Interview #31 – Clueless at the Top

Much like the interview, this post will be short.

I applied to a BigLaw opening and somewhat surprisingly got a call back. The HR director gave me a quick run through the position and dangled a truly wonderful salary in front of me. It was supposedly for a real attorney position and in my specific field too. So I was excited at the prospect of working somewhere substantively in exactly what I want to do.

They got my availability and said they would double check with the partner to see when they were available for a phone interview. A week went by, long enough that I tried calling back but got no answer or return call. Finally HR called back and setup the phone interview for a week later. An odd sidenote, but rather than have them call me for the phone interview, I was directed to call them; a little weird.

Doing the usual pre-interview research I decided that if this man asked me to murder someone for the job I would. The job was almost literally everything I could want. At the appointed time, I called in and started talking to the guy. The job was even better than I could have hoped. They actually said they had a hard time keeping attorneys in the position because the corporate clients kept hiring them into higher paid in-house positions. It sounded amazing.

First the job suddenly was downgraded to a staff attorney position; still possible although I am sure the salary was also downgraded. It is possible he was not using the right terms, because he did say something about required billables which usually staff attorneys don’t have, so I’m not sure. Then the real stupid started. You see, it turned out the partner didn’t know the difference between a “Contract Attorney” and an “Attorney-who-does-contracts” (i.e. transactional work). Now, I know how to draft and edit contracts, but apparently they looked at my resume and thought “Wow, look at all the contract work this person has done. They sure do have a lot of experience with contracts!”

The next few minutes were horrible as I had to explain to a senior partner at a huge law firm exactly what a contract attorney actually is. Mind you, I know their firm has probably hundreds of contract attorneys working for them everyday. And this guy had zero clue about what they did or how they were hired (i.e. direct hire contracts versus 3rd party companies who provide contract labor etc.) He actually asked who is “Insert Giant Contract Attorney Provider Company Here”. The interview wound down pretty quickly thereafter. I don’t expect a call back.

I think I should have lied.

2 thoughts on “Interview #31 – Clueless at the Top”

  1. So what? Even if it looks fishy to you, why did you not try to take it? So many law graduates complaining about the legal market, but I am instead seeing how picky they are. If you are on interview 31 and have no job, and if it sounds even remotely good, why not try? Stop judging based on your own assumptions. Law students/graduates think too much and it’s not a good thing.

    1. I would have taken it in an instant. You seem to assume an offer was extended, unfortunately that is not the case. I sent a personalized thank you note after the interview which stated I could do the work and some relevant info, but to no avail. Rejection showed up after about 3 weeks. The truth is, recently I only have received one ‘offer’ and it was for a job which was so bad, I would have not been able to stop looking for a job even while working an unreasonable amount of time (interview #30). A contract position with no actual definition of what the hourly pay would be (woo!). If the only option is a job which leaves you in a worse position than being unemployed, what would you do?

      Also… one sign of a good attorney is thinking too much. If they don’t, you likely have a crappy attorney working for you. It’s really not that we are ‘too picky’, but if someone offers you a job for $35K as an attorney (strangely large number out there attempting to do so), you should turn it down. Whoever offers that is taking advantage of your bad situation and fucking you over. You can’t even pay off a marginal student loan for any law school on that salary. I suppose if you didn’t have to live somewhere or eat you could…

      The only reason I have had so many interviews, as stated elsewhere, is that I apply to everything. You never know what might stick. I got a call today for a potentially questionable PI firm I sent a resume to, but hey… I’ll hear them out.

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