[00:00:00] We're going to get started. Today is about understanding some of the reasons that law firms don't make offers to law students and attorneys and and a lot of these reasons. I it's interesting cause I interview people for jobs here every day. I, talk to candidates every day and they're looking for jobs.
[00:00:17] And so a lot of times people don't really understand these reasons and this is a pretty important webinar. And we'll help you in your job search regardless of the kind of position that you're seeking. So what we typically do in these webinars is I will speak for a little bit about this.
[00:00:32] And then after this, I will take questions, whether it's about this or any other kind of career questions. But you may have today. Most attorneys especially in the higher paid positions really do experience like an awful lot of rejection. And as a matter of fact, I think there's more rejection in the legal field than in many fields.
[00:00:54]Most attorneys are very used to rejection. They're used to just going to law school is [00:01:00] most attorneys don't get into all the law schools they want, so that's rejection. And in terms of getting in the legal market and getting the highest paid positions, there's always many more attorneys than there are positions to be filled, especially in the top firms where everyone's competing to get into.
[00:01:14] And even people that get jobs in the top firms. But limited exceptions. Most of them, if they apply to 10 jobs even as law students, they may be lucky to get one or two. So it's just a very competitive market and legal people in the legal profession are. Very used to rejection, but it's tough for a lot of people, especially for attorneys because attorneys typically will go to law school and they will come out of school and and, before law school and then a lot of them are very high achievers.
[00:01:43] And and so that suddenly, shown up in law school and experiencing all this rejection from employers and being excluded is also can be very unwelcoming and it's, and and it's often bizarre, and it's just, there's so much rejection in the legal field that it's very difficult for many people to [00:02:00] cope and and it's also, can be very unfair.
[00:02:02] And but the thing is that re regardless of whether you're a law student experience or rejection, or you're an associate or a partner, and almost regardless of your prestige level in terms of being at the best firms and being even at the worst firms, it you're going to experience a ton of rejection and in some markets, even that, that the best attorneys, like the ones that, you would think would get the least rejection or the ones that get the most, it's almost easier, if you're not the highest paid attorneys and competing for the highest paying jobs, because you often will experience a lot less rejection.
[00:02:35] So it gives you the impression many times that you're not wanted and appreciated, but it's just, you're in a very competitive market. And what you need to understand is that there's all sorts of economic forces that are happening in the market. And and sometimes they're beyond your control and the can make it very difficult for you.
[00:02:56]To find a position and it may not even be your fault. I've seen a lot [00:03:00] of attorneys in bad markets drop out of the practice alone and it's just not their fault. And so it's, there's just a lot of rejection and the legal market and and I speak to people on a daily basis that are unemployed, that are frustrated and don't really know how to find a job.
[00:03:17] And or they're very talented attorneys that have spent their careers in top law firms, as partners and associates and and are unemployed. And and many times there's associates and law students that may spend months looking for jobs without even getting an interview. Let alone an offer.
[00:03:33] And and they will conclude that things are hopeless. Law students who don't get jobs as summer associates will often conclude things are hopeless attorneys that don't get jobs. After several months where conclude the things are hopeless. And a lot of times, you're in that position cause you don't understand all the rules of legal profession and how to get jobs.
[00:03:51] And and I will talk about that today and it's really, there are rules and there's ways to get positions and you don't always understand the reasons that [00:04:00] you're getting rejected and and so the problem is with all this is, if you're not getting employed you feel.
[00:04:06]You'll feel trapped and you'll feel like no, one's interested in you. And and you'll feel like you've done something wrong, even if you have great qualifications and and and it's it's difficult and most law firms reject attorneys, even th they get rejected before.
[00:04:21]W when people, when they send their application, they get rejected. When they when they interview, they, then they sometimes even get in the door and they start work there. And the law firm immediately tells them that they're not up to snuff. So this is just a, it's a very difficult profession.
[00:04:36]If you don't understand the rules and, one thing I would say, That I don't like saying is I've certainly had times in my life where I was down and the world doesn't care. The world often doesn't care about your excuses. And and if you're not doing well, you're just kinda, you're just punished.
[00:04:52] You're punished by, credit agencies or, employers, who knows, schools with grades. And so you have to pick yourself [00:05:00] up. So what I'm going to do today is I'm going to talk about the hiring process in ways that you can understand how things work. I'm going to tell you why it's difficult to get jobs.
[00:05:09] I'm going to tell you why many times you're being rejected on things that have nothing to do with you. And and then I'm going to tell you how to make the right decisions and appear persevere and really not give up. And and so you need to understand all this and hopefully this will give you some perspective and make you feel better for having problems in the legal job market when most attorneys do.
[00:05:31]It doesn't really matter how good your qualifications are. You're not going to you're not going to get every interview. You're not sometimes you may wait a long time for interviews, and then when you do get interviews, you may not get the job. It's just not easy. So the first thing is most times you're rejected before you even get in the door.
[00:05:47] And and if you're applying for lots of jobs and not getting interviews that's it's very common for a lot of attorneys and you might be getting rejected for the following reasons. The first thing is you're not applying to enough places, and this is [00:06:00] something that I have been preaching my entire career.
[00:06:03] And for whatever reason people most people do not listen. The majority of people when I bring this up, don't listen. But th there's no, people hire people for a variety of reasons and you never know why you're going to get hired or why someone's going to interview.
[00:06:17] It's all about timing that could depend on your practice area, but it could depend on the market you're in but you need to apply to lots and lots of places you typically need to apply to lots of markets. Most attorneys will limit their searches to a few firms.
[00:06:33]When I was in school everyone would apply to firms that were listed in the now guide. What's crazy about that or was crazy back then was there were maybe 40 firms in Los Angeles and an outcast and then were more, maybe a New York, but 40 firms. And in Los Angeles there were probably at that time 2,500 firms and in terms of ones that paid the big salaries and everything, they were probably over 120 firms.
[00:07:00] [00:07:00] So people were, everybody was only applying to the firms that were in the now, which was limiting their searches. And from making it hard for people to get jobs. People conclude that there was no market for them. If they couldn't get a job from one of the firms in the now, and it didn't matter if we were going to a fourth tier law school or for first-year law school, everybody was applying to the same firms, those firms to listen to ourselves, as the guide back then were paying, I don't know, a couple of thousand dollars a year.
[00:07:26] And so not every firm wanted to be part of it, but the same thing happens now. People do not apply to all the firms in different markets and LA there's thousands of firms in New York. There's thousands of firms and you need to apply to all the places that, do the kind of work you do. And have your experience level of more.
[00:07:43] I think that the business that I'm in, by the way, it's very easy. Because if you're a medical malpractice attorney, I could probably place you. If you're, a workers' comp attorney, I can probably play shoe because in every city if you look at a market like New York city, there's hundreds of medical [00:08:00] malpractice firms, there's hundreds of workers' compensation firms.
[00:08:03] And then there's also, hundreds of firms that pay big firm salaries to do commercial litigation. And there's just, there's so many places. And most of the most successful people out there applied to lots and lots of places, and they're not afraid to, I've seen partners At major law firms do their own mailings where they apply to a thousand firms in a city like, and I used to have a company called legal authority where all we would do is help people do these kind of mass mailings.
[00:08:31] And I would see that sort of thing all the time. And everybody that didn't, that got jobs, people are afraid to apply to a lot of firms. I do not understand it. It makes no sense to me. There's so many reasons to do this. If you apply to more places than fewer, you're going to get more interviews. If you're a summer, if you didn't get a job as a summer associate through on-campus interviewing you, shouldn't be feeling sorry for yourself.
[00:08:54] You should be feeling like you under marketed yourself because how many firms have summer [00:09:00] associate jobs who don't come to your school? When I went to university of Virginia for law school only three or four firms from LA came to university of Virginia because it's in the country, two hours from DC or whatever.
[00:09:13]So no one from Virginia is coming down there. So they, I mean from LA. Firms from DC came there. So that's where everyone went to work. And some firms from New York. Could you get a direct flight, but D C no. So you know what? I feel badly if I didn't get a job in LA cause only four firms came, no, I would have to apply to tons of firms on my own.
[00:09:34] And if I applied to 200 firms in LA. I probably would have, worked there as a summer associate because that's how many there's probably more than that with summer programs. So you need to get out there and be aggressive. And I don't understand why people don't do that. So you know, the market, for example may be slow for litigators in Silicon valley.
[00:09:53]Do you see? And so if and this is just an example, it's not naturally the case right now, but and sometimes [00:10:00] people may be having a difficult time getting jobs. GC is always very competitive for litigators. Most people that get jobs in those markets when they're very competitive and they have to apply to a lot of places, they may be need to apply to 50 places or more.
[00:10:12] That's just a lot of work and it's very difficult to find a firm that's going to match. And you'll only experience success in markets when you apply to lots of places when you apply to more places, what happens is you typically are applying to places that aren't getting a lot of applicants or they may have an immediate need and they bring people in and that's just how it works.
[00:10:32] It's you have to be seen at the right place in the right time. And that helps. We need to be a right fit for the type of firm. You need to look like you're at the salary. They want to pay, you need to have the kind of background they want. And and firms will typically, it's a lot of work going through resumes.
[00:10:50] So if your resume shows up in the right day, in the right time, and they look at it and they think, okay, we'll talk to this person, then you're in luck. And. So the law firms look at [00:11:00] you as a way to make money. They don't look at you like, as a way to, help your ego feel good.
[00:11:05] They look at you in a way to make money and you don't know how law firms, when they look at your resume or thinking about making money, you just don't know. So if you're going to be selling something, you need to be trying to reach a lot of places. Do you think that people are advertising in, the super bowl for, $5 million for 30 seconds or they're advertising?
[00:11:26]And you're getting all this mail in your mailbox every day and all these stuffers in the newspaper with offers from best buy and grocery stores. They know you're not, everybody's just all those businesses. Don't think you're going to buy whatever they're selling.
[00:11:41]These coupons that come in the mail every day, they don't think that they know that, maybe one out of a hundred person or one out of a thousand people are going to buy it. And if they do, they make, can make money. So that's what you do when you're applying to law firms, you have to target your application.
[00:11:54] So you don't want to apply to places that aren't appropriate, but you need to be out there marketing [00:12:00] yourself, because if you're not. You're just screwing yourself up. You're basically you're acting like a business that doesn't think it needs to Mark it. And every business markets, it doesn't matter if its Apple, it doesn't matter if it's general motors, selling trucks, general motors, advertisers, it's trucks on pretty much every network.
[00:12:17] And it possibly can and knows that everybody it's advertising to is not interested in a truck. Most people around the country and especially in cities, don't drive trucks, but they still advertise to them. So they're going to reach some people that buy trucks and others who don't, you just need to be really talking to and trying to apply to lots of places.
[00:12:36] It's law firms, you don't know how much work they're going to have at your level. You don't know whether or not the clients need someone of your expertise or not. And whether the firm just got a new client firms, don't advertise that you don't know whether the firm just hired a lateral partner that needs help.
[00:12:50] You don't know whether the firm has people that are leaving, that are unhappy with you don't know whether or not You know that you look like someone that will hurt the [00:13:00] existing makeup of the firm. I once worked with some guy that in San Francisco that had a bunch of stuff about the Federalist society and his resume.
[00:13:06]That's pretty rare in the, that's like this, I don't know if it's a Republican or it's a, yeah, it's a Republican type organization. He got most of the firms in San Francisco, which is a very liberal town. Certainly didn't like that, but a few did and the ones that did would have killed to have him there they were falling over themselves because they'd never get people like that.
[00:13:26] So you just don't know, who's gonna, how, how your resume's going to be seen and taken. You don't know whether or not affirm you're taking, you're applying to. Likes people from your law school or doesn't like them or if they like people from your ethnic group or your your sex, your sexual preferences and socioeconomic religious background, I once went to it and this is not, a negative statement by any sense of imagination.
[00:13:51] But w when I came to Los Angeles in the nineties from Michigan, that the first firm I interviewed with when I got here was was [00:14:00] from where the were three or four of the men. I, out of maybe five or six to interview with were wearing leather pants. I couldn't believe it.
[00:14:07]And, and tight white t-shirts and and, I don't know what was going on with that. Maybe it was dress up day or something, but it wasn't like anything I'd ever seen. And so people just hire people with different backgrounds and sometimes people, get along with certain types of people.
[00:14:23] And that's great. So you just don't know I've, there's firms in Los Angeles where if you're not Jewish, you'll have a very difficult time getting a job there. There's firms in Los Angeles where everybody's Christian there's. All these things happen. So when you apply to different places, people that see things that they like in you are going to jump, you can jump out of them and you just, you don't know.
[00:14:44]Certain firms, have a real hard time hiring people of different ethnic groups and they want to hire them. And if you're from a different net, their grip, they want, may want to hire other firms, have a very difficult time hiring women and don't have any women or some firms [00:15:00] frankly don't have enough white males.
[00:15:01]It's just all these things, just that when you apply to firms that you don't know some firms really want working mothers there other firms don't, it's just all these things impact whether or not firms going to interview and I've seen firms give all sorts of reasons.
[00:15:16]I've seen firms interview people because they like the fact that they play an extracurricular sport, something stupid like curling. You just you don't know. And the point is you just, when you apply to enough places, things about your background would jump out at people and people will think if, you know something, someone will like something about you that will jump out at them that they'll like and you just don't know, you cannot possibly, you can certainly try to research this, but you can not possibly research this.
[00:15:43] It is absolutely. Impossible for you to really understand this. And the only way to find your match many times is, do apply to a lot of places. You just have to get out there and, and let people see your background and and things that they identify with it because [00:16:00] people hire people for reasons that you just never really understand.
[00:16:04] And and the more places you're applying to th the more you're going to make that stuff work for you. And they may have work at one point in time. And just, so this is one of the biggest things that you can do. If you are getting rejected and not getting jobs, because you're not applying enough places, there are so many firms in every market and outside of your market and every state, there's just tons and tons of firms.
[00:16:25] I get calls sometimes from, I get calls. Like saying they can't find a job and I talked to them but then I also get calls from law firms all over the country that are dying to find people and can't find them. I get calls from firms sometimes like in, in desert communities in California and Nevada, where there's only like a couple of, where they're very small towns and they're the only attorneys there and they need people to take over their practice.
[00:16:50] And they're desperately trying to hire someone just to come and do their work. And they've got a practice, that they're making a couple hundred thousand dollars a year from, and, frankly, if you'd like living into the desert, that could be a [00:17:00] nice thing to do, but there's so much work out there.
[00:17:02] It just boggles my mind. Okay. Then the other thing is another reason you're rejected is that there's a better applicants in you. And in, in most positions you're applying to, there's going to be better applicants. They may be. Better because of their educational or the work qualifications, or they may be better because of reasons that the firm thinks makes them better.
[00:17:23]A better applicant could have better experience. They could have they could look more stable. So that's something that I look for when I hire people, because I know if someone tends to stick around at a job, if I hire them, they'll probably stick around me too. And that's good.
[00:17:37]The quality of the attorney's current law firm is another thing that they, some attorneys firms will look at but not a business the attorney has. And, you just don't know. Who knows what a law firm thinks is a better applicant than another. I saw a law firm once or hire someone that was the weakest candidate and they, and I couldn't believe it, like they had all these candidates that were [00:18:00] just like some of the best candidates you could imagine.
[00:18:02] It was for an IP litigation position. In a small market and they were getting people from, major New York law firms and all this stuff. And that, worked on the most sophisticated cases and they hired a guy that not unemployed for nine months. And it was in his late fifties or early sixties and tired.
[00:18:21] And and they hired him just because they, it was the kind of people they were. Who knows, you just never know what people are going to look for. And and so you need to really, apply to lots of places. And and I see this sort of stuff all the time and And what's a qualified applicant for one firm is not an, it's not one for another.
[00:18:40]And the big thing that a lot of attorneys do is they apply to the most prestigious law firms, and then they don't apply to those. So they're not as procedure. Dumb, not a savvy way to run a job search. The odds are that you're going to be rejected for many firms.
[00:18:54]The best firms will always have better applicants in you and will be very difficult to get positions with. [00:19:00] And sometimes, why are you applying to the best firms? I, you may think, I think that's where you want to work and there's nothing wrong with that. Certainly the best firms, there's lots of advantages to working in good firms, but there's firms all over that are, they pay more than the better firms and have more stability than the better firms and that are easier to stay employed with and whether you have more future and and all sorts of things.
[00:19:21]I see firms all the time. I saw a girl once get her a job with a firm that where, where, she thought she was gonna get a hundred thousand dollars a year. And incredibly, the firm, it was, she was probably making a, we're $450,000 a year, her first year because they gave her half of the the money she brought in.
[00:19:38]Build, so it's just, you just never know. You really never know. And then the most effective way to get a position, and this is something I recommend to everyone. The time I'm sending candidates from our company jobs and I'll send them jobs. I, and I rushed to send them jobs.
[00:19:57] The second there's a job opening. Like we [00:20:00] were researching all day and night and we find a job. We send it to the candidates just as soon as we find the job and make sure it's appropriate for them. But candidates will sit on the jobs. They want to prove them. They will not applied.
[00:20:12] They'll decide. They're going to think about it. That's really dumb because what happens is if you apply to jobs when they're, when they become open then the law firm typically will bring in the first applicants to the jobs that apply to them. And they'll ignore the ones that come later.
[00:20:27] So the most recent jobs are, the best. The second a law firm has an opening. They want to bring someone in right away and they want to not worry about that jobs in the future. But what instead, what a lot of attorneys do is they will. Th they'll think about it or they want apply and then someone else will get the job.
[00:20:47] The reason law firms want to interview people right away is because they want to, the HR people don't want to have just to continually review resumes and reject people and bring people in the [00:21:00] the attorneys don't want to take billable time and interview a bunch of people. It's a lot of work.
[00:21:05] So here's what happens. In most cases, when a firm has a job, they will interview people that that are coming in the first couple of days. So they'll look at maybe, they'll have maybe 20, 30 applicants that come in the first couple of days, sometimes more, sometimes less. And they'll pick a couple that they like, and they'll try to connect with one or two of them with one and decide which one they liked the best and interview a couple of them because it takes time.
[00:21:29] I remember, some of these attorneys are a thousand dollars an hour, so spending, 30 minutes with someone and then another 15 reviewing a resume and writing a writing up on it is a thousand dollars. So they're not going to waste a lot of time. So that's typically what happens and none will decide who they, if you apply like a week on or two weeks later or something you're going to have a pretty difficult time, finding a job because.
[00:21:53]Most of those people are going to be in the midst of interviewing and they just don't want to continually bring in new people. It's like what [00:22:00] a waste of their time. And especially, unless you're just so off the charts, awesome that you just blow off, you blow away everyone else that comes in, you're just not going to get a job that way you need to apply to job right away.
[00:22:11] And it's game changing. If you apply to jobs, the second they become open, you will get more interviews, probably, 75% more, maybe 80 you'll get a lot more. And this is something that we're very good at. We do whatever we can to get people jobs, but regardless of whether you're getting a job working with us, you're getting somewhere else.
[00:22:33]You can monitor jobs on LA crossing and get them as they come out, but you need to really apply to a lot of places fast. And so what a lot of attorneys do is they apply to Firm's bunch of them initially, and they don't get an interviews. The reason they're not getting any interviews is there's a couple of different reasons.
[00:22:49] So when law firms post jobs on, on job sites, typically they'll post them. They can choose 30 or 60 days. So they'll sit there and they'll collect resumes for 30 or 60 days, even [00:23:00] though in the first five days, they may have already decided who they're going to interview and hire from that pool.
[00:23:04] That job will still be open and they'll still be collecting resumes. And so you may be sending your resumes in it either figuratively, no one's ever going to look at it and you won't get it. You won't get an answer. You won't get an interview or a job. That's one thing that happens. Another thing that happens is even because law firms are interviewing in the first people that apply to jobs, what that means is.
[00:23:26]That means that the, all the next applications that come in are really just going into someone's inbox and they're not reviewing, they're concentrating on the people that they have in front of them. Now, imagine you're a large law firm and you have 20 openings. And so they've got emails coming in all the time.
[00:23:44] So if you're concentrating on the people that applied in the first week and that, and you're still applying to the job after the first week, the law firm hasn't definitively decided who they're going to hire that's it is, ethical of course, for them to leave the job open. But but they're not really [00:24:00] reviewing your resume.
[00:24:00] They're going to start reviewing it. They're going to review the, they're talking to the new people first. And so understanding this rule is important. You need to apply to jobs the second day become available. And and that is just, I don't know how much clear to be about that, but if you do that, you will get a lot more jobs.
[00:24:17] The other thing a lot of people don't do is they don't apply to the right firms. You're looking for a position you needed to apply to the jobs in firms that are going to have an interest in you. And that means you apply to firms that do this sort of work. You do have people like you working there and have similar qualifications and so forth.
[00:24:37] And and look like you on paper. And and this is just, something to think about you can't be applying to firms that don't do the kind of work you do. That's not going to help you. You can't, if if you go to, if you went to the number two law school in the country, you can't apply to a firm with a bunch of people from Fort care law schools, because they're no they're going to think you're not going to want to stay.
[00:24:57]If you're working at a, a very [00:25:00] small firm doing consumer oriented law, you can't apply to affirm a giant firm doing international working with giant international clients. You just, this is not how it works. Law firms hire people. That are similar to them, man.
[00:25:15] This is, and it's just the way it works. And so you have to hire you have to, you apply to the right places. And law firms, major law firms, aren't going to hire people from small not prestigious law firms, unless they've been, have very well-defined experience.
[00:25:29] So you start, and we can get a job in a an, a major firms for times, if oh, you're in a practice area like ARESA patent prosecution or certain types of corporate, if you have, very good training in a certain practice area where there's not a lot of people in the market that do it, but really the number one criteria, if you want to move to another firm is the caliber from your end.
[00:25:50] And so moving to a major firm, you're going to need to be in another major firm because they're going to want to, and it may not be a huge firm, but a very well respected firm, because they're going to [00:26:00] want to make sure you have the same type of training, because it's a nightmare to bring in people that don't have similar types of training and, and then the law schools.
[00:26:08]Are important not necessarily because a better law school makes a better attorney, which I honestly don't think it does. The better the law school is important because it just shows your, how motivated you were in college and how well you tested and your aptitude on the L stats and how seriously you took where you went to law school.
[00:26:28] And then, if you didn't go to a major law firm or school, that's perfectly fine too. I saw a resume this morning of some guy that was valedictorian of his class at a really good school and then went to like a local law school and was valedictorian there. And now he's clerking for a circuit court or something.
[00:26:46] And and he never worked as a summer associate in a law firm or anything, but he'll get a really good job so it doesn't matter really where you go to school it's how you do there. So if you don't go to the best school, just do really well. Or if you didn't do really well get into a really [00:27:00] marketable practice area, where there's not a lot of people.
[00:27:02]The other thing is the law firm you're applying to needs to be busy and have a lot of work. So that's another thing is you just need to find law firms that have a lot of work. And a lot of people don't do that. They want to apply to the firms that everyone is trying to work for.
[00:27:16] And and sometimes those firms don't have work and. And the thing to understand is that many law firms receive so many applications that they often don't believe that, applicants are really serious. It's not uncommon, when certain law firms have openings for them to receive applications from practically every major law firm in the city.
[00:27:37]Certain practice areas they're, don't get that busy. So an example would be like, bankruptcy goes through these periods where it's very slow. In a big market like Chicago or, or whatever. If there's there's, if they're looking for a third year bankruptcy attorney, those third year bankruptcy attorneys that may not have a chance to work at another law firm for years, because there's hardly ever any [00:28:00] openings for it, big, third year bankruptcy attorneys.
[00:28:02] So the six or seven of them that are at all these other firms, they may a lot of them may apply, to the open. So law firms, get a lot of applications and they don't always apply and I've had attorneys that I've worked with that, haven't gotten any interviews before I got involved because law firms didn't think they were serious.
[00:28:21]I was years ago, I was working for with an attorney from Harvard law school and he was trying to move from Hawaii to work in Los Angeles. And. You applied like 15 firms in LA didn't receive a single interview. And then I applied to the same 15 firms forum and I got them interviews and more than half of those firms.
[00:28:40] And what I brought to the table was I made the law firm believed that he was generally interested in working there and the law firms and that this wasn't just some application from some guy in Hawaii, I was explaining his interest and why he was trying to locate and all that sort of stuff.
[00:28:55] And so law firm needs to believe you really want to work for them. And and most [00:29:00] of the law firms out there, aren't going to pay a lot of attention to, to the most prestigious ones unless the attorney I'm, I'm going to qualify this because this looks, this statement seems very self-serving it says, unless they're coming through a well-respected recruiter whose credibility is also the line where the candidates interest in the firms.
[00:29:17] All right. Maybe I agree that recruiters are important. I'm not discounting that, but the candidate also needs to be able to convince, if you're applying to these same firms on your own, you can also do the same thing. A recruiter would do it in terms of convince people that you're could be a really good fit.
[00:29:35] Now, a good recruiter does get the attention of people and the recruiter can make a case for you and things that you can't necessarily do on your own. Just as if, if you're trying to represent yourself in court, you could certainly make the same arguments on your own and potentially be just as effective as a good attorney.
[00:29:50] But at the same thing, as most prestigious law firms do hire laterally through recruiters, most of the people that you hire, but, at the end, at the certainly at the, [00:30:00] summer associate level and the entry attorney level recruiters aren't involved, it's not necessarily to, crude or, and you need to basically just look like the law firm make them believe that you're interested in that is in my opinion, the most important thing.
[00:30:14]Okay. Another reason that it's hard to get jobs and that you, things you may be doing wrong or that you could look unstable. So law firms do not want to interview people that are unstable. Now that doesn't mean you're unstable from like a psychological standpoint and could go off the rails any minute.
[00:30:31] It just means that you may have too many moves on your resume. You're, you don't look like you haven't been at your law firm a long time. You don't necessarily have good reasons for leaving. And and that's not a good thing because a law firm will assume that you'll leave them as well.
[00:30:46] And people that just will leave firms for poor reasons. The reason that's not a good thing for the law firms, because if you are someone that's just picking up and leaving then the law firm is going to assume that you'll do the [00:31:00] same thing with them. That just creates chaos when people are leaving and unhappy, and it detracts attorneys from.
[00:31:06] Focusing and there's just all sorts of problems with it. Law firms are generally pretty conservative. They want the people that work there to look stable to their clients. They want their staff to be happy and put their heads down and and work hard. And and and then if the law firm thinks you're gonna move from them, they're just gonna decide you're too much of a risk.
[00:31:25] And they'll hire someone on that looks more stable as you would too. So if you were running a business and interviewed someone that had taken a job every year or every six months, you would presume to yourself that, that person's probably going to do the same thing with you. And and so that's what law firms do too.
[00:31:43] And you would do the same thing and law firms likes stability. If you look stable that's good. That means she'll try to fit in with the culture. You'll try and get along with the people. You won't look like a someone who's just passing through the night you will learn to get along with people and and law firms just, [00:32:00] don't want to undermine the people that already work there by bringing in people that are likely to find fault with the firm, because if they hire an attorney that isn't going to stick around, then that just, undermines all the attorneys that are currently there and makes them think that something's wrong with people are leaving.
[00:32:17] So you can't, and there's just certain people that have those kinds of personalities that are negative and will find fault. And there's others that aren't, the majority of people are very positive and so they want to bring in the positive people. One of the things, for example, your, another thing is your practice here.
[00:32:31] It can be very slow. And I always come back to the example of kind of corporate and New York city and the Bay area. And you could certainly, if your practice area is slow, that could affect the, your ability to get higher too. Corporate is one of these kinds of feast or famine markets.
[00:32:46]And it's actually, it was in 2000, but in 2000 and 2001, and the 2008 the corporate markets just completely Went to hell and everyone was losing their jobs. And and many people just gave [00:33:00] up the practice law and moved in with their parents. There was just a really bad time.
[00:33:03] And and a lot of people stopped practicing and it just, it was a very bad time. And you just, when that sort of stuff happens you pick yourself up and and re recalibrate. And when the corporate market died, there were literally no corporate jobs in the whole country.
[00:33:20]It was that bad because corporate typically that practice area is one that tends to track the economy and what's going on in there. When that happens that even the best attorney is, it doesn't matter where you went to law school. It doesn't matter what firm you're coming from.
[00:33:34] There's just people that are just not opening open to hiring you. And then recently litigation and IP litigation have become very slow. And that creates things, so a lot of law firms just will let lots of attorneys go when things could slow big firms.
[00:33:49]Had a lot of IP litigation, slow down government proctors and example, just let go, tons of people, it didn't matter if they went to Harvard law school and Stanford nominees things, they just didn't [00:34:00] have the works. They let them all go. And a lot of these people, I saw I became solo practitioners and stuff, and because there were just no IP litigation jobs in Boston.
[00:34:08]In a lot of people feel out of options, you become solo practitioners. A lot of them drop out of the practice law. And and I've seen the same thing in New York with some firms where they settled large IP litigations and put people out of work. And the market just becomes a very cold unwelcoming place.
[00:34:26]In the wrong practice here at the wrong time, and it just doesn't matter. And so it has nothing to do with you when this is happening and it's really the issue is the market and it's not you. And and so I, what I try to do with attorneys is I always try to get people to apply to a lot of markets.
[00:34:43] So even though there's a lot of jobs in most markets and a lot of places you can work. If you look at more markets, that's going to help you even more. If I work with attorneys who are open to work in a more than one market and truly committed I know that it's generally just a short, a matter of time before they're going to get a [00:35:00] job.
[00:35:00]They really need to be looking at more. You need to be looking at more markets. I Star girl. I had a girl recently that had some I don't know, she had some horrible things happen like her, I don't know her boyfriend died in his twenties and she was very depressed and quit her job as a corporate attorney at a big law firm in San Francisco.
[00:35:20] And and then was out of work for a year and working as a contract attorney and stuff. And so she was having a very hard time getting hired in San Francisco because a big firms, because there's a lot of people that are competing for those same jobs. So they had really, why would you hire someone that has had all these problems and can be a liability and had only practiced for nine months.
[00:35:40] But when she started looking at other markets, which are smaller markets and other markets around the country, she got 10, 12 offers in a fairly short period of time. So you just have to look at a lot of markets. You have to realize that, that if you work in markets where there's not as much demand or where there's more demand for [00:36:00] your skills, then you can be in a better position.
[00:36:02] And and you shouldn't really be applying to a lot of geographic markets. Now, certain markets are very difficult to apply to. And so that would be, your major cities, there's a lot of competition for the same job. So that's not necessarily the easiest place to move. It's definitely not easy to move to California if you don't have the California bar, there's a matter of fact, It's not impossible, but law firms do not have a lot of incentives to bring in people when the past rate of the California virus, like so low and Texas is getting much more difficult.
[00:36:31]So there's just certain markets, but the more markets you approach, the more options you're going to have. And and you just, you, everyone should understand this. If you apply to more firms, you'll get more jobs. If you apply to more markets should get more jobs. People that are in the medical profession, like doctors think nothing of, they, when they want to work in a market that when they want to get a job, when they're in school, a lot of them just enter these lotteries and they find out the city they're going to work in.
[00:36:57] If you're, see you, you shouldn't be so [00:37:00] selective about your market and say that, you're a New York city attorney or you're you're only going to practice in this city and, your career should be really taking center stage. You're the majority of your time is spent as an attorney in an office building under fluorescent lights working.
[00:37:17] And as long as you're in a market where, the, and and then the weekends are spent, Working or going to restaurants or sitting around your house, watching TV. It's not like the city you're going to live in is going to make a huge difference.
[00:37:29]And the quality of your life, unless it's a major city with, in which case, you may not like that. Or you may like all the stuff there, but you should really put your career first and front and center. The biggest mistake you can make is only looking at one market. I always try to tell attorneys too, your best option and places to work rather than in addition to the market you're working now is the market you grow up in, or the market you have family or the market, your spouse has family and your significant other has family.
[00:37:56] And these are good markets and because you're more likely [00:38:00] to get a job in them. If you have some sort of connection, you need to, everybody here needs to apply to more markets. I don't know how many different ways to put this, or how many different ways to say this, but it's going to make a difference.
[00:38:12] It's going to make a huge difference in your career and your life. You just need to, and I can say this 15 different ways. One thing I will say that's great is during recessions we always make more placements than an almost always, I don't know that every recession we have, but I think pretty much almost every recession we've made more placements than when the market's good, because what happens is attorneys in big cities will be like, okay, I'll move back to a smaller market.
[00:38:39] And they move and they always get jobs. Whereas, when they're just trying to screw around during a good economy, they're trying to work at the same job as everyone else's. And so moving into a smaller market can make a huge difference. And that, and the other thing that happens during recessions is clients will start giving the work to smaller firms instead of larger firms that are less expensive.
[00:38:59] And [00:39:00] that's also helpful. So then a lot of times with markets firms in the smaller markets will get busier and and of course attorneys are more open to looking and and then and then a lot of times people would like to work in the suburbs and they'll be willing to accept less salary.
[00:39:15] And so the results are good. I always recommend looking at more markets. This is another major mistake. And another one that for the life of me, I can't understand. I talked to attorneys about this particular one every day. People will think I'm there's something wrong with me for making the suggestion.
[00:39:33] I don't know where people are getting this idea. But this is and the key to really success in the legal field is not applying to firms with openings. I don't know how many different ways to say this. I, at this point in my career, I've been talking about this for decades. But it, most people apply to firms only with openings.
[00:39:53]The problem with a firm with an opening is everyone that does that line of work is [00:40:00] applying to the same opening. And so what that means is you're competing with a bunch of other people. For the same job and and unless you're the best applicant you're not going to get the position.
[00:40:13]You can apply to openings all you want, but law firms are businesses. They bill by the hour. And if they have the work, when you show up they will hire you because they can make money off you. It's a very simple proposition. If a law firm is paying you just let's say hypothetically $200,000 a year, it's probably bill and you out at four to $500 an hour.
[00:40:37] So think about that. So at $500 an hour, there's that means if you bill 2000 hours, there's 800,000 over and above what they're paying you. That's just extra money coming in law firms, if you build nothing, but if you were to build nothing but 400 hours, they would still break even. And then they would have an extra attorney on their website.
[00:40:58] Law firms make a lot of money from [00:41:00] you. And so you need to understand if you apply to firms and they have the work, when you apply, you're much better off you'll, you will get interest from them if they see it. And they're also not going to receive a lot of applicants from people like you.
[00:41:14] So if they're not most people, because they've been brainwashed by, I don't know who's brainwashing them. Maybe it's other recruiters maybe. Maybe your can talk, the recruiters are able because they're trying to get you a job. I don't know, but but if you feel apply to if you apply to firms that only have openings and you're just completely.
[00:41:35] You're only going to get jobs there. I have instances. And when I say instances, I say, let me tell you every single week I personally place people myself in firms that don't have openings, all of those same candidates, talk to other recruiters at some point, or have talked to them in the past. And some of them are, very eager to find jobs.
[00:41:56] And those recruiters say to them, I will only send you to firms with openings. [00:42:00] Great. So don't those recruiters do not get those people. Any jobs in those people, many times are unemployed, all sorts of things you need to apply to firms that are in your practice area. Those are the type of places that you'll work.
[00:42:11] I I don't know. I just, this is the most frustrating aspect of my job and the other thing I do too. If you're one of our candidates, I will send you firms that I know I have going to have an interest in you because they interviewed people from me before, without openings. They, every day, five to 10 firms interview, my candidates don't have openings.
[00:42:30] This is just my personal candidates. So this is this is a major thing that will supercharge your job search. If you are in a certain specialty, you need to apply to the firms that do what you do. And the thing is, especially when there's a, when a practice here is slow whatever the practice area is.
[00:42:47] Everything is going to, everyone's going to be applying to the same jobs and there's going to be a feeding frenzy. People are going to use whatever means they possibly can to try to get that job. They will use contacts. They will apply. They will follow up. They [00:43:00] will, would do whatever they possibly can.
[00:43:02] But almost all the placements that I can make are with firms that don't have openings. It's just, it's so much easier when you know, now granted I know the market, I know firms, I can take a look at a market like, Los Angeles and I can take a look at someone's background and I can very quickly zero in on 10 or 15 firms that are likely to hire that person that don't have openings and know them right away, because I've got, decades worth of research and data analysis and stuff.
[00:43:31] But that doesn't mean that you can't do that on your own in any market. You could certainly apply to lots of firms and it's not, and you would get a very similar result and there's no secret to what I do. You have to learn this stuff, but but it's not an accessible and it's not impossible.
[00:43:46] And, so the reason that, it's important is because when a law firm doesn't have an opening, there's still law firms, there's no competition. So if they have the work, there's no competition. And and I just, [00:44:00] I don't get it. I honestly don't get it.
[00:44:02] Most recruiters will only work, they'll call you and they'll have one position and and they'll send you to that position. And then if you don't get it, you'll never hear from them again. It's just, this is the most nonsensical. Business in it's almost like they're, people are demonstrating their lack of intelligence by doing this because it can take months, sometimes a year to find a firm that has an opening for you, but you do need to, you do need to be marketing your, you need to be marketing yourself if you're doing a search on your own to lots of different places and you need to constantly push forward.
[00:44:35] And the reason that a lot of times people, don't have a lot of success when they're only applying to jobs of openings is because, like I told you a lot of those positions the firms will start interviewing people immediately. And so the law firms will either be in the process of interviewing people and attention to the applicants that are coming later on, or the law firms will be in the process of talking to or we'll have posted the job and [00:45:00] are already in the process of making, offers and so forth and are just keeping the job open, for the time being.
[00:45:06]So it just you need to be applying to lots and lots of places. And so please do this. I don't know how much to beg you to do this but it's important. Okay. So the next thing, this is why law firms reject you after you get in the door. So prior to getting the interview, there's all these reasons that I've talked to you about getting rejected and and and law firms in your interview people all the time and and then, reject them or after you get in.
[00:45:33] So I just, have this experience all the time. I recently had a partner from a major firm in Washington, DC. I sent to New York for an interview. I took the day off from work and rode the train down. And then he was excited because he was in the right practice area. And wasn't a lot of work.
[00:45:48] And then he got to the interview and the firm had him sit in the lobby for 90 minutes and then a secretary came out and said that they can't interview him today. And something came up. This is not that unusual, but the interview [00:46:00] the law firm just didn't provide any explanation for this.
[00:46:03] And and I contacted the firm again and again, and they just kept saying we're working on it, but never interviewed him. And so he got a job the firm took six months cause he didn't have any business and he was senior and some other problems, but he was upset. Actually it wasn't six months.
[00:46:20] It was more like three months later, but it still took them awhile. And he wasn't happy. And most many attorneys who were interviewed by law firms go into these law firms and and don't have his experience, but many times they're interviewed and given the impression that they're likely to be hired.
[00:46:34] And then they're actually never interviewed We're given an offer again. And they may wait weeks for something to come up and never hear anything. And and I recently had an attorney who was told by a law firm that he was going to be hired. And then and then they sent him, he, I think he was in Phoenix and they sent him up to LA.
[00:46:51] Then they flew him out to Chicago to meet with some people. And everybody, he met said he was that he was going to be their new hire in these [00:47:00] different offices. And they were all excited. And then the firm just went dark and stopped communicating with him. I returned his emails and and then even my emails and they just said, Oh, we're working on it and never heard from him again.
[00:47:12] So who knows, these are very funny things. They're not funny, actually they're bad, but what really happens as, when a law firm interviews you the big thing you need to understand is they're hoping that they want you to be a good fit. They don't want to keep, continue interviewing people.
[00:47:27] A law firm only interview you if they really do want to hire you. It's a lot of work to interview people. And if a law firm decides they want to interview you, they're very interested in hiring you. This is the first thing you need to understand. Now, sometimes it on-campus interviewing and stuff that might be a little bit different, but most law firms interview, especially with lateral, I definitely want to hire you and or they're very serious about it because they can make money, lots of money.
[00:47:50] And like I told you earlier, an attorney making $200,000 a year is typically going to be bringing in about a million dollars a year and go from maybe more. They're want to make money and [00:48:00] also speaking to the, it takes money. So it's a lot of, money that they're giving up to talk to you, but things don't always work out.
[00:48:05] So here's some of the reasons that you may not hear from a firm after being interviewed and things happening. The first thing is, if the firm interview issue and they seem to really, like you what'll happen many times is still bring in someone later, that's just a better applicant.
[00:48:20] And I interviewed, I was interviewing people the past couple of days and I interviewed someone last night. And then I interviewed someone this morning, the person you interviewed last night, I thought I was going to hire. He seemed awesome. And there were so many good things about him, but then I interviewed someone this morning that was better than I could have imagined and much better than the person before.
[00:48:39] So I just interviewed someone that was better for the position that I had. It doesn't mean that one person was better than the other, but the position that I had the person that was better. And there's no reason to worry about it. If they interview someone that's better than there's nothing you can do.
[00:48:52]The person I ever that was better with sharper had experienced in the legal industry, the other person didn't have experience in the legal industry. This is for a kind of an executive [00:49:00] role. Had an MBA. The other person didn't have an MBA that, you know, and I studied there's just so many, it had a hundred experience and databases.
[00:49:08] And you can do the best you can in any interview. And just because you didn't get the job doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It's just sometimes an interview with people that are a lot better. The person may connect better with you. They may be, they may connect better with the interviewer.
[00:49:21] They may be, a million different reasons. They could be a better candidate. So that's just something that's important and to understand you, you can't worry about it. You just need to move on and just do your best the next time. It's not about you. It's it's just not about you.
[00:49:36]And then another thing that happens is the law firm may lose the business or as nervous about the business with sanction hiring you for. And this is extremely happened. Common happens a lot. So what'll happen is a law firm will have a client or they'll have a partner that has a lot of business that you know, that they want to hire someone for.
[00:49:54] They'll have all these sorts of reasons that they want to hire someone. And then all of a sudden they may learn [00:50:00] that partner. They want to hire the person for it, looking for a business. The client may be threatening not to stay with them because their bills are too high or they may hear the clients talking to other firms or they, they may settle a case and not have the work anymore, or they may start getting certain types of work.
[00:50:18] And so in law firms will never admit that they've lost business or things have slowed down, but that happens a lot. That's probably what happened with. It was created around a different city. You just never know. You just never know, and that can happen a lot too. And so the law firm doesn't feel like they have the work or they're nervous about the business they were hiring you for, then they won't bring you in and you can't control that.
[00:50:41] And the law firm will typically or say anything about that. They will just, it's not a topic that they'll bring up. You need to just not worry about that. The other thing is that many times there's conflicts with in the law firm, you may be unaware of. Sometimes there's just a lot of politics going on in the background and you [00:51:00] can't control that politics, the politics you have no idea what the politics are.
[00:51:04]It could be about stupid things. One person is going to get to hire someone and why should that person get to hire someone to help them? If I can't have a budget to hire someone. And so these sorts of conflict, sometimes there's different partners fighting in from sometimes there's a conflict between practice groups.
[00:51:22]You just don't know. And it's nothing for you to worry about. And the law firm won't tell you because a law firm doesn't want to appear weak in the market. So these are other reasons that happen and people take it personally. And and, and who knows. So I had this instance where this from contacting me and I spent, then I believe that they were going to hire all these people and I spent months giving them the exact sort of candidates.
[00:51:46] So they want it. And and this was the partner level. And then and then they didn't hire them. And they were exactly what they told me they wanted. And it turned out in the end that they wanted something different. But they, no one was telling me that because the person [00:52:00] that was telling me the hire the certain type of person which was out of favor with a law firm and that happened at some point.
[00:52:06] So those people didn't get hired. So these sorts of things can happen a lot and you need to be very careful. And then the other thing that can happen is sometimes the law firm or someone in it just doesn't like you, and you don't know what that is. And and law firms just sometimes there's people in them and have are not in a good mood or, to have a habit out for you who knows certain people in certain law firms will find you on unlikeable.
[00:52:30] And you don't know what that is. I had a candidate once that. I had gone to a he ultimately graduated from Harvard law school as a, with an LLM, but he'd started out his career at a pretty bad law school. I don't even think to law school was accredited. But he managed to work his way up and get all these degrees.
[00:52:48] And so he's got a job at this big firm and and then the law firm wanting to withdraw the offer and he didn't know why. And and then he started there and no one would give him any work. And and it was because the [00:53:00] head of the office found out they were hiring some of them from this unaccredited law school.
[00:53:03] And couldn't believe, this major New York law firm was doing something like that. So you just have to be very careful. Law firms have all sorts of reasons for not hiring people. And they may not like your practice group. They may not like you they may have heard something bad about you who knows you just, you can't worry about if people don't like you then move on, you don't want, you shouldn't want to be with people that don't like, you, it's just a dumb thing.
[00:53:30] You shouldn't want to go into a firm where someone's got it out for you and got a problem. That's not your issue share. You can move on and you can't fix it. It's not something you can do. I've had instances where people have been hired before I had an instance actually, where I was hired at a firm.
[00:53:47] And and then at this, at the last minute they withdrew the offer because of something brewed that I've said to one of the partners there before, and that pissed them off. And it was before I had gotten an offer there. So it's just, it's just, [00:54:00] you have to be you just have to understand that those sorts of things can happen.
[00:54:03]Sometimes you may not be a good cultural fit for the law firm and. Not much you can do about that either. So law firms are tribes, they're tribes of different types of people and and that's just really how it works. And they, people, want to be around people that are like them.
[00:54:19] And and so you need to try to do what you can to fit in and play by their rules. And and if you can't, but that's if you, a cultural fit is a big deal, people want to be around people that are similar to them. I can, there's certain law firms that have very well-defined cultures.
[00:54:36] I can always recognize a certain type of person that's going to work in that firm and get a job in that firm because of the way they act and their mannerisms and their background. And and it does, it's not, I'm not talking about things based on necessarily your race or your sexual orientation or anything.
[00:54:53] It's more about, how you think and your, whether you're upbeat or whether you're very cerebral or whether [00:55:00] you're, introvert or an extroverted. And there's just different types of personalities and different cultures that law firms have. And and it's just what it is.
[00:55:07] And so sometimes you're just not a cultural fit and that's okay. You need to go to a place where, you know, w where you're supported based on your fit. So these are just some kind of rules. The, of the job search game that I wanted to bring up real briefly as we conclude this the highest paid firms typically are going to reach out.
[00:55:23] People are just not interviewed them. It's usually at least 80% of the people get rejected. And, if you're doing a search in a major market but it's, it could be 99%. It's always worked that way. It doesn't matter where you went to law school or, unless the, you're a perfect fit.
[00:55:40]The odds are you're going to be rejected from the substantial majority of positions that you applied. Now, this is for large markets where there's a ton of applicants for the same jobs now and smaller markets where there's not a, the, obviously it's much easier to get interviews, but but that's, pretty much the way the rules are and and you ne