Opinion

What is Wrong With Above the Law and Joe Patrice?
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Summary: Harrison Barnes has recently been the target of criticism from Above the Law for publishing a set of resume guidelines for attorneys.

  
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Another day, another negative article from Above The Law writer Joe Patrice (Note: I use the word “writer” loosely as it’s unclear based upon his work whether he qualifies as the same). Instead of being happy it’s Friday (or, I don’t know, smiling), Joe has chosen to kick off the weekend by once again picking apart recruiter Harrison Barnes for simply doing his job:  sharing his extensive knowledge of the legal industry’s hiring practices, particularly big law firms, based upon his two decades of experience as a legal recruiter.

As a side note, we have noticed that these articles tend to be published every time Barnes gets a legal victory against their biggest advertiser. Click here to view the $42,500 judgment against Kinney Recruiting and Robert Kinney that Barnes recently received in court.

Specifically, Mr. Patrice, as I’m sure he’s encouraged to do so by his employer Above the Law (a/k/a the Negative Nancy of the legal blogosphere), spends paragraphs picking apart a recent article by Barnes listing certain items that should be removed from a resume when submitting to some of the most prestigious law firms on the globe; a list which suggests removing  certain formatting and content blocks, inappropriate word usage, and whether or not you are a member of Mensa (who cares, by the way).

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Joe Patrice

Joe Patrice

Also on this list, like it or not, are items such as your affiliation and/or memberships in certain organizations, including any religious, ethnic or LGBT organizations. That’s right, Barnes said it. His goal, as a top legal recruiter, is to get you a job. As a lawyer.  In Corporate America. If you’re offended or shocked that Barnes outright says that these affiliations or memberships should not be included on your resume submission to oh, let’s say, Skadden Arps, I’d urge you to read a newspaper or simply look around and join us in the real world (Welcome. We’re glad to have you). If you don’t like the realities of what Barnes has to say, then work to change it like the rest of us do. However, misguiding what appears to be your generally negative attitude towards everyone and pinning it on Mr. Barnes is amateur and desperate at best, especially when Barnes himself states he is just the messenger.



Joe Patrice

Joe Patrice

If you insist on obsessing about Barnes, which by the way is an issue you may want to discuss with your therapist, perhaps you should write a piece on Barnes’ recent article entitled: Two Fatal Deficiencies that Prevent 99% of Attorneys from Achieving Greatness which discusses searching for and maintaining that inner positive energy and drive throughout your legal career in order to be successful. Maybe even comment on his article entitled: Travel Ideas for Attorneys and who knows, maybe an attorney will read it, get inspired to take a trip and return to the office a nicer, more tolerant person and it will all be because of you. Whatever you do, try and change the narrative from the negative to the positive instead of attacking and mischaracterizing Barnes’ recruiting advice as somehow hateful when he is simply maximizing legal candidates’ chances of getting hired by passing on his knowledge of the legal market, based upon his experience, to the very people that are seeking to join it.

I’m going to do you a favor and not even address your comparison of the legal world to the television industry, because the difference between watching a commercial that makes you want to go out and buy Cheerios as opposed to trying to get a job so you have the money to even eat cereal, are two very different things not worthy of my time (remember, I’ve already wasted a bunch of it today reading your article). I will say that your naivety makes me question whether you’ve actually ever  been in the sink-or-swim corporate world, at any level. I have to admit, I laughed out loud when you said not to remove certain activities from your resume just because they identify who are – “maybe it costs you a job somewhere – if it does you don’t want to work there anyway.” Sure. Ok. And then I’ll just get on my magic carpet and meet my unicorn friends for lunch at Nobu.

Listen, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that does not agree that many industries, not just the legal industry, are plagued by prejudice in whatever form and no one is downplaying just how disturbing such prejudices are. However, perpetuating that cycle by mindlessly attacking an individual for your own ad clicks is a turn off. The system needs to be changed. The legal industry, among others, is in desperate need of a revamp, but change comes from within and in small, calculated steps, not in the form of over-exaggerated articles like yours, trying to take down a recruiter whose job is to place people in an environment that I’m pretty sure they knew existed when they signed up for law school.

I urge you to refocus your energy and become part of the solution, rather than the problem. Maybe do a yoga class to increase your endorphins. Maybe try a shot of wheatgrass to get your circulation going. But either way do something positive because in this new millennial world, being miserable isn’t cool.

You can read the article by Joe Patrice on Above the Law here: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/08/how-to-make-your-resume-shine-for-racist-homophobic-misogynists/

The original article written by Harrison Barnes can be found here: https://www.bcgsearch.com/article/900042905/6-Things-Attorneys-and-Law-Students-Need-to-Remove-from-their-Resumes-ASAP-if-They-Want-to-Get-Jobs-with-the-Most-Prestigious-Law-Firms/

Read more about Above the Law’s attacks on Harrison Barnes here:

SLIME FOR CASH: Above the Law Joins Albert’s (a.k.a. Robert Kinney’s) Decade-Long Ballistic Cyberbullying Campaign to Destroy Competitor for Firing Him



 

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