Politically partisan resumes?

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Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:57 pm

I am currently a 1L at a T-6 and I am interested in going into DC Big Law after graduation (assuming everything goes well with grades). Before law school I worked in DC for a well-known Republican Congressman for a four years and before that I spent a little over a year doing conservative political campaign work and advocacy. While my resume is fairly partisan and I have worked for at least one semi-controversial figure, I am pretty moderate personally and not very outspoken about my beliefs regardless. Ideally I'd like to work in a policy-related practice area that is relevant to the portfolio I handled on Capitol Hill. I am slightly concerned that my political/partisan resume could be a turn-off for certain employers, especially in a city like DC.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Is working for Congress something that employers in DC will appreciate?
Is there anything I could/should do to tone down the political/partisan nature of my resume?
Are there DC firms that may have a bias against conservative applicants?

Thank you.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:01 pm

ask OCS. at a T6, they've definitely dealt with questions like this before

foregetaboutdre

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a 1L at a T-6 and I am interested in going into DC Big Law after graduation (assuming everything goes well with grades). Before law school I worked in DC for a well-known Republican Congressman for a four years and before that I spent a little over a year doing conservative political campaign work and advocacy. While my resume is fairly partisan and I have worked for at least one semi-controversial figure, I am pretty moderate personally and not very outspoken about my beliefs regardless. Ideally I'd like to work in a policy-related practice area that is relevant to the portfolio I handled on Capitol Hill. I am slightly concerned that my political/partisan resume could be a turn-off for certain employers, especially in a city like DC.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Is working for Congress something that employers in DC will appreciate?
Is there anything I could/should do to tone down the political/partisan nature of my resume?
Are there DC firms that may have a bias against conservative applicants?

Thank you.


Similar background here on the R side.

1. Maybe - but your/my background is a dime a dozen.
2. No - I've had obviously dem interviewers and r interviewers. A lot of legislative work is more "transferable" to the practice of law compared to the other backgrounds of applicants they get. Just don't be obnoxious?
3. Not in the DC market - but in biglaw any firm I think you'll be fine. For small/boutiques, I'd imagine there are some labor side that wouldn't like your background and also some with notable D partners. But that's about it.

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swampman

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby swampman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:08 pm

It won't hurt you, and will help you with many firms and interviewers. That is, as long as you don't go on a rant about how the gays are destroying America.

But even if it did hurt you with some employers, what would you do? Leave a five year period off your resume and lie about why you want to be in DC? Just do you.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:12 pm

Is it mandatory to actually name the political figures? Perhaps giving their title/position is enough? Might take the edge off a bit, even if the title still leads them to their identity.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:16 pm

FWIW I have a friend who also has a pretty partisan resume: went to a conservative, Christian undergraduate college, interned with conservative organizations, was active in conservative student groups, etc. She did just fine at OCI. Basically exactly as you would've expected someone with her grades to do.

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kalvano

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby kalvano » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:17 pm

The ability to whore yourself to either political party regardless of your own political views is an invaluable one.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby swampman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it mandatory to actually name the political figures? Perhaps giving their title/position is enough? Might take the edge off a bit, even if the title still leads them to their identity.

Don't think this would matter, and would look weird. Recruiters decide who gets OCI interviews, and they couldn't care less that you worked for Michelle Bachmann vs Richard Hanna. Your interviewers determine if you get callbacks, and no way in hell are you making it through an interview without mentioning which congressman you worked for.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it mandatory to actually name the political figures? Perhaps giving their title/position is enough? Might take the edge off a bit, even if the title still leads them to their identity.


OP here - that is what I was hinting at.

I could make my resume a little more vague at the cost of losing some of the prestige. I worked on a few bills and projects that would be considered... impolite to bring up around the dinner table. While I think that being involved in those was great for my career, I also would not want to have to discuss the merits of that legislation with potential employers. At the same time, I don't want those potential employers thinking I spent my time in Congress leading tours of the Capitol and drafting bills to rename post offices.

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swampman

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby swampman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it mandatory to actually name the political figures? Perhaps giving their title/position is enough? Might take the edge off a bit, even if the title still leads them to their identity.


OP here - that is what I was hinting at.

I could make my resume a little more vague at the cost of losing some of the prestige. I worked on a few bills and projects that would be considered... impolite to bring up around the dinner table. While I think that being involved in those was great for my career, I also would not want to have to discuss the merits of that legislation with potential employers. At the same time, I don't want those potential employers thinking I spent my time in Congress leading tours of the Capitol and drafting bills to rename post offices.

You're going to be interviewing with lawyers. They will be impressed that you worked on big projects. Lawyers also are used to working on projects they don't agree with, and are cognizant that their firm gets lots of money from people they don't agree with. They're going to be interested in whether you can make money for the firm, and whether you will be insufferable to work with. Really, social issues are going to be the only real minefields. If you worked on DOMA, for example, either leave that one off or make clear that you aren't going to say something really rude when a male partner brings his husband to a firm event.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:29 pm

As long as you aren't in the habit of tormenting people with your political views I don't believe it will be an issue. Your conservative political associations might be useful to the firm anyways. A firm that does regulatory work on behalf of, for instance, the oil industry would likely regard your views as a plus. No qualms about destroying the environment and pillaging the natural resources of native peoples . . . I joke.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:41 pm

Name the people you worked for. I had an interview where one of the interviewers had a friend who interned/worked for the rep I worked for. Don't shy away from your experience because what you did is most likely meaningful work.

That being said again don't be obnoxious. It also helps IMHO to have a reason why you want to practice law instead of go into politics. And in a biglaw interview - say you want to practice law.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Winter is Coming » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:58 pm

foregetaboutdre wrote:Name the people you worked for. I had an interview where one of the interviewers had a friend who interned/worked for the rep I worked for. Don't shy away from your experience because what you did is most likely meaningful work.

That being said again don't be obnoxious. It also helps IMHO to have a reason why you want to practice law instead of go into politics. And in a biglaw interview - say you want to practice law.


Yeah, putting "worked for a Congressman" is way stranger than naming him/her and the interviewer will probably ask if they care anyway. I don't think this will hurt you for the most part, but even if it did what can you do about it? Have some answers ready that make clear you are not a fringe-level lunatic and most people won't care.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:20 pm

Winter is Coming wrote:
foregetaboutdre wrote:Name the people you worked for. I had an interview where one of the interviewers had a friend who interned/worked for the rep I worked for. Don't shy away from your experience because what you did is most likely meaningful work.

That being said again don't be obnoxious. It also helps IMHO to have a reason why you want to practice law instead of go into politics. And in a biglaw interview - say you want to practice law.


Yeah, putting "worked for a Congressman" is way stranger than naming him/her and the interviewer will probably ask if they care anyway. I don't think this will hurt you for the most part, but even if it did what can you do about it? Have some answers ready that make clear you are not a fringe-level lunatic and most people won't care.


Agreed.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Peck.173 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a 1L at a T-6 and I am interested in going into DC Big Law after graduation (assuming everything goes well with grades). Before law school I worked in DC for a well-known Republican Congressman for a four years and before that I spent a little over a year doing conservative political campaign work and advocacy. While my resume is fairly partisan and I have worked for at least one semi-controversial figure, I am pretty moderate personally and not very outspoken about my beliefs regardless. Ideally I'd like to work in a policy-related practice area that is relevant to the portfolio I handled on Capitol Hill. I am slightly concerned that my political/partisan resume could be a turn-off for certain employers, especially in a city like DC.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Is working for Congress something that employers in DC will appreciate?
Is there anything I could/should do to tone down the political/partisan nature of my resume?
Are there DC firms that may have a bias against conservative applicants?

Thank you.



2L here. I had some very similar concerns last year, as I used to work for a number of GOP connected organizations (including a state party & elected official). Focused on NY for OCI & had no issues w/my partisan slanted resume 99% of the time. Just be prepared for a few awkward questions/attempts to be funny from interviewers (IMO especially this year given who our nominee is :cry: ). Can't answer any questions re: DC specifically though.

Good luck!

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby FSK » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:23 pm

I mean, you were probably a LA at the end? Its different if you were the Chief of Staff or something, but you just were mostly just doing a job.
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:31 pm

FSK wrote:I mean, you were probably a LA at the end? Its different if you were the Chief of Staff or something, but you just were mostly just doing a job.


I don't know; five years in, he could have been an LD for a more junior senator/congressman.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Vursz » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:46 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:FWIW I have a friend who also has a pretty partisan resume: went to a conservative, Christian undergraduate college, interned with conservative organizations, was active in conservative student groups, etc. She did just fine at OCI. Basically exactly as you would've expected someone with her grades to do.


Yeah, speaking as someone who also went to a college that skews conservative (and who's been pretty involved with the Federalist Society), I doubt you'll have much to worry about. As I'm sure you've already seen on a day-to-day basis, beltway Democrats and beltway Republicans aren't all that different from each other.

There are a couple of firms that might ding you for it (PM me if curious), but on net, I'd say you'll be fine.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:52 pm

swampman wrote:It won't hurt you, and will help you with many firms and interviewers.

I actually don't agree with this. It could hurt OP at a few firms and a few offices. Still, it shouldn't hurt OP enough to stop him or her from getting a firm job out of a T6.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:08 pm

Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:
FSK wrote:I mean, you were probably a LA at the end? Its different if you were the Chief of Staff or something, but you just were mostly just doing a job.


I don't know; five years in, he could have been an LD for a more junior senator/congressman.


OP again - Neither. My title was pretty rare so I don't feel comfortable sharing it, but I had a split role with a personal office and a committee. I reported to our LD but I was considered more senior than the LAs.

Moving away from the controversial aspect... Do you think having Hill experience help out much in terms of landing a Big Law SA spot? I'm particularly concerned about finding something paid for my 1L summer as I was not able to save much for law school on a Congressional salary.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:
FSK wrote:I mean, you were probably a LA at the end? Its different if you were the Chief of Staff or something, but you just were mostly just doing a job.


I don't know; five years in, he could have been an LD for a more junior senator/congressman.


OP again - Neither. My title was pretty rare so I don't feel comfortable sharing it, but I had a split role with a personal office and a committee. I reported to our LD but I was considered more senior than the LAs.

Moving away from the controversial aspect... Do you think having Hill experience help out much in terms of landing a Big Law SA spot? I'm particularly concerned about finding something paid for my 1L summer as I was not able to save much for law school on a Congressional salary.


Honestly, probably no. 1L SA's are pretty rare. Your experience is great, but there's also former I-Bankers, Consultants, IP people, CPA's, etc... going to law school as well. If you did anything regulatory in like banking, telecommunications, or transferable to a regulatory practice that may help.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby FSK » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:08 pm

Yeah experience on commerce or finance is way more useful than veterans affairs or aging, for example.

Also work your network,
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:15 pm

It will help you at some DC firms at least as much as it will hurt you at others. Lord knows the GOP needs lawyers and lobbyists too.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a 1L at a T-6 and I am interested in going into DC Big Law after graduation (assuming everything goes well with grades). Before law school I worked in DC for a well-known Republican Congressman for a four years and before that I spent a little over a year doing conservative political campaign work and advocacy. While my resume is fairly partisan and I have worked for at least one semi-controversial figure, I am pretty moderate personally and not very outspoken about my beliefs regardless. Ideally I'd like to work in a policy-related practice area that is relevant to the portfolio I handled on Capitol Hill. I am slightly concerned that my political/partisan resume could be a turn-off for certain employers, especially in a city like DC.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Is working for Congress something that employers in DC will appreciate?
Is there anything I could/should do to tone down the political/partisan nature of my resume?
Are there DC firms that may have a bias against conservative applicants?

Thank you.


I just went through this, and I think I can speak directly to your situation. I worked for awhile before law school with a well known DC figure who is synonymous with one political party. Firms on BOTH SIDES of the aisle really appreciated the experience, so I don't suggest running from yours. I also had a top ACS/FedSoc leadership position on my resume as well as my experience working with a liberal/conservative think tank back in the day.

In sum, my resume very clearly indicated my political preferences. Some of my best callbacks were with partners from the opposite aisle. To hammer the point home, I had 8 screeners, 7 CBs, and 5 offers in DC, which was my secondary market.

You might hear someone saying that Gibson will look skeptically at liberals, and Wilmer will do the same for conservatives. My experience demonstrated that this is not true.

Lastly, keep in mind that some regulatory groups will pretty much only staff from former hill staffers or people with similar political experience. E.g., look at the bios of people in the Covington public policy group.

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Re: Politically partisan resumes?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:
FSK wrote:I mean, you were probably a LA at the end? Its different if you were the Chief of Staff or something, but you just were mostly just doing a job.


I don't know; five years in, he could have been an LD for a more junior senator/congressman.


OP again - Neither. My title was pretty rare so I don't feel comfortable sharing it, but I had a split role with a personal office and a committee. I reported to our LD but I was considered more senior than the LAs.

Moving away from the controversial aspect... Do you think having Hill experience help out much in terms of landing a Big Law SA spot? I'm particularly concerned about finding something paid for my 1L summer as I was not able to save much for law school on a Congressional salary.


First time poster on this thread.

I don't think Hill experience in itself will help out as much as you might hope in terms of landing a 1L Big Law SA spot, but having had work experience at a prestigious place will help some. In the end, grades, connections, and personality will matter most, but any work experience is better than none.

FWIW I had six years of service in the military as a paralegal and worked for a prominent elected official as his LD after college. In my interviews, very rarely did anyone want to talk about my legislative experience even though it was better experience and more prestigious. Instead, they only wanted to talk legal experience. I'm at a UT/Vandy/UCLA (so not quite as prestigious as your T6) and did not land a 1L SA gig even though I tried extremely hard. 2L OCI went very well though and I am headed to a V10 so do not get down about yourself if you don't land a 1L SA gig.



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