ABA Journal



Your next job interviewer might be a computer program

May 1, 2013, 10:15 am CDT


This ties in with something I’ve been wondering about a long time- what ARE the metrics you use to identify productivity?

Law firms and lawyer work is so varied. At my firm, we are contingent-fee litigators. We have noticed that the lawyers who make the most phone calls tend to have the most settlements year over year. Those guys are successful, and yet there are a very few lawyers who truly have a talent in the courtroom. Those skill sets don’t always intersect- the lawyers with the most settlements aren’t always the best trial lawyers. Of course, at other firms doing other kinds of work, such as contract work or tax, measuring “phone calls” or depositions attended would be meaningless or downright misleading.

I just keep thinking “one day, we’ll identify the things that set the most successful lawyers apart. Then we’ll train everyone else to do those core activities, and improve us all.” Hasn’t happened yet.

By Tom on 2013 04 30, 1:06 pm CDT

I hope that they share these programs with prospective law school students.  I have been practicing for 30 years and I have always thought that a simple personality test could be used to tell a prospective law student whether he/she was making the correct career choice.

By Carrie on 2013 04 30, 2:11 pm CDT

I can’t tell you how much I agree! There are certain people who are not cut out to do document review and diligence—their minds cannot handle that sort of rote work. There are others who are not cut out to write appellate briefs—their minds are not sufficiently sharp to do that sort of complex analysis.

By American of African Descent on 2013 04 30, 4:12 pm CDT

ROLF :))) I wonder how big law manages to stay in business - with that degree of brainwashing? Soon they are going to need a computer to tell them when and where to go bathroom.

By Anna Gray on 2013 04 30, 4:38 pm CDT

Those who come closest to the ultimate get the interview? What about those of us who already are the ultimate?

By Island Attorney on 2013 05 02, 10:09 pm CDT

Different skills, personality types and backgrounds fit different roles. Good to see this being recognized, even if it is being done by computers. If this helps firms be more productive AND helps attorneys end up in paths and positions that fit them better, then this is a win-win.

By Marc Luber of JDCOT on 2013 05 07, 4:15 pm CDT

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