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New Recruits at Jones Day Better Make Great Pets

So far, it looks like Jones Day has weathered the recession quite well. At the very least, we know Jones Day is proud of itself and feels like it will have a recruiting advantage. It managed to avoid the crazy layoffs and deferrals that have plagued Biglaw, and to top it all off, the firm secured a major Supreme Court victory today.

On Friday, Jones Day hiring partner Gregory Shumaker sat down with The Careerist (gavel bang: ABA Journal) to give people the 4-1-1 on how to snag a job at one of Biglaw’s most secretive firms. Apparently, the people at Jones Day don’t like new lawyers who think too highly of themselves:

What turns you off about a candidate during an interview?

If I sense entitlement; if they think they’re better than their colleagues or if they are too focused on themselves.

Right, because the last thing you want is self-confident people who think they are better than their classmates and entitled to decent treatment and the prevailing market wage in exchange for their hard work and commitment.

But it’s an employer’s market, and Jones Day can afford to be choosy. Therefore, it’s not just low self-esteem that helps you get a job at Jones Day; you also have to buy into the firm’s culture of secrecy

It’s well-known that Jones Day goes out of its way to hide information about other people’s salaries. Associates generally don’t know what kind of bonuses other members of their class received. And even partners don’t know what the partner down the hall is taking home. It’s an old-school black box over there.

Jones Day actively screens for people who are not curious about how their peers are doing:

How do you determine which law students will fit in with your culture when they probably don’t know what they want?

I’ll ask them if they feel it’s important to know their classmates’ grades. If they’re too focused on who got a B+ or B-, they might not be comfortable with our system.

I’m starting to get the picture. The ideal Jones Day candidate keeps their head down, doesn’t ask too many questions, and focuses on themselves. But that inward focus shouldn’t make the candidates feel good about themselves. No, when they look inside, they should feel underwhelmed and grateful for any assistance the firm may choose to provide — but they probably shouldn’t feel entitled to that help either.

Can they like money?

Any memorable moments in which a candidate sabotaged their chance at an offer?

Once we had a summer associate who split the summer between us and the government. Afterward, we asked her if she missed us, and she said, “Well, I miss the paycheck.”

Okay, important Jones Day recruiting tip: the firm wants you to lie to them and pretend that you aren’t there just for the paycheck. Got it?

Seriously, you’re supposed to act like you’d work for free, accept whatever it is they pay you, and not even ask what other people are making? Is Jones Day trying to hire employees, or domesticated help?

But I don’t want to be judgmental. Lord knows that there are some docile individuals out there who want nothing more than to be told what to do by an authority figure. Show up, do your job, don’t ask too many questions, and collect your pay — there are people who like working like this.

And for those people, Jones Day might just be a perfect fit.

A Sense of Entitlement Can Cost You a Job at Jones Day [ABA Journal]
Jones Day Hiring Partner Tells All (About Getting An Offer) [The Careerist]

Earlier: Jones Day: Secrecy Breeds Strength?
Hell of a (Jones) Day, Today
Jones Day Slams Its Competitors

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