Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

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Anonymous User
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Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:33 pm

Hello everyone,

I have an interview later today with Latham for a assistant/secretarial position. Any tips on what I can do during this interview to better my chances at getting hired? They seem to be worried that I am going to rush into law school being I was accepted to a few this fall, but I insisted I need the correct work experience and more LSAT prep before committing to LS. I do however plan on attending Fall of 2012, thank you for your advice!

Total Litigator
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Total Litigator » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:40 pm

Please clarify: This is something other than a paralegal job?

I ask because law firms are usually more open to shorter terms for paralegals (e.g. two years) because they know they are probably hiring a future law student. Law firms tend to not see secretaries as future law students and therefore usually require a more "secretary as a career" oriented person (e.g. at least five years).

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Shammis
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Shammis » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:43 pm

Do they know of you plans to attend LS the following year? Most firms prob. wont want to train someone and then have them leave after only a year, though that is pure speculation. Good luck on getting studying time in as an assistant in Biglaw btw...

That being said, the best thing you can do is to try to come off as motivated and amiable as possible and make sure they know your sticking with them the whole year. Good luck with the interview, if you are confident you should do fine. They are professionals, so be professional. Let us know what Latham is like too...

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:46 pm

Iron shirt, lie through teeth

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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:49 pm

It is for a Legal secretarial position, but he explained how they play more of a role in the firm as opposed to most secretarial positions. I am still waiting to hear back on paralegal job from Weitz, but being Latham is so big I couldn't turn down opportunity even for a secretary position. I am just curious as to if they will make me put the committment in writing because I do plan on attending LS Fall of 2012.

Thank you for the advice guys

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loblaw
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby loblaw » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:50 pm

I wouldn't expect any letters of rec from your employer if you go that route.

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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:57 pm

I know it is probably not the right route if they don't expect me to go to LS, but I am in desperate need of a job atm and I figured being such a large firm it can't hurt to have on the resume. I did inform them down the line I had intention of attending LS, but I guess will see how it plays out later today. Thank you

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l'aviadora
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby l'aviadora » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:14 pm

Well, one thing to think about is why you want this job in the first place. From your post, it sounds like you aren't quite sure. How does secretarial work help you to become more qualified for law school than you are right now? Do you have other professional work experience? If not, I can see where this might be an asset. If so, I don't think it's going to help you all that much unless you're substantially involved. Given that you're only planning to do a year, you likely won't be since the training/familiarization process will take up a good part of that time. Are you going to be a legal assistant/paralegal or more of a receptionist? If I were the one interviewing you, I would be concerned as well. At most you are saying that you'd devote a year to this opportunity. What sort of skills do you bring to the position? It's going to depend on your competition. If you're more skilled than the competition, they may give you a shot over someone with a longer ideal commitment. If you're lesser or similarly skilled, I can't see that happening unless you kill your interview.

I don't think that there is much that you can do to increase your chances. Make sure that you have a coherent and thoughtful answer for any questions regarding your education and work goals. Avoid sounding as if you are just passing through on the way to something better.

Good luck. :)

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paratactical
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby paratactical » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:18 pm

You do realize that a single year as a secretary for Latham won't mean shit for your applications, right?

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby somewhatwayward » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:21 pm

my advice is don't tell them you're planning to start law school in fall 2012. they won't hire you if you do.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:35 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:my advice is don't tell them you're planning to start law school in fall 2012. they won't hire you if you do.


Pretty credited, but I would never lie.

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sunynp
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby sunynp » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:53 pm

OP isn't sitting on a deferral. OP can say s/he plans to stay in the job for a couple of years. People change their minds about going to school or decide to save up more money first. If OP is retaking the LSAT, s/he may not get a good enough score. Going to law school in 2012 is a possibility right now. OP needs this job.
Last edited by sunynp on Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Moxie
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Moxie » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:55 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:my advice is don't tell them you're planning to start law school in fall 2012. they won't hire you if you do.


Pretty credited, but I would never lie.


+1. OP, would it kill you to stay at Latham for 2 years if you get the job (assuming they have that requirement?):

sunynp wrote:People change their minds about going to school or decide to save up more money first.

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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:02 pm

I guess it wouldn't kill me to sit out another two years but I am unsure if I really would be able to wait that long. I would think if we really hit it off in this interview, and I love my job then I would not have a problem working in this firm for another extra year. I do think I am more suited for a temporary position, but I am unsure if the opportunity is there. Fingers crossed, thank you all

09042014
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:06 pm

Why are people pretending the support Staff at Latham have a half life of 2 years?!?

If the DOW hiccups they'll lay off 50% of you guys.

There is nothing wrong with doing it for one year, they aren't offering a 2 year guaranteed job. At will goes both ways.

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northwood
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby northwood » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:28 pm

While you need the job- you also need to figure out the minimum time commitment for this particular job. If you tell them that you are planning on staying for a while- then leave in about a year to the day- then you run the risk of burning bridges. If the position is temporary- then go for it. However- working for a few months before sending out fall 2012 applications wont help much. You need to be working for a while before it becomes a soft. SO if you are taking the job there for applicaiton purposes- then you shoudl aim to apply for the next cycle ( 2013) not this upcoming one. Or search for another job- that is not related to law, and do what you want.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:52 pm

I really, truly doubt that being a secretary at Latham is going to help you get into law school. However, burning your bridges by leaving your job at Latham may hurt you if you want to get a firm job in the same city in a couple of years. I normally would agree that breaking a two-year commitment is ethically not a huge deal, since it's a one-way promise and they can and will lay you off as soon as it becomes cost effective; it's not like you will have a guaranteed contract. (Though, even then you really shouldn't accept knowing upfront you don't intend to honor the commitment; it's just that things do come up in the midst of these jobs that make leaving early legitimate, IMO.)

That calculus changes, though, if you're hoping to reenter the same industry in the same market. Why even consider tarnishing your reputation when you've barely begun your career? Over a temporary secretary job? Not worth it.

If you have any other job leads at all, OP, I would pursue those instead.

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sunynp
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby sunynp » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:50 pm

If OP goes to law school and does well enough to get into a top firm, the fact she decided to leave her job early to go to law school is not going to hold her back. I don't think s/he should lie, but to give up on a job because s/he might go to law school is not smart.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:00 pm

1. You should lie.

2. Only a handful of people in the firm will even remember you once you leave.

3. I think the experience will give you a good taste of what life at a big law firm might be like. From what I've seen at the firms I've worked at, the secretaries (most places call them legal assistants) work just as long if not longer than the associates and partners. I've seen them in the office on weekends, holidays, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc... They get there before the attorney and very often leave after. Very hard working people, and everyone tells me having a good one goes a long long long way in your career. I know people who became partners but stayed in their associate office for years because the other floor didn't have room for their secretary to be nearby, so they'd have to get a new one.

goodolgil
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby goodolgil » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:14 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Why are people pretending the support Staff at Latham have a half life of 2 years?!?

If the DOW hiccups they'll lay off 50% of you guys.

There is nothing wrong with doing it for one year, they aren't offering a 2 year guaranteed job. At will goes both ways.


Seriously.

If they want a two-year commitment they should contract to it. Since they can fire you after a year if they want to, you can leave after a year if you want to.

Renzo
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Re: Interview with top law firm in NYC today, advice?

Postby Renzo » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:12 am

Aqualibrium wrote:1. You should lie.

2. Only a handful of people in the firm will even remember you once you leave.

3. I think the experience will give you a good taste of what life at a big law firm might be like. From what I've seen at the firms I've worked at, the secretaries (most places call them legal assistants) work just as long if not longer than the associates and partners. I've seen them in the office on weekends, holidays, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc... They get there before the attorney and very often leave after. Very hard working people, and everyone tells me having a good one goes a long long long way in your career. I know people who became partners but stayed in their associate office for years because the other floor didn't have room for their secretary to be nearby, so they'd have to get a new one.



Yep. I'm generally anti-lying, but this is credited.




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