Law Firm Interview Protocol

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Rkl88
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Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby Rkl88 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:07 am

I have an interview for a paid 1L internship at a mid-size firm this Tuesday. This may sound dumb, but what is the conventional TLS wisdom on whether or not neat, trimmed facial hair is acceptable or not? In my mind, the advantages would be that I look older- possibly more seasoned? Or would I only look like a 1L woefully attempting to look older and seasoned? Thoughts?

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Davidbentley
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby Davidbentley » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:45 am

If the firm has a website with pictures of the attorneys, then peruse around and see if any of them--not the ladies-- are rocking it Leviticus style. Then, regardless of what you find, Shave you damned hippie.

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bk1
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby bk1 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:00 am

Search function.

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Indifferent
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby Indifferent » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:05 am

Rkl88 wrote:I have an interview for a paid 1L internship at a mid-size firm this Tuesday. This may sound dumb, but what is the conventional TLS wisdom on whether or not neat, trimmed facial hair is acceptable or not? In my mind, the advantages would be that I look older- possibly more seasoned? Or would I only look like a 1L woefully attempting to look older and seasoned? Thoughts?

General consensus is facial hair is a bad idea. Law is a conservative profession. I would not do advise doing this.

r6_philly
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:40 pm

Shave. I haven't shaved in like 20 years, and I shaved. Just do it.

ETA: looking at firm bios can show you how you can be AFTER you get the job.

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kalvano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:33 pm

Indifferent wrote:
Rkl88 wrote:I have an interview for a paid 1L internship at a mid-size firm this Tuesday. This may sound dumb, but what is the conventional TLS wisdom on whether or not neat, trimmed facial hair is acceptable or not? In my mind, the advantages would be that I look older- possibly more seasoned? Or would I only look like a 1L woefully attempting to look older and seasoned? Thoughts?

General consensus is facial hair is a bad idea. Law is a conservative profession. I would not do advise doing this.


That is not the general consensus. The general consensus is that there is not a consensus. Every time the topic comes up, it's split 50/50.

shoeshine
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby shoeshine » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:52 pm

Shave it all off.

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DrGuano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby DrGuano » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:47 pm

Worked as a paralegal for 2 years at one of the top firms in NYC and am summering at a different top firm in NYC. Shave for the interviews, afterwards, it's all gravy.

I started growing a beard within two weeks of paralegaling that would make the dudes from ZZ Top look like they just left the barber.

To put it in perspective, what if the reason you didn't get a job was because you didn't want to shave your beard?

Shave it, hippy.

Signed,

A bearded hippy.

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kalvano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:00 pm

DrGuano wrote:To put it in perspective, what if the reason you didn't get a job was because you didn't want to shave your beard?


Wildly overblown. No one I've talked would disqualify an otherwise-qualified candidate purely on the basis of neat and well-groomed facial hair.

No one has ever sat around a hiring meeting and said "You know, I really like that one guy, he was really nice and had good grades and seemed like he would fit right in....but fuck him, he has a beard."

shoeshine
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby shoeshine » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:02 pm

kalvano wrote:
DrGuano wrote:To put it in perspective, what if the reason you didn't get a job was because you didn't want to shave your beard?


Wildly overblown. No one I've talked would disqualify an otherwise-qualified candidate purely on the basis of neat and well-groomed facial hair.

No one has ever sat around a hiring meeting and said "You know, I really like that one guy, he was really nice and had good grades and seemed like he would fit right in....but fuck him, he has a beard."

I would not be surprised if this has happened at conservative white shoe firms in NYC.

flcath
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby flcath » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:05 pm

Look up the dudes on your actual interview list.

If all of the attorneys you with whom you will be interviewing are bearded, then you can safely skip shaving.

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DrGuano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby DrGuano » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:08 am

kalvano wrote:
DrGuano wrote:To put it in perspective, what if the reason you didn't get a job was because you didn't want to shave your beard?


Wildly overblown. No one I've talked would disqualify an otherwise-qualified candidate purely on the basis of neat and well-groomed facial hair.

No one has ever sat around a hiring meeting and said "You know, I really like that one guy, he was really nice and had good grades and seemed like he would fit right in....but fuck him, he has a beard."


Thank you. I obviously did not mean to suggest that it will be the deciding factor, however, it's foolish to think that your appearance will not be judged subjectively and that whoever interviews you won't be able to overcome some sort of personal prerogative for a clean-shaven, conservative presentation.

Before my 2L OCI we had a meeting at a firm in midtown with law review alums from top firms throughout NYC that would be conducting interviews. When someone asked the beard question, a senior partner from Skadden (I'm not endorsing this, as I have a lovely beard) told us that he found it to be disrespectful. Essentially you come in to their place of business, they take the time to meet with you, you shower, you shave.

At the end of the day your first impression is huge...why risk it with a beard? It takes 5-10 minutes to shave.

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DrGuano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby DrGuano » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:10 am

flcath wrote:Look up the dudes on your actual interview list.

If all of the attorneys you with whom you will be interviewing are bearded, then you can safely skip shaving.


Yeah, cause that happens.

I had 30 first round screeners, went on 10 callbacks before accepting an offer, so I imagine in the end I ended up meeting 70-80 attorneys, roughly 90% of whom were men. I can only recall one bearded fellow.

Don't bank on having 4 dudes with beards at a law firm interviewing you, unless you happen to be interviewing at a Hasidic firm.

flcath
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby flcath » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:23 pm

DrGuano wrote:
flcath wrote:Look up the dudes on your actual interview list.

If all of the attorneys you with whom you will be interviewing are bearded, then you can safely skip shaving.


Yeah, cause that happens.

I had 30 first round screeners, went on 10 callbacks before accepting an offer, so I imagine in the end I ended up meeting 70-80 attorneys, roughly 90% of whom were men. I can only recall one bearded fellow.

Don't bank on having 4 dudes with beards at a law firm interviewing you, unless you happen to be interviewing at a Hasidic firm.

Yeah, that was the joke.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:49 pm

kalvano wrote:
DrGuano wrote:To put it in perspective, what if the reason you didn't get a job was because you didn't want to shave your beard?


Wildly overblown. No one I've talked would disqualify an otherwise-qualified candidate purely on the basis of neat and well-groomed facial hair.

No one has ever sat around a hiring meeting and said "You know, I really like that one guy, he was really nice and had good grades and seemed like he would fit right in....but fuck him, he has a beard."


this is false. that statement has very well been said. i worked under a GC 1L summer, who used to be a partner at a nyc law firm. he told me point blank he once didn't hire a very qualified candidate for the sole reason he had a beard. he thought it showed bad judgment. i asked if it was scruffy or unkept, he was like 'not at all, it was very trimmed, but i don't like beards.' yes he's probably the exception, but this type of mentality does exist in guys from the old days.

r6_philly
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby r6_philly » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:53 pm

Think not they won't hire you because you had a beard. Think they might hire someone over you with a beard. There is no reason to hamstring yourself by moving your name down the list.

"They were both impressive. But I will take the kid who took the initiative to shave." This is not "I won't hire him because he had a beard," but has practically the same effect.

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kalvano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby kalvano » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:59 pm

I didn't shave for interviews. Didn't affect them at all.

If it's a big concern for you, go for it. But I've done hiring and firing in my life, and something like that is never really an issue unless it's a messy eyesore.

In the end, I wouldn't want to work for the guy who prioritizes a clean-shaven look over competence and ability to do the job. I have, in fact, walked out of a (non-legal) interview where I was told shaving was a prerequisite to getting the job.

I also have a legal job at an exceptionally conservative firm for the summer (think almost-mandatory 3-piece suits) and it didn't hurt me at all to not be clean-shaven.

It may matter at the ultra-elite NYC firms, but in day-to-day practice, especially at smaller and midsize firms, it won't matter at all.

flcath
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby flcath » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:01 pm

kalvano wrote:I have, in fact, walked out of a (non-legal) interview where I was told shaving was a prerequisite to getting the job.

You agree that the fact that this mindset exists suggests that one should generally shave, no?

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kalvano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby kalvano » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:03 pm

flcath wrote:
kalvano wrote:I have, in fact, walked out of a (non-legal) interview where I was told shaving was a prerequisite to getting the job.

You agree that the fact that this mindset exists suggests that one should generally shave, no?


It was a sales job at a place that is no longer in business. It was the only time in my life I have ever encountered that.

Also, way to ignore the rest of what I said, which would imply that I do not think you should shave:

kalvano wrote:In the end, I wouldn't want to work for the guy who prioritizes a clean-shaven look over competence and ability to do the job.

ruski
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby ruski » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:06 pm

kalvano wrote:I didn't shave for interviews. Didn't affect them at all.

If it's a big concern for you, go for it. But I've done hiring and firing in my life, and something like that is never really an issue unless it's a messy eyesore.

In the end, I wouldn't want to work for the guy who prioritizes a clean-shaven look over competence and ability to do the job. I have, in fact, walked out of a (non-legal) interview where I was told shaving was a prerequisite to getting the job.

I also have a legal job at an exceptionally conservative firm for the summer (think almost-mandatory 3-piece suits) and it didn't hurt me at all to not be clean-shaven.

It may matter at the ultra-elite NYC firms, but in day-to-day practice, especially at smaller and midsize firms, it won't matter at all.


really? so if out of a 500 person firm there is one partner who doesn't like beards (and that's the partner you happen to be interviewing with) its better to say no to the job? in this economy? lets be a little more realistic. no one is going to be walking out of interviews any time soon.

flcath
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby flcath » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:08 pm

kalvano wrote:
flcath wrote:
kalvano wrote:I have, in fact, walked out of a (non-legal) interview where I was told shaving was a prerequisite to getting the job.

You agree that the fact that this mindset exists suggests that one should generally shave, no?


It was a sales job at a place that is no longer in business. It was the only time in my life I have ever encountered that.

Also, way to ignore the rest of what I said, which would imply that I do not think you should shave:

kalvano wrote:In the end, I wouldn't want to work for the guy who prioritizes a clean-shaven look over competence and ability to do the job.

I was doing the thing where I pick something out of a post that undermines the general message. I guess it's more polite to do via bolding; my bad.

Of course it's unlikely to matter for any given firm, but since OP seems like he isn't wedded to the beard the way some people are, why not shave? He's basically asking "which looks better?" not "I absolutely love my beard and would feel naked without it; do I have to shave it?" like some people on TLS do.

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kalvano
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby kalvano » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:08 pm

ruski wrote:
kalvano wrote:I didn't shave for interviews. Didn't affect them at all.

If it's a big concern for you, go for it. But I've done hiring and firing in my life, and something like that is never really an issue unless it's a messy eyesore.

In the end, I wouldn't want to work for the guy who prioritizes a clean-shaven look over competence and ability to do the job. I have, in fact, walked out of a (non-legal) interview where I was told shaving was a prerequisite to getting the job.

I also have a legal job at an exceptionally conservative firm for the summer (think almost-mandatory 3-piece suits) and it didn't hurt me at all to not be clean-shaven.

It may matter at the ultra-elite NYC firms, but in day-to-day practice, especially at smaller and midsize firms, it won't matter at all.


really? so if out of a 500 person firm there is one partner who doesn't like beards (and that's the partner you happen to be interviewing with) its better to say no to the job? in this economy? lets be a little more realistic. no one is going to be walking out of interviews any time soon.



I would not want to, no. Your decision is up to you. I've had my beard for 15 years. Not having it would likely cause me to feel out of character for the interview, which would make shaving a moot point.

And, as I said, if that's the key to getting the job, then it's probably a job I don't want anyway.

r6_philly
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby r6_philly » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:15 pm

kalvano wrote:I would not want to, no. Your decision is up to you. I've had my beard for 15 years. Not having it would likely cause me to feel out of character for the interview, which would make shaving a moot point.

And, as I said, if that's the key to getting the job, then it's probably a job I don't want anyway.


Why? The bar to get the job isn't always the same bar as excelling at the job.

I interviewed at a company where everyone wore tees. I wore a suit. If I wore a tee I wouldn't get the job. It doesn't follow that because I would have to wear a suit (and that they would hold it against me if I don't) to get a job means I don't want to work there - because I could wear whatever (and I did) I want after I get the job.

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angrybird
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby angrybird » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:17 pm

as a lawyer, you need to have principles. if you're willing to shave your beard to please some babyfaced name partner's son on the hiring committee, what's next? you'll get the job, and before long you'll be fudging your hours a little bit, chatting about client matters to your friends, before long you're selling clients' trade secrets to the highest bidder and fucking your kid's kindergarten teacher. don't go down this road.

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romothesavior
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Re: Law Firm Interview Protocol

Postby romothesavior » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:19 pm

Thinking about rocking a sick stache on day one of my SA. Just so they know I mean business, but also know how to party.




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