Several factors influence a law firm’s hiring decisions. In the next few posts, I will highlight the key considerations. One of the most important factors is whether you fit the firm’s culture. Each law firm has its own office environment. Some are more formal, some are more casual. Some encourage associates to work late hours and to bill as much as possible, while others may encourage a more balanced work life. The culture may be a reflection in part of the clientele or of the geographic location of the firm. For example, a firm in Atlanta, Georgia is more likely to have a diverse culture than a firm in Waycross, Georgia. And remember – even superb grades or excellent writing skills cannot overcome the perception that you will not fit with a firm’s culture.
Research the target firm to get a good grasp of its value system and then examine whether you are a good fit for it. If you aren’t, then consider whether you should pursue working with that firm since you may be setting yourself up for failure or unhappiness. If you think you would be a great fit for the firm’s culture, incorporate subtle references to your shared values in your cover letter or interview.