K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

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miamiman
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K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby miamiman » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:47 am

In what has to be the least helpful of the featured interviews yet, Peter Kalis discusses what he looks for.

http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecare ... sassy.html

K&L Gates Likes Them Sassy
Vivia Chen

June 28, 2010

You can always count on K&L Gates chair Peter Kalis to upset conventional wisdom on any given topic. And he doesn't disappoint, in talking about what his firm looks for in new hires.




What's your ideal candidate?
I like someone who's iconoclastic--smart, sassy, and a bit edgy.

Sassy and edgy? Sure you're not talking about your interior designer?
Law is a contact sport. You have to be intellectually nimble and confident. I like interviewees who can pitch as well as catch.

Give me some examples of what you mean by sassy and edgy.
Well, I don’t mean you should go make fun of the managing partner's hair line. But you should ask searching questions. How practice has changed over the years and how you deal with the changing demands. And how hard it is to reconcile your life at work with the rest of your life.

Sounds like you prefer the inquisitive type. Wouldn't it be easier to get associates who jump on demand?
No, I don't want malleable. I want formidable.

But don't those independent types have a hard time adapting to law firm life?
That's not my view. I don't believe lawyers should bow to icons. I want them to look me in the eye and ask the tough questions.

Let's talk about those candidates you really can't stomach.
I'm deaf to smugness and self-absorption.

How do people project those qualities?
Body language. Sometimes people say outrageous things. You can also tell total self-absorption when people describe themselves as the hero of every story.


Aside from the truly obnoxious, who else might not be a good fit at K&L Gates?
If someone takes comfort in hierarchy, methodologies, and formal structures, we're not for them.


Your Pittsburgh office is still the largest one in your firm. So is there a Pittsburgh flavor to the firm?
We've had eight mergers under my watch, so it's not a Pittsburgh thing. But in all the mergers we looked for cultural affinity.


And what's the culture that you shared with the firms you merged with?
We all spent our formative years "punching above our weight"--meaning we're used to working against New York or D.C. firms that were a lot bigger than us.

So even though your firm is almost 2,000 lawyers, you still see yourself as a bit of an underdog?
My partners might not like that, but that's right.


If you have topics you'd like to discuss, or information to share for The Careerist, e-mail chief blogger Vivia Chen at VChen@alm.com.

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mallard
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby mallard » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:49 am

"Edgy" means asking "how practice has changed over the years?" I would love to party with this guy.

miamiman
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby miamiman » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:52 am

mallard wrote:"Edgy" means asking "how practice has changed over the years?" I would love to party with this guy.


I doubt he's inviting real edginess.

"Judging by the numbers, your firm no-offers hires at a rate which exceeds virtually all other law firms of your size. Are the candidates simply not edgy enough?"

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Cleareyes
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby Cleareyes » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:03 am

Viva Chen wrote: You can always count on K&L Gates chair Peter Kalis to upset conventional wisdom on any given topic. And he doesn't disappoint, in talking about what his firm looks for in new hires.


Really? Asking about work life balance is TOTALLY unconventional! WOOO!

Image

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jayn3
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby jayn3 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:05 am

I like interviewees who can pitch as well as catch.


dirty.

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Grizz
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:09 am

jayn3 wrote:
I like interviewees who can pitch as well as catch.


dirty.


Damnit beat me to it.

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romothesavior
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:13 am

rad law wrote:
jayn3 wrote:
I like interviewees who can pitch as well as catch.


dirty.


Damnit beat me to it.

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Kohinoor
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:25 pm

mallard wrote:"Edgy" means asking "how practice has changed over the years?" I would love to party with this guy.

At least he clarified. I was primed to go in there and talk about that vagrant I killed.

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romothesavior
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:27 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
mallard wrote:"Edgy" means asking "how practice has changed over the years?" I would love to party with this guy.

At least he clarified. I was primed to go in there and talk about that vagrant I killed.


180

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doyleoil
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby doyleoil » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:27 pm

The pitcher-catcher metaphor makes me very uneasy.

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Grizz
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:29 pm

doyleoil wrote:The pitcher-catcher metaphor makes me very uneasy.


Outed as a homophobe.

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mallard
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby mallard » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:31 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
mallard wrote:"Edgy" means asking "how practice has changed over the years?" I would love to party with this guy.

At least he clarified. I was primed to go in there and talk about that vagrant I killed.


LOL. I like your new style.

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doyleoil
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby doyleoil » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:32 pm

rad law wrote:
doyleoil wrote:The pitcher-catcher metaphor makes me very uneasy.


Outed as a homophobe.


It's not so much the pitcher as the catcher side that scares me personally. But if you like to catch, hey, I'm cool with you. Plus you'll probably have an easier time breaking into the big leagues than me.

Anonymous User
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:27 pm

Had a callback in their Boston office. I met with some of the most awkward people. Not a single one was edgy or sassy. I wouldn't even describe any of them as somewhat normal. Very happy I didn't take the offer.

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mallard
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby mallard » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Had a callback in their Boston office. I met with some of the most awkward people. Not a single one was edgy or sassy. I wouldn't even describe any of them as somewhat normal. Very happy I didn't take the offer.


Adding them to my bid list, thanks!

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jackalope11
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Re: K&L Gates/Peter Kalis Seeks "Edgy" Hires

Postby jackalope11 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:35 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
mallard wrote:"Edgy" means asking "how practice has changed over the years?" I would love to party with this guy.

At least he clarified. I was primed to go in there and talk about that vagrant I killed.



I think as long as you didn't make yourself out to be the "hero" of your story, you'd be okay... Y'know... Edgy.

But make a joke about someone's hairline, and security will escort you out.




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