21.12.22 One Simple Rule
[00:00:00] Make people feel badly that may not support the firm and what they're trying to do with their clients. You're going to have problems. And it's just in so many careers and IC I, careers and all the time. For these reasons and and they're very serious.
And that happens very rarely. Is it better? The majority, I would say more than 50 to 60% of the people that are having problems inside of law firms. It's because of not necessarily their work qualities, because they're on the side of negativity and the firms know it and they just push them out.
So many times the people that succeed inside the law firms are the ones that are actually supporting the firm. And many times they have lesser pedigrees. But to people that understand this rule, many times they're out of then they may, come out of different types of environments, where they respect their employer.
There are people that are above them and they just act in a different way. And you need to be that way. I've always noticed in court that, judges love to be called your honor and give them respect and deference [00:01:00] and to be asked for permission to speak and so forth. And and then if you don't do that, They pound you down.
And and it's, I see that as a litigator that spends a lot of time or dudes come a lot of time in court that that's just how it works. And it's like that with anybody that your that's your superior, they want to feel respected. And I know of attorneys who follow this rule and have had extraordinary courage.
Most of the most successful partners inside of law firms, by the way, are team players. They're, they may be very good, but when it comes down to it they're actually they're willing to follow the law firms recommendation for compensation for their, they don't make trouble.
They support the team and the ones who do not support the team are and are negative often have problems. It's the S the survivors don't. There's nothing wrong of course, for sticking up for yourself, but there's a psychology that is as mainly supportive, and there's one that's mainly negative.
And the one that's mainly negative are the people that leave firms a lot [00:02:00] and jump between firms. Every time things don't look the way they should to them. And it's just and and law firms can tell if they can tell when they interview the best law firms are able to. Screen those types of people out and keep the people close to them better to make a cohesive well-run organization.
I know one attorney that's been the right-hand man of a partner with. I don't know. It's probably more than 30 million now. I think it's 30 million in business, his entire career, he's never had to bring your clients or anything, but he's always been the right-hand man of a certain attorney.
Never say anything negative about that partner, just or anyone for that matter. He just put his head down and just varying. And that's how you survive in big firms. And someone, always being a follower, making a very good living so you can do very well being a follower. And it's very smart by the way of being a follower of any time.
So it's a good thing to do. When you respect people above you and you're not making trouble and you're trying to follow the rules, you're gonna do well. And I give this advice not to tell you not to be a go getter and stuff, because being, [00:03:00] getting along and being in helping your organization be cohesive and everybody getting along is really what the best organizations want.
They want all that. They don't want drama, they don't want unhappy people. They don't want they, they don't want those things. And so if you're a partner with 30 million in business, think about the kind of person you would want around you. And just think about that. And is that the sort of person you would want, or would you want something different or would you want someone to come against you or someone who was always.
Supporting you or would you want people that were saying negative things about you behind your back and gossiping and and you can tell when people are saying negative things about how they, they be, they shut up when you come near them about how their body language, all that stuff becomes very obvious.
And also, a lot of law firms, I'm not going to name tons of them, but a lot of them do, they'll monitor your emails and different things and they'll get a sense of how you you feel about them. And I know one law firm, it was very interesting, a big law firm that [00:04:00] someone posted something negative on some online, site, I don't know, some site where people talk about employers and someone posted something negative about that firm.
And and in response that law firm basically had screen recording software and all of their computers and just went back and reviewed it and they found out they turned into did it and fired them. And just for saying something negative. So it's just, it really depends, you you need to think, if you were a leader would you want someone around you that wasn't happy negative?
Or would you want someone positive? I In the military, you've probably noticed when, if someone in the military speeds. Against their superiors publicly they're typically lose their job, you have to think, would you want someone negative working for you or someone positive?
And so you need to be the kind of person that's positive you can certainly bring your concerns to people. But the thing to understand with a lot of organizations is especially in law firms that have been around for decades is people have always had the same concerns. It's how do you get around it.
Most attorneys I speak with don't understand this rule. [00:05:00] It's especially true many times if people that have gone to great law schools and gotten good jobs and they're young and have good academic histories, they, they will go to a law firm and they'll expect to be treated in a certain way because of their qualifications that are pedigree.
Many times they'll go to another attorney from a big firm will go to a smaller firm and expect to be treated a certain way because of their pedigree. And that's just not how the world works. People and then they'll become negative and bringing negativity in the workplace is just not.
A good idea and really in any form or fashion, you need to avoid it because as a professional, your job should be self preservation and keeping keeping your job and being liked. And having people say good, nice things about you and never bringing up negative things. And I've hired a lot of attorneys in the past and that to work for me personally.
And some of them that were so positive when they worked for me really stick out. They they they really stick out and I remember them and I was actually there's a couple of them [00:06:00] that I I even a week ago I brought one of them, our letter basically telling her how much I appreciated, how positive she was and how professionally she carried herself.
And then there were other people that I thought about that, that weren't, there was one woman that it was just very I'm not going to say if she was right-wing or left-wing, cause I don't need to bring my politics, this, but very on one side of the political spectrum and anyone that was on her side very much against them and and so very much angry at work all the time because she'd, didn't perceive that different things.
So it's just you have to be careful with all this. You have to be careful with understanding the importance of being positive with your employers and the people around you. You have to understand that law firms need to hire people that want to be on the exact same team as you.
And and it's just, they want to be on the same team that aren't constantly fighting them. And and then and then, partners, associates and others, a lot of them are constantly, just, all the time moving from some of every couple of years, because they'll go someplace and find some negativity or [00:07:00] negative things about that place too.
And then they'll decide to move again. So it's just not a good thing. And and one of the reasons when law firms are constantly hiring lateral attorneys, one of the types of attorneys that they actually appreciate the most are attorneys that are coming from smaller firms many times.
And then F like a major firm will often, they like people from comparable firms, but they also like people many times that are coming from firms that aren't quite as good and that the person comes in and they really appreciate it. The ability to work in this new type of firm. And and they liked that.
And so you have to take care of yourself, why are law firms so enthusiastic about these types of people? And then one of the reasons they are so enthusiastic is because they want people that like them, they want to feel special and they, that they have an opportunity and that they're a good place to work, and they want people that are positive and they want to bring a new blog.
That's pushing away the negative blood. And and I know a lot of partners, that move every couple years and no one partner that has like a $10 million book of business. Every few years, he moves he joins a [00:08:00] new law firm. They may come an initial offer where they compensate them a certain amount.
And then, within a few years with, the next year he fights with management and believes you should be making more money. He'll say that support's not good enough. Meaning the associates he's getting into the secretaries at the law firms, not doing enough for him. He'll write letters to management and talk to people.
He'll talk to his associates. He brought over one of the other firm and say how unhappy he is. And then and then everybody then he tells us associates, we're moving to this new, another firm and they do this every couple of years. And and there's not a lot of people like that partners like that, but there's, but they're definitely out there.
And and this particular guy I'm thinking of move at least four times over the past decade, he obviously has a reputation, what's going to happen when he moves and a major firms, I they understand this behavior. And so they avoid, the ones that are smart will avoid him.
And because they value a a better workplace than one that's toxic. And and, someone that there, there are people that go into organizations and will make everything toxic. I They'll [00:09:00] and would their anger and their complaints. And and without that everything's not toxic.
I've, I'm sure you've been in this situation with friends or significant others where or family members where, you may be hanging out with a couple of family members and everything is great and happy, and everyone's very relaxed and feeling very close. And then there's always another family member or two family members that when they come.
The whole dynamic just changes. And because they there's things they don't like about their family and everybody's suddenly upset or the same thing. And you may have been in one relationship with a significant other and that everything was very happy and the person was happy with you all the time and things are very good.
And maybe you're in a relationship right now like that now, hopefully. And and then another relationship who was the opposite. These are things just the way human dynamics work, but you people want to be with others that make them feel good about themselves. And you need to understand that it's very important because if you're working with people that don't understand you or [00:10:00] you feel are negative, then then then that's a problem.
There's a lot of bias in the legal profession against people that leave too much people that are unemployed. Many times senior attorneys attorneys with lots of moves attorneys that have gone in house attorneys that have been laid off or fired from previous jobs.
And one of the reasons for that is many times the senior attorney. Be negative. They won't have found a place that has, taken them in. And and so they'd been kicked out of places. And so the presumption is that sometimes that they're just going to be negative or they're going to be set in their ways and not willing to follow directions.
People that move a lot, there's a bias that person is going to be someone that's going to move again. And and so people don't like that. And so you don't, the law firms want to avoid them. If an attorney goes in house, they're basically saying that they attorney is unlikely to stay, that they don't like the law firm environment, that something else appealed to them.
If an attorney has been laid off or fired law firms, we'll lay people off, of course, but they always, when they do layoffs or, they [00:11:00] try to keep the people that worked the hardest and are the most positive around, because think about yourself. Are there, if you have to if you have three people working at your house, one of them takes care of your kids and the other cleans and the other, I dunno.
Just as an example and you're having some financial trouble, you may try to keep, you're going to, and you have to choose which one you're going to let go. You're probably going to keep the hardest working one that gets along with you to the best. And that's how law firms, operate too. So they know that if you're part of this layoff list, that he may not be one of those people. And and that's part of the problem and they, and that's probably because you may be a little negative, they just don't know, but law firms want to keep negative people out. People last that are positive and it's bad for business when when they have negativity around and that makes the law firm an unpleasant place to work in govern, it also hurts the quality of the service the clients receive because the clients are dealing with people that aren't necessarily happy.
And so they get a bad vibe and and then the quality of the work is in [00:12:00] is good because people aren't necessarily communicating well and getting along and so forth. And and some maybe people are upset and angry when they should be concentrating on helping the client.
And so all of these things are they're not I don't know what to say that they're huge issues or something you need to think that much about. But the problem is that if you don't think about this, then it's going to hurt you and it's going to hurt you in the long run.
And my biggest point for this type of thinking is that when. Go into any employment situation. There are going to be places that are bad for you. They're going to be places that don't work that are going to harm you, but you and for whatever reason the culture, the, that it's not right for you, there's problems and that's perfectly normal.
And there's nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is when you allow that to when you when that keeps repeating itself or when you started voicing all your concerns, because typically one person is not going to change a whole organization. And and [00:13:00] so if you're unhappy, you just need to find another place to work but try not to voice your concerns too much and try to figure out ways to get along.
And this is a big point, and I hope you understand what I'm about to say, because this is huge. The entire economic model, the mark, and a modern American law firm revolves around keeping negative attorneys out while keeping positive attorneys in here support the management. That's just how it works. This is what's going on behind the scenes.
This is what, whatever it takes to support the firm is what you need to do. This is how you succeed in a law firm. And no one's going to tell you that this negativity is going to kill you, but it will. And and this is what law firms are doing. This is. This is how everything is working.
They want to keep in the people that support them. That's it? You would, too, if you were locked from, think about yourself, you want to have the people there that are good and you want to keep the people out that are bad in law firms always know who the troublemakers are. They know who's talking negatively.[00:14:00]
If you say something negative about the firm to one person they will probably tell others at some point that that, you know what you said, and that'll get back and it will hurt you. You just have to be very careful and and you have to be careful about the people you associated with. They will put two and two together and assume you're the enemy as well.
I had something interesting happened to me when I was in high school. I had a friend that did something very stupid. It was walking home from school or no, he was driving in a car with some other kids and and he had the other kid, one other kid and he had the other kids stopped the car and roll down the window.
And and this is crazy. I don't, I'm not proud of that. I was friends with this person and asked a kid if told them their mom was sick. Do they want some candy and go to the hospital or something, all that kind of stuff. And he was joking. He thought it would be funny. Or no, I think he might've just asked him if he wanted some candy or something.
And he thought that was funny. He was trying to impress another kid and he was maybe 17 or 18 years old. And he did this on the [00:15:00] campus at my high school. And and then what happened was they the, the police were called and then they came out to the sports field and he was arrested and and then he ended up basically being kicked out of school for what he did.
And because it was a child of a faculty member and the child got home. And the th the kids, I don't know what he did. It was candy or says your kid, mom is in the hospital, something like that, something very stupid. And anyway, so the point is that, this a year went by and I was applying to colleges and I had a one of my, I had to get a recommendation from a math teacher and my math teacher apparently.
Just a horrible recommendation and it was so bad that it didn't match the grades I'd gotten in the class or anything. And and so one of the colleges actually called the school and I was like, why did you get such a bad recommendation? And and then the teacher had been apparently friends with the other teacher and was, mad at me just by association which I never knew about, cause I never knew he was so upset.
So the point is that, when you're [00:16:00] associating with bad people and I still got into the college, it was funny. I think it was like university of Michigan or something was like, this doesn't make any sense. But the point is that the, when you associate with bad people and people that are creating trouble in your firm that, that will actually harm you and okay, come back to you and haunting you.
And so you just need to be very careful about that. And that actually almost hurt me very much when I was applying to schools because I had been friends with someone they got kicked out of school for doing something very bad. And and so it was guilt by association. So you know, today law firms do all sorts of things.
I told you earlier that they will record your screens many times. So they will they can make videos of what you're doing on your screen. I've I've seen attorneys give, get bad reviews for spending too much time on, different websites. The law firms they in my day they used to record phone calls.
These are just things that they do. Sometimes they have to do this stuff because of, securities laws and things, but, and most law firms, by the way, don't do these things. Most large law firms don't even do these things, but a lot of them do. So you just have to be [00:17:00] aware that anything you say can come back to you, anything you say to other people can come back to you, anything you write, come back to you, anything you post online can come back to you and you just need to be very careful and people will take what you write.
And I've had this happen to me, of course, and they will twist it and the wrong way. And so the thing is that that you, that, the, one of the most important possible things that you need to understand is that attorneys with their top law school degrees and their, all these billable hours and so forth and resumes often don't understand that, law firms, you can work all the hours you want.
You can have the best grades in law school. When it comes right down to it, they're going to get rid of negative people. It doesn't matter. Even the quality of work you do. Sometimes if you're negative and the firm thinks you're against them, they're going to get rid of you. And and they're not going to give you work and they're going to give you bad reviews.
And you may think that you're talking to someone off the record. You may think that you're talking to someone you can trust and sharing your concerns, but it will come back. It will often come back to you and people will be mad at you for [00:18:00] things that you don't even understand. I've had people I can remember one guy that I practiced law with.
He was even just an associate of mine. And he was in mind first one and and and I had, and, he had this problem where he would, want to borrow money all the time. And it was upsetting to me. And and I told another one of my friends. I couldn't believe how much this guy wanted about money all the time.
I had a, he was made the same amount of money I did. It was really annoying. And and she went and told him that I might come and, and then he was suddenly against me. And and he was, so it's just, you have to be careful about the things you say to people in a lot of your relationships, you don't need to be paranoid, but you need to be careful.
And you need to understand that the most important thing is not where you went to law school. It's not how well, how hard you work. It's really making sure that the law firm perceives and the people around you perceive that you're supporting them and you're positive. And and just watch what's happening around you and the people that are succeed that succeed in most law firms are very good with that.
They're very political and they know, [00:19:00] when to act or not. And and if a law firm gets the hint and believes that you're against it and believes it can't change you, sometimes they will try to change you. They should, if it's a healthy organization but many times it's not, or maybe times they just won't.
The law firm will stop favoring you, and it will start wanting to bring in people that are more positive. And the people that stay in power and are given you know the most power and Kimberly can make the most money inside of law firms and have the most longevity are people that minimize their enemies and.
And are very careful about making sure that they're supporting the firm and the people around them. This is what it takes to succeed in most law firms. And they don't want to have dissent among people below them and they want to keep everyone, around them happy. And and if you're not if you're part of a tribe that is against the firm, then you may be in trouble and there's definitely tribes.
And you have to understand, is it makes sense for you to participate in various tribes. And and where does it go? I had, I've told this story before, but I had a funny experience in college. [00:20:00] I was in a like this group this club and and it and and I wanted to be president of the club.
And and so when it came time to vote, like all these other people were running against me. And when I was in college, I was very active students. I studied a lot and I wasn't as involved in a lot of the social activities and stuff, but I won and someone came up to me or a couple of people did and said that you're the reason you won is because everybody else had pissed someone off and and all these different groups.
And so no one could have. And you're the only person that did it now. So that's an example it's like you can advance by not being part of the tribe, any tribe sometimes. I You can be in and out and very quickly. And it's not always the best idea to try to be part of one group, even if you believe it's the in-group because that group can be out very quickly.
So if you choose sides, if you're, in anything, it can have repercussions, both good and bad, but you just don't know. When you're I just wanted to when you're expelled by a firm, what the firm will do is if the firm thinks you're against them or there's people in the firm that don't [00:21:00] like you or you're you've got a bad reputation, you will suddenly stop being given work or not being given good work.
Many times I remember that one attorney got a reputation for some sort of complaint. It's some sort of complainant from my dad and suddenly they were just started having him, Sue clients for collections and which isn't the meaning. He wasn't representing the firm clients you may not be given anything, but, busy work, meaning not important work that the law firm wants or a law firm or work beneath your skill set.
And it work, that's not fun to do stupid research assignments that aren't even billable. The. You may get reviews that are unbelievably harsh and don't have any basis in reality. And and really just, they're doing that to try to push you out. Sometimes they do it to help you improve.
So I'm not saying that it's not normal to give very harsh reviews to junior associates and sometimes even summer associates at the beginning of the summer, but harsh reviews are things like, no one likes you you don't you did, and things, that are [00:22:00] just overly harsh.
And so you need to listen to what's being said in the review. And and get a sense of, if you can improve many times you're given too much work. If the law firm thinks negative view they may give you more work than you can handle because they and it's not good work.
And and they may do that as a punitive measure. It's many times there's just a lot of work in a firm, or you may be ignored, meaning people don't say hello to you in the halls. People don't talk to you when they see you in different. Spaces and the kitchen and so forth.
They they look away, they look down, they don't acknowledge you. And you can't be paranoid about this stuff because it happens everywhere, but you have to if it starts happening a lot, you have to realize that people don't like you and need to get on the end. Sometimes you may ask for help with assignments and people will not be helpful to you, so they will ignore you.
If you ask for advice, they will ignore you. They just will not be there for you. Many times you will get laid off which obviously is a way the law firm can very quickly take care of all this stuff. And and [00:23:00] then You can get fired which is, pretty straightforward or your you're just told that we'd like you to just try to start looking for a position which is the most gentle way they fire people or they may say, it doesn't look like you're going to be able to make partner here.
There's just not enough room. There's not, so it would be smart if you would, start thinking about maybe doing something in the future, but sometimes we'll say, but we'd be happy to keep you around, which is actually a good, then you can work as an associate or of counsel for indefinitely.
Or they may just say, you have we'd like you to be out of here within two months or three months. And these are all things that they do now. There are certain firms by the way that you should, if that does happen to you late in your career, that doesn't mean they don't like you.
It just means they don't have any opportunities and they want to bring new people in. But law firms always want fresh bod. They want people that are positive and believe that there's opportunity and so forth. So you just need to be aware that's one of the reasons that a lot of times senior people are pushed out.
If it's, they just, there's a lack of enthusiasm and things that they can, that things will improve. [00:24:00] In most cases I would say. Especially for young attorneys like that, a lot of times law firms will make a big deal out of your performance. And a lot of cases it's really not, performance-related when there's people that they want to keep around they will keep them around and they will figure out a work for them to do that is hopefully profitable.
And and they will keep them around. I've seen people inside of law firms that the law firms, like for whatever reason and doing some of the stupidest work, you can imagine and being very happy and cuddled and law firms will do that. If they like you, sometimes there's people from, just certain people, they don't want to let go.
And they keep them around and I can't and then even when the person hasn't built any hours I know one woman in one law firm and and that, makes over a million dollars a year and doesn't feel more than a couple hundred hours a year. Then it was just very well thought of, it's just, you have to be but in, in inside of law firms are solid.
So sorts of cases like that, if people, the law firm likes because they have a certain education pedigree or certain, clerkship other types [00:25:00] of things. Make the law firm have a lot of variety in terms of its type of attorneys. And so they'll keep them around and I've seen attorneys make incredible mistakes that you know, and can they keep their jobs and get promoted just from being on the right side.
If a manager, if the management likes you, then there's literally hardly any mistakes that you can make. And there are mistakes that are going to get you fired, but if people really like you, they're going to make sure that they keep you around. And here's these are just some examples of some things that I've seen happen inside of law firms that law firms laughed off when they liked someone.
I knew a an attorney that took some clients out golfing and he got drunk. This is early in the morning. And and he was coughing and drinking at 10 in the morning. He got so drunk that he took his clothes off and and and actually it doesn't know what happened.
He passed out. He, at some point he blacked out, he woke up in the early evening, like at five 30 behind a target passed out in the dumpster with $20 tape. So he could get home. And and the law firm thought that was hilarious and a few weeks later [00:26:00] he was promoted. So this kind of stuff happens.
And this was a very hardworking attorney, by the way. I think he'd sent records and stuff at his firm, but this was the kind of things that if a law firm likes you that that they will the let go. And I knew another guy who was a junior partner in a large trial team.
He was in a city, but I think it was in Detroit. And they got into, he got in th they were from LA and he got in a fight with a prostitute in his hotel room. And and in the middle of the night before trial and threw her out in the hallway without her clothes. And the police came and the attorney was charged with hitting her.
And and then you tire trial team is kicked out of the hotel and needed to find a hotel in the middle of the night during a trial. And and this particular partners still at the firm, I and I think that, people weren't exactly happy about getting kicked out of a hotel in the middle of the night, but he was fine.
Another attorney I know associate forgot to throw an important motion to major case and the case was dismissed and the client lost the case. The law firm spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting to get the case back on [00:27:00] track and eventually did. And the attorney was promoted to counsel a few months later.
This sort of stuff for the law firm like shoe they're going to go out of their way. And you can literally do no wrong and each of those cases, by the way, the person was very liked and connected to the right people and working very hard. If a law firm believes in you it's going to it's going to help you and little mistakes that people would get fired for if they don't like you are become much different at a major law firm or even most law firms, if they like you.
And I saw one person get fired from major law firm because he had and I've told this story before in these webinars, but he came to work on wearing a pair of jeans that had unbeknownst to him. A M a rep, not a big one, a very small rep in his crotch. And and it was crotch area and and all, you could see where his underpants and a female associate complained and he was fired from the partnership.
But he, they didn't like him. And they didn't believe he was on his side. So they were looking for a reason to get them out and something, as diminimous as that which I'm I don't know, I, I probably should [00:28:00] call it a minimum cause I don't want to get in trouble but I'm saying that, I don't know how harm this woman was by having seen a glimpse of his boxer shorts.
But something like that can cause problems. And so you have to be careful and if the law firm thinks it's on your side, it's going to go out of its way to make life to, to make things work for you. Whereas if it doesn't think you're on its side, it's going to make life very unpleasant for you and get rid of you.
And law firms crushed those who are not on their side. They th the entire hiring apparatus revolves around constantly pushing people out. That don't want to work hard to have a bad attitude and so forth and bringing in people that are positive and, giving people the impression that they'd be better off in house or whatever.
And that's just how it works inside of law firms. And you should understand that I have the, in, in my career place, countless attorneys that you know, have the ability to follow this rule and are able to basically get along with people and and, but they may not have the right pedigrees.
They don't necessarily have the schools or the everything, but they have the [00:29:00] drive in there they're team players and they're, they get along with other people. And and those are the people I like working with the best, and those kinds of people do the best. And this is the kind of person, that you should aspire to be.
I hope, if you listen to what I'm saying, this could change your career. Not only will make you happier, but it will make you do well. You need to understand this. There's very important social component of what it's like to work in the best firms and and when I see signs of people that have entitlement issues, I don't getting along with people that are, have all sorts of complaints.
I know that they're going to have problems and and it applies to partners, associate counsel and and most attorneys, by the way, don't understand all law firms want is people that are going to, th they want you to be able to do the work. You have to be able to do the work and be smart and so forth, but the big thing they want is they want you to to be able to be enthusiastic, to get along with other people and to take the firm very seriously and it's important.
They really value that. And that's the positivity that the lack of entitlement the, you know, the concern over the quality of work and [00:30:00] getting along with people is more important than anything. And I can think of, lot of the jobs that I've gotten have been just about being able to connect with the right people and show them that that I would, be on their side.
If you go in and you think it's all about the quality where you went to school, your ability to do the work, you're making the biggest mistake of your life, because that's not what firms care about. Firms do not care if you went to Harvard. Stanford for law school and you did really well.
And then you're coming from a big firm, they care about how do you make them feel? How will they, how will you make them feel when you're there? And are you, is it a smart, is it smart of them to hire you? And and will you get along with people when you get there? And that's a priority. When they ask people, if they like you that's really what they're looking for there.
When the law firm rejects you, by the way. And they say, oh, they don't have the experience and stuff. That's usually not that it's the fact that they think you're going to be a little bit difficult to manage. And and and one of the things that happens when law firms start failing is they start many times bringing in a lot of firms fail because of mergers and when are the mergers or too [00:31:00] much lateral hiring the partners.
And so when they do that one at a time, so bringing in a bunch of people that were problems in the firms that they were. And there were negative. And so those people will undermine the firm and that will create all sorts of problems and make it a much more pleasant place to work. So just, think about that in terms of your ability to to, to work in someplace that the law firms that are going out of business or having problems are typically having them because they've hired a lot of negative people and they're not getting rid of them.
And it's pretty easy to tell how when you look at resumes whether or not the attorney is following this rule, it's very important to, to understand. So the prestigious law firms can tell this and most law firms can tell if you're following the role when they review your resume and here's some of the ways they do it.
So one of the things that they do is they typically won't find hiring people some of these characteristics. The first one is they don't like it when you're gone and house, like I told Tony said earlier, if you've gone in house it's just, it's basically saying that there's stuff that you don't like [00:32:00] about the law firm environment and and whether it's hours, the business or something else.
And if they see that it's just a pretty good sign to them that you're probably not going to be a good fit. Another thing is that, that would, that type of attorney is there likely to. Doubt and negativity to their next position or they'll leave for another in-house position in the future.
The people that aren't committed to a practice environment are typically the people that aren't committed to a practice environment. They're not going to commit to the next one either. And so our law firm knows that. And and so major law firms typically will never hire attorneys who are coming from who've gone in house in the past because they know that they're unlikely to follow this rule.
And they also, don't like to hire people many times have spent their careers in government or done anything other than a clerkship, for example from perhaps several years in the us attorney's office, which can be helpful because now they know if you spend time in the government, they've generally shown that you just don't have the same drive.
I You're not going to, you're not competing in this [00:33:00] difficult of a political atmosphere. You're not you're not necessarily part of that the same sort of environment. If you're not part of the same sort of environment, then the law firm, is not going to like that either.
They want people that want to be in law firms and people that are. In the government for a long period of time, don't have to drive. I I remember when I was working for the government I always, it was a slow pace compared to what a law firm was and I wanted nothing more than being a law firm.
And the other thing is that the expectations of and I'm not saying this in a negative way against the government, but the expectations of most law firms are much different. They, the politics are different. You have to bring in business, the money just doesn't flow.
The the, the, you don't get the same respect from judges and so forth. It's just different. So if you spend some money, spend a lot of time in the government law firms many times are going to think that you're not going to be a good fit. And and most attorneys that are hired from the government that has spent several years there and it made that a primary career choice when they come back, or if they've left a law firm to go into government.
Now clerkship is a little bit different, but have you done? But [00:34:00] if they've done that they don't always do well. If you have a lot of experience, meaning you've got eight plus years of experience and especially if you're coming from smaller to mid-sized firms and you don't have any business that's also something that shows that you may be, not the best.
For the law firm to hire for the long haul because you're not you're not bringing you bringing in clients, you're not getting a lot of referrals and so forth. And and that is going to hurt you. And it just means that you're not going to make the cut so it's just kinda what it is and and when you have, when you're not making the cut means many times that you're not just viewed as enough of as a part of a management.
You're not the kind of person that law firm once around to be a partner. And you're not and you've been there a long time, but you're not making it. And so the law firm may be angry and feel like you're jaded and angry. When you come over there and and you may be more protective of your next job and more likely to Sue.
There's just all sorts of problems, many times with senior attorneys from a law firms perspective. And and so the law firm will be scared many times when hiring senior terms. No, not [00:35:00] always but and it's becoming less but they may be and and they believe that, many times when they hire senior attorneys that have a lot of experience or kind of afraid that person may be defensive, angry, and and someone that's not following that won't necessarily follow this rule.
And so they're rarely hired. It's just because they don't want that sour grapes. And then if you're trying to switch practice areas, that's a horrible sign. It's just I've certainly helped people switch, practice areas before, but it's very rare if you switched practice here is most attorneys that practice areas are just unhappy practicing law.
So it's not necessarily the practice area. It's just the practice of law in general, that makes someone happy. And so if you are trying to switch practice areas that's something that the law firm will avoid. It just means that you're, you're discontent and you're unlikely to be happy in your next practice area as well.
And and if you're unhappy in one firm it's probably going to carry over to the next one. And and then finally, if the firm really likes you the odds are pretty slim that they wouldn't let you just switch practice areas. [00:36:00] If you're hired in a big firm that has the practice here, we're trying to switch into, then that law firm would typically allow you to switch practice areas.
And if you're unsure about what you want to do there's a lack of commitment. And if you think you really want to do a practice area, but other law firms not letting you do it, that's a problem, as you can say they don't like it when you hold jobs for a short period of time or switch firms frequently.
People that frequently switched shops. If you have very good friends somewhere, you typically are going to want to stay. If the management really likes you, they're gonna do whatever they can to keep you around. And and the only explanation of that is that you're unhappy refer switching firms and there's things you don't like about your firm, or you're just not doing well in a succession of law firms.
One exception to that. When you move home, those are often the easiest placement. So if someone's working for example, in Chicago and they're from Milwaukee, and if they try to relocate home law firms actually like that because it makes it look like you're moving. Not because of attitude, problems were because of things that are very positive about you, but if you are moving because [00:37:00] for other reasons, and many times they don't like that.
Because they think that there may be problems where you're at and and people that leave a lot, I'm going to new firms a lot are generally the kind of people that look like. They're not following these rules and won't be good. Long-term hires for the firm firms also.
Don't like to hire any form of activists, so are present, put in the SIM because a lot of people put this stuff on their resume. Whether your activism is related to politics within reason some people like certain political stuff racial or religious activism, sexual activism meaning, in any type of activism where you're seemed very committed to that point of view.
And and I would say in a very serious way that's something that law firms will typically shy away from and they don't like that because they feel that that you will have an us against them mentality and and and you will find things wrong with the law firm that are part of society in most places.
There people that are activists often are not hired. [00:38:00] And I've seen, I've had instances in the past in the recent past where I've sent people out that were like president of this national activists association, and then another person that was, they went to the same law school and the same, we're working in even, very similar firms and the persons, the activist is almost never interviewed.
And the person that isn't, his almost always gets a lot of other interviews. And so anytime you put yourself on a side of something and you're very aggressive. Law firms, it scares them. It's good for colleges. Colleges and law schools love hiring people that have those sort of interests, but a law firm is primarily a service organization where your job is to take the side of the clients, regardless of what the clients, where the client's coming from and identify with them.
And so if, if you're someone that is a militant I don't know, let's call yourself a militant, sexist or something for men, then you have to work for women in a law firm that may be a problem. Or if you're a militant feminist and you have to represent men that are accused of things that may be a problem.
So you just have to [00:39:00] think about, where you're coming from. And activists, attorneys are often going to create issues. In the law firm, they have an us against them attitude and and there's nothing wrong with you. Having political beliefs are very strong religious beliefs, but the law firm, again, one doesn't want trouble.
They just want like a smooth functioning organization where no one's angry. And and so it's just their experience. So you have to tone all that down. Law firms do not like if you've sued a former employer if you have negative things to say about your employee employer if you post things on your S and your social media account that indicate you're not excited about practicing law it's just it's not something that law firms, I know I have seen people have horrible things happen to them inside of law firms where anybody in their right mind would be right suing. So I'm not saying that there's law firms don't do bad things. I'm not saying that but I am saying that people want to avoid people that they perceive are going to be trouble and and any type of sour grapes about something that happened in the past can be troubled.
[00:40:00] So law firms just want to avoid it. And and I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but I'm just saying that's how it works. I once saw a ninth year attorney that was moving with a group of attorneys to a major firm. And and she had written something on her Facebook account, I have a picture of her playing an instrument or something, and just saying, I'm just practicing law.
So I minored in my music laws, no fun or laws, not as much fun or something. And the law firm revoked her offer. It's just, it's crazy. You have to be very careful about this. And then when she didn't move the law firm revoked her offer and she ended up doing something else completely and credit practice the rest of her career at a very good firm.
And we're a lot of those people still are and it's been a long time actually. So they just, and, the prestigious firms also, don't like to show people a lot of independence one of the big things that people think that law firms might be impressed with as entrepreneurs are horrible hire for law firms.
If you, for a law firm hires an entrepreneur, that entrepreneur is almost always going to leave and start their own business. Entrepreneurial is like just a, it's almost like a genetic type [00:41:00] quality. Like you're always looking to start businesses and do different things. And and you can't be constrained by it from being attorneys, essentially academic.
It requires hard work commitment and not, it's not entrepreneurial. And it's more of it's more of a put your nose to the grindstone and study type job. Certainly getting clients it's an entrepreneurial activity. People that have started their own businesses in the past and are looking for recognition and things are not often the best hires because you have to be able to work with a group of people.
And if you're not narrow, you can quickly realize you can make a lot more money doing other things and leave the practice a lot. I remember when I was clerking one weekend I had an asphalt company and and one weekend I got a job doing some asphalt work in a parking lot and made more money in that weekend than I made.
I think that, for six, six to eight months of clerking, where I was going to work every day and dealing with all sorts of unpleasantness, but not unpleasantness, but actually I'd like clerking, but, just dealing with, having to report to work every day and so forth. So if entrepreneurs, that's just how they think and and and someone that's not [00:42:00] newer and understands that is going to undermine kind of the way the law firm works.
And and it's just not something to law firm wants entrepreneurs always leave. They always are thinking about businesses. They're always researching things and and they just are too independent and it's not something law firms should take an interest in. You shouldn't be, almost everyone that I've ever seen that was an entrepreneur.
And My college and high school and stuff that goes to work in a law firm almost always ends up starting their own law firm. And it's just, or some other business besides practicing law for himself. So don't like to hire people who are overly ambitious and want to be extremely rich and successful.
If someone's an entrepreneur they're probably not likely to have a lot of patience for the politics of the law firm, where the compensation ups and downs and people that want to be, very rich and successful are not always the best hire.
If you want to be rich and successful, it takes a long time inside of a law firm. And and you have to and law firms will take a lot of times much more than they give. So you just have to realize that it's very hard to be very rich and successful inside of a law firm.
And and then it never ends, most law, [00:43:00] most, very few attorneys retire. Most of them are constantly working very hard and it's very hard to be rich and successful, especially working for any law firm. You can definitely be successful, but it just kinda depends on the.
Prestigious law firms also, don't like to hire people with them and laid off. As I said earlier, it was just and I don't like this rule cause lots of people get laid off in the wrong reasons, especially in large and personal firms where the law firm may not know you. But the idea is that if you've had a negative experience in one firm and you've been laid off then you're probably going to bring that negative experience to the next firm and not be happy as well.
And I've honestly never seen when they lay someone off. It's usually permanent. It's almost always permanent. I don't know that I've ever seen someone laid off hired rehired by that firm. I've seen firms lay off, a hundred attorneys and then a couple of months later started hiring new attorneys.
Th the same type after the recession or the laughs are over, but I've rarely seen them. And I think it's just because the firm that did the laying off doesn't want people that are negative and defensive and [00:44:00] we're in, they're going to lose their job again. And and so I, I do believe that not all law firms, when they are laying people off, a lot of times they're using it to get rid of negative people.
And and then they try to keep up, try to keep people around that are following the rules. And then, another one is solo practitioners. People that are like working with groups are more likely to be positive than and be good at communicating with people. If someone believes they can do it on the.
They're not they, law firms want the sense of dependence on them and believe that's important. It's just, so that's in terms of solar practitioners they really want people that are better able to follow as opposed to do things independent.
That's not always the case. I I play solo practitioners all the time and just generally the case. And so what I found is in, in the business that I'm in which is placing attorneys most of most recruiters are often very interested in an attorney's overall qualifications.
The majority of attorneys that I fought that place are people that really following this rule and it comes through in their resume, it comes through in their interviews. They're just kind of [00:45:00] team players in the sort of people that you would is that, and I brought this up earlier, but when I work with people that are relocating to a city, thanks.
So if you're, again, if you're from Chicago, if you're working in Chicago and want to relocate, and you're from Las Vegas, that the law firms in Las Vegas are going to be much more open to talking to you if you're relocating home, because they're going to believe that you're not a problem and that you're going to settle when you get there.
And I believe if you're located or another firm in Chicago, that you may be doing that because you're having problems in one area. And that you're making. That's having conflicts and that's why you're leaving. They don't want conflicts. They they want people that get along with others and are committed and it's just how it works.
And then many, th there's a presumption that if you're leaving your firm and the market you're in that there may be some problems you're having with the management or you're being pushed out because you've got a bad attitude. And and it's often much more likely that a law firm will push someone out because they believe that you're a danger to morale than it is for performance reasons, most performance [00:46:00] issues.
There are serious performance issues and there are attorneys that legitimately can't do the work and it's, or have other problems that are preventing them, but it's more common to be pushed out for this reason for, because you're someone that damages morale than it is for performance reasons.
I wish I could tattoo that on your arm, because this is really more, much more important than performance. If you get along with people, they'll keep you along around if you have performance issues. Th the, let you coast a lot more or they'll try to fix it. Another one that I make too, that I brought this up earlier, as I make a lot of placements and people moving from less prestigious to more prestigious firms.
And if the law firm, if the candidate appears enthusiastic and they want to have access to more sophisticated manners, they want to have larger clients. Then this generally goes over very well. And law firms like that, they want to know, what is it that w the, the why do we appear special to this person?
And if they think that you're growing and enthusiastic like that, they liked that. And that's what they want. Because this level, this improvement and doing [00:47:00] better work and loving the practice of law is different than having this kind of sour, grapes and negative attitude. And law firms really want to see that so any type of way when I'm positioning people on move is something that works when our can proceed for, push people and show them that way.
It's very helpful for me to do that way. So in conclusion, this is I apologize is a little bit long this discussion, but, if a firm, if it candidates moving as a result of questioning the law firm, model management there's angry and frustrated and not being a team player.
Most law firms will see through all this and have a hard time getting hired and law firms look for this. Negativity and inability to fit in. And the fact that you could be a problem in your next firm and law firms are always hiring new attorneys because they hire, fresh attorneys out of law school and young attorneys because they really want people that they hope are going to be followers and not negative.
And because they need that positivity in, in, in their clients and in their atmosphere and in the kind of culture they maintain, this is part of the job as the law firm is to maintain the right culture, to [00:48:00] go work on the best and the entire organism of a law firm, by the way, it's meant to retain people that support it and expunge people that aren't on the same team.
This is what's going on behind the scenes. In every law firm. They're bringing in people and getting rid of others and law firms really want people who will commit and support management and and not necessarily the other way around. And unfortunately the careers and most attorneys inside of law firms they end.
And and it's not because the attorney can't do the work, but because they take on this attitude of us versus them. And and it's just not a good thing to do. You should not, you should avoid negativity. You should avoid, exposing yourself to bad ideas. Hey, I remember someone once told me that there's not a single successful associate out there that reads, and then they brought up like the name of some legal blog because it's that whole thinking process.
That comes up, when you're looking at negative information all the time, and that's not the kind of thing that law firms want. And when I talked to partners who aren't succeeding on counsel, that aren't succeeding [00:49:00] partners and and associates and stuff all the time what always comes up is they're not on the same team, they're angry.
And and if people pick up on it and if you're not in the same team, you're going to be in trouble. When I've talked to attorneys that are succeeding all they talk about is how they're on the same team and they're excited and they talk about their peers in a positive way. And this is the thought process you need.
I don't know how many different ways to say this. But it's very important and the best names in the legal profession. I love these firms like Munger, Tolles Laith, Milwaukee and Sullivan, Cromwell Gibson, Don Cravath are successful and they've endured largely because they're good at nurturing and maintaining a culture where everyone views himself in the same team.
And and they do a very good job of this. I, there they're, these are very good firms. And and that's what that's the service they're providing to their clients has a very good culture. And this is what a law firms about law firms that fail often fail because they bring in people they make mistakes in terms of how they bring in people, laterally and law firms that have failed like Dewey Ballantine, or doing the boss Roback fin the camo [00:50:00] B did.
So because. Everything to splinter and people were not on the same team. Successful law firm is also dependent on, keeping positive people around. And finally I've seen lots of attorneys who followed the simple rules and failed. But it's rare, it's rare.
And that almost every single day, I see people that aren't following the, the simple rule and are failing because of this negativity and, so more than anything in your career following this rule is going to make you successful. And it's something that I hope you, you do.
And and you need to choose sides and and doing that if you choose the right side, it's going to make you much more successful. So I'm going to take a quick break just for probably two to three minutes. And then when I come back we'll take as many questions as everyone has, and it just can be about this or anything that you would like.
So this is the first question pulled up. I got your word back. Yeah, there's one here. And then I saw.
All right. I'm really sorry about that. Today with the issue that we had with the PowerPoint. That was [00:51:00] not cool. I just learned about that. Okay let's get started. So the first question is you asked how And by the way, the slides will be posted online and we'll go back and we'll fix the the PowerPoint in terms of the things that were wrong.
So I, I apologize that it wasn't going through. I'm glad everyone so many people stuck around and listened. I just but I do apologize for that. We used this new software that shows side by side instead of the way we typically had done it. And so it'll be fixed by next week. And then the PowerPoints if you want to leave your email in the chat, I will email you guys the PowerPoint.
So you have those as well. But yeah, any questions you guys have, let's go through those right now. And and then the first one let me just make sure I'm sharing is right here is how do I overcome the negatives? You mentioned as a candidate being a senior attorney, various firms full of solo practitioner.
My resume is my resume and it's not like I can erase 16 years of my career. So w a lot of the things that I've talked about here are things that. But the [00:52:00] law firms that are experienced in hiring will pick up on, in re reject you for. So one of the ways that I recommend that all attorneys try to get jobs is to find newer firms that are being started to find people that aren't as experienced in running firms.
And and then in, in many times firms that are fast-growing that can't hire people fast enough and may not have the ability to pay as much or may not have the brand yet. So what happens is law firm is law firms are more are have been around for a longer period of time.
They will come up and they'll realize that it's not a good idea for them to hire senior attorneys because they have problems. So realize that it's not a good idea for them to hire people that have been at various firms because they've had problems. But people like that in the past. And they'll realize that they've, it's not a good idea to hire solo practitioners because they've had problems.
But those are experienced firms, like firms that have had a lot of bad experiences hiring and more often than not when a law firm hires people like that, they do have experience. But the thing is young firms do not [00:53:00] understand this or people that aren't necessarily do not have a lot of leadership experience do not understand this so many times, what will happen is when when a firms are trying to open a new city, it's very common Devon to hire people from other firms in a lot of times, they'll hire people, even that have been solo practitioners.
I remember when Hogan Lovells came to Los Angeles, which is a long time ago in the 1990s. They actually hired a solo practitioner to run, to, to start the office for them. He knew me as a healthcare to healthcare backgrounds, some other things, but the point being that law firms when they're new in a market or they're newer, or they don't have as much of a brand they will take a lot of chances that they normally wouldn't.
So your objective really is to find firms that will take chances on you. And in, in that it goes for new attorneys too, like it's often much easier for new attorneys to get, if you don't have this good of experience to get jobs in newer firms that may be made up of attorneys with very good qualifications compared to the ones that you may get a job in normally.
Established firms learn these lessons and and then an established firms typically don't. [00:54:00] So that's one of the main things do not know these lessons yet. So the larger the firm and the more experienced the firm, the more impossible time you would have getting into it with these things.
Obviously like a great from like Gibson, Don or something like that. It's going to be almost impossible to break into. A smaller firm, that's a startup or a firm that's not as established or a firm that's