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Specific practice area - specific cases for OCI

Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:21 pm
by stinger35
I know that everyone agrees that it is good to bring up both of these things and be able to talk about them in a significant way at OCI. However, I am having trouble finding this out. I really have only basic knowledge of things like Antitrust, Securities, Employment Law, etc. I fear that bringing them up with someone who specializes in them would eventually out me as a fraud. Anyone have any advice here? The general advice seems to be that you need to convince them of your interest in a specific area....I have none. I realize that anything I will say will be somewhat fabricated but whats the alternative? Not get a job?

Also, I keep hearing about bringing up specific cases or events with the firm in the news. Where exactly do I find this information? I know the websites are absolutely filled with a million cases and updates but how can you be sure that the interviewer will even have a remote idea of what you are talking about? Is there a way to find out cases they have worked on besides the website (which tends to either have older cases or none at all)? I keep hearing to use Westlaw but could anyone be more specific?

Sorry for being so clueless, I am really just hoping not to look like an absolute fool.

Re: Specific practice area - specific cases for OCI

Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:45 pm
by Anonymous User
I've scored numerous CBs (T20 transfer, and my creds aren't that sweet). With the exception of a big, recent case (I'm IP, so Bilski has come up in passing once or twice) I think you should really only have a general idea of the lay of the land in a particular practice area. That being said, you might get a question or two about a major case/a recently decided case within your practice area of interest.

In my experience, case-discussion is the minority situation. I would say that 90% of my interviewers wanted to "get to know me," rather than hit me with questions that clearly require some esoteric knowledge about the subject. I think you'll be fine if you: a) know the firm's strengths/weaknesses in a particular practice area, b) know any recent cases/litigation the firm has done there, c) know about the firm's big players in that area, and d) relax. You're obviously a smart dood (I was all over the transfer forum for some time, too). So relax, get in there, and score some CBs!

Re: Specific practice area - specific cases for OCI

Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:43 pm
by Anonymous User
Re: expressing interest in a practice area - when the interviewers ask, I've been saying something like:

"Well I can't tell you for sure what practice area I'd like to end up in, but every attorney I've talked to has told me to choose something that I'll be happy doing. Sure, that sounds easy enough, but one year of law school and hours of internet research can only reveal so much about a particular practice area. So what will I be happy doing? I know that I'm the type of person who's going to be happy doing something that I'm best at. And given my UG degrees in finance and economics and my practical experience in finance, I think I'll be best suited in a practice area that's corporate or finance related. Now whether that means I'll fall on the transactional side of the line or the litigation side of the line, I can't say for sure. But that's another aspect that makes your firm attractive - your rotation system...... blablabla"

Every interviewer so far has indicated that this was a good response. It shows that you've done your research, you get to sell your experience, and you can give a genuine response while not compartmentalizing yourself out of a job - i.e. if all hiring needs are in transactional and you sell yourself as a young, hungry future litigator.

Re: Specific practice area - specific cases for OCI

Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:37 pm
by napolnic
amyLAchemist wrote:I feel like if you are super psyched about a practice area, you would know the major recent cases reasonably well? Or am I just a giant nerd who went running to her computer the instant she heard that Bilski came down, and that Myriad was decided?

I mainly focused on one type of law in the interview, and in one, it would up with me having to talk intelligently about several recent SCOTUS cases from the latest term. So, maybe you are a giant nerd, but it can only help. And if it doesn't come up, make it by bringing it up anyway.