Biglaw, Job Searches, Law Schools

Law Firm Might Not Understand The Difference Between A Receptionist And A Bouncer

Buh bye, little law students, buh bye.

When I think of a “receptionist,” I think of a nice, attractive person. Somebody who is pleasing to look at and listen to, and someone who is good at welcoming people.

When I think of a “bouncer,” I think of a large, overstuffed person who lost his neck in a tragic boating accident. Somebody who speaks in grunts and is good a rejecting and ejecting people.

Of the two, I’d expect the “receptionist” to send me a letter offering me employment at a law firm, while the bouncer handles the firm’s rejection letters. Well, let me step back… I’d expect a law firm to send out acceptance or rejection letters from lawyers or HR professionals, not people whose main job qualifications are the ability to wave hello and goodbye…

A student at George Washington Law didn’t get a callback with Epstein Becker in D.C. The rejection letter is unremarkable in substance. Anybody who has been through on-campus interviewing has gotten one: thanks for meeting us, we’re not interviewing you further, sorry for casting you back down with the Sodomites, the usual.

What is remarkable about this email is who Epstein Becker allowed to send it. Here’s how the rejecter referred to herself (I’ve changed her name because, well, you’ll see):


Angel of Death
Recruitment Assistant

But here’s how her email auto-filled in her signature line:

Angel of Death | Receptionist


It’s not a huge deal, of course. But it’s a careless and haphazard way to dismiss someone’s career opportunity. Our tipster says:

I told this to some friends of mine, who are barred attorneys, and their angry reaction was quite startling. They interpreted sending a rejection email to an attorney applicant from a receptionist as a significant breach of protocol.

It’s just inconsiderate. It’s not the lady’s fault. I’m keeping her name out of it because we don’t normally publish the names of non-lawyers working at law firms who are ostensibly just following orders. Obviously, somebody told her to reject this kid, and I’m guessing that somebody told her to call herself a “recruitment assistant.” I think the fake title shows that the firm knows it’s not appropriate to have the receptionist sending out rejection letters.

Now that I think about it though, how awesome would it be for law firms to hire “recruitment assistant” bouncers? Imagine you showed up to some office for a call-back interview, and you get to the office and there’s just some hulking dude standing there saying “you’re not on the list” in barely intelligible English. Then some person behind you sporting a stylish transcript with nothing but A grades says “excuse me,” and walks right past you while the bouncer says, “What’s up, girl?”

I’m up for pretty much anything that makes getting a job at a law firm in this market feel more like getting into an exclusive club. Maybe if people had a more visceral feeling of unfair randomness, they’d think more carefully about going to law school in the first place.

The rejection letter is on the next page, in case you honestly don’t know what the bitter pill of failure looks like.

(hidden for your protection)

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