I see this sort of thing fairly often when looking for jobs on Craigslist and other sites.
A firm will post an add looking for an entry to intermediate level attorney. The add will mention some low levels of experience. Usually anywhere between zero to three years. The job description also seems to match a low-level of experience.
A few days or a week later the same firm will post the same ad with the same requirements.
I’ve seen this go on for weeks at time every now and then. It is very frustrating and dispiriting to people like me who have been freelancing for many years and are trying not to.
I have some random thoughts on why this happens:
1. The employer was hoping for someone at the upper-end of entry level or intermediate and did not get any or enough applications.
2. They still are using the recession mindset and are hoping to catch someone with significantly more experience for entry or intermediate play.
3. The skills I’ve gotten from a few years of freelancing are still not good enough for entry level. I’ve done more than document review but have yet to take depositions or make significant court appearances.
4. There is a suspicion about people who graduated from law school during the height of the law school crisis or have too much project and freelancing work on their resume. I can’t confirm this but I’ve often wondered if three years of freelance and contract work is suspicious looking. Why can’t Saul land a permanent position as a question instead of here is a guy who managed to work as a lawyer for three years while many of his contemporaries took on non-legal assignments!
5. Other things or some combination of any and all of the above.
There are lots of people my age out there who are suffering similar fates as we hear more and more about the gig economy and embracing freelance but it is clear that people are starting to hire again as well but positions stay open for a while. There are also lots of stories about clueless HR departments asking for someone to have 10 years of experience with a program or code that has only been on the market for 3-5 years. This is not something unique to the legal market.
The issue is that no one seems to have a solution to the problem. The obvious solution is for everyone to be a bit more reasonable but that is easy to write and hard to get people to do.
On the Employer side, it means realizing that if you are posting a position that is entry level, the candidate is not going to be super-skilled and they might need training. On the Employee side, it means hustling a bit to get your skills up.
Any other thoughts?
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