var googletag = googletag || {}; googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || []; googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); });
device = device.default;
//this function refreshes [adhesion] ad slot every 60 second and makes prebid bid on it every 60 seconds // Set timer to refresh slot every 60 seconds function setIntervalMobile() { if (!device.mobile()) return if (adhesion) setInterval(function(){ googletag.pubads().refresh([adhesion]); }, 60000); } if(device.desktop()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [468, 60], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.tablet()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.mobile()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } googletag.cmd.push(function() { // Enable lazy loading with... googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ // Fetch slots within 5 viewports. // fetchMarginPercent: 500, fetchMarginPercent: 100, // Render slots within 2 viewports. // renderMarginPercent: 200, renderMarginPercent: 100, // Double the above values on mobile, where viewports are smaller // and users tend to scroll faster. mobileScaling: 2.0 }); });
×

Can You Tell Me Specifically Why a Law Firm Rejected My Candidacy?

( 39 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Summary: Are you wondering why a law firm rejected you? Find out what a legal recruiter can and can’t tell you in this article.
 
Should I keep my current job while looking for a new one?

Question: Can you tell me specifically why a law firm rejected my candidacy?


Answer: The shorthand answer is: sometimes, and usually not entirely.

Part of the job of a good recruiter is to get as much information as possible from all parties involved in the process. A good recruiter will get all possible information about a candidate’s background and experience in order to best represent the candidate to law firms, including highlighting a candidate’s experience that is relative to the firm and the position, knowing how to deal with potential “negatives” in a candidate’s background or personal story, and truly tailoring a job search to firms and positions that would actually be a good fit for the candidate, i.e., those that will boost the candidate’s career and provide the best current and future practice opportunities.

A good recruiter also spends a lot of time getting as much information as possible about their law firm clients – everything from the firm’s practice areas, client base, internal culture, hiring needs (both existing and developing), compensation structure, and anything else that would be helpful in selling the firm to prospective candidates and accurately screening candidates for what the firm truly needs so as not to waste the partners’ and recruiting coordinators’ time.

There are limitations on this information, however, as with anything when you are dealing with the real world practice of recruiting as opposed to the Platonic ideal – candidates tend to want to hide potentially negative or damaging things about their background, they may not be forthcoming about deal breakers until very late in the process, or they may inflate (or devalue) their experience in a way that makes finding a firm match more difficult for the recruiter.

Law firms may be very opaque about their budgets, salaries, billable hours, or the turnover rate (and reasons for it) among their attorneys. They may be more or less forthcoming about where they are in the hiring process for a particular position – they do not want to say “no” to a solid candidate who may not look as good on paper as a candidate they are actively courting in the event the “better” candidate takes another position, fails to clear conflicts, etc., so candidates may sometimes feel as if they are left hanging even though they are still potentially under serious consideration.

All of this is a long way of saying that the flow of information is not always free and fast, and it can be compounded by the fact that partners and recruiting coordinators are extremely busy and typically dealing with a high volume of applications for any given position (hundreds, if not potentially thousands of applicants for positions in major markets at top AmLaw firms). Many recruiting coordinators at law firms also do double-duty on HR matters, adding to their workload. Thus, the vast majority of the time, they simply do not have the bandwidth to provide any feedback beyond a simple “no” on the candidate in question (and some firms have a practice of simply not replying unless they are interested in an interview, which recruiters tend to recognize over time, but which can leave individually applying candidates frustrated for lack of a concrete answer). Imagine doing document review where you not only have to flag for responsiveness, but also if you had to type up a justificatory note for each document you rejected as non-responsive – it would take ten times as long!

When information does come, it is usually quite limited. If a candidate is eliminated at the initial screening stage, there may possibly be some feedback from the recruiting coordinator to us recruiters if the candidate does not fit a particular hard-line criteria (that may or may not have been in the initial listing), such as state bar status, GPA cutoff, years of experience (too junior or senior), etc. Recruiting coordinators will typically provide this in the hopes that recruiters will then refrain from loading more candidates on their plate who would be non-starters given the search criteria as dictated by their partners. But beyond very simple, stock feedback that provides some metric such as seniority of class year or lack of a state bar, almost all other feedback will be so generic as to be fairly useless – something along the lines of “not a fit for our group.” While there are some recruiting coordinators who are more candid, and some circumstances where there is more detail (usually there is only additional feedback or detail behind a rejection following an actual interview series), it is not surprising that the feedback is generally generic across the board, as firms are loathe to say anything that might be taken in the wrong way, or that might hint toward any discriminatory basis for a candidate rejection, even if entirely benign.

So at the end of the day, feedback will be generally limited. A good recruiter who has a longstanding relationship with their client firms will still be able to gather and have enough information on hand to guide you in your search process, finding firms that are more likely to be a good fit for you (and vice versa for their client firms), but even the best recruiters will often not have the type of feedback from each individual firm that a candidate may want – that is simply the nature of the system. Understanding this dynamic will help you understand the abilities and limitations of what any particular recruiter will be able to do for you, and will help you focus on the parts of the search process that you can actually control.

See the following articles for more information:
 


Featured Testimonials

I am pleased to state that I was recently hired by an NYC law firm. I would like to thank LawCrossing for its great service.
Michael


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #64: By viewing LawCrossing’s testimonial page, users will see how easy it is to find their dream jobs!

 
Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

I’ve used LawCrossing for years and I think it is terrific. The search features work very well and bring back extremely relevant results. I think it is exactly what it should be.
  • Karen Crupi Highlands Beach, FL