Saturday, May 26, 2012

What Does Being a "Hip" Lawyer REALLY Mean?

Seriously, I want to know. I saw this ad recently:

Hip Lawyer Please (TriBeCa)

Date: 2012-05-11, 12:49PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Law office seeks motivated attorney to work with our foreign artists and creatives in attaining their work visas to the USA. We offer a boutique small firm environment, lack of dress code, informality and reject the corporate model to law firms, (lawyers are stiff enough)..

The most important qualities we are looking for are;
1 -strong, efficient and attentive writing skills,
2 -creativity and ability to work independently
3 -have an ear to the ground in regard to trends, fashion, culture and arts
4. an ability to incorporate their "hipness" (for lack of a better word) into our work, which is mostly persuasive writing and research

The position would be part time to begin (at least twice a week) as we determine the effectiveness of the role with real potential for advancement if results met and growth continues. Please send a resume/CV and a short explanation of why you feel you would be a good fit given our needs.

Compensation: hourly, commensurate with experience
This is a part-time job.
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 3009506645

Due to the nature of what I do & the fact that Craig's List is rife with scammers, I NEVER send personal details in responding to ads unless I've gotten the poster's personal details first. For one thing, there's vetting concerns. Second, I don't want someone asking me for entertainment advice (certainly not for free) or to pass a script to someone I know. I have far too much respect for my colleagues to bother them with such crap. Third, I don't want someone trying to establish a personal connection with me that I might not want to have. I network very carefully & don't deal with losers. I've also seen way too much BS (as you can read in prior entries) to take anyone seriously unless they actually answer my questions & follow MY directions.

If you're an employer who doesn't get this, then you're not one I want to deal with anyway. I evaluate you just as much as you evaluate me. Trust me, if you'd lived some of my experiences you'd do the very same thing.

In short, you can't be overly trusting of total strangers.

I've not heard anything from this one & while I may be a bit cynical as well as pessimistic, I think I'm probably right when I think I won't at all.

Here's why:

It's my theory that when a law firm says they want a "cool" or "hip" lawyer, they don't really want a cool or hip lawyer. To me, it feels just like what colleagues in the entertainment field have said about film execs who say they want something "different" but what they REALLY mean is "something that will make money but is different enough to not be a knock off of some already popular, money making film."

In the case of these firms, I think they mean they want someone who's still vanilla, bland & boring but keeps up with technology and watches television. If they really wanted "hip," I'd be hearing something. I challenged people I knew to find me a lawyer in NYC who is hipper than me. Someone who's got their own humorous rant blog, says some of the things I say, could care less about impressing anyone & defies lawyer stereotypes in the same manner I do. I've yet to find that person. If I did, that person would have to be my friend by default. I'll guarantee you none have made the sort of impression I make. People know me by my hair.

I found out at a NYCLA networking event I went to a while back that I was being identified as a redhead. That & working in the entertainment field. I'd also dare you to find someone less impressed with hierarchy or sucking up to other attorneys.

Am I right about this definition of "hip" for lawyers? I haven't personally talked to some lawyer or firm soliciting for such people but can tell you than when I see those ads & challenged them on that by responding, no one ever responded. That leads me to think that the poster is either a total liar or a moron. Neither category is a good place to be. Plus, I feel like in some cases this blog's a good screening tool. If you can't take someone who has opinions and a mind of their own + bothers to express them since silence is the same as condoning shadiness, I don't want to work with you or even know you. Save that crap for someone who doesn't mind being treated like a 5 year old. I'm not that person.

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