January 08, 2013

I am an eighth-year associate who graduated from a law school ranked around 25th. I am currently trying to get a job at one of the high-paying firms in Manhattan. I am frustrated because I have friends working at these firms who either a) went to schools of lower caliber or b) had grades equal to or worse than mine. (I have over a 3.0.) I have excellent credentials as a writer and was published in a law journal.

Incidentially, I called your recruiting office, and they would not even accept my resume.

What can I do to increase my chances of getting into a good firm and how do other, less-qualified people manage it . . .

Thanks, Ann.

Dear Qualified:

In ordinary times and in an ordinary profession you wouldn’t be writing to me. You would be sought after by many employers and would be fending off multiple job offers. However, you are not living in ordinary times and you certainly are not working in an ordinary profession.

About four and a half years ago you would have been offered jobs at all of those “top, top-paying” firms where your friends are currently working. As I have written previously, I was placing people in those firms at that time that I couldn’t believe were being hired. You would have been snapped up by any firm that asked you in for an interview.

But, that was then and this is now.