Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blog's One Year Anniversary - Partial Reveal!

Hello everyone.  I am sorry I haven't blogged lately.  As you know, HP is of course a practicing attorney and HP got really busy with work and multiple deadlines, plus various social commitments.  I will try to blog more often in the coming weeks.

No, I wasn't out celebrating the big one year anniversary of the blog. Can you believe it has been one year since I launched with my list of the top things that annoy the hiring partner?  I really had no big plans to become a blogger, per se, I just kept seeing certain behaviors in our younger lawyers that I knew were really hurting them.  Has this changed?  Well, to a certain extent, due to the economy and the massive change in the way law firms hire and retain lawyers, I do think there's less a sense of entitlement than we had been seeing.  There's still plenty of room for guidance and improvement.  

I will answer some of your questions in upcoming posts but I really felt for the big one year anniversary, something momentous was required.  Something exciting.  Well, no, F-3 and I are not running off to the sunshine of the blogsphere to live happily ever after.  Though I certainly appreciate all F-3 has done in his/her contributions to the blog.  And I appreciate the contributions of the rest of you (except of course when you are slamming HP with really nasty comments).

Which brings me to the big one year celebration announcement.  Are you ready?  Really ready?
(heck I am not sure I am ready)......

HP is a Woman!  

Yes, a female.  So many of you just assumed HP was a man. (Some of you still doubt I am even a lawyer, but I can assure you I am in possession of a valid law degree and bar membership).  I am not certain why so many assumed I am a man.  Because I am a partner?  A Hiring Partner? Heck, plenty of Hiring Partners are women. Was it because I often tell it how it is, kind of straight up, whether it seems harsh or not?  I am not sure, but for those who sometimes accused me of not having a women's point of view, or being anti-woman (which I and those who have worked with me found comical), it may simply have been because I was trying to be gender neutral.

OK, so what does this mean?  Well I hoped you've learned that assumptions can often be wrong. And, hopefully this doesn't change anything. I still aspire to give you useful advice - don't worry guys I am there for you.  For our women readers, I'm hoping this opens up more of a discourse on women's issues in the workplace.  Believe me, I have been there. No one has handed me anything and I know it is not easy.  We can't do it all, 100 percent. Some of us can do a bunch of things pretty (or really) well. But superwoman does not exist. You have to recognize you can't have it all, all the time.  That's been my conclusion.  Sometimes I'm a great parent; sometimes I'm a great lawyer; sometimes I am both; but other times if I'm being a great lawyer and working all night to get something done and missing activities - no, I'm not being a terrific parent.  I guess we will discuss some of this down the road.

Well, I hope that was exciting and I look forward to some thought provoking comments and questions.  




Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Here's a question: Do you think firms will cut people if they fail the bar?

Maybe you shouldn't answer that question for a week or two. I'm sure it will just freak us all out.

Tanger said...

Happy blogiversary! In that future Q&A could you possibly give us some examples of what is and is not appropriate for law students to ask re: The Economy while interviewing this August/September? Thank you for sharing your time and expertise with us!

Anonymous said...

I actually thought you were a woman (although I'm not sure why, maybe after so many years of intentionally trying to avoid gender bias I now assume everybody's a woman unless they tell me otherwise!).

Happy blogiversary!

Anonymous said...

Partial Reveal... What a tease

Anonymous said...

Question for HP: I have a full year practice experience, but wish to relocate to be closer to family. A lot of job ads I'm seeing now want 2-5 or 3-5 yrs experience. As an HP, what do you think of applying to a position if you don't meet the minimum year req.

Anonymous said...

First, congratulations on your blogiversary! I've been an avid reader since the start and your advice has always been spot on and firm without any coddling. I like it! I have another question to pull you back from celebrating your achievements: Can the personal section of a resume get too personal?

I'm a 2L and have been told again and again that the "Personal" section is important for standing apart and giving the interviewer something to right about. I currently have something fairly benign.

I was recently advised to include a little blurb about my family coming to this country under political aslyum because it's way more interesting and will help me stand out.

My question is, would it help me stand out in the wrong way? Is it obnoxious or genuinely interesting?

Or is this a situation where I should use it for diversity career fairs but not for mailings?

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Note HP's listing of only 3 of 4 possibilities. HP is comfortable acknowledging she falls short as a parent at times, but as an attorney...apparently not. The infallibility (or inability to admit it) fits with the tone of HP's posts.

f-3 said...

7/23 4:49 - I'd be really interested to hear what others say about your question too. That's an intriguing question.

I don't have a straight answer either way, but I have always been under the impression that a resume highlights what you have **achieved** and what experiences you have built up through your own efforts. Except for one's language / cultural exposures, I have never seen resumes make mention of one's autobiographical circumstances, such as asylum, welfare, etc.

Part of me also wonders whether it inadvertently (fully understanding that it was never your intention) puts the law firms in an awkward position. Are there HR issues involved when an interviewer asks questions about that sort of thing?

If I had to make a call, I would go back to asking the question, "How does this make ME a relevant and marketable EMPLOYEE, and how is this relevant to the JOB?" I gather that you simply want to demonstrate that you're strong at overcoming adversity and are capable of working very hard no matter what the circumstances. That kind of information can be put in a more appropriate context on a cover letter instead of a resume, I think.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were a woman, and in fact, thought you were someone I had worked with previously (due to certain things you've said). While I don't know if the former is true, it's nice to know the latter is.

Anonymous said...

7/23 - 4:49 -

I am just starting out in this career so I might not give the best advice. But, I would know your audience and include it when you think it would be helpful. If you were applying to an immigration law firm, or to work for a really diverse agency I would say definitely include it. If you are applying to a firm where every bio on the firm webiste has some really amazingly unique thing then include it. If you are applying for a regular joe law firm then maybe just mention it in the cover letter such as "every since I've recieved assylum I've..." etc, or just completely leave it out.

I applied for a job back in the state where I went to undergrad. I broke all the traditional resume rules and did a two page resume w/ the second page listing all the non-relevant volunteer work I had done in that community (back in college). I listed it to show I had ties to that community and really wanted to live there as opposed to just applying b/c it was a job. I ended up being asked about my resume in the interview and got the job!! So go with what YOU think is best.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I assumed that you're a woman! Though I'd like to believe I assumed this b/c I'm a woman too, more likely it's b/c employment is women-dominated. huh.