Tiffany Farber is a solo practitioner who has been practicing law since 2008. As someone who has been through transition in her career, she understands the challenges lawyers in this situation face.
Some people suck. It’s unfortunate, but true. I realize that my blogs tend to have a “Kumbaya” nature to them sometimes, but I stand firm in my belief that not everyone out there is worth your time. As a job seeker, you probably have a laundry list of things that bum you out. Fear not, you’re not alone.
I was talking to an attorney colleague of mine a few weeks ago about an experience she had. She has a small general practice, but she has always been passionate about going into environmental law. She is so passionate about this area that she reads up, attends CLEs and does everything she can to gain experience in it. Through networking, she was put in touch with an attorney who is very well known for his work in this area. He was looking for an intern. My friend offered to do work for him, for free, to gain exposure to the law. When asked about her legal experience, she provided thoughtful, in-depth answers and conveyed her extreme interest in working for him. To her shock, she received an extremely rude response from him, basically, “thanks but no thanks” but not quite that nice. Was my friend unqualified to work with him? Absolutely not. She is an extremely bright attorney with many important experiences under her belt. Perhaps this attorney was looking for something different in an intern, but he was a jerk to her. This really made her feel terrible, and rightly so. I think it would make anyone feel terrible. I reminded her that some people are just jerks, and it is no reflection on her ability as an attorney.
The moral of the story is, you may experience similar feedback during your job search, but you should try not to take it too personally. It’s hard not to get pissed or feel hurt when someone gives you the brush off, but just remember that you’re not alone.
Some attorneys are more gracious than others. They may say you don’t have the right kind of experience yet still thank you for interviewing. On the other hand, you may apply for a job and never hear back at all. With so many attorneys applying for jobs, it’s likely that you won’t hear back from many of the potential employers that you contact. But, if someone is outright rude to you, just remember that you can choose not to keep that person in your life. Besides, if a potential contact or employer is beyond rude, do you really want to work for them anyway?
There are so many great people out there, try to focus on them. You’re challenge this week is to try not to let the jerks get you down.