Mick Haller wrote:Thanks R_M for taking questions. I am a long time fan of yours.
How does your firm do its hiring? OCI only? What advice do you have for people who graduate unemployed to get jobs at small firms like yours? If your response is "networking," can you give some specifics from your own experience as to effective networking techniques?
Hey man, thank you.
We do not participate in OCI. When they brought me in, I came in as a lateral two years out of law school. The firm had advertised in only one plave (reputible legal journal) and that's where I saw the ad. I had a leg-up when I came in because I came from a firm that the partners were familiar with and knew to be a solid mis-sized outfit, so I sort of had a nod of credibility there.
We have hired since I came on and that person was a law student that eventually became an attorney here. We hired him/her as a 1L for part-time work and that person eventually got offered a full time job. We have had one or two other that came in during that time and no offer was extended for a full-time gig because frankly they were not that good at their jobs. They were let go wayyyy before graduation though so it’s not like they were dragged along thinking there was a job at the end of the tunnel.
My first bit of advice is to work during the school year at small firms if you can. If you become a true asset to the firm, you’re likely to get hired. It’s much easier for a small firm to take the leap and hire someone if they have had a lengthy test-drive period.
You have to be vigilant and always looking for small firm opportunities in various journals, etc. If the firm says they are looking for 1 to 3 years’ experience and you are just coming out of LS; apply anyway. If they want 2 to 5 years, you probably have no shot.
Get real experience early on; even before LS if you can. The more you have on your resume, the better your chances of landing a small firm job. I had a freakin ton of experience dating back to like 2003 and I was a 2008 graduate. This helped. It also helps to have prior employers that loved you and will sing your praises when someone calls for a recommendation (my current bosses told me this helped me out a lot). I sent the ex-boss a huge Christmas basket that year after I got that recommendation.
Be ok with lower pay at first. If it is a legit firm and you’re a rock star, the cash will be there. My salary has increased steadily every year and I’ve always gotten a really nice bonus.