What do you look for in a young lawyer?

Hey everyone, I’ve recently started interviewing candidates for associate positions and I wanted to pick your brains a bit. When you are interviewing young lawyers/laterals to join your firm, what specific characteristics are you looking for? Are you looking at their law school transcripts if they are a year or two removed from law school? Have you found any particular indicators of a candidate’s likelihood to be a long-term employee? Are there any tried and true questions you like to ask to get to know them?

Obviously no right or wrong answers, just curious how others approach hiring. TIA!

-Ryder McCool

It’s going to depend on what level associate I need. If it’s a mid level or senior position I have to be sure that the candidate knows how to jump in with both feet and get started with minimal oversight. For entry level roles, I just want someone who did well enough in school (bonus if they were active in extra-curricular activities) and wants to learn and is generally nice and easy to talk to. The best indicator of someone being a long-term employee in my experience has been actual experience in the same legal field. Someone who did all transactional focused things during school looks like a bigger flight risk for my litigation shop.

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