So you’re applying for a “law job”

Our firm is currently going through the second round of interviews for our jr litigator/solicitor position.  As the position is a junior position, we were overwhelmed (almost) with applications and had to whittle them down for the first round interview process.

Through this “whittling” process, I found recurring “themes” in applications that led me to put them in the “no interview” pile.  If you’re currently searching for a “law job” or frankly, “any job” maybe this will help or maybe it won’t, but if you’re going to read on here, these are some of the reasons applicants did not get offered an interview:

  1. The applicant spelled the firm name wrong.  In one case, they spelled the name incorrectly, three different ways, in one letter.  Yes, our firm name is long, but if you want to be a lawyer, you’re going to need to pay attention to detail.
  2.  The applicant didn’t include everything that was asked for in the job listing: if the ad says include transcripts, it means, include transcripts.
  3. The applicant addressed the letter to another law firm.  This happens more often than you would like to think.
  4. The applicant sent the application by regular mail, when the instructions were clear it was to be sent by email.  These type of instructions in a job application matter: if you’re not going to take direction at the application point, odds are, you are not going to respond well to being asked to do things when hired.
  5. The applicant did not explain why they were applying to the position in their covering letter.  This is particularly important when a resume does not show any history of the type of work we do.  We’re open to hiring juniors with no business law experience, but we would like to know why they’re applying.

We learn more from our mistakes, than our successes.  So, if you’re finding you’re not getting interviews, take a close look at your applications in light of the above, you might find the answer is in the details.

Inga B. Andriessen JD