Legal Career Resources

Law Firms Will Reject Attorneys Immediately for These 9 Reasons
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Are you getting rejected by law firms?

Summary: There are nine distinct reasons for why a law firm will cross an attorney off before even giving them the opportunity to interview.


Read Why Law Firms Reject You to learn more.

Getting a job with a law firm is no easy feat. Rejection is normal in any job search process especially in the legal industry where there are more attorneys than positions. It does not matter what type of applicant you are – law student, associate, partner – the legal market is controlled by other factors. These other factors, such as the economy, can make it difficult for attorneys to find a job.

Read How Can Law Firms Hire and Retain More Diverse Attorneys? for more information.

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When you find yourself applying many times but not getting an interview or getting interviews but no offer then there may be a problem. To understand why you are being rejected, you need to understand the hiring process.

See 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make That Kill Their Careers.

Getting Turned Down Before Getting an Interview

1. Not applying to enough places is a big killer of your chance at getting an interview. No attorney is perfect for any job so you may never know when your credentials are the best fit. The more places you apply, the more chances you have of at least getting one interview.

2. There will be better applicants than you or least there is a very good chance of there being at least one other attorney that has better credentials than you. Those credentials may be experience, stability, business, practice area, quality of work, etc. This is why applying for lots of places gives you a better chance of eventually being one of the better qualified attorneys applying for a job.

3. Being late in the applying process will knock you out of the running before even getting a chance. The most effective way of being considered for a job is to apply as soon as the position opens up. You will be able to immediately grab their attention from the beginning before they can fall in love with other applicants.

4. Not applying to the right kind of law firm will not get you an interview. You need to be interviewing with firms that could have an interest in you. Apply to ones that do work like you do and have hired people like you such as from your law school, law firm, etc.

5. Law firms that don’t think you are serious about your desire to work at the firm will not give you a chance. Interviews take time and money so they want to make sure you are worth that commitment. Working with a recruiter tells them you are serious about getting a job.

6. Stability is a big part of whether a law firm will consider an attorney. If you have a lot of moves in your past or not been at your law firm for very long then the law firm may be concerned that you will leave them within a short time.

7. When your practice area is slow, your chances of getting a job will be slow if even that. When a specific market area really crashes, droves of attorneys in that area will be out looking for new jobs.

8. Not applying to enough markets greatly affects your ability to be considered by a law firm. You need to be open to more than just one market to increase your visibility with law firms. Find a market that needs you instead of waiting for your market to need you.

9. Only applying to firms with openings does not give you enough opportunities for interviews. If you have an expertise in a practice area, don’t hesitate to send law firms your resume that handles that kind of practice area. You never know when a law firm may be considering adding a new attorney to their team. Those without formal openings will not receive as many applications, so there will be less competition.





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