Monday, October 10, 2005

At least I didn't have to be in the office today to see half of my associates show up and the other half claim some sort of right to stay home just because we've decided that today we honor the guy who discovered the New World. You know the first thing Columbus did when he found America? He got to work. He named the native people, he spread some disease... he worked. As should everyone else. Columbus Day is another holiday trumped up by the greeting card companies.

But I'm not in the office. I'm at Harvard for interviews. Today and tomorrow. Today's went as well as could be expected. At least this year I don't have to fake any small talk about the Red Sox, since they've mercifully been put out of their misery. I just watched the end of the Angels-Yankees game. I didn't want either team to win; I suppose I rooted for terrorists to blow up the stadium. Who's a Dodgers fan to root for when it's those two?

Half the interviewees commented on the rainy weather. An opening to reassure them that, of course, if they choose us, they'll never have to deal with weather like this again. The weather talk is great in Boston. They eat it up. I get a whole routine out of it. It's a bigger selling point than our unmatched training program. It's a bigger selling point than the "small firm values with large firm opportunities," or whatever we've plastered on the cover of the brochure this year.

I can do the whole pitch with half my brain figuring out how to manipulate associates into doing my dry cleaning. Our mentoring program is the best in its class. Our lecture series has won awards. We’ll teach you everything you need to know. You won’t be flying solo. We have a culture of collaboration. We have a commitment to cooperation. We have an open-door policy. You advance at your own pace. We give you as much responsibility as you can handle. There is no face time. You set your own hours. We treat you like the professional you are. We work hard, but we play hard. It’s all about the people. We have great people. The people here are like nowhere else. You’ll do good work everywhere, but it’s the people that make the difference. You will love the people here.

We’re a leading full-service international law firm with a proven track record for meeting the needs of our clients. Our clients come first. They rely on us for top-notch service. You won’t find a place with more interesting cases or more challenging work. Our clients are on the front pages of newspapers worldwide. Our work is unparalleled. Our practice is global. Our commitment to excellence is clear. Across all of our practice groups, what ties the firm together is our pursuit of excellence. We’re on the cutting-edge. We serve our clients domestically, and around the world. We have a strong presence in all of the major financial centers. Leaders in business count on us. Our success speaks for itself. Our list of awards is substantial and impressive.

We place a premium on collegiality. We strive to maintain an informal working atmosphere. We are committed to diversity. We treat each other with dignity and respect. We know what really matters in life. Our benefit package is state of the industry. We provide cars home if you’re working late. We provide meals. We provide coffee. We provide a brand-new laptop. Our information technology services are top-notch. Our word processing center is open twenty-four hours a day. Our client services department is there to meet your every need. Our support staff is magnificent.

The atmosphere of small firm combined with the resources of a large firm. The congeniality of a small firm combined with the diversity of a large firm. The one-on-one contact you find in a small firm combined with the kinds of cases you can only get at a large firm. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s the best of all worlds. It’s the best, according to a recent survey. It’s never been better. We’re growing at an unbelievable pace. We have a five-year plan. We have a ten-year plan. Our finances are strong. Our client base is stronger than it’s ever been. Our partnership is among the strongest in the industry. We just bought another floor in the building. The views are amazing. The artwork is unbelievable. The bathrooms are sparkling. We’re in the best part of the city. There’s so much to see. There are so many things to do. There are so many ways to relax.

The people make all the difference. You’ve never seen such a collection of people. I’m constantly amazed by the people here. The people here are unbelievable. We strive to find the best and the brightest people we can. Our people are truly special. It sounds like a cliché, but I promise, you will love the people here, you really will.

And we want you to be one of them. That is, if you got an A in all your classes, made law review, and have connections at a couple of Fortune 500 corporations. Oh, wait, you go to Harvard. So all of that doesn't matter. We want you as long as you're not drooling on yourself.

Welcome to the recruiting process.

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