My afternoon callbacks either started with lunch or ended with dinner. I also had full day callbacks. Usually the meal was with 2-3 associates and a partner.
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Messages - Peaches
I meant a social asset in a professional office; you just have to pass the "lunch test." Are you someone that associates, partners, and clients can enjoy going to lunch with? (That's why callbacks always have a meal.) It's not about winning Miss Popular; you just have to be pleasant to talk to, interesting, and your spouses need to get along at cocktails.
The other social skills I included are "the ability to quickly read people, identify their needs, cultivate relationships and sell."
It really only matters what your clients, bosses, judges, and (on very rare occasions) a jury think about you.
And being viewed as a social asset, competent and respected is more important than being the most popular. So it wouldn't matter what the hell the public thinks, and I don't know or care why some lawyers like lawyer jokes.How can it not matter what public perception is of you when your job is in service? How can you be a social asset if you don't relate to the public, build trust, and put them at ease?
Again, I'm talking about big firm law. Executives know their companies need attorneys, and pick a firm that has competent lawyers that they've built a personal or professional relationship with. It doesn't matter what your grandmother thinks of the legal profession at-large or if Jay Leno tells lawyer jokes on late-night.
Campbell is no more religious than any other law school. I'm sure the interview is to make sure you're not a babbling idiot; if you didn't get in after yours, it wasn't because you weren't Christian enough.
I'm not impartial, but (hopefully) well-reasoned. I contemplated attending lower-ranked T1 schools and certainly wasn't solely prestige-focused. The disparity between my large public undergrad and the resources and opportunities available at my T14 -- as well as the reception I get with the fancy name on the resume, has convinced me I made the right decision. My undergrad/law school combo allows me to feel equally at home in two circles: I can go "down home" back to my roots with certain groups, and hold my own with the elites. (The T14 degree is essential to this because firms are inherently elitist.)
I'm still in school, but worked in "the leading class" before going to law school.
What makes a good lawyer? It depends on the type of law. Thinking of traditional biglaw litigators going for partner, I'd probably suggest the following:
More than anything, I believe what makes a good lawyer is a form of intelligence called cognitive complexity -- essentially, the ability to see an argument from both sides, explore the relationships between pieces of information, multidimensional thinking. It encompasses creative thinking and critical thinking skills.
A few other qualities: the ability to translate that into an argument form, the ability to efficiently explain difficult concepts, judgment and intuition, and people skills: the ability to quickly read people, identify their needs, cultivate relationships and sell. And being viewed as a social asset, competent and respected is more important than being the most popular. So it wouldn't matter what the hell the public thinks, and I don't know or care why some lawyers like lawyer jokes.
I purposefully used the vague term "leading class" because I didn't want to constrain it with "old money" associations. "Old money" groups overlap but don't define leading class. I mainly mean, though, the kinds of people that you would likely encounter working in biglaw -- the people who chair every high society board, millionaire partners, CEOs/business executives, judges, etc.
Quite honestly, I think T14 students are more likely to possess those non-academic qualities coming in to school. The professional and academic accomplishments that T14 students have accumulated before coming to law school really are intimidating. Whether by merit (professional, academic, etc.) or by family connections, they're also more likely to be comfortable operating in the social circles of the leadership class.
I've noticed that a lot of students (T14 and T4 alike) who have not had those professional or social experiences -- when they're trying to be "professional" (writing or in person) -- tend to be overbearing, use overly formal or antiquated language, have a poor grasp of tone in professional communications, have poor etiquette, and have poor judgment about when to take risks in revealing information. In short, they don't come off as professional as they think they do because they are oblivious to unwritten codes of social behavior among the leadership class.
And don't judge our social abilities in professional situations based on anonymous comments on a message board.