Asking Yourself These 4 Questions Will Help You Get Hired In A Law Firm
[00:00:00] I graduated from law school six years ago and took some time off to start a family. During that time, I took some contracts manager roles. The past two years, I've been working for an ALSP, think Flex by Fenwick, as a contracts manager. I just got sworn into my state bar. Now, I'm trying to think about the best way to position myself to enter the legal market. I had a few internships during law school with a federal judge, and two big firms. Should I leave off my contracts manager experience so I don't look less lawyerly in my resume? Do law firms care about legal internships with law firms or federal judges? For the purposes of finding an in-house position at a firm, is it correct to assume that I would be a junior associate or a junior counsel? Thanks for your time.
Okay, this resume or this thought pattern looks familiar. I don't know if this is your resume that I've seen, but I remember seeing a resume like this fairly recently.
So the idea would be that in terms of your best way to get experience, it depends on what your goal is. You have to look at how law firms are going to evaluate your resume[00:01:00] or any employer for that matter. But I'd say law firm, because law firms typically know what they're doing when they're hiring and a lot better than most in-house companies.
If you want to work in a law firm, they're going to wonder why you took time off to start a family right out of the gate, which is okay. It's okay to do that, but they're going to be concerned about whether or not you're going to want to stick with the practice of law after, when you joined them.
The questions when they're trying to hire you. Can you do the job? Do you want the job? Will you do the job long term? Do we like you?
These four questions are among the most important questions that you need to ask yourself or that a law firm is asking when they're trying to hire someone.
Doing the job, means whatever type of job you're trying to do. Do you have the experience to do it? So I'm assuming if you did these law school internships, you have pretty good skills, but their questions are going to be about your background. Do you have the skill to do the work? Do you have the smarts? Do you have the potential motivation? Are you going to be able to commit to the level they want you to, even though you have a family and that sort of thing.
Then the next question [00:02:00] is how much do you really want the job? When people do want something. It comes across when they're interviewing . They have a passion, they talk about it in a certain way. They've studied the firm, all that stuff comes across and it comes across in terms of how well you were interviewed the enthusiasm, much people think you really want to work there, all that stuff. And if you have that enthusiasm, when they're interviewing you then that's very good but if you don't, then that's problematical.
If you were to look at your resume, it doesn't say you really want something. So someone that really wanted something might say something along the lines of, I've always wanted to be a family lawyer, and I'm in a law from me because I'm committed to helping children. You have to have motivation to do something.
Your question, do law firms care about legal internships? A lot from the federal judges? Yeah, of course we do, but they care more about jobs or just working a summer for a law firm. You're not going to really learn very much on the same thing where the federal judge.
The other one they're going to be asking is, will you do a good job long-term? So that's an interesting statement. Are you going to stick with something over the longterm? I don't mean this in a [00:03:00] disrespectful way, but I've hired lots of people in the past that ended up leaving to go do other things and have kids. Things could have picked up when I was interviewing with them, but not necessarily to have kids, start businesses, or in other fields are going to other things that I should have picked out right away. One girl I'm thinking of when I interviewed her, she was all interested in acting and talking about acting and then I hired her and then sure enough, she went and interviewed and I've hired other people that just we're going back into the legal market, but really we're more concerned about other things than working. So someone needs to know if you want to go into the job long-term or not. And if it's something you want to commit to going a player, if an employer is interviewing two people, one person they're going to ask is that person likely to stick around because the law firm, it's a lot of work to bring people in. It's a lot of work to hire people. So if the law firm thinks she'll stay, then they're going to be interested in hiring you. Your experience right now, when [00:04:00] you said you took some contract manager roles, so I don't know if that means you'll stick with whatever you do. If you've been a contracts manager before then that's a good job to have in an in-house company. And I would think your background's very good for that. But for the purpose of finding a position, you would be a junior associate or counsel.
The good news about all of this, even though it may look a little negative is that the economy is very good right now. People are taking risks on people and if you've already started a family, but that's probably way that looks like you probably stick with a job long term, as opposed to maybe leave.
If you've, if you really want the job, now. All that stuff is good. But these are all questions that people are asking. The smartest thing you can do is put yourself in a position of an employer, whenever you're interviewing with someone, because you need to ask these questions.
And, if you were the employer looking at you, you'd have to ask these things and they're really asking this, can you do the job just means, do you have the ability to do it? People get hired for jobs all the time, where the firm could hire someone better, but people answer those questions.
The [00:05:00] final thing is, do we like you? If someone really likes you that's huge. You can get hired for jobs that you normally would never get, if you flatter the right person.
Even though I'm talking about hiring, studying it, talking about it, writing about it and place people for a living, I've hired the wrong people many times, because I really liked them.
The worst attorney that I ever hired was this older woman that was in her sixties or seventies. So walked into my office one day and told me how much she admired me and everything and knew I had a job that wanted me to hire her.
I really like that, and hired someone that was very incompetent. That was a mistake. I've hired a lot of people before that I wouldn't have hired normally. That person actually just walked in off the street. They didn't even apply for the job and that got my attention.
If someone really likes you, then they will hire you for jobs that they normally wouldn't and that can make a big difference. It's one reason that, for example, men, poor women that are very persuasive or a very presentable and make a good impression are often liked and get jobs. I've seen people show up in interviews in suits and just know everything about the [00:06:00] company.
I had one person interview once that must've been professionally prepared to talk to me, but he just came in and knew everything I'd ever written and was prepared to talk about it. Interviewed extremely well and then was hired and he'd been unemployed for a couple of years before I hired him. And it was just for some sort of marketing role and didn't do well.
So a lot of times, if someone likes you, they'll hire you for jobs, you normally wouldn't get. All this other stuff about doing the job long term, being able to do the job will be ignored. So there's ways to get around it. You just have to be very careful about all this stuff, and I'd give you all that information just because I'm trying to help everyone in this call get a job.
All these things need to come together for you to get a job. The better you do it, the better off you'll be.