Firms Make Impressions Too

Your reputation precedes you, and if it doesn’t, how you carry yourself will quickly color how people interact with you. Keep in mind that although it is immensely important to ensure you interact well with attorneys and various individuals in law firms, it is equally important you also build a good reputation with your peers. Your peers include those within your class and those either a class ahead or behind you. Even if you do not believe these peers can help you get a job, you should remember (1) you do not know who is connected to whom in the industry and (2) even if your peers cannot affect or influence your current job search, they may be asked in the near future to lend an assessment of you. Never discount someone simply because in their current status you do not believe they wield any influence.

With that said, firms also make an impression through their representatives at various networking events, panels, and interviews. There are firms who readily address it, and they know we talk amongst ourselves about our own experiences and whether it colors our perception and impression of this firm as a whole. Like any organization or group or even at school, there will be individuals who are outgoing and an open book and others who may be less bubbly, open, or loquacious than others. Depending on which of these individuals you feel comfortable speaking to or with, it will influence your interaction or your impression of the firm. You should not necessarily generalize or fault an organization as a whole because an individual may not be your cup of tea.

Essentially, if a specific individual impresses upon you the firm’s particular image or culture, you must keep in mind that this individual cannot and probably will not represent the entire firm as a whole. The individual may actually only represent a small fraction, either his or her particular department or even just him or herself as a person. Give the firm another chance by reaching out to speak to someone else you find either through alumni connections or simply browsing the firm’s website to find someone aligned to your interests. Discuss with peers or upperclassmen to find out more because this one person may simply be an anomaly. On the other hand, the person may be the norm, but you want to ensure you do your homework before forming a full impression. If even after your research and your impression remains unchanged, well, firms do make an impression on us too

2 Comments

Evan Guthrie posted on November 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Good advice for law students and law firms.

Hugh Price posted on January 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Beside establishing a good impression or reputation, there are multiple lessons to be learned in this article. That’s why I’m a firm believer to help others without expecting anything in return as you never know when you may come across those you helped later on in life. Don’t forget that everyone is pretty much connected one way or another.

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