Summer interviews at firms

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huskylives
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:44 pm

Summer interviews at firms

Postby huskylives » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:54 pm

Hey there -- I just finished my first year at law school. I have decent but not outstanding grades (top 20-25% or so), did not make law review, and am not on any moot court teams. Essentially, my entire law school experience is limited so far to the classroom.

I go to law school out-of-state, but this summer I have been home interning at a local DA's office, and in the meantime applying to all the big firms in my area for 2012 summer associate positions (around $2k/week). Of the first six I applied to (the six biggest), after explaining I will not be around in August, I have gotten three interviews at the firms this summer. I'm uncertain exactly what the layout is for these interviews, but I do know that at at least two I will be meeting with a few partners and then going out to lunch.

My question is: Is this the equivalent of an OCI or a callback? Either way, what should I focus on during the interview? I have a really solid and diverse pre-law school resume, and a 4.0 in undergrad, but I'm not sure 1) why I've gotten these interviews in the first place, or 2) how to sell my legal skills in the internship when they apparently weren't good enough to get me onto law review/moot court.

Thanks for any advice!

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Summer interviews at firms

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:07 pm

huskylives wrote:Hey there -- I just finished my first year at law school. I have decent but not outstanding grades (top 20-25% or so), did not make law review, and am not on any moot court teams. Essentially, my entire law school experience is limited so far to the classroom.

I go to law school out-of-state, but this summer I have been home interning at a local DA's office, and in the meantime applying to all the big firms in my area for 2012 summer associate positions (around $2k/week). Of the first six I applied to (the six biggest), after explaining I will not be around in August, I have gotten three interviews at the firms this summer. I'm uncertain exactly what the layout is for these interviews, but I do know that at at least two I will be meeting with a few partners and then going out to lunch.

My question is: Is this the equivalent of an OCI or a callback? Either way, what should I focus on during the interview? I have a really solid and diverse pre-law school resume, and a 4.0 in undergrad, but I'm not sure 1) why I've gotten these interviews in the first place, or 2) how to sell my legal skills in the internship when they apparently weren't good enough to get me onto law review/moot court.

Thanks for any advice!


Congrats, you have 3 callbacks. You firm probably does not do OCI at your out-of-state school and so they want to give you interviews while you are still in town.

During the interview, they will probably ask you some proportion of three types of questions. 1) Ask you about specific positions on your resume (but general questions, like "I see you worked at the DAs office, tell me about that", 2) ask you about why you want to be a lawyer, why you want to work at the firm, in the city, etc, 3) just shooting the shit. At the end they will ask you if you have any questions about the firm. Have three or four good questions to ask, good means not found on the front page of the firm's website. You don't have to know specific cases or deals the firm or partners have worked on although it helps. You should know what practice areas the firm is strong in and what practice areas it has (the worst way to flunk one of these is to tell them you want to work in X practice area and they don't have it). Don't show poor manners at the lunch and keep conversation interview appropriate.

You do not have to sell your legal skills; they won't ask you whether their client has minimum contacts or whether a contract in enforceable. You already passed the grades/intelligence sniff test, right now it is more about fitting in with the culture of the firm. All you need to show through your words and mannerisms is that you are generally hardworking, professional, and intelligent. Very little in law school prepares you for the world of practice and firms know they will have to teach you the most basic entry-level skills.

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Georgiana
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:42 pm

Re: Summer interviews at firms

Postby Georgiana » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:13 pm

timbs4339 wrote:You do not have to sell your legal skills; they won't ask you whether their client has minimum contacts or whether a contract in enforceable.

While I generally agree with this, I had one callback interviewer ask me a substantive law question about easements (he actually gave me a hypo and 5 mins to "think about it" so that he could write some emails... major douche move, but it happens). You can't really prepare for it, but just know that it *can* happen, and it definitely made it clear that I didn't want to work there.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Summer interviews at firms

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:18 pm

Georgiana wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:You do not have to sell your legal skills; they won't ask you whether their client has minimum contacts or whether a contract in enforceable.

While I generally agree with this, I had one callback interviewer ask me a substantive law question about easements (he actually gave me a hypo and 5 mins to "think about it" so that he could write some emails... major douche move, but it happens). You can't really prepare for it, but just know that it *can* happen, and it definitely made it clear that I didn't want to work there.


Sounds like he just wanted to get rid of you for five minutes...I've never heard of that happening.

huskylives
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:44 pm

Re: Summer interviews at firms

Postby huskylives » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:19 pm

Thanks buddy. Very helpful post! I appreciate it. Do you think the subjects of moot court and/or law review will come up at all?

Additionally, I go to Baylor, which is on the quarter system. I was just thinking: When I applied for these positions, I was in roughly the top 15-20% based on my first 2 quarters worth of grades. This might explain the bite in interviews. Now however I'm probably in the top 25% as I noted earlier. Third quarter was not kind to me at all (not sure why -- didn't change the way I did anything). How do I handle this in the interview? Right now I'm thinking I won't bring up my drop in GPA in the interview, but will obviously be honest about it if asked.




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