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Lawyer Is Asked To Hand In ‘A Free Writing Sample’ As Part Of His Job Interview, Makes The Firm Regret It Later
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People1 week ago

Lawyer Is Asked To Hand In ‘A Free Writing Sample’ As Part Of His Job Interview, Makes The Firm Regret It Later Interview With Author

Job interviews are nerve-wracking and the only thing that’s even more annoying is receiving a request to hand in a writing sample. It consumes your time, energy and skills, and in no way guarantees the position. But we know very well that when applying for particular jobs, you just have to do it as it is the hands-on way employers can evaluate your writing skills, tone and style, and see if you’re a good fit.

This is what happened to a Redditor and lawyer who works in “a niche-ish area of law called discovery.” The Redditor MeowSchwitzInThere wrote in a post which amassed 31.3k upvotes: “One day I see a job board post from a local law firm looking for a research/writing position with required experience in discovery disputes.” The author added that it raised red flags from the beginning.

During the job interview, a recruiter informed MeowSchwitzInThere that they “ask all candidates to provide a writing sample before the final interview” and handed them “a legal question that we want you to research.”

Sensing that they were being asked to do the job for free, the author maliciously complied. What followed was a lawsuit of fraud and a lesson the firm very likely regrets.

This lawyer was asked to hand in a free writing sample as part of a fraud job interview so they maliciously complied

Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual photo)







Image credits: Scott Graham (not the actual photo)

Bored Panda reached out to the lawyer behind this story who preferred to stay anonymous to find out more about what was his take on the incident. The Redditor told us that “writing samples (or work examples generally) are not a problem by themselves.” According to him, “asking a potential hire to demonstrate job skills is perfectly reasonable, as long as they are compensated for the time OR the example is very general (i.e. any writing sample is acceptable).”

While writing the memo, Redditor suspected that the law firm he was applying to was not going to hire anyone. When asked whether law firms often use applicants to do their job free of charge, he said that he does not know how general this practice is for new hires. “It’s not unheard of, but I have no information outside of my own experience,” he added.

The author shared the conversation they had with a recruiter at the firm









“I was as satisfied as possible given the situation,” the lawyer said regarding the check he got from the firm 30 days later. “More protection for workers, in general, would be better. Personally, I found it to be worth the effort.”

According to the author of this story, “the best practice for anyone who feels something ‘shady’ has occurred is to speak to an attorney in their area (this can be done by contacting your local bar and asking for a referral or a list of lawyers in good standing. Just google county + bar i.e. Johnson County Business Law Bar). The number of times someone didn’t go to an attorney because of a 50-100 dollar consult fee only to lose 1000’s later is very high,” he concluded.

People applauded the way this lawyer handled the hairy situation







Some even shared being put into similar situations

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Hey pandas, what do you think?
CLG
Community Member
1 week ago

I thought he was going to sabotage their case by putting fake research into his memo, but a check will do.

Briane Pagel
Community Member
1 week ago

This whole scenario seems pretty unlikely. I'd like a case/docket number and the court in which the fraud lawsuit was filed. I'm a lawyer and nothing about this story rings true. It would take the firm longer to post the ad and interview a candidate and then read thru the submissions, and they would still want to cite-check and proof the resultant brief, so how much are they saving? Discovery disputes are fairly common and are generic across the board: the standards for what is discoverable or not do not change based on the type of law, so needing a stranger to research a discovery dispute seems unlikely. There's a lot more that's questionable about this. I think most "malicious compliance" stories are b.s. but this one really seems just made out of whole cloth.

Powerful Katrinka
Community Member
1 week ago

Exactly. I started laughing when I read that he practices a "niche-y" area of law. Discovery is one of the foundational principles of civil law. I'm a paralegal, and I have never seen a case that doesn't rely on discovery. Furthermore, that kind of research and writing is what paralegals are for. No law firm would hire a lawyer just to handle discovery--it would cost way too much.

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RafCo (he/him)
Community Member
1 week ago

This stuff happens in engineering firms all the time. Usually there is at least an intent to hire, but it's still shady. If I go to an interview and the company starts asking me design questions specifically related to problems they may need to solve, it's a red flag for me. You want me to talk about it at a high level, I'm cool with that, but if you want anything in detail, I won't do it. When I do interviews, I like to work in analogous applications of designs. Like, do you understand the principals and how to reach a solution. Not, please solve my problem for me.

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CLG
Community Member
1 week ago

I thought he was going to sabotage their case by putting fake research into his memo, but a check will do.

Briane Pagel
Community Member
1 week ago

This whole scenario seems pretty unlikely. I'd like a case/docket number and the court in which the fraud lawsuit was filed. I'm a lawyer and nothing about this story rings true. It would take the firm longer to post the ad and interview a candidate and then read thru the submissions, and they would still want to cite-check and proof the resultant brief, so how much are they saving? Discovery disputes are fairly common and are generic across the board: the standards for what is discoverable or not do not change based on the type of law, so needing a stranger to research a discovery dispute seems unlikely. There's a lot more that's questionable about this. I think most "malicious compliance" stories are b.s. but this one really seems just made out of whole cloth.

Powerful Katrinka
Community Member
1 week ago

Exactly. I started laughing when I read that he practices a "niche-y" area of law. Discovery is one of the foundational principles of civil law. I'm a paralegal, and I have never seen a case that doesn't rely on discovery. Furthermore, that kind of research and writing is what paralegals are for. No law firm would hire a lawyer just to handle discovery--it would cost way too much.

Load More Replies...
RafCo (he/him)
Community Member
1 week ago

This stuff happens in engineering firms all the time. Usually there is at least an intent to hire, but it's still shady. If I go to an interview and the company starts asking me design questions specifically related to problems they may need to solve, it's a red flag for me. You want me to talk about it at a high level, I'm cool with that, but if you want anything in detail, I won't do it. When I do interviews, I like to work in analogous applications of designs. Like, do you understand the principals and how to reach a solution. Not, please solve my problem for me.

Load More Comments
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