Friday, February 28, 2014

Will listing quirky interests on your resume enhance your chances of getting a law firm job?

The Wall Street Journal thinks so noting that "[l]aw-school graduates generally have near-identical transcripts and little work experience. Quirky interests, such as 19th century French poetry or a stint as a sports team mascot, can differentiate candidates for law firms."  But the blog The Legal Watchdog urges students to ignore that advice and instead focus on earning good grades.  That's because despite the many changes overtaking the legal services industry, employers generally only consider the traditional criteria for sorting job applicants - grades and class rank.  

I hope prospective and current law students don’t take this article seriously. No one at any law firm will care if you were stuffed into a costume during your five-year, binge-drinking stint at Fayetteville (pictured above) or some other college town, or if you like reading French poetry or have any other “quirky interests.” (Unless those interests are too quirky, in which case the law firm may indeed want to know about them.)

. . . .

. . . the Dog’s advice to law students is to put away your copy of Baudelaire and focus on your class rank instead.

On the other hand, given what a tight job market students face, listing a quirky interest in the hope of catching an employer's eye certainly couldn't hurt your chances (unless it's too weird).  While admittedly a longshot strategy, what's to lose?

Hat tip to Above the Law.


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