Yesterday we told you about the firm Trial Lawyers For Justice asking job applicants to send in some non-standard information. Among other things, the firm asked potential employees to send in a family photograph.
We asked Nick Rowley — who wrote the ad asking for applicants to send in their personal story and political beliefs along with their picture — to explain how these factors affect his decision making process for new hires.
He furnished Above the Law with a full response. We’re publishing it full after the jump. Let Mr. Rowley know if you agree with his reasons in the comments.
NICK ROWLEY — TRIAL LAWYERS FOR JUSTICE — STATEMENT
Some of the questions are “what about a family photograph would impact whether or not a person fits in with your firm culture”. SIMPLE, if a person is going to move to a small town in Northeast Iowa a family might be important. A family photo can tell me many things.
First, I can see how they seem to connect, I can see how happy they really are or whether it is a ‘fake smile portrait’ photo. I can ask as I talk to the person on the phone who is in the photos. You see, I don’t care where a person went to law school or what they got on the LSAT or what standing they had in their class, I am more concerned about whether this is aperson who will fit within a culture of a a firm that is family to each other, who get together regularly, who have holiday dinners together, who have dedicated themselves and their family (because what we do is a 24hr/7dayperwk calling that we live and breathe) to fighting injustice.
When I interview a person I get to see their face, why not in advance to an interview. Does it make a difference whether a person sees a face at time or resume or at interview. I get to “feel” who the person is rather than paper and ink. Looking through a hundred resumes will tell me hardly anything about the human being I am considering, resumes are often bullshit. Also, how a person offers themselves by photograph tells me a little about who that person is pcyhologically. If I ask for photos and I get a dark suit with a power look accompanied by a resume that shows an Ivy league education and member of a fraternity and the yacht club chances are that I would put it all together
and choose not to call for an interview. That is not because I am discriminatory but because as a human being I have people who I match with, who the people in my firm match with. If I got a picture of a long haired guy with a mullet standing next to a ’71 GTO I’d say “that guy looks like somebody I could talk shop with”. If it was a person with their dog or cat that would tell me something else.
I could go on and on, but I am a person who wants to put a picture to a life story and policitcal belief and a face, a feeling, and voice and then make the decision whether to invest the time to get together and talk and try to connect with that person.
AND, if a person is the type that would pessimistically look at the advertisement of the position and get OFFENDED or turned off then that is a person who I don’t want because they are angry and negative minded, AND if a person is too lazy to do all I ask then they are not somebody I want to waste any time with.
Lastly, if one auditions for a part in a movie or play, or television show is a photograph not a pre requisite. Maybe it is because you want to see who is going to be playing the part. Maybe you want somebody who is male, female, gay, straight, fat, skinny, light hair, dark hair, bald, red eyed, or a combination or all of the above. Maybe it has something to do with discrimination and exclusion or maybe it is all about INCLUSION. That is my response.
Earlier: Do They Have Employment Non-Discrimination Laws in Iowa?