Battling imposter syndrome during job search. I’m 2.5 years out and just started applying/interviewing for a new position. I have been at the same firm since 2L (different summer positions though) doing primarily plaintiff PI/WC. I have a ton of litigation experience but I feel like I lack substantive experience/knowledge outside WC/PI. I’m interviewing at defense civil lit firms now who seem receptive but I feel wildly under qualified. Anyone else go through this? Advice?

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Re: imposter syndrome, I saw this elsewhere I stole it as it’s great.

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Tacking on with A1’s comments, you need to show you can think like a defense attorney. Some (not all) plaintiff attorneys in PI or L/E have this crusader mentality like they’re Robin Hood righting injustices, sticking it to the Man, etc. Defense attorneys generally look at it somewhere along the lines of: most of these claims are frivolous BS by greedy claimants trying to extort a business. If there’s damages and liability, ok then reasonable compensation should be provided. But the client isn’t “evil”, sometimes one middle manager made a mistake, that’s hardly grounds for 7 figures in punitive damages… etc.

What is most pertinent on defense side is being able to engage in detailed due diligence investigations to ascertain if there actually is liability, so that you can best position your client to resolve as cheaply as possible (especially as clients lie)

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Do you have a counterpart in the defense bar or a law school classmate who practices in that area? Maybe grabbing a coffee or a quick phone call to better understand what a defense litigator does will help you be prepared for questions, etc.

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I think I’m in the same boat. Also, PI, I’m comfortable with where I am but also apathetic to my work these days. I need change of scenery so I sent my resumes around - I avoided sending it to another PI firms. Only places that seem to be interested in is the defense side. I want to branch out to outside of PI but it looks like I’m pigeoned holed and stuck.

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Lean on your litigation experience and feel confident in that. It’s easy to learn and train a new area of law; it is much harder to train litigation skills. Be confident in your interviews and know that they chose you to interview for a reason. I’m positive there are many that didn’t even make it to the interview round. Keep a strong handshake, maintain eye contact, and sit up straight during the interview (if in person). If virtual, same applies except for handshake, obviously. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know, but explain how eager you’d be to learn a new area. Remember experiences you’ve had where you’ve had to learn something new and use that as an example. Good luck, you are doing great!

One thing to keep in mind is the bulk of your lit experience was during COVID, and hiring managers may discount that. You can offset this by putting some stats/greatest hits at the top of your resume (where the objectives used to be). How many settlements, how many depos, how many MSJ’s, etc.

Additionally you need to demonstrate your familiarity and comfort with billing. Unless you’re contingent , your actual primary job in a firm is to bill

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