« on: October 11, 2010, 10:31:19 AM »
Well, because I won't run a large national firm, I will be able to evaluate candidates more holistically. I will argue that my proposed approach could be adapted by big firms; however, we all know that they never will. I would use a performance approach, similar to what Big suggests. First, I would select candidates for further review by class rank and GPA, regardless of school. So, a candidate with a 3.8 from Cooley gets the same consideration as a Harvard grad (maybe more because Harvard does not issue grades). Because my firm will be local to Nevada (mostly likely, and for argument's sake), I would give the most weight to manifest and objective ties to NV. Therefore, graduates of Boyd, and graduates from other law schools who have lived in Las Vegas or in NV for a significant period of time get preference. The reasons for this are manifold: Las Vegas has peculiar climate (nearly an 80-degree temperature change from Summer to Winter); Las Vegas is a 24-hour town that exploits those with predisposition to addictions or lack of self control; Las Vegas is generally a transient town. So, naturally, I want people who are likely to stay in Nevada long-term.
My second factor would be manifest evidence of relevant legal experience or superior academic performance (which tends to show capacity to learn). The types of things that would embody this requirement are too numerous to list. However, I prefer real experience to academic potential. That real world experience must involve some form of demonstrable success in real life, but not necessarily law (it could be accounting, business, teaching, nursing, ect.) Real world success (that involves or approximates the representation of real clients or embodies equivalent skills) trumps academic success without experience.
So, in selecting a pool of people to interview, I would also randomly select a few "underdogs". Then, I would interview the pool on a purely subjective standard (likeability). Those who I don't like lose, regardless of qualifications. Once I get a pool of 5, I would subject those five to a battery of objective tests. I would use performance on the tests (both academic and practical) to wittle the pool down to two. Those two would compete against one another in some objective trial by ordeal (moot court or mock trial or writing competition or some combination thereof). The best candidate would win.
This is a time-consuming and costly approach. It also is worth its weight in gold to me. It will ensure the best candidates get hired. Because I don't take shortcuts, I usually create better mousetraps. I learned this from the USMC. Afterall, only the few and the proud can be Marines.