When Matthew Martino interviews associate candidates as a part of his role as one of the hiring partners for the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, he often shares his own background as the first in his family to graduate college to those candidates who share his “first-gen” background.

“I think when I open up about my background, you can see a lot of times it puts them at ease. You can see them relax a bit. Then the interview becomes a lot more organic,” said Martino, a litigator who spends about half his time on antitrust matters and the other half handling matters for sports clients, including the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association.