single status: discrimination

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Anonymous User
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single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:18 am

I don't think this has ever been brought up here on this forum.

It has occurred to me that people like to small talk about their SO/partner/husband/wife at firm events/interviews and especially call backs. If I do not talk about such matters, people would presume that I am single or do not have SO.

In fact, my fiance passed away 2 years ago. (This has nothing to do with my decision to go to law school. I was planning to do so anyway. Now, I have the added support of his parents and I am grateful in many ways.) I do not consider myself 'single' but legally I am single.

I am not a K-JD. If people somehow got the vibes that I am single, will they make further presumptions about my personality? I would not normally feel the need to explain to others about my personal life. There is no doubt that bringing up a tragic event would be a bad idea under such circumstances.

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fatduck
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby fatduck » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:19 am

they'll probably assume you're single, like the majority of law students.

dixon02
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby dixon02 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:21 am

A) This is not discrimination. They would need to actually allow it to factor into their decision making for it to be discrimination.
B) The generally accepted wisdom is that being single is a plus, not a minus. Firms want someone who can work around the clock without having pesky outside obligations like a family.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:22 am

This is so untrue. The majority of my friends at law school, especially those who are not K-JD, are in committed relationships.

B) The generally accepted wisdom is that being single is a plus, not a minus. Firms want someone who can work around the clock without having pesky outside obligations like a family.

I believe that being married to a right person is a plus, even for a woman.

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fatduck
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby fatduck » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:This is so untrue. The majority of my friends at law school, especially those who are not K-JD, are in committed relationships.

B) The generally accepted wisdom is that being single is a plus, not a minus. Firms want someone who can work around the clock without having pesky outside obligations like a family.

I believe that being married to a right person is a plus, even for a woman.

well that's sweet and all, but you're not on a law firm hiring committee.

and i find it really hard to believe that a majority of law students are married/engaged/life partner'd.

Anonymous User
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:28 am

Well, maybe I tend to gravitate toward those who are in relationships because I was in one.

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PaulKriske
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby PaulKriske » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Well, maybe I tend to gravitate toward those who are in relationships because I was in one.


no surprise there.

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Emma.
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Emma. » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:32 am

Sorry for your loss.

Being single (or perceived as single) won't be an issue.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:34 am

thank you, emma.
I was under the impression that people tend to like those who are similar to them.

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fatduck
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby fatduck » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:thank you, emma.
I was under the impression that people tend to like those who are similar to them.

you're really overthinking this

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PaulKriske
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby PaulKriske » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:thank you, emma.
I was under the impression that people tend to like those who are similar to them.



:?:

edit: impressive flame.

Anonymous User
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:57 am

not a flame.

well, I thought most people on the hiring committee are married, despite what people say about the law profession.
I am older than the typical KD-J candidate and if being perceived as single would be an issue, this would be a concern for me because I do not feel like getting into a new relationship any time soon.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:00 pm

In fact, if you're a woman, being married can be a disadvantage. Who wants to invest in training someone who's just going to take maternity leave as a 3rd year associate and never come back?

Source: actual hiring partner in an unscripted moment.

"If they take maternity leave, in our experience, there's a 50% chance they're never coming back."

So rock your single-ness.

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rayiner
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby rayiner » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:03 pm

Nobody is going to discriminate against you for being single. Firms still perceive married women as being flight risks (as if they'll upend their successful legal career at the drop of a hat to follow the hubby wherever he wants to go :roll: ). For women, being single is definitely a plus.

For men it's the other way around. They perceive men as being less flighty if they have wives tying them to a particular place. Major bonus points for mentioning that the wife has family where the firm is located.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:15 am

fatduck wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is so untrue. The majority of my friends at law school, especially those who are not K-JD, are in committed relationships.



and i find it really hard to believe that a majority of law students are married/engaged/life partner'd.


This is true for about half the students in my law school. Essentially all the non K-JD students.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:31 am

Sorry for your loss.

I think there's a bigger issue with being a married woman (assuming you're a woman, I don't remember if your post was clear) than a single woman when working. If you're married/have a fiance, *that* is when discrimination is bound to occur because no big firm wants to hire a potential babymaker. (Good luck proving it, though.)

I can't honestly think of any reason why someone would treat you differently for being single, other than you probably won't be invited out on double dates with other associates. Big deal.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:04 am

Opposite issue. Single 27 male in NYC. I have no plays of getting married until I'm 40-45. Will I be discriminated against or disadvantaged for making this lifestyle decision until then, so long as I do good work and am likable, etc. Does this answer change depending on whether or not the firm has a "fratty," work hard/play hard culture?

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:Opposite issue. Single 27 male in NYC. I have no plays of getting married until I'm 40-45. Will I be discriminated against or disadvantaged for making this lifestyle decision until then, so long as I do good work and am likable, etc. Does this answer change depending on whether or not the firm has a "fratty," work hard/play hard culture?


I don't see why you would. At least in the secondary market where I am working as a 1L, a good portion of the male partners have never been married. Many others got divorced. Somehow, they all still made partner.

The big law lifestyle is just not conducive to marriage. That is one reason why I plan to transfer to in-house after a few years.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:23 am

Yeah, I was just worried that being the single, in shape, 35 year old male who still loves to go bro out in East Village/ Meatpacking District 3-4x a week and party would be socially frowned upon if a lot of the partners are doing the traditional marriage--> suburbs-->kids route. Then again, if you are doing good work, making the right contacts with clients, and billing enough I would hope people could respect that people make different lifestyle decisions and diversity is a good thing.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I was just worried that being the single, in shape, 35 year old male who still loves to go bro out in East Village/ Meatpacking District 3-4x a week and party would be socially frowned upon if a lot of the partners are doing the traditional marriage--> suburbs-->kids route. Then again, if you are doing good work, making the right contacts with clients, and billing enough I would hope people could respect that people make different lifestyle decisions and diversity is a good thing.


I work for a partner who still does this at 50. I have actually been invited out with groups of older partners to go "bro-ing" - granted, I work in a very clubby secondary market, where the hierarchy is not as pronounced as it is elsewhere, so I doubt this would ever happen in a larger market. But I think being a single partner is not uncommon. A lot of partners, contrary to popular opinion, have awful social skills, too (I have seen this at multiple firms in multiple markets, including and possibly especially NYC); this probably doesn't help with their marriage prospects.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:33 am

Do those partners have any game? I always get a kick out of old guys going hard who still dress well, keep in shape and can pull it off. Kind of awe inspiring. Like, "wow, this guy has been dominating the social scene since circa 1975 and he still has it." crazy.

Anonymous User
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do those partners have any game? I always get a kick out of old guys going hard who still dress well, keep in shape and can pull it off. Kind of awe inspiring. Like, "wow, this guy has been dominating the social scene since circa 1975 and he still has it." crazy.


Some do. Most don't. Just like everywhere else.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:35 pm

First, I'm really sorry for your loss.

Second, I don't think it will hurt you and you are probably over-thinking this. I worked for several years before law school and was never asked about my relationship status during small talk at an interview, at lunch or during other interactions with clients, or at a networking event. It did not come up in any of the interviews I did when looking for a job this summer, nor has it come up at any lunches/coffees I've had to network with attorneys, except one time when someone used having to pick up their kid from daycare as an explanation for why a particular meeting time wouldn't work for them. I doubt people will make an assumption or care one way or the other. I know I don't assume someone is single just because they don't bring up their kids/SO the first time or two that I meet them.

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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:54 pm

The interviewer will never ask about YOUR marital/family status. it's taboo and a pathway for discrimination. This was specifically pointed out in a "confidential" large firm interviewer guideline document.

YOU are the only person that can bring up personal family matters by first asking them about it (ie - how do married associates/partners balance work and family time, etc), although they may mention their own families. If you want to make it a non-issue, don't bring it up. If you want to try and highlight something that you think would be a plus, bring it up.

Just place yourself in the hiring director/partner's shoes. You're hiring someone that you're going to pay a minimum of 330,000 to (summer + 2 years at top tier market rate), do you want someone that will be working the entire time making money for you (as a partner) and the firm? or do you want someone who is a flight risk, and who you potentially have give free pay to for 6-18wks (M/F maternity leave)?

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IAFG
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Re: single status: discrimination

Postby IAFG » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:57 pm

During a CB, when I was explaining my interest in the market where I was interviewing, the associate leaned over, looked at my hands and said, "Welp, no ring, I guess you can do what you want!"




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