06.09 - Showing Up The Difference between Those Who Get Hired and Advance in Law Firms and Those Who Do Not
[00:00:00] Today is about the difference between showing up and those who get hired by firms and those who don't. And this is one of my favorite talks given it before, and I like it quite a bit.
[00:00:11] And what I will do is I will give this talk. It's not too long. And then after the talk we'll take questions and I do get a lot of comments a lot of times after these and I do think it's very useful for people that come to the, and a, weekly basis or basis.
[00:00:26] And, when you can, because it does help you, I do the same thing with my business and placement education. I'm always trying to learn new things and that this kind of knowledge is cumulative more you webinars and the more you learn the better, I get emails quite often, at least probably once a week or people contacting me on LinkedIn.
[00:00:48]Of course I'll take questions. So if you have questions about anything that I talk Hey or to do with your career, I'm happy to answer them. And actually I just got out of, I got up early this morning. I was in a [00:01:00] class from five to like I don't nine class. I'm always doing this kind of stuff as well.
[00:01:05] And then I just got done showering and stuff. Cause it was about, got up. So really, anyway, the, so the most successful attorneys in law firms are always showing up. And one of the things that a lot of people believe is that, it's enough to, just to a affirm or whatever given and just do the work you're given and give it back and do it have an okay quality Cody and past 20 plus years, I've been speaking with attorneys that are looking for jobs.
[00:01:31] W and this idea of pop is really one of the most important things about how you are evaluated by firms. And it took to get selected by a firm to work there, and then also to remain there. You need to learn how to show up, showing up, just coming to the office it's, physically and manually showing up.
[00:01:50] And and the more time goes by the best attorneys always are getting better and better at showing up. And and if you want to rise in your career, meaning you want to get [00:02:00] clients, or you want to work in a bigger firm or more competitive firm, or do better in the, from your end you do need to understand how to show up.
[00:02:08] And this is really in my opinion, one of the biggest keys to success in the legal profession is it's understanding this. And because what happens to, many attorneys is they will stop showing up at certain points in their career. And then when they stopped showing up then they, they lose everything.
[00:02:24] And it's a process that you may be going through right now where you're losing enthusiasm for. Doing where you're feeling that that the game is stacked against you where you're not liking it. And and a lot of times you lose it. Even when you're in law school I've seen, I saw people where I went to law school, use Luther ability to enthusiasm to show up during the first week.
[00:02:47]So people will lose it. And some people lose a 10 years in. So the up is a lot of it is about your enthusiasm the practice a lot, by the way it's very tough. It's an easy job. Never [00:03:00] heard anybody say it's easy. It's the long that can be, the working with, yeah.
[00:03:07] A lot of it is confrontational. So you're working against other people you're working with against other people beside your opponents, but you're also are posing counsel, but you're also working or could be the government as a counselor, but you're also working in many times with people in your own firm that don't want you to get ahead.
[00:03:25] And the stress of managing your own body and mind because you're working so many hours and then you have. And so all of this stuff is very tough. Yeah. And even law school is tough if you're still in law school. I mean that competitive environment where, you may believe that your grades will determine your whole career, which they don't went to law school in term of what happens to you in your career, which it doesn't.
[00:03:46]But but most of the time stage of the game, most attorneys will find that their peers, people that encourage their peers are not there, but are honestly out to get them whether it be fellow soldiers their fellow partners. And I really [00:04:00] hate to say that is a consistent thing that you know, partner, Satan ticket system thing that associates say to me and partners actually say that their peer more than associates, which is very interesting to me.
[00:04:11] The there's definitely, people are paranoid and and being in a law firm really is about showing and law firms have all sorts of feds and systems to where that you're showing up. And and really Through how a law firm judges whether you're showing up and in this term means because it hasn't really been defined yet.
[00:04:31]And so you can kinda get a good understanding. Th there is for attorneys schools and got the best grades and got positions with the firms with summer associates for their first, that is a preference especially if you're trying to work in large law firms, which are but even many times when you're moving firms, it's a preference.
[00:04:48]I explain this to you and just because you don't have that right now, doesn't mean that showing up in other ways, isn't going to make a huge difference in your career. But for the most part know when you come [00:05:00] out of school, the best law firms want a history of, they're going to distinguish between people, those who have done the best.
[00:05:07] And if you've gone to the best colleges, it's very difficult to get into the best colleges. Now you have to work very hard to get very good grades, and you have to be very dedicated. You have to did test scores and and there's just a lot of stuff to impress. You have compressed professors and, understand standardized tests.
[00:05:25] You have to get a good recommendation. Many times can you, and then, going to college just meaningful, but not just going to college. How you doing college?
[00:05:33] It would be very interesting to say then college admissions and you watch, how are people showing up when they're applying to colleges and it's going up, the grades are starting to really good recommendations are showing up with enthusiasm, sports, or leadership activities and things that normal people aren't doing, and they're doing it better, faster, and all those sorts of things.
[00:05:53] So the more you shut up, the better you're going to be. So employers know if you have a [00:06:00] very good school history probably studied it's your time? You've applied health and so forth. And so a history is good and you don't miss a scarily need to have, some come sooner rather than later, I've seen people get really hungry until they're two or three years.
[00:06:17] Okay. And then all of a sudden it catches fire and they like a very small firm, a bigger firm. And then they're pretty sooner in the big, and they have a huge book of business and it's just, so everybody catches on at different rates, but employers are looking
[00:06:31] it looks like, wait, I lost you guys for a second. But yeah, so this is all very important that you're able to show up and and being a summer associate and a really confirm is important. Oh, let, just sit here. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. All right. Sorry about that guys. I don't know what happened.
[00:06:47]But yeah, so those are always a preference for that. So law firms, like people who went to the best schools since were summer associates and the best firms that also shows you may have had a history of showing up in the past. And because not everyone is able to go to the best schools and [00:07:00] not everybody is able to get summer associates with the best jobs and so forth.
[00:07:03] And that also shows a history of shine up. And so these are all things I think that everyone knows and I'm not trying to, state the obvious here, the better you do in every organization you go and the more history of solid achievement you have the better off you're going to be.
[00:07:19] And one thing I've noticed it's often very interesting is, when I w when you work with people that, that are, did very well, can college and law school and so forth many times you'll see the resume. And it'll just say Harvard college, the degree that got the Magna cum laude, then there will say, Stanford law school, J D such and such Stanford law review, and then their employer, they'll just say, whatever employer the work can add, they'll call themselves A corporate associate and and that's it, and so the, th they're very short resumes.
[00:07:49] They don't say a lot, and there's not a lot of fluff. And the reason they do that is because they're basically saying everything I've done very well. There's no need to put in all these, extraneous organizations and so forth. [00:08:00] And so you can show many times by, high level achievement that you're showing up without a lot of other stuff.
[00:08:05] So the point is though that law firms want to hire people that look engaged. And your grades and your schools and things show that you're engaged, but again, remember everything's race and over time you will do better in camp. So unfortunately one of the things in law firms is that if there's a, the idea of showing up is about a preference for the attorneys that are billing the most hours.
[00:08:30]And it's quality is expected. But yeah, at the same time hours are very important. If you're billing a lot of hours, that's going to show that you're that you're getting work. It's a sign that you have a lot of energy to give. Many times what you're selling inside of a law firm is your energy.
[00:08:45]You need physical and mental energy and commitment. You need physical energy and mental energy to sit in front of a computer. Most of your waking hours need, a lot of meds. Anema long periods of time. And you just have to have the, some people have it, [00:09:00] some people don't, it's what it is.
[00:09:02] And if you're interested in subject matter and you like it, and you make it a game trying to build this as you can then that's to your advantage and energy is important. Look around you, people, a lot of them have just tremendous and and that's part of what makes them sick that something that law firms fall into a profit, most always the people that build the most hour are gonna, there's going to be a lot of demand for them.
[00:09:28] And ours also show that you're interested in what you're doing. It's very hard to bill a lot of risk if you're not interested in what you're doing. So like people that her find what they're doing is fun. May sound crazy to you, but you really should be interested in what you're doing because it's where you're gonna be spending most of your time.
[00:09:46] We want to work in large law firms and that's your goal. Then you need to, you try to be as interested as possible to give you energy. It shouldn't drain it from you. And one thing I'll say is that there's different practice areas or or [00:10:00] it can be true. There's other practice areas where you can be like for employment.
[00:10:07] And I do not find document within that gives me energy. I writing and doing that, but I enjoy discovery corporate bull enjoy don't enjoy doing diligence actions, Joe. There's all sorts of different things, but the primary job get energy from it. And when you're billing a lot of hours, it shows you how the energy and most partners and firms interesting.
[00:10:30]They don't and it's shit, big firms. And so the other the the quality then depending on, the, do you get in a lot of hours, if you're getting worse in most firms, that means that you're doing good work. And the people that get the most are have a lot of work.
[00:10:48] So for example, I started my career, I would say, and there were when you start work, getting a thousand or $1,200 a year at work, they just weren't getting a lot of the work. There were very nice people [00:11:00] firing them, but but there were other people exceptional that were billing over 3000 hours in my class.
[00:11:05] If you do very good work, then. More and more work. So that's the many times that the way that Ms can evaluate you is first your billing especially if you're firms dependent on the work. Chose as your work has value to people outside the firm. So if you're able to build a lot of we're going to pay for work, that's not clients not attorneys on their cases or matters of attorneys over billing them.
[00:11:29]And the more the clients will some doing the work. If you're billing a lot of hours to the firm, hopefully to write off your time and and partners that have a lot of business bill Lawson to think of that they want to hire, they would want to have associates and the partners working on their matter or doing a go doing good work and then partners with a lot of this typically there that have a lot of our clients are typically doing clients, things that if you're billing a lot of hours, that shows that [00:12:00] you're making the money.
[00:12:01] And loft typically will keep around and hosts that are making, And then another thing about ours is it's shows you're willing to sacrifice your personal life, which is unfortunate. That's just kinda how it was. And most of the success, most attorneys and many firms and it's not all firms and it's not and all city there's different types of markets, but a lot of them, it's very difficult for them to maintain ships with people at home, because they're not, and so are prioritized over your home life.
[00:12:36]At the thing that obviously law firms are at her will hold onto people that do that as opposed to those, the town. And then also, as you can see, they find the most hour. Getting a lot of not just about the ability to do the work you're given out, being able to sell yourself to to others.
[00:12:54]In many firms, the attorneys, when they don't have work and to get other people, to give them work and they will [00:13:00] get work or good doing good work. Hours what about showing up? And the more you build the better, the better your quality of work, the more you've shown up in the past the same thing as you get more senior and you're able to build more hours.
[00:13:13] People are giving you work at a high, a very high expense, meaning your billable hour rate is and so your work is very valued as well. And then the reasons, of course it turns to the business or preferred with those that don't because the market is pricing their value and everything comes back to the billable hour, man.
[00:13:32]Next one is a preference for younger fresher attorneys over older ones, which no one likes especially older attorneys, but the true can in many cases be equipped athlete, it's physically demanding, and many are done with it by the time they're in their early thirties. So at least law firm attorneys they just don't have the energy stamina in large law firms. Which I guess I would consider the professional state people lose [00:14:00] hope for the future and they give up unless have a lot of self-confidence and so forth.
[00:14:06] Most people get very difficult and large law firms are six or seven years out and start looking for other alternatives. I don't believe it. I think that I think that, law firms place to work, you just have to find the right one and but it's it's just how it is most firms.
[00:14:23] So unless you have a good book of business most law firms as you get older aren't going to want a lot to do with you. If you have more than six or seven years of experience because the presumption really is that that you're not going to be shutting up anymore with the same level of enthusiasm you do when you were younger and for the most part that's true.
[00:14:40] And I've seen this happen and then not condoning any of those, but typically what happens is as attorneys get older they see they see a pointlessness to it. So they don't believe that the hours, the demands for business, the political games and so forth are they don't want to participate in them anymore as much.
[00:14:57]And and so they are very [00:15:00] protective of their time more and th they're constantly on the lookout for in-house jobs many times. And, I even knew when I was practicing. I would see you'd see young attorneys and they would decorate their offices with all sorts of things and bring in furniture sometimes.
[00:15:15] And then you'd see the older attorneys. Council and senior associates and they would typically not have anything in their offices that are the most they would ever bring in would be like a picture like that they can put in their pocket if they needed to leave, which is funny, but you have to, but that's just how it works and so they get disillusioned.
[00:15:33]Yeah. And that lack of enthusiasm is not showing up. And like a younger attorney man, so abandoned themselves with all sorts of enthusiasm and lots of person they're wanting to learn and they're hungry and they believe that they have succeed and offerings will nurture this and, after a year or two of, okay, reviews, just doing well.
[00:15:57] And it's difficult. It's a difficult job. [00:16:00] And the, and law firms will just they work is only a minimum amount of is at the top and only anything they want at the top. And maybe they'll, 1200 hours a year for 10 years and constantly, and then out of nowhere told that they have a few weeks, a few months to find a new it's just how the profession works.
[00:16:18] It doesn't work that way. I've seen. And associates at major top a law firm career and there may be, but that's rare. And but it does happen. So not to say you can't stay in most firms forever and they won't do there, but if you want to advance very difficult and the ideas is that, law firms the wealth on a house people that are the most intuitive and the ones that are that doing everything that they can to get a whole get ahead.
[00:16:49] And that spirit Jen makes the law firm stronger, provides a better service many times they rather than keep have that it's just the way [00:17:00] it works. And attorneys in most major markets, New York, Chicago, and, the Palo Alto and so forth we'll have we'll typically leave, or be asked to leave or conclude as to leave several years of experience and the reason for the clean, just because as an attorney gets more senior and now their billing rates will increase.
[00:17:17]And those billing rates would be competitive with partners and most free to have partners do work. As partners make the firm more money. And partners make more money, but when they do, they're supposed to giving it to others or paying those high rates, but per person not counting.
[00:17:33] So the work law firm cells that are very hungry and wanting to get ahead because that creates that competition creates more hours efficient labor. It creates more because they're trying to impress people and they don't want people that are bring those lower in the food chain and the people that I would business that are senior and not those without business a business is why keeps the whole thing working.
[00:17:58] And that's why that's [00:18:00] important. And the larger, the more efficient the systems like could it be, and the larger the firm, the more you can get away many times with not having business firms us the time side. So do that. But as a firm gets larger and there's a market gets larger, everything tends to be much more efficient and worked out this is related, but there's also a sense for attorneys who desperately want to get ahead.
[00:18:25] Law firms. With the best grades and the best schools it shows how dated you already it shows you want to impress people and and big thing is that they believe that they can channel cause I'm into hours. And that shows that you have a history of, yeah. Hi Jen.
[00:18:43] And then it's gonna make you like, could it be higher than if you don't have that? Oh law firms will often approve of attorney. We have things in their back that indicate a high level of motivation. And these are things, they don't really talk about. Yeah. Law firms love a family.
[00:18:58] You need to support [00:19:00] that means a bit more control over you. They get, if you have student loans, if you buy high, because that means you're settled down. In this type of housing market mean typically a student loans or mortgages. You need to work, many times having come from a background that gives you a desire to prove something to yourself and would be very useful for a law firm, that something, and then and then they love it.
[00:19:26] When, I was a small firm many times law firms, large law firms, may not have done well in school or didn't get into the right firm, but are just very high. To a larger firms because she hasn't they really represent something to them coming in a big firm or wanting to get someplace pat or where they have personal goals.
[00:19:45]Three things right here, by the way, if you want to be loved people, think about it. What happens in most law firms, they hire out of great law schools and so forth or. It's in big law firms. And then those people come in many [00:20:00] times after some period of time they lack enthusiasm and they're not as excited as they might've been when they started.
[00:20:06] And and then they get negative and so forth and they don't work as hard if they have a little bit of an attitude. And so far. So then and bringing in people were working in that law firm is like the, been their dream, for years. And they've been hungry and to do something like that is something that really the law firms really value.
[00:20:21] And so I, week we get people jobs and better for much better firms. We'll probably almost every day. Then they're coming from, and a lot of times what makes it great for those people is just the level of enthusiasm and excitement that they have about working in a much better firm.
[00:20:37] And that is something that really that you need to think about attorneys with families and you just support typically will work in a different way than those that don't it's not to say that there's anything wrong with not having a family, but if you have responsibilities and so forth, you're sacrificing for other people and you're not as portable.
[00:20:55]You can't just get up and quit your job. So the law firm gets more control. You [00:21:00] also have expenses that it will crease when your children get older. And so you often attorneys like this will desperately want to get ahead. They will figure out how to do well. And and and they'll often be, be able to they'll tolerate a lot more adversity and even negative treatment.
[00:21:16]Then I used to and I still but work with lots of attorneys that good jobs, and then graduated from top loss. And, but, or not. In every school people don't get positions each year and I'm seeing more I don't know why that, but even in a good market. But there's, a lot of people that go to great law schools and, they just don't get a good job.
[00:21:38] I run out of law school and, or even during law school and sometimes they don't have jobs at all. And many of these people are very talented. They have great, they were able to get good grades. They're very smart, but what happens is oftentimes they go into they go into interviews with major law or any firms and they just have zero enthusiasm that there's just [00:22:00] not nothing that comes across and with them.
[00:22:03] And I can drive. And before is really in that is what often hurts them. There's even in around different kinds of, sometimes people will, come out of a very wealthy bank and they may not have the enthusiasm. I just there's reasons for that. And the people that have something to prove, to have someone to support have a lot of hands and really have set goals.
[00:22:26]Different types of firms and and something motivated them will not show up. They will. They'll be enthusiastic. They'll, there'll be very off the job. They're fire. They it's important to them succeed and they have reasons for doing so. And that comes across. The, that you can tell, but you can talk about it.
[00:22:48] You can see in the energy, you can see it. And and law firms know how they to see attorneys that are like their clients to see attorneys that are fired up and [00:23:00] really do a good job. And so like that then then that can be channeled on the good work first. And and it G is just to people around them.
[00:23:10]So that very important. So you need to, a lot of this comes down to things like goal setting and how do you down the things that are, how do you set goals often? How do you that down on paper, know what you want you goals for your much better than if you're not, I make a big part of the, we can full-size spend a couple hours every weekend.
[00:23:35] It's writing down my goals and the things that I want the impact I want to what the goals are, personal they're professional, they're sorts of things you have that it's going to make you much better and you need to, have something that, that makes you that want to do better.
[00:23:52]There's actually a very famous story of a guy that was, it's an interesting story. He was put in prison, sorry it was a political center [00:24:00] or something. And he was for for I don't know, 10 years and he had nothing to do and he didn't know how to play chess, but didn't really wasn't, good at or anything, but he did pass against himself in his mind.
[00:24:13]And so he did that 10 years, like doing different moves and stuff playing chess takes off in his mind and he wasn't by any stretch than like a a real, just someone that did it occasionally. And and then he he was released from this prisoner and he moved to Argentina or Brazil or something.
[00:24:30]And and then there was a an expo match where your Kasparov, who was a us chess player was at the same time. And so he played Tim I'm in this guy. He had been playing chess at for 10 years, had south playing Kasparov the whole time even Kasparov played or anything he did, he was playing the world's greatest chess player.
[00:24:52] And and so out of the 10 people profits playing, he would basically down a row doing moves. [00:25:00] No one, I don't think anyone for beating him, but of course loss and this guy won and no one could believe it. How could this guy possibly eat him? And he said I, I played him hundreds of and and I just I thought about the best chess players would do and how people would, he beat him and it was very interesting and a professional chess player, and it just was chance that he in this expo turned in or something.
[00:25:22] So I thought that was interesting. And I, I always hear stories like that about visualize things before they, Hey play out things and they get themselves psyched up for things and the problem with a lot of students in law school, the problem, a lot of first year associates and second year. So you surround yourself with Tivity and people that are discouraging you or wanting to get a hat, negative things about working them off, or Don't you don't put the messages in your mind where you want to get ahead.
[00:25:54] That's something that hurts you it's not imagine winning or losing, or going in house or [00:26:00] no Sen. You should be imagining winning. Oh. Because that's what will change your life and that's what career and that story about the Kasparov is just fascinating. Cause it's how could someone, no chest pain like that, and it's all about, you imagine things happening and there's all sorts of stories like that.
[00:26:18] There's one other story that I heard Tony Robins tell Lonzo these people, this couple that imagine themselves winning the lottery, they would sit around and just winning the lottery and then they won. And then and then here they want again, and I'm talking about the law, like the super lab or something, odds of winning the first time, 20 million in the second time, probably one in a billion, but they won twice spinning around and just thinking about winning.
[00:26:45] So there's something that comes to your, your comes to people that think about the things that they can do and how that, that I think is fair. And people. Get ahead in a law firm and you want to do well, you need to really focus [00:27:00] and and think about that. And then there's also a preference.
[00:27:02]Just, you've never left a law firm or another type of law do not like it. And to have things on their resume that suggests working in a firm is not the most important thing. Would you, if you were hiring to work off term don't like hiring people from house if you had multiple judicial they typically, won't that they don't mind one judicial clerkship, but having three or four or be interested in something else, if you've taken a lot of time off to operate a business, that's unrelated to what you're if you become a solo practice those things are, negatives because they indicate I want to be in that type of environment and people that want to be in a certain type of environment are there then if they don't, they're not.
[00:27:40] Law firms are just what they are and they have their own set of rules and if someone's not committed to it, then those are going to succeed are hired by a large law firm they're going to do well because they. We'll look for a way out, they'll do something out. And I just parents and I don't mean this in a negative way, [00:28:00] especially if you're obviously exceptions but in my experience, most attorneys have them go in house come out of the government with the exception of maybe the us or some process or in a government office or something, or I don't know, but or had multiple judicial clerkships and never, it's just, they're different environment.
[00:28:17]Like I said earlier, it's a different expectations of business are different. The the pref or younger people, if you don't have a lot of businesses different and and people have work off from and come back typically never lasts long. Because if someone wasn't committed to work in the law firm the past so they're just not going to be in the future.
[00:28:35]And if someone had left, there's something that they like about practice and that's why they left to begin with. And they felt it was too tough or they they're just something they didn't like. And those things will typically come up again. I've noticed in my experience, parents, early on, I, when I read the thing that this guy had written.
[00:28:54]Like 20 levels that he followed him. One was never to rehire anyone. [00:29:00] What he meant by that is, leaves his company. He's gonna hire them again because if he does that, the problems and every time I've rehired, I've had major problem. People that are, that have proceeded to come in and it they almost, they always leave again.
[00:29:14]They come in and they do a lot of real harm. So people that leave always, almost obviously began. So if you've left and you thinking about going back into a law firm, you need to make sure that you're really interested in that in law firms here. Then to hire you if they know what they're doing, because most of them had the same kind of experiences I have, but sometimes they will.
[00:29:32]And the reason is the same thing. So just bother them in the past. They won't show up they'll they may the worst hires of course, are the ones that have left to start their own businesses because they often, have an itch. The law firm will almost never satisfy to do something else.
[00:29:46] Many times people that are rehired after leaving are just going to be plotting to do something else. And and also if they're had their own business, many times, they want a Pete, people that will try to take the way that firms clients, or start up a competing firm and all sorts [00:30:00] of things are just dangerous.
[00:30:01] And hiring an attorney has gone in houses also bad, because many times those attorneys went in house because they don't want to bill Lauer's and they don't like that. And so that's not a good idea. And and th they may not want the responsibility to get business and they have left and when they left, they weren't getting business and or developing contacts.
[00:30:20] That's another thing. And then. Hiring people that went to the government can also be a bad. The government is a much slower paced lifestyle. And many times people that are in the government, there's not as much pressure to make money. So that, that can be a drawback and, law firms just want to hire people who are going to show up.
[00:30:36] So if you do something unrelated many times there's a danger that you'll do the same thing in a law firm. Okay. And then the other ones, law firms take very seriously as attorneys you've now have gaps in employment on the resumes. And this is a problem that a lot of people have. And I'm not saying it's the end of the world.
[00:30:53] If you have a gap in your resume, people have gaps for different reasons, but a gap on your resume can [00:31:00] suggest a lot of negative things. And you need to be very careful about having any gaps and I've, certainly learned very early on that and I think attorneys, I don't know if they instinctively know this or who teaches them, but I, but having any surface sort of gap, it's almost people look at it, even young attorneys to learn this, it's almost you've died.
[00:31:17] Like you, you can't, you don't want to have employment gaps and and you can certainly talk your way around them and get around them. But they're dangerous because people will Assume a lot of negative things. The first thing they may assume is that you were fired now.
[00:31:30] There's nothing wrong with getting fired. Most attorneys will get fired from if you have a career for any length of time in any industry, whether you're an attorney or, most things you're likely, maybe not an academia, but even there possibly you're likely to get fired at some point for financial reasons or whatever, but but if you have a gap, it typically means, people will assume that you were fired and and if you were fired, that means that you may not have been doing good work or that you weren't valuable to your firm and that you are a problem.
[00:31:57] And new law firms do not want to [00:32:00] take on someone else's problem. So you have to be careful about that. It may show that you wanted to do something else. So someone takes a lot of time off may not have that enthusiasm for practicing law. They may want to give something else travel or something, and there's nothing wrong with that.
[00:32:13] But that means that practicing law is not your first objective and that, and they certainly can find someone else that is, that does want it to be their first objective. So law firms just don't like these gaps. And showing up means always showing up. And you're really expected to never quit.
[00:32:28]All right, this one I don't like, but it's what it is. This one is, a preference for better dressed physically fit and welcome people and. No, it's just, when you go to work for a law firm you're a representative of them and they want you to to be impressive. They want you to, possible they want you to dress well because you're reflective of their brand.
[00:32:48] They want you to be well-groomed and and all that sort of thing. I remember when when I was a summer associate there was all the, and I was in New York, but they were all like young associates and everybody was all very [00:33:00] well-dressed.
[00:33:00] And the person that had the most business in the firm, would always tell the associates, when you walk into a client meeting, you better be like the best looking the best put together and most impressive person there because because they're paying a lot of money for you and they need to look up to you.
[00:33:15] And I, I don't know. And that was the culture of the firm that I was in. But I thought that was very interesting. And this guy was a big deal back then. He had a $30 million book. You're talking like a long time ago, and that, that was his belief and a lot of, and it's certainly not the case in a lot of Silicon valley firms and stuff, but but or, people aren't, you know that well, but I know attorneys that, that even now that are very successful I know one woman.
[00:33:39] She's a very successful attorney and she starts zoom conferences at 7:00 AM and design them till, probably 10 o'clock at night and the whole time she's, made up wearing a suit looking very professional. And it's amazing. But the big thing is, law firms they have nice offices because they want to impress their clients.
[00:33:56]And the best law firms have their pick of attorneys. And there's some law firms that I [00:34:00] can name. It almost seems they, if someone is, has a certain look and, I know that they can get a job there if they have the right qualifications. Law firms want people that look in preference that mean you're looking pressive and act impressive.
[00:34:12] And so it's about your, your mannerisms. Different firms and certainly different firms are different ways. And I'm not saying that all firms are like this, but it certainly taking care of yourself can be a very important thing and a lot of firms. And then the other thing is this is actually very important is law firms, like people who make the people for whom they're working for feel good about themselves.
[00:34:32] And you're, if, when you're an attorney, you're always, typically working for someone else. And I'm amazed when I even see like the many of the most successful attorneys around clients, they just, they're very deferential and they even come across, it's definitely, they come across as deferential and nice to other people.
[00:34:50] And many times these are attorneys are making millions of dollars a year. They're just, but they make the people, even the people that they're much more successful than feel very important and part of the game. [00:35:00] And and so they, this is something that young attorneys have to learn how to do many times with other attorneys and and or you have to do with your superiors if you don't have business.
[00:35:08] You have to make those with your, the people that you're working with feel important and enthusiastic and and good about themselves. And that's a skill, and and it's really much more than that. If you have a bad attitude and and don't, aren't able to.
[00:35:21] To make people feel good about you, then they're not going to hire you. I've had instances where I've interviewed candidates for before to. To work with them, to send them out to firms and, to represent them as a recruiter and the person is just not enthusiastic.
[00:35:36] They're not nice. They're standoffish. And and so I know that if they're like that with me, they're probably going to be like that at work. And I have to explain to them that, that law firms are hiring. They have their choice of people that can work with, it's not enough to just to have the educational credentials you need to have you need to have a personality and you need to make the people around.
[00:35:54] You feel bad. And I think a lot of loft, a lot of law firms will fire people that have bad [00:36:00] attitudes. I noticed I personally I just, my age now I avoid people many times that have a bad attitude that don't make me feel good about myself because not because I have a low ego and maybe I do just because, no one has the time for that.
[00:36:15] No one has the time to manage people that are difficult to manage. No one has the time to to manage Pete, to talk to people that are, give you a lot of pushback and negative feedback over time. It's so attorneys you have to make the people you work with feel good about themselves.
[00:36:30]You can't, you have to, you have to make them feel good. And the same thing goes with clients. The best attorneys will be very flattering towards the clients and just clients can pick the people they want to do work with. I've worked with, I worked with attorneys many times that, that do this very well.
[00:36:44] They make you feel good. And I've worked with attorneys that don't and the ones that don't, I don't like giving work to. If you really want something, you'll make the people around, you feel good. It's a secret actually to getting good grades, in school, it's making your professors feel good.
[00:36:57] And the people it's the secret to doing well in your job. [00:37:00] So you have to realize that. You have to, and that doesn't mean false flattery. But that means respecting people doing the best work you can not being overly professional, but connecting when you can and and allowing me and recognizing the people you work with for who they are.
[00:37:17] And and not making them feel bad about themselves. And, it's in, in major law firms, many times, the partner you're working for may be a complete nerd and you may be the opposite. Pointing out how much cooler you are rubbing that in their face is not a good idea, or it may be the opposite.
[00:37:31] You may be. Yeah, very uncomfortable working for someone that's not as smart as you and pointing that out. It makes them feel badly. I was, I remember once working with a partner that could, I couldn't believe w was a partner in the law firm. I was in, this was not, this was that a later lost from my work dad duty, bound time, not Quinn, very smart people there.
[00:37:50]But this particular partner couldn't catch on the different ideas once I got to a certain level of complexity and Pointed that out to her. And then and I couldn't explain things to her. And then I [00:38:00] actually had to go above her and explain to another partner, and that got me into a lot of trouble with her and made me her book per enemy.
[00:38:07] So you have to be very careful. I should have approached that a much different way and you have to make people you're working for feel good about themselves. I've seen other people tell partners that a certain type of work wasn't necessary and they were over-billing the client and they didn't think it was a good idea to the assignment.
[00:38:23] I've seen other people go behind other people's back and do things. And so you have to learn the balance of this because once you make an enemy, if you're a first or second or third or fourth year associate, and you make an enemy with someone that's much more senior than you, even a secretary, many times they're much more sophisticated than you when it comes to politics and they will take you down.
[00:38:41] You do need to make people feel good about themselves, to the extent you can. And then this is another big one. There's a preference for attorneys. Who've had the fewest jobs. Attorneys that have had the fewest jobs are most likely to show up. And and keep doing their next job.
[00:38:57]When I interview people to work with me I always [00:39:00] noticed how long they've worked at their previous jobs, and there's certain people that just bounce around and there's others that stick around. And and that's stability is important because people that, come to a job with the idea of doing it long-term are usually the best employees.
[00:39:13]They they they'll generally figure out the rules and they'll play by the rules and they are out for the group as opposed to themselves. And so th these are important things and certainly there's nothing wrong with moving up or switching firms or looking for a job.
[00:39:27] This is what I do for a living, but there is definitely a preference to for people that don't switch firms that often and switch shops you know that people want to believe that you're going to stick around and stay some place in the longterm. And your ability to stick around will really show that you can tie, can tolerate different types of people, different working conditions the firm's going through positive times and negative times.
[00:39:49] And and that that you're, a fixture in the place and that you're able to find a role where you're right. And do well and as opposed to the opposite. So sticking around to, and having had the fewest jobs, that's [00:40:00] very useful. And there's also a big preference for in, just by the way, in terms of this preference for people who have the fewest jobs.
[00:40:06]I think. It's really it's one of the most important, I, I can think of, and our company where there's, there's people that, they have the few criticize them once they, they think it's awful and then they leave and there's other people that will take constant criticism and then they'll get better and better.
[00:40:21] They keep rising. And it's not necessarily criticism it's input and ability to do things right and grow. And so law firms want to hire people that are able to grow, where they're at. So that's important. So you shouldn't be very careful when you look for a job, you shouldn't look for a job because you got one bad review or you shouldn't look for a job because you've had a few personality run edge should look for a job only when the, you can do much better in terms of the quality of, from when you can make a career move, that's going to help you.
[00:40:47] But you just need to be very careful with this sort of stuff, because typically, if you move firms every, a sharp, every sh short periods of time, you'll probably do it again. And and future employers will recognize that. And they'll think that, they'll know either that you [00:41:00] can't commit or they'll know they'll believe that, you're having problems.
[00:41:04] And that's not good. There's also a lot of preference for people who have a confidence in the work they're doing, versus those who don't. So you have to think about it, what would you want from your attorney? Would you want an attorney that was wishy washy and didn't have confidence that couldn't inspire you or do you want the opposite?
[00:41:20]That said, oh, I don't know if we can do this and her one that was very confident. Law firms and the clients of law firms really want those who have a lot of confidence. And in a lot of that confidence means that, when you're given an assignment, you do the work without question and and that you're able to not afraid and you just get whatever you're given done.
[00:41:38] You don't make excuses, you don't find reasons not to do it. You don't give it to someone else, you just get it done. There's a great article on my personal blog, it's called a message to Garcia and it's actually it's an article that I wrote, but a quote, it takes in the actual message to Garcia and re republishes it.
[00:41:56]And it's really interesting. It's basically that you, if you give this one [00:42:00] person a message or a task to do it doesn't matter what it is. He'll swim 10 miles and fight. Five people and steal and do whatever, but the message will get done, but the message will get delivered to Garcia.
[00:42:13] And so it's about a warm message and it was given to all the soldiers in world war two, I believe, and us soldiers or something. And the idea was that, most people are asked to do things and they come up with all manner of excuses for not doing it right or not doing it. But but very few people we'll actually do whatever it takes, which is the, the idea of delivering this message to Garcia, where you had to, I don't know, hike through all these jungles and swim, 10 miles and do all these different things and fight and, but you knew if you gave this job to one person, it would always get done.
[00:42:43] So this is a very powerful article to read. And and the idea is you just get whatever you're done whatever still. And so many attorneys, in the young and old always express reservations they'll that many times they'll think work's beneath them. They they will do you know not understand it and not ask [00:43:00] for guidance, but the people that do the best will typically always show up, then a warrior always shows up ready to fight and win and doing more than this asked to view it's about being committed to whatever you're asking to do and doing a good job.
[00:43:13]My when I grew up in Detroit and and and the auto industry at that time was the Japanese to come in and rebuilding much better cars and the cars would, not break down, they would get better gas mileage. They would. Okay. They would just work 10 times better than American cars.
[00:43:29] And and so my dad would give me chores to do, and it might be, shovel the walk, but he would always say, you always want to do more than you're asked to. So I would show with a walk and then I might also clean the audience and the gutters. And then if there was a small little path on the side that no one could normally see, maybe do that too.
[00:43:46] So you always want to do more than is asked of you and do a better job and is asked to view and and always over-deliver whatever you're doing. And that, that shows a lot of confidence and it's something that a lot of people don't do. He would always say, you can do it, do more than, [00:44:00] like the Japanese to always do more than you're asked.
[00:44:02] And so the Japanese of course back then were building much better cars. And they were doing that because they were putting in more engineering time, they were doing things that, that you know, that the average car, American car back then wasn't doing so I don't attorneys that don't reach their full potential.
[00:44:19] Typically won't show up and a big misconception among attorneys and something that a lot of them never learned is. It's never enough just to do the work or do the work you're given. You need to show up with a lot of enthusiasm. You need to do more than your peers. You need to be mentally and physically showing up and and you need to be really on top of that.
[00:44:37] And if you're working, if you want to work in the best and largest firms are for the best and largest clients, you need to show up. And yeah, it really is the key to success at all levels of the profession. And and something you need to think about. And it's a key really is to find an environment where you can show up.
[00:44:51] So it doesn't have to be in a law firm, but, you need to be showing up for whatever path you take in the legal profession. And then you want to be in something where you're [00:45:00] happy doing it and are consistently able to show up. So I will take a quick break, how jazzy went a couple of minutes longer than I wanted to.
[00:45:07] And then I went back and one or two minutes, and then I'll answer any questions you guys have about your careers or anything. Thanks.
[00:45:25]All right, let's go to questions. Yeah. So as many questions as you guys have would be great. This is by the way I say this every week, this is my favorite part of the week is answering questions.
[00:45:37]professional. Okay. So let me see here. The first question is the second thing.
[00:45:45]Make sure I'm sharing the right screen here.
[00:45:48]Okay. So let me get the first question here is let me see here. I worked at the same. This is actually an interesting question. Oh, that's not a good question. That's a good question. Yeah,
[00:45:57]we're under contract for the same company, a [00:46:00] closely held family business for 26 years. 19 of those attorney, I went to law school. I worked in 52 years old. What are the odds that it can be of interest to some law firms like can check some boxes on that others? So the thing about law firms is law firms are typically very specialized.
[00:46:16] Most people inside of a law firm will different sort of things. So they'll be in a practice group and the practice group like litigation might have, there might be 50, there's probably 15 to 20 different types of litigators, same thing with corporate and IP. So most law firms are fairly specialized.
[00:46:33] So I don't know what kind of work you've done inside this business. But as a as someone who's 52 years old, that's definitely not too old to get a job in a law firm. But the the odds are, what type of law firm would that be? So my advice would be, you could probably get a job as a generalist in a law firm, which would mean you would be doing our different things.
[00:46:54] And that's typically going to be a smaller law firm because typically the [00:47:00] larger law firms are more specialized. You could do that. Or the other, I think you can do too, is this is an idea that you might think about. If there's some, I've seen lots of attorneys. Transition into starting their own practices that are that literally have never worked in a law firm and I've worked in house and so forth like you, so you can start yeah.
[00:47:17]Your own practice and be very successful doing it. There's I can't tell you how many attorneys I've seen have very like serious, like very good success starting their own businesses and and as attorneys and so that's something that you could definitely potentially do.
[00:47:34] And I do recommend potentially thinking about maybe starting your own practice at some point, because that's really a good way to, you can choose typically what you're interested in and and that way as well, also if you do want to work in a law firm the reason you'd want to work in a smaller law firm is just because smaller law firms different types of work the attorneys will often not be specialized.
[00:47:57] And so that would offer you an option there. [00:48:00] Okay, let's see here. Great questions here. And if you have a followup question to that you certainly should ask it, but the other question, other point with this question too, is, and, maybe you did a specific type of work for that company.
[00:48:12] So as a specific type of work may give you there may be an option of working in a law firm. And I don't know what that is, but sometimes companies are very young attorney. If I make a minor mistake with a memo, which I know shouldn't be avoided and it is something I already sent you apartment, should I follow up a meeting?
[00:48:28] Ask him, should I buy some of the air with the correction? You can send an email sometimes many times, I don't know what type of memo it is. Some, it could be a memo that deals with a the legal conclusion is wrong. That, that's probably a big thing.
[00:48:43] How about if it's just a type or something, typically the partner will just mark it and so I, th the big thing is, so it's is young attorneys, since you just, you want to check and recheck your work and our issues spots where you can just this is an example here, [00:49:00] you can see I'm using this Grammarly thing here.
[00:49:02] Let's see here. So them of, you can always No, I can see here, I get that. So it's just, sometimes making sure that you proofread things very carefully is important. And then and then not rushing through assignments such as, everybody is excited when they get assignments and and they want to show people right away.
[00:49:19] And especially young attorneys to just not rushing is always an important thing to do because if you rush, then that's going to many times will end up hurting you and you'll make mistakes and then you're working on to be trusted. And it's hard to not do that many times. You're not, I certainly was in a hurry to show people my work.
[00:49:38]Okay. My grades dropped between two L three L I've been very disappointed about this. And so we'll looking at three L jobs. How should I move forward? Should I just forget about it? Keep trying to perform my farming's will this hinder my job shirt, sir? Seriously, I am at a top 10 law school. The good news is that the legal market right now is very good.
[00:49:55] So I don't think it should be good at the beginning of the year to, and So I don't think it's [00:50:00] going to hurt you too much. So one of the pieces of advice that I can give people that I think is a fairly important piece of advice is, it's about the legal markets that you choose.
[00:50:11] So the legal market you choose will determine the success. Gotcha. It's still a lot of times it's, so it's so certain markets are easier to get jobs in than others. Typically you're your hardest are going to be like coats, like New York if you want to work in big firms, Boston, so forth they're just they're very grade Concho and so forth.
[00:50:32] And then and then honestly some easier markets are like Northern California because especially if you're corporate can be a little bit easier because there's more economic activity there. And then and then many times your small league, smaller legal markets not largest are often the easiest.
[00:50:49] And you can even and even working in branch offices of major law firms, Yeah. And sometimes even New York is very easy when the market's really good. But the [00:51:00] idea is that the grades aren't going to penalize you too much. If you're at a top 10 law school, then I don't really think you have too much to worry about.
[00:51:07] I, I would concentrate on learning about a lot of the things that I teach on these webinars and reading articles, because just understanding how to interview and do what you do when you get in and then understanding how to get jobs is important. The big thing is you're gonna hurt yourself if you don't apply to a lot of positions and all that in a lot of firms.
[00:51:26] So you need to find where the demand is. And typically, the, one of the things you can do is I don't know where you grew up, but if you're, let's say aesthetically you're at I don't know what a top 10 law school as these days, but both. So say you're at like at Michigan and you grew up in.
[00:51:41] Cleveland then obviously the smartest market for you to apply to a big Cleveland, or if you're in Michigan and you grow up in I dunno San Antonio then, San Antonio is going to be the most important market for you to apply to. So all of these markets are are, you need to be you need to think about, where are you [00:52:00] and and the reason you want to ask that is because law firms want to hire people that are applying to those markets, there's the best and there's major law firms in San Antonio, the same thing, example.
[00:52:11]But I don't think your grades are gonna matter that much. I don't think it sounds like, I don't know how much they drop, but law firms aren't that there's fewer graduates of top 10 law schools than there are people that, if you have the right personnel, they can hire.
[00:52:24] I don't know why that happened. I might ask yourself why that happened. But I would Yeah. I don't know why that happened, but I would think about maybe the reasons that happened. Did you take harder classes? Did you push yourself and take classes maybe that you knew would be harder? I don't know, but whatever those reasons are, you shouldn't think about them today.
[00:52:42] You mentioned that going solo is often looked down upon. Yes. The solo practice, finding malpractice, churns, marketing, et cetera, is starting up a solo practice, worth it for someone who's nine months unemployed or continue to search to job search and better use of time. It seems to getting together a couple of clients to bring a firm we've [00:53:00] beneficial interviews, but it might not be worth the effort that could be better spent searching for jobs.
[00:53:04] Approaching a year of unemployment, feels like a bad milestone despite passing the bar and reading about subject matter in the interim. Yeah. That's a good question. So I will tell you that I know of lots of extremely successful attorneys that started with their own practice out of law school.
[00:53:19] I don't know how it happened, how they became so successful because I don't know if that I would have been successful. Had I started my own law firm. As a matter of fact, I don't think I would have been. But it just kinda depends. But you can start it in all sorts of practice areas. I've seen people be very successful, starting their own practices and trust, trusts, and estates.
[00:53:35] I've seen them do it in immigration. I've seen all sorts of things, the big problem when people are not getting jobs, I'm if you're worried about marketing your law firm, I would think it would be easier to market yourself to, to an employer than it would be to market yourself to the legal market, because as someone that can provide legal skills.
[00:53:56] So really, I, you need to, there's a lot of webinars and things that I've [00:54:00] done, especially the early ones. If you go and you look at all the webinars, I've done about how to get a job and what to do. And th the big thing is the big mistake that people make is under marketing themselves.
[00:54:09]Regardless of what part of the country you're in, where, there's usually, if you're in a decent sized market there's a lot of firms and and you need to be. Really looking at a lot of places now, solo patent practice, by the way that that could be a good practice here if you'd have been in.
[00:54:24] But I also feel that having someone to learn from awhile would be a good idea. I do think you could probably get a job in the patent trademark office. I think you could I think you could get a job doing contract work for other patent attorneys, but you really want to put yourself in an area where you're learning and I don't know, what your practice area is.
[00:54:44] So you may be bio. If you're bio, then you know, your big markets are buyer are going to be Boston. And the Southern Southern California meeting in like San Diego and orange county and in different parts of the country or are good for bio other parts, or electrical engineering and computer science are good all over, but [00:55:00] you need someone to give you experience and train you because otherwise, you will make you won't be as good as you could otherwise be.
[00:55:06]And reading about something is not equivalent to doing it. You need to get input from other people to be good at it. So I would I would really if I were, if it was me, I would try. To do whatever you can to get a job. Having the patent bar is a big deal. So not a lot of people have that and not a lot of people can take it.
[00:55:24] So you just need to look at more places. You also can talk to solos and other people and get jobs. But you need to overmarket yourself. So th there's tons and tons of patent jobs out there, and there's not enough patent attorneys to do them. So I feel like you're not marketing yourself enough.
[00:55:40]And that's the big problem by the way that a lot of people make is they don't they don't market themselves effectively. They they don't apply to enough places. They don't do enough stuff. And one of the things that I want and I'm actually gonna bring this up right now, because I want everyone here to understand what this number means.
[00:55:57] At BCG staff [00:56:00] of a hundred plus people research jobs programs, men to database
[00:56:06]keeping track of every place that's ever had a job.
[00:56:09]I'm putting this in big letters, because I wanna want you to understand that has ever had a job. Have I dunno the number is, but it's something like, 50 plus servers law firm websites.
[00:56:20] We have another company called Lacoste, which is a job site for over profession. But 95%. So we're a placement firms. So the way it works is when when we have openings, we send candidates to openings and then we have recruiters. We have lots of recruiters, a lot of behind the scenes recruiter.
[00:56:42] So we may show only show I don't know, 10 or website, but even there's more 40 of them. So the, but the point is we have all these people out of this 95% number and I want to make sure I want to if you understand what I'm