Law School Discussion

Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?

The Knight

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Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« on: July 13, 2008, 08:41:21 AM »
I'm going to make a confession here: I know very little about Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and the National Football League.  I tend to prefer college sports when I watch or view go to a game.  However, I tire of not being (at least a little bit) knowledgeable about the major professional sports leagues/teams.

As professional sports tend to be a common topic in firm life I'd like some suggestions on places to learn more about professional sports and common topics related to them.  I realize that is a great place to start, but I feel like my eyes are being raped when I look at their webpage; it's simply so much information at once. 

I realize that some of these questions may sound childish, but I didn't really grow up in a heavy sports environment.  Soccer was really big in my high school, and my undergraduate school didn't have a football team.  The law school that I will be attending has a football team (a pretty good one), and like I said, I know a good deal about college ball.  However, when I start doing firm interviews and someone asks me "Yankees or Mets?" I want to be able to at least bull a little bit about the teams. 

With all that being said, is it more common to have one team that you know everything about, or a general knowledge of the league?  I assume it is similar to college ball: you have a team you really like and you know which other teams you really want them to kick the poo out of.  Also, some favorite players (ex. White and Slayton for WVU), some least favorite players (White and Slayton for WVU), and what they are known for (running the ball and then dropping it, constantly).

If all this is too general then just some advice on where to start a little bit of research would be awesome.



Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 08:52:33 AM »
I find it hard to believe one knows a team very well, but doesn't know the rest of the league.

It's pretty easy to BS knowledge of other sports one doesn't normally keep up with.  Just read an espn article or two, maybe watch an hour of the sport on TV and keep up with which team leads their division, league, or whatever.

I think knowing too much about all sports will give a bad impression to a potential hiring law firm.


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Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 09:05:47 AM »
I think what kind of knowledge will be helpful depends on the location you're looking in.

If you're interviewing in Boston, there is a rabid following of the Celtics, the Patriots, and obviously the Red Sox (it's not called Red Sox nation for nothing).  So professional sports is huge, and having a general knowledge of how the Sox are doing, how well they're playing, and how the big names are doing will be hugely helpful.

I'm finding in the south it's all about college sports (at least in Atlanta).

So I wouldn't worry about knowing a ton on every major sport out there; think about what people talk about most in the relevant area, and get some background.  Read the wiki page on the local team if its popular, watch espn for the scores and how the team's doing this season, etc.  And by finding out how the team is doing, you'll also start to get a handle on how teams in the rest of the league is doing (or at least get a handle on what other teams are even in the league!)


Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 09:08:59 AM »
Why not just be true to yourself? If you don't like organized sports than why try to learn about them just to fit in? Or, if you do have an interest than just start watching the games and it will start to click.

Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 09:50:32 AM »
I would read the local paper online and then go to espn or google for research if something doesnt make sense.

Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 10:12:01 AM »
Buy sports video games.  You'll learn the rules of the game, and the names of current players and teams.  And you'll have fun doing it, because it's interactive.

Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 10:30:42 AM »
I think having sports knowledge, or at least a semi-relevant opinion about a given sport or team is worthwhile in one of three situations: (1) you're interviewing in a place with a rich sports tradition (2) you attended a college/law school with a prominent sports team (3) you currently live or grew up in a place with a rich sports tradition. If you're from Mississippi and you're interviewing for a job in Milwaukee, I don't think an interviewer is going to ask you your opinion on the Brewers or whether Ole Miss is going to make a run for an SEC championship anytime soon. However if you're from Boston, you might get a comment like "Man you guys have had a run of luck lately" or something along those lines.

For what it's worth, in every interview I've had, I have been specifically asked about sports by at least one of the interviewers. If you're put in a similar situation, I don't think it's necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of the sports team (i.e. what the Yankees team ERA and batting average are), but a general understanding of how the teams are doing (i.e. Looks like the Yanks will make hte playoffs again), or how the teams have done recently (i.e. Boston should make a run again for the NBA championship since they won last year, and Garnett/Pierce/Allen are all back next year).

I grew up in NJ (Jets/Giants/Yankees/Mets), went to both undergrad and law school at PSU (Paterno), and interviewed for positions in NJ and Pittsburgh (Steelers). Pretty much, Joe Paterno's contract situation and age have been unavoidable questions for me. With the Pittsburgh firm, they merely asked me what team I rooted for and told them the Jets. We had all had a laugh after I received some friendly groans, and they told me "Well at least you're not a Patriots fan."


Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 10:56:08 AM »
Despite not being from Boston, I'm a HUGE Patriots fan.  Will this be an issue?

Should it be an issue?  Might they think you're a bandwagon fan or something?  Is this even a serious question?

Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 11:35:58 AM »
This may sound simplistic, but I get everything I need to know about the sports world from Sportscenter.  It's all there, stats, quotes, standings, and most importantly TOP PLAYS.  "Did you see the catch (insert player) made last night?"  Great water cooler ammo from good ole Sportscenter.  And you don't have to make time to watch it.  It is on ALL MORNING LONG.  Watch it while you get dressed. 

Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 12:03:16 PM »
What firm social life?  It may be useful for interviewing and summer events.  But at most firms, attorneys don't really talk to each other about non-work related topics.