Bloomberg’s Big Law blog reports on an intriguing hiring tactic recently deployed by the intellectual property boutique Fisch Sigler LLP of Washington, D.C.

Applicants for the position of associate at the firm were invited to submit an essay on the subject of “Whether Nobel Prize winning novelist Saul Bellow deserved his 1976 Nobel Prize for Literature,” along with the rest of their applications.

The firm’s ad for the position read in part, “We are looking for a lawyer who savors persuasive writing as the best part of the job. Is this you?”

Christopher Brown, the author of the article, reports that Fisch Sigler’s search for a “literary wordsmith” led to a number of interesting discussions during interviews, and was ultimately successful. Similarly unusual tactics are now being used to fill other positions at the boutique firm.

Brown points out that small firms with limited practices become far more vulnerable than do large firms when they hire even one person who doesn’t meet their needs. Fisch Sigler LLP has taken a creative approach that may help to reduce their particular risks when it comes to making hiring decisions.

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