In this webinar, Harrison unravels a crucial issue faced by law students and recent graduates striving to enhance their employability in the competitive legal landscape. Tailored for individuals navigating the intricate world of legal careers, Harrison's presentation provides actionable insights and strategic advice.
As the webinar unfolds, Harrison's expertise offers practical solutions to the challenges of not pursuing a summer position or relevant internship during law school. Addressing the concerns of those who might feel left out, Harrison dives deep into the strategies that can effectively bolster your job search prospects. Drawing on his extensive industry experience, he guides participants through the maze of law firm hiring criteria and sheds light on what truly matters in a candidate's profile.
Beyond theoretical insights, this webinar empowers attendees with actionable steps to take charge of their career trajectories. By highlighting the significance of aligning career choices with firms representing businesses, Harrison offers a roadmap to those who aspire to secure positions in sought-after law firms.
Whether you're a law student, a recent graduate, or an aspiring legal professional, this webinar equips you with the tools and knowledge to navigate the complexities of the legal job market. Join Harrison's session to address the summer position dilemma and pave a pathway toward a successful legal career.
All right, we'll get started with this webinar. The first thing is when this webinar topic was chosen, and I saw it, I saw an email go out for it yesterday. I was a little upset because I know this may seem like it only applies to people that are, you know, in law school or graduating and that sort of thing.
What I'm going to do today is I'll run through a lot of this topic in some, with, without a. But a ton of detail. I'm not going to spend a ton of time on it. But it's an important topic, especially if you're a law student or a recent graduate trying to get a job.
But really, what is this topic about on a 30,000-foot level? Are the rules that law firms have for the type of people they hire? And so I'm going to in this call, I will share a recent book that I wrote. It's not a long book and distributed to law firms that I've never shown to candidates.
Kind of some of those rules and how law firms should look at your resume when you're looking for positions and the kind of people they should eliminate. This is an essential topic in one of those rules. And then this presentation, if you're not a you may not think it applies to you.
But I will try to tie in a lot of other topics as well relevant to people that are looking for lateral positions. And so there are some of these rules because one of the things that I don't like is I've been doing this for over 20 years, and each day almost, I'm learning new rules about the type of people that law firms consistently don't hire.
And it's usually about something other than where you went to law school. It's usually due to different types of choices that you've made in your career. For example, going in-house or taking a job with a public interest organization instead of a law firm out of law school, taking a break, or having too many jobs.
There are all these things that law firms look at to eliminate you from different positions. And it's important to understand. Those things. Now, not all law firms do that. And this particular issue of not holding a summer position most applies to law firms that work for companies, not individuals.
So this is different if you want a position with a firm that works primarily with individuals. Necessarily that significant of a topic, but it is essential to understand what you need to do to get employed by law firms that work on behalf of companies as opposed to individuals. And I will talk about other rules on this call today again.
I apologize if you don't think this applies to you; I'll make sure that I tie in many different things. So I help everyone that's on this call and not just people that this topic looks like it applies to. The idea is if you are in law school and you don't, or you were in law school. You weren't trying to work for A law firm either as a clerk or summer associate; it's not a good decision if you're trying to put me into a law firm that works on behalf of clients instead of consumer-facing.
So what does that mean? Law firms that represent businesses, and typically, we'll bill higher rates. Their attorneys typically are paid more. They can be large or small firms, but those types of firms typically will want you to have some experience in a law firm before hiring you.
Those are also the types of firms that tend to pay the most. Now, they sometimes pay market rates. Most of them pay below market rate because they're scattered all over the country, and market rate firms tend to be in large cities. But at the same time, if you want to work with one of those firms, they want to see that you might have spent some time.
Working in a firm like that, and especially in law school. Many attorneys go to law school with the objective of not practicing law. But if you don't practice in a firm over the summer, it's setting the idea that you may not be interested in working in a firm like that.
People take all sorts of jobs doing things unrelated to working in a law firm during the summer. And it is challenging to get into a law firm after graduation. If you're not, if you don't have some experience in working in a law firm, the reason is that pretty much anybody that wants, if you try hard enough, can get a summer position in a law firm or a position working for free, even, or a position for 15 or 20 an hour you don't need to get a position paying 4,000 a week.
Any position you get that shows you're interested in working in a law firm, even if you're just volunteering your time, put something on your resume that shows that's where you're interested. So law firms want to see people interested in law firms during the summer and not government, public interest, or working in a company because they want to hire people that show interest in that and you think about it from their standpoint.
If you work someplace in the summer in a law firm, you have to understand, and you'll start understanding how a law firm works. And when you understand that you're obviously but much more suited to and much more of a proven commodity than someone that's taken a summer job in the public interest or worked on some campaign or something.
Being tested in a law firm is very important. And it's widespread for law students coming from the best law schools to work their summers in law, at big firms or small firms, and during their summers in law school. And it's essential during your second summer because your second summer is something that sets you up.
Getting a job in a large firm when you graduate will be a tested commodity. You may have gotten an offer. You may not have gotten an offer, but you have that on your resume that shows that you did something. Most legal hiring organizations will hire you.
Higher summer associates because what they want to do is they want to get a sense of your work ethic, how likely you are to get along with other attorneys, and whether they believe you are likely to make a valuable contribution. In addition, what happens in summer, and at every firm, there are always a couple of people who just need to be a better fit.
They may have drinking problems that, I've seen, they may misbehave in a sexual fashion, other people, and they may make a lot of mistakes. They may not work hard. They may not back talk but talk behind people's and other partners' backs.
They may need to do more work. They may hurry. So all these things are what are being tested when you're a summer associate. And if you don't get an offer after doing that, even if it's based on the economy, that could reflect on your ultimate value to the legal market. Anything that you know is positive.
That's also a negative that will affect you in the future. So just think about it from the perspective of a future employer. They want to see that you've met these tests and can sit down. And do the work and understand what a firm is and think; they have to think well of you.
And honestly, there's much competition for some repositions at large firms. And it's just as competitive, if not more, than getting into law school because now. Your grades compared to your peers are an issue, and not just getting into law school. And not only that, but you have to have a good personality or one that the law firm thinks will work.
And you have to have all sorts of things about you, meaning you have to not be, you have to have a good personality, you have to connect with your interviewer. You have to be likable. You have to have a good handshake. And all these things can impact your being well-groomed or your ability to get a summer position. It's much more difficult, especially with large firms, to get a summer position than in almost any law school.
So if you don't have a summer position, the problem is many legal hiring organizations will conclude that you couldn't get a summer position, which is very common, or maybe you didn't have an interest in one. Both of those things are not good. And they're things that law firms will eliminate you for.
Because other people on this call probably are not summers the pro, or this doesn't apply to them. What happens with law firms is it essentially becomes a limited elimination game. So anything that detracts from how strong you look, how your interest level of interest, the type of work you do, or your passion for a law firm.
How do you rate compared to people who may have had a summer associate position? When you're in an early career, these are all the things, the only things I have to evaluate you by is if you went to some excellent college like MIT or something, they'd like that. Still, your law school also is something that you're evaluated by because going to a good law school makes you more attractive to law firms than if you went to an okay law school because it shows that you were good enough in terms of your SCTs and grades to get into one of those law schools.
And you were willing to go to one of those law schools, probably without financial aid compared to other schools where you may have gotten it. So these kinds of things show a lot to firms, but the next thing that you're, that you have to show is you have to show. If you are interested in working in law firms, choose that kind of career.
You got into the best firm you could, which was another way of looking at you. You had the grades to get into those firms and the personality. So by the time you come up for a second-year position, The market is acting on the limited information it has about you and making decisions about how valuable you are, which kind of stinks.
But that's what happens. And that value is often based on your 1st-semester grades and your 2nd semester. Sometimes usually. But and so these are some of the. The more significant obstacles in terms of your ability to get a summer position and also your interest in one that you'll be overcoming.
And then also because, if you're coming from a top law school, it's, even the stuff is even more pronounced and so these issues on, as well as your strategy. Forgetting the job, I'll address it below. I want to briefly discuss some negative associations with not working in the summer.
Also, this is a live webinar. So I'll answer as many questions about these three things as well as any questions you have about them. You know what I'm talking about. I'm also going to distribute, as I said, an ebook that I wrote for law firms that talk about how they should eliminate people and the type of candidates that typically don't work out.
And this is one right here. Again, the perception is we didn't work in a law firm in the summer, especially after your second year. Future law firms will believe you didn't get a position or were not interested in it. Both are bad. So again, if you had an interest in it, you would have worked for free.
You would have worked for a low amount of money. You would have gone out to find a job. You would have represented yourself in a way that allowed you to get a job. And what do I mean by that? I mean, there are approximately 35 000 law firms in the United States. So they are everywhere.
So you should be able to know whether it's emailing resumes, whether it's calling, whether it's writing physical letters, whether it's going to network events if you want to get a position. I don't care how well you did in law school. I don't care what law school you're going to. Anybody can get a position.
It's especially if you're not willing to work for free or for a low period of money. Now, I'm not saying that I'm encouraging you to work for free. But what I'm encouraging you to do is I'm encouraging you to get something on your resume that shows you have an interest in working in a law firm, as opposed to going to work in the local union.
Which is something I almost did one summer. And, or. Working in a public interest organization or volunteering at a place with nothing to do with a law firm. These are all things that people do. And when they see that on your resume, it will affect your ability to get into law firms that represent businesses.
Now, why am I emphasizing working for law firms that represent businesses? I'm emphasizing that because, for the most part, when you're working for businesses, you can spend more time on legal matters and do better work. General counsel often supervises law firms, so they expect a certain standard of work.
They bill a lot more money to the clients. They also will train their attorneys more. They're working on things where the clients have more of a budget, and often, they're working on more important matters affecting many people if you're representing individuals.
You typically represent people who have little money to spend and need work done quickly. There are other challenges when representing individuals getting paid as one because they often need more money, whereas businesses typically do. The jobs can be more volatile because you may go to work for a solo practitioner doing immigration law or a small firm, and it's more likely to go out of business than a firm that represents businesses because it doesn't have any kind of cash flow coming in.
So this is more about not just about. Again, Trying to get working at firms that represent individuals is acceptable. Some of those firms make far more than even the highest-paid attorneys in AMLO 100 firms. So I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but you'll need to get at least a law firm on your resume, preferably one representing businesses if that's what you want to do.
These are essential career decisions that are made very early in your career. You are deciding between law firms that represent individuals and law firms that represent companies, between being employable by law firms that represent individuals as opposed to companies when you come out of law school, and what's going to ultimately happen to your career because Law firms that represent companies do not hire people from law firms that represent individuals.
Now they do in some practice areas, like trust in estates and to some extent, but generally, they don't. And it's essential to understand that dynamic. So if you didn't get a position in the summer, law firms would often assume you cannot get a summer position. And that means you need to do some things if that doesn't happen. The first thing you need to do is learn from the experience.
Why did this happen? And then, you need to go into future interviews and market yourself in a way that overcomes the negative associations it creates.
Now, again, when I talked about learning from this experience. What I mean is you have to understand that you could have done a better job marketing yourself. You could have done a better job doing everything you could and focusing on this. You needed to do a better job networking. You need to do more work.
You should have made that a priority. And again, you have to take the blame for this and be accountable. Because there are no excuses with 35 000 law firms nationwide, it's easy to get a position, especially if you're not; you're willing to work for nothing.
Now, why again, why would I say willing to work for nothing? Because of working for nothing, the small amount of money you might lose. Working for nothing 5000-10 000 could make the difference between millions of dollars in income over your career. So it would help if you took that risk. And then, if you tried to get a summer position and did not, you probably have spent a lot of time thinking.
Why did this occur? You may blame your grades. You may understand that you may ask about that. Certainly, grades have something to do with it and the quality of your law school. The reason for that is that those are things that impact your ability to get jobs at large law firms and your ability to do that.
It's just a difference between working in the largest and generally in the smallest firms. It's not really. That's a deal. Another thing is being able to interview. You have to learn how to interview. There's a lot that goes into interviewing. And I will, and I'll talk about that today.
But when you go into interviews, your position, your job. It is to present yourself as someone that wants to work there and is willing to contribute not. Standoffish is the person you would want to represent if you had a legal problem. Often, people don't get positions because they're too selective of the employers they approach.
I remember when I was in law school. There was an out guide; if law firms paid a few thousand dollars, they could list themselves in it. So basically, Richmond, Virginia, might contain six firms, New York might contain 40, and Chicago might contain 11.
But it's just not the universe of all the firms. Think about this. There are thousands of firms in New York. If you're just applying to new firms, and you're not qualified to work in them because of your law school, or your grades, that's just dumb. It could be a better use of your time.
That's like playing the lottery instead of getting a job or doing something where you're getting paid. It's just one that is just completely risky. But whatever these problems are, you need to fix them because this is one of your career's most crucial stepping stones.
Where are you? One thing that I definitely would do is I would spend a lot of time and effort, even maybe during the winter break of my first year of law school after I've taken all my exams, which, Should be your priority in everything when you're in law school, I would apply to a lot of firms for my for summer jobs after my first year and see if I had any luck doing that you might not, but this is going to show you the amount of work that's required.
How much work is required? A lot. At BCG, if we represent a candidate, we may approach many firms to get interested. And when I say a lot of firms, it can be. In some cases, I mean, you're talking about quite a few. I don't want to tell you the number, but it's a lot.
And this is what you need to do, and you need to do the same thing as a summer associate. When you're looking for a job, you need to apply to a lot of places, and you need to apply to places that probably other people aren't applying to, not just the big firms, and if you do that, you're more likely than not.
But to have luck, if you just apply to a few places and take that as rejection. All that means is more highly qualified people are applying than you. So it would help if you found some places that will interview and will value you. And summer positions are like law school. Some people get jobs in the best firms, while others don't.
But whatever job the firm will have for you is where you can start your career and hopefully do a good job there. And if you want, you can move up in terms of the type of firm you work at later. And really, your job is to overcome the negative associations of not getting a position because you don't want to create the perception that you did something that wasn't necessarily helping you in your career.
Sometimes people will put things on their resume that they spent time with their parents. They did volunteer work in their summers, which is probably not a good idea. It would help if you worked in those summers. Sometimes you can articulate reasons for not working in the summer; again, these are some reasons here.
Taking time with a parent doing a summer at these sorts of things. But just think about it from the employer's standpoint. Who would you hire? Would you hire someone with problems they had to address over the summer? Because those kinds of problems are likely to retake precedence when the person starts their career.
Or would you hire someone that was a summer associate compared to you? It seems pretty evident to me. You would want to hire someone that did work somewhere in the summer. Employers may respect what you did in the summer and whether it was taking care of a family member or something, but at the same time, just put yourself, put yourself in their situation when they're faced with two identical applicants, one that worked during the summer and the other didn't.
And then if they're If you didn't get a summer position and you have this on your resume, you need to explain what you didn't do in the summer in a compelling way. So there are ways to do that. Some people are doing things like hiking between their second and third year, and they may have spent their summer working in a role related to the law and a business, all these sorts of things.
I want to tell you a kind of a quick story. Okay. I've got several of them, but this is just how serious this is. Two of my early hires, one of them was a guy that had gone to Columbia Law School and done very well there. He had an almost stereotypical nerdy look, where his pants were pulled up too high, but he was lovely.
And I was like, wow, this guy can't get a job; what the heck is going on? And so I used to invite them into my office to work for me and to try to give them experience, people like him who couldn't get jobs in law firms. And the first thing I would do would have them mail their resume and cover letter to hundreds of people.
He chose the firms he would show. He chose only the most prestigious type firms or firms with graduates of Ivy League law schools and stuff like he did. To my surprise, because he chose the type of firm that didn't expect someone to be a summer associate, he didn't get a single interview and had a nervous breakdown.
He was questioning his identity, why he couldn't get a job when others weren't, and then he ended up working for our company, not in a legal capacity, but he'd learned how to program. And started programming our databases and then discovered another side gig, building computers for law firms.
And I think because they were law firms, he felt connected to the law and continued to do that. And eventually, because he was spending so much time doing that, I couldn't have him working in our company anymore. So that's a story. There are other stories I have, but.
Once you're marked as someone that wants to avoid working in a law firm during the summer, it becomes tough to get jobs. I did the same thing. There was a guy that had graduated from the top law school in California. Think Berkeley, Stanford, or something like that, had gotten into Harvard Law School but moved to the East Coast because he was from a religious family.
And wanted to get far away from them on the West Coast. And, Anyway, so he got into law school. He started law school when he was 18 or 19. And he was one of these child geniuses. And then the same thing. No job in the summer. Brought him on to help them. He only applied to the firms that paid the most.
Only got a few interviews. Then Worked for me for about a year and a half, not even in a legal capacity, helping with different things, and then made some mistakes and spent five years hiking around the country, or the world, with money to save and so no legal careers.
This is serious, and the thing is, you just need to apply to as many places, now I have a lot of success stories; I can tell you people that worked out for me, but in general, a lot of people that that I hired in the past to work at our company, just because I have a lot of respect for people that went to good law schools and any law school and tried and were people that weren't able to get positions because they didn't get summer jobs.
So I'm, I'm just with those types of firms. So if you go to a big law school like these people did, whether it's Berkeley or UCLA. Harvard is another one. And you don't get a; you don't work in the summer for whatever reason. Working in these big law firms that pay the most is tough. And so it's most brutal for people that go to law schools where everyone expects them because all their peers are getting these jobs in these big firms, and they're the only ones that aren't.
So if you go to a top 10 law school and you don't get a summer position, which happens to lots of attorneys every year, it just sends the wrong message to the market, and it's tough to get jobs at the same level paying the high rates that people expect to make.
You have to go down in terms of prestige level and then move up, which is easy, but you have to accept something less if you don't achieve it. My opinion. Getting a summer job is very important. The other thing is if you just take a summer job in a smaller firm, it's okay because you can interview with more prominent firms in your third year.
And you'll often get interviews to be hired for a permanent position. It's widespread. The most straightforward explanation many times when you took when you didn't get a job, or you took other jobs is just; you said you knew you were going to spend your life practicing law and you wanted to take a summer to relax or do something different before starting your legal career.
And many employers will accept that that'll be fine for them. It's a balance that's important to understand when applying to firms the balances you have to offer more to the firm than their pain. So you have to have a balance in your favor, and that balance essentially means that you're.
Willing to you're willing to work someplace for less money, and they can find a better candidate than they might otherwise. And there's something that you should worry about. And the other thing is necessary. Is your academic performance in law school? So many people don't get the best grades and are getting excellent grades and don't get summer positions. Still, they take other types of jobs; it could be working in the summer for a federal judge or working for a prestigious public interest organization fellowship or something like that.
So that can also help. And then the other thing that I think is important is that the practice of law is like a race. And so just because you're not starting at the very apex of the legal profession, which is a minor deal.
Just because you're not at the very top, you have a long time to get to the top, and sometimes people should start lower because they give some kind of more energy to fight and to do better than they might otherwise do if they didn't get a job at such a good firm.
So what do I mean by that? Plenty of people go to big law schools and are very disappointed in themselves because they didn't get a summer job in a big firm. Or they got a job in a firm that wasn't that prestigious, and they feel like they've been marked as a wrong person or tainted for the rest of their career, but that's just not true.
If you work hard at a firm, learn a lot, and have a good school on your resume, what matters, in the long run, is your specialization in a practice area, which makes you rare and rare in the market. People move up from small firms to midsize firms, from mid size firms to large firms, because things like grades and stuff stop mattering after a while.
So you're in the legal profession, which is a race. And what do I mean by that? I mean that I know attorneys that are practicing at the age of 85. Look how old the president is. Look how old Trump is. These are, you people practice for a long time. It'll probably be longer than that.
Even though they're practicing. So if you got out of law school at 25, you have about 60 years. And just because you don't get into a good firm and your summer and all these things happen to you, you can use that as a. do very well. It's interesting. I'll just say this is an aside.
I'm in this business networking group, and there are many personal injury attorneys in this business networking group. The personal injury attorneys own these law firms that generate millions of dollars in profit per year. And they do very well, but they all have a chip on their shoulder. They're mad because they didn't get into big firms.
And they're mad at, and they use that to kind of power them through. And, so in the, they're representing individuals as opposed to companies, but it's pretty cool. So you can use all the good things that don't happen to you. A lot of these very successful personal injury attorneys, just one example, use this kind of rejection.
And the disappointment of getting back at companies and the types of lawyers that wouldn't have them. And so there's, it's not it's this is none of this is the end of the world. But you need to use anything terrible that happens to you almost like rocket fuel, like you make yourself get mad, and then you do better, and you move forward, and law firms, by the way, love hiring people.
They are from lesser firms that want to get ahead and are hungry because what happens to a lot of attorneys that start at the top is they take it for granted, they get a sense of entitlement, they bicker with each other about not liking the work or the conditions or partners and the firms don't like them, the firms like people that are bright eyed and bushy tailed and trying to get ahead. Hence, you start at a lesser firm. Because you didn't have a summer job or whatever it is, you're going to be much better off, in the long run, many times because you're going to have a lot more energy and need to prove something to yourself in the world that other people might not have.
And then also, you're more likely to be. You are much more grateful when you get your first job than you otherwise might have been if you did not have a legal-related job in law school. So you'll be excited about your job. You'd be motivated, and it's perfect. This sort of rejection makes highly successful lawyers.
And, I can tell you that some of the most successful attorneys I know and have run across in my career had rough starts, and they were continually proving something to themselves or their classmates in law school or that they could achieve even though good things didn't happen.
So I view these sorts of things when they happen to you as things that will hurt you in terms of getting into firms but will also give you strength and power to push through and do the best you can in new places and then try to prove something and then have more staying power in your career.
So what I mean by staying in power is a lot of attorneys that get into the best firms stay one or two years, and then they'll just do something else. So they're. They'll maybe move firms a couple of times, and then they'll, that's it. They'll just, but if you are hungry and trying to do something, putting all your effort into being the best and moving, that's a huge advantage.
And you're more likely to appreciate it when you get there instead of starting at the top of the legal profession. If you weren't interested in pursuing a legal-related position, meaning in a law firm, Okay. And I guess I would even say otherwise during law school; some people may go to law school, telling themselves they are going, but they don't want to be an attorney.
They may. Many people will work during law school and attend law school at night, so people that are mothers and have families, people that. Our engineers make good money but want to become lawyers after people that are accountants. All sorts of people have permanent jobs when they're in law school.
I've met nurses and company owners; the number of professionals who go to law school is astonishing because, many times, they're making much more money. And arguably have more security than they'll ever have practicing law, but they still go to law school.
Many law schools have night programs like Georgetown and tons of them. And if you do, if you're not interested in working as an attorney during law school, you often need to rethink a few things. If you came out and you weren't interested in being an attorney, and you asked people, why now?
You have to figure out the reason for that, but I'll put the ebook I will send in the chat. I put it on Dropbox. And I'll also try to cut and paste it in the Q and A so people can do that, but it's. People want to know that you will commit to a job and stay doing the job.
And that's very important. And, a lot of people, by the way, drop out of law school; I was in law school, and this was in our section or and we had one class and in contrast with our section, and the teacher got up and made this speech about how you shouldn't be in law school and this and this reason and one of the guys in our section closed his, books walked out. No one ever saw him again, which is funny.
So it's scarce that people decide they want to practice law a few years out of law school. When you do that, you need to do some honest introspection. One of the things that kinds of law firms are asking, and I always go over this and most meetings, but they ask, can you do the job?
And they don't know because you have yet to see a summary. I've never worked at it. They ask will you do the job long term? And, it's probably not because they were going to do the job long term. They probably would have tried it and committed to it. We don't know what they will do because they're flaky and haven't done anything.
So sometimes people have life experiences. And they decide they want to work in a law firm. And if it's the case, I don't know what you want to emphasize in your job search, but I think one of the essential ideas is to go for something.
If you attended law school with the objective of not being an attorney, this Is going to be something that the law firms will also consider. So it would help if you came across a competitive legal environment with a lot of competition for each job to someone with a natural obsession for practicing law. And I am very interested in it. And you could get that could; that obsession could hit you during your third year of law school. It could hit you when you're one, one, or two years out of law school. And then you need to use that obsession to turn any interview into something that will get you a job.
And when people see how serious you are, they want to hire and help you. But just keep in mind that all law firms, when hiring people to work with them, want to hire people. They are dedicated and are convinced they want to be attorneys. So, when I joined the first law firm, I joined all these people in the law firm associates that were part of my class. Several of them didn't want to be attorneys.
They've gone to Harvard, Yale, and all these places but wanted something else. I'm one girl who remembers Harvard; remember, she talked about wanting to work in the US Attorney's Office. Another guy working at Harvard wanted to start selling physical goods online.
And that's all he talked about. Those are bad hires for law firms; if you were a law firm, you would want to hire someone. But that's all they wanted to do because it's just the wrong use of your money and time. It's a wrong use to train those people. It's a lousy use paying them because they must be dedicated to it and give the clients good service.
It's just a problem. Law firms. Don't hire people who may suddenly change their minds about working there. It could be more intelligent, and you wouldn't do the same thing. If you were hiring a gardener, for example, and the gardener showed up and told you I'm doing this for a while.
And I'll think, I wonder if I want to do it. And then, or maybe didn't say anything, you could see he needed to be dedicated to his work. He was making mistakes. Some days he would be late. Others, he would only do half the job. You would get frustrated and get rid of that person.
And that's how employers are. There are just so many people out there that are committed that you have to look committed. And again, if you want to be something other than an attorney in law school, and now you do, you're going to need to market yourself to employers and the same way.
If you didn't get a position in law school, you will have to explain it. A lot. You. It would help if you did so in a way that now makes you committed and gives them the idea that you're committed to your work and have the potential to succeed. So what does committed to the work mean?
Work means that many people who don't get jobs will decide to get an LLM. Other people that don't get jobs will give up and take jobs as, and again I'm not trying to criticize people here, but they'll take jobs as contract attorneys in big firms when they simply could get a job, probably as a regular attorney.
In a firm, if they were able to search for a job. So people will do all sorts of things that can hurt them in the long run if they want a permanent job. And those sorts of things should be something other than the focus of your search.
So here's the best strategy that I recommend for getting your first position. And I'll talk a little bit about that. I did want to just update people on, too, as well. When there are only a few slides left here, I will go quickly to questions.
But yeah, I'm going to talk a little bit about getting your first position, and then we'll go from there. Depending on the caliber of law school you attended, they're almost always sure to find something. I don't think about grades too much.
And the reason most people don't find jobs. And again, this comes from decades of experience getting all sorts of people jobs if you need to be more aggressive in your search. And what do I mean by aggressive? I'll tell you a couple of stories that I think are very funny. In Los Angeles, people are always trying to do entertainment law.
Everybody wants to come to do entertainment law in Los Angeles because they want to. Whatever it is, it's the glamor of it. And some people want to do it. So lots of candidates would always call our office and say, I want to do entertainment law.
And there are always a few positions, but recruiters usually only help get people jobs as entertainment lawyers if they specialize in entertainment, finance, and a few other things. But most of these entertainment firms are overwhelmed with applicants a lot of times, but only some of those entertainment firms are on the map.
So I was sitting in my office one day. And we had this. I used to have this company called Legal Authority, and what it would do is it would mail out all these letters to law firms in different practice areas for law students and practicing attorneys. And so it turns out that in Los Angeles, a couple of hundred firms do entertainment law.
So I didn't; I had other people. Talking to the people searching for firms based on their practice area and printing letters and selling the service, and doing customer service. And I was just more involved with BCG, but I was offering this as a service to people. So I was sitting in my office.
And this father walked in with a young guy who looked like a law student and his friend who also looked for a law student. And he said I can't thank you enough. My son got a great entertainment job through you. And so did his best friend in law school; we appreciate it.
And I was like, wow, where'd you go to law school and how'd you do, and they both went to this law school. It's no longer called that, but it was Thomas Cooley in Michigan, that never was. It's a big law school, but it's never been a highly-ranked law school. And certainly relocating from a law school in Michigan and getting a job over the summer without actually, I don't think, was a summer job; it was her first job. It is pretty remarkable and would be remarkable if you went to Harvard.
But the point is that they got these jobs in a challenging practice area because they were just contacted through this service. And again, I'm not selling the service because we don't do it anymore, but they contacted employers from the service, and we can get these jobs. So that's what I mean by the power of.
Being aggressive in your search. Anybody that's aggressive can get jobs. Now, the examples I told you earlier, though, of the people that work for me that didn't do that, they only applied to the best firms. They didn't apply to all the firms. So any search you do, regardless of your seniority level, must be very aggressive.
And it would help if you found all the employers who possibly can. Giving up is a huge mistake. What is, what do I mean by giving up? If you're an attorney representing a client, you should look for every possible angle to win your case. That's what a reasonable attorney does. If you're a law student or a new attorney representing yourself, you should look for every possible or practicing attorney angle to get a case.
A job. You are representing yourself. I'm sorry when you're looking for a job and the results you get. Still, they're the quality of an attorney you are or will be because you're not leaving any stone unturned. You're lobbying and doing all these things, which you should be expected to do as a reasonable attorney for yourself. It would be best to represent yourself enthusiastically, being thorough with your research, crafting good cover letters, and following up.
Thank you. for learning from your mistakes, improving your interview skills, whatever you need to do, reading about interviewing, and talking to people who have successfully gotten jobs when you have yet to ask them what they're doing. There are all sorts of things that you need to do, and you should be doing them regardless of your seniority level to make sure that you get a job.
And this mistake that many people make is they think that just because they're applying to these big firms after their second year, they're able to get jobs. No, most of those firms already have chosen their incoming classes from their second year from their summer associates.
That is probably off the table for you. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try to interview with those firms. And apply to them, but it probably will fail to work. And most people at big firms, the big schools and small schools, all are applying, trying to apply to these major law firms to pay the most money.
And how do you expect to stick out when, when you're, when you don't have the qualifications compared to the type of people working there? And then, when they've already selected their classes, I'm not. I'm not trying to encourage you to try this, but I'm saying it's not a good use of your time to go after law firms that are unlikely to hire you because you're just spinning your wheels.
And it would help if you focused on the types of firms that are likely to hire you. That's all, and you can certainly contact me. Great things happen. Sometimes, there are just these miracles, and you wonder what happened. I had this amusing thing happen. One of my first placements was this girl who had gone to the University of Minnesota Law School but was literally at the bottom of her class.
It was incredible as she had all C's and then, maybe a few D's, which were passing, and just this horrible transcript. Nevertheless, she got a position clerking on something like the second circuit, or I don't know, but some very prestigious judge.
She got this job as a circuit court clerk. No idea how it happened. Probably the judge didn't ask for her grades, just assumed she was a good student. She went there. And then after that, she got jobs at two of the most, I'm not going to say their names, but two very prestigious national firms.
And, with C's and D's. So this kind of stuff happens like it's not like you can get jobs in these big firms, and sometimes mistakes happen. You just never know. But so it's essential to do moon shots, of course, but the odds that those will work are pretty. Pretty slim. You're going to find only some, the most of your success, by the way, on legal newspapers or job boards.
The reason is that if you are not a challenging student, or you didn't get a summer position, or you have other negative things in your background as a new attorney, you're just if you apply to things on job boards and so forth, your ability to get positions competing with other people that may have better qualifications for a company facing law firms is pretty slim.
Again, you can try it but unless the law firm. It doesn't offer very much, meaning it pays horribly, and it's not getting a lot of applicants, then it will take a lot of work for you to get a job. Another thing I always recommend that works very well is certain professors, and many law schools can provide recommendations to people they know inside law firms.
I had one of the most bizarre experiences in law school. I was going to see A professor like a well-known, nationally known professor that is now the dean of one of the country's top two or three law schools. But I was sitting outside his office waiting to see him ask some questions about a paper or something.
And I heard him having a conversation. With a law firm, they were deciding whether or not to offer the student of his and, I don't know, a permanent or summer position. And the firm was asking questions about whether these other firms were interested in him, which the candidate or with a woman that was a candidate that knew.
And meanwhile, he was saying she won't go there. They won't make her an offer because you definitely should make her an offer. And so the professor knew people inside the law firms. And was telling them, you know what? To hire someone incredible.
So I just learned this kind of stuff happened. So it does. So you should definitely to the extent you can network with influential professors and ask them where you would apply and, if you were me and try to make them feel important and that they can do something. Also, I am a big fan of career services offices now.
Not all career services offices are great, but most have inside information on certain employers that will hire predominantly from certain law schools and consistently do so. So if you go and you ingratiate yourself even as a practicing attorney, like five or ten years out of law school with the career services offices, some of them have a lot of power and can get you into firms.
That you usually wouldn't, I remember once I was hiring someone to work for me as a first-year attorney, and I knew that one of my former recruiters was working in the career services office at UCLA in addition to that. I knew the director of the growth services office because she also tried to. She'd also interviewed her to work for me before.
So anyway, I was talking to these people and asked them if they could send me. Some resumes of people who might be good to work for me as first-year attorneys who hadn't clerked at a firm in the summers. And they turned around, and they sent me, I don't know, ten resumes, but then they editorialized them and said, I think this person would be best for you.
I liked this person. This person is the best. And gave me all this kind of editorial about them. And that's the person I ended up hiring. So your career services office, if you ingratiate yourselves with them, can help you. Even stopping by every week and asking, is anything going on?
That sort of thing can be helpful. You should use all these sources. But in my opinion, the best strategy is to get out there and aggressively market yourself to every firm you can. And again, I think last week I showed people how to Just, there's a list of firms out there, but also how to find law firms using just Google as you can type, commercial litigation firms in Saginaw, Michigan, and it will give you a bunch of them that wouldn't be on the list.
The reason Google is essential to your search is reasonable. Is because most firms are not in directories because directories cost them money, so they don't do it. Again, this is an old thing about legal authority, so I don't reckon to recommend that. Still, when you market yourself, you should do it all at once and contact as many employers as possible because you want to conduct and get a snapshot of the market at one time.
And this, by the way, is incredibly effective. I remember one of my best friends was fired from an in-house job he'd had for less than six weeks. And he'd come from a large firm. He mailed his resume to a thousand companies in Los Angeles and seven or eight hundred firms. He got numerous in-house jobs, which no one in their right mind would have believed was possible because it's always very competitive for people to get in-house jobs. Still, he found places that could use someone like him.
And not only did he find places that could use someone like him, but he also got lots of. Law firm jobs, and he took a position in a law firm where he became a partner after three or four years and developed a large book of business. So good things can happen when you apply to a lot of places.
And then also the ability to compare firms. So he got all these in-house and law firm offers around the same time. And was able to make a good decision. If he was just applying sporadically on job boards, it might've been a little more difficult for him. And you often want to have several options at the same time.
Instead of just applying to you, a firm like one or two firms gets one interview and takes that job. It's important to give yourself options now. I firmly believe in sending and applying to as many places as possible because it works. It's just you're sending applications to employers that may have yet to advertise, but when they see it, they think, wow, we could use someone like this.
They're often flattered that you contact them, and it works, but the problem is a lot of people need to do it. Sometimes. Career services offices will tell people to refrain from doing it as a general policy. Their reasons are often personal, meaning and protecting the school because certainly if every graduate or every student in a school.
Applied to 3000 law firms in New York from New York Law School would overwhelm the firms, and they may not want to see resumes from those schools anymore because they'll think they're a nuisance, whereas if people aren't doing that and they're taking advice, it's better for the school.
So it's only sometimes good for you. So I do recommend that procedure. It works. It's worked for 20 years, and I see it always working. It doesn't work. Sometimes you're targeting firms that are as hard too, but it is generally hard to get a position because they felt from summer positions or their large firms, you may need to be qualified to work for.
So it's a difficult obstacle to overcome. Not having a summer position. Everybody that graduates from any law school or goes to any law school can find a summer position in a law firm and a permanent position in a law firm. When you get out, you should not think that you need to.
Accept certain things, like you don't need to be a contract attorney. You don't need to be a law clerk for five years, not an attorney. You do not need to do any of this stuff. It doesn't matter who you are, how good you think you are, how well you did in law school. None of that matters.
Everyone that goes to law school and passes the bar can get a job in a law firm. The only question is the kind of ranking of the law firm, meaning whether it is consumer-facing or is facing working for big companies. As a young attorney and law student, I firmly believe that working in a law firm is the most intelligent decision anyone can make.
The reason is that work is done differently when working for paying clients. It has to be efficient, and it has to be thorough. It has to be at specific standards because someone else is paying you for the work. If you work in the government, or you work in the public interest, or you teach, or you do something else, there's not that kind of market pressure.
On the type of work, you do. So I think it's essential for young attorneys to do that. And I think most people, by the way, do not work. The top-tier firms pay these high market rates. What is the percentage of people to do it? Maybe 2%, maybe 3%. So why would you put yourself in competition?
There are 200, I don't know, 70 law schools. The number keeps changing. Sure, people who attend the top 10 law schools have a slight advantage, but That's only 5% or something of all the law schools out there. And everyone there needs to get a job. So you just have to understand that just because you don't get a job at a big firm in the summer is meaningless because, you know what, you're not part of this two or 3% big deal.
Who did you score? And the top 2% on your LSATs or your SATs. Most people don't. So it's okay. But all employers want to see, especially firms that are company-facing, which means doing work on behalf of companies. They typically do want to see you work in the summer.
If you don't, if you're watching this and you are a law student, I would recommend it. Being very aggressive with your marketing yourself, and whatever the reasons are, you didn't. You need to be honest and address it that way. But just approach it that way. That's it. I think the type of the way you approach this and the direction you go. It is going to have a lot to do with your career. So I think everybody should fight like hell to get into a law firm because of the training and the advantages of the rest of your career doing it.
It's tough, by the way, to go back to a law firm after you take, after you, your career starts in kind of another way. So people start. Doing, I don't know, working in the government or working in a company or something right out of law school. And when you do that, the presumption is that you don't know how to do law firm-type work.
And therefore, it becomes tough to get hired by law firms in the future because you've gone down that different path. I don't think again; it's not; it's your judgment. But I think often the best way to start your career, most of the time, is to work in a law firm because you will have a different type of career.
Okay, so I'll take a quick break for a minute or two and then come back and answer questions. I may also give a little bit of a mini presentation in response to some of the questions I prepared. Here are some things for you to read for this call. So I will try to put what I have into Dropbox and show you that and an article I'm trying to show you, and this is for everyone; on this webinar are some of the ways that law firms use not to hire you that are pretty common among all law firms and that I think people should consider. And then just to everyone on this call that this may not have applied to.
I certainly apologize. I was a little bit upset about that. We're doing just this topic because it only applies to some. So I want to apply to more people for the rest of the webinar. And then also yeah, so I'll take a quick break, and then when I come back, I'll go into the questions and hopefully do some, a few more give you guys a few more resourcing girls, a few more resources that can help you in your search.
And then maybe if you have some questions about how to conduct an aggressive search, I can answer those too. Back in just one minute. Thank you.
Okay, so this is a book that I'm going to share with everyone in the Q&A. I'll also put up the URL of it. But this is a book that we're sending out to employers on, I think, on Friday. And every Friday, we tend to send educational-type materials to law firms. And this is an example of something, but I'll send this to everyone because it's essential to read this from a law firm's perspective and what they expect when they're what's important, what's important to them.
I'm trying to blow this up. Let me just see if you can see it. Zoom. Okay, so let me see. Anyway, I think this is probably okay. Okay, so this goes to this is something that law firms look at. And the main questions are can you do the job? Can you be managed? Will you do the job long term?
Do you want the job? And do we like you? And so this, we'll discuss that. I would recommend this is pretty long, but I'll share this with everyone that's on the call so you can understand. The ways that law firms look at you. And again, these are all critical issues that law firms consider when hiring you.
And one of the things that I think is very important is, will you do the job long term? Does it look on your resume like you're, and when they talk to you, you're committed to doing this? So what does that mean? It means you've been doing the same thing and getting better and better at it.
For your career, like even when you're a law student, for example, if you went to college and you majored in nursing or some sort of, or health care, I don't know, but, and then you did that as a job, and then you wanted to get a job as a health care attorney.
People are looking. For this kind of stuff, when they're hiring you. And that's all it's essential to understand. So these are just, and then being able to be managed, does it look like you're willing to follow orders? Does it look like you'll do what's asked?
It's hilarious when you look at some of the most influential attorneys in the country, right? Thank you. When they have clients, they do what the client says they say; sometimes, we'll say, sir, and things, to the client. So these are all kinds of essential things.
I'll put this in the chat. I wonder if you can put these in the chat if you just give me a second. Let me just see here. But I'll put those in the chat. So you can let me just see, putting in the Q&A should work. Let me see here. Anyway, I'll put this in the Q&A. And then there's also this article right here that I like, which is another way that law firms Will get rid of people.
So are things that they'll eliminate you on. And so this article I would look at is about using a legal recruiter to find a position, but really what it's about are. The reasons law firms will eliminate you when they look at your resume. So do these things a law firm currently employs you?
Do you have stability working in a law firm? Are you admitted to the bar? Were you applying? And all these questions are precious to law firms when you're applying for jobs. So I just wanted to share that with you because I feel it's important to understand all the rules that law firms use to eliminate you from jobs, and then being able to overcome those reasons is something that.
It's solid, and it's an important thing to do. Just one thing I'll just tell everyone as I start these questions. Sometimes people may be logged into Zoom, and their names are displayed. I won't show your name so you can ask as many questions as possible. I'll just cut and paste the questions here.
So no one will see your name. Okay. So the first question is this wasn't the first, it was the last, but we have. I've been working at a branch office, a respected firm, for several months. However, I've received an offer from a competitor. That is larger and better in my field at the firm, which is more significant and profitable.
Offers more structured training, has more associates, and it's an office in my region that's been around longer. I want to take the better opportunity from, for training, to see the long term opportunity there. Would I be making a stake leaving? No. So that's a good question. So what happens is what law firms love to see, and this is very important, as there are very, most attorneys, by the way, most attorneys start in large law firms.
That started with large law firms, and they'll move between similar types of law firms or move to better firms. So if you have a better firm on your resume that you may have moved to, what that says is it tells The law firms that you're moving up and you're more in demand in the market.
And that's very positive. So moving up instead of down is a brilliant thing. It's something that a lot of people don't do. And also, it sounds to me like this will be better for your career in the long run. So I certainly wouldn't want to move if I was in your situation.
And just keep in mind that. The only best moves are moves to better firms. And so there's this kind of dynamic which I would like to quit talking about. I have a lengthy article on it that I'm getting ready to come out, but, these, this is the top one-fourth of, 1% of all firms.
This is like this kind of firm, and it would be like I wachtel, cravat, things like that. And then you get these, like your ammo, 100 to 200 firms representing businesses. And these tend to be your middle-market firms representing small to medium businesses.
And then these are yours, and I'll tell you why this makes sense in a second. And then these would be small businesses and mainly consumers. And then there would be people with low budgets, and then these are your individuals with low budgets. What happens with all of this is it's challenging to move from a four-firm to a five-firm; almost all candidates, almost all firms, these firms only hire summer associates
You cannot lateral to Wachtell or Cravath or something like that. They only hire from their summer program. Then in your AMLA 100 and 200 firms there are different levels, so there are different levels of prestige among them. Some of the AMLO 100 law firms and 200 would be three or even two because some of them like insurance defense, but there are different levels of prestige among these.
Among these. So it's essential to understand those different levels. And so, it sounds like you may be at a four firm but interested in a different level, a better firm, which is fine. But what many attorneys do is essential to understand, and what anyone can do in their career.
If you start at two firms representing a mix of business clients and consumers with low budgets, you may do very well with those clients and get good experience. And then, if there's an economic upturn, there's an opportunity somewhere you can get to a three-firm.
And then people from three firms moved to four firms all the time. So there's a path. You can often move to two firms even if you started at one firm. There's always a path for people to rise. And it depends on your practice area. Is it in demand?
It depends on your vocation, all those sorts of things. But the point is that there's always a chance to move up in terms of the prestige level of the firm you're at. And law firms love hiring people. That has a pattern of moving up because it shows achievement, and it shows it's not like moving down; it shows achievement, commitment, and commitment to the law firm and law firm employment.
So law firms love that. And I think that it's a great question. You're asked. Yeah, it's the next question. But these rankings of law firms, their stuff on are these rankings that this is the movement that I believe exists.
Okay, what individuals should we be reaching out to a lot from recruiters partners and managing partners? I've not been able to figure it out. Who they are. Any advice would be helpful. Okay. That's a good question. So when applying to small firms, it's typically the name partner, meaning the first name.
The first and last name in the firm. So if this, it's Smith Johnson or something. And there's a bit, whatever. I'm just making this up. You would apply to Smith.
So that's how that works. And that works, by the way; this is if it's if Smith is dead or retired. Then you would apply to John no more extended term, so you would apply to John, so that's how that works. Now, a lot of firms will have. Many firms will have emails like, recruit firm name or whatever, stuff like that.
So those inboxes are dangerous because what happens is, a lot of times, those resumes aren't even reviewed. So just imagine you were. Manning that that email address and resumes were coming every day. You would only have time to review some of them, and you would want to.
So they're just going into the ether. There's nothing wrong in that case, especially if it's a small to mid-sized firm emailing one of the leading partners or something along those lines because of the leading partner. Walks the resume down or forwards it to the person managing the recruiting email.
It's likely to get more attention than it would get if it goes to recruit because the managing partner is sending it down. So that's how that works. Those are the key people. So typically, the name partner. Then, if no one is listed on the website, which is quite often, you would want to email the person who looks most important.
And in that email, you typically want to say something that differentiates your replication from anyone else. I'm looking strictly for a firm like yours, something that talks about why you would want to work there. So it's a great question.
And then a lot of firms will have to recruit coordinators. Now, if they have a recruiting coordinator or someone in a formal recruiting position, you want to email them because if you don't, it will create problems. People in recruiting positions inside law firms are also often overwhelmed by the number of.
People are coming in. Sometimes, they have to add them to databases and all sorts of things. So it's a lot of work for them. And sometimes, they have these ways of having to review resumes. It's just can be a tough job because they may have significant cut-offs, they may have. All of these things that they need to follow to even for the resumes up to people, so that can be very difficult.
One of the things that's very interesting is that there are all these complicated things to get into social clubs and things. There's like Soho house in Los Angeles. There are all these things that. If you just try to get in without help, you never will, but if people and you have relationships, you will.
What I recommend people do, if there is a recruiting coordinator, someone like that there, call the person up and tell them you're very interested in the job. Try to bond with them in some way. If you can tell them what you like about the firm, be very concerned about them, just being friendly and gracious and ask them if there's anything that they need, if there's anything helpful, that makes them feel necessary and reasonable, which is going to work in your best interest.
So the better you can do with that, the better off you'll be. So making sure that you call someone often goes a long way. Now, you want to avoid calling a managing partner or a name partner saying you're interested. Still, the recruiting coordinator is someone you can call and will talk to you.
They may only sometimes be nice because they get a lot of calls, but it can be not very pleasant, and they're human. They may be friendly, they may not be, but I believe that works very well because if they like you. They have a lot of control over who to send the resumes to and can make exceptions and all sorts of things.
I recommend calling as well as emailing. And many times, people don't want to call because they're terrified of getting rejected. And it does happen. One of my worst experiences was I was from Detroit, and this big firm there represented General Motors. It's a big, important firm called Daikin McGossett, and my girlfriend's best friend was a partner there, and I met him. I knew him briefly. I only met him several times and sent him an application. I was hoping to work there, and then he and then I called him. It was the day after Christmas, and he was picked up, and I asked him if he received my application; there was, and he hung up on me.
He said, yeah, I just forwarded it to recruiting, whatever. And then he hung up, and I was like, it was devastating. I was like, I still feel to this day. Sometimes people aren't going to be nice to you. But you just have to shrug that off. Opposing counsel and lawsuits aren't going to be nice to you.
People you work with, you have to get over that fear of how people may treat you when you send applications and stuff. It's the people that do what others don't that typically can get jobs. So calling is something others only do some of that stuff.
Okay, so as a 3L, should I only apply to firms and take the risk of not getting a job post-graduation, or should I be devoting energy to applying for government positions? For example, DOJ opened a position now and will likely extend offers this fall. Firms may only want to consider me next year.
Do I not apply for a law firm? Yes, you can apply for government jobs if you want. There are a lot of positions in the Department of Justice and different. Areas which can be like tax and civil rights. And there are tons of positions in the government.
And those are often very competitive and can be good to get. The problem is once you take that once you go down that road, you'll have to work hard to get back into a law firm. So you're often much better off trying to get your first job in a law firm and then and then, to the extent, it's not the best job, and move up after that.
And then get that exposure. The problem is I was thinking about the Department of Justice the other day because and how I felt working there I was I worked one summer in the main Justice Department in Washington, D. C., like their main building, it takes, it's enormous, it takes up like a city block, and it's, near the Capitol.
So I worked there, and it was terrific. People would filter in at nine or 10, and then, by noon, there was a cafeteria in the basement like everyone would go down there, and then they'd filter up and, maybe at one, and then by five, everyone was leaving.
Now it's not to say that they weren't working on a check basis and that sort of thing, but it was just this dingy impersonal office. Just a lot of green walls, like light green walls and inexpensive desks. And it's just; it wasn't and I didn't think it was pleasant.
And I thought the people almost, just appeared very most of them, not all of them, but just appeared like deficient energy. And I think I would have learned a lot doing that, but it's different from a law firm because you work for the government. There's no, there's not as much pressure many times to throw yourself and work a lot of hours, and I'm not saying it isn't good to work for the government.
I think it's fantastic. And I know the DOJ is highly competitive with many different divisions, more so than most law firms. So those are good jobs, and you can learn a lot. But the problem is once you do that. Law firms presume that you would prefer that instead of working for them.
You had a chance to work in a law firm, and you didn't learn what it was like to learn in a law firm and work in a law firm. So that they'll hold it against you, and it isn't easy. To, at least from a recruiting standpoint, place people that have never worked in a law firm in a law firm because there are just different types of training.
There are different expectations. There are different pressures. There's just a lot of things that are different. And so that's the drawback. But yeah, if I were you, I would apply to do J. But I also. Apply to as many firms as possible that you think might hire you. And there's the reason I reckon the reason I talk.
About firms because it's just a different level, a different type of training. And you want to get exposed to it earlier in your career. It's much more challenging to get into a law firm later in your career when you've never worked in a law firm because you developed all these habits and things.
So what do I mean by that? For in the DOJ, where I was in the division I was in, people were arriving at 10, taking a one-hour lunch at 12, coming back, just talking to friends on the phone and just dizzy, and then going back to work until five. So that's different from what you would do in a law firm.
Those sorts of habits are hard to break. And when people get into a law firm, and they're expected to get into ten and work till 10 or 11, they simply don't want to do it because they've had something different and don't like it. So that's what often happens when law firms hire people from.
Different nonlegal positions are not accustomed to the hours. They need to become more accustomed to the competition. They're not, in a law firm, by the way; you're competing with other associates to get ahead. There's competition. All these different things happen that would only sometimes happen in a government job.
So it's just, Little different. So let's see here. These are great questions, by the way. Thank you. I'm sorry. I expected fewer questions because this was geared toward law students discussing other things.
Have you noticed any shift in law firms hiring criteria over the years, particularly in their openness to considering candidates without traditional ones? Legal internship experience.
That's a good question. I think that the way to think about the law, I think, is essential to everything. Everything that happens in the law is actually business driven.
It's a business. Are you interested in getting the best possible product and purchasing, I'm sorry, purchasing the best possible labor at the lowest cost? So what does that mean? It means that if you are willing. To go down in terms of the prestige level of the firm you're working at, you can always get a job.
So it doesn't matter. Your traditional legal experience. These firms will. We'll always hire you. You can always get a job in them. They might, I've seen; I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding.
Recently, and we're talking about 2023, two weeks ago, I've seen firms at this level pay full-time associates 45, 000 a year.
Some, a lot of them, even in LA, will pay 60, which is astonishing. But that's what it is. Now, at that level, some will pay 1 1 50. It's not it's not uncommon. I've seen one interesting one, like lemon law, which I need help understanding, but that would be considered one. I've seen some of those firms pay season attorneys 300 000 for eight years of experience.
So there's, there's different. Tears and what they pay, but my point is that anyone that wants to can get a job at one firm because the one firm will hire you cheaply and they can make money off you. Same thing with the two firms. So anybody can get a job at one of these firms; you have to apply to enough of them and be willing to accept a low enough salary.
And let me just say, but salaries. Having a job and getting trained is better than not having a job and not getting trained, so you know, people go to work at personal injury attorney law firms and these sorts of things all the time, and then they start their firms. You know what they learn and make incredible money, so You can always do very well with that, but wherever you start, I think you're always better, even if you don't have the experience, you can always get a job.
The reason is that from a business standpoint, these law firms will hire the lowest possible, pay the least amount of money, and try to make as much money as possible at some point, like you're making them far more money. Then you're getting paid. You can demand a raise. You can move to a better firm.
That's just how it works. But there are plenty of people out there that essentially will be willing to exploit you for the right amount of money. A rank four firm pays you 200,000 annually and bills you on it. $500 an hour, and you're working 2,400 hours a year, and bringing in $1.2 million in exchange for $200,000 isn't exploiting you too.
It's just how it works in all the firms. It's the level of exploitation you're willing to accept. One thing I read yesterday that was shocking to me was the average salary. I couldn't believe it, you p s driver. I told my kids this at dinner last night.
And it's just incredible; it is 170 000 a year. So it just really gives you some perspective. How badly do you want to practice law? I know that's all they ever make, but obviously, that's pretty shocking, especially when they don't have to attend law school.
I'm just, I'm assuming, no education. And that's what I mean; there's no special education they need to have or anything like that. Okay, I hear stuff like this all the time, and people making incredible amounts of money, like doing these jobs, you would earn 500 000 a year. And it's just. Wow.
Okay. So soft skills are I think it's helpful to go back to these reasons. What, which would be, can you do the job which is, you have to portray yourself as someone that can do the work and is competent. Will you commit to the job?
Meaning is this something that you want to do long term? Can you be managed? Can you be managed? And a couple of other ones here. I'm going to see you here in a second. Sorry, just five of a little bit of a brain fog at the moment.
Okay, so let me see here. Can you be managed? Do you want the job? Do we like you? Do we like it? Can you do the job? It should be pretty self-explanatory. Do you have the experience? Do you have the education? Have new people with similar backgrounds as you? Are they able to do well in the position? Is there some sort of, excuse me, history?
Of people with a background similar to yours. I'm doing well there and that sort of thing. So that's the first thing. If you went to lower rank law school and didn't do that while there, you can't get into an Amla 100 law firm right away because they're going to think you can't do the job because of your background.
I'm committing to the job means there's something, and this is an excuse for me. This is a soft skill in some respects, meaning. They want to believe that if they hire you, it's something that you're going to commit to and try hard at, meaning you want the job. Some things in your background suggest you'll do well and commit to it, meaning if you were, and I don't know.
I remember my wife had her father who had been sued in a big trademark case for trademark infringement and had this massive judgment against him of 15 million or something and had to file bankruptcy and all this bad stuff. For her, she loved her father very much and was very good.
Daughter, and so she had the story like, this happened to my family, and I wanted to be a trademark attorney. She took her first summer job as a trademark attorney. And then, and then her second summer, she did it. And then, and then and then somehow, even though she worked in a big firm or second summer, she got a job at one of the top five critical firms in the country because she just had this whole thing where it was pretty apparent.
She would commit to it for those reasons and had a terrific story. So they were like, wow, this person wants to, and she went to a top 50 or 75 law school. I don't think there's anything remarkable about her. Grades. I don't know, actually, but I'm, but anyway, the point is that if a law firm thinks you're going to commit for reasons in your background, I don't know what it is you grew up in a coal mine.
And I don't know. But something that does the job that looks like you'll commit. That there's something in your history that shows commitment. So things in your history that show commitment would be having had previous jobs for an extended time. Law firms often like it when you're married, when you buy a house, when all those things are because it's a commitment to something.
And, someone with an h and a fa, Emily, and a child will likely not bounce around between jobs because they need to support them. So that's important. Being managed is also a very soft skill, but essentially, you will follow orders like you will do what's asked of you like you won't question your superiors.
You'll get the work done and be a soldier, meaning that's what law firms want. They want people that are going to do the work. Tons of people can't be managed. They will need to follow instructions. They'll question the firm's ethics, giving them certain types of work.
They'll raise all sorts of concerns to superiors. They may have sued people in the past. There are a lot of people that need to be more manageable, and people won't hire based on that. So it would help if you showed that you follow instructions you're willing to follow.
It's asked of you that it's essential for you to learn and follow. People want to see that. And then the next one wants the job. And that's just extremely important because there'll be people that walk in and expect the employer to sell them, or they're wishy-washy.
They make offers to people, and those people come back wanting counteroffers and make things difficult. So wanting the job is, if you have reasons for wanting to work there, it's a better firm, or it's vital in my practice area. This is my dream job. And this is what, all those sorts of things make a huge difference.
And then, of course, being likable is important, too. If they like you, meaning you connect with people then, then they're going to you're more likely to get the job. There's a lot in terms of being likable. There's a very famous book called How to win friends and influence people.
I haven't read it, to be honest with you, in 20 years, but it's a great book. And it talks about how to be likable, meaning you're not critical. You're always very positive around people. You don't criticize things or people. You use people's names a lot. There's a lot to that book.
And I'd recommend reading that. So these are all kinds of skills that you need. This is what gets jobs, and it's also what doesn't get jobs. So I would recommend reviewing all this. So you do these things, and you stand out. Most people don't. And that's why in the interview, many people don't get positions where they usually should.
You mentioned you do training on locating various firms in the area. Okay, let me just pull up this. If you go to Google, then this is something anyone can do. It's effortless. Google, by the way, I'm incredibly impressed. Because what happens is most law firms are not listed in directories.
So like lemmings, everyone goes to these directories and sends applications to the same place. I would estimate just, I don't know what the percentage is, but I would estimate that probably 80% or 90% of law firms are found by Google. And they're simply not in these directories. So it's incredible because Google's crawling all these things is classifying it.
They've got thousands of PhDs working there, whereas these directories are just cold calling law firms and asking if they want to pay 500 for 2 000 to be in the directory. Something like Google will be more effective if you go to tax law firms. This is in Memphis.
I don't know. Memphis, Tennessee. This is just; I'm just making this up. Who knows if there are any, but I bet there are. And so you'll get these kinds of links like this where you'll see. Everyone that's doing that's doing tax law in Memphis. And it just keeps going.
It's gotten pages and pages. And this is Memphis. Come on. It's not a, here they all are. These are all the firms. You're never, and you won't find anything like this anywhere if you were to do personal injury for corporate law firms.
Law firms in Omaha, Nebraska. It doesn't matter anywhere in the country. Omaha. Nebraska. You're going to find all these, just, it's incredible. There are so many freaking opportunities to find jobs. And these are injury attorneys, but here's real estate, and you can look at these.
It can sometimes be better. But it's always pretty good. So this is Crocker Huck. I've never heard of them. Then they have an opportunity section for an Omaha transactional attorney. This is so easy. Like, all you need to do is just do these searches. Pull up these firms and then find these jobs.
I just, I didn't make this up. I just did this in response to your question. I pulled up a random job in Omaha, and I could probably pull up 20 or 30 more if I wanted to. So not only are there opportunities, but there's, but there are firms you wouldn't find anywhere else. It's incredible. So why wouldn't you do this for your job search?
It's a thousand times more effective than it. I hate to say it. It's more effective than that. We have a site, LawCrossing, where we find jobs like this, but certainly, with hundreds, if not thousands of cities in the United States, it's tough to find all these places.
It would help if you did this. And this is how you search for jobs. Honestly, this is not complex stuff. You can go here; you can see personal injury. I'm just talking about it; I just saw a show about how Flint, Michigan, is like this complete meltdown, but even there, there will be personal injury attorneys.
Yeah. Here you get all these personal injury guys and Flint. It's just, which is just a complete meltdown of a city. The point is that in every city in the country, you can do these types of searches regardless of your practice area.
You can just even do legal work, you could even do law firms in Honolulu, Hawaii. If you want to work there and look at them, and here you go, you can work in Honolulu. Just these are what you do. This is what intelligent people do. I don't think it's tough.
I think it's probably the most obvious way to find firms and jobs. It's just straightforward. Look at that. This guy may want some help. Oh, look, he went to Harvard. You just, it's pretty incredible. When you start using them, look how much fun I'd be happy to work with this guy.
I went to the University of Chicago Business School and went to Penn. All this kind of stuff, these are helpful people to contact. What if you went to Penn? And you wanted to work in Hawaii. There are all sorts of angles to all this. So it would help if you researched all the firms, found them, got positions, and applied to them.
Because if you don't, this is very easy. No one else is, by the way, doing this. No, I tell attorneys to do this. And very few people do this. It's straightforward. Like where else could you work? If you wanted, you could work in Aspen, Colorado; there's just every firm here.
Every firm has a website. Every firm potentially would be interested in you. And you just have to apply to them, and everyone, even if it's a solo practitioner, would like someone to help them if they want a summer job. Anyway, these people would be happy to have someone, especially the individuals, would be happy to have someone working for them over the summer for free.
So it's simple. Come on. Getting a summer or full-time job at any of these firms is pretty easy. It's just pretty straightforward. And then there are areas of the country where people probably don't want to live full-time, such as law firms in a horrible area in Bakersfield, California.
I mean, this is just a, not a, I'm sorry, but it's not a, it's not a place that people want to live, but there's all these things. There are all these places where you can get positions. It's freaking awesome. I would recommend using these sorts of resources and just Google.
I could tell you all sorts of other resources. You know that you can use this as something that we do at BCG; as we have, we keep firms' databases and have different ways of searching for them. I would show it to you, but it probably has some information it shouldn't. But this is a straightforward way to get positions.
It's just to apply. There are so many opportunities. There are thousands of cities. It's just ridiculous. It would help if you did everything you could to find these places; all of these firms will always need help. They may not pay as much as you want, but certainly, someone wanting to work for them was beneficial.
And the next question. Just give me one second. I have to grab something, and I will be back. I'll just literally be calm. Let's say 30 seconds. Give me a second. Just give me one second. I'm going to be back in 30 seconds.
So my point is just to be as resourceful with all these resources and to realize that there are tens of thousands of, maybe more, attorneys and law firms that you can work at. Giving up because you apply to some places in the directory is loony.
It doesn't make sense. It means you can get a job. You can get a job anywhere. I graduated in December 2020 and postponed prep for multiple reasons. Okay. Promotional tools
and the remote bar exam.
Okay. No. Yeah, you can drive for Uber Eats if you want. There's nothing wrong with that. The first thing I just would, I want to say about going to law school and graduating from law school, even enrolling in law school, is that attorneys that go to law school are just there, even if they don't pass the bar, are by nature very motivated and Can be very successful in whatever they do.
Just keep in mind I talked earlier about 170 000. If you want to make money, you need to set high goals. It would help to see what you can do to make money. There are countless stories that I know of. I know one of my neighbors, my old neighbors, actually died. Cocaine overdose is possible, but he started this company processing credit cards when he graduated from law school and sold it for 60 million; after doing it for ten years, he started another one.
And just made incredible money and never passed the bar exam; this shaky pizza was a big pizza chain in California. I don't know; maybe, it was started by guys who never passed the bar exam, so there are many different professions. You can channel your motivation if you need more acceptance in the legal field.
First, you probably need to get acceptance because you're not applying to places right, which is doing the Google searches and things I showed you to find jobs and firms. You don't need to apply if there's an opening; you can apply any way you want. So that's one thing.
But the other thing is that it can be if you need to get a better reception in the legal field, if it doesn't get you excited, like thinking about practicing law, and you'd instead do something else. Then there's nothing wrong with doing that. I find different aspects of my work.
I don't enjoy it. So I don't enjoy it doesn't mean that I'm not good at other things. But it's like that with anything like it turns someone that goes to law school and is motivated enough to do that can channel that motivation into things where they're likely to be where they are likely to get better reception and be happier.
You could become a developer; you could even sell real estate and make millions of dollars a year, real estate and a big; there are so many things that attorneys can do with that motivation that it's unfortunate to channel that motivation into something that isn't going to lead to anything necessarily.
And volunteer work. So just think about it this way. If you're not getting a good reception and doing everything you can to get a job, that's probably different from what should tell you about your search or the kind of reception they're getting.
Bye. Bye. If it was me and I, my advice would be that what you need to do is what you need to find. Something where it's fascinating to you and more exciting. So my story. I don't want to get too personal. I'm not personal, but this is more about you, but I was practicing law at a big firm.
And then, I was exposed to recruiters, and I understood. Instinctively, I don't know why, but instinct instinctively, I understood precisely what they did. I knew I'd be good at it. I knew I had; it was exciting to me. And it was something I wanted to do. So I did it. But you should find something like that.
Now, I think you'll need more inspiration to eat. I think that the solution is to find something that just really motivates. It could be something crazy. It could be opening a nightclub. I don't know, but you need to do something that gives you a lot of happiness and motivation and doesn't bring you down.
It's like a bad relationship. Suppose you're with someone criticizing you all the time, making you feel bad for not, Nice to you, just pointing out the bad things about you, and rejecting you when you try to talk to them. What's the point of that?
So it would help to put yourself in a position where you're happy and doing the right thing. Now, I would tell you I worked in two law firms. The first law firm I worked in was freaking awesome, and I loved it, but I went to another law firm just because it paid more money.
Bad decision. You'd want to do what you want to do and be with the people you like, and you want to do a job you like and get excited about. And if you do that, you're going to be better. What's the point of being in a position or a job where it's unhappy, where you're degraded, where you're not using your full potential?
Your total potential could be opening an animal shelter that makes you happy. It doesn't have to pay a lot of money. It just has to do Exactly. Something that matters to you. So that's my advice. I think it's a good question. I think too many people try to do a profession that just makes them feel bad about themselves.
And you may feel bad because you're applying to the wrong firms; you need to be in the right environment. I can tell you many practice areas, like family law and personal injury, use more of yours. Your sales ability is then necessarily always your legal skills. So there are practice areas you can go into that may make you excited.
Like family law may make you excited. Defending criminals may make you excited. Prosecuting criminals may make you excited. But whatever you do, you should do it now. I rather than driving for Uber Eats or something. Why not try to get a job with the government doing something or take the bar and then, that's so you're what your question is something the reason I'm spending so much time on is that this is a question many people have.
And it's an excellent question. And my answer to you is that you should make the most of yourself; you went to law school. You had a lot of motivation to do that. You sat there for three years, taking classes and attending every day, and applied to law school.
You probably took out loans. So no, you should; if you don't like the law, you should do something that matters to you but uses you. The pressure you experience; you know, the pressures that people experience going to law school are often much more significant than any pressure you will have in your jobs. If you're going to the proper work, so I would. That's why I recommend
I disagreed a week ago when an employer interviewing me after just a few months at my current firm said he was concerned about my length of time at the firm, but it seemed like I had a great lot of great reasons for moving to them and they like to move forward. Overall, the firm. Overall, the interview went well, and we connected and talked a lot about the law and personal information.
This is a hiring partner. It sounds like it'll work out. That's great. There are firms where you connect with people and ones that don't. Sometimes you'll go into interviews, and no one will be nice to you. It'll just be all formal, and it's not personal. And then they'll make you an offer, and you'll go there.
And you'll be just treated like a factory worker. When people are friendly to you, and you share information, that probably is a good idea. If this employer is a better firm than you're at, then moving up, of course, is a brilliant thing because it's always, I don't have any problem, by the way, with Someone that starts at a small firm moving to a giant firm after a year or two.
And then, a better firm moves to another sound, better firm after a year. And then, just if you're moving up in terms of the prestige level of the firm, that's great. Or some of the essential things to consider when joining a firm. So when joining a firm, these are just some questions you should ask.
You know what happened to the person, what happened to the person before me, the person before me, or people on the left, and I'll explain that to you in a minute.
Do I connect to that?
And does the firm have a lot of work?
And are they getting more?
So I was practicing the first, second term I practiced at was named Dewey Ballantyne, and it was the Los Angeles office of a New York law firm that was paying New York rates and all these incredible things. There was one partner there. That was incredibly toxic and undermined people to such a degree that after they worked with her, they would quit.
And one woman became a waitress, another person. Just all these. The woman I'm thinking of is a waitress who went to Columbia Law School. All these awful things were happening to the people, and people were leaving, and bad things were happening to them just when they left. So some law firms, this is what happened.
So you have to understand that question. The connection is essential because When you enter law firms, you can feel their atmosphere and that, sometimes, that atmosphere and energy will either turn you off or you'll feel comfortable. I think that's a natural thing when people get together.
There's a specific type of energy that's thrown off. And based on that energy. You're going to either be happy there or not. So you need to figure that out. And then, but the most important thing, this is the most important thing, is that the law firm has access to a lot of work.
So what does that mean? That means there has to be a lot of work coming in, and the work that, hopefully, the law firm should be growing and getting more work, not shrinking. Because that's a sign that the market likes what the firm's doing, it's also a sign that you're going to have a lot of employment stability because what happens slow firms, so firms let people protect the work, protect the work, so partners try to do it all themselves.
And they are scary. Because you never know what's going to happen to you. And so they do things like, they give bad reviews,
let staff people go. They're just scary places. And there are a lot of firms like that. So you have to understand that. And then busy firms.
Growing firms try to keep people around because there's so much work. They advance people
and partner and stuff, people, partners, increase pay, and give great reviews to hold onto people. So these are two separate firms.
And so you can analyze firms and get a sense of them. Who's more who's busier? Who are you know? These are fundamental questions. I can't emphasize enough how bad it is if you go to a slow firm because you or the firm doesn't seem to be growing, and maybe they hire you to work on one client.
And there are all sorts of things. So slow firms are dangerous many times. By the way, slow firms are branch offices of more prominent firms that aren't able to generate their work. And that's because they tend to hire laterally to start those businesses, and a lot of times, the partners who are hiring laterally are people that were having problems at their existing firms.
There's just and didn't have the bit don't. Okay. There's just all sorts of things going on. But these are some questions that you should ask and think about. But that connection is vital. And I think that sounds like it could be a good thing for you, while these are just a lot of great questions.
Thank you, everyone, for asking this. I thought that because of this presentation, I would be out of there pretty quickly cause I didn't think so. This would be, people would be, there would be so many questions. Okay, let's see. Okay, I lost my position in a small firm in my first year of practice.
I got into a better firm. It was ultimately a blessing in disguise, and that small firm was under severe stress. Exactly. So just everyone, what this person is saying is always genuine. Law firms that lay you off or give you a tough time only happen most of the time when they're scared, and they don't have enough work, but they want to blame you.
Because they don't want to look slow to the world, the market or other attractions. This episode of being fired in a plumbing gap of a couple of months before joining a large and far better firm continues to haunt me. And how should I explain it all? You can put down the month of your leaving, and you can say that you wanted, you were working hard, and wanted to take a few months off.
You can say that the firm that hired me wanted me to give me a later start date. You can say that you can say all sorts of things, or you can just list the years you were at some place when you got later in your career. You can say I was at this place from 2022 to 23.
I joined this firm in 2023. And so I don't think so. Being fired is necessarily something that you can talk about. In general, just so you understand, when firms interview you laterally, they don't care. They're trying to make money. So if something happened at your last firm, they wouldn't care.
But one of the questions I went over here above is, will you do, will you commit to the job? That's really what law firms want to see. So if it was me and I was at this new firm. What I would do is I would try to stay at the more prominent firm as long as you possibly can, unless you're moving to a more prominent firm, because the most crucial thing that law firms want to see when they're hiring you is if you're, if you stay a long time, that means a lot of things.
So it means, it means, a ton of things. This means that, that you're, you can get along with people.
Your work's good. There's continuity with our clients. I mean, the clients only have people leaving some of the time. You're loyal, all these sorts of things. So these are excellent things. So attorneys can stay. Law firms, for an extended time, are much more marketable in the future and have a lot more options, and tend to be more trusted at the law firms they are at, and because they're more trusted if they stay a long time, they learn a lot more.
So my advice to you would be I would stay at the firm you're currently at as long as you can because otherwise, you're going to look very loyal. It'll just help you in terms of being able to get jobs in the future. It's just an intelligent thing.
The longer you stay at a firm, the more loyal you seem, the more likely you are to make a partner, the more likely you are to get inside information. There's just a whole different bunch of things.
Okay, this is about international students, which is a good question. So what happens every year is thousands of international law students come to the United States to attend LLM programs, and many of them have worked in top U. S. or international law firms in their home country, but they come to the U.S. with the hope that getting an LLM will entitle them to or get them positions at U. S. law firms. And unfortunately, they might get a job that lasts for one year. It's called an international fellowship or something at a top New York or a top firm. Or they might get a position.
Generally, the positions they get are in things like international arbitration. There are only a few openings, but they need help finding them. International students get jobs at US law firms after an LM because they typically need to be sponsored for visas, and law firms believe that those attorneys will often more likely than not go home after their, at some point, because of their family and their whole social networks there.
So it's hazardous for law firms. Very much. And again, it's sad because there are. Thousands of people go to these LLM programs, and I see hundreds of these resumes per week. And they typically go home, take the New York bar, and then try to apply to the firm in New York.
And it just, honestly, it works out. If you were a US law firm and had your choice of hiring Someone you knew would stick around, you would. And, that you don't have to sponsor them for a visa, you would be much more likely to hire a US attorney, and that's what happens.
So if it was me and I was an international student. I would try to get a position in a US law firm for maybe one year. Typically the best practice area to do that is in. It is capital markets, so you can teach our capital markets and then go back to your home country and understand that and help country companies in your market that are trying to raise money for different things through stock, stocks, and different things.
So that's smart, but I think the smartest thing for you to do is try to work in your home country or a country in your region. If you're from, say you're from Ireland, you could work in places in England and other countries around Europe, or if you're from, that's the smartest thing to do, and then use your LLM for that generally. Still, it's very hard for Foreign attorneys that get LLMs to stay in the U.S.
Now, some of them do something brilliant. They get JDs in addition to the LLM; that's typically what the law firms want. Once they get that, if they somehow get U. S. citizenship or they marry Someone or whatever, then they become all of a sudden quite marketable, just like a U.S. attorney where their grades and everything are what are factored in. So those are some ways it works, but generally, it can be pretty tricky. For people to get those types of jobs.
Okay. A lot of great questions. This is amazing.
Okay. So law firms that align with your strengths and experiences are typically the best way to identify them would be just the type of work they do. So the type of work they do and the types of attorneys they hire are the types of attorneys that work there. That's pretty much it. That's, Okay. So if you, it's less about your experiences and more about your strengths. Once you go into Google and research all these different firms, you understand once, you look for people that look similar to you in terms of law schools and life experience and just place people that you think would be like you.
And when you find that you apply to those places and you're more likely to get hired. So if you go to Stanford Law School and you start applying to firms where everybody went to third-tier law schools, those people are not going to be interested in you because you won't make them feel good about themselves.
You would have to apply to firms with people like you or if you're doing insurance and want to do commercial litigation. You have to apply to firms and do insurance defense and commercial litigation. You can't just apply to commercial litigation because you're doing a different type of litigation, probably defending insurance companies against individual claims.
And so you have to figure all that out. But generally, what I shared here was these different types of firms. So you have one firm, the five firms. And so you have to try to apply to firms that match what you want to do. Essentially it's essential to understand that these firms will always be the hardest to enter.
Because they represent companies, these will be the easiest because they represent individuals. They won't pay as much, but they'll give you experience, and that's more important than anything. These firms, like you, can start out doing immigration law. It doesn't matter what the practice area is; you can become very successful.
Everybody that becomes, it doesn't matter, but applying to law firms where you're likely to get hired is essential. There are people like you. It's tough to jump into specific types of firms if you don't have the experience they're looking for.
I'm a consulting forensic electrical engineer. I've worked with lawyers involving patent infringement, product liability, heavy manufacturing, medical, domestic, and forensic. I'm sorry, I'm going to read this. As a consulting forensic electrical engineer, I've worked with lawyers involving patent infringement.
Product liability, consumer electronics, high-tech microchip equipment, heavy manufacturing machinery, and medical equipment malpractice, both domestically and throughout Asia, including additional experience in laboratory, forensic, And now failure analysis, can be a possible fit in a technical consulting advisory role, including offering to the second option with an ongoing case.
Yeah, so you can be a technical expert, and people hire technical experts, and law firms do, but what I would suggest is if you want to have a long term. Position in a long firm and a law firm; you should become a patent agent rather than a forensic expert. So patent agents can do pretty much everything a patent lawyer does, and they're much more employable.
So you can take your experience. And if you want to get a job in a law firm, you can be more employable. Become a patent agent, and those are they can pay very well. They can pay more than 300 000 a year in some firms. So being a patent agent can be an outstanding career. And then, in terms of Technical consulting, the problem with that is generally going to be short-term type positions.
And so with short-term positions, you're going to be. Always scrambling for work and moving from case to case, whereas as a patent agent, you're always a profit center for the firm. That's what I would recommend is electrical engineering. You can take the patent bar and be marketable to law firms.
Once you do that, sometimes you work for the government in the USPTO, which is what Einstein or his career started in the German equivalent. But I would recommend potentially trying to be a patent agent. When you start, I think that if that's if you want long-term work, if you want to be a consultant there, there are advertisements for technical consultants and stuff on BCG; I've just found that those are a little bit difficult to get, and they don't have ongoing income, which you could get as a patent agent.
I'm currently licensed to practice law in three states. When I began a third and a third-tier law school, I graduated with a JD from a top 20 law school. Congratulations. That's amazing. After I went through an LLM in another top law school, I found out what was missing to pass the bar exam.
I ended up passing the UVE with a high score after my LLM. After completing my LLM and passing the bar, I now feel confident to be able to work in a law firm. By the way, I'm a registered patent attorney. Nice. Okay. And my LLM relates to ADR and business law. I can put my own top 10% and send out so many resumes, but only a little, okay, so here's what you do. If you are sorry if you, let me just see.
So I just want to ensure I reread this and understand it before answering it. Oh, you're a registered patent attorney. Okay, so what I would recommend is how do you do that? Okay. This is very interesting to see what happens to patent attorneys. So there's an article on BCG called, why law firms have yet to learn how to hire patent attorneys.
But what typically happens to patent attorneys is that patent attorneys will start. At small law firms, it's tough to get hired by top law firms; most patent attorneys, because they're engineers, can work during law school, or law school is just a little bit difficult for them, so they end up.
Working in sorry, they take jobs that aren't as good, then move to top law schools later. I wonder why you got that LLM. You can leave it on your resume and say you might be interested in patent litigation or litigation or something in the future, but if it was me.
I would apply to small law firms for patent prosecution or patent litigation, and I will get a job because what happens to most patent attorneys is they start. At small law firms because they just don't have the grades and all that kind of stuff that people generally need to get into large law firms out of law school.
It almost always happens. It's not the exception. It's the rule. And then, when they get the experience writing patents and so forth, they go to larger law firms. Now there's another point that's important to understand: large law firms are shying away and have been for years, more than a decade, from doing patent prosecution.
They do them, Morrison and Foerster, and there are a lot of giant firms that do them. Still, the problem with patent prosecution of large law firms is that smaller law firms typically do them on a flat fee basis, and large law firms will often bill by the hour, so the law firms billing by the hour makes everything much more expensive for the clients.
And so most of the time, they'll send work to many smaller firms other than the large ones. But small firms are of three people that represent and do patents for Microsoft. So that's what I would do. The LLM is fine. There's nothing wrong with that.
But it's just better if it is consistent with what you're doing, but I feel confident that if you pass the patent bar. If you're a registered patent attorney, then that's what you should be doing because there are very few attorneys that are patent attorneys or majored in sciences. Then we are even qualified to do better patent work.
One second. I'm going to grab some questions here.
I believe I'm working for a crazy partner. As you said, she constantly forgets every deadline, Asks to review work before the deadline when it was submitted weeks ago, and then acts like someone else drops the ball; forgets to provide instructions or edits, and then gets mad if it's not done without notice without noticing or noticing anyone. I don't want to end up like these people you described who ran out, but I need to deal with this to correct my position. She's very influential. What do I recommend?
Yeah, so there are people like that. And they're dangerous. And the problem is other attorneys and senior attorneys in the firm generally know who those people are.
And they condone it because those people may have prominent clients who would generate a lot of business for the firm. So there are people inside law firms that consistently throw associates under the bus, which becomes a problem. So what do I recommend? I think that you have a couple of choices.
What I would recommend would be that you can do your best to anticipate the issues that she has and not get mad at her and be respectful. And try to turn that around and make her like you; that's probably unlikely. But you can try, but I would recommend trying to get work from other people and, to the extent you can, then try to phase out.
Have her try to work with her as little as possible. If it gets severe, maybe some firms have mentors, and you can bring it up without using her name as your mentor, or sometimes you can bring up the issues quietly and in a way that doesn't create much tension.
With some other partners in the firm. I've seen associates that are dealing with that sort of stuff. Go to the head of the firm, be like, I can't work with this person. I'm concerned about my future. And they will fix it and sympathize with you. So you have to figure out how to deal with it.
It's tough. And if people need to remember deadlines, you should try to document everything. It sounds like what's going on. You have to do your best too. Document everything. One of the things about partners like that is if you figure them out, then they can be your biggest ally.
And they'll teach you a lot of ways, a lot of things that you might not otherwise learn in your career, and they'll show you they'll give you an excellent grounding to succeed.
Okay, this is another question I've probably already answered before when I talked about LLM.
This person says, What if I didn't do a summer internship because I got a degree in a foreign country, went to the U.S. law school, did my master's and Law, and then my experience doesn't translate in us?
Yeah. So again, this is a problem. I don't want to be critical of law schools, but LMS is a money machine. They can put you in a classroom with. You and 30 other people can take it, and it's a small amount of money for them to run you through an LLM program, and they will get a lot of money from you.
Maybe 100 ,00. So it's a business. And it contributes to the bottom line of the schools. But the problem is it's tough for people that aren't educating us, if possible for you, to get a position. In the U. S. Because you'll need to be sponsored. You'll need a summer job.
You don't have a JD; the JD allows them to compare you to other people in your class.
Everyone typically gets good grades in l M programs, just as they do in most master's programs.
It's tough. Going to us with the exp, the expectation that you'll get a job doesn't calculate.
It doesn't work now. Sometimes it may. I don't know if you're from an Asian or US country. Sometimes it does work for certain types of attorneys and could work for Australian attorneys. For example, many firms are comparable to the US; sometimes, you can work for insurance for the UK; turns from the UK rarely come over. I don't know why, but many Australians do, but it is only accessible if you have experience at a US firm.
And it's challenging for people to get. Summer internships are good jobs in the US. It's just unfortunate. So many people are in that position. But if it were me, I would use the experience I got to go back to my foreign country and see if there's some way you can offer that to firms.
Given my lack of traditional legal internships. I've taken a freelance research project to build legal skills. Do firms appreciate this initiative, and how can I showcase this project in my resume? Okay, that's good. There are lots of people that have yet to take real jobs inside of law firms to do legal, freelance legal research.
The problem with doing freelance legal research is that if no one's supervising your work and you're just doing what you're doing, then that may not; you may not improve. And a law firm will require a little different type of skills. What I would recommend is that you can undoubtedly have a section that caused them, but freelance legal are, are, legal research projects and talk about those and then and then apply to law firms.
But again, what I would recommend doing is applying it. Thank you. If you still need a legal internship, these firms in red will always hire you. You can get a job that just won't pay as much, and you will get experience in a law firm. That is why I would recommend these firms are not challenging to get jobs.
And when I say they're complex, they do have to have the jobs and the economy there and has to have the work, but you can always get jobs in these. So you should not. Take a legal research position because you feel you can't get a job. Anyone can get a job. I've shown you that in every city in the country, there are multiple people, if not hundreds, and every practice area.
So it's relatively easy to get a job. I think everyone can work as something other than a contract attorney or freelance legal researcher. I think you should be inside of a firm. It would help if you were inside a firm because you'll see the natural world and expose yourself to actual clients. You're going to expose to the pressure of working in a law firm, and you're also going to be able to get work with attorneys supervising and criticizing your work, which is going to make you grow.
And then you're also going to see how the legal business works. Working in a law firm is essential instead of doing these jobs. Know why I do know why. I know people take these jobs because they don't see the tremendous opportunity out there, but there are opportunities around you.
I grew up in this town of 25 000 people. And there are 30 law firms there. I didn't; I had no idea when I did a Google search. Law firms are everywhere; you just need to work for them and find someone to hire you. And paying you something to get that experience rather than putting together piecemeal work or getting a job as a contract attorney and sitting around waiting for a call a day in the morning just doesn't make sense.
You can highlight it, but I also think you should take my advice and try to get a real job. I'm not trying to be mean; I'm just trying to show you that you will get a real job when you accept the amount of money these law firms are willing to pay.
And then work your way up is what I'd recommend.
Okay. Yeah. So you should never you can stay away from people that are saying negative things about your firm. If you do, if you associate with them and you get involved with that, they will use your statements against you or tell other people what you said. They are harmful, and they are not going to get ahead in your firm.
It's nice to connect, but if you were in high school and you decided you wanted to smoke pot and do drugs on the weekends with your friends, you would end up and drink all weekend. You would end up being friends with a specific type of person. And ultimately, you would be defined by that.
It would say, Oh, she's a stoner. He's a stoner. And you're defined by the people you're around. So I think that needs to be clarified. I think you should ignore those sorts of things and try to avoid people that are like that. And you should be friends and socialize with people that are doing well.
It's like that everywhere. Good things will happen if you associate with people doing well. If you associate with people who aren't doing well, bad things will happen to you. I'll tell you a quick story. When I was in my first year of college, there were two fraternities, and I went to the University of Chicago.
So these are not fraternities you would think of at a state school or something. There were two of them. And the fraternity I joined was basically like a fraternity where everyone smoked, drank, and used drugs. And then the other fraternity that I wanted to join was this fraternity that was the exact opposite.
Everyone there was a great student and studied together, and the people from that fraternity went on to be some of the most successful people in the country. Wikipedia pages talk about how they were ahead of Goldman Sachs. And the one that I joined several people.
I committed suicide; I was tiny because they were on a different track, and I was not early in their life. Later when they were in their 40s and late 30s. Literally, like 20% of the people that I knew were. Gone. So I'm the kind of person, and I'm not saying it was a lousy attorney.
There were a lot of excellent things about it. And that wasn't the kind of style of life I have, but I was comfortable around that kind of people because I knew that kind of people in high school, and it was just easier than anyway, but so the kind of people you spend your time with really have a lot to do with how successful you are.
If you avoid Negative people, you won't be seen as someone who thinks that because if five or six people sit around gossiping about the firm and talking to negative people and are negative, the firm sees you socializing with them, even if you're not harmful. The law firm will assume that you're negative like them because they will know one or two of those people are harmful and know what you're doing.
So you want to be in a position where you're talking to people supporting the firm instead of bringing it down. So they are always there, it's called antisocial or hostile people. There are always harmful people, and there are always positive people. And then there's the kind of people that don't get involved.
I would recommend being with people that don't get involved at all. Positive people support the firm because all that behavior just drags the firm. You're fighting the hand that's feeding you. It just needs to make more sense. I would be cautious with those types of people and associated with them.
Yeah, that's a good point. I believe most training, really, and I think that's great. If you want to work in the office, most training happens face to face; posture, facial expressions, closing doors, or opening doors.
Sign and things you hear in the background. So much goes into being around partners in the office and talking to you from the advancement standpoint. Those kinds of in-person relationships are essential. I understand entirely what you're thinking; it's undoubtedly.
And partners, by the way, I have partners who are concerned that their offices are remote and they want to move firm. So it's not just associates that experience it. It's also partners. So I really would recommend that you if. If you don't like the remote nature of the work, that honestly is possibly a good reason to move.
It would be best to watch what's happening at the firm meeting if people are making and not making partners. If that is working remotely, that's a sign that it's good or bad. But yeah, working remotely can be a tricky thing, I think, for you to get ahead sometimes.
Sorry for some of these people that ask questions early, but I'm just answering for some reason. I was doing the ones at the end. This is.
Okay, so this is the same thing. So I think I covered this. You just know it's okay if you didn't get an offer. It's okay. It's okay if you didn't get a job in OCI. Now, OCI is a good thing for everyone here. It would be best if you relied on something other than OCI. So If you're doing OCI and went into a top law school, the law school will typically funnel certain types of people to certain firms in OCI.
And OCI, if they asked you about your 1L and you didn't get a job, or however that happened, that doesn't matter. Most people, by the way, they're 1Ls. The firm doesn't make offers to 1Ls. They just give them summer jobs. Only some get an offer.
Which is perfectly fine. But I would define entry-level opportunities; attending a good law school makes you very marketable. So I recommend that you do whatever you can to get it. A position now in a law firm. So you may need to be in a position where you could get a job before an AM law 100 law firm because you're a law school, you may just need to apply to three firms and then move up to a four-firm after you get a couple of years of experience.
This is relevant because when you come out of law school, the only thing law firms have to evaluate you on is your school. Grades and summer employment. There's only so much else they can evaluate you with when hiring you. And that's it.
So, when you get, when you have, maybe two years or two years of experience, it can be your school, current job, and most importantly, your practice area. So the practice area is a big deal. The practice area means you may be only 5% of the people in your market.
Or maybe one in, one in 25 people are in your practice area and geographic region, right? So you're suddenly more marketable if you're in the proper practice area. So that's really what matters after a year or two of experience, sorry, geography.
So that's really what matters. So your practice here is hugely important. You could move to a top-four firm if you were a corporate attorney at a three firm. If you were a litigator at a top three firm, you could move to a fourth firm. So all this stuff is what happens when you do that.
So your practice here becomes most important, not necessarily the firm you're at.
Okay, if someone has a health issue yet to be doing an internship, how can they talk about it to their potential employer without affecting their chance of getting a job? This is a very kind of tricky question. So people have psychological breakdowns. They have surgeries, and I don't know; many things happen to people.
The problem is anytime you portray any type of weakness; it can hurt. So what would a weakness be? Maybe you were hospitalized or had to go away for alcoholism. I don't know. I'm just making it up. Or you, I don't know. You were too stressed out by law school and had to; it's just so all this stuff, really; anytime something like that happens, you're almost better off not discussing it.
Because if you portray weaknesses anytime, it's not that the law firms are discriminating. It's just that they will potentially. Use that against you. And it just will affect everything. So it's not the end of the world to do that; you just don't talk about it.
You just say maybe you say, I had most of the time, they won't ask you. Again, all that matters when the employer is interviewing; I just want to keep returning to this. The law firm will hire you when your value exceeds their pay.
So these are all business decisions. And your value is lessened to the extent that there are things in your background that you don't like, which means your grades or lack of a summer job. So it just means you must move down a bit before moving up. There's nothing wrong with having had a health or other issue, Okay?
The only problem is when you say these things, there's, and again, I'm not trying to be discriminatory or say anything wrong, but they're asking, will you do the job long term? And if that's a little bit of a risk, if the risk to the firm, if you have problems, you have issues that others don't, that's all.
I just, it's essential to understand that. You know that you never want to talk about negative things because if you do, the law firm may use it; it's just, you have to be careful because the law firm ultimately wants to hire the person that it believes is going to be you.
The best fit.
Sorry. Okay, so sorry. This is the last question. There's maybe if you want.
Okay, so what do you recommend when you have months? Waiting for the bars. So law firms will interview you while waiting for you to pass. I would recommend you; you spend the time looking for a job.
And then, most of the time, they'll hire you right away. For in, they hire people that are summer associates regardless of what they pass the bar. That's called a law clerk. So is the law clerk. It has yet to have a bar. So that's fine. So you should be while you're, what should, what do you recommend?
I recommend searching for jobs when you have months away in bar results. If you still need
this follow-up. Sorry. I'm almost done if anyone has any follow-up questions about these, I'm happy.
I'm figuring this question is fun. My previous question was during the LM business on AR. I asked the law school to wave. Wave some of the required courses for business law, so I could take fire-related courses, which I did. I did not take it during my JD. Oh, that's smart. Okay. Nice job. That was very smart. So you can prepare the law school way to record law business blocks since I took them during my JD.
Should I remove the LM entirely from Verizon? No, you shouldn't. You can leave it on there. You shouldn't; you should never lie. It would be best if you left it there. You could just say LLM from the school and not say what it's in. You can leave it on there.
Sometimes people will get LLMs, and they'll get them from very prestigious schools. So I've seen people go to unaccredited California law schools with a 5% bar pass rate. I'm not kidding. Maybe 10, but just awful schools, an LLM from Harvard law school, and a job at a major New York law firm in California.
This happens. There's nothing. But if you get an LLM from a good school, you should be proud. It's just, and I would say, more like business law than ADR. That would probably be more appropriate to say business law, and this doesn't say business on ADR.
Just that you wanted to understand how businesses work, and that's okay. That's good. One of the things that's very interesting is that people get MBAs after getting law degrees. Are very marketable firms respected? If you make it that people will think you have a business background, you understand things, and you can identify with business clients.
So I don't honestly see anything wrong with that at all. Oh, this is the LMS, the international business and economic stuff. Yeah, that's fine. I think there's nothing wrong with that. They may ask you why you did it. And think it's a little but other than that.
Okay, so this is another question of the last; I'm almost done with these questions. Where would I fit in as a student who worked full time, went to school full time, and did not do a law firm internship but did? Yeah, that's fine. This is all great. Sometimes people work full time, and law firms respect that you may have had to support a family or you wanted to pay for law school.
They expect they respect that because it shows motivation. Shows you want to be an attorney. You have these questions up here, which we talked about earlier. Can you do the job? Can you commit to the job? Can you be managed? Yes, if you could commit to a full-time job while working.
Yes. Can you be managed? Yes. You're working for other people. Do you want the job? Yes. You've sacrificed everything to become an attorney, and then do we like you? Yes, we love your struggle and everything you did. So all that's very positive, and law firms would like that.
Okay, so this is a good question. I'll answer this one too. Is there particular practice here in types of law firms that might be more open to hiring candidates for traditional positions? And how can I identify and target? Yes. Those are small business consumer firms that represent individuals and clients with a lot of money.
They do not typically have any types of summer programs, and they hire people when they pass the bar, and they hire them at all different salaries. You could make 60 000 at one. You can make 150 000 more. You just need to apply to all of them. That's a great question. But it's typically law firms that are consumer-facing or mid-sized law firms that may never have summer programs and do all their hiring laterally.
Most law firms in the United States, like 95%, do not have summer associate jobs. You can work in a firm during the summer, and they just call you a law clerk, and then you can try to get a job after. That's how that works.
That's another question. Sorry. People ask questions a lot. I'm trying to answer everything because I want to help everyone here. There seem to be a lot of IP litigation jobs open to people with two-plus years of IPO litigation experience at the moment. I have a science background, a master's in biomedical engineering, and published pharmacology work, but I did not pursue litigation after law school.
I got my master's. After law school to make myself more marketable, and IP is an undergraduate biology degree could be more desirable. Towards the end of my degree, when my lab was closing, I took a role as a research attorney in-house because I was recruited at the right time, and I needed a job with fewer extreme hours while finishing my master's.
Okay. While in that role, I specialized in corporate law and IP but did not prosecute. I did complete a patent litigation practicum and an IP practicum, mixed transaction litigation, in law school, but that was several years ago. Is there a way to break into these roles, despite needing to gain firm litigation experience?
What angle would you take? Let me just understand. So undergraduate degree, you get your master's after law school. I don't know what you got; you're a master's in biomedical engineering. Okay, so that's a good question. Bio biotech patent prosecution and things that involve those jobs are harder to get inside of law firms than Jobs doing they're calling for electrical engineer physics and that sort of thing.
So that's 1 of the things that you're facing. By the way, some markets good for biomedical-type stuff would be San Diego and Boston. The Bay Area, to some extent, so there are markets for that. And there's nothing wrong. With your experience, all you need to do to get a position.
This is very common for patent attorneys. I'm assuming. You took the patent bar. So if you took the patent bar, you just need to start at smaller firms, like three firms or firms that will give you experience. The nice thing about patents is there are hundreds, tens of thousands of small patent firms.
And you can apply to them just as I showed you using Google; you can find them and firms to do that type of work. They may have a little work for you, but at the same time, You can try to work there. They may only pay a little but may be interested in training you.
And they will. So there's, you find those firms just by doing Google searches for different cities and things of people doing it, or even attorneys that went to your law school and did, you just take every possible way you can. And apply to as many places as possible, basically saying you want the experience.
Some firms also do patent litigation, but you must call in many places. And the only other thing I would say is that this is a little bit scary, but compared to Patent prosecution, the hard sciences, they often want patent prosecutors in the life sciences to have PhDs compared to just master's degrees and the hard sciences.
It's difficult, and it's more challenging to get jobs at patent firms doing bio and patent litigation, doing biotech stuff, but you can; you just need to apply to smaller places again, as I said earlier. Most patent prosecutors, because they have a science background, don't go to the top law schools because there are big curves and things, and in biology and sciences, they don't have the top grades. They're not necessarily trained verbally for reading comprehension and all these things that they talked about in the LCT, so they almost always start at small firms, so you just need to start at a small firm when you get the experience of the small firm, you can always move to a giant firm, but That's what I would recommend.
You don't want to harp on. It would help if you weren't defining yourself at this point in all these schools and practicums and things. It would help if you tried to turn that into practical, meaning getting a job. And that's one of the problems of people that need to be more academic in the legal field.
If the law firms want to see, okay, you know this stuff, now get to work, and they're not theoretical professors. By the way, law schools typically don't make reasonable attorneys because you're too theoretical and focused on education, and they don't. Law firms require a kind of boom, doing work, so that's what I would recommend there.
It would help if you did whatever you could to get a job in a small firm and then move into a larger one. All right. And I hope that helps. Thanks, everyone, for being on this webinar. Great questions today. Next week, I think I will do a much more in-depth presentation.
This is a good one, but how to position yourself to get a better job in a law firm? I was going to do that today, but that wasn't a webinar that was announced. So I went with this one. But yeah, everyone who asked questions today. Thank you. These questions are beneficial because they show you.
The frame of mind you need to be in and the decisions you need to make to get a position. Unfortunately, it looks like I can only message some. I would like that in this webinar. So what I'm going to try to do is if you registered on the webinar, I will send you these links.
I think it is essential for you to read this Dropbox, one being the book. So you understand better how law firms look at you, and I'll send that out. Hopefully, as a mass email without putting people's email addresses in there today or tomorrow. Thanks a lot, everyone, for being on the webinar.
Thanks for the questions, and I will talk to you next week.