When a law firm is interviewing applicants, these applicants are interested are likely in a job from the law firm. They are likely looking to get opportunities, a paycheck, benefits and are looking to advance their career in some way. In some ways, many of these applicants may be screening the law firm to see if it is a good fit for them.
On the flip-end, a law firm is looking for prospective applicants individuals who can contribute to the organization. Whether it’s an attorney, paralegal, or other administrative staff, the law firm is likely looking for an applicant that can help.
There should be symmetry here in terms of the applicant looking for a good opportunity from the law firm. And, on the other hand, the applicant should understand that the law firm wants them to make a contribution. In the end, the symmetry has to be that both sides are looking for a good fit. Both sides should want to impress each other on some level.
When this is the case, the employment of an applicant can end up being a good fit for both the applicant and the law firm. This is where there is a mutual benefit. Both want to impress each other with what they can offer each other.
When the symmetry can get out of whack is when the applicants are looking to impress others more than the employer. Or, maybe they are looking for the job out of self-interest versus mutual interest.
Obviously, any attorney or paralegal needs to perform competent, communicative and diligent legal services for the clients they represent. So, in that regard, the clients always have to come first in terms of who a legal professional wants to impress with their skills.
But there has to be a desire at the end of the day for any applicant to want to impress their employer, their boss or whoever they report to with their performance as well. Any applicant has to make a contribution. They have to understand that the employment relationship requires symmetry where both are trying to make a contribution to each other.
It cannot be a situation where the employee simply wants to be impressed by the employer. Or, it cannot be a situation where the employee is seeking a job out of self-interest versus mutual interest.
Be sure to ask questions in the screening process about their motives for seeking a position. Be certain that there is going to be symmetry in the employment relationship if you hire somebody. Does this applicant want to make a contribution to the law firm?
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.