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12 Reasons You Can’t Land an Interview
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not getting interview

Summary: Harrison Barnes tells us why attorneys aren’t getting interviews at law firms.

Read the full article: Top 12 Reasons Attorneys Do Not Get Law Firm Interviews.


What’s the main reason attorneys don’t get the interviews they want?

They give up.

Unless you’ve made an egregious ethical mistake or have a serious criminal record, you’re employable. You just have to work hard enough and set your expectations at a realistic level.

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Here are the main reasons attorneys get rejected:

1.  The firm gets better applicants:

Law firms typically receive over 300 applications for each position. In the end they only hire one (or at most, a few) of those candidates. The odds are not stacked in your favor; don’t take it personally when you don’t get an interview.

2.  The application is late:

When the firm has already started the hiring process and is interviewing candidates, they are not likely to consider applications that come in during that time. It’s important to find a legal recruiter who will submit your resume before the opening is even publicized.

3.  The candidate didn’t go to a good law school:

There are law firms that will only accept students from the most prestigious law firms, regardless of other credentials.

4.  The candidate’s law school was too good:

Other law firms will not accept students from prestigious law firms because they think those candidates will be entitled, cause problems, or leave when another opportunity comes up.

5.  The candidate is a flight risk:

A lot of money, time, and effort go into hiring a new attorney. Firms want someone who will stick around. When it appears you may jump ship, the firm may choose another candidate who will stay.

6.  The candidate got bad grades:

Some law firms hold grades in high regard, even when it comes to established lateral partners. There is not much that can be done to persuade them otherwise. Try to leave your grades off your resume if they aren’t the very best.

7.  The candidate is too entrepreneurial:

If your history shows a tendency to start other businesses and major projects like setting up your own firm, the firm may assume you’ll do it again and leave. This can hurt the morale at the firm, so they may stay clear of you. Find a way to downplay your entrepreneurial experience or turn it into a positive.

8.  The candidate’s experience is not on-point or good enough:

A firm may only look at candidates that have years of specific experience. For example, if you try to be a patent attorney without an appropriate degree, you will have a tough time proving they have the expertise to do the job. You need to play up your relevant experience.

9.  The candidate is not at a firm:

When you’re not currently working at a firm, prospective employers may make assumptions about you. You will have to fight to show you can do the job.

10.  The candidate is currently unemployed:

Being unemployed is a red flag for law firms. Find a way to spin it into a positive.

11.  Background doesn’t match the firm:

Some firms look for candidates with a similar political, racial, gender, hobby, sexual orientation, religious, or other background. Don’t get upset if you’re a strong male applicant but an all-woman firm decides not to consider you. Look for firms who will welcome you.

12.  Age:

Age can be a deal breaker for many law firms. They want young attorneys who are willing to take orders and work many hours. Find an employer who will see your age and experience as a benefit.




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