It’s interviewing season, if you’re in your third year of law school and want to work in Big Law. If you already work in Big Law, then it’s recruiting season. Things I’ve learned now that I’m on the other side of this beast:
– Law firms are even needier than law students. No really. They want to know what people are saying about them on campus. They want you to know they’re special. They want to be wanted.
– Career Services Office are perpetuating the unsavory aspects of the legal profession. When I was interviewing, my school’s career services office told me to dress conservatively. Meaning, they said, don’t wear a red suit. That bothered me because I can see a red suit looking good. Now I know that other career services offices tell women not to wear pants and to be sure to wear a pastel button down shirt. Also, some schools discourage women from asking about maternity benefits and part-time schedules. And practically all schools warn against talking about pro bono work.
– I am damn lucky I got a job. The competition is extraordinary. I’m pretty sure I still don’t have half the qualities employers look for: good grades, poise, and the ability to articulate. You don’t believe me but I had a handshake like a dead fish up until a year and a half ago when everybody in my family took turns shaking my hand and then shook their heads at me in disgust and disbelief until I vowed to change my ways. I shake hands hard now and I’m trying (sort of) to look more like a lawyer. Realizing how fortunate I am makes me want to try a little harder.