Building a Better Legal Profession's Guide to Law Firms: The Law Student's Guide to Finding the Perfect Law Firm Job

Overview

The law firm hiring process is something that the vast majority of students at top law schools will experience during their 2L year, but it’s also something of a mystery. In contrast to the lively availability of guidebooks to the first year of law school, books about law firm hiring are almost non-existent, which leaves students with the burden of figuring it out on their own. Unfortunately, law firm hiring isn’t set up in a way that’s conducive to helping students make informed decisions—law firm interviews are...

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Overview

The law firm hiring process is something that the vast majority of students at top law schools will experience during their 2L year, but it’s also something of a mystery. In contrast to the lively availability of guidebooks to the first year of law school, books about law firm hiring are almost non-existent, which leaves students with the burden of figuring it out on their own. Unfortunately, law firm hiring isn’t set up in a way that’s conducive to helping students make informed decisions—law firm interviews are easy and amount to informal chats about the candidate, each of the firms follow the same protocol of flying their best candidates out for second-round interviews and wining and dining them at the same fancy restaurants, and the glossy brochures project the same polished image. So the choice between firms is often arbitrary, and based on subjective criteria such as the relative prestige of the firm. Unfortunately, many students get to law firms and regret their choice—for a job with starting salaries of 165k a year, firm attrition rates are startlingly high, with 40% of young associates leaving the firm within 3 years, and 62% by the end of their fourth. Some of those students didn’t have a clear idea of what firm life would entail. Some of them just picked the wrong firm. Clearly a little more guidance upfront about choosing a firm could save students a lot of trouble later on.

Beyond what BBLP publishes online, Building a Better Legal Professions's Guide to Law Firms gives career guidance and stories from the professionals already at the legal firms reviewed. It's truly a balanced report of factors needed to make an intelligent choice of where to spend your career.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781427798381
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Building a Better Legal Profession is a national grassroots movement that seeks market-based workplace reforms in large private law firms. By publicizing firms' self-reported data on billable hours, pro bono participation, and demographic diversity, we draw attention to the differences between these employers. We encourage those choosing between firms — students deciding who to work for after graduation, corporate clients deciding who to hire, and universities deciding who to allow on campus for interviews — to exercise their market power and engage only with the firms that demonstrate a genuine commitment to these issues.

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Table of Contents

Foreword v

A Note on BBLP viii

Introduction xv

Debunking the Vault Myth xviii

Part I The State of the Legal Profession 1

Chapter 1.1 The Modern Law Firm: A Brief History 3

Going to Heaven: Trends in the Modern Law Firm 16

Part II Finding Your Perfect Law Firm Job 23

Chapter 2.1 So What Do You Actually Want to Do? 25

Chapter 2.2 So What Is It Like at Law Firms Anyway?: An Insider's View 28

A Day in the Life of a Summer Associate 29

A Day in the Life of an Associate 33

Chapter 2.3 The Law Firm Hiring Process 38

Technology and the Legal Profession 76

When Law Firm Interviewing Goes Wrong 80

Part III How to Distinguish Between Firms 83

Chapter 3.1 Choosing a Practice Area 85

Chapter 3.2 Choosing Sides: Litigation or Transactional Work? 94

Chapter 3.3 Practice Area Overview 101

Chapter 3.4 Location, Location, Location: Geographical Differences Between the Major Domestic Legal Markets 133

Getting a Law Firm Job Abroad 142

Chapter 3.5 What Money Can't Buy: Quality of Life in a Big Law Firm 146

Choosing a Best Law Firm for Women 160

Chapter 3.6 Diversity Initiatives 164

Coloring Expectations 174

Finding an LGBT-Friendly Law Firm 177

Chapter 3.7 Evaluating Pro Bono at Elite Law Firms 182

Chapter 3.8 Law Firm Partnership Models 194

Part IV Maximizing Your Associate Experience 201

Chapter 4.1 Using Your Summer Experience to Evaluate a Law Firm 203

Chapter 4.2 Maximizing Your Opportunities: The Multi-Year Hiring Trajectory 205

How to Succeed at a Law Firm 208

Part V Report Cards and Rankings 215

Appendix 1 The Foreign Legal Markets 315

Appendix 2 How We Did This 325

Notes 329

Index 336

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