Firm Life for an URM

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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Lacepiece23
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:42 pm

lawprospie wrote:Some of the items in Nat's post bring up a few scenarios in my mind and the importance of blacks doing as well as possible while in law school.

Could you imagine the opportunities for a minority from a top 14 law school who graduates Order of the Coif?

At my undergrad, no black students have been inducted into PBK in like 8 years. If someone had, the opportunities for them probably would have been fellowships, such as the Rhodes. However, AAs at my undergrad who had 3.5+ and strong leadership positions (which was only a handful) ended up with great opps. after graduation.

I am wondering how URMs with really impressive credentials are treated during recruitment and while working at a firm.


To be honest I think adding honors to your resume probably would really help. I don't know what you need for Order of the Coif, but I'm assuming that URM's that graduate top third to top 20% at least might be treated differently then URM's who grabbed a great firm through interview skills with both URMs having good personalities. It is true that I've seen URM's outreach their GPA with firms they interview with. Median T14 black males at least have a good shot at even the top firms. Non URM's occasionally get those same firms through great interviews, but no one is going to question why they are there. Obviously they knew someone or blew the socks off the interviewer. It just seems that URM's need an added layer of credibility, and if you have it partners and seniors might respect your more. This is just a hunch. I could be completely off base tho.

To be honest, I'm black and if I had a major deal that needed to be done right, and I had two associates one white with honors and was way above the firm cut off, and one with no honors whom I suspected was a diversity hire (assuming i've never worked with either associate or heard about their work product) I would probably give the assignment to the non URM first. I don't think that's necessarily racism its just business and the bottom line.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby BlaqBella » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:58 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:To be honest, I'm black and if I had a major deal that needed to be done right, and I had two associates one white with honors and was way above the firm cut off, and one with no honors whom I suspected was a diversity hire (assuming i've never worked with either associate or heard about their work product) I would probably give the assignment to the non URM first. I don't think that's necessarily racism its just business and the bottom line.



Grades have nothing to do with work assignments. Grades get you in, work product keeps you there. All junior associates start at the same level and for most firm, it is structured where assignments come either from a senior or mid-level associate...seldom, if ever, do projects come directly from a partner and never would you be expected to run a major deal. You have no experience.

The first two years is about getting your feet wet and forming allies. If you realize your work flow is picking up you know you're doing something right. If it remains stagnant or non-existant, you're doing something wrong.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby BlaqBella » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:13 pm

TatNurner wrote:
indiana_student wrote:One word of advice, make friends with the black partners. They will more than likely take you under the wing and tell you how to go about getting the important work, and as a result you'll become a more marketable attorney.

BIGLAW AFRICAN AMERICAN HIRING



Thanks for your post TatNurner but I wish to caution URMs on the above suggestion you quoted: don't for a second think that because an associate or partner shares your same skin color they are looking out for you/will offer advice/will take you under their wing. Go into a law firm (or any setting, really) expecting to hold your own. You'd be surprised how many of the same individuals that look like you are the same individuals plotting for your demise.

Keep it professional, cordial but never chummy-chummy (sp?). Shared skin tones would not help a partner take you under his/her wing. Work product will. That's not to say there aren't black or other URM partners that look out for URM associates. There are. Some firms even have mentorships as part of their affinity groups. But just don't enter this career path thinking that because X and Y partner are minorities, they will be willing to offer you advice, guide/teach you, get you on their deals, etc.

Other than that, great advice was provided.

lawprospie
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby lawprospie » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:32 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
TatNurner wrote:
indiana_student wrote:One word of advice, make friends with the black partners. They will more than likely take you under the wing and tell you how to go about getting the important work, and as a result you'll become a more marketable attorney.

BIGLAW AFRICAN AMERICAN HIRING



Thanks for your post TatNurner but I wish to caution URMs on the above suggestion you quoted: don't for a second think that because an associate or partner shares your same skin color they are looking out for you/will offer advice/will take you under their wing. Go into a law firm (or any setting, really) expecting to hold your own. You'd be surprised how many of the same individuals that look like you are the same individuals plotting for your demise.

Keep it professional, cordial but never chummy-chummy (sp?). Shared skin tones would not help a partner take you under his/her wing. Work product will. That's not to say there aren't black or other URM partners that look out for URM associates. There are. Some firms even have mentorships as part of their affinity groups. But just don't enter this career path thinking that because X and Y partner are minorities, they will be willing to offer you advice, guide/teach you, get you on their deals, etc.

Other than that, great advice was provided.




+1000

For all you K-JDs let me assure you that befriending black partners can be tricky. Some of them simply do not play that game! I don't work in big law obviously, but I'm the black higher up at my consulting firm can be a bit dicey. I spoke to a black CEO of a Fortune 500 company who completely agreed with this as well.


This is a bit dramatic, but did you guys see Django Unchained? Think Samuel Jackson vs. Jamie Foxx!

I hope law school isn't like that, because undergrad sure was!

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:31 am

bumping for the excellent advice

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:56 am

I pray that you URM's get lucky and end up at the right firms. I have already faced significant racism in professional environments. A lot of companies do have a culture of racism. Your goal should be to figure out which firms have this type of culture and avoid them at all costs. Before accepting a 2L offer, I would search the internet left and right to find out info on your potential firms and look to see how many URM's are currently working there. If that means you have to click through a hundred links to view all 1,500 associates so be it.

After college, I worked in two major companies. The first one had a culture of racism, nepotism and general unprofessional environment. The second corporation from my time being there was about as good as it gets in terms of an environment for a minority.

After law school, my goal is to work at a law firm that is the least likely to have a culture of racism. I would like to pursue civil rights, immigration or plaintiff side employment law. I think all of these areas of law are the least likely to have a racist culture. I will find out. Being a professor or a solo would be cool. You wouldn't have to answer to no one. It would be sink or swim based on your own individual abilities.

You better count your lucky ducklings and hope you don't end up at a place like I have in the past, because being surrounded by a bunch of racists is a really miserable experience. If I wasn't going to attend law school, I would have punched a lot of these guys in the jaw and then thrown up the deuces.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:00 am

would researching a firms diversity score be enough?

Note there is a distinction between lacking in diversity and being in a racist environment.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:06 am

J-e-L-L-o wrote:would researching a firms diversity score be enough?

Note there is a distinction between lacking in diversity and being in a racist environment.


This is partially true and I would respond fair enough. But a lack of diversity in a lot of instances can be a sign of a racist environment. People don't want to work in hostile environments. Minorities are obviously underrepresented in the legal profession, but this is probably true at some firms more than others. There are certain firms that are known to be hostile work environments. I encourage everyone to try to figure out which firms those are.

PRgradBYU
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby PRgradBYU » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:05 pm

This thread is absolutely fascinating. Thanks for the insight, everyone.

qwertyboard
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby qwertyboard » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:22 pm

I would appreciate if someone sheds some light on firm life for Mexicans and Puerto Ricans (specifically big law firm life).

El Principe
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby El Principe » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:51 am

Wormfather wrote:My advice for any member of a stigmatized group is to really put that shit out of your mind, that shit can cripple you.



I agree with this wholeheartedly. I've learned enough through psychology to recognize how these patterns can affect people, but most people don't realize how debilitating it can be to have that chip on their shoulders.

There are several studies that show that people who've been exposed to a stereotype about themselves are more likely to underperform, possibly even falling into the stereotypical view. Not to mention the mountain of general social psychological evidence that indicates that we adjust our behavior depending on how we think we're being perceived.

But even then, I've had anecdotal experiences where an irrational fear of discrimination has caused trouble for some of my peers...

And I understand why some are, for lack of better words, "vigilant" against any perceived discrimination, because it does happen. I'm not one of those guys that think racism is all but eliminated, but unless you live in Louisiana or Mississippi, there's a good chance it's in your head.

/endrant

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby bizzybone1313 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:12 am

El Principe wrote:
Wormfather wrote:My advice for any member of a stigmatized group is to really put that shit out of your mind, that shit can cripple you.



I agree with this wholeheartedly. I've learned enough through psychology to recognize how these patterns can affect people, but most people don't realize how debilitating it can be to have that chip on their shoulders.

There are several studies that show that people who've been exposed to a stereotype about themselves are more likely to underperform, possibly even falling into the stereotypical view. Not to mention the mountain of general social psychological evidence that indicates that we adjust our behavior depending on how we think we're being perceived.

But even then, I've had anecdotal experiences where an irrational fear of discrimination has caused trouble for some of my peers...

And I understand why some are, for lack of better words, "vigilant" against any perceived discrimination, because it does happen. I'm not one of those guys that think racism is all but eliminated, but unless you live in Louisiana or Mississippi, there's a good chance it's in your head.

/endrant


I think some people have just been a lot more lucky than others in terms of racism. I haven't been lucky. I will briefly write about two major experiences.

1. In high school during my senior year, I cared a lot about playing well on the varsity basketball team. Because of this, I didn't decide to apply to colleges until late in the app. season. My high school clerk (who is white) intentionally was sending unofficial high school transcripts to my colleges, so I wouldn't get consideration for admission. Now you might be thinking: How are you sure that was racism? The answer to this is as follows: How do you fuck up 4-5 transcripts when you have been doing this shit for years? I didn't get admitted to my undergrad until 2-3 months before school was set to start. I only was able to get an official transcript after I checked everything myself and mailed it. She was trying to sabotage my application to college.

2. During my senior year in undergrad, I interviewed with like 30+ companies in my field and received 4 job offers. The job offer that I took sent me off to the middle of nowhere for a while to build a project. When I came back, I was asked to transfer to this office in East Texas. After a few months, I was informed that this company (almost exclusively White in any upper level management position that matters) wanted me to be the President of what is called a MBE (minority business enterprises). The idea for MBE's and WBE's started around the 1960's and was a way for the federal government to shift a percentage of contracts to minority and women owned businesses due to barriers that these groups faced in starting and building a business. Well, I come to find out this company hired me for no other reason than to try to use me to obtain more revenue from MBE designated projects. This essentially White owned company that makes $300 million in revenue per year was going to have my MBE as an umbrella under their own. This is most likely illegal due it not being a true MBE-- all of the revenue and profits would be getting filtered back to them. Obviously, why the fuck would I want to do something like this? Why would I let these clowns use me? If that is not racism, then I don't know what is. I cannot believe I ended up at that fucking evil place.

So, like I said earlier, you better choose very carefully where you decide to work. Don't believe this pie in the sky crap about there not being racism. You are in for a rude awakening if you don't think it exists.

Throttle
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby Throttle » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:54 am

Wormfather wrote:The first instance could really be incompetence. The second is capitalism.

No one is undermining your experiences. He'll when I was 10 I had a cop threaten me with a gun because I was in a white neighborhood. I've had a whole host of negative experiences due to my race.

The problem is you're telling URMs to be careful, as if they can somehow avoid being subjected to racism through their own efforts. The truth is most corporate racism will happen behind your back, you'll never see it coming because outwardly there will be no difference in the behavior of those who would discriminate and those who would not.

We're going into a cut throat business here, racism might exist, but what are you going to do about it?  Nothing.

Get good grades, make sure your credentials are on point, make sure your work product is excellent and be sociable. The things in your control.

Worrying about racism is like worrying about getting into a car accident. It happens a lot, but fuck you for places to go and all you can control is your own car and if you go swerving around at every potential threat, you're going to be the cause of the accident.



First, i hate when people try to use capitalism as a guise for being an evil SOB.

Second, I think he is trying to say be prepared and vigilant.

Be prepared for that car crash by becoming a better driver (understanding how to navigate racism, and understand that it still exists) and getting a great car (thick skin, strong mind). Yeah if a person just wants to crash into you they will, but they will destroy themselves also. Being prepared allows you to respond accordingly, instead of being shocked that racism is alive and well. Minorities, especially blacks males, need to understand that they must proactive to make their environment as friendly as possible. The biggest thing i've noticed is that you must constantly ask for feedback because if you don't, when it's evaluation time you wont get the standard treatment of minorities (rating you as average to below average despite outstanding work performance).

So yes prepare yourself but, like worm alluded to, don't go looking for racism under every rock.

dffoxychick08
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby dffoxychick08 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:44 pm

wow, reading this thread has definitely re-inspired me to get a jd/mba, just in case...thanks for all the insight!

fluffythepenguin
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby fluffythepenguin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:40 pm

Wormfather wrote:The first instance could really be incompetence. The second is capitalism corporatism.

No one is undermining your experiences. He'll when I was 10 I had a cop threaten me with a gun because I was in a white neighborhood. I've had a whole host of negative experiences due to my race.

The problem is you're telling URMs to be careful, as if they can somehow avoid being subjected to racism through their own efforts. The truth is most corporate racism will happen behind your back, you'll never see it coming because outwardly there will be no difference in the behavior of those who would discriminate and those who would not.

We're going into a cut throat business here, racism might exist, but what are you going to do about it? Nothing.

Get good grades, make sure your credentials are on point, make sure your work product is excellent and be sociable. The things in your control.

Worrying about racism is like worrying about getting into a car accident. It happens a lot, but fuck you for places to go and all you can control is your own car and if you go swerving around at every potential threat, you're going to be the cause of the accident.


FTFY

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:21 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:
El Principe wrote:
Wormfather wrote:My advice for any member of a stigmatized group is to really put that shit out of your mind, that shit can cripple you.



I agree with this wholeheartedly. I've learned enough through psychology to recognize how these patterns can affect people, but most people don't realize how debilitating it can be to have that chip on their shoulders.

There are several studies that show that people who've been exposed to a stereotype about themselves are more likely to underperform, possibly even falling into the stereotypical view. Not to mention the mountain of general social psychological evidence that indicates that we adjust our behavior depending on how we think we're being perceived.

But even then, I've had anecdotal experiences where an irrational fear of discrimination has caused trouble for some of my peers...

And I understand why some are, for lack of better words, "vigilant" against any perceived discrimination, because it does happen. I'm not one of those guys that think racism is all but eliminated, but unless you live in Louisiana or Mississippi, there's a good chance it's in your head.

/endrant


I think some people have just been a lot more lucky than others in terms of racism. I haven't been lucky. I will briefly write about two major experiences.

1. In high school during my senior year, I cared a lot about playing well on the varsity basketball team. Because of this, I didn't decide to apply to colleges until late in the app. season. My high school clerk (who is white) intentionally was sending unofficial high school transcripts to my colleges, so I wouldn't get consideration for admission. Now you might be thinking: How are you sure that was racism? The answer to this is as follows: How do you fuck up 4-5 transcripts when you have been doing this shit for years? I didn't get admitted to my undergrad until 2-3 months before school was set to start. I only was able to get an official transcript after I checked everything myself and mailed it. She was trying to sabotage my application to college.

2. During my senior year in undergrad, I interviewed with like 30+ companies in my field and received 4 job offers. The job offer that I took sent me off to the middle of nowhere for a while to build a project. When I came back, I was asked to transfer to this office in East Texas. After a few months, I was informed that this company (almost exclusively White in any upper level management position that matters) wanted me to be the President of what is called a MBE (minority business enterprises). The idea for MBE's and WBE's started around the 1960's and was a way for the federal government to shift a percentage of contracts to minority and women owned businesses due to barriers that these groups faced in starting and building a business. Well, I come to find out this company hired me for no other reason than to try to use me to obtain more revenue from MBE designated projects. This essentially White owned company that makes $300 million in revenue per year was going to have my MBE as an umbrella under their own. This is most likely illegal due it not being a true MBE-- all of the revenue and profits would be getting filtered back to them. Obviously, why the fuck would I want to do something like this? Why would I let these clowns use me? If that is not racism, then I don't know what is. I cannot believe I ended up at that fucking evil place.

So, like I said earlier, you better choose very carefully where you decide to work. Don't believe this pie in the sky crap about there not being racism. You are in for a rude awakening if you don't think it exists.


My take on this is to recognize when there are barriers to achieve your full potential. There is no need to brood in it. Just figure out a way to fix it on your own or through different channels. Then start looking for another job if need be. And report the douche bag that isn't doing their damn job. I used to hate that shit at work....

Racism occurs everywhere, I don't care what anyone else thinks. But it is more prevalent in different locations. It is not on a grand scale except in certain locations. That's why it is important to find a good "fit". Not just a place that has a large number of minorities, but a place where that shit doesn't even matter. Perform well and you will be rewarded bottom line. Stop playing the race card and learn to assimilate yet retain your identity.

The opposite is true also. Don't be a racist to your non-peers just because you have been treated unfairly. That is just ignorant and does nothing to future the balance of equality.

But to get this thread back on track, I would like to hear more insight into how being a URM is at big law firms. I have professional work experience but don't have a clue on to how Firms work as a whole. The previous info in this thread from years past have shown that not all anecdotal evidence is true. I would never have known that clients lure a large number of good performing URMs from Firm life.

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Psib337
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby Psib337 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:34 pm

Maybe I've just had vastly different experiences than everyone else here but my race has never been a factor for anything as far as I can tell. I've never had a teacher, colleague, or boss treat me differently because of my race and as far as I'm concerned it's a box that I check off and that's it. When my race gets mentioned at all it's by other black people who tell me that I'm not black enough (which used to annoy me but now I just ignore). When my race gets brought up by white people it's usually something like, "Do you get sunburned," or, "If you just let your hair grow would you have an afro?"

If you start a job, any job, with the attitude that you only got hired because you're a minority or that people will give you lesser work assignments because of it then you've already lost half the battle. I can't imagine going to work and having the first thought on my being, "I look different than most people here do and they'll treat me differently because of that." Maybe it's because I grew up in a predominately white neighborhood and went to a predominately white school but race never crosses my mind because to me it just doesn't matter and as long as I'm in the northeast I don't think it ever will (I'm not convinced the south has changed at all in past 60 years so I don't go down there much and doubt I'd ever wind up working or living there). If you expect to be discriminated against I think you'll find a way to feel like you were even if that's not what's going on.

Now as far as firm life itself goes I don't have any firsthand experience just what others have told me. My Aunt and Uncle both worked in law firms and they left because they didn't like working in a law firm. My first job out of college was at a law firm where 3 of the partners were hispanic (it was a small firm, only 4 partners), they used to work in large firms and they left because they didn't like working in big firms and wanted more control over their lives so they started their own firm. They talk with plenty of URM law students and younger attorney's, they talked with me before I left, and their advice wasn't, "People will treat you differently because you're black so be ready for it and learn to deal with it," it was the same advice anyone would give anyone who wanted to do well, go the extra mile, ask questions, get feedback when you can, be sociable etc.

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dawyzest1
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby dawyzest1 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:03 pm

This is a very interesting discussion and I appreciate everyone who has contributed to it thus far. I'll throw in my two cents:

First, I have to say the prior comment about the south stung a little. I've lived in 3 cities in my adult life, Philly, Boston, and Atlanta, and by far the most racially intolerant place of the 3 was Boston. There were several places in the city where you just knew if you weren't X race, you better not be there at the wrong time.

Second, a challenge of this question is disentangling the things that are hard about biglaw/firm life in general from things that are hard because you're a URM. There is quite a bit about firm life that sounds really unappealing--24/7 availability, high pressure, competition, long, long hours, capricious behavior of partners (stealthing, etc.) and is probably universal. The challenge I keep thinking about is how to remain sociable, upbeat, and energetic even though the work is brutal and you probably have to deal with something less than pleasant on a regular basis that relates to being such a minority in the group. My experience from working at a MBB consulting firm taught me that the folks who got the furthest (URM or not) were the folks who the other people wanted to be around because they were relentlessly friendly and positive. That ruled rule sometimes trupmed work quality. When I summered the smartest guy in our cohort was non-offered because no one in the office could stand him.

So, the question I keep asking myself is if I can smile in a world of shit and deliver on-point work for long enough to get the stamp of approval on my resume so I can move on to what I really want to do. I'd imagine that anyone who aspires to make partner will have to add on to that figuring out how to build a book of business while still enduring a very long period of time in the world of shit.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:44 pm

dawyzest1 wrote:This is a very interesting discussion and I appreciate everyone who has contributed to it thus far. I'll throw in my two cents:

First, I have to say the prior comment about the south stung a little. I've lived in 3 cities in my adult life, Philly, Boston, and Atlanta, and by far the most racially intolerant place of the 3 was Boston. There were several places in the city where you just knew if you weren't X race, you better not be there at the wrong time.

Second, a challenge of this question is disentangling the things that are hard about biglaw/firm life in general from things that are hard because you're a URM. There is quite a bit about firm life that sounds really unappealing--24/7 availability, high pressure, competition, long, long hours, capricious behavior of partners (stealthing, etc.) and is probably universal. The challenge I keep thinking about is how to remain sociable, upbeat, and energetic even though the work is brutal and you probably have to deal with something less than pleasant on a regular basis that relates to being such a minority in the group. My experience from working at a MBB consulting firm taught me that the folks who got the furthest (URM or not) were the folks who the other people wanted to be around because they were relentlessly friendly and positive. That ruled rule sometimes trupmed work quality. When I summered the smartest guy in our cohort was non-offered because no one in the office could stand him.

So, the question I keep asking myself is if I can smile in a world of shit and deliver on-point work for long enough to get the stamp of approval on my resume so I can move on to what I really want to do. I'd imagine that anyone who aspires to make partner will have to add on to that figuring out how to build a book of business while still enduring a very long period of time in the world of shit.


Idk just be a cool person and I think things can worked out. I had a mock interview with a black attorney who made it 10 years at a V5 and is now a partner at another firm. I don't want to out him because his credentials are so easy to find online if I got more specific. He said honestly at the end of the day in his practice area people just want to be around other cool people. He thought the attrition rates were due more to black attorney's seeing greener pastures and his quote was "hell 97% of the white attorneys aren't sticking around to make partner whats the chances I will."

His advice was really just to be a likeable person. He might have been one of the funniest people I have ever met and genuinely likes the lifestyle of biglaw. Some things he said was that you should be well rounded, being a former athlete helps sports are universal and people like to talk about them. He likes hip-hop music and you can relate to other's around the same age on that front. If you were a popular person in high school, college whatever I think you would have a tendency to do better in biglaw. Also, if you didn't have friends that were just the same race, but had friends that were white that would probably help as well. From what I understood from him is that people see green way before they see black. They want someone they can put in front of clients. If your not the social type can't relate to a lot of different people then maybe biglaw might not be for you. Race does play a part, but at the end of the day do you really think that a biglaw partner is going to give an assignment to the socially retarded white guy who everyone hates (they are at every law school) or the cool black dude thats funny, social, and everyone wants to be around.

qwertyboard
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby qwertyboard » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:51 pm

Any MA PR wants to share their experience?

Aqualibrium
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:47 pm

Necro for any new questions. 3rd year. Same firm With several hundred more attorneys and more offices than before. Shoot.

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jemthey17
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby jemthey17 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:50 am

Aqualibrium wrote:Necro for any new questions. 3rd year. Same firm With several hundred more attorneys and more offices than before. Shoot.


Is your experience overall still very positive? Has the firm done anything in the past couple of years to increase diversity?

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ck3
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Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby ck3 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:36 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:Necro for any new questions. 3rd year. Same firm With several hundred more attorneys and more offices than before. Shoot.


For a person who is just beginning a summer associate position, or just beginning a firm job, what is the most important skill involved in doing quality work. Is it writing or research, something else?

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:46 pm

jemthey17 wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Necro for any new questions. 3rd year. Same firm With several hundred more attorneys and more offices than before. Shoot.


Is your experience overall still very positive? Has the firm done anything in the past couple of years to increase diversity?



Still an overall positive experience. There have been ups and downs, of course. Some of the downs were eyebrow raising for me, but understanding that I'm never done building my network has helped. What I mean by that is what work you do, what work you get, how you're viewed, and how firm leadership handles you is very heavily influenced by the connections you've made. That's not just with partners, but with other associates as well. Be kind, be cordial, and if someone is interesting to you, ask them to lunch. It will pay off.

As for doing things to increase diversity: no. That simple.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Firm Life for an URM

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:50 pm

ck3 wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Necro for any new questions. 3rd year. Same firm With several hundred more attorneys and more offices than before. Shoot.


For a person who is just beginning a summer associate position, or just beginning a firm job, what is the most important skill involved in doing quality work. Is it writing or research, something else?



Proofreading and giving yourself at least 6 hours to distance yourself from a project before you give it a final review and turn it in. Your writing isn't supposed to be amazing right now. Some people are better than others, but no one comes in and is as good as the best writers at your firm. Research is a function of how much tedious crap you can put up with and how creative you can be (this whole job is). Both things are skills you'll get better at as you go along. Writing stuff that makes sense and isn't full of typos is the number one thing you should concern yourself with. Short, clear, typo free sentences should be your goal.




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