care about how you make them feel and whether or not they're comfortable with you and your job search should not just be a question of getting a lot of resumes out there which is a very important by the way, your job search and your career should be about trying [00:08:00] to be around people that you're comfortable with and make you feel good about yourself and vice versa, because those are the sorts of people that you're going to, that are going to advance you and more, you're going to be happy and that are going to protect you.
[00:08:12] And and I've seen the lack of focus on this stop people in their careers and tracks time and time. Again I have a a sad story but it's a guy that I knew when I was younger in my career. Actually I, yeah, I never worked with him, but he worked for someone that I worked with and and he had some ups and downs, but he had two job offers and one was with a firm that was in that was perfect for him.
[00:08:39] It was with a bunch of people that had gone to the, I don't know if that had, were from a similar political party as Hey, that loved his political background. And this guy was a diehard and in his in his career in terms of what he was doing, and he just had a very similar background and.
[00:08:55]And he got a job with this firm and it was a miracle they'd never, they hardly ever had [00:09:00] hired anybody laterally and in years, and and the firm firms in San Francisco, and it was a smaller firm with like maybe 30 or 40 attorneys and most of them older, and they really liked him.
[00:09:09] They thought he had a future there and all sorts of things. And then he also got a job through his friend with a huge law firm in New York. And and he and there was no connection with the big law firm. The only thing they offered was a lot of money and he ended up taking the firm even though this other firm really liked him and he would have done well there end up taking the job in New York, had a horrible experience where he, he worked seven days a week for a year before he quit.
[00:09:34] He was burned out. And then and then he just had a tough time. I think he got a DUI and lost a job when it was in the papers. And has been doing contract work for the remainder of his career. And the point is that, if you wind up many times with the right people it's a very good thing.
[00:09:51] And when you fit in with the right firms, it's a very good thing. And I've seen so many people make this mistake. I can't even begin to tell you. And then employers [00:10:00] choose people to work there. Many times if you're, that they believe will fit in and if you fit in, there's so many things that can make a difference in your career.
[00:10:08]But when someone, when you connect with someone and there's truly that connection, it's a real connection with an employer, that's a big deal. And it's like that in your personal life, when you meet people that. You feel like you have a real connection with it's a big deal.
[00:10:21]Education and experience is not meaningless, but it's in terms of what's going to take you far, if you're not connecting, you're always going to get pushed out of organizations. You're never going to really amount to your potential. And getting along with others is very important.
[00:10:36] That doesn't mean you need to be social, like I said here, but you do need to be able to get along with others. And, I'm, a hundred percent for helping the underdog. I, when I was in college, I ran a business, where I was in Detroit. And I was giving people kind of their first jobs out of a drug rehabilitation center and really trying to help people's self-esteem and so forth.
[00:10:58] And and it [00:11:00] worked, but for most of the people, but that they, so I want to help people, but, you can't help yourself. And you can't really, you're not going to do well. If you think that your job is just about doing the job and you can go home, if you're going to protect yourself and then you can't do that.
[00:11:15] And and your education and skills will take you somewhere. They'll get you in the door when you're young. But even people with good education and skills, I see people all the time that graduate from, every top law school. Whether it's, every top 10 law school that don't get jobs, they literally graduate and they don't get jobs.
[00:11:36] And they're unemployed, for a, year or two after graduating. And it's not because they don't have the right schools or they didn't get the right grades because they go into interviews many times and they're unable to connect. And they're just so you need to learn these skills and and you need to realize that people are not hiring you just because you can do the work they're hiring you because you can fit in.
[00:11:55] It's just doesn't work that way. And so this particular woman I was [00:12:00] really shocked that she was so hostile and viewed my role as a, the way she did. And I hadn't I encounter, versions of that certainly from time to time, but and I told her that I certainly wasn't going to be able to help her.
[00:12:12] Cause she just was so closed mouth that, then just not going to connect with people. And and then later on I looked her up cause I just, I was, wondering why was this woman so upset? And she was mad. She, I guess she sued several people should suit her former law firm and lost, and she'd filed a lawsuit against a hair salon because they served a white customer for her that actually had an appointment and she didn't have an appointment.
[00:12:37]And so I realized that she was angry about something. It will cause trouble and, so as much as I wanted to help her I needed that, wherever she went, she probably wouldn't be able to do the job. And so a lot of people is, are have problems and, and so not everybody fits in and every environment.
[00:12:53] So you may not fit in because of your religion you may not fit in because your sexual orientation, your [00:13:00] race. And in my case I was always like, very curious and like to ask a lot of questions and that certainly didn't work. And it, wasn't the kind of attitude that was appropriate for all firms.
[00:13:11] A lot of firms expect you to sit down and work and and be very serious and that's not something that, that was good for, that I was good at and I was always interested in other things like how business works and so forth. So instead of just sitting down and cranking out legal work, I was always interested in how these businesses we were working for were making money and, so that's, and those are things that are good at that.
[00:13:33] I was like, it's is there, sometimes I've observed that there are issues of, people not necessarily getting along and, you can call it discrimination or whatever, but th there's just different types of people that have different can get hired in different ways.
[00:13:47] And so many times, certain people are, it's actually easier for them to get higher than others. And and and I think a lot of it has to do with your ability to fit in and and I believe that, different groups and so forth can fit [00:14:00] in in different ways.
[00:14:01] And an example is, we I'm, I come from a background where I've been exposed to a lot of people that are in my family that are that practice Judaism. So you have people that are and I'm personally not anybody that practices, but you have people that are, very Orthodox and separate that that believe that You know that they, they don't, they, they want to keep all their relationships with, people that are also Orthodox and you have people that aren't Orthodox that you know, and so it just, it depends on your belief and how many times you may want to and how you can get along with different types of people.
[00:14:33]When you put yourself into a certain tribe or you come up with a certain belief about different ways that you the different things that can separate you from people for example people that in my family that, Orthodox Jews, for example you know that's something that separates them.
[00:14:48] And you have to ask yourself why do you want to be part of a group, or do you want to be not part of a group? And so many times, you're you have to be able to come together and embrace the diversity of the groups. You want to be [00:15:00] wind if you're going to be successful.
[00:15:02] So just remember that law firms or groups of people coming together for a common purpose they don't want people there that they believe are going to make trouble. They want people that who liked them and respect them for the type of people that they are. And anytime you look like you're not going to fit in they may have a problem with it.
[00:15:20] That doesn't mean that that they're going to discriminate against you because you're diverse or not diverse or whatever, but that they want to be able to get along with people that they feel compete, their friends, acquaintances, and others, and they want to get along with, they want to hire people that they trust and they believe are going to have their back and people that are not going to Sue them and make trouble and people that are going to want to participate in the social dynamic and people that are not going to spread negative news about them and make trouble.
[00:15:46]Their businesses, law firms or businesses. And so when, when I was in school, A lot of the stuff that I was taught was, the businesses were bad and there were this about them and they were, perpetuating the rich and all these sorts of things in law firms [00:16:00] are bad.
[00:16:00] And so I went into a lot of early interviews with those preconceptions and law firms did the right thing by not hiring me. And so I'm just trying to show you that, any beliefs that you may have about groups and and so forth and, and negativity and looking for trouble, if you think these things you'll show them in interviews and law firms want to hire people that they feel are going to be, part of a group that aren't going to ruffle their social dynamic and so forth.
[00:16:24] And that's just how it is. It's not it's just something that you need to keep in mind and in fitting in is about about a lot of different things then honestly, this discussion, okay. That makes me uncomfortable just because there's so many hot buttons, but what I would say is that, you have to, understand kind of the groups that you're applying to.
[00:16:41]The guy that I talked about earlier that was very conservative and so forth and got a job with a conservative firm. Those are people that would have protected him. And, some law firms, for example, are composed of lots of conservatives, and you can imagine different parts of the country.
[00:16:54]The law firms will be composed of a lot of conservatives. Others are composed of a lot of liberals and, [00:17:00] others are posed of lots of good looking. Some people, others of good looking, overweight people. It's just, some of or bad-looking some people in, but you just never know, and some have one religion and some premiere of women to some of men.
[00:17:12] And and th the idea is that, and then even with the way they approach problems there's certain law firms that will cut corners. And and they'll do things that, like without being very thorough. And there's other law firms that will. So regardless of what fitting in means you need to find employers that value people like you, they need to value your way of thinking.
[00:17:33] They need to value your outlook on things they need to they need to value that. And and the reason is because, groups bring together people that are similar to them and and they tend to exclude people that are different. And so they may say they want to have a lot of diversity of different types of opinions and stuff.
[00:17:50]And many of them actually do. And most of them that are, especially in this day and age are really trying to do that. But ultimately everything is about a group. And it's [00:18:00] about the the type of people that those sorts of people that are in the firm are comfortable with and and want to be around.
[00:18:08] And so that's just something to really think about that's very important and I'll answer questions about that in a minute, because I'm, now this is a big topic now, but, fitting in is hugely important. No matter who you are you need to be able to fit in with the places that you're applying and the places you're trying to work.
[00:18:27] And and realize that it goes way beyond your resume because there's no dearth people that can, that have the resumes to do whatever job you're applying to. Okay. And then the next one is you can only do the job if you're willing to play by the rules and the employer. So the idea is that different employers have different games that they play and and, buy games that means, some may require you to work incredible hours.
[00:18:51]And they may want you the job to be your only reason for existing. And if you're interviewing with a firm like that, then they're going to basically be looking for reasons that [00:19:00] they think you may not work really hard and will eliminate you. If they feel like you're not gonna play by that game and that's their game.
[00:19:06] And it's just something that, other employers don't want everybody playing like that. Some employers, I was talking to a a patent firm in the Silicon Valley recently, and they were saying, they don't want patent attorneys there that are gonna have, they're gonna try to bill over 15 or 1600 hours a year, because if they're off their culture and that's them, so that's the game.
[00:19:26] So if someone shows up at this firm and bills twice as much that's certainly gonna make the people that are billing, half as much not look as good and they're not going to be comfortable with that person. So the firms that are very demanding may not want to work with people that they believe are going to have kids.
[00:19:42]I'm just saying it and it's true firms that are very demanding. Won't like it, if you look like a man that has a lot of outside interests that, spends a lot of time, exercising and with hobbies and so forth and if you seem headstrong and talk about how you're willing to work hard, but only if the compensation is [00:20:00] right, those same firms may not be interested.
[00:20:02] And there's all sorts of rules, but, basically when I talk about playing by the rules of the employer, what that means is, the employers are really asking if you can be controlled and are you going to follow them and what they ask and are you going to do.
[00:20:16]The things that they require for the job and those are really the three most kind of important things and, one of the most common sites in the legal world. And it's something that I see pretty much consistently. Yeah. Young male attorneys that have gone to great law schools done well and received a lot of praise and so forth for all their accomplishments for most of their life.
[00:20:37] And these types of attorneys will go into law firms and they'll have very high expectations for themselves. And and the belief that they need to be advanced immediately and so forth. And and honestly I speak with attorneys like this all the time. Yeah. Because they, they believe that, they need to really be move on.
[00:20:54] And and a lot of these are, tend to be young, white men from top law schools. And a lot of them will [00:21:00] leave declaring that there's not enough money and responsibility. And sometimes they'll say they want to do personal injury or mass torts. So believe that they can, these cases must be easy.
[00:21:10] Cause other people would lesser qualifications are doing them and they'll come to me. And basically they expecting the doors of law firms to open to them because of their stated ambition is to be rich and powerful and and believe that, whatever background they have makes them a catch.
[00:21:23] And and many times when attorneys are in that point they're in crisis because because they really are not thinking through their careers and and they're really quite full of themselves and and it doesn't work.
[00:21:36] You can't. Really, expect to, reach the Heights of greatness without learning what you're doing. And and many times when they find out the salaries are one third of what they would make an, a large law firm they're not happy or even one fourth. And and those law firms hardly ever make them offers.
[00:21:52]And they'll say things in interviews, like I'm happy to work here, but I'm going to need significant responsibility and I want to be paid, commensurate with my [00:22:00] contribution issue, cover this. This is literally the kind of stuff that it's very common. And I see these examples like almost every year, several times a year.
[00:22:07] So this is an example of someone that can't do the job and law firms have no interest in this. And the person that's going to be hired as someone who's going to put their head down and work hard and doesn't have entitlement issues. If you think about it, if you're an employer, would you rather hire someone that is going to be working hard and doing a good job, but making you pay them and undermine your other people by getting paid more and showing up everyone else that works there every step of the way, or would you want to make sure that you hire the person that is very easy to get along with and so forth.
[00:22:39] And the attorney with the big background is not a good catch at all. And so that's many times what happens. And so you need to understand that just because you can do the job, even that you can do it very well law firms or businesses. And one person that can do the job better than, everyone else there sometimes could undermine the whole pack and put the whole business arrests.
[00:22:59] And law [00:23:00] firms need people to play by the rules and they can be managed. And those particular type of attorney typically will go someplace and then have to end up starting their own thing later on, because they're just, there's just too much inability to play by the rules. Which is very common.
[00:23:14]So the other question the law firms are asking is if your background is what the firm needs. And and when an employer is looking at your resume, what they're looking to see is whether or not you have the scale education and so forth to do the work. And that just means are you qualified and and whether or not you have the experience in the practice area and so forth.
[00:23:34] And if you have the experience, the odds are pretty good. You can do the job and this particular thing is something that's just very common and I see it all the time. It's one of the most easy to to tell if someone's qualified to work in a spirit law firm, just by looking at their resume, you can pick that up fairly quickly.
[00:23:50]And I have a sense of it at this point in my career because I've been doing this for so long, but for the most part being qualified for a job can mean different things to different employers, but, you [00:24:00] can be qualified to work in a neighbor law, a neighborhood law office, where you may be able to do a bunch of different things and give advice to people walking in off the street, but that's going to mean something different than being qualified to work in a a major law firm.
[00:24:13] And law firms are looking at your previous experience or looking at the kind of work you've done, the how long you've done it. And so forth in order to make judgments about your background and, some law firms won't look at people from certain law schools, other law schools other law firms literally have grade cutoffs from certain schools.
[00:24:30]I know some firms will every single school in the country. They have a cutoff for so you can get into this firm, but you may need to be first in your class if you went to certain law schools or the top 5% and other ones and top 20% other ones. So they have cutoffs and and other law firms only hire out of certain law firms.
[00:24:49] So that's something that we do at BCG. It's very interesting. We look at, where. Do people go after being in a certain law firm and many times you can see that there's there's certain law firms that [00:25:00] will, primarily hire from a few different types of law firms in that practice area.
[00:25:04]In other law firms may require a certain types of expense. Most of this is fairly self-explanatory and I'll answer questions about this cause I see other some questions, but but the most important things really are when an employer's hiring you as what your previous employer was.
[00:25:18]They're interested in where you may have been a summer associate. They're also interested in the current firm you're at and and they typically will have had experiences with attorneys from certain firms and and not other friend and that are good and so forth.
[00:25:33]And that's really how they tell whether or not you can get the job. And most law firms will hire from certain firms because they know that those firms work on similar size clients. They hire certain types of similar types of attorneys and have certain types of standards. But regardless of what the job is, most law firms know that once you pass the bar and so forth you're probably in, in, you're working in a given practice area you, most jobs you can do, if you have decent training, you can do most jobs.
[00:25:59]I know an [00:26:00] attorney that quit a job. He was a partner in a major law firm and and this next one, by the way is called the, what are you willing to do? Whatever the job requires. And and in this particular reason for, employers hiring people are whether or not you can do the job is because different employers are going to require different things out of you.
[00:26:17] And and some of them may actually require you to be a little dishonest or bend the truth. Others may require you to be extremely honest and never bend the truth. Others may require you to deal with certain types of people and not bring certain types of clients in and so forth.
[00:26:31] But I know an attorney that was a partner in in a major law firm and he quit and to go to work with a major company. And in the first few weeks he was at work, he was given some papers to file with the sec. And they were the documents weren't accurate. And they, that he was being asked to file them because the company was trying to keep the stock price up and want him to do it.
[00:26:51] And when he was, when he spoke to some superiors, he was basically told that you had to do it and and not to say anything. And so he went to see the [00:27:00] CEO of the company and he got fired and and it took him a couple of years to find a job. Now, I don't know if what he was doing was okay.
[00:27:07]Completely illegal. I think there was a, a reading that maybe it wasn't, I don't know, but at the same time he lost his job and costume took him a few years to find a new one. And and so that, can be very risky many times and you need to be careful and I'm not saying certainly anybody should break the law, but certain jobs will require you to do certain things and others won't some jobs were required to work every weekend.
[00:27:30] Other jobs will require you to generate business immediately as an associate. Some jobs require a ton of travel. I've seen jobs where people, literally spend all week traveling. Others may require you to go out to dinner with with clients several times a week.
[00:27:46]Others may, we want you to go drinking with people in the firm frequently. And the point is like you need, when an employer is evaluating you many times, they literally may be evaluating, you're saying is this a type of person that's gonna go drinking with us?
[00:27:59] Or [00:28:00] is this a type of person that's willing to get on a plane this many, several days, a week and so forth. And and you may not be but they're constantly evaluating that. And another thing that I see very common that's very common is there's law firms that have some very difficult to get along with partners.
[00:28:16] And typically those partners are so difficult that what they'll do is they will. Often go outside and hire certain types of people to work with them instead of actually giving them to having, their own associates work with them. They'll go out and they'll lateral, literally laterally hire associates to work with these notorious, the demanding difficult to get along with partners.
[00:28:37] So those people will stay at least for a year or two, so they don't want to be job hopping and work with that person. And they'll pretty much only work with them. And this is the, how it works. At some firms and I've seen that happen before and and and if the person's good and can stick around, then that's great.
[00:28:52] But many times they're not so many people need to be very, strong-willed not to work with certain types of people. So that's [00:29:00] how they evaluate can you do the job? And I know that's a lot of information but the next one that's very important that they ask is when they're not, you want the job and lots of people will apply to jobs they don't want to do.
[00:29:12] And people may apply for jobs that they're very qualified, but don't want to do for example I see people all the time where recruiters do that call up. And as first year salaries have been rising for decades, someone who's 20 years out of law school, many times, most attorneys, other 20 years out of law school are not making as much as top as attorneys working in top firms as first year associates and are probably at least half of them.
[00:29:38] And so they'll call up and they'll say they're interested in going to work as first year associates or they'll take that salary, which is funny. And I'm not, and I'm not going to talk about why they wouldn't work, but the reason is that they know that no someone with 20 years of experience, isn't really going to want to, even if the money is good to do the first-year grunt work and so forth and take orders from someone that, [00:30:00] I don't know if, 15 years younger than them and so forth, it's just, it's not gonna work.
[00:30:05]Even though the person may say they want the job they really don't, and there's all sorts of people that act they want the job and but they really don't. And there's all sorts of things on your resume when an employer is evaluating you, that will give them the indication of whether or not you want a job.
[00:30:21]Some things could be having taken an extended time off if you've done that. And in many cases, the law firm assumes that, working isn't that important to you or other things are, and you'll leave again. If you've gone in house many times, they won't like that sometimes go to work for the government, not always but sometime, many times in a clerkship and so forth is fine, but many times having gone to work for the government is something that suggests you may not be able to do the job.
[00:30:46]Lots of moves on your resume. Also suggest you may not want to, you may not want the job because if you're consistently moving that's a sign. And so there's just all sorts of things. And really what when a law firm sees [00:31:00] something on your resume that shows an interest in commitment in the subject matter and work that they're already doing then that's great.
[00:31:06]One of the most common examples is I, like patent attorneys typically are very easy to place because a lot of times they've done. They've been engineers before they went to law school and then they've done nothing but patent law. And so everything shows that they wanted to do the job.
[00:31:20]And if they have, a lot of employments that's even better people that are in health care a lot of times are very good because they may have been in the healthcare industry before going to law school and they may have been nurses or, worked in hospitals and so forth. And so like a history of doing something in that practice area is useful also attorneys with a lot of business typically are people that want the job and because they're interested in subject matter when you have things in your resume that show you do a lot of writing speaking, and in your subject matter, that's also very appealing to law firms.
[00:31:52] And if they know about, if you have a good reputation in some of them that really wants the job, you can tell based on their resume very [00:32:00] quickly that they have a history of doing something and they're motivated in a certain direction, but also they'll typically act much differently in interviews.
[00:32:07] They won't act like the woman that I told you about earlier. That was flat though. There'll be enthusiastic. They'll dress up for the interview. I, I interview people now by zoom quite a bit and, certain people will show up and they will be dressed up and, they'll be sitting in their their dorm room or something.
[00:32:24]And but they're, they have a tie and are all ready to go and so forth. And and that looking at the part of someone that wants it, and if you want a job, you're going to be doing a lot of research. So a lot of times people will say, Oh, the market's bad or, and so forth.
[00:32:38] And you need to be aggressively doing what you can. To apply to as many jobs as you can. And as many markets, if you're looking for a job that's a sign. You want the job you want to work. You'll prepare for interviews and say the right things. And, interviews are a test about how much you want the job.
[00:32:53] If you go in and don't give a hundred percent and don't convince the employer that you really want this job, and you want to be there for some [00:33:00] reason, then someone else is going to do that. And and this is a where it's a place where a lot of people slip up. You may be going into interviews and not getting all the jobs you want.
[00:33:08] And, it's possible that the reason is because you really don't want it attorneys often slip up and they don't when they're able to convince the employer, sometimes people will go into interviews and they'll say inappropriate things, or they'll they'll do things and really, they may be sabotaging themselves in on purpose, or they may, get sick before interviews, or, you just are miss miss planes or, not show up on time or get the time wrong.
[00:33:33] And these are examples of people, many times who don't really want jobs and and that's something to keep in mind. And one of the most things that employers really don't like, and it's something that, that hurts us as a recruiting firm when it happens, but they don't like it when they extend offers to people and then those people turn them down.
[00:33:53]Most legal employers want to believe that you're most employers want to believe that you're their first choice and because [00:34:00] it's embarrassing for an employer when you don't choose them. If they, South town and we'd like I to be part of our group, Oh, okay.
[00:34:08] Excellent look bad. So they will hire people many times that earnest, qualified, but seem like they really want to work. They're supposed to others. And that happens all the time. But, I noticed early in my, your best and desirable and it's would approach me for special help because many times they weren't getting interviews and I would, I had a a really good candidate once and use just phenomenal.
[00:34:33]He was I don't know, con it was a very top of his class at Harvard and he was in the right practice area and he was to a market that was very busy and and he wasn't getting interviews. It was, it didn't make any sense to me. And and and I didn't know what was going on, why was this person?
[00:34:49] And it was early in my career. Why isn't he getting an interviews? And then lesser people that just qualified without the coming from the same quality firms where there was a feeding [00:35:00] frenzy. These, we're getting 10, 12 interviews and this person wasn't getting interviews.
[00:35:02] So you may ask yourself why the difference. And the prob just that particular attorney it was at such a good firm and had such good qualifications that law firms were nervous. They were nervous about men because they didn't think a Shwana war. They were interviewing lesser qualified attorneys than the more qualified attorneys.
[00:35:21] And so I had to go and con these firms that he was there first and or, were among their first choices and why he was applying and what he liked about them and so forth. And and. That he wanted to work for them. And so they want law firms need to believe that you really want to work there, especially if you have good qualifications and that's going to hurt you.
[00:35:43] And the final one of the three is you'll do the job long-term and and it, because I see all of these people from Yale law school and then yells a great school, obviously it certainly yeah. Grade school and and but yeah, many of the attorneys from there receive a very [00:36:00] cold reception legal market and, it's, there's very smart people in, people very well.
[00:36:07]There's been presidents and leaders of huge leaders, all sorts of academic Institute. But one of the things that this is most people that go to they're sincerely thinking that they don't surely partner at a big law firm or practice law firm, much interested in doing other things.
[00:36:27] And this may be, politics, it might be writing and many many interested in working in a large happens as well. A lot of times they'll go to a firm and they'll be there for a year or two, and then they'll do something else. And so they're always, they're never really committed to now. That's certainly not every graduate of Yale law school.
[00:36:46] It's not probably even no, it's, I don't know, like it's not probably, but it's a lot of them and they tend to be interested in doing a lot of other things other than practicing law. So if they're going to work in a law firm, right out of law school, many times, [00:37:00] or to there in the government many times they go on the go.
[00:37:03] So then they come to a law firm two, and then a year or two later they're in us or something. That's, this is what I've noticed. And I've seen thousands of pages of people from there. And that's just kinda what I see. And the problem is that firms will not hire them that have had this experience because they don't believe that people will do the job.
[00:37:22] Long-term every employer whether or not you believe it or not really does want to hire P want to be there for their whole careers. And they may expect you to leave after not making partner. Yeah. But but they would like it if she would be bringing in the business and, and helping grow.
[00:37:40] And and doing this, put that rise. So they want people want to stay there. And it believed that there's stuff in your background, that suggestion there for your whole career, they're going to be very nervous of giving you the job. And it's for employers to hire people that are going to stick around, if if you're moving to [00:38:00] have any connections there, start going to think why is this person going to stick around?
[00:38:04]But if you're moving, then they will believe that Ronald settled down. If you you owe some family and where you live and your and their interview, and you'll stick around. There's also the resume that will give them that indication. But if there's anything on your resume that indication that you might do something.
[00:38:24] The slop or not stick around. Then they're not going to be interested in you. For example, in in New York, which is funny that are looking for jobs many times. And so they'll have that they were admitted at the New York bar such and such a date. And then a couple of years later, it will show, they were admitted before new bar, but they've never not worked in New York.
[00:38:42]If a law firm is in it that why didn't you take the California bar? And the person will say I thought about maybe working in California at some point. That would be a good reason to eliminate because you wouldn't stick around. And so any type of time and employer thinks you may one day do something else, [00:39:00] maybe it's interesting.
[00:39:01] Cause they might many times if you come from a very privileged background they may believe that you're not going to do the job long term and believe, why would you stick and tolerate when you don't have if you look like someone that may leave to raise a family they, that may be green jobs for my that's obviously there's people that leave firms have person and you can get away with that for a year or two or twice.
[00:39:26] But if you're leaving, been around a lot, that's just not, that's going to hurt you. That have outside interests that looked like they could be all consuming off don't look like they're going to, sometimes people have hobbies, really like that could be a question.
[00:39:41] And then law firms don't like
[00:39:43]this area is a sign that you probably won't want to do the jump. If you've before to go teach going house or. There's something like that. It's a sign that you're probably not going to do the job long-term and like Claire at London, extended time off thing. Many there's a lot of age discrimination.
[00:39:59] So [00:40:00] if you're in a second career and I'm not seeing this as an intention but if you've had physicians before, and you're on a second career where you have more responsibility it may be difficult for you to suddenly taking orders and starting from the ground, and you may not stick around.
[00:40:15]Many times attorneys are hired when they add, they may be hired by firms that need, but the person could work at a better economy was better. And even have great qualifications. Sometimes it'd be hard for you to get hired at firms that, aren't that are needing your call cause, and then sometimes you're in a great where the, they believe you may from if you fired from your players one thing that happens is people fired.
[00:40:46] I've noticed the next job to be very angry sometimes. So they need to believe they needed to protect themselves from getting fired again. And so many times they will fire their next and the next employee. That's just a rule. And for that reason, a [00:41:00] lot of times employers will avoid them.
[00:41:01] And it's not to say that getting fired as the end of the world, it's just depends on how the person takes it. But a lot of people don't take it the right way. And if you can make more money with a different employer, you may not stick around. And, sometimes people have personality problems and things and could indicate they may not last.
[00:41:17] And so the other thing is that there's a a large preference for loft. For people that they know and and maybe committed to working for them and unlikely to go elsewhere. And like I told you earlier, like I've a lot of the hires that I've done. It been through people that knew people that worked for me and that I trusted.
[00:41:35]That's another thing. And then, if you've if you're in an area and you have a house and and and you seem like you have a family in an area, then they're also likely to keep you around. And just remember that law firms are very risk averse and they don't want to hire people that are going to be there for the short term.
[00:41:51] They want to hire people that are going to be committed because turnover is bad for them. It's bad when there's turnover and people are leaving it's bad when [00:42:00] cause it undermines people there it's not good for their clients. And so they really want to hire people, not they're going to stick around.
[00:42:06]So these three questions very important and I'm certainly happy to answer any questions you guys have about them. But you really do need to think about them in your search. And and there's an article that I've done around this topic and I would review it, but these are really the reasons people don't get hired.
[00:42:23] And so when I see people go into interviews and not get jobs, or I seen people not getting resumes, I'm not getting interviews it's generally because they're answering these questions and properly in the employer's mind. So I'm going to take a quick break and I will be back in about one to two minutes and then I will take as many questions as people have.
[00:42:44]the questions. My favorite part of the week is answering questions. Let me see here second.
[00:42:50]Perfect. I'm glad we got a lot of questions today, so that's good. Give me one second. I'm just going to open it up. I'm going to stop the screen. [00:43:00] Share for a second. Second here.
[00:43:03]Just open a blank document here.
[00:43:05] One thing I wanted to show everybody too, just real quickly is I try to when I look at resumes and cover letters, I always look at this and most people's resumes and cover letters. If you try to run them through one of these programs, whether it's Grammarly or per writing aid, you'll always catch a lot of errors, like in terms of spacing and sometimes grammar and things.
[00:43:23] And it's just a good idea to get in the habit of doing that because when you use this it'll show errors and I'm almost yet to see a resume of any caliber of attorney that doesn't have lots of errors and so forth in it. Okay, so I'm going to start with some questions here.
[00:43:40]And I'm just choosing the random line, but I will get to everyone's questions and there's a lot of good questions today. Give me one second. And just remember you guys can, now everyone can ask questions. Non-muscle okay. Okay. Part of getting better at big law, learning how to be okay with Medicore work, meaning do you, to a degree at the lawyers stands for the work product you're producing [00:44:00] or become remission more efficient, better able to handle a higher amount of work.
[00:44:05] So that's a good question. The answer to that is no you have to, a lot of times a lot of times the the people actually work harder at big law because the quality of work has to be much higher. And that means that you have to think through the issues in a lot more depth in the difference between like big law and and I would less call it small law and regular law as I was I was actually talking about this with our with our recruiters in a meeting yesterday.
[00:44:35] But in big law, you have large clients with large budgets that expect top quality legal work and are willing to pay for it. What that means
[00:44:46] what that means is it means more research. More thoroughness more time and all that sort of stuff goes into the work. And and when you were in a smaller firm you typically, there's typically smaller [00:45:00] clients, small budgets that want work done quickly or at a low cost and they're price sensitive. Just imagine that you had imagine that you were negotiating a contract to do something just you personally, whoever asked this question and you're you needed to get something done and and you had two options.
[00:45:21] One is you could hire a big firm. The other is you could hire a small firm and and you had to basically do, if you hire a big firm the big firm may charge you, you don't know. Th they may charge you a hundred thousand dollars that you'll pay whatever that big firm charges.
[00:45:37] Whereas if you go to a small firm, the small firm is probably not going to charge you more than a few thousand dollars. And so large clients that have a lot of money will go to big firms, and the big firms will research everything and they'll, their objective is to be right. And and to do the work as well as it, as best as it can be done.
[00:45:54] It's smaller law firms. Their objective really is to get the work done in a price [00:46:00] and a price sets it away. So you need to understand that the quality of work that a smaller firm does many times is not going to, it may be as good, but it usually is not going to be as good as big law because the big large law firms can afford to be thorough.
[00:46:13]The other thing that's important to understand is that the what happens in terms of how clients view the work? So a lot of times a client will we'll look at the work product of a big law firm. And th the client literally will have no idea what the person's talking about.
[00:46:30] So the general counsel may be reading, and I don't mean this in a derogatory way, but the general counsel will read the work. And and when they read the work th they're basically looking for, small errors and things like that to to get a discount. So small errors, meaning typos et cetera, and so forth stuff that really doesn't come across.
[00:46:50]It's not really that important, but the idea is because they don't always understand what they're reading. If you're a general counsel, you may be reading 50 different things. And about the law, they may find a [00:47:00] small error and make a huge deal out of it, because the thought is that, if there, if small errors are being made, in terms of
[00:47:08] made in terms of the work product, then what's happening to the what about the thinking process? So what about the thinking process? Meaning if you can't, if you can't reasonably be expected to write a document without a lot of typos in it, or any typos what's going on with your thinking process.
[00:47:26]In terms of the conclusion to reach in about the law. And that's how people think of, they see a lot of errors in your work, and this is something that a lot of young attorneys screw up on. So they may be very smart and able to reach good conclusions. But if you're making a lot of errors a lot of times, so think about the thinking process and then small firms aren't as concerned about that.
[00:47:45] And so a lot of times the work that comes out of small firms will have a lot of errors in it. They'll have, and that's not to say that they're all like that because some are extremely high quality and there's some very good boutiques, but for the most part, the more money people are spending the more quality [00:48:00] of work.
[00:48:00] So you can't you can't say things ever really about, you can't ever think you can dumb down your work. The work in a large law firm, often the same type of work will take much, much longer than it will take in a smaller law firm because you're expected to do a really good work.
[00:48:19]Okay. In interviews, I've spoken with law firms who will say things like if you work here where people who do busy work for you, so you can focus on more important stuff. I've also heard we value work-life balance here. I understand that these things are often said to entice attorneys, nor are these things I expect at the same time are they, software is trying to bait me into saying something dumb.
[00:48:38]Yeah. So I would assume that wherever you work you will have to do busy work regardless of what level you're at there's partners in major law firms that spend their days doing a lot of busy work many times so the busy work stuff is just something that goes with the territory.
[00:48:54]The second you start acting like you're too good to do busy work. And a lot of law firms the law firm [00:49:00] will get rid of you or wanna advance you. You should just do the busy work and not complain. And it's pretty much like that at all levels. I'm not trying to be rude here, but people that complain about doing busy work and so forth it's, it tends, tend to get in trouble and that's an ego centered emotion worrying about busy work and you're worrying about yourself and so forth.
[00:49:19] Now there's obviously some limits to that. But I saw an attorney wants to get fired for refusing to do busy work. And what had happened is, it's a long story and I've told it before, but he had found out by a law firm that he hadn't made partner and he thought he was gonna make partner.
[00:49:37] And the next day a partner that he knew didn't like him and probably had blocked him stopped by his office and asked him to do some busywork. And he said, I really don't have time for this right now. I'm a little upset about what happened can can I not do this right now?
[00:49:51] And and the guy, the partner didn't say anything. And then 15 minutes later, he came back and he had in one hand, a check in a settlement agreement, he said, you can take [00:50:00] this checking and agreement right now and leave, or you can just be fired. And so he fired him for not doing busy work.
[00:50:06] So you need to be very careful about complaining about busy work and so forth. You should just, especially if you're a young attorney even if you're, a mid-level, you shouldn't. The idea is you want to be happy about having access to work is the most important thing for any attorney.
[00:50:21]So meaning, just having stuff to do attorneys don't have work to do go crazy. Having anything to do that's billable is a blessing because a lot of attorneys don't have it, even if you may not like the fact that you have a busy work having something to do is a blessing.
[00:50:37] If you do a very good job of busy work, the odds are you'll get real work in the future. The other statement we value work-life balance here. That some firms really do value work-life balance and they really do mean it. And law firms value work-life balance if that's the case then then that's great.
[00:50:52] But the problem with work-life balance is is that law firms are businesses. And and they want to make money and and [00:51:00] and if a big client walks in and has a lot of work th they will do the work and they want to make money. So firms want to make money.
[00:51:07] And and most firms are comprised of people that, will not turn down opportunities to make money. The other problem is that that, you cannot control you habits, meaning you can't control what happens to clients. And so the problem, what happens to client w what happens to clients is clients get into emergencies.
[00:51:27]So they may have they may have issues with like maybe getting ready to sell themselves. A client may be in danger of being. Taken over by another company a client may have important papers that need to be filed.
[00:51:41] And so you can't control that. It's this is the nature of being a professional is that you're responsible for this. And I was actually arguing with a, an employee with a reporter that was writing a hit piece about me saying I didn't believe about work-life balance and how can you possibly, if you were someone accused you of a crime and you were being, [00:52:00] going risk of losing your Liberty and going to jail and so forth, and your attorney had to work long hours.
[00:52:05]That's just the math, that's just the nature of the job. And so it's no different than being a doctor or something many times clients get in trouble. And there's some areas of law where that's not a big issue, like trust in the States and Orissa, and some tax law and so forth.