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by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP | June 22, 2016


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For many, the summer months are a time for relaxation. Not so for most large law firms, including Skadden. As a firm that primarily hires new associates through its Summer Associate Program, there's no more important recruitment effort than the process that occurs over these next few months. As we all prepare for the recruiting season, we decided to pull back the curtain and share some insights about our preparations and what we think works well for students interested in joining our firm.

Skadden's Preparations.

Student recruiting is not just a one-month endeavor. Our hiring committees and recruiting professionals work tirelessly throughout the year to prepare for the campus recruiting season. We firmly believe that every year is a new opportunity to strengthen our platform, so we begin by seeking feedback. We survey our summer associates, host focus groups with our associates and meet with law school career development counselors to learn what worked and where we can improve. We adjust our approach based on this feedback, which helps us to define how we share information about our firm with students. On the surface, Biglaw can look the same so we want to make sure you really understand what sets Skadden apart. It's just as important for us to differentiate ourselves from other firms as it is for you to differentiate yourselves from other students. Our goal is for all potential summer associates to understand how Skadden's "one-firm" approach, practice breadth and culture uniquely defines us.

Our Interview Process.

We frequently solicit input from our attorneys about the traits they perceive necessary for a successful career at Skadden. Through the interview process we are then able to identify candidates who demonstrate those characteristics. Attorneys interviewing on-campus are tasked with assessing credentials, including academic and professional experiences, while attorneys interviewing in-house focus on learning who you are as an individual and assessing your abilities to happily succeed at our firm. We have diverse representation on our recruiting committees, ensuring that students have the opportunity to meet with attorneys from varied practices and backgrounds and to speak with those involved in leadership roles at the firm. Our Attorney Affinity Networks are hugely important to our recruiting efforts and play a vital role, not only in meeting with students during the school year, but also serving as a touchpoint throughout the interviewing process.

Our hiring committees communicate daily to share updates about callbacks and offer decisions. Our goal is to follow-up with students within 24-48 hours after on-campus interviews and no more than one week after in-house interviews. We encourage all students with offers to return for a follow-up visit. We genuinely want our associates to succeed here and these additional meetings provide important opportunities for you to ask the "tough" questions, get a better sense of who we are and decide if Skadden is the right fit for you.

Own Your Job Search.

Rising 2Ls have multiple channels for exploring and creating opportunities. Use them! Recruiting is not meant solely to be a three-week event in August. Look to your resources throughout the whole year. Professors, career counselors, hiring partners, recruiting coordinators, classmates and law school alumni can offer invaluable guidance; but keep in mind that you are responsible for your job search and its outcome. Learn how to leverage your network to broaden and diversify your opportunities, and hone this skill early as it will help you greatly throughout your career. Despite the summer build-up to on-campus interviews, don't feel confined to a one-size-fits-all approach—you may obtain your summer job through a different channel than a classmate. Participate in on-campus interviews, visit employer hospitality suites, attend job fairs, share your resume with rising 3Ls who worked at firms of interest, contact attorneys for informational interview requests, apply directly and send notes to attorneys you met at prior events.

Be Yourself and Engage in Authentic Dialogue.

It's highly unlikely that you'll ever have a more robust opportunity than 2L recruiting season to explore careers in private practice. Focus on finding a firm that feels right for you rather than changing yourself to fit a mold you think the firm wants. An honest experience is the best one. Law school teaches you about legal concepts, but your law firm will teach you about the craft. Don't be fooled by the chatter on-campus or posted anonymously online. This is your decision. So ask yourself the following: Do you want to learn from the people you've met at the firm? Do you feel that the firm is a place where you can contribute? Does the firm offer a platform where you can thrive? It's our goal to hire students who truly want to be Skadden lawyers and are genuinely excited about contributions they can make to our practices.

At Skadden, we want you to be honest with our recruiting professionals about your long-term interests. If you are legitimately interested in another location, you should inquire about splits and whether your work in a specific practice area is transferrable to another market. We want to help you to achieve your short- and long-term goals. If a firm can't or won't do this, perhaps you and that firm are not the best match.

Learn Something Every Day!

We're just as interested in impressing you as you are in impressing us, so don't hesitate to challenge us by asking whatever is on your mind. Approach every interaction—on-campus interviews, hospitality suite chats, callback interviews, follow-up visits, offer events—as an opportunity to learn at least one new thing about the firm, the law, yourself or even about the world in general. With this approach, every experience will be a "win" for you.

Opportunities at Skadden.

Skadden offers full Summer Associate Programs in our Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Washington, D.C., Wilmington, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Toronto offices. We invite you to apply online, contact our Attorney Recruiting group, or contact your Career Development office to participate in on-campus interviews. We look forward to hearing from you.

This is a sponsored blog post from Skadden. You can connect with the firm at, on Twitter or on Facebook.


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