Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

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Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:46 pm

One of my friends at my T-40 with median-ish grades has told me that he is going to get a position in a big law firm through a personal connection with one of the partners. (One of the partners is a family friend or something)

I was under the impression that this sort of thing doesn't happen due to anti-nepotism or whatever clauses that big law firms have? He doesn't have the grades, law review, etc. to have a chance in hell of getting this type of position. Has anyone heard of someone doing this? Has he been totally deluded? Aren't there procedures in place that would prevent him from being hired?

Posting under anon because I am afraid of outing him due to our TLS correspondences. Would appreciate any insight on this, I just thought it was really weird. (This is my break from applications)

CanadianWolf
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:51 pm

Anti-nepotism clauses try to address this type of preferential treatment. Nevertheless, there are situations in which this does not apply.

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ben4847
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby ben4847 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:58 pm

A connection should be enough to get you an interview, at most firms, if your school/grades are within range.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:02 pm

OP here.

School and grades are nowhere in range. (See original post, lol.) That's why I am frankly so shocked about this.

CanadianWolf, can you elaborate further? I literally have never heard of such a thing happening (when he told me this today it sounded like bull-shitting but this kid is really serious/not the type to brag about stuff) so I want to verify with the Holy TLS to figure out if he is for real. I just can't believe this is the type of thing that happens.

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ben4847
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby ben4847 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:06 pm

Nepotism clauses usually target specific relations, AFAIK. So, family friend is probably no problem for that. However, firms are still not interested in hiring the family friend of any idiot partner.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:06 pm

Why would they want to restrict themselves in such a way? I'm sure that the hiring partner has to clear it, but having such a strict rule is not to the firm's advantage.

I know of at least two instances of people getting SAs either because they were related to a lawyer at the firm or they were related to an important person at a large client.

MrAnon
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby MrAnon » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:21 pm

Yes it happens but your friends sounds like an unlikely candidate. Usually the student has to have SOMETHING going for him so the partner can make the case that the person should be hired. So unless the student's family is a client of the firm, you would expect he was at least at a T14, or maybe at a T25 but on law review or something.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:31 pm

Strangely this doesn't seem to happen as often as you'd think. I think that because so many of these kids have relatives or family friends who are biglaw partners if biglaw hired everybody's niece or nephew or neighbor's kid they'd have no spots left for other candidates.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

School and grades are nowhere in range. (See original post, lol.) That's why I am frankly so shocked about this.
.



Is he getting paid? I knew a guy 1L who was talking about working for a biglaw/position for 1L summer, and how his uncle was some bigshot there... Sounded really impressive until I found out eventually he wasn't getting paid a dime and there was probably zero chance he would get hired there (at least right out of school).

But another question that I think is relevant: why do you care? People get jobs all the time through connections, and some of it is just randomness too. There are tons of people out there who have only BA's or less (ie didn't invest a ton of work and money into law school or another advanced degree) who, through a combination of luck, timing, work or whatever are far wealthier than even the average biglaw partner. I tend to resent people like that, but then again it certainly doesn't help anything.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:51 pm

OP here, thanks for the input.

I just think it's odd because this isn't an SA or an internship, he is talking about permanent employment. I frankly don't know anyone in law school who knows that they have a guaranteed offer of big-law employment after graduation.

I guess he went to a good undergrad (ivy) but that doesn't seem like it should be too relevant when there are more important factors like grades, law review, etc.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the input.

I just think it's odd because this isn't an SA or an internship, he is talking about permanent employment. I frankly don't know anyone in law school who knows that they have a guaranteed offer of big-law employment after graduation.

I guess he went to a good undergrad (ivy) but that doesn't seem like it should be too relevant when there are more important factors like grades, law review, etc.



Yeah sounds odd, but actually law is ridiculously nepotistic in a ton of different ways, so I'm not sure why so many ppl ITT are so surprised by this. Not saying it is right or fair, and it does sound like there are starting to be some protections against it even in the private sector, but it doesn't surprise me.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the input.

I just think it's odd because this isn't an SA or an internship, he is talking about permanent employment. I frankly don't know anyone in law school who knows that they have a guaranteed offer of big-law employment after graduation.

I guess he went to a good undergrad (ivy) but that doesn't seem like it should be too relevant when there are more important factors like grades, law review, etc.


Some people are just born lucky...

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the input.

I just think it's odd because this isn't an SA or an internship, he is talking about permanent employment. I frankly don't know anyone in law school who knows that they have a guaranteed offer of big-law employment after graduation.

I guess he went to a good undergrad (ivy) but that doesn't seem like it should be too relevant when there are more important factors like grades, law review, etc.


I doubt he will. You can't know for sure, but it seems very unlikely that they would make an exception for him, especially since he does not have a particularly close connection with the partner. They will probably pass him through the screener and then ding him at the callback stage.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:25 pm

Welcome to the real world. You will have several idiot classmates who get jobs at places that would normally direct their resumes to the shredder because mommy and daddy have money, or a business, or friends with money or a business.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:34 am

I didn't get the impression that this is against the rules. Everyone here keeps talking about networking, like getting in contact with an alum and getting them to push your resume. Having a friend who is a partner isn't a whole lot different than getting in contact with a alum who is a partner. I personally don't think it's fair, and it makes the application process a game. But I don't think it's weird or officially against the rules, to the best of my knowledge.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:16 am

Don't get mad about it yet. I knew quite a few people who thought they had SAs in the bag for one reason or another who found out they were very, very wrong. Examples: girl whose dad was a client (apparently not a big enough client), guy who was told by a firm as a 0L that they would be very interested in hiring him once he was ready to SA somewhere (worked with them in his pre-law school job; he never even got a CB), girl whose dad was a partner at a major law firm in a small secondary market and knew/was close friends with everyone in town... I am not saying nepotism doesn't happen, it certainly does, but lots of people who talk like this as 1Ls get real humble real quick.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby HeavenWood » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:14 am

ben4847 wrote:Nepotism clauses usually target specific relations, AFAIK. So, family friend is probably no problem for that.
.
Correct.

ben4847 wrote:However, firms are still not interested in hiring the family friend of any idiot partner.

Don't kid yourself; people can/do call favors, though there's certainly a difference between "light," "medium," and "heavy" lifting. That said, while all the connections in the world can get your foot in the door, little will keep you there if you prove utterly incompetent.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:14 am

Unless (1) the partner in question is a HSD at the firm or (2) the student is competitive in his own right, there's little chance this connection will net him this job. How many biglaw partners do you think happen to know family friends whose children are going to law school? It's not like this connection is rare, and no firm is going to hire some mediocre candidate merely because a random partner happens to be friend with the dad of somebody who is in law school, unless he's the hiring partner or managing partner.

There may be some rare exceptions, but for every student who lands something due to a connection (without already being competitive and merely getting a slight competitive boost), hundreds of these "sure things" will fall through the cracks.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:57 am

Sorry kids, but this happens all the time.

I go to a t30 school and know THREE people from my section alone that ended up at great firms from connections with partners. One at Weil, one at Gibson, one at Kaye Scholer. The Gibson kid was a strong candidate anyway, but the one at Weil wouldn't have a prayer otherwise...not even a good interviewer. The one at KS -- decent candidate, but shoe in after the connection.

Also at the firm I am an SA at (a top firm in NYC), I know of two people who used connections with partners to get the job.

There is no such thing as "a random partner," save for a mega-firm like Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper. Within an office, the partnership knows each other. If they are hiring over 20+ summers, if a partner is willing to put his neck on the line for a candidate, the hiring group will respect that. The real issue is whether a partner is willing to do that.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby keg411 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry kids, but this happens all the time.

I go to a t30 school and know THREE people from my section alone that ended up at great firms from connections with partners. One at Weil, one at Gibson, one at Kaye Scholer. The Gibson kid was a strong candidate anyway, but the one at Weil wouldn't have a prayer otherwise...not even a good interviewer. The one at KS -- decent candidate, but shoe in after the connection.


FYI - for those familiar with the people at these firms, you just basically outed someone as getting a job through a connection that no one would've known otherwise.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby reformed calvinist » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:20 am

MrAnon wrote:Yes it happens but your friends sounds like an unlikely candidate. Usually the student has to have SOMETHING going for him so the partner can make the case that the person should be hired. So unless the student's family is a client of the firm, you would expect he was at least at a T14, or maybe at a T25 but on law review or something.


I'd imagine that if your father was the General Counsel of one of your firm's biggest clients, you would be in like flint. Or the CEO/General Counsel of a big corporation the firm might hope to woo (assuming no conflicts) by taking you. Otherwise I dunno.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby reformed calvinist » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:22 am

keg411 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry kids, but this happens all the time.

I go to a t30 school and know THREE people from my section alone that ended up at great firms from connections with partners. One at Weil, one at Gibson, one at Kaye Scholer. The Gibson kid was a strong candidate anyway, but the one at Weil wouldn't have a prayer otherwise...not even a good interviewer. The one at KS -- decent candidate, but shoe in after the connection.


FYI - for those familiar with the people at these firms, you just basically outed someone as getting a job through a connection that no one would've known otherwise.


Is it really blowing the lid off this thing though? I mean, people talk. Hiring is by committee, so there are plenty of people to talk, and even if not, other associates/SAs will notice if someone is incompetent. If you're otherwise qualified, they might never notice.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby keg411 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:29 am

reformed calvinist wrote:
keg411 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry kids, but this happens all the time.

I go to a t30 school and know THREE people from my section alone that ended up at great firms from connections with partners. One at Weil, one at Gibson, one at Kaye Scholer. The Gibson kid was a strong candidate anyway, but the one at Weil wouldn't have a prayer otherwise...not even a good interviewer. The one at KS -- decent candidate, but shoe in after the connection.


FYI - for those familiar with the people at these firms, you just basically outed someone as getting a job through a connection that no one would've known otherwise.


Is it really blowing the lid off this thing though? I mean, people talk. Hiring is by committee, so there are plenty of people to talk, and even if not, other associates/SAs will notice if someone is incompetent. If you're otherwise qualified, they might never notice.


Well, the person in question was definitely qualified/not incompetent at work, so it basically just makes it a rude insinuation about said person's credentials.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There is no such thing as "a random partner," save for a mega-firm like Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper. Within an office, the partnership knows each other. If they are hiring over 20+ summers, if a partner is willing to put his neck on the line for a candidate, the hiring group will respect that. The real issue is whether a partner is willing to do that.

Yes, kid, there is. Tons of firms have what are known as "service partners" that don't generate a substantial amount of business in their own right, but rather are highly valued team members of the big rainmakers and we were promoted largely for that reason. This seems to be especially true at two-tier partnership firms where these partners are still in limbo between making equity and being paid like a glorified senior associate. (http://www.geeklawblog.com/2012/05/are-service-partners-second-class.html; http://www.geeklawblog.com/2011/03/dangerous-life-of-service-partner.html; http://abovethelaw.com/2008/07/partnership-whats-in-a-name/)

The pull of one of these partners for a family friend is going to have much less of an effect than the rainmaker's. The fact that you know one (maybe two) people who utilized connections from your school doesn't mean anything without knowing how valuable that particular partner is to the firm.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby IAFG » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry kids, but this happens all the time.

I go to a t30 school and know THREE people from my section alone that ended up at great firms from connections with partners. One at Weil, one at Gibson, one at Kaye Scholer. The Gibson kid was a strong candidate anyway, but the one at Weil wouldn't have a prayer otherwise...not even a good interviewer. The one at KS -- decent candidate, but shoe in after the connection.

Also at the firm I am an SA at (a top firm in NYC), I know of two people who used connections with partners to get the job.

There is no such thing as "a random partner," save for a mega-firm like Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper. Within an office, the partnership knows each other. If they are hiring over 20+ summers, if a partner is willing to put his neck on the line for a candidate, the hiring group will respect that. The real issue is whether a partner is willing to do that.

I love how you say it happens "all the time," but only one of your examples didn't have the credentials otherwise (according to your own estimation of their credentials). :roll:

Being well-connected will not guarantee you a job, and a person having connections shouldn't be seen as an indictment of their credentials. Obnoxious.




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