Interview with a Small Firm

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GreyVendor
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Interview with a Small Firm

Postby GreyVendor » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:08 pm

So I just had an interview with a partner at a small firm in NYC for an unpaid position. I thought the interview was pretty weird. The guy asked 2 questions about me. At the beginning of the interview he asked where I was from. At the end of the interview he asked me how I like law school.

The bulk of the interview was comprised of me asking him questions as this is what he wanted. This seems like bullshit. How is this a basis for deciding who gets the job? Whoever asks the best questions? My grades are top 10%.

Any thoughts?

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patrickd139
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:10 pm

OP wrote:small firm in NYC for an unpaid position.

:shock:

Thoughts: Glad I'm not trying to land employment in NYC right now. Also, unpaid work for a firm (of any size) is bullshit.

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fatduck
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby fatduck » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:15 pm

GreyVendor wrote:How is this a basis for deciding who gets the job? Whoever asks the best questions? My grades are top 10%.

as opposed to who gives the best answers? did you expect it to be a civ pro pop quiz?

this is a popular technique for "fit" interviews (and at this stage, all your interviews are "fit" interviews). the interviewer wants to have a conversation with you, and see how you react when you can't use your rehearsed answers to common questions. makes sense to me.

GreyVendor
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby GreyVendor » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:24 pm

fatduck wrote:
GreyVendor wrote:How is this a basis for deciding who gets the job? Whoever asks the best questions? My grades are top 10%.

as opposed to who gives the best answers? did you expect it to be a civ pro pop quiz?

this is a popular technique for "fit" interviews (and at this stage, all your interviews are "fit" interviews). the interviewer wants to have a conversation with you, and see how you react when you can't use your rehearsed answers to common questions. makes sense to me.


Yes, as opposed to who gives the best answers. This is how everything else in life is done. I certainly did not expect a quiz on my knowledge of substantive law as my grades already indicate what I know about that. This "fit" strategy leaves the interviewer without any real knowledge of what the interviewee has to offer in the work environment. All he knows now is that I can carry a conversation and not much else.

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fatduck
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby fatduck » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:25 pm

GreyVendor wrote:
fatduck wrote:
GreyVendor wrote:How is this a basis for deciding who gets the job? Whoever asks the best questions? My grades are top 10%.

as opposed to who gives the best answers? did you expect it to be a civ pro pop quiz?

this is a popular technique for "fit" interviews (and at this stage, all your interviews are "fit" interviews). the interviewer wants to have a conversation with you, and see how you react when you can't use your rehearsed answers to common questions. makes sense to me.


Yes, as opposed to who gives the best answers. This is how everything else in life is done. I certainly did not expect a quiz on my knowledge of substantive law as my grades already indicate what I know about that. This "fit" strategy leaves the interviewer without any real knowledge of what the interviewee has to offer in the work environment. All he knows now is that I can carry a conversation and not much else.

you think that your rehearsed answers to "what is your greatest weakness? describe a time when you overcame a challenge?" contain more valuable information?

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patrickd139
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:25 pm

GreyVendor wrote:
fatduck wrote:
GreyVendor wrote:How is this a basis for deciding who gets the job? Whoever asks the best questions? My grades are top 10%.

as opposed to who gives the best answers? did you expect it to be a civ pro pop quiz?

this is a popular technique for "fit" interviews (and at this stage, all your interviews are "fit" interviews). the interviewer wants to have a conversation with you, and see how you react when you can't use your rehearsed answers to common questions. makes sense to me.


Yes, as opposed to who gives the best answers. This is how everything else in life is done. I certainly did not expect a quiz on my knowledge of substantive law as my grades already indicate what I know about that. This "fit" strategy leaves the interviewer without any real knowledge of what the interviewee has to offer in the work environment. All he knows now is that I can carry a conversation and not much else.

OP: I don't think "fit" means what you think it means.

ETA: if you're a 1L, you have no "real knowledge" to "offer" to the firm anyway.

GreyVendor
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby GreyVendor » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:31 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
GreyVendor wrote:
fatduck wrote:
GreyVendor wrote:How is this a basis for deciding who gets the job? Whoever asks the best questions? My grades are top 10%.

as opposed to who gives the best answers? did you expect it to be a civ pro pop quiz?

this is a popular technique for "fit" interviews (and at this stage, all your interviews are "fit" interviews). the interviewer wants to have a conversation with you, and see how you react when you can't use your rehearsed answers to common questions. makes sense to me.


Yes, as opposed to who gives the best answers. This is how everything else in life is done. I certainly did not expect a quiz on my knowledge of substantive law as my grades already indicate what I know about that. This "fit" strategy leaves the interviewer without any real knowledge of what the interviewee has to offer in the work environment. All he knows now is that I can carry a conversation and not much else.

OP: I don't think "fit" means what you think it means.

ETA: if you're a 1L, you have no "real knowledge" to "offer" to the firm anyway.


Take a closer look at what I wrote. I said it leaves the interviewer without knowledge of what the kid has to offer. Not what the student knows.

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patrickd139
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:34 pm

GreyVendor wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
GreyVendor wrote:Yes, as opposed to who gives the best answers. This is how everything else in life is done. I certainly did not expect a quiz on my knowledge of substantive law as my grades already indicate what I know about that. This "fit" strategy leaves the interviewer without any real knowledge of what the interviewee has to offer in the work environment. All he knows now is that I can carry a conversation and not much else.

OP: I don't think "fit" means what you think it means.

ETA: if you're a 1L, you have no "real knowledge" to "offer" to the firm anyway.


Take a closer look at what I wrote. I said it leaves the interviewer without knowledge of what the kid has to offer. Not what the student knows.

GreyVendor wrote:This "fit" strategy leaves the interviewer without any real knowledge of what the interviewee has to offer in the work environment.

The bolded is not at all what you said in your post. My underlying point: you have nothing substantive to offer a law firm as a 1L with a cursory knowledge (at best) of Contracts and Civil Procedure. The only thing that matters to most employers, especially the smaller ones, is that they can stand being around you.

phonepro
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby phonepro » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:29 pm

get over it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:50 pm

OP: Why so upset over an unpaid position at a small firm ? If this firm specializes in an area of law that is interesting to you, then you should have had plenty of questions & thoughts to offer.

P.S. Are you in law school ?

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:13 pm

I was under the impression that if you are a firm you are not allowed to not pay law students for summer work. It has to be at least minimum wage.

This is strictly based on hearsay so it may very well be completely wrong. A friend of mine lost an internship with a small firm who hired her unpaid and called back a week later to rescind the offer because they said they were worried they legally HAD to pay her and couldnt afford to.

GreyVendor
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby GreyVendor » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:28 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: Why so upset over an unpaid position at a small firm ? If this firm specializes in an area of law that is interesting to you, then you should have had plenty of questions & thoughts to offer.

P.S. Are you in law school ?


How did this get lost in translation? I'm not upset at all it's unpaid, I would love to get the job. I had no problem asking questions, I just didn't understand how this was an effective evaluation of a candidate.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:32 pm

Never wrote or even suggested that you were upset that the position was unpaid. Are you in law school ?

P.S. Judging by your posts, you do seem to get upset by trivial concerns whether real or imagined. I find it hard to believe that you are a law student with "top 10%" grades.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GreyVendor
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby GreyVendor » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:34 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Never wrote or even suggested that you were upset that the position was unpaid. Are you in law school ?


yup

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby Stanford4Me » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:36 pm

You should read Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams. It will prep you for interview like this, and no they aren't complete BS. I had multiple interviewers who didn't even ask me questions when I interviewed with a V20 and multiple V50 firms back in January. The entirety of those interviews was me talking to them about:

A) The state of the legal market as a whole
B) The state of their firm
C) How Texas has fared relative to markets like NYC and DC
D) What brought them/made them stay at the firm

It is pretty common knowledge that you're supposed to have ample questions ready to ask, this shouldn't catch you by surprise. I guess you can look at it as a learning experience.

adonai
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby adonai » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:37 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:I was under the impression that if you are a firm you are not allowed to not pay law students for summer work. It has to be at least minimum wage.

This is strictly based on hearsay so it may very well be completely wrong. A friend of mine lost an internship with a small firm who hired her unpaid and called back a week later to rescind the offer because they said they were worried they legally HAD to pay her and couldnt afford to.

+1 a family friend who has his own small private practice refused to take me on as an intern as well because of this

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby Stanford4Me » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:39 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:I was under the impression that if you are a firm you are not allowed to not pay law students for summer work. It has to be at least minimum wage.

This is strictly based on hearsay so it may very well be completely wrong. A friend of mine lost an internship with a small firm who hired her unpaid and called back a week later to rescind the offer because they said they were worried they legally HAD to pay her and couldnt afford to.

It's kind of a hazy area, as are all areas in law -

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... ompliance/

GreyVendor
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby GreyVendor » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:40 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:You should read Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams. It will prep you for interview like this, and no they aren't complete BS. I had multiple interviewers who didn't even ask me questions when I interviewed with a V20 and multiple V50 firms back in January. The entirety of those interviews was me talking to them about:

A) The state of the legal market as a whole
B) The state of their firm
C) How Texas has fared relative to markets like NYC and DC
D) What brought them/made them stay at the firm

It is pretty common knowledge that you're supposed to have ample questions ready to ask, this shouldn't catch you by surprise. I guess you can look at it as a learning experience.


Thanks for the constructive advice. I understand at every interview you're supposed to ask questions, I just didn't think it would be the entire interview.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:40 pm

Okay, your posts from last year suggest that you may be a law student at New York Law or Quinnipiac.

There are many different types of interviewing styles--including some designed to test the candidate/applicant's ability to remain composed during the interview.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:43 pm

I'm going to echo a lot of other posters ITT. A lot of interviewers interview like this. Not my cup of tea per se, but I can see its merits. Or rather, I don't know if other methods are any more effective lol. You really don't have much to offer them anyways, as another poster mentioned, so they just want to see if they can STAND you. Can you carry on a conversation? Think of intelligent questions?
It's a way for people to make quick judgments, like how I am doing now reading your thread. Apparently this whole thing bothered you a lot when 99% of people would shrug it off after an hour. lol got to learn to let things go.

GreyVendor
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby GreyVendor » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:50 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:I'm going to echo a lot of other posters ITT. A lot of interviewers interview like this. Not my cup of tea per se, but I can see its merits. Or rather, I don't know if other methods are any more effective lol. You really don't have much to offer them anyways, as another poster mentioned, so they just want to see if they can STAND you. Can you carry on a conversation? Think of intelligent questions?
It's a way for people to make quick judgments, like how I am doing now reading your thread. Apparently this whole thing bothered you a lot when 99% of people would shrug it off after an hour. lol got to learn to let things go.


Dude, I get it. You've said the same exact thing 10 other people have. I was just wondering what other people thought about this method. I know you think you're really smart by trying to tell me I need to learn to let things go, I get it. I wanted a discussion, not really a judgment on how you perceive my ability to "let things go," or the merits of the thread.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:52 pm

GreyVendor wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:I'm going to echo a lot of other posters ITT. A lot of interviewers interview like this. Not my cup of tea per se, but I can see its merits. Or rather, I don't know if other methods are any more effective lol. You really don't have much to offer them anyways, as another poster mentioned, so they just want to see if they can STAND you. Can you carry on a conversation? Think of intelligent questions?
It's a way for people to make quick judgments, like how I am doing now reading your thread. Apparently this whole thing bothered you a lot when 99% of people would shrug it off after an hour. lol got to learn to let things go.


Dude, I get it. You've said the same exact thing 10 other people have. I was just wondering what other people thought about this method. I know you think you're really smart by trying to tell me I need to learn to let things go, I get it. I wanted a discussion, not really a judgment on how you perceive my ability to "let things go," or the merits of the thread.


lawl

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swc65
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Re: Interview with a Small Firm

Postby swc65 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:07 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:You should read Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams. It will prep you for interview like this, and no they aren't complete BS. I had multiple interviewers who didn't even ask me questions when I interviewed with a V20 and multiple V50 firms back in January. The entirety of those interviews was me talking to them about:

A) The state of the legal market as a whole
B) The state of their firm
C) How Texas has fared relative to markets like NYC and DC
D) What brought them/made them stay at the firm

It is pretty common knowledge that you're supposed to have ample questions ready to ask, this shouldn't catch you by surprise. I guess you can look at it as a learning experience.


This is credited. I have had interviews that are all over the place. I am glad too so that I will be more prepared in the Fall. It was hard getting used to it though, because OCS prepped for the standard 20 questions interview. being thrown the ball so early in the interview was disconcerting the first few times, but I think it is actually a good sign. If they are at the fit stage, it means they are satisfied with your resume and ready to test you at the next level.




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