do firms do a background check?

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thesteelers
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do firms do a background check?

Postby thesteelers » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:53 pm

So my friend totally LIED on his transcript about his UG GPA. He got like a 3.2 but told me he wrote a 3.6 and he had an interview with a Chicago firm. When Biglaw firms make offers, do they do a complete background check? How deep do they go?

It's made me kinda paranoid because I wrote that I was fluent in Spanish on my resume...I think I'm going to change that to "working knowledge of Spanish."

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Old Gregg
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:15 pm

(1) I think one of the most egregious fibs on resumes is language capability. Dumb move on your part.

(2) Sadly, your friend probably won't get caught. Firms don't ask for undergraduate transcripts. On the other hand, firms generally don't care about UG grades, at least when compared to the importance of law school and law school GPA, so odds are his fib was harmless.

Edit: On second thought, maybe your "friend" is you.

thesteelers
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby thesteelers » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:23 pm

No, the friend is not me. Why would I lie about my identity when I'm already anonymous on here? I'm actually just pissed because he majored in engineering as a UG and the firm he applied to is big on IP, so that "3.6" in mechanical engineering might have impressed them. I'm not going to tell on him (though I did consider it), but I'm just not happy that he's lying his way into a 1L summer associate position.

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vexion
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby vexion » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:28 pm

thesteelers wrote:I'm not going to tell on him (though I did consider it), but I'm just not happy that he's lying his way into a 1L summer associate position.

You're a jealous, bad friend.

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Old Gregg
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:30 pm

thesteelers wrote:No, the friend is not me. Why would I lie about my identity when I'm already anonymous on here? I'm actually just pissed because he majored in engineering as a UG and the firm he applied to is big on IP, so that "3.6" in mechanical engineering might have impressed them. I'm not going to tell on him (though I did consider it), but I'm just not happy that he's lying his way into a 1L summer associate position.



(1) 3.2s in hard science majors tend to be really high GPAs, so even though he's lying, it's not like he was incompetent.

(2) For a 1L summer associate position, the GPA might have had more of an impact on the decision.

Either way: Practice what you preach and call the recruiter of your firm and tell him or her that you exaggerated on your resume. If you're unwilling to do that, then shut the fuck up, move on, and stop being a hypocrite.

thesteelers
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby thesteelers » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:35 pm

vexion wrote:
thesteelers wrote:I'm not going to tell on him (though I did consider it), but I'm just not happy that he's lying his way into a 1L summer associate position.

You're a jealous, bad friend.


Okay, friend is a loose word. More like, "guy I've known since high school, met regularly at parties, never been that close to." We both ended up in law school in the same year, we were drunk at a party last night, and he told me what he did.

And I wouldn't feel this way if he had honestly gotten good grades.

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traehekat
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby traehekat » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:35 pm

lol why people jeopardize their entire legal careers like this is beyond me.

LawMan20
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby LawMan20 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:39 pm

If it's really bothering you (i.e. you feel morally obligated to remedy the situation), then take it upon yourself to anonymously e-mail the firm. If not, then stop bitching and move on with life.

Oh, and stop lying, too.

thesteelers
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby thesteelers » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:45 pm

LawMan20 wrote:If it's really bothering you (i.e. you feel morally obligated to remedy the situation), then take it upon yourself to anonymously e-mail the firm. If not, then stop bitching and move on with life.

Oh, and stop lying, too.


Maybe you should quit making assumptions? I'm anonymous here and don't really care what anonymous forum posters think of me. If I had done this, I would have said exactly what happened, because then I would be looking for advice. But I'm not looking for advice. As someone else pointed out, I'm envious and annoyed because someone I know has been dishonest and has a good chance of getting a summer associate position. This is a tough job market, but most people I know are at least playing the game honestly/honorably. Every time someone gets a edge over the competition by dishonest means - whether its by blowing a partner or lying on a resume - it will piss everybody else off. Sorry if you don't see it that way.

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Ludo!
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby Ludo! » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:48 pm

Lying about language proficiency is like the worst thing to lie about. Especially something as common as Spanish. Definitely change that for the future.

rad lulz
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:50 pm

They actually might ask for his transcript at some point; he may get his comeuppance.

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mountaintime
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby mountaintime » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:21 pm

I heard that it's not uncommon for IP firms to ask for undergrad transcripts.

r6_philly
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:53 pm

Most IP firms I applied requested UG transcript. All IP firms that I got some sort of interview with definitely required UG transcript before interview. No general practice firm asked for it though.

I'd change the language line to "conversational."

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20160810
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby 20160810 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:43 pm

rad lulz wrote:They actually might ask for his transcript at some point; he may get his comeuppance.

This. Don't be a shithead and email his firm anonymously, just wait and see if he ends up screwing himself over. Odds are that a guy who'd falsify something so easily verifiable is going to make the same mistake multiple times, and odds are someone who routinely lies about their qualifications is going to end up boned.

thesteelers
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby thesteelers » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:04 am

Okay, I changed my Spanish to "conversational."

Will I look like a major asshole if I include my high school on my resume? It was a good school. I've heard that i-banks actually like that, and aren't law firms similar prestige whores?

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traehekat
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby traehekat » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:10 am

thesteelers wrote:Okay, I changed my Spanish to "conversational."

Will I look like a major asshole if I include my high school on my resume? It was a good school. I've heard that i-banks actually like that, and aren't law firms similar prestige whores?


aight you are officially a troll.

thesteelers
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby thesteelers » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:15 am

traehekat wrote:
thesteelers wrote:Okay, I changed my Spanish to "conversational."

Will I look like a major asshole if I include my high school on my resume? It was a good school. I've heard that i-banks actually like that, and aren't law firms similar prestige whores?


aight you are officially a troll.


...why?

I really don't understand the reactions on Internet forums sometimes. You say legit things, and sometimes people react in a hostile/weird way that doesn't make sense. Whether this is because I stopped bitching about my friend - which I did that because that was making people hostile and I thought it better to just drop the subject and respond to the criticisms about my own resume - or something else, I don't understand. You can decide that I'm a troll/liar/flame if it makes you happy, I don't care.

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Ludo!
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby Ludo! » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:20 am

No you don't put your high school on a law firm resume

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20160810
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby 20160810 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:34 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:No you don't put your high school on a law firm resume

For the love of fucking god this. The whole point of going to a good private HS is to get into a good college, which goes on your resume. So if you have a HYPS BA on there, congrats, people might guess you went to a good high school. Otherwise, no one cares.

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tyro
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby tyro » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:01 am

thesteelers wrote:I think I'm going to change that to "working knowledge of Spanish."

Or possibly "proficient in Spanish" because it sounds stronger and people will likely read it as someone who isn't quite completely fluent since you would have otherwise said so. That might be a stretch though I'm not sure.

dixon02
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby dixon02 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:01 am

SBL wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:No you don't put your high school on a law firm resume

For the love of fucking god this. The whole point of going to a good private HS is to get into a good college, which goes on your resume. So if you have a HYPS BA on there, congrats, people might guess you went to a good high school. Otherwise, no one cares.


Yeah...that's just not true. The point of going to a good private school, just like the point of going to a good college or a good law school, is both to prepare you for the next level and to become part of an elite network so you can use those connections. We all know that many legal markets are highly parochial, and you always want to build your case and rely on your ties to the region. It may not end up not mattering, but if your resume comes across the desk of someone who went to your school (which happens when you go an elite school in the region), you immediately stand out. Obviously this only applies for jobs in the area where you grew up. If you went to private school in DC, don't put that on the resume you're sending to Chicago firms.

Personally, I put it all the way down in the Miscellaneous section: "20xx graduate of XX school." I think that's subtle enough to not hurt you. But again, only if you went to a school that has name recognition, and only in resumes you are sending to employers in that market.

Ofta3184
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby Ofta3184 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:22 am

thesteelers wrote:So my friend totally LIED on his transcript about his UG GPA. He got like a 3.2 but told me he wrote a 3.6 and he had an interview with a Chicago firm. When Biglaw firms make offers, do they do a complete background check? How deep do they go?

It's made me kinda paranoid because I wrote that I was fluent in Spanish on my resume...I think I'm going to change that to "working knowledge of Spanish."



as the great Gregory House says, "everybody lies." you can't do anything about the resumes you sent out now, but i would definitely take the spanish fluency off your resume if you aren't entirely fluent. If you get an interview with someone who speaks spanish, they WILL ask about it. Hell, I did two weeks of community service in Mexico my freshman year of college and a partner started speaking spanish to me in an interview :shock:

Regarding friend: about half of the biglaw firms I applied to (i'm a 1L) asked for a undergrad transcript

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20160810
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby 20160810 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:57 am

dixon02 wrote:
SBL wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:No you don't put your high school on a law firm resume

For the love of fucking god this. The whole point of going to a good private HS is to get into a good college, which goes on your resume. So if you have a HYPS BA on there, congrats, people might guess you went to a good high school. Otherwise, no one cares.


Yeah...that's just not true. The point of going to a good private school, just like the point of going to a good college or a good law school, is both to prepare you for the next level and to become part of an elite network so you can use those connections. We all know that many legal markets are highly parochial, and you always want to build your case and rely on your ties to the region. It may not end up not mattering, but if your resume comes across the desk of someone who went to your school (which happens when you go an elite school in the region), you immediately stand out. Obviously this only applies for jobs in the area where you grew up. If you went to private school in DC, don't put that on the resume you're sending to Chicago firms.

Personally, I put it all the way down in the Miscellaneous section: "20xx graduate of XX school." I think that's subtle enough to not hurt you. But again, only if you went to a school that has name recognition, and only in resumes you are sending to employers in that market.

You need to apply a balancing test before listing your prep school on your law school resume. Balance the likelihood that it will help you get a job (which, I'll grant you, is statistically nonzero) against the likelihood that it will raise eyebrows and make people think you're an asshole (higher, I'd wager).

rad lulz
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby rad lulz » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:01 am

.
Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

r6_philly
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Re: do firms do a background check?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:54 pm

rad lulz wrote:
SBL wrote:You need to apply a balancing test before listing your prep school on your law school resume. Balance the likelihood that it will help you get a job (which, I'll grant you, is statistically nonzero) against the likelihood that it will raise eyebrows and make people think you're an asshole (higher, I'd wager).

The ONLY way I might list my high school is if I grew up in a place, went away for a while, and it's not obvious in my resume that I'm from there. But you've also got the cover letter.


I wouldn't put on the resume, but I would use it for interviews. I went to a really good/well known high school, and I bring it up when my interviewer went to college around the area. It's a very good way to establish ties and start conversations.

I can think of one scenario you could put it on your resume - if you won an award or something. But that still wouldn't be in the education section.




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