In this webinar, Harrison delved into one of the most crucial aspects of job hunting that affects professionals from all backgrounds, including law students and seasoned attorneys. This presentation revealed essential insights into job seekers' challenges and provided actionable solutions to overcome them.
Harrison's passion for helping individuals find their ideal career path shone through as he addressed the common dilemmas that plague job seekers. He emphasized that these issues are fixable and underscored the need to take proactive steps.
The webinar began with Harrison discussing the prevalence of professionals settling for jobs they consider beneath their qualifications or needing help to secure interviews. He questioned the prevailing mindset that limits job searches to a narrow scope, highlighting the missed opportunities that result from such a limited approach.
A key takeaway was Harrison's insistence on expanding one's job search. He shared data from BCG, his company, revealing that 85% of placements occurred at firms without public openings. This fact illuminated that job seekers can find success by exploring more markets and firms rather than relying solely on advertised job listings.
Harrison's message was clear: job seekers must broaden their horizons and adopt a more proactive approach to secure their desired roles. His webinar was a compelling call to action, reminding attendees that they hold the power to reshape their career trajectories and find happiness in the legal profession.
In conclusion, Harrison's recent webinar offered invaluable guidance for those struggling with their job searches. By challenging conventional thinking and advocating for a more expansive approach, he empowered attendees to take control of their careers and find fulfillment in the legal field. The presentation left a lasting impact and provided a roadmap for success in the competitive job market.
Okay, we're going to get started. So this is actually in; I was reviewing this presentation before I started. And I think this particular presentation is probably 1 of the most important. You can hear all my presentations if you've ever been to my presentation before.
In this particular presentation, I will go into quite a bit of detail about why people don't get jobs. These are the reasons that people always don't get jobs. They, I, when I counsel people that aren't getting jobs, it's always these reasons that I'm going to talk to you about today. I'm very excited about this presentation.
The people on it, you'll get a real treat because you'll learn exactly what you need to do. And it's anybody. It doesn't matter what your background is. It doesn't matter what you bring to school. It doesn't matter how senior you are. It doesn't matter what practice setting you're coming from.
All of this applies to you. So I'll give this presentation. After the presentation, I will take questions about this. And you can ask questions about this or anything else in your career. Typically, people ask more questions about. Things in their career than this, but that's fine. And I have time to answer all the questions everyone has.
It's common, very common for people for law students, attorneys, and others to get job offers and then go to jobs where they're unhappy, and it doesn't have to be that way. It's also widespread for people to have a challenging time getting jobs and spending time unemployed, and when they go on interviews, they don't get the jobs they want. They don't understand what's going on.
They think that they're doomed, that they did something wrong in the past on their resume, just not true. Other people often give up law practice entirely because they feel they can't get hired. They feel something is wrong with them, which can be fixed permanently.
I'll tell you about that today. And it's just, to me, it makes no sense. I have a specific method of getting people jobs. It always works. It always has. But people are scared of the things that I say. And then you may be scared today, too. When I talk to you, their egos get in the way. I don't know.
They need to take the right actions. And it's effortless for you to reach your full potential. And, not unhappy, they make the employers miserable when they don't like their jobs and don't fix them. These issues carry on into their careers and lives.
So that's what I'm going to talk about today. This is a severe topic because many people aren't happy practicing law, and you may be in the same boat. And if you're unhappy, this will elucidate and tell you what you need to do to be happy. Everyone can find a place where they're happy.
It's possible. Thirty thousand plus law firms are organized, meaning five or ten people at the minimum and even more significant. There's a lot of opportunity out there, but if you're not getting that opportunity, you must do something right. So the first question you need to ask yourself is, if you're not getting offered, or if you're not finding places that match your interest and that you like, you have to ask yourself, are you getting jobs that affirm that you think are beneath you?
Or you have to ask yourself. If you've done everything possible, you can get job offers and find places to get a job. It just seems like everyone. They think that they only need to do one thing. It's unbelievable. People will say, Oh, I'm only going to check LawCrossing for jobs or indeed for jobs or LinkedIn for jobs.
I will only apply to firms with this type of prestige or people with all these things. And if you're not getting the job offer you want, you need to do something right. A lot of times, people get mad. People are mad all the time. Like they're thinking, Oh, I didn't get this job I wanted, or this job's beneath my skill set.
Or this job pays less than I should, making others not get job offers. They get jobs that they just go out and interview, or maybe they don't even get interviews. That's very common as well. If you have the proper resume, people feel they're applying for many positions and need more traction.
And if you're not getting the jobs you're capable of, there's typically this is, again, I've been doing this for 25 years. I've helped tens of thousands of people get jobs. So I'm just going to tell you, like frankly, what happened and what I've seen. I love this profession. I start my day. When it's dark out and I do it, I work, you know, Do it a long time, 12-15 hours a day.
So this is what I've seen, and again, I'm telling you this is someone I have no self-interest in using our service. I'm just trying to help you get a job. I run job sites, but I'm just telling you why people are having problems. So the first one, this is.
Absolutely. The most important reason out there. It's that you need to apply to more places or more markets. This is a crisis and legal job search. It's a crisis that most people are drastically marketing themselves. What happens in BCG is every week. We send out reports showing candidates where they've applied interest in them if they've got interviews or people just are like, oh, my God, I applied to 10 firms and 5 to 20 firms, and this firm must be doing something horrible.
What are they doing? I'm not getting interviews, but most people need to be more marketing themselves and their searches. Marketing means if you're looking for a job, you should be more than just looking at job openings. You should be looking at many firms that match you; people just need help finding the right employers, and because they don't have certain types of searching, they typically don't find positions.
It's just how it works. Most people think they've done everything right. But it's not true. Most 99 percent of attorneys doing job searches need to do their job searches correctly. They're doing them wrong. They need to expose themselves to every possible opportunity.
And if you're under marketing sales, you'll never know if you're getting the best offer you can. So what does that mean? That means that if you are in a city like Los Angeles, where there are 10,000 places, I don't know, it's probably not 10,000, but I think there are probably 3,000 to 4,000 law firms.
Wow. Think about your opportunities if you want to work in one of those. Same thing in New York City. However, most attorneys are very controlling in their searches. They think they only need to apply to a few places or study every employer and read online reviews.
And study everything exhaustively before they apply, but you can't. This is unbelievable because most people who study law firms are just wasting their time. After all, most law firms have multiple practice groups and different people you could be working with, and you could not if you go to SCAD and ARPS; every practice area is different.
So if you work in M&A, yeah, you're going to work hard, but not in art law, not in the different practice areas they have. So, reading an online review of a firm won't show you what the firm is. It doesn't help. I work with attorneys all the time who work with our legal recruiters.
They come to us after nothing happens. The typical thing our legal recruiter does, if you. You talk to them on the phone, or once they call you, the recruiter will only send them to, typically, they only have big firms. You may have a couple of boutiques, but they'll send you to a few big firms with openings.
And if you get an interview, you will hear from them. You may hear from them when they get a new opening, but you may never hear from them again. You may hear from them. It's like meeting a date that wants to hook up with you and never hearing from them again after they get what they want.
And this is what they do. And I'm not saying it isn't excellent. This is how the business is run. It's how it has to work for a lot of people. But it's not, and again, I'm not criticizing recruiters here because there's a specific model that works. And if you are a recruiter, you would want to go after the best people.
And if they didn't get interviews, you would try to move on to people that would. And that's how they make a living. So there's nothing wrong with that. However, many attorneys applying through legal recruiters are just applying to a few firms at a time. Often employed, unemployed for a long time.
They just stay there waiting for things to appear and believe they need to be wooed by someone to apply for a job. And this happens all the time. When I represent someone, though, what our company does is different, it's very different. But we try to get people to look at more firms and more markets and get exposed to as many jobs as possible.
Am I saying, telling you this to sell you done using BCG? No, I'm telling you the way to get a job. And every day, there are only a few candidates. Not tons, but a lot of candidates get interviews. From us, law firms don't have openings. How many interviews? Eighty-five percent of our placements and interviews are with firms that don't have openings.
So, I just want that to sink in a minute. Eighty-five percent of our placements are with firms that don't have openings. These firms do not have public opportunities. We know the kind of people they interview because we profile the firms and have all sorts of data science and things we're using to make it.
But if we were making placements that just firms had openings, we would make five times or seven times or eight, seven times fewer placements than we do. Our company would be different from what it was. I was hoping you could think about this because what we do is something you can do, too. It doesn't matter.
But I look at firms and big firms, small firms. I may work with attorneys like a tax attorney and accounting firm in New York. I know it will be challenging for them to find a law firm from the accounting firm. And even if they were, you are trying to transition to that they have all their experiences, accounting firm.
So a traditional recruiter would say, this person won't get a job. This is the first time we've placed someone like this at a firm in New York. So we're just going to give up. So what we do is we'll send that person an explanation that if you want to work in a law firm, you need to look at other markets.
And that was in the case of this particular can Nebraska because sometimes you can apply to markets and firms where there's no we wouldn't think of, and you can get great jobs. I had something hilarious happen. There was this shale boom, and it was happening in North Dakota, and all of a sudden, I was sending all these people to North Dakota.
Unlike anything you can imagine, they had this incredible economic resurgence because they were mining all the shale, and gas prices were high. People were getting jobs paying just what you might get in New York.
In frickin, North Dakota, like this isn't happening more, but this person that got this job in Nebraska had no prop, wanted to be in a place where he could raise a family, and it was an excellent thing for him. So the point is that you can't. I'm not saying that everyone should go to Nebraska, but I am saying that if you look at more markets, you'll get more jobs.
And, meaning if you're in Chicago, you can look at Minneapolis, you can look at Madison, Wisconsin, you can do all sorts of things. And again, if this person wanted to work in New York, we could find a small law firm with a few people that was having a hard time recruiting because of its size, and we could get him a job there.
You can penetrate and get a job in any market if you look and find opportunities at places other people ignore. Other recruiters are going to ignore tiny firms because they don't pay as much or it's just how it works, or you can when you do, you may look at firms that are on specific lists and only apply to those, but you have to find smaller places in different places to buy jobs because there are opportunities everywhere.
Most of those firms, of the thousands of firms in Los Angeles, most, for example, have yet to contact recruiters. They don't even know how to post a job on a job site. They may be posting through other attorneys' recommendations, getting jobs, or starting to find people that way.
But if the right person shows up, they will hire them. Think about what it'd be like if you were a law firm; you're sitting there and have more work than you can handle. You're doing busy work that an associate would typically do. You don't have anyone to help you.
And so you're doing all this work you don't want. You're getting calls from clients needing extra work and willing to pay. And all of a sudden. A resume appears in your inbox, and you get a fax, which faxes things because you get people's attention from the perfect attorney who can do that work.
You are going to bring that person in. That's how it works. That's how the law firms think. If you find someone with a lot of business from work that needs help and they don't, they have yet to post a job, they don't know how to write a job, and someone just shows up, they hire them. And again, if a law firm has to work, they can make money.
And so you're a cash machine. They can bill you out of it if you're billing out. 350 an hour. You bill 2000 hours a year. That's 700, 000. And you may be happy with 200 000. So this is just how it works. They can make money with you. So if you show up and you're like, this is free money, who wouldn't hire you?
Come on. If you're qualified, just think about it from the status of the employers. So most law firms have gaps, which means there's work they're accepting and not doing because they need the attorneys to do it. So, imagine you're a law firm and getting all this IP litigation.
It would be best if you had technical people to do it there. So you're just winging it. And sometimes you have to maybe give it out to other firms. And all of a sudden, an IP litigator shows up, and you're like, wow, now I have someone that can do this. And they hire you. This is what we do.
We find positions for people at firms that don't have openings, but the firms can make money hiring them. And you can, and again, I'm not telling you anything. We have particular ways of doing this, but this is nothing you can do on your own. We use our contacts, we use our research, and then we look at the history of the firm and the fact that even if they don't have openings, if we sent them ten litigators, they've interviewed 7, and we know that, heck, this is an excellent firm.
And especially, I've seen that if you're looking for an in-house, government, or public interest position, you need to do the same thing. You need to apply to every single person you possibly can. Sending your resumes to general counsel is a bunch of companies, small and large.
It's a great way to get a job. I used to have a company called Legal Authority. We would do that with people, and people would get multiple in-house offers when they've been sitting inside a major law firm for five years trying to get a job in a company but having no luck. So it's just how it works.
And you'll get better results if you look at more opportunities. This is LawCrossing, a site that Our company owns. You can go on that site and find all the positions, but most law firms are also there. So that's something, just giving you a tip.
There's also something on LawCrossing called LawCrossing Archive, where you can look at all the firms. That have had openings in the past in your practice or location. If you do that, that will make a significant difference for you because you can start targeting places that have looked for people like you in the past but may have yet to have current job openings.
So this is, again, I'm not trying to promote this service here, but this is a research service. It costs money. I believe it's 39 or 25 a month or something, depending on what it offers. But people will say stuff like I've never paid to look for a job. And thinking that 25 a month can make a huge difference in your 30, whatever it is in getting a job, but people don't do that.
They think I don't have to pay or the employer should always find me out to interview. I think there's some sort of economic thing that, you know, but you need to go and increase your reach and the number of employers you're applying to. If you do that, you're going to increase your odds exponentially.
To get hired, you need to do massive amounts of research and other work to find positions, and you should network and apply to firms without openings and people that you know, and you shouldn't let rejection affect you. This is unbelievable; people get upset that they apply to a firm, and the firm doesn't bring them in, and they think there's something wrong with them.
Let me tell you how it works in firms, by the way. They sit there and get all these applications when they have jobs. And they don't pay attention to your name or just look at your schools and your experience, and that's it. And they don't, there's no weirdness, they don't even remember it.
I guess what I'm saying is most firms are getting a lot of applications, not necessarily when they don't have openings, but they're getting a lot of applications. There's nothing about your ego or something you should worry about getting rejected that you should be proud of yourself for trying..
This is absolutely, this is a person. Somehow, they think something needs to be fixed with me if I apply to this many places and don't get an interview. No, not. Everything is, think about a moving parade. A parade moves and different things. And if you want to hit a trombone player with a tennis ball, you're going to have to throw the ball at the exact time the person with the trombone is walking by if you're going to hit them.
Other times, you may just hit the wrong time at the front, you may hit a float, you may hit, who knows, but you have to. When you get an interview, which is a search, and you can hit the firm at the right time, and they need to work, you'll think that's not very pleasant for people, when they submit applications, expect the employer to reach out to them and realize their value.
It only sometimes happens; you must work hard to find opportunities. Now, I'm certainly not young, but when I was in law school, We would print letters to maybe 500 firms and send them out asking for interviews and jobs.
And if you did that even from a top 10 law school, you might get two or three calls and maybe one interview. This is how it works, even if you're an outstanding student. So this is just how it works, and it's, and that's how I learned this. When I moved, I was done with a clerkship. Or I was; it was almost over, and I hadn't taken the bar yet.
And so I had to decide where to take the bar. The clerkship was ending in August, and I, maybe June or something, had yet to find a job. So I decided I was going to look in California. I worked in New York, but I wanted to stay in the firm I was at.
And so what did I do? I went and researched the government computers, Martindale, and so forth. And I pulled up like. Three or four hundred firms I could work at and printed letters, and I put it on my stationery, and I sent the letters out, and I got maybe five or six interviews, but they were with good firms, and some were not good firms.
This is how it works. I was an excellent student in law review and very well academically. We're doing a clerkship, and I worked in a prominent New York firm in the summer. And other things that were great about that. It was a perfect time to see it, but that's how many interviews I got.
And think about that. Even with the best qualifications, you're only sometimes going to get interviews, but the firm I got a job at was Quinn Emanuel, which was awesome. It was like a 45-person law firm then. I got interviews at many other places; some were small, but they were things that I found excellent.
So it would be best if you did everything possible to find a good position and apply to places. And that means applying to a lot of places. And if you need to get the right results, you must find new places. It would be best if you also were geographically flexible.
When we get done with this webinar after we take a quick break, I'll come back and show you how to find firms because all you need to do these days is Go on to a list like chambers and all these things where you find the best firms, but for BCG, we list firms.
I think we have tens of thousands of firms on there that you can find, but the big deal is you can use Google, and Google is incredible that Google will go if you say you want to find a firm that does trust in the States. And Sheboygan, Michigan, just some random place it will tell you it will have all of it will know, and it will have all of them.
And those firms will certainly not be in any chambers, Martindale, or other listings of best wires and things. This is what happens. And then you apply to those firms, and of course you, they will only get applications like you sometimes, and you'll probably get an interview if you're that kind of a term.
The other thing is being geographically flexible. There's a lot to digest about being geographically flexible, but the more markets you apply, BCG. I try to do everything possible to get them to apply to other markets. Now, I don't try to get people that aren't in California. I don't have the California bar to apply to California firms. I don't try to get people who don't have the Florida bar to apply to Florida firms. Those are two complex firms, but most of the other ones.
States. You can get many of them, or getting into them is more accessible. So yes, you should be geographically flexible. I have people all the time that are in big markets where if you're in San Francisco right now or the Bay Area and you're a securities attorney or something, there's, you're going to have a tough time getting into position because everybody's not doing this work and they're laying people off.
So if you try to get a job there, You'd be insane. You might get a job, but everyone's letting people go, or too many people are trying to do the same thing in that market. So what happens if you apply to firms in Sacramento, Fresno, or Orange County places where there are maybe fewer people?
So it works. And the more markets you look at, the more success you'll have because you're putting yourself in. Markets where there's an opportunity and where there may not be an opportunity in your market. What does that mean? Markets like New York are crowded with incredible numbers of reasonable attorneys.
And those firms in that city have no problem shrinking headcount when the market gets slow; that's how it works. And then all those great people are competing for the same jobs. And so it becomes challenging to get a position. And because there are so many people there, the law firms can afford to be very discriminating in the types of people they hire.
So, being unemployed and looking for a job in Omaha might be a minor deal in New York. They have many ways of disqualifying people, which will be much more complex. So, the most significant piece of advice, this is honestly one of the most important things. It would be best if you wrote it down on a piece of paper.
You should put it up when you're doing things, but if you under-market yourself, don't apply to enough firms, and don't look like you need to look at enough places, you're in huge trouble. You're just going to need more than the positions you want. I want to take only a little time on this, but I can tell you countless stories of people.
They have done this, followed this advice, and turned around their lives. It's been people who have done bad things at their firms and been fired. People have been accused of illegal things, and even though it wasn't true, and they're acquitted, people had mental breakdowns that they fixed, and they're out of work for six months or a year.
But then they did this, and everything changed, and it's incredible, like how, what happened. When you do this, you have to. Look at other markets, ts. What markets? The best markets to look at are markets where you grew up. So if you're from a sure thing, you say law firms love that, you can find a lot of places, and you'll probably get a lot of mentors.
Other markets might be where you worked at one point before you went to law school, where you lived, or, who knows? But you can look at a lot of markets, and you should. If you have a good reason for working in that market, Or that firm has a particular thing in your practice here and then apply there.
But this is how it works. A lot of people, for example, when they're applying for judicial clerkships, I did this. I applied to all the judges in the Detroit area, that's the only place I applied, and I got one interview, so I applied to 10 or 11 federal district judges, and I got one interview and a couple of phone calls and with questions, but that's dumb.
I should have applied to clerkships all over the country. Then I wouldn't, and maybe I would have got to work in California instead of a rust belt town that was a former lumber. It's outside of Detroit. So you can expand your, or I could have worked in Miami, New York, or some fun place.
Instead, I limited myself to one market. So make sure to limit yourself to any markets if you can, and certainly apply to many places because you'll get many rejections. It doesn't matter. It's just how it is. And it's because law firms sometimes have openings. Sometimes they don't.
Sometimes, work could be faster. So the other thing that law firms do that you need You may need help getting the correct type of legal job. Your background is what it is. It's nothing you can change. There are all sorts of limitations and rules in the legal profession. You may be up against it if you are a law student looking for a job; if you don't have good grades and didn't go to a great law school, this will control the sorts of employers interested.
There's nothing you can do about it. Suppose you go to a local law school or a. If a law school is not highly ranked and you must do well there, you will have difficulty getting a position with a major law firm. It's just what it is. You can't do it. You can move up, start at a smaller firm, and work in a top law firm, which always happens.
And I do that. I have people doing that at our company. Almost every week. People who started at small law firms doing one thing and then moved to bigger ones. So it doesn't mean if you have bad grades or not a great background, you will be closed off to large firms forever.
It just means you need a marketable track record and get something you'll be to get something. I have almost every week, I have these instances where. Where people get jobs that are, it's almost miraculous. I have one guy who went to Rutgers for law school.
I wasn't a summer associate anywhere. And then, when he got out of law school, he was unemployed. Think about this. So he's in bad shape. And he'd been unemployed for six months. And then, he used to walk his dog in a dog park. He used to talk to this guy everyday who was walking his dog at the same time, and then he, I think, families met or something, and anyway, he found out that the guy was like a hiring partner at Mayer Brown or something, and the guy hired him.
I brought him in and got him hired. So miraculous things happen all the time. I see it all the time. I saw another guy this last week who graduated from a third-tier law school and met some guy on LinkedIn. That had some contact, and he got a job at another Animal 100 law firm. This incredible stuff happens, but You know, You just have to, you know, So you can get lucky even if you don't have a good record, and it happens all the time. But it only happens sometimes.
But you want to switch practice areas if you're a corporate attorney. It's impossible, it's not entirely impossible, but it's tough. Why would a law firm hire someone? That is in one practice area, and have them do another. It doesn't make any sense. So I've seen, just so you understand, if you're like a litigator and you want to be corporate, or if you're a corporate, I don't know, like a patent litigator and you want to do real estate, people do this all the time.
And you just can't do it. It's not going to work. Most law firms are not going to hire you. The market's going to be dull. I've seen people first in their class from the best law schools trying to switch practice areas and not having any luck. The market's just not interested.
The other thing is if you work in a company, if you're working for an in-house company, or you're working in the public interest or, Okay. In the government, it's tough to get challenged but hired by most law firms. Law firms want to hire people from law firms. That's how it is.
Why would a law firm want to hire someone who has chosen not to work in a law firm? Law firms are different from working in a job. Anything on your background that shows a lack of commitment to a law firm practice setting will hurt you and make it more difficult for you to get a job. Now, you can get jobs.
If you're applying to many places with that background, you have the right approach, but most people still need to. And so if you're a significant law firm and also if you're an attorney at a major law firm and don't have any business, it's also going to take a lot of work for you to get hired by a major law firm.
Law firms are interested in people with business. I place attorneys who are senior in major law firms and small law firms and get them jobs all the time, but it's certainly not easy. You need to apply to a lot of places. Competitive markets are demanding. So, what are competitive markets?
Any major city is a competitive market because not only are there many people trying to work in those firms, but also many local attorneys are applying for the same jobs. And it's just challenging. The bigger the city, the more the demand. If you're trying to get into a big city and you don't, you're not targeting suitable firms. It will be challenging, and you need to target firms that aren't getting a lot of applications.
Competitive markets are complex. If you want, if you want to work in New York City and you're working in Kentucky, that will probably be different from most law firms.
Because there are plenty of talented people that can be hired there, and again, if you are applying to the wrong sorts of jobs, you're going to have poor luck, and you're going to get discouraged. But again why, if you were a law firm, why would you hire someone that wants to do a different practice here than they're experienced with?
Why would you hire someone in a big market when you have plenty of local people? And don't have to take the barn or whatever. You just have no incentive to do it. Now, certain firms do. If you find enough places, you'll find someone who does, but that's how it works, and a lot of people, like I have people that use reverse recruiting service at BCG.
And that's basically for people who want to do their job search and have me talk to them and help them apply to the types of jobs they want and firms. So I do all the work for them. But people come in all the time, and they're like, a litigation attorney, and they say, Hey, I only want to do data privacy, and I'm in Memphis, Tennessee.
And I'm like, that's impossible. You need to gain experience. You may have gotten the certification, but no one is incentivized to hire you. And he said, it's all I want to do. It's all I want to do: privacy in Memphis. And I identified 75 firms with data privacy, but at least some mention of it on their website and that they do it.
They still apply to that. Then they come back and are angry, like, why did you get a data privacy job? And I'm like, how can I get you a data privacy job when you've been a litigator for seven years? It doesn't make any sense. And but this is what people do, and then they're upset, and it's wild.
So you have to apply. And they, when I talk to them, you can get a lot of litigation. You can look at better litigation. I can do all this for you. I can make money, and I can do all this. They just know. And so this is what people do, and others have these lines in the sand. They put lines in the sand about the money limit, which I can understand, but if you need a job, you must think about that.
Others will approach firms and say, I only want to work 30 or 25 hours a week, or I need Thursdays off to do this. Others will want remote work, saying, " I don't want to work in the office, but I'll come in one day a week if necessary, and they just set limits with employers. What do you think will happen if you're setting these ground rules with your employers unless the employer can't find someone better?
They will find someone better who will have only some of these rules. And so a lot of times, if you also, you need to think seriously about this, because the more limitations you put in front of employers. The more complicated it will be for you to get a job, just think to yourself, could this law firm find people other than me that could do the job and wouldn't have these limitations?
And if the answer is yes, you'll probably not get a position. I've seen people get these positions all the time. It happens every week. The BCG people get jobs that do that, which makes it more challenging. This is a big one for your resume; your cover letter needs much work.
So, each quarter, I do a resume review webinar where everyone sends their resume to us who wants to do it. And I mark every resume up and show you how to fix it. So this is a great topic. And. It's something you can do. I offer four times a year. Also, if you're a BCG candidate, I do it publicly where I take every one of these, I take your name and everything off, but I interview all BCG candidates that we're working with every Tuesday, and we would do that.
I think it's at three, so we do it every week for our candidates, but every resume I've seen typically needs a lot of work. The cover letter is one thing people read sometimes, but the quality of your resume and what you do will make a huge difference in who interviews you and who makes you an offer.
When people show up to these resumes, things that need to be getting offers. It's almost always the same thing. They're too long. They write these paragraphs about summaries. They put stupid things on there. Like they're they understand Lexis Westlaw and Microsoft Word. And I don't know, it's just, but then they talk about all these different things they do.
They'll say, Oh, I do trademark work. I've got experience doing corporate law. I've managed a middle leg, middle legation case. And that's just not going to work. You have to have a resume focused squarely on your practice area because law firms hire specialists. They need specialists.
Again, if you wanted, I say this all the time, if you wanted someone to operate on your brain, you certainly wouldn't go to a general practitioner that does 20 different. You would want an expert. It's the same thing with law firm clients. They want to. The higher people who are experts and the law firms do so, and your resume is not about you.
It's about what you can offer and how you focus on the position with that practice area they're hiring for. And then speak to what the employer is looking for. All the employers are looking for is to see a resume and be like, this is an MNA attorney. I need to require an MNA attorney.
They want to see a resume and say, wow, this person does product liability defense. That's exactly what I need. This is how employers think they don't want to read long descriptions of multiple jobs where you're talking about doing different things. They want to see someone who's an expert, and I can't tell you how bad most resumes are, and not most, but a lot of them, they're just, they need to be thought out.
The person wants to list every single thing that they do. Yet, the majority of my experiences are in the practice area. I wrote this the other day, but I viewed a resume of a lawsuit in a law firm for over a decade before law school. Had a very distinguished military.
It was prevalent. Many people did this and had all these honors and other things that took up five pages of his resume and spoke to all these leadership activities. He was proud of it. This is an excellent resume for someone to work for the army or the military going to war.
You certainly want that person leading you. But how is the law firm going to be interested? And someone whose resume is five pages long and all it talks about is nothing about what it will do to help the employer. This is what many resumes and attorney resumes do that are military, too, but I don't know why.
All this stuff is impressive, knowing how to drive tanks and students. I saw one resume yesterday where the person said it was an excellent resume, but the person said they were a munitions trainee and then a munitions expert. They were a mission trainer, and then they were head of munitions, or maybe it was mortar.
I don't know, but they took up half the page. But you're not going to get jobs if you don't, if your resume doesn't speak to legal work. You don't need to, you don't need to list all of your summer internships or things that you did before law school, or you're all these groups that have no meaning to the firms.
Like I was a member of this political club, or I did this pro bono. No, your job is to go to work in a law firm and talk about the practice areas. And most people feel that their resume is personal and need to talk about all these different things.
So imagine you're trying to sell an ice cream bar, and you walk in, and you start saying, Hey, I sell, I sell all sorts of things. I sell groceries. I sell lettuce. I sell this. I sell, and I sell great. I have a great selection of beverages here, like all sorts of sodas.
And I also have this ice cream bar. And I like ice cream bars, but look at all the other things I have for sale. If someone's coming in and they want to buy an ice cream bar, that's what you need to focus on. It would be best if you focused on That ice cream bar. You say I have this ice cream bar.
I've been selling ice cream bars for 20 years. I'm an expert on ice cream bars, and I think this is the best ice cream bar. And this is what this ice cream bar is about. It's got white chocolate or white vanilla on the inside. It says you focus on what the person wants to hear, and that's all you need to do.
Your resume needs to look the part of whatever the job is. It would help if you did whatever the firm does. If you're applying for a litigation job, that's all you should be talking about. And if someone hires you with a lousy resume, you're probably not going to; you're probably getting a job beneath you.
You're going to get paid less than you would if you talked about the work you do. And sometimes, having many things in your resume will make you look less committed to legal work. It's going to make you look like you're interested in other things.
Do you want the firm to think they're highly interested in pro bono work? Do you want them to think that All of your free time you could be practicing law is dedicated to working in a soup kitchen? You have to think about how this stuff appears. You may think you're a good person for doing all these things, but that's going to be something other than the law firm; it's a law firm.
It's looking for someone who can come in and do the work, and you have to tell the law firm that's who you are. You have to be very careful about how your resume reads. I will conclude by saying you should watch all or some of the resume reviews I've done on BCG.
It will help you tremendously. You will learn a lot. You can watch webinars I've done about resumes or talk about resumes. But I would say that probably 75 percent of the resumes I see are just too much all over the place. I know the person's never going to get a job at their level, which is another thing.
So, people that come into BCG, if you apply to a firm, apply to a job, or send your resume to us. I always look at resumes. As I look at every resume that comes in, it's exhausting. It takes me a long time to review them, which I'm very much into, but you must study a resume.
And I know the kind of people that will get a job. It doesn't matter, by the way, where you go to law school, it doesn't matter. How prestigious the current firm is. It doesn't matter if you've had breaks in your work; none matters if your resume is focused. So that is all I'm looking for.
Is this person someone that looks committed to their practice area? And does her resume talk about that? That's it. And unfortunately, that focus results in more than nine out of 10 people. I don't work with them because how can I place someone who says they do 15 different things?
It's, but this is what most resumes do. And because I do that, we make a lot of placements, but it's all about you focusing your resume on whatever the job is. So, an example would be if you're applying for a job doing employee benefits. And you're at a firm and do employee benefits,x and maybe some other stuff.
No, you talk about employee benefits. If you got an LLM in tax, you would talk about how you took some employee benefits classes there. Maybe you talk about if you did summer work in a firm over the summer, not that you did corporate and litigation, but you talk about how you did employee benefits work.
You make it all about employee benefits. If you've written some papers, like one, you might write a paper about COVID-19 laws. No, you leave it off. If you wrote a paper about COVID law or not COVID law, employee benefits law, that's what you do. So you make everything about that practice they want to hire.
That's it. They don't care about all this other stuff. And I'm telling you this, by the way, as someone who's been doing this. Twelve hours a day for the past quarter century. So this is what it is. I'm not making this up. I'm not prejudiced. All I care about, and all employers care about, is having a focused resume.
Now there's a couple of exceptions to that. Sometimes, in smaller markets, we might be like Milwaukee, or it's not even that small, but maybe Grand Rapids, Michigan, or Finley, Ohio, like the firms, may need more local business to have people to focus on. So they may have you do corporate and real estate, and that's okay.
But most of the jobs you will be applying for in most markets are going to really. They will require someone who is focused and has a focused resume. So, if you're applying for a job that needs corporate and real estate, now that you talk about that, be sure as hell don't talk about the fact that you did a personal injury case or something on your resume.
You make it about what the person needs. That's all they care about, by the way. They're just looking to focus on what you do. Suppose you start doing foolish stuff, like putting keywords and writing lengthy summaries. And talking about all these jobs relevant to your practice here, what will hire you? It's just how it works, or you'll get hired beneath what you're doing.
So I'm saying this, and I'm being adamant about this, like applying to a lot of places, having the focus on your resume, because this is all you need to do. These are the two significant things. That will get you a job, and I'm sorry, but this is the biggest mistake that almost everyone makes.
So it would be best if you did that. The next one is your interview skills. So, an interview is something challenging because people don't like criticism. Most people, I remember, could have been a better interviewer. When I was in college, by the way, I had excellent grades and just.
Doing well. And I will go and be interviewed with. Probably 20 private equity firms, investment banks, anybody that's awesome that you can imagine. And I didn't get a single job. I got a couple of callbacks but not a few jobs. Was I doing wrong?
I'll tell you what I did wrong. It's pretty funny. So I'd written a book about the city of Detroit. And how there was all this racism and how all these problems were caused by big companies and how I would go into these interviews, and people would ask me about it, and I drone on and on for 10 minutes about how attractive the study was and everything.
And people would just like listening. Then, after the interview, I would say good luck and wouldn't get a job. That's about the dumbest thing I can do. Suppose I'm trying to get a job in an investment bank, Crunchy Numbers. That's the exact thing. The last thing that they don't want to hear. And I did that in every single interview, very dumb.
So often, people will go into interviews, and they'll talk about how they're interested in, I don't know, something that's completely irrelevant, some entirely irrelevant topic. Practicing law is different from the sort of thing that people in law firms do. So people in law firms are certain types of people which you should understand, and they don't, they're not interested in a lot of fluff and things in your interview.
So there are attorneys, by the way, and law students who go into every interview. And stuff, meaning I've got people that go in, and I talked to them, you've got an interview here and no problem. And they go in and get the job every time, no matter where. And then they say, maybe I don't like this firm because of this and this, and they're so self-confident.
They know they can get every job. I have people like this. A lot of them, by the way, are from big cities like LA and New York. I don't know why that is, but I think they just, maybe the environments, make them more polished. I don't know what it is, but it doesn't matter. Some people go in. And bomb every interview, too.
Like they just, you get them excellent qualifications. You get them like ten interviews and everything just. Bombs. I had one candidate years ago that I placed in the big firm. But the firm called me after you interviewed. If you send anybody like this again, we won't work with you anymore.
Some people get evil. What do the best interviewers do? They do the same thing that you have to do on your resume. They focus on what the company and the employer need. The resumes focus, and then they talk about that. So, if the firm you want to work for Focuses on municipal law and land use there.
You go in and talk about how much you like that and how you want to do that. And then and then you make the people you're interviewing feel good about themselves and not you. What does that mean? It means that when you go and do an interview, you should ask questions that aren't stupid, like outstanding questions, and you should make the interviewer talk about themselves.
They're going to like you more if they talk. So the rule is, by the way, that the interviewer should probably be doing upwards of 80 percent of the talking, and you need to get, you need to steer it towards topics that they like. And that they're enthusiastic about. So if you see someone who's written 20 20 articles about some obscure branch of securities.
They're obviously very interested in it, so you should understand why and what it is and then go in and get them to talk about it. People who go into interviews appear willing and able to work. They come across as people who very much want to work. They are enthusiastic about work. They are not asking a lot of questions, like being discriminated against.
They see people as discriminated against. Having a bad attitude, employers see them as people who will support them, meaning that person will come in, and they will stick around, and they will have the employers back. And by the way, employers love attorneys who have a lot of that stay at employers for a long time.
So if you're at a firm and were there for five years, and you're looking for a new firm, you're going to get a much better reception in the market if, after five years, that's your third firm because that means you're loyal and you're going to stick around and the employer believes that. If you're not getting interviews and not getting offers after your interview, you're doing something wrong and need to fix it.
You can, and we have interview workshops as part of my webinars. So we do that. It's funny. Attorneys are always afraid to talk about their career things before other attorneys. But that's okay. But it would help if you typically got interview coaching. And read all you can and fix it. There are professional interview coaches.
Most of them hired them as recruiters. It's a game. Many times, they play by chance. They tell you this and that. But it would be best to get interview coaching to see what you're doing wrong and what you're saying is wrong in interviews. A lot of people. They are bad interviewers, and that holds them back.
But just to rehash all this, if you're not getting interview jobs after you're interviewing, a lot of stuff needs fixing. Typically, so that you understand, the biggest problem I think people have in interviews is they talk too much about themselves or steer the topics towards things that the employers prefer to avoid being interested in.
They talk about it; they just over-talk many times. They don't make eye contact. They need to be more enthusiastic about the position they're interviewing for. They need to be more focused on the type of work they do. They say things that may make it look like they won't do either.
So, you need to improve your interview skills if you need help and need to study. Articles that I've written you need to study. Only a few people are writing about this stuff. Any webinars I've done, you need to understand what you need to do better and mark up those articles, read them, print them, staple them, and keep this from holding you back.
It would be best if you went into an interview, and that should be your opportunity to take a job, to get a job. It's a great opportunity. And there's one final thing I want to say because it's just so important. And that's when you go into an interview. One of the biggest things to understand is that the employer wants to hire you.
They desperately want to hire you. The reason is that they want to use only some of this attorney time to keep interviewing people. Like they don't like it, they just want to get this job done, get you in, make you a profit center, and be over with it. But when you go in, if you don't get the job, they will have to take extra time.
So they want to hire you when you get an interview. It's yours to lose; you must be very careful and learn everything you can to get a position. So this next one is, should you take a job offer you're not happy with? So, all the time, people get offers, and they're not happy.
Sometimes, they go to law school, and they think because they went to a top law school. They should be making a certain amount of money. You get a specific type of job, and there are many reasons to take jobs you're unhappy with. For example, you need the money, or you have a family to support, or you just you, or you're unemployed, you're going to be unemployed, and this is all you got.
Typically, if you're following my advice, meaning you have a good resume, you're applying to a lot of places, you're improving your interview skills, you're doing all these things, then you won't have a problem. You often get the best job you can, but you need to think if you get a job, think very seriously because you have an unemployment gap on your resume.
Whether during law school, for example, you can work in the summers in a firm. That's not good. You want to work in a firm or when you, if you're unemployed as an attorney like you lose your job. I see this all the time. I see them every day. I see these great resumes of people.
That worked at significant firms. Now they're suddenly unemployed. So if you have and they've been unemployed for two or three months, the problem with any gap on your resume, and I don't want to be harsh because I know that there are people here probably that have these gaps on their resume. But the problem with a gap on your resume is the conclusion the employer will reach.
Is there a gap on your resume because you were probably fired? That's what they think. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. They say the person just couldn't get along if you were fired. And this is going to happen here. So, this is the problem I would have with a gap in the resume.
When I was practicing law, I would always, if I thought things were weird, be out there networking or even applying to places and trying to ensure that I always have a backup plan because this is serious. If you lose your job and have a gap, you need to do what you can to avoid that gap.
I'm sorry to say it. I'm not trying to hurt people's feelings, but it's essential. If I were at a big firm laying people off, I would apply every place I could. If I thought I was following and protecting my resume. So there's nothing wrong. For example, when having a child, people always do that.
There's nothing wrong with certain things. But the idea is, if you have, if you're having a child, you should be going back to the firm, or you should at least tell them they have an offer. And then, the problem with the gap, and again, I'm not trying to upset people, but I'm telling you how important it is to get a position if you have unemployment gaps in your resume.
This will show employers that you need more commitment to practicing law. And I'm sorry, but that's how they think. It'll show that you didn't do whatever you could to find a position if you needed a job and couldn't represent yourself. So what does that mean? That means you're like an attorney helping their client when you're looking for a job.
If you need to do a better job and find a job, you probably could be better of an attorney because you're representing yourself. And if you can't represent yourself, get yourself, represent yourself, and take this person and help them just like you would a client and get them a job.
That's a problem. And how can you be expected to hire? To solve other people's problems if you can't even get a job and there are 30,000 law firms. Think about this. What's the problem? So it would be best if you were or may need to take yourself more earnestly to do a good job. I'll just tell you a brief story.
I worked once with an attorney who had never lost a case. I worked for and almost exclusively with him for six or seven months. And while he would do it, he would just turn over every frickin stone like he could in a case. And he would look at the legislative record of how the law came into place.
He would do all these things that no one in their right mind would ever do. He interviewed people who passed the laws, and it's just things that you wouldn't even believe. But he would always win, which is the same thing with you. You have to win. The gap in your resume could be better.
Firms will wonder why others are not hiring you. There must be something wrong with you. You must have done something wrong at your firm. People must not like you. You must have a problem that they need to learn about. There are a lot of exceptions, but in most cases, attorneys with gaps on their resume have problems with their past employers.
How do I know that's true? How do I know that attorneys with these gaps on their resumes are true? I'll tell you two quick stories. They're not, they're, I think they're pretty exciting stories, but I've been hired at BCG. I used to talk to all the people who applied.
I'd always see these candidates that were like, they've been in a big firm, and now there's a gap on their resume, and I talked to them, and they say they were fired, and they were fired, and you don't tell you why. And then I went ahead and hired a lot of them. This was a few decades ago, but I hired five or six.
And all of them became huge liabilities. They were not following instructions. They were doing things the wrong way. Some of them, most of them, and a lot of them stole firm contacts out of my database instead of competing firms, and some of them decided to try to hurt my reputation with bad reviews.
This is what happens. Employers are nervous about that. So I'm not saying that everybody loses their job. Has those problems. These people lost jobs during good economies where they should have been Employed, and they weren't getting jobs because of these gaps on their resumes. So, I ended up hiring them, and they became problems. And I'm not saying that happens with everyone, But I'm just saying that it happens with most of them.
The longer you have a gap in your resume, the more it will hurt you. Again, the other important thing is that I'm telling you all this because I want you to do well in your interviews. Employers want to believe that you need to work, which means they love it when you have mortgages, are married and supporting the family, and have all these expenses and student loans you need to pay.
These people that need to work are likely to stick around. The employer is going to have more control and all this stuff. So families house all these things mean that you will depend on the employer to pay all that you'll do the best job you can if you have three kids to support.
The last thing in the world you want to do is be unemployed. You're going to try harder and do a better job. The idea also is that once you start working as an attorney, the expectation is that you will never stop, like you will never stop. And I'm sorry, but that's just how it works.
And everyone knows that. I remember when I was Clerking, and my clerkship ended, and I took a three-month break to kick bar study for the bar then. And then I traveled and did all this stuff. And I remember someone saying to you don't, you can't have this gap in your resume.
And one of the guys that said it was a guy that was clerking for a magistrate judge and had gone to like. Fourth-year law school. And he's that's the first thing they told us in law school is that you just never want to have a gap. And so even there they made us, you must be careful.
The other thing to consider when getting offers is the kind of saying in real estate: the first offer you get is often the best. It's, in my experience, true. I bought a couple of properties where my offer was. Where I made an offer that was lower than someone had already got an offer for and taken one time.
I purchased a home for 300,000 less than the offer it first took, and then it sat on the market for a year. The longer something's on the market, the more people are suspicious of it. So why has this house been sitting on the market? What's wrong with it?
And that's how people think maybe it's not worth what they're asking, so I should offer less. This house I bought was, it's funny, it was right next to a bus stop and then when the buses would stop, they would blow all this.
Smoke in the backyard. And then it was also across the street from a large hotel. So, during the weekends, people would clog the road, and there was no parking, and people would park illegally. And then you could hear people bus stop talking when they're waiting for the bus.
And the whole house of bizarre paintings, and there was the ceiling, and there was a picture of a naked person. That's pretty funny. Then, it was a 25-year-old cocaine-addicted woman that did it. And anyway, all these things were wrong about the house.
And so, as each person looked at the house, they initially thought all this stuff was excellent. They got the idea that it wasn't good. What's wrong with this house? What's and that's how people thought about this house, and that's why I got a better price. The funny thing is, I'll just tell you what happened to it.
I bought the house, which was a, and then the new person moved in and painted over it after I stayed there for a year. And then two years later, the house sold for three times what it was paid for, so it didn't end up being the thing, but the idea that I'm making here is that the longer you're in the market, more people will question you, your value is going to go down, people can offer you less money, and people are also going to be more nervous about pulling the trigger and hiring you. They will question what's wrong with you for not being hired for a long time.
So how does that work? I'll just tell you some examples. I will tell you one example because I want you to understand how important it is to try to get a job and accept an offer before you look unemployed. So, the longer you're unemployed, the more employers can take advantage of you.
I had an incredible thing happen. I had a firm that had a real estate owner. And this is when interest rates were very high like they are now; this is in the early 2000s or before. Real estate was not an active practice here. So, I had a guy who had been a real estate partner at a large swap firm.
That was unemployed and had been unemployed for six or seven months. And I sent him around to firms. This one firm called him and interviewed him. And he'd been used to making, I don't know, 350,000 a year at his firm. And this firm offered him a full-time job. Paying like 125,000 a year.
And I was like, how's this even possible? Why would you make him such a low offer? It might've even been like a hundred. I was like, you're paying him less than your first-year associates. And they said we can pay him that because we know this is your best job.
Imagine the person was unemployed. So this is one of the reasons it's so hard. To find a position. There are reasons only to take a job offer you're happy with. When you take an offer, you're unhappy with it. You're often going to become toxic to the employers.
You need to understand that. I see people always taking jobs they don't like, maybe in locations they don't like or not where they want to be. And you often have one foot out the door. So if you take a job you're unhappy with, you often resent that, and I'll be angry.
And you're angry that you're not getting paid what you want and how much you should get, and you'll poison yourself. The people around you with a lousy attitude will have a bad experience if you don't approach it correctly. I'm used to it all the time.
In my job, I applied to work with BCG. They've gone to Harvard, Berkeley, Columbia, and all this sort of stuff, and literally maybe didn't have a summer associate job and then couldn't get positions after graduation, and then they applied to BCG to help me find a new job, like six months when nothing's happened.
In all cases, these firms are these candidates, and you may be one who had aspects that made them unattractive to the sorts of firms that employed their peers. More is needed to be innovative. I need to have gone to a good law school.
And so what I would also often do with these people is I would think, God, this is horrible that this graduate, this person of Columbia law school that was a Harlem fifth stone scholar, is Sitting home, living with their parents with nothing to do.
So I'd often bring these people in and start giving them legal work. I would give them things to do and would need to pay them better. I'd pay them, but none of these people were happy in almost all cases. They were resentful that I wasn't paying as much as law firms were paying.
In one example, I had someone working for me who had gone to Berkeley but had graduated at some ridiculous age, like 19 or something. They'd gone to college at an outstanding school like Harvard. They graduated when they were... literally like 16. We're just off the charts.
Smart person. So this person was hired and couldn't get a job. They were recommended by a rabbi I knew, and they couldn't get a position. So I brought them in. And then, after being there for six months, there was a significant salary increase for all the major firms. And he was going around telling my HR director how poorly compensated he was.
He was depressed and started making demands that he should be paid more. He started not focusing, leaving early, and doing the job poorly. He would talk to other people around that he should be paid more. It was a great law school. He is not committed.
He would need to do a better job. So this is what happened. So what happened with him initially? So I gave him a raise. I started paying him Whatever the big firms are for his class year, like 150 000 a year. And he was basically like, okay, this job is a big firm.
So then he started not committing again. And when a market slowdown hits, and the company doesn't have as much money, he is the first to go. So that's how it works. If you're, if you negotiate hard for a high salary. You'll be the first to print up a committee in some firms, but I've made this mistake, hiring people numerous times.
The same thing always happens. Same thing. With recruiters I had, I've hired a lot of recruiters that still need to be. Good hires and then people will delay accepting offers and so forth. And then, when they start, they will only commit to the job of committed people.
Again, you need to understand this: will undermine the players, and it's toxic. Again, somebody, if you want to be in another place, you just need to think about it. So I'm not going to talk about this, but. Okay. I believe that these are just some examples of people.
I think I've given enough examples. So many times, I've made bad hiring decisions, and that's also a mistake. Let me just see here. I wonder how helpful they don't want to do a good job. Let me just see here. So this is about patients apologizing.
I would just say that to get a position, you have to be very flexible many times. There are lots of jobs that you can find. If you're willing to do them, but if you take a job that's beneath your skill set, meaning you don't have to work as a contract attorney, you don't have to work for a meager wage.
You need to make sure that you're searching and using all the tools I've given you I've talked to you about so far, and if you take positions where you're unhappy and you're going to leave, that will make you harmful.
And you don't want to be negative. You want to be very positive. And there's another saying I think is significant about never rehiring other people. And so if someone leaves an employer and then you want to go back, that only works out sometimes.
And so you need to stop thinking about that. I don't want to waste too much time to put a Q& A. These are reasons to avoid taking jobs. And you don't take a job when you feel unwilling to commit. You don't take a job when you feel like you will be unhappy there and toxic.
You don't get a job if you feel like you can get a better job. You just shouldn't do that. It would be best if you were very careful about where you go. You want to be positive, and you want to appreciate the job that you get. And that's my best advice about that. It's the same thing with relationships.
People do this all the time with relationships. They get involved with people they know they'll never commit to. And that's not fair to you or the other person. This happens all the time. And again, you should not marry someone you don't love or who will give you or not give you what you want.
You shouldn't stay about the people who will never provide your needs; it just doesn't help anyone. It's not going to help you. Another reason to avoid taking a particular job is that it may communicate to future employers a direction for a career incompatible with where you want to go.
One of the things I see a lot, and I'm not trying to upset anybody on this because it's essential, but people often take jobs in practice areas where they may harm them in the future. They will take jobs at firms doing a specific type of work that will put them in a box in the future, or they'll take jobs with titles.
But they don't need to. Most attorneys do not need to work as contract attorneys. You can always find a job, not being a contract attorney, being a permanent attorney. Most attorneys don't need to work in jobs and firms doing practice areas they're not interested in. So, if you don't want to do insurance defense, you want to do commercial litigation, you can find a firm that does that.
You just, but once you do insurance defense, you will be blocked that way. And then you have to really. Be careful about the jobs you take. So, if you want to be a plaintiff's attorney, taking a defense job is not a good idea. If you want to be, if you want a permanent job in the future, you will be much better off not taking a contract job.
So all these decisions are going to make a big difference in terms of your mobility. So you can put yourself in a position working in the places where you want to go. And what does that mean? That just means you need to have a vision, meaning you need to. Know what you want in your career, and you can't just, and this is one of the most important things anyone can tell you.
If you need a vision and know where you want to go, you will go where other people send you. And that's not good. If you're, if you don't have a vision or know precisely what you want, you're going to go with other people. You're going to go in a way that won't support you.
Everyone successful knows where they want to go. So, if you want to practice corporate M and law at a big firm. And you have to start at a small firm to do that. And if you want to be a partner at a big firm, then you need to follow through on that vision because if you don't, you're just going to be what you're going to be where people, other people put you.
And you won't come across as someone who knows exactly what they want to do. So, you need to have a vision that should shape the types of jobs you take. Once that's done, I think this is an excellent webinar regarding the topic and what we covered, but I want to clarify that most people spend their lives and careers dibbling and dabbling.
It is the absolute worst thing to do. Dabbling means not committing to a job or a practice area, not committing to a practice setting, not committing to a market or a person, not committing to an identity, and not committing to a career. So this is very important.
What does it mean not to commit? It means that you have yet to decide what you want. And because you have no idea what you want, you're just trying everything out. You're doing all these different things; you must figure out what you want. Not having a direction for where you want to go is one of the most significant errors people make.
It's often most pronounced when choosing your practice area, your practice setting, and knowing where you will work. And when you get offered many times, you don't know what or don't get offers at all. You're likely dabbling. Dabbling means you're sending out a few applications here and there.
Dabbling means your resume is focused on different things and needs to be more focused. Dabbling means you must do more to get your dream, meaning the job you want is extremely important. And this is the number one cause of failure for attorneys. They dabble and don't commit.
This is actually what most attorneys do. Almost everyone. They dabble. They don't have a vision. They need to know what practice setting they want to be in. They don't have a conclusion about what they want to do. They don't have any of that. And therefore, they're dabblers. What is the opposite of a dabbler?
I just want to point this out. Every firm that I worked in, I was able to work with very successful attorneys. People are making seven figures, like multiples, like me, several, and this is years ago. And indeed, I didn't work with all of them, but I worked with most of them.
What did they do? They had, like, all of them, like had, these form files, like these in these form, these cabinets full of like articles. Things that they thought were important. Things that they read and they were numbered and organized.
Some of them have binders where they talk about where all the stuff was because they knew that they wanted to be a litigator. They knew that they wanted to be an expert in something. And they knew, and this is what people do. This is what the best people do. They keep notes of things. They read everything they go to conferences about.
They just focus. They focus, and they become successful. So if you don't focus, what's going to happen is you will be in a position where other people are taking these kinds of jobs. Other people are telling you what to do. You need to be more knowledgeable with your resume and go everywhere.
You may go in-house, but you need to figure out what you'll do, and you're dabbling, not committed. And this is what you need to stop doing. It would be best if you stopped doing it with your resume. It would be best if you stopped doing it with your job search. And you need to stop doing it with the number of places you apply.
It would be best if you stopped doing it by trying to work in different practice settings. If you can't commit, you need to stop doing it with practice areas. It would be best if you stopped doing it by moving around like you're in your litigation and your fifth year. You just had to go to a house government job for a few years.
These are dabblers and dabblers, by the way. Nothing good ever happens to dabblers. They don't get jobs. They don't get, they don't get when they do get jobs, they don't get promoted. They, if you're a contract attorney, you kind of work in all these different places. You're not committing to what you want to do.
And if you're not committed, people will just take advantage of you. That's how it works. You don't know what you want to do if you show up in the city. You'll get a lousy job. Think about it. People come over, and they don't have any, you don't, you go someplace just as a human, not as a regular person, and you don't know what you want to do.
You won't get a good job. Would you rather? Work as a waitress, or would you instead work as a highly-skilled person who knows precisely what they want to do? Is it better to be an emergency room nurse than a waitress? You have to have some sort of focus, and people who have focus do incredibly well.
They do well in legal stuff, and they do well in all other professions. It's incredible what a focus will do. And if you have a focus, people are going to... And you know what you want to do when you're not dabbling; you'll rise to the top. Everybody does.
Everybody who has a focus rises to the top. They rise to the top because those are the kind of people that employers want. Those are the types of people that clients want. And, most of the time, when you're not getting a job, you're dabbling, and that's the problem.
The fault's with you, and you need to fix what you can and realize that being focused, Knowing what you want, taking action on what you want, and doing what you need to do is really what you need to do to succeed. This is it. Having a focus and knowing what you want.
You want to work in a specific type of practice area, and you want to, and you have experience in it, and you want to get a job, you're going to apply to every place you can. You're focused, and you know what you want to do. So this is the most significant piece of advice that I can give you.
But I think that once you do this, it changes everything. It changes the direction of your life. When you're focused, clients want you, employers want you, employers want to keep you, employers want to advance you, and you become something as opposed to nothing.
So, this is what most people do in their profession. They don't focus. They're not and don't know what they want to do. They think like a worker and not an owner, meaning you think like someone just getting work and you have to gossip. It's not the right word to do this and that.
And instead of being like a champion, a leader, that's the key to success. So, I will take a quick break for a minute or two. And then when I come back, I'll answer questions. I'll answer as many questions as people have. Thank you for this topic or anything else. And then we'll stay until all the questions are asked.
Okay, so I'm going to go to this. By the way, I'm answering questions, and getting these questions each week is one of my favorite parts of the week. I like it so much because it always gives me an insight into how people are doing, what they're thinking, and all that sort of thing.
Let me pull this up. Great. Give me one second. I will start the questions and will only do them in a random order. So, I'll start with whatever has bounced around, but we'll get all the questions done. Okay, good. First question. And oh, by the way, when you ask questions.
In this webinar, one of the essential things to know is that if you're logged into Zoom, I will never show your name, and in this, you'll see everything is confidential. Are there any specific self-questioning techniques you recommend to help me clarify whether my current legal job is leading me toward my desired career path or sending me off course?
So you have to figure out what you want and how that works. So you have to, what it's, this is just a question and answer that anyone can benefit from. But when you're trying to do something and when you're trying to find out if you're interested in it. And if it's a good thing for you, you have to be like, does this interest me?
Is this something where I can see myself doing this for the rest of my career? Does this get me excited? And is it good for me? So I'll just tell you real quickly. And so it's all kind of a gut feeling. It's when you meet someone who's a good friend and realize there's a meaningful connection.
But I'll just tell you briefly, like my journey. So my journey was, I remember, going out to eat. I was staying in a hotel, and I was taking the bar, and I ended up taking the bar, and I don't know, right before I started my job, and so I took the, I was taking the bar, and I was in a restaurant, and I was reading, like, all these books what can you do for a law degree?
Because I already knew and I was reading that book. And so I was going to my first job of thinking about alternatives because I knew I wouldn't like it. And the more I did it, I did the best I could, but there were always these things I didn't like about it. That just gave me, like, not a good feeling.
It was just like I didn't feel like I committed to it. I knew what it would be like, but when it, how, so it just didn't agree with me. And so when I found what I'm doing now, I was like, everything lit up. I'm like, this is everything I like. I like it's an underserved market.
People need to learn what they're doing. There's, there's when people reach a certain level of achievement, and they're trying, just all these things appeal to me. And I knew I liked it. That's how it works. When I first met my fiance, it was just an instant connection.
So sometimes, things will connect with you very instinctively. So, if things about your job, practice area, and practice setting are different from what you want to do, then you probably need to do something differently. Sometimes, it's just practicing law.
It's, it could be, it could be the wrong thing for you. It needs to match with you. I remember it doesn't matter. But I guess one other point I would just say is. When I was in law school, I had a class with Peter Swire, who attended Yale Law School.
Now he's an important guy advising governments and everything about, and I think it's about data privacy or something, just a real important person. Still, he said during my trip, I was talking to him about something in his office.
And I'd just gotten the only A in a big, important paper that would determine my grade in his class. And so I was there talking to him about something. And I was in his class. I had the best grade. And he said I need to figure out what you're doing here. But you're not going to do this as a career.
And I said what are you talking about? He said, and then we were like in this room overlooking the law library because it had a window like the, it was a hall and the office of the law library. And he said, look at what's going on down there. And everyone was, like, just meticulous and studying.
And he said that's not you. And I was like, what? I got the best grade. I'd be in the best grade in class. It's clerkship on the, And he said, no, it's just not you. And he was right. And so the point is that if something clicks with you and feels right, that's good.
It doesn't click with you and feel right. And it's not good. And so you don't need to. Think about taking self-assessment tests. You just need to understand yourself. So there's also one thing I would say on BCG: you can sign up those banners for it. It's called a DIS profile, which is like a personality test.
And that will indicate what your personality is and what type of person you are. And you can take that. But honestly, you must be in the environment, with the people, and in a profession that excites you.
You have to; it could be anything like, sometimes people leave the practice of law and start a pizza restaurant. That pizza restaurant becomes a national chain, or they leave the practice of law and become bestselling authors or, all these people, Proof.
Do all this incredible stuff, but they do it because they follow their passion. They don't do things that they don't like. In the law, if you have a if you like it, then you just need to do whatever makes you feel the best, you need to do it. And that's kind of how that works.
Okay, the next question. Okay. These are great questions, by the way. I appreciate everyone asking these questions. After all, I think it will benefit many people in the future because I keep these questions and answers. Sometimes, these Qs and A's that you people ask these questions become things viewed tens of thousands of times by others.
Looking for answers. So it's just beneficial here regarding the resume. What's the ideal balance between providing enough information and not overwhelming potential employers? Are there industries where longer resumes are more acceptable? So, I'm just going to talk briefly about a legal resume.
So, a legal resume really should never be more than one page. Now there are exceptions to that. So, if you're a patent attorney, you can include a patent, a page, or multiple pages after your resume discussing everything you've done. Same thing with corporate transactional attorneys.
You can do resumes like that, talking about all your transactions. But in general, the resume just needs to be one page. You can't make it any longer than that. And you also. Do not talk about things that don't deal with what you're doing. So you don't; you just don't want to look at things.
And one of the things I've seen lately, and I don't know why it is, it's because of, I guess, the way the country is, but I've seen these resumes where people are unemployed, and they can't figure out why, because they went to NYU or they went to, wherever you were, Chicago law school.
And they worked in a big firm. They had these resumes, and they'll say. There might be a corporate attorney, and they'll have two or three lines talking about their pro bono work. And then one line saying worked on corporate M& A transactions.
So, people are emphasizing the wrong things. Your resume, just all it needs to do is talk about your practice area. And that's it. So you just need to talk about your practice area and what you want to do, focus on that, and look like an expert. And that's it. So you have to have that focus.
And if you don't do that, it's always going to harm you. And that's what these resumes I'm talking to you about. That emphasizes the wrong things. All that happens when you don't talk about your practice here is people think that you want to do something else besides that. So that's how that works.
So, anytime you talk about things that aren't related to what you're doing, that hurts you. Oh, I just wanted to show everyone that I think it's essential to always email things you write. Everything must be in perfect English, and you must proofread grammar well because that's your brand.
As an attorney, you want to communicate in the best way possible with clients and employers. And the people respect you for that. If you make many errors, they assume that you need to be thinking through legal work and stuff. So it's always important. That's why I keep this open.
Not necessarily for this, but for all my emails and correspondence, I make sure that I proofread. How can candidates ensure their resumes effectively convey their passion for the legal field and commitment to making meaningful contributions, even when transitioning from a non-legal career? Okay, that's interesting.
What are your thoughts on incorporating? So if you have limited experience, that's a good point. So, there are resumes of young attorneys or people in law school looking for things, but you have to get the resume. A decent length. You have to include things but don't want to include too much.
If you were like, sometimes people might have been another, like sometimes people will be in the medical field, and they go into practicing a lot. That's okay. You can talk about that, but you need to make your resume. Look focused on wanting to work in a law firm.
That's it. And there's other ways, there's ways to do that. But if you I will send out an invite to the resume workshop in the next week or 2. And then when you get that, I'm happy to do it. Your resume, but you just need to look like everyone, like the most significant thing in a resume, is, and this is very important.
And if you're listening to this and sticking around, this will help you, and all this information you're learning can change your life and career. But the most significant thing about a resume is that it needs to show some upward mobility. So that's how this is what you do.
Suppose you are if you're if you're effectively representing yourself. And it needs to be sorry. I'm just self-effective, so what does that mean? So that means that everywhere you go, it looks like you're improving, looks like you're improving, you can do better, and everything you do. And then the other thing is you make, and then the final thing you need to do is you need to.
Make sure, and it's ridiculous. Okay. So the idea, what does that mean? You take the reader away from the things you're trying to prove. From whatever you're trying to improve. What does that mean? So that means you don't put things on the resume that detract from the fact that you're an attorney.
You don't make yourself look like someone that, Okay. Do you need to improve at what they do, or aren't you downplaying things that could give doubt about you? So what does that mean? That means you limit the pessimistic conclusions people can read from your resume.
So what does that mean? So I see resumes where people might say that I graduated from this law school and was in the top 50 percent of my class. No, you don't put that. Why would you want to? No, you don't. Tell the reader you were in the top half, maybe from the top 5%, but you need to tell the reader you were in the top half.
You just don't do it. It needs to be helping your case. So why would you say that? So people do this on their resumes all the time, or they'll say something like, I don't know, but they'll say things that don't make them look good. You don't put that on your resume. You want to look very good at what you do.
You want to look very focused, and that's it, and you need to do that to do well. So it would be best if you looked focused on something. It would be best if you looked like an achiever. It would help if you looked like someone who can, you know, get negative information off your resume.
It detracts from the fact that you're doing something.
Oh, question. There's a lot of questions. I'm trying to get through them. I imagine an outfit like yours focuses solely on law practice. What if you want to work in an area of law-supporting roles? Physically, I have this as I have and I'm not going to do this.
Still, I am interested in law, wellness, and well-being, and I wish to work in a law firm environment that does not necessarily require a self-initiated search.
Great question. So I got a resume today from someone who applied to work to get a job at BCG, meaning to get a law firm job, like practicing law. And the person had this position inside a giant law firm, one of the biggest law firms in New York. Their job was practicing law.
Helping lawyers. They were attorneys with law school and practical law firms, but their job was precisely this. Lawyers would ensure that people inside the firm are happy and then check in on them, offering seminars about different things. This is a job now in law firms, especially the big ones.
You can find it. How do you find it? Probably, I don't know. Maybe these jobs will become open. Sometimes, they do, but otherwise, you can; you must network with them. Probably. I don't know, but there are these jobs, and if you want to do that, you can.
Please do it now. Staffing firms are going to be able to find you that position. I don't think we may have some positions close to that, but they're probably more, but I don't think we do. We only recruit people who are practicing law. But yes, this is a real job, and law firms have it now.
So that's an excellent question. But the thing about that position is also that if I were you and I was interested in something like that, what I would do is I would start maybe my own business or my blog or something and work with people to do that. I think that would be very effective.
I am still determining exactly how that will work for you, but that's what I would do. It sounds like a good business for someone. A lot of people have done it. You just have to figure out if you're not working in the firm, how would you make money? And I don't know, but sometimes that sort of passion, like passion for what I'm doing.
I certainly would recommend your startup. You can write about it. You can certainly write about it and work in a law firm. The more you write about it, the more you learn about it. You can do podcasts, articles, and all sorts of stuff. That's probably a lot of tension.
Yeah. What are the top three interview mistakes? It can't make your sibling interchange offers and help them. One needs to be more focused. Focus. I'm looking to commit the others to discussing topics and interests in the interview. I'm just giving you the interview that doesn't do; that makes it look like you must be committed.
I would also say not allowing the interviewer to talk to me, and I would just say not allowing, not making sure the interviewer talks 80 percent of the time. So those are some of the things that I would recommend, but another one would be in terms of that.
There's this thing that I go over, and I think that applies to everything, and I'm going to if you're a BCG candidate, I have this kind of report that I share only with law firms about the kind of people that should hire. And it's pretty simple, but can you do the job? This is what the question they ask.
Do you have the skills to do it? Most people, they never do. Can you be managed? That's another question. Do you want the job? Do you want the job?
Do we like you? And then there's, these are the main questions. Can you do the job? Just means, do you have, and this is the other big one? Will you do the job long term?
So these are essential questions. Can you do the job? Just means do you have the skills? And do you look like you can do the job the way they want it done? So if they tell you you have to work in the middle of the night three days a week, will you say that's okay?
If they need you in the office, they don't want you to work remotely. That's okay. Suppose you seem like you're someone that they want to. It would be best if you looked like you could do all the things the employer needs. So if you have those, the next question they ask is whether you can be managed.
So, what does being managed mean? It means, do you seem like the type of person who will come in and do what they ask of you? Do you seem like the kind of person that sometimes people will say, I left the job because I didn't like this or that? And these things are management issues like these are things that people say can't be managed.
So it would be best if you thought about that. Can you be managed? This is a big question that employers are asking. So, being managed means, do you seem like the kind of person that will follow instructions? Do you seem like the kind of person that will respect authority? And, so you understand this, it's essential to understand it.
Partners have to be managed by firms. So, partners are manageable. Associates have to be manageable. Everybody in the firm has to be manageable. That means they prefer to avoid entrepreneurs who may want to do things. I'm the last person in the world that a law firm should hire. Don't they like people that we'll talk negatively about the firm?
They need people that are soldiers, basically, and not generals meaning soldiers just do what you're told you walk into a firing squad where you're going to die. Yeah, that's what you do. That's what soldiers do. They have to follow instructions. So they will ask that partners, by the way, have to follow instructions.
Partners will go into firms and say, I demand this, and I demand that, and they won't get hired, and partners will leave firms all the time because the firms they're not manageable. So that's just a big important thing. Then the next one is, do you want the job? So people who want the job go in and talk very enthusiastically about why they want it.
They're excited. They don't slump. They just seem like you're very interested in working there. And if you have that and you come across that way, then people like you. People like people who like them. People like people that want to work. So you walk into a firm and say, Oh, I love your reputation.
I love this about you. I can't wait to work on these kinds of matters. That's different from the way most people come in. And I like you just means. You have to be able to connect with people. Sometimes, you connect in weird ways. Meaning you have to not, I say, weird ways.
I say that because I remember walking into a prominent New York firm once, and I was interviewing with this associate. I walked in, and I could immediately tell he was a tax attorney and very weird. And there was just something about him that was just a little laugh.
And he had this chair in his office, and I knew it was intentionally set that way. It was set like this, so I had to look over an interview and talk to him like this. Without saying anything, I went in and played his game and sat there looking over my head at him. And I could tell three or four minutes into the interview the guy loved me.
I was imitating his mannerisms and everything, and he liked me. And I found out later, when I got hired by the firm working there in the summer, that he was like one of the people on the hiring committee and was very important to hire.
So people have to like you, and I'm just saying that was a weird thing you have to do, but sometimes you just need to find common interests and all sorts of things. There was a funny thing that happened. It was in 2001, and Morrison and Foerster in Denver had one of the only corporate openings. Maybe it was in 2000 during the internet explosion.
And there were only a few openings. There were just so few openings that a law firm anywhere would have an opening, and they would get Hundreds of applications.
It was like that with programmers and stuff too. I'd put an ad out, and I'd get the ad, and the applications would come in like one every three seconds. Because there's just everything melting down, but what do we like you mean? So what happened in that particular interview with Morrison and Foerster is this guy interviewed with a vital partner.
He noticed a picture of the guy snowboarding, and he said he started talking about snowboarding, and then the partner realized that this was a guy who was almost like a professional snowboarder. It wasn't on his resume, and he needed to be more qualified.
But he's the one who got it because he likes people, so making a connection is very important. If you can, you don't have to make a false confession.
You can come in and be very professional, but they must like you. And why do people not like you? Sometimes, they won't like you because you may be on the wrong side of a political matter. Like they may be a Democrat, you may be a Republican, and you start talking differently.
That shows your affiliation or who knows, but you have to be very careful with this stuff. So it would be best if you made people like you, and again, the rule of the resume I was talking about earlier is that you don't want to take the person away from whatever you're trying to prove.
So, if you're a lawyer representing a criminal defendant, you don't mention that person has three other felony convictions. You downplay everything, and it's the same thing with your resume. So do we like you mean you talk about that person's interest? You figure out what that means in the final ones.
Will you do the job long term? That means do you look like you're someone going to commit? If they hire you, do you look like you will do everything you can to stay there? Do you look like you're someone who's committed to working at a law firm? Do you look like someone who's committed to that area?
Do you look like someone who thinks this job will make you happy and you will stay out? So, law firms do not like hiring people who will leave. It's just not good for them. It could be more suitable for their clients. It could be better for the morale of people there. So the best people to hire are usually those I have stayed with in the last job for an extended period.
So people always come to me like I'm at this firm. Should I leave? And you think you do that? You're a good firm. You might be able to get a little more money, but that will harm you in the long run because you will look like you. You're moving around too much.
So, being able to do the job long-term is a big deal. Now, I sell my job to get people to apply to firms and to represent them. But basically, I profit when people switch jobs. But my opinion is that anybody that's at a firm, if you're not moving up in some material way, there's no reason to move. People want to believe that you're going to commit.
Now, what does a person look like? They won't commit the person who looks like they won't commit. It's someone who may have gone in-house after they take a job or may have done many different things. They worked in a law firm, worked in government, and worked in this.
Someone who looks like they won't stick around is always the worst type of hire. So these are the five things that I look at. It would help if you asked for three, but those are five, which I think are essential. And I've written a lot about that. I think that to the extent you can, you should. I would read both things.
I've written. Okay. So, there's nothing wrong with turning down a job offer. It happens all the time. I was thinking about this morning because of one of my job problems, and again, I'm very vulnerable here. I'm telling you, but when you're working with a law firm and getting someone a job there, You have to be on top of it.
You want the candidate to accept the job. And if the candidate doesn't accept the job, then the law firm thinks poorly of the recruiter. And they think the recruiter needs to sell the person more on the farm. And then the law firm sometimes will get mad at the recruiter. And even to the extent that the law firm will stop working with a recruiter, the people will teach up.
Now, it can happen. There's nothing wrong with refusing a job offer. One of the things that's important to remember. Especially at large firms, they interview so many people like they don't know if you apply, and a lot of them have applicant tracking systems, so they'll know this information.
Still, a lot of them don't, so turning down a job offer if you have good reasons for doing so, meaning my I have to stay, my spouse is not moving now, they're moving in six months or something, they're moving in two years like that's okay, but there are no Legal ramifications of not turning, of turning down a job offer especially if you do it in a good way.
And sometimes the offer is different from what you want. It's just different from the job you think will be a good fit for you in the long run. Turnabout is fine, especially if it's not someplace you want to work. So, I don't think there's anything wrong with turning down a job offer.
Now, do I like it when the candidates do it? No. So I would be conscientious about that. Let me see here. Okay, so this next question.
So I'm here to collect advice about taking a job offer I'm not happy with just to avoid an employment cap. Could you shed some light on the pros and cons of the decision? Especially in the context of, yeah, in this webinar, did I, when you saw me glossing over things, I was worried that the webinar was a little too long and that information I talked about.
Still, I should have gone more in detail and probably shown most slides, but this advice about not taking a job offer you're not happy with if you have a gap on your resume is not good in the legal profession.
I don't know why. I think that a law firm is a profession. Once you stop doing something for some time, that just shows that you couldn't get a job. It shows maybe that you weren't committed. It shows that you're working, that maybe you got fired, that you can't represent yourself effectively through networking or whatever, and get a job.
And that's an important thing to think about. So why is that important? Because liars are expected to be good liars representing themselves, meaning getting a job. That's the biggest test of your ability to get a position. Now, the other thing in terms of that is if you don't.
Represent yourself. If you don't have a job, you may not want a job. It means you may be challenged to manage. It means all these things. It means, can you be managed? Maybe not. If you don't, if you want the job, do you want to work as an attorney? Probably not. Do we like you? I, we do the job long term.
So, I'll tell you something interesting I've seen with reasonable attorneys. They are when they get older, like when they start getting in there, like in the 60s and 70s, and they want to keep working. What's very interesting about them is that they tend to be very interested in their practice area.
They don't care if they're not going to make the most money or they don't care they're just interested in what they're doing. They are committed to working as an attorney, and they know that whatever environment they get in, they're going to do well and will be practicing law because that's what they want to do.
If you get a job and practice law, you'll still learn things. That's very positive. There's nothing negative about that. You should take a job even if you're unhappy because it keeps you going. You can always come up with explanations later if it's not a great job that you can take, but you want to avoid that gap.
Now, yeah. If you're unhappy with the job, it's the same thing. It's like going into a marriage or a relationship with someone where you won't stick with them long-term. That's a big problem. I don't recommend being in that situation. I think the best way to avoid being in that situation is to follow my advice and make sure you apply to many places.
You have a lot of things, how you're markedly on the market, but if you're not happy. And with a position, then just go into it and do the best you can and excel and learn everything you can. Every place you work is a learning opportunity. So you go in there, learn, and switch something later.
But yeah, only take a job you're happy with. I, that's the biggest thing. Now, what is not a good employment gap? So sometimes, people will take a job that could be a better job to have on their resume. So I don't think I have. And I'm sorry to say this if you're in that position. I don't think having a contract-turned-job is a suitable gap in your resume.
There are better ways to avoid a gap in your resume than going from a law firm to in-house. If you want to work in a law firm, you must go to another firm. Hopefully, practice in the same or similar practice area and then do that in a full-time position, either as an associate or a partner or whatever you need to do to keep yourself to maintain your resume.
This is what the best resumes do: people work in law firms. If you continue to work in a law firm and something in your practice area, close to your practice area, and you stay with it, you can get jobs in the future. I'm at the law firms, but if you don't, you won't. Okay. We see it.
Thanks for all the questions again. This is just great. People are; I'm going to have to wait for more. Okay. So, it's a short-term position. Again, you can certainly do that. I am curious to know how long you've been a law student, if you're a practicing attorney asking this, but the need for immediate employment. What does that mean? That means you're saying you want to get a better job.
Do you think you can get a short-term position? So here's the answer to that question. So if you're very focused on doing something like a particular practice here, a specific type of work, and you concentrate on that and you focus on it, you will, this is how it works.
Things work. You will eventually get that position. It's just how it works. You'll go, your mind will work you in this, but if you're not getting a position, a specific type of job, you may just not be qualified for it. There may not be a mark. You may need them. The background is yet.
You may need to apply to more places, but you must take the best you can get. So, what's an example of that? So this is an exciting example, but I'll, it could be more interesting, but my wife or my, I guess my ex-wife was a trademark attorney and in Silicon Valley.
And then the market for And, it crashed for technology and everything. Trademark attorneys should typically use new trademark work for new businesses. And that just wasn't happening anymore. So, she ended up getting laid off. When she got laid off, she started looking for trademark attorney jobs in Los Angeles, and there were not.
So she got one interview. I think Greenberg or something. They had a job, but that was the only job there was. And nothing happened in Silicon Valley because the market just crashed. Office buildings were, anyway, so it was terrible. So the jobs she could get were offered like insurance defense, completely different from what she was doing.
She needed to get the job she wanted, so she left the law practice. He came to work for me and was exceptional at that job. I'm thrilled. But the point is that sometimes, if you want to continue practicing law, you may not get the jobs you want, and you may need to look at multiple markets or search more for a position, but there's nothing wrong with not getting the job you want.
It would be best to take what you could get to stay in the profession. That's better. Thank you. Then, having a gap or doing nothing, a lot of questions. Usually, I'm a little bit more up in these presentations, but sometimes I need more time today to hear. Let's see, I have a hundred situations where job offers seem ideal on paper but don't feel right in practice.
How can I assess whether the job aligns with my values and personal satisfaction? So that's a good question. A couple of things are essential in any position you're looking at: one of the questions you should ask outside the interviews. Still, you should figure out the answer to what happened to the person or people who are replaced.
Where do people go? After working here, those are great questions because sometimes you'll see that everyone who goes to work there goes on to great things. Other times, you'll see that they crash and burn like it's not very good. So, I got them out when I worked at a firm that's no longer in business.
Called Dewey Ballantyne in Los Angeles. And I got there and realized that it was a New York firm that no longer exists, but I got there. I realized that the people who worked there had incredible career meltdowns after working there, like just awful things were happening.
One woman who got to Columbia Law School is now a waitress. Being a waitress's not a problem, but I'm battle-scarred by the place there. And even though the firm paid incredible amounts of money for Los Angeles, I think that the firm in Skadden had salaries that were 50 percent of everybody else's.
It just wasn't; it just wasn't a good place. So a lot of times to get a feeling of the firm, the biggest thing that I think is when you're interviewing, With the firm, like what is the what is the, do you feel connected to people? Do you feel like the people will look out for you?
Do you feel like it's a place where you can have a perfect future, or does it just feel like you are getting a bad vibe? And that vibe usually will tell you even though the pay is high, we'll tell you really where it's going to go. And that, that would be my advice is just to get a real good sense of What the vibe is and how that makes you feel, and go from there.
This is a long question. What is the value of changing practice here? It still needs to be started from the bottom. Suppose law firms won't take one, okay? Secondly, as an immigrant, my foreign postures are not accepted. We need to be licensed in America.
I'm frustrated and want to repair legal jobs. They keep saying the U.S. work experience. I've been through the experience. Thirty-two years is okay. So the most significant thing is that anybody can get hired if you need to be in order. You just have to find someone that will hire you. So if you're just sending resumes out, that becomes.
It takes work to get a position. So what does that mean? If you can't get a position, you just apply to enough places where you'll get a job. So someone will look at your background, and we'll say that this person will work inexpensively for me.
I'm taking a chance on them. Take a chance on them. So what does that mean? If you're a solo practitioner and you apply to work with them, and you say I'll work for 25 an hour or some ridiculous amount, then that person will hire you with experience because That's the only kind of person that can afford us.
You just, anybody in a position where you need to get jobs at the best firms, the best firms if you want to be a paralegal, they may get, they can hire U.S. paralegals with U. S. skills all day. So why would they hire you? And it's not to be offensive, but what's their incentive?
You need to make everybody start at the bottom if you need help getting something, and then you can work your way up from there. That's just how it works. I'm not saying that's what you have to do, but I am saying that the more places you apply to, the more people you meet, and then the further down you're willing to go in the pecking order, the better off you'll be.
So this is a good lesson for everybody. On this call, when you're saying what kind of firms can I get jobs at? So these are the top 1 percent of all law firms in Kansas University, maybe 1. 5 or 1. These are things like Wachtell and Cravath that are pretty much impossible to get jobs at.
And that's how it works. So you have the top half of 1% and probably the top 1 10th of 1%. Just these are naturally kind of rare places to get a position. And then you have your am law, 100 and 200, which would be like four. So what do those firms do? Those firms represent the most prominent businesses.
I know, and that's what they do. Wachtell and Cravath represent that the company matters, the most sophisticated and critical matters. And then these represent the most significant businesses, and these represent PIPFP. Middle market firms represent businesses but mainly represent businesses and represent what else is different in a few, maybe a few individuals.
And then, sorry, and then these firms are representing individuals. Individuals in some companies, some small businesses, right? And then these are representing individuals. So this is very important for everyone to understand. So, these firms are pretty much impossible to get. You can't even be lateral to them.
So there are better options than that. If you're looking for a job, these firms, the AMLO 100, Represent the most prominent businesses. These firms charge a lot of money, too, and they pay a lot of money. And they need help getting jobs. And these would probably represent like 5 percent of all laws.
Are you going to get maybe 5, maybe a little more, but it's just that there are even 1000 people in them? I would need to say Propensity. These are very hard to get jobs at, and you can, but they're tough. So, everyone thinks they need to work in the top 2 percent of law firms, which is crazy.
Why would you? It might even be less than the top 2%. And then you have these middle market firms, which are. Mid-sized firms, they might have a 25-person firm and our Arkansas. They're just, they're, they represent businesses, mainly local businesses.
They charge less money. It's the AMLO 100 block firm. So they're only like 2, and sometimes they represent companies. And so these firms are also tricky. Because they're representing companies, the bigger the company, the better the work is supposed to be. That's just how it works. If you have, you can spend as much time as you want on something to get the best result, and that's how they work.
But these are also difficult to get jobs with, so that's just how it works. So you have these lines, and then you have firms representing individuals and small businesses. These firms do not charge much money so they might be immigration insurance defense.
I'm sorry for giving such a long explanation to everyone on the call. This is very important, and they tend to have lower hiring standards because their clients need more money. They can't pay a lot of money, so they're a lot of money, maybe criminal, whatever it's usually a personal injury that kind of stuff, so these firms do not pay a lot, so they tend to have lower hiring standards, and that's because individuals do not have a lot of money.
Most of the time, these people who are being represented won't even ask where you went to law school, and it just doesn't even matter to them. They're, and then this one is, individuals who have little money at all. These people will do it. They can still do immigration and, or just trust in the states if you want, for people without much money.
Thank you. This kind of stuff. So there's nothing wrong with this. But certainly, they won't do corporate law or anything like that. So what does it mean when you're searching for a job? This could be immigration, traffic tickets, who knows? Tickets are just stuff where people only have a little money to spend.
So when you're working at a, when you're looking for a law firm, your ability to get the job will be based on the type of firm you're applying to. So this one is individuals with a lot of money. So, if I were this person and you needed help getting a job, you certainly wouldn't want to apply to these firms.
You certainly want to avoid applying to these firms. You can start applying to these firms. But the best thing to do is to apply to people's firms that have a limited amount of money. Solo practitioners just do small matters of walking through the door. Small criminal matters. And this is, this is, it could be family law.
So this is the secret of anybody that can be family logic, but this is the secret of anyone having difficulty getting a job. You're just, you just need to move down the line. And if you get to the individuals that only have a little money. These firms will always hire you, especially if you are willing to work for nothing.
Very little money. I'm not saying you should, but the idea is you can start at the bottom, and everyone can move up. I've seen people start at firms like this. I had one guy I know that he didn't, he didn't get an offer as a summer associate. He went to, I think, Michigan law school.
And he was distraught. And then he took the bar, and he failed. He's distraught. And then he lost his first job, which could have been a better firm, because he failed the bar. And then he returned and got a job at another firm like this. And then he did well there.
He started building a book of business and then got a job at three firms, which is pretty awesome because he was so committed and focused on his practice area.
And then he moved to an AMLA firm, and he did well there, and he started building this guy is in New York, he started building like a big book of business, I don't know how he did it, but he was so hungry and eager to prove something, and then he ended up moving to one of these five firms.
After 15 or 20 years, it's all possible. Like you, you must start at the bottom to get to the top. And that's just, sometimes, that's what happens. You need to have the right experience. You can give the suitable grades. Who cares?
You just move up. So this person, anyone that's from a foreign country or. School or you need to be in better shape. You just take what you can get, and then you start moving up, and you learn. And that's the most significant piece of advice I can give anybody. About that, I think it's essential to do that.
There's a lot of questions today. When does it become appropriate to no longer be flexible? I know exactly the practice I want in the city. I understand we need to be flexible. How dangerous is flexibility? If I take a job in a random geographic area in the practice area, and vice versa, I am not hopeful I'll be able to end up where I want to be eventually.
I'm not graduating from a law writing school. Okay, so this is a good example. Depending on the practice area you're in. If you're, if you're in commercial litigation or something, I don't know, but if you're in any type of transactional practice area, what is the transactional practice area?
This is important for everyone to understand. Very important. The transactional is corporate real estate patent prosecution.
This all makes sense in a second. Patent prosecution tax sometimes. Trust in the States, just things where you're dealing with kind of transactions, numbers, and things and not things that aren't like litigation-related transactional. So, what's nice about transactional practice areas is that you can move anywhere.
So, I've seen corporate attorneys. I had one when I first started. Recruiting, I was like, in my 1st year in corporate, I was just going crazy. And so I had this corporate candidate like a small five-person firm in some suburb in New Jersey, not even Newark or anything.
And he went out to a big firm. I need to find out which one it was. I don't know. I don't want to quote, say, the firms make them embarrassed, but it was a vast, California-based law firm and one of the most prestigious. And so this firm, because there was so much corporate demand, flew him out.
And put him in and flew his wife out with him and put him in this giant, like 2000 square foot suite in San Francisco because he was so much in demand. So, the point is that whatever your practice area is, I've seen people with real estate backgrounds. It's straightforward in all these practices, in all these practice areas, to move geographically.
So you could take a job in a small market. And move into a bigger market if you do this, and it's easiest with transactional practice areas. It's much more complicated in non-transactional practice areas, meaning litigation.
But it's effortless to do if it's in your transactional practice area. The camera was off; I just turned it back on, but I saw someone calling me, so I apologize.
But yeah, transactional practice areas are the easiest to move in. And if you take a job in a smaller market, you can always move to the transactional practice areas. I've seen patent prosecution people move nationwide every few years.
I've seen real estate people, corporate trusts in the states, etc. If you do a good job, if you're a transactional practitioner, it's much easier to move, and you can typically move regardless of how prestigious your firm is; you can always move up.
And so, just to give you an example, like Trust in the States, Trust in the States is done at two firms, but it's also done at three firms.
It's also done at four firms because they have wealthy clients, and it's also even done sometimes at five firms. So, there are certain practice areas sometimes. These big firms do family law so that you can move up there, and who knows, but literally, they do.
And so there's some things, some practice areas where you can continually move to different firms, depending on whether you can move up and down and sideways and stuff to different markets, but transactional is usually the easiest.
Okay. We're trying to work five years ago and have an excellent track record. Let me see concerning interview success. Let me see. Our past year, I've been about, I've been on a dozen interviews. The only offer was okay, which I turned down because the salary offer was below the salary we discussed.
I'm confident in my interview skills and beginning to question myself, and the recent lack of success is potentially attributable to my high salary. Yeah. Everyone on this call, and if you're interested, I'm Still listening. That's very smart. Everyone's sticking around you, this is a lot of important information you're getting.
So the last thing in the world you should be worried about when you're a young attorney is your salary. And I'll tell you why you should be worried about your salary as a young attorney. Why is that? You just don't worry about it. It's not relevant.
Why isn't it relevant? Because you're only, you're the law firm that is training you like they're training you to do something like you show up there and you're getting trained for free. So you're getting trained for free and not only getting trained for free, but you're also getting, you're also getting, I'm sure you're also getting paid.
So, your first five years of first five years of practice. They are only about learning. Like you, you're a competent attorney after about five years of training in a law firm. So, if you can stick around for five years in a law firm, you will know what you're doing. And you'll be much better off.
And you have to. You must ensure you're committed and not worrying about your salary. It doesn't matter. It may matter how you think about yourself to other people. It may matter how you want to be perceived by your peers.
It may matter because other people are making more money, but honest to God, like you, so you start your career. So just think about this. You start your career at, say, the age of 25. I'm just saying this is hypothetically, but this is what a lot of people do.
If they go straight through law school at 25, so how old is Biden or Trump or, people practice and work into their eighties, I know lawyers that are, have been 90 years old and practicing. I'm sure people like to live longer yearly but just say, hypothetically.
You practice until you're 85. I've placed people in their 80s with vast books of business. That's, see, 25 to 85 is 60 years. So what, why would you want to start your career and worry about how you're getting paid in your first job when you have 60 years in front of you? And the most important thing you can do now is learn your practice area.
So don't, I don't think; I just want to be clear with everyone. That's a young attorney; there's no reason to worry about your practice area. All you should care about is getting training and thinking that the training is free because what can happen with that training? If you're trained for five years by a law firm, you are suddenly in a position where you can often set up your firm and compete with them.
You're in a position where you can move to a better firm. You're in a position where you can Work in a similar firm; we can work in other markets. So no, you should not; there's no such thing as a salary requirement. If you're doing that, you are out of your mind.
I'm not saying you're crazy, but I'm just telling you that's the last thing you should be concerned about. You should be concerned about getting training. And if you're not if you're sticking around and worrying about your salary and having all these requirements. That's not a good thing.
So what is, what do you say? What do you say when someone, what do you say when someone offers you when what do you say? What do you say when they ask you about what your requirements are? So this is what you say. And I'll tell you how it can backfire. Actually, I have a sad story about it.
But I'll tell you that in a second. What you say is this is the answer you always get. The answer you always give is I would like to make the same amount as my peers in this position. That's it. That's all you have to say in this position. That's it. Position with your friend.
That's it. That's all you have to say. You don't have to say, I need to make this much. I need to make that. Because if you say that, think about an employer. So I remember once I was interviewing with this firm in Century City in Los Angeles, beautiful offices, but it was a smaller firm. At the time, I was making 180, 000 a year as a third-year attorney.
And this is again, keep in mind, this is in. The 1990s. Okay. So this is a long time ago. And so that was like an incredibly high salary for, it was probably the highest, that and scatter were the highest salary you could make in Los Angeles for my class. Sure. So I'm interviewing with a small firm, and they asked me, what are your salary requirements?
And I say. This is what I'm making. I'm happy to make one 50. And the guy says that's what our partners make. Again, this amount of money would probably be 300 350 000, for a small firm, which could be better. But the point is that you don't talk about yourself. That's the exact way not to get a job.
You would have to be crazy to do that. I'm just not saying you are crazy, but you don't. Anything you say not to get a job will hurt you. So you just want to do the same, and this is my peers in this position in the firm. I'll tell you an unfortunate story. It's sad, but I had this candidate who's no longer alive, and I liked him.
He was a, and I don't know, I connected with him. He's just a good person. I'm just an excellent guy. He was English and wanted to work at a big firm in London, where he had dual citizenship. So it was like, his mom was English or something, so he could get a passport and be an English citizen.
But he grew up in the United States and worked at this big New York law firm. And one to go to work in London. And so I got him this job at the best law firm, probably in London, where he was in a practice area and had an excellent opportunity.
And the way it works in London at this firm is they do lockstep compensations. They start you out of something, and then you make parking, you make less, and the more you work there, the higher your salary goes, but it doesn't even have anything to do with business. It's old school.
Anyway, so you got this job and. And they were ready to make the offer, and he said, how much money would you like to make? And he said, what are your salary requirements? He said, I want to, so I told him, I want to make the same amount as my peers in this position with your firm. The English salaries for attorneys are much lower in the United States.
And so when they made him an offer, which was funny because these English firms were like, it's a contingent successful physical exam and all this stuff you would never see in the U.S. They made him an offer, the English salary, which is, maybe 70 percent or 60 percent of what he was making in the New York firm and he turned it down.
And it was a good firm where he would not have had to work as hard and all these things. And so we stayed at this New York firm, and then he worked like crazy. Like I kept checking in with him. He's like a billion, 2, 800 hours. I never stopped. And then. Like 10 or 12 years ago, I tried to call him, and by that time, he was still young.
He was probably in his late thirties, had a heart attack, and died. It was sad. And I'm sure it was related to the work; he was such a nice guy. And I liked him. And the point is that. Sometimes, he wanted to make a high salary, his English term, because he thought he should deserve what he was making in New York, and that firm did pay like English securities attorneys.
He wasn't a securities attorney, IP, they did pay them a high U.S. salary, but they didn't stick around. So you have this opportunity to go someplace where he had a firm of family, his home country. And he didn't take it and wanted to make these high salaries. So he would have been happier if it stayed there.
So never. Never say that you want to make a certain amount of money. I had another case recently where I worked with a partner at a major like a U.S. law firm. And she was getting paid three and a half million dollars a year and didn't have a book of business.
And she was being pushed out of the firm. So when I say pushed out, the firm was telling her to move along and your job, maybe we just are not going to keep you around. That's the kind of message he was getting. So she was looking for a job, and I found her a job at a perfect firm, but it wasn't.
Most firms must pay partners about business 3. 5 million a year. So I found her a job and the most I could get her. I'm not saying just how the market works: I got her a job paying a little over a million dollars a year, and she's I.
When I told the firm how much she made, she was just like, whoa, and they, and it was an excellent firm, and they were just like, there's just no way. She told them she was required to make something similar because she was reliant.
And so she didn't get the job, and then now she is, I think, unemployed. So basically, your message is I want to do the same as my peers in this position. I want to be compensated reasonably accordingly. But here's, and that's it. You don't say, my requirements are this, my requirements are this.
And then or if the firm says if the firm comes back and they say and, we don't have anybody's position. How much would you like to make? And you say whatever you think is fair for this position. I'm currently making this, but I realize I don't make this much in your firm.
So sometimes they'll say that. But the point is, if you make your, if you make your. The job with that, with the firm contingent on making a certain amount of money, could be better. You'll get only some of the offers you can because you need to concentrate on getting trained, and that's the most important.
Okay. Okay, so this is a good one. So his question is, what if an HR person screens you out because they need help understanding the technical parts of the position and need to realize you are an excellent candidate? Do you see some defending like them? Yeah, so that's a good question. So sometimes HR will screen you out.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, the right. But sometimes they're not; you have to understand that the HR job inside of a law firm can be challenging because they have to find certain people, but sometimes they're not screening you for the technical requirements. They may screen you because they know your background wouldn't work.
You may see a job listing and think you're good, but here's an example. So, certain firms will hire you if this is your first lateral move. Still, other firms, if they see you've had a job at one place for one year and another place for one year.
Then you're on your third job, and even though you're technically competent for the position, they're just like, no, sorry, we don't, we look like a job hopper or whatever, so they may see something, or maybe you're coming from in house and wanting to work in a law firm.
So it's more than just. They're not just screening you out because of technical requirements. It's because they're because you're not a good fit. I had something interesting happen, and I think a lot of these questions, and it's excellent, are about salary, getting paid, getting paid an amount they want.
They're also about technical requirements. So I had this exciting thing happen. I had this, and saw this resume of this woman. And she'd gone to a top law school and a top college and majored in electrical engineering. And I was talking to her, and when I talked to candidates like I try to.
Try to find who they are because I want to communicate that to the law firm. I want to tell the law firm this person is, this personality is what they do, and this is what's interesting about them. So you have to do that as an excellent recruiter to get information.
So I did that, and I was asking her these questions, and she wasn't; she was just talking to a brick wall, and she said none of this matters. The only thing that matters is my technical requirements and the fact that I can do the job. And she was just very, and I was like, I can't help you.
If you do not connect with me, how am I supposed to represent your law firm? And she got real mad, and then, I don't know, the conversation ended. I tried to end the friendship but realized you couldn't help her. And then, after I was done, I looked her up, and she'd been in all these lawsuits.
Like she'd sued a big law firm, she left and sued a beauty parlor for giving her a bad haircut. And so there's just all this stuff. And so that was, but that was an example of someone that, it was like, it's not about anything else.
It's only about my test score requirements. And you're going to have to miss it. When you don't get an offer, it's often about things other than what you're about and what about your background specifically.
Okay. I'm trying to see if I have any more questions, and it looks like we're pretty much done. Suppose no one has anymore. I appreciate everyone. Stay on this call as long as you have. This is a, there was a lot of good information today. And then, next week, I think I have less time, but it'll be a quicker webinar.
In a couple of weeks, if you just look at your email, we'll do a resume review, and I think that's always really important to do the resume review because that'll give you a lot of information. Those typically are longer calls, and that can be helpful. So, I appreciate everybody being on this call today.
And then, just if you're a BCG person we're working with, just remember we do onboarding calls, which means we talk about how we work with in search. We do that on Mondays, and then on Tuesdays, we always do a resume review. So you can send a resume to me before that meeting. We do that.