Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

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Phil Brooks

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Phil Brooks » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Second, your attitude you displayed here might have come off in the interview. You have to understand that the vast majority of people in law school come from well off backgrounds. They didn't have to worry about making ends meet, or working shitty jobs, or anything like that. Their "hard work" was the prep class for the ACT and LSAT, or some unpaid internship at a nonprofit they got to enjoy because, "like, I totes already got money so why not help those poor people. Totes looks great on the resume." I once overheard a girl at my law school complaining how she forgot to bring the right shoes on her recent trip to Belize and almost died from trying to figure out logistically how she would meet up with her parents back in the U.S. because they were coming in from the virgin islands a day later. She. Totes. Almost. Died. Man! So people from this type of background, probably the same ones you're complaining about on your law review, are the norm in the legal profession. And, as I've realized, no matter how much better you are than them at legal research and writing, grades, law review, hard work, etc., you won't succeed unless you pretend to like them and be like them. That means learning stupid follow up questions or phrases like, "Oh wow! Tell me more about your ski trip to aspen." Or, " I'm sorry to hear that. I also can't stand it when I reserve a Tee time on the golf course but my assistant has to take a sick day so I can't go." You already likely don't have these experiences to start with so you can't share any of your own, so if you don't get used to being "interested" in their experiences, then you'll be the silent weirdo in convos who has nothing to contribute and is awkward working with. So put on that fake ass overly professional, oh-this-old-thing-I-got-while-backpacking-through-europe? facade and go get yourself a firm job!


Yeah, I wondered how much that fact played in, I do not have a lot of experience in the well-heeled set, and the fit issue probably killed me, not being in the same age/life experience group as the other interviewees. I think sometimes I let the class issue get in my head too much, like I was striving too hard to make myself into something I am not.

Maybe the stars of prestige and big salary got in my eyes and that showed up in my interviews, I was too eager to show that, given the opportunity, I could play in the land of BMW's and Vineyard Vines.

I am going to keep digging and hustling. Hopefully, I can find my "thing" out there where I can do good work, do it reasonably well, and not desire to claw my eyeballs out every other day.

It's not everyday I feel crappy about stuff, usually just when more law review drudgery pops up. For some reason, law review "triggers" all my class insecurities. I am sure everyone can see my (metaphorical) red neck no matter how nice my suit is.


There are a lot of spoiled people in law school, but this idea that law firms harbor and act on an insurmountable bias against poor students is called into question by the facts that 1) someone who has a full scholarship listed on their resume is more likely to get hired, 2) so many young associates in biglaw (including the ones who conduct screener interviews) are there only in order to pay off loans, and 3) the entire interview process, which includes the firm paying for the interviewee's travel, accommodations, and meals, is designed to cater to students who do not have money.

I went through around 20 biglaw interviews and none of them consisted of swapping obnoxious anecdotes about luxurious life experiences. Did any of yours?

OP, I think it is more likely that the bolded was the problem. When you were asked why you wanted to work for a big firm or for biglaw firm X, did you mention just the salary? What reason did you give?

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:34 pm

I feel the need to put in a different perspective about small firms, from my own experience and from a mentor's experience (we've both done small law and big law). Small law can be a complete miss - if there's one truly godawful personality in your small firm you could be SOL - sometimes there's no way to avoid the person, and they can make your life a living hell. So when you pick your small firm, be very careful about monitoring each individual you meet while interviewing, esp. if you might work with them.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:38 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Second, your attitude you displayed here might have come off in the interview. You have to understand that the vast majority of people in law school come from well off backgrounds. They didn't have to worry about making ends meet, or working shitty jobs, or anything like that. Their "hard work" was the prep class for the ACT and LSAT, or some unpaid internship at a nonprofit they got to enjoy because, "like, I totes already got money so why not help those poor people. Totes looks great on the resume." I once overheard a girl at my law school complaining how she forgot to bring the right shoes on her recent trip to Belize and almost died from trying to figure out logistically how she would meet up with her parents back in the U.S. because they were coming in from the virgin islands a day later. She. Totes. Almost. Died. Man! So people from this type of background, probably the same ones you're complaining about on your law review, are the norm in the legal profession. And, as I've realized, no matter how much better you are than them at legal research and writing, grades, law review, hard work, etc., you won't succeed unless you pretend to like them and be like them. That means learning stupid follow up questions or phrases like, "Oh wow! Tell me more about your ski trip to aspen." Or, " I'm sorry to hear that. I also can't stand it when I reserve a Tee time on the golf course but my assistant has to take a sick day so I can't go." You already likely don't have these experiences to start with so you can't share any of your own, so if you don't get used to being "interested" in their experiences, then you'll be the silent weirdo in convos who has nothing to contribute and is awkward working with. So put on that fake ass overly professional, oh-this-old-thing-I-got-while-backpacking-through-europe? facade and go get yourself a firm job!


Yeah, I wondered how much that fact played in, I do not have a lot of experience in the well-heeled set, and the fit issue probably killed me, not being in the same age/life experience group as the other interviewees. I think sometimes I let the class issue get in my head too much, like I was striving too hard to make myself into something I am not.

Maybe the stars of prestige and big salary got in my eyes and that showed up in my interviews, I was too eager to show that, given the opportunity, I could play in the land of BMW's and Vineyard Vines.

I am going to keep digging and hustling. Hopefully, I can find my "thing" out there where I can do good work, do it reasonably well, and not desire to claw my eyeballs out every other day.

It's not everyday I feel crappy about stuff, usually just when more law review drudgery pops up. For some reason, law review "triggers" all my class insecurities. I am sure everyone can see my (metaphorical) red neck no matter how nice my suit is.


There are a lot of spoiled people in law school, but this idea that law firms harbor and act on an insurmountable bias against poor students is called into question by the facts that 1) someone who has a full scholarship listed on their resume is more likely to get hired, 2) so many young associates in biglaw (including the ones who conduct screener interviews) are there only in order to pay off loans, and 3) the entire interview process, which includes the firm paying for the interviewee's travel, accommodations, and meals, is designed to cater to students who do not have money.

I went through around 20 biglaw interviews and none of them consisted of swapping obnoxious anecdotes about luxurious life experiences. Did any of yours?

OP, I think it is more likely that the bolded was the problem. When you were asked why you wanted to work for a big firm or for biglaw firm X, did you mention just the salary? What reason did you give?



Consider also:
"Rivera and Tilcsik sent the mock applications to 316 law firms, and of the 22 interview invitations they received, the privileged men had a call-back rate of 16 percent, which was more than four times the rate for privileged woman, less-privileged women, and less-privileged men combined. Though it’s not surprising that privileged men received an advantage, it was striking to see that advantage so clearly, considering they had identical professional and academic experiences as the other fake applicants. Further, belonging to a higher social class appeared to only benefit men in the hiring process, and penalized women."
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/ar ... bs/504497/

ETA: I agree with the above, generally. Sounds like OP needs some assistance with interviewing, most likely.

ETA pt ii: accidental anon, this is HillandHollow

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:02 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Second, your attitude you displayed here might have come off in the interview. You have to understand that the vast majority of people in law school come from well off backgrounds. They didn't have to worry about making ends meet, or working shitty jobs, or anything like that. Their "hard work" was the prep class for the ACT and LSAT, or some unpaid internship at a nonprofit they got to enjoy because, "like, I totes already got money so why not help those poor people. Totes looks great on the resume." I once overheard a girl at my law school complaining how she forgot to bring the right shoes on her recent trip to Belize and almost died from trying to figure out logistically how she would meet up with her parents back in the U.S. because they were coming in from the virgin islands a day later. She. Totes. Almost. Died. Man! So people from this type of background, probably the same ones you're complaining about on your law review, are the norm in the legal profession. And, as I've realized, no matter how much better you are than them at legal research and writing, grades, law review, hard work, etc., you won't succeed unless you pretend to like them and be like them. That means learning stupid follow up questions or phrases like, "Oh wow! Tell me more about your ski trip to aspen." Or, " I'm sorry to hear that. I also can't stand it when I reserve a Tee time on the golf course but my assistant has to take a sick day so I can't go." You already likely don't have these experiences to start with so you can't share any of your own, so if you don't get used to being "interested" in their experiences, then you'll be the silent weirdo in convos who has nothing to contribute and is awkward working with. So put on that fake ass overly professional, oh-this-old-thing-I-got-while-backpacking-through-europe? facade and go get yourself a firm job!


Yeah, I wondered how much that fact played in, I do not have a lot of experience in the well-heeled set, and the fit issue probably killed me, not being in the same age/life experience group as the other interviewees. I think sometimes I let the class issue get in my head too much, like I was striving too hard to make myself into something I am not.

Maybe the stars of prestige and big salary got in my eyes and that showed up in my interviews, I was too eager to show that, given the opportunity, I could play in the land of BMW's and Vineyard Vines.

I am going to keep digging and hustling. Hopefully, I can find my "thing" out there where I can do good work, do it reasonably well, and not desire to claw my eyeballs out every other day.

It's not everyday I feel crappy about stuff, usually just when more law review drudgery pops up. For some reason, law review "triggers" all my class insecurities. I am sure everyone can see my (metaphorical) red neck no matter how nice my suit is.


There are a lot of spoiled people in law school, but this idea that law firms harbor and act on an insurmountable bias against poor students is called into question by the facts that 1) someone who has a full scholarship listed on their resume is more likely to get hired, 2) so many young associates in biglaw (including the ones who conduct screener interviews) are there only in order to pay off loans, and 3) the entire interview process, which includes the firm paying for the interviewee's travel, accommodations, and meals, is designed to cater to students who do not have money.

I went through around 20 biglaw interviews and none of them consisted of swapping obnoxious anecdotes about luxurious life experiences. Did any of yours?

OP, I think it is more likely that the bolded was the problem. When you were asked why you wanted to work for a big firm or for biglaw firm X, did you mention just the salary? What reason did you give?


This is the poster who posted the original quote in this chain.

Now I agree that it is likely due to OP overcompensating and trying to show he can play in "the land of BMWs and Vinyard Vines." You can't be a Wolf of Wallstreet dick. Period.

What I meant in my original post is that a lot of law students and therefore a lot of lawyers in big firms come from well off backgrounds and have thereby been largely conditioned to see the world in a particular way, including through explicit and implicit class biases, and have been accustomed to a particular lifestyle that, through their upbringing and biases, they usually assume everyone else also had. So when they're talkin about their fancy stuff, they do it casually because it's the norm for them. They don't intentionally throw it out there like a Wolf of Wallstreet type. So, essentially, don't try too hard. Show interest and act like the norm is being well off, but don't brag about it, or care too much. Just have regular convos about their experiences even though you might not have much interest. Remember, well off people who can't tell they're privileged like to enjoy their privilege and not have it made into a caricature or something negative.

This also doesn't mean you shouldn't talk about your own background or interests. You should, and coming from a disadvantaged background can be seen as a plus. Of course, make sure you watch when and how you talk about it. During interviews, keep it general and short. It should be enough to let them generally know you overcame challenges, and not so specific that it makes them uncomfortable. Something like, "I grew up in X neighborhood, which is a working-class neighborhood in Y state. My family worked with very little money and I worked to help them make ends meet. So I've learned to work hard and" tie it into how you're a work horse and can put in the hours or some benefit you can give the firm. BUT something like the following is definitely a no: "I grew up poor. My family was on food stamps and we were dealing with evictions. I worked construction to make sure everything was ok." This will almost instantly disqualify you.

The same goes for when you're at the office. Keep it general and quick. Once you start getting to know someone more closely, you can start peeling back the layers and reveal a bit more and more while the friendship gets stronger.

I say this because of the same reason why one of the earlier poster's comments that you won't be discriminated against cause of your background is false. You will be discriminated against for growing up poor or working-class. The idea that lawyers have debt so class doesn't matter logic is stupid, even stupider than saying they don't discriminate because they pay for your travels and the lawyers interviewing have debt. Just cause you got debt now doesn't mean you didn't grow up well off. Just cause you might have money now doesn't mean you didn't grow up poor or working class. Your past isn't erased easily like writing on a whiteboard. Your whole existence and view of your surroundings and everything has been conditioned by your environments growing up. So again, having a little debt won't make the hiring lawyer think being on welfare or working construction or any specific thing you did that separates you from their experiences growing up is normal or ok. It just triggers negative stereotypical associations or disassociations, like, as just examples, construction doesn't work well with being a lawyer, or being on welfare/struggling with finances associates with not being good with money or responsibility. They make these quick assumptions whether they want to, explicitly, or not, implicitly.

But people generally like an underdog and overcoming challenges so keeping it general to trigger that is good, but not specific enough to trigger the classism.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:09 pm

How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:17 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


I was thinking the same thing. Scholarship implies merit, grants imply need. So when someone says they got a full ride scholarship, I would think they did so based on their test scores, gpa, or some alleged merit. If they say grant or something else, I think they're financially needy. So having better results with "full scholarship" on your resume doesn't have much impact on how class plays a role in hiring. As someone else cited above, studies show that equally telented applicants have better chances if they're well off, especially if well off and male.

That's why I recently decided to take off anything on my resume that signals my class growing up. No first generation group, no scholarships listed that relate to need, no interests that signal working-class. None of that.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Second, your attitude you displayed here might have come off in the interview. You have to understand that the vast majority of people in law school come from well off backgrounds. They didn't have to worry about making ends meet, or working shitty jobs, or anything like that. Their "hard work" was the prep class for the ACT and LSAT, or some unpaid internship at a nonprofit they got to enjoy because, "like, I totes already got money so why not help those poor people. Totes looks great on the resume." I once overheard a girl at my law school complaining how she forgot to bring the right shoes on her recent trip to Belize and almost died from trying to figure out logistically how she would meet up with her parents back in the U.S. because they were coming in from the virgin islands a day later. She. Totes. Almost. Died. Man! So people from this type of background, probably the same ones you're complaining about on your law review, are the norm in the legal profession. And, as I've realized, no matter how much better you are than them at legal research and writing, grades, law review, hard work, etc., you won't succeed unless you pretend to like them and be like them. That means learning stupid follow up questions or phrases like, "Oh wow! Tell me more about your ski trip to aspen." Or, " I'm sorry to hear that. I also can't stand it when I reserve a Tee time on the golf course but my assistant has to take a sick day so I can't go." You already likely don't have these experiences to start with so you can't share any of your own, so if you don't get used to being "interested" in their experiences, then you'll be the silent weirdo in convos who has nothing to contribute and is awkward working with. So put on that fake ass overly professional, oh-this-old-thing-I-got-while-backpacking-through-europe? facade and go get yourself a firm job!


Yeah, I wondered how much that fact played in, I do not have a lot of experience in the well-heeled set, and the fit issue probably killed me, not being in the same age/life experience group as the other interviewees. I think sometimes I let the class issue get in my head too much, like I was striving too hard to make myself into something I am not.

Maybe the stars of prestige and big salary got in my eyes and that showed up in my interviews, I was too eager to show that, given the opportunity, I could play in the land of BMW's and Vineyard Vines.

I am going to keep digging and hustling. Hopefully, I can find my "thing" out there where I can do good work, do it reasonably well, and not desire to claw my eyeballs out every other day.

It's not everyday I feel crappy about stuff, usually just when more law review drudgery pops up. For some reason, law review "triggers" all my class insecurities. I am sure everyone can see my (metaphorical) red neck no matter how nice my suit is.


There are a lot of spoiled people in law school, but this idea that law firms harbor and act on an insurmountable bias against poor students is called into question by the facts that 1) someone who has a full scholarship listed on their resume is more likely to get hired, 2) so many young associates in biglaw (including the ones who conduct screener interviews) are there only in order to pay off loans, and 3) the entire interview process, which includes the firm paying for the interviewee's travel, accommodations, and meals, is designed to cater to students who do not have money.

I went through around 20 biglaw interviews and none of them consisted of swapping obnoxious anecdotes about luxurious life experiences. Did any of yours?

OP, I think it is more likely that the bolded was the problem. When you were asked why you wanted to work for a big firm or for biglaw firm X, did you mention just the salary? What reason did you give?


This is the poster who posted the original quote in this chain.

Now I agree that it is likely due to OP overcompensating and trying to show he can play in "the land of BMWs and Vinyard Vines." You can't be a Wolf of Wallstreet dick. Period.

What I meant in my original post is that a lot of law students and therefore a lot of lawyers in big firms come from well off backgrounds and have thereby been largely conditioned to see the world in a particular way, including through explicit and implicit class biases, and have been accustomed to a particular lifestyle that, through their upbringing and biases, they usually assume everyone else also had. So when they're talkin about their fancy stuff, they do it casually because it's the norm for them. They don't intentionally throw it out there like a Wolf of Wallstreet type. So, essentially, don't try too hard. Show interest and act like the norm is being well off, but don't brag about it, or care too much. Just have regular convos about their experiences even though you might not have much interest. Remember, well off people who can't tell they're privileged like to enjoy their privilege and not have it made into a caricature or something negative.

This also doesn't mean you shouldn't talk about your own background or interests. You should, and coming from a disadvantaged background can be seen as a plus. Of course, make sure you watch when and how you talk about it. During interviews, keep it general and short. It should be enough to let them generally know you overcame challenges, and not so specific that it makes them uncomfortable. Something like, "I grew up in X neighborhood, which is a working-class neighborhood in Y state. My family worked with very little money and I worked to help them make ends meet. So I've learned to work hard and" tie it into how you're a work horse and can put in the hours or some benefit you can give the firm. BUT something like the following is definitely a no: "I grew up poor. My family was on food stamps and we were dealing with evictions. I worked construction to make sure everything was ok." This will almost instantly disqualify you.

The same goes for when you're at the office. Keep it general and quick. Once you start getting to know someone more closely, you can start peeling back the layers and reveal a bit more and more while the friendship gets stronger.

I say this because of the same reason why one of the earlier poster's comments that you won't be discriminated against cause of your background is false. You will be discriminated against for growing up poor or working-class. The idea that lawyers have debt so class doesn't matter logic is stupid, even stupider than saying they don't descriminate because they pay for your travels and the lawyers interviewing have debt. Just cause you got debt now doesn't mean you didn't grow up well off. Just cause you might have money now doesn't mean you didn't grow up poor or working class. Your past isn't erased easily like writing on a whiteboard. Your whole existence and view of your surroundings and everything has been conditioned by your environments growing up. So again, having a little debt won't make the hiring lawyer think being on welfare or working construction or any specific thing you did that separates you from their experiences growing up is normal or ok. It just triggers negative stereotypical associations or disassociations, like, as just examples, construction doesn't work well with being a lawyer, or being on welfare/struggling with finances associates with not being good with money or responsibility. They make these quick assumptions whether they want to, explicitly, or not, implicitly.

But people generally like an underdog and overcoming challenges so keeping it general to trigger that is good, but not specific enough to trigger the classism.


OP, here's some advice from someone from a similar (?) socioeconomic situation. I didn't come from a wealthy background (during law school, I lived in a walk up apartment in a cheap city and have never owned a car in my life, despite moving around a lot). However, I did a couple things that I think was what helped me land 2 offers in biglaw (K-JD with bad lower T14 grades):

- Saved up for one or two sets of nice interview suits and shoes (fake it till you make it right?).
- Made sure my resume was printed on nice paper and carried around in a plain leather padfolio.
- Acted calm and confident at my interviews. Smile whenever possible. You want to project wanting the job, but not badly.
- Practiced my pitch dozens of times in a mirror, until I knew it so well I could vary the tone/pitch enough so that it didn't sound rehearsed. The focus was (1) Who I am; (2) What have I done; (3) Where I see my career going; (4) Why I want to work for your firm. Was almost never asked about my interests, which weren't on my resume anyhow. Instead, really focused on calmly and indirectly demonstrating what a go-getter I was. I did this by chatting about my involvement in professional associations. Hopefully you can think of something similar.
- Either did not write thank you emails or kept thank you emails short, polite, and tailored to the individual (tried to mention one or two things we chatted about at interviews). No desperate thank you emails! As an associate who interviews people now, this is a turnoff.

If you do the above, imo no one will even know you're not "from the same class" as they are.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Second, your attitude you displayed here might have come off in the interview. You have to understand that the vast majority of people in law school come from well off backgrounds. They didn't have to worry about making ends meet, or working shitty jobs, or anything like that. Their "hard work" was the prep class for the ACT and LSAT, or some unpaid internship at a nonprofit they got to enjoy because, "like, I totes already got money so why not help those poor people. Totes looks great on the resume." I once overheard a girl at my law school complaining how she forgot to bring the right shoes on her recent trip to Belize and almost died from trying to figure out logistically how she would meet up with her parents back in the U.S. because they were coming in from the virgin islands a day later. She. Totes. Almost. Died. Man! So people from this type of background, probably the same ones you're complaining about on your law review, are the norm in the legal profession. And, as I've realized, no matter how much better you are than them at legal research and writing, grades, law review, hard work, etc., you won't succeed unless you pretend to like them and be like them. That means learning stupid follow up questions or phrases like, "Oh wow! Tell me more about your ski trip to aspen." Or, " I'm sorry to hear that. I also can't stand it when I reserve a Tee time on the golf course but my assistant has to take a sick day so I can't go." You already likely don't have these experiences to start with so you can't share any of your own, so if you don't get used to being "interested" in their experiences, then you'll be the silent weirdo in convos who has nothing to contribute and is awkward working with. So put on that fake ass overly professional, oh-this-old-thing-I-got-while-backpacking-through-europe? facade and go get yourself a firm job!


Yeah, I wondered how much that fact played in, I do not have a lot of experience in the well-heeled set, and the fit issue probably killed me, not being in the same age/life experience group as the other interviewees. I think sometimes I let the class issue get in my head too much, like I was striving too hard to make myself into something I am not.

Maybe the stars of prestige and big salary got in my eyes and that showed up in my interviews, I was too eager to show that, given the opportunity, I could play in the land of BMW's and Vineyard Vines.

I am going to keep digging and hustling. Hopefully, I can find my "thing" out there where I can do good work, do it reasonably well, and not desire to claw my eyeballs out every other day.

It's not everyday I feel crappy about stuff, usually just when more law review drudgery pops up. For some reason, law review "triggers" all my class insecurities. I am sure everyone can see my (metaphorical) red neck no matter how nice my suit is.


There are a lot of spoiled people in law school, but this idea that law firms harbor and act on an insurmountable bias against poor students is called into question by the facts that 1) someone who has a full scholarship listed on their resume is more likely to get hired, 2) so many young associates in biglaw (including the ones who conduct screener interviews) are there only in order to pay off loans, and 3) the entire interview process, which includes the firm paying for the interviewee's travel, accommodations, and meals, is designed to cater to students who do not have money.

I went through around 20 biglaw interviews and none of them consisted of swapping obnoxious anecdotes about luxurious life experiences. Did any of yours?

OP, I think it is more likely that the bolded was the problem. When you were asked why you wanted to work for a big firm or for biglaw firm X, did you mention just the salary? What reason did you give?


This is the poster who posted the original quote in this chain.

Now I agree that it is likely due to OP overcompensating and trying to show he can play in "the land of BMWs and Vinyard Vines." You can't be a Wolf of Wallstreet dick. Period.

What I meant in my original post is that a lot of law students and therefore a lot of lawyers in big firms come from well off backgrounds and have thereby been largely conditioned to see the world in a particular way, including through explicit and implicit class biases, and have been accustomed to a particular lifestyle that, through their upbringing and biases, they usually assume everyone else also had. So when they're talkin about their fancy stuff, they do it casually because it's the norm for them. They don't intentionally throw it out there like a Wolf of Wallstreet type. So, essentially, don't try too hard. Show interest and act like the norm is being well off, but don't brag about it, or care too much. Just have regular convos about their experiences even though you might not have much interest. Remember, well off people who can't tell they're privileged like to enjoy their privilege and not have it made into a caricature or something negative.

This also doesn't mean you shouldn't talk about your own background or interests. You should, and coming from a disadvantaged background can be seen as a plus. Of course, make sure you watch when and how you talk about it. During interviews, keep it general and short. It should be enough to let them generally know you overcame challenges, and not so specific that it makes them uncomfortable. Something like, "I grew up in X neighborhood, which is a working-class neighborhood in Y state. My family worked with very little money and I worked to help them make ends meet. So I've learned to work hard and" tie it into how you're a work horse and can put in the hours or some benefit you can give the firm. BUT something like the following is definitely a no: "I grew up poor. My family was on food stamps and we were dealing with evictions. I worked construction to make sure everything was ok." This will almost instantly disqualify you.

The same goes for when you're at the office. Keep it general and quick. Once you start getting to know someone more closely, you can start peeling back the layers and reveal a bit more and more while the friendship gets stronger.

I say this because of the same reason why one of the earlier poster's comments that you won't be discriminated against cause of your background is false. You will be discriminated against for growing up poor or working-class. The idea that lawyers have debt so class doesn't matter logic is stupid, even stupider than saying they don't descriminate because they pay for your travels and the lawyers interviewing have debt. Just cause you got debt now doesn't mean you didn't grow up well off. Just cause you might have money now doesn't mean you didn't grow up poor or working class. Your past isn't erased easily like writing on a whiteboard. Your whole existence and view of your surroundings and everything has been conditioned by your environments growing up. So again, having a little debt won't make the hiring lawyer think being on welfare or working construction or any specific thing you did that separates you from their experiences growing up is normal or ok. It just triggers negative stereotypical associations or disassociations, like, as just examples, construction doesn't work well with being a lawyer, or being on welfare/struggling with finances associates with not being good with money or responsibility. They make these quick assumptions whether they want to, explicitly, or not, implicitly.

But people generally like an underdog and overcoming challenges so keeping it general to trigger that is good, but not specific enough to trigger the classism.


OP, here's some advice from someone from a similar (?) socioeconomic situation. I didn't come from a wealthy background (during law school, I lived in a walk up apartment in a cheap city and have never owned a car in my life, despite moving around a lot). However, I did a couple things that I think was what helped me land 2 offers in biglaw (K-JD with bad lower T14 grades):

- Saved up for one or two sets of nice interview suits and shoes (fake it till you make it right?).
- Made sure my resume was printed on nice paper and carried around in a plain leather padfolio.
- Acted calm and confident at my interviews. Smile whenever possible. You want to project wanting the job, but not badly.
- Practiced my pitch dozens of times in a mirror, until I knew it so well I could vary the tone/pitch enough so that it didn't sound rehearsed. The focus was (1) Who I am; (2) What have I done; (3) Where I see my career going; (4) Why I want to work for your firm. Was almost never asked about my interests, which weren't on my resume anyhow. Instead, really focused on calmly and indirectly demonstrating what a go-getter I was. I did this by chatting about my involvement in professional associations. Hopefully you can think of something similar.
- Either did not write thank you emails or kept thank you emails short, polite, and tailored to the individual (tried to mention one or two things we chatted about at interviews). No desperate thank you emails! As an associate who interviews people now, this is a turnoff.

If you do the above, imo no one will even know you're not "from the same class" as they are.


I legit did the exact same thing as you did and had great results. I second this!

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby HillandHollow » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:


OP, here's some advice from someone from a similar (?) socioeconomic situation. I didn't come from a wealthy background (during law school, I lived in a walk up apartment in a cheap city and have never owned a car in my life, despite moving around a lot). However, I did a couple things that I think was what helped me land 2 offers in biglaw (K-JD with bad lower T14 grades):

- Saved up for one or two sets of nice interview suits and shoes (fake it till you make it right?).
- Made sure my resume was printed on nice paper and carried around in a plain leather padfolio.
- Acted calm and confident at my interviews. Smile whenever possible. You want to project wanting the job, but not badly.
- Practiced my pitch dozens of times in a mirror, until I knew it so well I could vary the tone/pitch enough so that it didn't sound rehearsed. The focus was (1) Who I am; (2) What have I done; (3) Where I see my career going; (4) Why I want to work for your firm. Was almost never asked about my interests, which weren't on my resume anyhow. Instead, really focused on calmly and indirectly demonstrating what a go-getter I was. I did this by chatting about my involvement in professional associations. Hopefully you can think of something similar.
- Either did not write thank you emails or kept thank you emails short, polite, and tailored to the individual (tried to mention one or two things we chatted about at interviews). No desperate thank you emails! As an associate who interviews people now, this is a turnoff.

If you do the above, imo no one will even know you're not "from the same class" as they are.




If nothing else, buy one decent suit (and shoes/belt, etc), and get it tailored. Tailoring a decent suit goes a long way. Fwiw, every suit I own was purchased at a Goodwill or Salvation Army (I'm an extremely good thrift shopper), and was tailored to fit, and no one can tell the difference (cue people asserting that they can definitely tell the difference, and my subsequent migraine-inducing eye roll). Only do the thrift shop thing if you know what to look for in a suit, otherwise buy it new, but on clearance.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby proleteriate » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:46 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Is the whole "law students are oil baron children" thing a Texas thing?

At my T20, yeah there are a handful of people who are "travel Europe during break" rich, but they are few and far between. Most people (like, I'd guess 90%) are independent and not supported by family, so how wealthy can you really be as a law student?


I can nearly guarantee that you're not talking to enough of ur classmates.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Phil Brooks » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:09 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby proleteriate » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:14 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.


This!. Also because ppl from privilege went to private schools, have a better fundamental skillbase required for superior law school performance (superior writing skills can't be learned in a week, but superior writing skills can be the sole determinant btw an A vs. a B in ConLaw ). Privileged ppl go to better undergrads, and they build their skillsets further. I mean these are just some of the many examples, we can keep going on and on.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby HillandHollow » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:23 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.


Perhaps people who have never had to work are also more able to have 4.0s and 180s (and therefore more likely to get full rides?), because they have more ability to focus on and prepare for those things?

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Hikikomorist » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:24 pm

proleteriate wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Is the whole "law students are oil baron children" thing a Texas thing?

At my T20, yeah there are a handful of people who are "travel Europe during break" rich, but they are few and far between. Most people (like, I'd guess 90%) are independent and not supported by family, so how wealthy can you really be as a law student?


I can nearly guarantee that you're not talking to enough of ur classmates.

Yeah, a ton of people vacation internationally at least once a year.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Pomeranian » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:33 pm

proleteriate wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.


This!. Also because ppl from privilege went to private schools, have a better fundamental skillbase required for superior law school performance (superior writing skills can't be learned in a week, but superior writing skills can be the sole determinant btw an A vs. a B in ConLaw ). Privileged ppl go to better undergrads, and they build their skillsets further. I mean these are just some of the many examples, we can keep going on and on.


“Public schools are so random.” - Ja'mie King

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Phil Brooks » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Second, your attitude you displayed here might have come off in the interview. You have to understand that the vast majority of people in law school come from well off backgrounds. They didn't have to worry about making ends meet, or working shitty jobs, or anything like that. Their "hard work" was the prep class for the ACT and LSAT, or some unpaid internship at a nonprofit they got to enjoy because, "like, I totes already got money so why not help those poor people. Totes looks great on the resume." I once overheard a girl at my law school complaining how she forgot to bring the right shoes on her recent trip to Belize and almost died from trying to figure out logistically how she would meet up with her parents back in the U.S. because they were coming in from the virgin islands a day later. She. Totes. Almost. Died. Man! So people from this type of background, probably the same ones you're complaining about on your law review, are the norm in the legal profession. And, as I've realized, no matter how much better you are than them at legal research and writing, grades, law review, hard work, etc., you won't succeed unless you pretend to like them and be like them. That means learning stupid follow up questions or phrases like, "Oh wow! Tell me more about your ski trip to aspen." Or, " I'm sorry to hear that. I also can't stand it when I reserve a Tee time on the golf course but my assistant has to take a sick day so I can't go." You already likely don't have these experiences to start with so you can't share any of your own, so if you don't get used to being "interested" in their experiences, then you'll be the silent weirdo in convos who has nothing to contribute and is awkward working with. So put on that fake ass overly professional, oh-this-old-thing-I-got-while-backpacking-through-europe? facade and go get yourself a firm job!


Yeah, I wondered how much that fact played in, I do not have a lot of experience in the well-heeled set, and the fit issue probably killed me, not being in the same age/life experience group as the other interviewees. I think sometimes I let the class issue get in my head too much, like I was striving too hard to make myself into something I am not.

Maybe the stars of prestige and big salary got in my eyes and that showed up in my interviews, I was too eager to show that, given the opportunity, I could play in the land of BMW's and Vineyard Vines.

I am going to keep digging and hustling. Hopefully, I can find my "thing" out there where I can do good work, do it reasonably well, and not desire to claw my eyeballs out every other day.

It's not everyday I feel crappy about stuff, usually just when more law review drudgery pops up. For some reason, law review "triggers" all my class insecurities. I am sure everyone can see my (metaphorical) red neck no matter how nice my suit is.


There are a lot of spoiled people in law school, but this idea that law firms harbor and act on an insurmountable bias against poor students is called into question by the facts that 1) someone who has a full scholarship listed on their resume is more likely to get hired, 2) so many young associates in biglaw (including the ones who conduct screener interviews) are there only in order to pay off loans, and 3) the entire interview process, which includes the firm paying for the interviewee's travel, accommodations, and meals, is designed to cater to students who do not have money.

I went through around 20 biglaw interviews and none of them consisted of swapping obnoxious anecdotes about luxurious life experiences. Did any of yours?

OP, I think it is more likely that the bolded was the problem. When you were asked why you wanted to work for a big firm or for biglaw firm X, did you mention just the salary? What reason did you give?


This is the poster who posted the original quote in this chain.

Now I agree that it is likely due to OP overcompensating and trying to show he can play in "the land of BMWs and Vinyard Vines." You can't be a Wolf of Wallstreet dick. Period.

What I meant in my original post is that a lot of law students and therefore a lot of lawyers in big firms come from well off backgrounds and have thereby been largely conditioned to see the world in a particular way, including through explicit and implicit class biases, and have been accustomed to a particular lifestyle that, through their upbringing and biases, they usually assume everyone else also had. So when they're talkin about their fancy stuff, they do it casually because it's the norm for them. They don't intentionally throw it out there like a Wolf of Wallstreet type. So, essentially, don't try too hard. Show interest and act like the norm is being well off, but don't brag about it, or care too much. Just have regular convos about their experiences even though you might not have much interest. Remember, well off people who can't tell they're privileged like to enjoy their privilege and not have it made into a caricature or something negative.

This also doesn't mean you shouldn't talk about your own background or interests. You should, and coming from a disadvantaged background can be seen as a plus. Of course, make sure you watch when and how you talk about it. During interviews, keep it general and short. It should be enough to let them generally know you overcame challenges, and not so specific that it makes them uncomfortable. Something like, "I grew up in X neighborhood, which is a working-class neighborhood in Y state. My family worked with very little money and I worked to help them make ends meet. So I've learned to work hard and" tie it into how you're a work horse and can put in the hours or some benefit you can give the firm. BUT something like the following is definitely a no: "I grew up poor. My family was on food stamps and we were dealing with evictions. I worked construction to make sure everything was ok." This will almost instantly disqualify you.

The same goes for when you're at the office. Keep it general and quick. Once you start getting to know someone more closely, you can start peeling back the layers and reveal a bit more and more while the friendship gets stronger.

I say this because of the same reason why one of the earlier poster's comments that you won't be discriminated against cause of your background is false. You will be discriminated against for growing up poor or working-class. The idea that lawyers have debt so class doesn't matter logic is stupid, even stupider than saying they don't discriminate because they pay for your travels and the lawyers interviewing have debt. Just cause you got debt now doesn't mean you didn't grow up well off. Just cause you might have money now doesn't mean you didn't grow up poor or working class. Your past isn't erased easily like writing on a whiteboard. Your whole existence and view of your surroundings and everything has been conditioned by your environments growing up. So again, having a little debt won't make the hiring lawyer think being on welfare or working construction or any specific thing you did that separates you from their experiences growing up is normal or ok. It just triggers negative stereotypical associations or disassociations, like, as just examples, construction doesn't work well with being a lawyer, or being on welfare/struggling with finances associates with not being good with money or responsibility. They make these quick assumptions whether they want to, explicitly, or not, implicitly.

But people generally like an underdog and overcoming challenges so keeping it general to trigger that is good, but not specific enough to trigger the classism.


You put up a lot of straw men here. Where did I say "lawyers have debt so class doesn't matter"?

OP said that during his interviews he tried to prove he was comfortable around rich people, thereby assuming that only rich people are in big law. My point is that that assumption is unwarranted. If young associates had grown up yachts and bottles "rich" like OP assumed, they would not have had to go $250k in debt for law school. This does not mean they grew up working class. It simply means they did not grow up rich. They may easily have grown up middle class or upper middle class.

You suggest any hiring lawyer who did not grow up poor has negative associations about poor people. I hope this is not the case, and frankly doubt that it is as bleak as you suggest. To your specific example of construction, my firm does construction arbitrations and would look favorably upon someone who worked construction!

To your point about interviewing, I agree. Just saying "I grew up poor" in an interview would be disqualifying. But so would saying "I grew up rich" or "I am a descendant of Native Americans" or "I am left-handed." You need to tie it in to something relevant to the job. Penalizing a candidate for awkwardly inserting a part of his identity into the interview without demonstrating its relevance is not discrimination.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby elendinel » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:54 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.


No one puts all their LSAT scores on their resume for OCI. So I don't know how you get from "this kid listed a scholarship on his resume" to "because he needs the money and deferred law school several times to get that full scholarship."

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.


But this assumes the student with the full scholly at Penn also got into Harvard. Why would you assume this just based on a resume?

I agree with Nony that a fully scholarship is a signal of merit/academic ability, not class. I think there are a lot of assumptions you have to make to assume otherwise, based on what you put here.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Phil Brooks » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:28 pm

elendinel wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.


No one puts all their LSAT scores on their resume for OCI. So I don't know how you get from "this kid listed a scholarship on his resume" to "because he needs the money and deferred law school several times to get that full scholarship."

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.


But this assumes the student with the full scholly at Penn also got into Harvard. Why would you assume this just based on a resume?

I agree with Nony that a fully scholarship is a signal of merit/academic ability, not class. I think there are a lot of assumptions you have to make to assume otherwise, based on what you put here.


Both assumptions I made are reasonable. Regarding 1), it is common sense that if you cannot afford to pay for school, you will gun for a big scholarship.

Regarding 2), go to mylsn.info. People with LSAT scores high enough to get full scholarships at Penn, Columbia, NYU, UChicago routinely get into Harvard. Rich students who can afford to pay sticker for Harvard are more likely to choose it over the full scholarship at the "lower" school.

I would bet that the proportion of poor law students with full scholarship is higher than the proportion of rich law students with full scholarship.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:11 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.

These are reasons why *you* would hire them (also assumptions, but eh). What evidence do you have that employers feel this way?

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby elendinel » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:14 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.


No one puts all their LSAT scores on their resume for OCI. So I don't know how you get from "this kid listed a scholarship on his resume" to "because he needs the money and deferred law school several times to get that full scholarship."

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.


But this assumes the student with the full scholly at Penn also got into Harvard. Why would you assume this just based on a resume?

I agree with Nony that a fully scholarship is a signal of merit/academic ability, not class. I think there are a lot of assumptions you have to make to assume otherwise, based on what you put here.


Both assumptions I made are reasonable. Regarding 1), it is common sense that if you cannot afford to pay for school, you will gun for a big scholarship.

Regarding 2), go to mylsn.info. People with LSAT scores high enough to get full scholarships at Penn, Columbia, NYU, UChicago routinely get into Harvard. Rich students who can afford to pay sticker for Harvard are more likely to choose it over the full scholarship at the "lower" school.

I would bet that the proportion of poor law students with full scholarship is higher than the proportion of rich law students with full scholarship.


It's logical that not rich -> gun for big scholarship, but not that have big scholarship -> you gunned for it and were not rich. You are doing the latter, not the former, when you look at a resume and assume a person isn't well-off because they listed a scholarship. You are assuming a person gunned for a scholarship, and that because they gunned for it, they must not be rich.

Also let me also back up and point out that it's possible to be rich/come from a rich family and not have parents who can/will pay sticker for law school, even for Yale/Harvard. The idea that only poor people need scholarships ever assumes that all rich parents are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school for their kids, which is not true of all rich parents; many rich parents don't pay their kids' law school tuition (or tuition, period). It also almost implies that people who can't spend $200k on law school aren't actually rich, which is also kind of strange, too; a family of three earning $300k may not be able to outright pay sticker Harvard tuition if their kid decides to go there on a whim, but that doesn't mean they aren't rich. So there are plenty of people who are wealthy and still would need their kids to get scholarships, too.

So I don't disagree that there are poor students who gun for scholarships or that there are rich people who don't, etc., but I still think you have to make a lot of assumptions before you get from your A to B. Most of which rely on information you just won't have when you're looking at a resume.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:23 pm

ITT: One SMU student gets the outcome typical for SMU, three people make helpful points, and 20 others screech autistically about nothing.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:36 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:three people make helpful points, and 20 others screech autistically about nothing.

I believe you have just summarized a majority of the threads on tls

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Npret » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:45 pm

OP maybe your eexpectations were unrealistic. Many 0Ls here assume that they will get biglaw and don't for whatever reason.

But you have to keep networking, practicing interviews and hustling. Have you looked at other markets?

Jealousy and regret will just eat you up and waste your energy.

Don't assume the people starting in biglawhavevit nade or that they will last long. You can't predict the future. Life your own life and good luck.

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Second, your attitude you displayed here might have come off in the interview. You have to understand that the vast majority of people in law school come from well off backgrounds. They didn't have to worry about making ends meet, or working shitty jobs, or anything like that. Their "hard work" was the prep class for the ACT and LSAT, or some unpaid internship at a nonprofit they got to enjoy because, "like, I totes already got money so why not help those poor people. Totes looks great on the resume." I once overheard a girl at my law school complaining how she forgot to bring the right shoes on her recent trip to Belize and almost died from trying to figure out logistically how she would meet up with her parents back in the U.S. because they were coming in from the virgin islands a day later. She. Totes. Almost. Died. Man! So people from this type of background, probably the same ones you're complaining about on your law review, are the norm in the legal profession. And, as I've realized, no matter how much better you are than them at legal research and writing, grades, law review, hard work, etc., you won't succeed unless you pretend to like them and be like them. That means learning stupid follow up questions or phrases like, "Oh wow! Tell me more about your ski trip to aspen." Or, " I'm sorry to hear that. I also can't stand it when I reserve a Tee time on the golf course but my assistant has to take a sick day so I can't go." You already likely don't have these experiences to start with so you can't share any of your own, so if you don't get used to being "interested" in their experiences, then you'll be the silent weirdo in convos who has nothing to contribute and is awkward working with. So put on that fake ass overly professional, oh-this-old-thing-I-got-while-backpacking-through-europe? facade and go get yourself a firm job!


Yeah, I wondered how much that fact played in, I do not have a lot of experience in the well-heeled set, and the fit issue probably killed me, not being in the same age/life experience group as the other interviewees. I think sometimes I let the class issue get in my head too much, like I was striving too hard to make myself into something I am not.

Maybe the stars of prestige and big salary got in my eyes and that showed up in my interviews, I was too eager to show that, given the opportunity, I could play in the land of BMW's and Vineyard Vines.

I am going to keep digging and hustling. Hopefully, I can find my "thing" out there where I can do good work, do it reasonably well, and not desire to claw my eyeballs out every other day.

It's not everyday I feel crappy about stuff, usually just when more law review drudgery pops up. For some reason, law review "triggers" all my class insecurities. I am sure everyone can see my (metaphorical) red neck no matter how nice my suit is.


There are a lot of spoiled people in law school, but this idea that law firms harbor and act on an insurmountable bias against poor students is called into question by the facts that 1) someone who has a full scholarship listed on their resume is more likely to get hired, 2) so many young associates in biglaw (including the ones who conduct screener interviews) are there only in order to pay off loans, and 3) the entire interview process, which includes the firm paying for the interviewee's travel, accommodations, and meals, is designed to cater to students who do not have money.

I went through around 20 biglaw interviews and none of them consisted of swapping obnoxious anecdotes about luxurious life experiences. Did any of yours?

OP, I think it is more likely that the bolded was the problem. When you were asked why you wanted to work for a big firm or for biglaw firm X, did you mention just the salary? What reason did you give?


This is the poster who posted the original quote in this chain.

Now I agree that it is likely due to OP overcompensating and trying to show he can play in "the land of BMWs and Vinyard Vines." You can't be a Wolf of Wallstreet dick. Period.

What I meant in my original post is that a lot of law students and therefore a lot of lawyers in big firms come from well off backgrounds and have thereby been largely conditioned to see the world in a particular way, including through explicit and implicit class biases, and have been accustomed to a particular lifestyle that, through their upbringing and biases, they usually assume everyone else also had. So when they're talkin about their fancy stuff, they do it casually because it's the norm for them. They don't intentionally throw it out there like a Wolf of Wallstreet type. So, essentially, don't try too hard. Show interest and act like the norm is being well off, but don't brag about it, or care too much. Just have regular convos about their experiences even though you might not have much interest. Remember, well off people who can't tell they're privileged like to enjoy their privilege and not have it made into a caricature or something negative.

This also doesn't mean you shouldn't talk about your own background or interests. You should, and coming from a disadvantaged background can be seen as a plus. Of course, make sure you watch when and how you talk about it. During interviews, keep it general and short. It should be enough to let them generally know you overcame challenges, and not so specific that it makes them uncomfortable. Something like, "I grew up in X neighborhood, which is a working-class neighborhood in Y state. My family worked with very little money and I worked to help them make ends meet. So I've learned to work hard and" tie it into how you're a work horse and can put in the hours or some benefit you can give the firm. BUT something like the following is definitely a no: "I grew up poor. My family was on food stamps and we were dealing with evictions. I worked construction to make sure everything was ok." This will almost instantly disqualify you.

The same goes for when you're at the office. Keep it general and quick. Once you start getting to know someone more closely, you can start peeling back the layers and reveal a bit more and more while the friendship gets stronger.

I say this because of the same reason why one of the earlier poster's comments that you won't be discriminated against cause of your background is false. You will be discriminated against for growing up poor or working-class. The idea that lawyers have debt so class doesn't matter logic is stupid, even stupider than saying they don't descriminate because they pay for your travels and the lawyers interviewing have debt. Just cause you got debt now doesn't mean you didn't grow up well off. Just cause you might have money now doesn't mean you didn't grow up poor or working class. Your past isn't erased easily like writing on a whiteboard. Your whole existence and view of your surroundings and everything has been conditioned by your environments growing up. So again, having a little debt won't make the hiring lawyer think being on welfare or working construction or any specific thing you did that separates you from their experiences growing up is normal or ok. It just triggers negative stereotypical associations or disassociations, like, as just examples, construction doesn't work well with being a lawyer, or being on welfare/struggling with finances associates with not being good with money or responsibility. They make these quick assumptions whether they want to, explicitly, or not, implicitly.

But people generally like an underdog and overcoming challenges so keeping it general to trigger that is good, but not specific enough to trigger the classism.


OP, here's some advice from someone from a similar (?) socioeconomic situation. I didn't come from a wealthy background (during law school, I lived in a walk up apartment in a cheap city and have never owned a car in my life, despite moving around a lot). However, I did a couple things that I think was what helped me land 2 offers in biglaw (K-JD with bad lower T14 grades):

- Saved up for one or two sets of nice interview suits and shoes (fake it till you make it right?).
- Made sure my resume was printed on nice paper and carried around in a plain leather padfolio.
- Acted calm and confident at my interviews. Smile whenever possible. You want to project wanting the job, but not badly.
- Practiced my pitch dozens of times in a mirror, until I knew it so well I could vary the tone/pitch enough so that it didn't sound rehearsed. The focus was (1) Who I am; (2) What have I done; (3) Where I see my career going; (4) Why I want to work for your firm. Was almost never asked about my interests, which weren't on my resume anyhow. Instead, really focused on calmly and indirectly demonstrating what a go-getter I was. I did this by chatting about my involvement in professional associations. Hopefully you can think of something similar.
- Either did not write thank you emails or kept thank you emails short, polite, and tailored to the individual (tried to mention one or two things we chatted about at interviews). No desperate thank you emails! As an associate who interviews people now, this is a turnoff.

If you do the above, imo no one will even know you're not "from the same class" as they are.


I legit did the exact same thing as you did and had great results. I second this!


I also did pretty much the same thing and landed BigLaw, and I was median UT––––fake it till you make it.

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BasilHallward

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Re: Does Anyone Know How to Get Over Law School Butt Hurt?

Postby BasilHallward » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:50 pm

elendinel wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:How do we know that people who have full scholarships on their resume are more likely to get hired? (And why does that advantage the poor as opposed to the thrifty? I would say it signals academic ability, not class.)


Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will not defer law school by another year in order to boost their LSAT score by 2, 3, 4, 5 points and earn a full scholarship.


No one puts all their LSAT scores on their resume for OCI. So I don't know how you get from "this kid listed a scholarship on his resume" to "because he needs the money and deferred law school several times to get that full scholarship."

Because someone whose parents can easily pay for law school will be more likely to take the prestige of Harvard over a full scholarship at Penn, compared to someone who would have to go $250k in debt for the prestige.


But this assumes the student with the full scholly at Penn also got into Harvard. Why would you assume this just based on a resume?

I agree with Nony that a fully scholarship is a signal of merit/academic ability, not class. I think there are a lot of assumptions you have to make to assume otherwise, based on what you put here.


Both assumptions I made are reasonable. Regarding 1), it is common sense that if you cannot afford to pay for school, you will gun for a big scholarship.

Regarding 2), go to mylsn.info. People with LSAT scores high enough to get full scholarships at Penn, Columbia, NYU, UChicago routinely get into Harvard. Rich students who can afford to pay sticker for Harvard are more likely to choose it over the full scholarship at the "lower" school.

I would bet that the proportion of poor law students with full scholarship is higher than the proportion of rich law students with full scholarship.


It's logical that not rich -> gun for big scholarship, but not that have big scholarship -> you gunned for it and were not rich. You are doing the latter, not the former, when you look at a resume and assume a person isn't well-off because they listed a scholarship. You are assuming a person gunned for a scholarship, and that because they gunned for it, they must not be rich.

Also let me also back up and point out that it's possible to be rich/come from a rich family and not have parents who can/will pay sticker for law school, even for Yale/Harvard. The idea that only poor people need scholarships ever assumes that all rich parents are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school for their kids, which is not true of all rich parents; many rich parents don't pay their kids' law school tuition (or tuition, period). It also almost implies that people who can't spend $200k on law school aren't actually rich, which is also kind of strange, too; a family of three earning $300k may not be able to outright pay sticker Harvard tuition if their kid decides to go there on a whim, but that doesn't mean they aren't rich. So there are plenty of people who are wealthy and still would need their kids to get scholarships, too.

So I don't disagree that there are poor students who gun for scholarships or that there are rich people who don't, etc., but I still think you have to make a lot of assumptions before you get from your A to B. Most of which rely on information you just won't have when you're looking at a resume.


Lawl at the bolded and italicized



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