"Personality"

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Anonymous User
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"Personality"

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 30, 2012 2:37 am

Been perusing the forums for a bit and came to notice that there seems to be much emphasis on the "right personality" when law firms are looking at potential hires. I'm a bit confused as to what this means exactly. I understand that no one wants to work with a complete douchebag or social misfit, but is there a certain type of personality that law firms are specifically looking for?

My last employer tried to discourage me from going to law school by telling me that I don't have the personality to succeed in law. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly a social butterfly; I do much better in smaller social settings than in large ones. Having spent majority of my life doing scientific research, this hasn't really been an issue since majority of the scientists that I know are even more of an introvert than I am. However, now that I'm making the transition from bench research to law (looking into patent prosecution), I'm wondering whether my personality would turn out to be an impediment to my success. :roll: :oops:

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Tom Joad
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Tom Joad » Wed May 30, 2012 3:03 am

I have wondered this as well. Do firms look for super squeaky clean professionals who will never ruffle any feathers or a fun bro you want to kick it with since you will be with each other 60 hours a week? A mixture of both?

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englawyer
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Re: "Personality"

Postby englawyer » Wed May 30, 2012 3:57 am

Tom Joad wrote:I have wondered this as well. Do firms look for super squeaky clean professionals who will never ruffle any feathers or a fun bro you want to kick it with since you will be with each other 60 hours a week? A mixture of both?


thats the thing..different firms go for different qualities. firms/offices known as "fratty" probably want the later. other firms want the smartest they can get, regardless of awkwardness. others want people with a professional/prestigious demeanor (eg person with good style, good manners, and whatnot).

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snowpeach06
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Re: "Personality"

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:04 am

I think when you are going into patent prosecution there is a bit more room to be awkward. After all, you are not the only scientist who is socially awkward.

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buckilaw
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Re: "Personality"

Postby buckilaw » Wed May 30, 2012 9:49 am

Tom Joad wrote:I have wondered this as well. Do firms look for super squeaky clean professionals who will never ruffle any feathers or a fun bro you want to kick it with since you will be with each other 60 hours a week? A mixture of both?


I've also wondered about this. What I'm starting to think is that there is no one size fits all for personality. For instance, I've heard that places lmike Davis Polk and Debevoise tend to be more reserved, understated, conservative, etc. Where some places like Weil and Quinn have a work hard play hard mentality - though I don't know how you could actually find time to play if working at Quinn.

I will say I'm concerned about trying to figure out a firm's personality soley from online resources such as NALP and Chambers.

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Tom Joad
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Tom Joad » Wed May 30, 2012 9:52 am

buckilaw wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:I have wondered this as well. Do firms look for super squeaky clean professionals who will never ruffle any feathers or a fun bro you want to kick it with since you will be with each other 60 hours a week? A mixture of both?


I've also wondered about this. What I'm starting to think is that there is no one size fits all for personality. For instance, I've heard that places lmike Davis Polk and Debevoise tend to be more reserved, understated, conservative, etc. Where some places like Weil and Quinn have a work hard play hard mentality - though I don't know how you could actually find time to play if working at Quinn.

I will say I'm concerned about trying to figure out a firm's personality soley from online resources such as NALP and Chambers.

Yeah unless you have the privilege of some inside information about the firm you are kind of flying blind going into OCI. I guess people could always be themselves, but that doesn't work for everybody.

moorman75
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Re: "Personality"

Postby moorman75 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:09 am

Doug,

It's good to see you trying to better yourself, going to law school while driving a truck for IPS. I'm sure Carrie and Arthur are proud.

:P

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Tom Joad
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Tom Joad » Wed May 30, 2012 10:09 am

moorman75 wrote:Doug,

It's good to see you trying to better yourself, going to law school while driving a truck for IPS. I'm sure Carrie and Arthur are proud.

:P

Cardozo PT FTW

Anonymous User
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 30, 2012 10:21 am

Its pretty simple.

What usually happens (if you are qualified) is that a sorting process begins at the screener and really starts at the callback and continues through your SA where firms decide if they think your personality is a good fit for the firm's culture-- are you gonna fit in their friend-group? I didn't buy into this pre-OCI, but it is really like sorting zoo animals into their respective species and putting them in pens. The firms I got offers from I noticed had people that were just like me.

For example I got offers in the following situations:

1) Partner, secretary and I made jokes about our body dysmorphic disorders on CB, talked with one gay guy about how hot Ryan Reynolds was, made fun of various celebrities and talked sports with a few others. The callback flew by and I didn't even feel like I was being interviewed. When they offered they said "everyone liked you, you got the job" (this was a V15 I was not qualified for).

2) I showed up and just talked about WWII history with an awesome partner who shared my interest. At lunch we talked mad college football stats. Everyone seemed to have the same kind of openness as myself. They liked me, I liked them. Got an offer.

Didn't get offers:

1) Showed up on CB, realized everyone was really quiet. They weren't in a joking mood, but really into their sub-speciality boutique discipline and kind of reserved. I tried to relate to them, ended up looking insecure and weird.

2) Showed up on CB, realized everyone was from the same state. I couldn't talk anything with them because we had no shared experiences. They knew that I wasn't one of them based upon my resume and accent. Fun people, but clearly would have been awkward to work together.

3) Showed up on CB (at Skadden), the attorney relates to me this horror story about how they had just canned someone. Wears really nice clothes, looks super tired. I am just grossed out by his preoccupation with hirings, firings, work hours, and trying to infuse into me how bad the law firm life is. Thinking he was the exception, continue the CB. Everyone is exactly like him. Kind of sad/intense. Not for me, I bombed the CB because I wasn't excited to work with genius, intense, well-dressed zombies.

Basically, the partners who run the office select the associates who they like to work with. Collectively they set the office culture. If you don't fit, you don't fit.

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Tom Joad
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Tom Joad » Wed May 30, 2012 10:25 am

Thank you for your contribution, anonymous poster.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 30, 2012 2:30 pm

You should be ok in patent prosecution. In fact, I would argue that by default you should try to be less social in patent prosecution interviews. You can be rejected for having a "litigator personality."

Reprisal
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Reprisal » Wed May 30, 2012 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My last employer tried to discourage me from going to law school by telling me that I don't have the personality to succeed in law.


Your last employer didn't want to lose you.

Don't listen to him, you're probably fine.

Sm Firm Hiring P
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Re: "Personality"

Postby Sm Firm Hiring P » Wed May 30, 2012 7:07 pm

Basically, the partners who run the office select the associates who they like to work with. Collectively they set the office culture. If you don't fit, you don't fit.



The above is pretty much true at every firm, large or small. I have not been back to this site in a while but personality and fit are major concerns to small and mid sized firms. In our firm it can cause someone in the top 25% to be hired over someone in the top 5%. Most of the summer associates we see are somewhat socially awkward at first which is understandable since most have never been in a law office environment. But it is pretty amazing how the smart one pick up on the best way to socialize effectively within the firm culture in a very short period of time. If the hiring partner or partners do their job right, most of the time the personalities fit. We let some of the senior associates become involved in the interviewing primarily for fit.




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