The Two “Whys” of Job Hunting for Lawyers

You have landed an interview for your dream law job.  Maybe you sent in a resume and cover letter and you were fortunate to be selected from a pile of applicants for the first round. Perhaps a recruiter introduced you to the law firm or company.  Or more likely, you leveraged your network* to help your resume rise to the top of the pile and get you in the door.  Perhaps you aren’t sure yet if this is your dream job; but now it is game time.

Over the years, I’ve prepared hundreds of candidates for interviews and while my advice about interviewing still stands (updated here for a virtual world), I’ve come to appreciate that there are two key questions that you need to be able to answer convincingly in an interview:  Why should the firm or company hire you? and Why do you want the job?

On the surface, why should the firm hire you may seem obvious. They selected you for an interview because you have the skills and experience that they need.  You need to be able to address questions that get to the core of your competence to perform the job.  If you are asked about experience that you lack, you need to be able to explain how other things you have done can make up for anything that is missing from your resume.

But even more important is your ability to explain why you are the best candidate (i.e. beyond your competence).

One way to do this is to demonstrate that you are the candidate that really wants to job.  Companies like to hire individuals that are interested in them (i.e. not candidates who are merely trying to leave a bad situation or candidates who are interested in them but are really just looking for a better paycheck).

Beyond showing enthusiasm to continue with the process and explaining that you meet the requirements in the job description, what are some

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In a Tight Labor Market, Show the Love

beatles_concert-862x453Thanks to my colleague Amy Levine for her valuable input and wisdom which helped in drafting this post.

It continues to be a strong labor market and the war for legal talent remains fierce in some circles.  Good candidates have options and great candidates are not staying on the job market for very long. 

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