OCI is Not the Only Show in Town Any More. Meet PRECRUITMENT.

Something new is in the works when it comes to law school recruitment.  For law students who have relied on “On Campus Interviews”, there is now an option in the works.  Maybe  we  all should have seen it coming during uncertain times for law firms as the economy remains uncertain.  Hiring is down, but there is still a demand for top talent.

The following two articles are instructive.  This article  is an important harbinger for all law students seeking summer positions in Big Law and presents the concept of “prerecruiting, and this article is an update on summer associate positions, which turn out to be less of a guarantee of permanent hire after graduation.

The new “Precruiting” scheme seems like a power play from firms under the guise of allowing law students to lock in summer positions early and have more time to concentrate on their studies.  How benevolent.  I guess it has nothing to do with competition and wanting to “one up” other firms participating in traditional On Campus Interviews.

Although I understand the constraints that law firms are experiencing, I still value not using law students as pieces on a chess board.  It seems to me to be a bit disingenuous to pretend to care about the well-being of potential hires in the beginning and then throw them to the side at the end.

Decide for yourself.  And plan accordingly.

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Bravo to the Lawyer Moms

I was in Oklahoma City recently delivering the keynote address at a state bar association conference.  I met many interesting people, including junior lawyers, senior lawyers, male lawyers, female lawyers and judges.  One of the standouts for me was a woman who looked like she could deliver her baby at any minute.  She is a partner in a mid-sized firm, mother of two with a third on the way, and she has my vote for the the I Can Do It All Award.  She did not run off after the luncheon address but stayed for the panel discussion and for the Happy Hour afterwards.  She was all in, with a beautiful smile on her face all the time she was sipping her non-alcoholic beverage and the rest of us were enjoying a glass of wine.

Another woman had an infant in her arms and was doing the “mother rock” in the back of the ballroom throughout my speech.  Most of the audience did not notice her because their attention was focused forward toward me and the screen where the power point was playing.  But, I noticed this woman and her baby, and I loved seeing them there.  It knew that it had to be challenging for her to attend, but I thought that the subject of my speech, Owning Your Career, must have interested her enough to put in the effort.

Later, I saw that young woman with her baby in the hall outside the ballroom.  I told her that I enjoyed seeing her and the baby in the back of the ballroom.  Her response left me speechless.  She told me that, after the speech, she called her husband, who was home taking care of their two-year-old.  She told him that, after hearing me speak, she was sure that she was going to make it through her career challenges.  As she stated, “I now know that I am going to make it because you gave me the confidence I need to meet the challenges and succeed.”  God bless her.  She and others like her are what keep me going at Best Friends at the Bar.

So, when I was thinking about lawyer moms for this blog, I also wondered about the issues of interviewing for a job when you are pregnant.  I have not had that experience, but I found an article that raises all the issues you need to consider if you find yourself in that situation.  Although I am usually on the side of full disclosure, I was surprised to find that I was nodding my head at other possibilities.  I think you will find it helpful if you ever find yourself in that situation or if you are an employer on the other side of the interview.

Best wishes to all you Lawyer Moms.  Bravo!  I feel your pain and also your euphoric feelings of accomplishment.  You rock!

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