5 Important Questions Interviewers Ask and Why You Should Not Use a Legal Recruiter
[00:00:00] I'm currently an AUSA, Civil Division. I can't get a law firm interview and, apparently, I can't hire a search firm because I work for the federal government. How do I get out of this bind?
Okay. You can't hire a search firm.
It's not the best idea, but you can hire a search firm. By the way, working as an AUSA is awesome. I just hired an AUSA that had no law firm experience and I've been working in Brooklyn doing that for 10 years and she's amazing, her 14 years. Just better than people from big firms.
The problem with hiring a search firm many times is no different than most search firms by the way, are in large markets.
But the problem with her in a search firm is typically, they need something who is very marketable. And, when you're working, when you're trying to get a position with with a law firm, the law firms are asking, can you do the job?
Will you do the job long term?
Do you want the job?
Can you be managed?
And, do we like you?
These are the questions that everyone should write down. And these questions are important just from the standpoint of this is, these are really the only four questions that a law firms asking.
These questions are extremely [00:01:00] important, because a lot of times when you go into interviews, this is what people are thinking.
Can you do the job? The reason that's a problem is they're wondering, private practice is different than a law firm. If you're an ASU you're doing different than the government. So they're wondering different from government. They're wondering if your skills can translate meaning, doing criminal related work. Do they even have the work? Do they have work for...? I don't know, I'm assuming you wouldn't be doing white collar or something. Defense?
That's the question, will you do the job long-term? There's probably no reason to suspect you wouldn't, but when they're looking at that, when they're interviewing you, they're wondering why you would stay and, what does your past employment experience look like?
They're also wondering, do you want the job? Means, essentially how much you want it. How does that comes across? Can you be managed? I think that should be obvious. But, that's another thing. Do you ask the right questions so far?
And then, do we like you? That should be out. So these are the kinds of the questions that they're asking, and I don't know if it's important to give it too much detail. This is really how everything works, so that's important, but [00:02:00] the problem with an AUSA is I'm assuming you're applying for white collar defense.
There's not a lot of us jobs, may be difficult to get interviews. If you're trying to do a different practice area, like commercial litigation, they're going to wonder if you're going to do the job, they're also going to wonder if you want the job because you took another type of job.
They're going to wonder, if you'll do a good job long-term and so far, so the only way to overcome obstacles is to position yourself in the right way.
I'll talk to you about that real briefly. So, the first way to position yourself in the right way is typically you need to find employers who are having a difficult time time, finding people like you.
That means, one of two things. It typically means working in a smaller market, smaller firm, or a firm where you have work.
So, the idea here is if you're an AUSA, like our, United States attorney in a major market you may be better [00:03:00] off working in a smaller market or in a smaller firm, in the market that you're in where you have work skills. The problem with using a recruiter is our firm, by the way, BCG, we work with, I know the number is, but it's over well over 10,000 law firms.
I actually it's more than that, but those are people that are actively sending us their jobs and so forth. But the point is that if you work with a recruiter, most recruiters only work with large law firms. Most recruiting firms, by the way, just to understand how that works, there's a couple of services described too, and they get the jobs from those services. And those services are really looking mainly at, maybe the top two, two or 300 law firms in the country and maybe a few other smaller ones, but that's about it. So, if you're trying to get a position with a major law firm then you're competing against everyone else is trying to do that.
And, that is more likely that's not coming from the government. That's doing work. That's translating private practice. White collar defense is typically people, a lot of times coming from the US attorney's office don't use recruiters because firms don't really even advertise the jobs because people that go to firms with white [00:04:00] collar backgrounds are often coming already from friends and stuff and contact those friends before the firm even has an opening.
So, there's not a lot of white collar openings. There are criminal defense opens all over the country, but there's not a lot of white collar openings. The way you would get a job in a law firm is If you were a candidate to BCG, we would send you, jobs all over the country, which should probably be some of them would be white collar, but others might not be necessarily white collar.
It might be a little bit a little more street level than that. But, we would send you every job that we had and you would be able to get a job, but you can also find those same firms on your own and get interviews and apply to them. One of the things that upsets me a lot, when I see interviews, when I see things like this is it's just because I understand questions like this and because I understand the market and what I understand about the market is I understand that there are probably tens of thousands of law firms that do white collar litigation in the country.
You should be able to find those and do research and you would just coming out of the US attorney's office. That's awesome. You should be able to find those firms doing research and get a job there whether or [00:05:00] not you use a recruiter or a recruiter is only telling you all I know about these 300 job openings, cause, I subscribed to the service for $3,000 a month. That's ridiculous. There are, thousands and thousands of firms that do that. There are also tens of hundreds of thousands of small law firms and so forth to do other types of litigation, meaning they may do, more criminal litigation or anything that you do.
If you have experience doing Medicare fraud, you could get a job. I don't know what type of work you do, but the point is every attorney needs to do research and that research when you're looking for a job, you can do the research on your own. You can use a recruiter, but most recruiters don't have the time or even understand the research.
You could search firms on Google and find them. You can search regardless of what city you're in. You could search for a criminal attorney. if you're in, I dunno, let's talk about Kansas city. There's probably 50 people that do criminal defense. So, find those people, you don't need the recruiter to do it.
You can do the research yourself and apply, and you have very rare skills. And, it's like that in every city in the country. So, just recognize this limiting thinking is not [00:06:00] helping anyone. So you just need to do that. You need to find a smaller market, a smaller firm
I'll just tell you a quick story. Because, I think this is a relevant story that one knows about that that will help everyone here.
I've told this on webinars before, but I'm going to tell it again, cause, there's a lot to this story and it's explains a lot of my success.
This placement career explains the success with job seekers and other things, but this is a lesson that I learned very early on. I used to have, are you seeing the asphalt business and the asphalt business? I would like a lot of what are called asphalt sealer, but with sprayers since these sprayers would destroy trucks.
So, you basically get about three months with the truck and then you just basically have to throw it away. Unless you want to drive around with something with tar all over three to four months with a truck, and this is in Michigan. So it used to, three to four months. So I would buy used trucks every year.
And and that would do just a couple of places. I could buy them. One is, I can buy them in the recycler. Which is, I think probably still exist. I could buy them in the Detroit free press or the Detroit news. So, people would [00:07:00] list stuff from those different. And, if I tried to do one of those a decent, maybe 15 year old truck would costs maybe, I dunno, 1500 to $2,500 to $3,000. This is back then. I don't know what it would be now. Every year, the same thing, this is what they would cost and it costs, the advertising those back then maybe, $75 for an app, probably a lot more now.
That's how much it would cost me. So, what I discovered is that in all of these things, there was in St Clair shores, there was I dunno, maybe I'm St. Clair shores, like Mount Clemens, it's a city outside Detroit.
There was a kind of a local free paper distributed to free paper. And, I discovered that, what would happen is anytime I would call someone from there, I could always get a decent truck for that 250 to $500. The same as that would be advertised in the Detroit Free Press or Detroit News or one of the other things every year.
So, every year I would get my trucks from this local paper and there were other [00:08:00] local papers too. The reason is very simple. Like the larger Detroit Free Press Trade News, everybody had huge distributions. Everyone was calling those buyers. The buyers could get a lot of money for things, but people that were posting things on the local free paper that was free to advertise, and they're very cheap, like $5 or something to advertise them.
Advertising, I worked free. I don't even remember. Didn't get a lot of distribution. People didn't get them at their house. They had to pick them up the grocery store and all sorts. It's Mount Clemons too, by the way, I guess anyone call so the point is that when you call these sellers, the sellers never got calls.
But whereas the other sellers always got calls. So, he called me and say, will you take 2,500 for your truck? They'd say no way. I'm talking to other people. Whereas, if you call these people, you could always get these trucks. You might be the first person that called them and months.
The people you call from your second free press would be sick of getting all the calls. I get 50 calls in a day, or these people would take months to get a single call. So, that was something I learned. The point is, when you're marketing yourself, you're better off marketing yourself to markets where [00:09:00] you're going to get more attention. What that means, is that you send yourself from smaller markets or you send yourself to firms not getting a lot of attention.
Once someone becomes like a giant AmLaw one or a hundred or 200 firm they're gonna get a lot of resumes. Once someone announces, they're paying a lot of money they're gonna get a lot of resumes, but there's all these things. And, people out there in firms that are "unmarketed" that don't know how to market themselves, don't get attention that have work, have big clients that where you would be the only person applying and where people are going to be interested in.
So, you need to find just like I did with these different advertising places, you need to find jobs and places that you're trying to market yourself, where you're going to get a lot more interest. And, this is huge. So, I have a company that I've had for a long time called LA crossing that I started. That basically goes and finds these types of ads. Like the things that I found at Mout Clements. So they find under advertised jobs or things that are not widely known. And, they might be like on a little bar association website or [00:10:00] something. And, we take those and then we show them members.
So it's the same thing when you're marketing yourself, like anyone can get a job, you just have to find employers that aren't getting a lot of interest, it's very simple. It doesn't matter. This person could say I'm currently a graduate of unaccredited law school. I've been employed for years.
It doesn't matter. I've never worked as an attorney. You just have to find the right place. So, employers are always going to come up with reasons for rejecting you. And, they're going to say, can you do the job? Will you do the job long term? Do you want the job? Can you be managed? Do we really like you?
That's what they're asking. Do we have better applicants or could we get better applicants?
They're always gonna find people, if you're an AUSA you're out of there, they're probably going to be able to find people with experience that translates more right away. But, if you go to a place where there's not better applicants, which would be a smaller market, smaller firms, no.
One's heard about firms that are only on Google firms. Like by the way, this is just another point. I hate to give you guys so much information about this, but a lot of law firms will advertise their [00:11:00] jobs. A lot of firms will be known, 'cause there'll be in Martindale.
Those directories cost a lot of money to get into. So, if a firm's not in those then yeah that's going to can hurt you. Okay. So the that can make it easier to get a job with them because no, one's heard of them.