biglaw legal assistant interview?

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swtlilsoni
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biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby swtlilsoni » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:12 am

I got an interview for a legal assistant position at a v5 firm. Has anyone ever interviewed for a legal assistant position at a biglaw firm before? I'm wondering what to expect. To be honest, I've never had an interview my entire life, so I'm pretty clueless. Also, if they chose me to interview does that mean they are actually serious about me? Or do they choose almost everyone to interview anyway.
Any insight would be appreciated.

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Moxie
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby Moxie » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:07 am

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Last edited by Moxie on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AP-375
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby AP-375 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:28 am

You must be either, like 15 years old, or you've never actually had to work to land a job before. More power to you, I guess. Either way, if you're asking these questions, you could probably use some help, which anyone on this board could provide. However, it appears that no one is willing to, so I'll give some advice.

swtlilsoni wrote:Has anyone ever interviewed for a legal assistant position at a biglaw firm before?

Yes. I have, successfully.

swtlilsoni wrote: if they chose me to interview does that mean they are actually serious about me? Or do they choose almost everyone to interview anyway.

Yes, they are serious. You are lucky to get an interview. NO, they do not interview almost everyone. They interview hardly anyone. If this was a published position (i.e. on a job board), they probably had at least 100 applications, and you are one of maybe at most 4 to get interviews. So, good job. Don't F it up.
swtlilsoni wrote: I'm wondering what to expect. To be honest, I've never had an interview my entire life, so I'm pretty clueless.

Successful interviewing takes practice and preparation. You need to research the firm and the position and be prepared to talk about your interest in each. You need to google "job interview questions", compile a list of like at least 30 questions. Then google "job interview tips" and practice the hell out of them until your responses are smooth and natural. If you are in school, go to the career office and do a practice interview.
You can do all of this in a matter of a day or so if you spend a full day on it, and it will be well worth it.
You've got a good opportunity, so take it seriously. Good luck.

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pokerlaw
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby pokerlaw » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:19 pm

swtlilsoni wrote:I got an interview for a legal assistant position at a v5 firm. Has anyone ever interviewed for a legal assistant position at a biglaw firm before? I'm wondering what to expect. To be honest, I've never had an interview my entire life, so I'm pretty clueless. Also, if they chose me to interview does that mean they are actually serious about me? Or do they choose almost everyone to interview anyway.
Any insight would be appreciated.


I interviewed for a legal assistant/paralegal position in 2008 at a V10 firm. they had me interview with the Legal Assistant Manager, a 3rd year associate and a current legal assistant. The most important of these interviews was the manager. Just be able to talk through your resume.

The most important question I was asked was whether I wanted to do corporate or litigation work. This was the chance to show I had done my homework and that I had some sort of purpose for selecting one or the other.

They will also ask if you have any questions about the job/firm. You should have questions.

phonepro
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby phonepro » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:08 pm

I was a legal assistant at a V5 firm (I'm also wondering if its the same one, b/c I know they are hiring/interviewing right now, PM me if you'd like).

I met with the legal assistant coordinator first. Then about 4 different attorneys separately (2 partners and 2 associates). There weren't any difficult questions. However, I already had a ton of legal experience so we talked mostly about that.

The coordinator is most interested in if you would fit in with the group. Be professional, but be yourself. My group preferred to hire people who were likeable. With that said, the partners have the final word. So impress them. Be prepared to discuss in full detail every thing on your resume. I didn't research the firm or know anything about it before hand (maybe not the smartest move, but at the time I didn't know any better), and that did not hurt me at all.

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Leonard Washington
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby Leonard Washington » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:16 pm

I've had 5 interviews with big law firms (all v10-70) for paralegal positions since graduating undergrad fwiw. All of the interviews were pretty much the same (at least when meeting with lawyers in each practice group, admin people tend to ask standard interview type questions). It was basically a meet and greet. They would ask about stuff on my resume and we mostly just talked so they could get to know me. I'm not sure what your law school plans are but all of the firms I interviewed with wanted a commitment of at least 18 months which was a deal breaker since I'm set to attend law school this fall.

paralegal2009
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby paralegal2009 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:18 pm

I am a legal assistant at a V5 firm--I would say to definitely emphasize your organizational skills. So much of the work is organizing documents, both hard-copies and electronically. If you emphasize that you enjoy this type of work, so much the better. The work is not especially interesting (although it's cool when you work on really important cases) and a lot of people I know have quit much earlier than they anticipated because they hated it. I have enjoyed being here and learned a lot from the attorneys I work with--if you seem confident but not cocky, and show them that you will be happy there even if the work is sometimes very tedious and monotonous, you will impress them. You will learn a lot from the attorneys and gain great experience in a professional work place, even if the actual work is not really interesting.

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uk4220
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby uk4220 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:24 pm

Did a v10 interview out of undergrad about 2 years ago.

The lit/corp question was key.

Also - make sure you have questions to ask them. I tried my best to ask insightful, unique questions (not just "describe my typical duties here at law firm X"). It definitely helped get the job.

applyingtolawschool
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby applyingtolawschool » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:23 pm

Oh, no, have I missed the boat for applying to paralegal/legal assistant positions at the big firms?! I've been insanely busy with other stuff for the past month or so, and was planning on sending out my cover letter/resume to firms by early next week, latest.

For those of you who have scored interviews and have worked as a paralegal in the past: do you have general tips for stuff I should emphasize in my cover letter? I know that they are looking for smart college grads who can commit for two years, are willing to work long hours, and can put up with menial work. Is there anything else I should speak to? I don't have any prior law firm internship experience, so I hope that doesn't put me at a disadvantage.

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swtlilsoni
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby swtlilsoni » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:32 pm

Thanks for all your responses. Another doubt: I'll have to travel to another state to do this interview (probably around a 5 hour drive). Will they reimburse me for travel/hotel or anything? I know other people who had interviews in other fields (mainly business) and they got reimbursed. Should I ask? OR would it look bad

AP-375
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Re: biglaw legal assistant interview?

Postby AP-375 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:09 pm

swtlilsoni wrote:Thanks for all your responses. Another doubt: I'll have to travel to another state to do this interview (probably around a 5 hour drive). Will they reimburse me for travel/hotel or anything? I know other people who had interviews in other fields (mainly business) and they got reimbursed. Should I ask? OR would it look bad

No. Don't ask. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn't. Not worth the risk of coming across as unprofessional.




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