"So, how do you like law school?"

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273376
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

"So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:26 pm

This question has come up a number of times in interviews and at mixers. Is it a mistake to be too enthusiastic? I genuinely enjoyed my first semester, but I wonder if declaring that makes me look like a tool.

I've gotten blank looks from some associates when I've told them that, and had a partner say "wow, I wished I enjoyed my first year."

Geist13
Posts: 739
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Geist13 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:43 pm

"It's been a lot of work so far. However, the work load has forced me to further develop organizational and time management skills, which will truly benefit me going forward. In terms of substance, one of the great surprises of law school is how much I've enjoyed each of my classes. I was expecting to like some and not others, but have been truly surprised at how interesting all the subjects have been, except for maybe (insert class that everyone agrees is just awful, e.g. tax)"

That's usually the gist what I say. Maybe pepper with an example or two which may be particularly relevant to the interviewer's practice.

edit: despite what interviewers may say, they don't want to hear you be a negative nancy about your law school experience. I mean, on all accounts, the first few years of private practice are just as bad (and probably worse) than law school (which is not bad at all). If I were an interviewer and you said "well to tell you the truth I really struggled with how much work it is. I enjoy the topics, but I can't say I'm enjoying myself," my first thought would be: well this person's going to be really unhappy as an associate.
Last edited by Geist13 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby traehekat » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:48 pm

I don't think there is anything wrong with being enthusiastic. It might be good to add something about how much you have enjoyed your classmates and professors, in addition to the study of law. Although the interviewer might care a little bit more about the latter, it sounds a little more sincere when you are gushing over the friends you have made in addition to the pouring over one mundane case after another part of law school. Plus you'll come off as someone who not only worked hard but remained outgoing and friendly, which is valued in any workplace.

User avatar
DallasCowboy
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:47 am

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby DallasCowboy » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:58 pm

traehekat wrote:add something about how much you have enjoyed your classmates and professors, in addition to the study of law.


all you really need is that sentence. then say you are looking forward to taking practical classes to put the theory into motion.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Dignan » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:06 pm

Geist13 wrote:"It's been a lot of work so far. However, the work load has forced me to further develop organizational and time management skills, which will truly benefit me going forward. In terms of substance, one of the great surprises of law school is how much I've enjoyed each of my classes. I was expecting to like some and not others, but have been truly surprised at how interesting all the subjects have been, except for maybe (insert class that everyone agrees is just awful, e.g. tax)"


This is generally good advice. However, I suggest being cautious about saying that law school has "been a lot of work." Although law school requires more work than undergrad, it requires far less work than a firm job. If you go overboard with discussing how challenging the law school experience has been, you run the risk of looking like someone who won't be able to handle the workload demands of a firm job.

2LLLL
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby 2LLLL » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:20 pm

Don't be really negative about it or it'll come off like you're not interested in a long term career in law and/or don't want to put in hard work requiring attention to detail. Don't be ridiculously positive to the point that it comes off as being fake either- obviously no one really enjoys law school and your interviewer knows that.

My approach was always to acknowledge the downsides of law school in a way that also sells your abilities. So, I'd say something like:

"Well, in my opinion the best and worst part of law school is the people [always got a laugh from the interviewer]. I've met some amazingly accomplished people, who have challenged me to achieve at a higher level than I ever have before. I've really enjoyed the friendships I've made during the long nights at the library [throw in the name of the library if the interviewer is an alum and the name isn't completely obscure] working with my study group to help each other understand what can really be dense concepts [sell your ability to work in teams]. On the other hand, the downside of law school is the intense competition. My attitude has always been that I'll treat it like a job, and get to school in the morning and stay until I've accomplished all of my goals for the day. I put my best 100% effort into everything I do, and if someone else's best is better than mine, then I don't begrudge them that [sell your professionalism and the fact that you'd be chill to work with]. Overall though, I've enjoyed learning about how minor details can mean everything, and the ways that the law has a profound effect on people's lives, which has really reaffirmed my decision to become an attorney."



EDIT -- This is one of those questions where as soon as you're done answering you're going to think back and realize you sounded like a total douche. That's because it's somewhat of a disingenuous question-- the interviewer knows that 1L is one of the least enjoyable experiences of anyone's life, but if you say that it's basically an auto-ding. The goal is to minimize the douchiness and artificialness of the answer as much as possible while still subtlely selling yourself (i.e. not "I LUVZ LAW SCHOOL, CHECK MY GPA I'M A BEAST AT IT")

Anonymous User
Posts: 273376
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:07 pm

This seems like somewhat of a strange question, but at the risk of being a bit scathing:

This is a basic professional interpersonal interaction. The lawyers you are talking to you are not homogenous and had very different experiences with their law school career and even their current legal career. They are not testing you and if they are, you probably aren't going to be able to read their mind. Be honest and genuine within the limits of reasonable responses. If you don't really like law school, common sense should dictate that you refrain from saying that. If you are an obnoxious gunner, similarly, you should refrain from expressing such feelings.

The harder you try to craft the perfect fake answer, the more they'll realize it and the worse you'll come off. However, if you are thinking "I lie about stuff all the time, I can blow smoke up the tightest of orifices," then you probably aren't asking yourself this question, much less asking on TLS.

My advice: use common sense and just chill.

User avatar
Shaggier1
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:57 am

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:36 am

"Well, in my opinion the best and worst part of law school is the people [always got a laugh from the interviewer]. I've met some amazingly accomplished people, who have challenged me to achieve at a higher level than I ever have before. I've really enjoyed the friendships I've made during the long nights at the library [throw in the name of the library if the interviewer is an alum and the name isn't completely obscure] working with my study group to help each other understand what can really be dense concepts [sell your ability to work in teams]. On the other hand, the downside of law school is the intense competition. My attitude has always been that I'll treat it like a job, and get to school in the morning and stay until I've accomplished all of my goals for the day. I put my best 100% effort into everything I do, and if someone else's best is better than mine, then I don't begrudge them that [sell your professionalism and the fact that you'd be chill to work with]. Overall though, I've enjoyed learning about how minor details can mean everything, and the ways that the law has a profound effect on people's lives, which has really reaffirmed my decision to become an attorney."


"It's been a lot of work so far. However, the work load has forced me to further develop organizational and time management skills, which will truly benefit me going forward. In terms of substance, one of the great surprises of law school is how much I've enjoyed each of my classes. I was expecting to like some and not others, but have been truly surprised at how interesting all the subjects have been, except for maybe (insert class that everyone agrees is just awful, e.g. tax)"


Don't do this. Don't give caged responses because you think that is what they want to hear.

Answer the question and answer it honestly. Sincerity is the best approach when interviewing.
Last edited by Shaggier1 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

ran12
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:28 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby ran12 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:39 am

I always tell the truth that law school is not that great and different from what I thought it would be like. Most interviewers agree that they had similar experiences and some flat out say they hated law school even before I respond.

User avatar
Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Cupidity » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:46 am

Talk about how much you hate ConLaw

Everyone hates ConLaw

ran12
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:28 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby ran12 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:54 am

Cupidity wrote:Talk about how much you hate ConLaw

Everyone hates ConLaw


My con law prof hated con law so much she didn't bother to even teach it herself or show up to class

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:58 am

I usually say something like, "I've been surprised how much I've enjoyed it. It's been a lot of work, but I've been enjoying the coursework and I've also made some great friends and had a lot more fun than I thought I would."

I think a response like this shows that you work hard but aren't a total nerd, and that you like to have a social life. Firms don't want to hear you say it was easy, but they also don't want to hear that you sit in the library 24/7. Always be positive in a response to this question, and try to show them you're not a total tool/slacker/nerd.

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:58 am

if you hate it, say it. usually people tell me they hate it or, if they liked it, say they know they're in the minority and law practice is nothing like school, moving on.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:41 am

I genuinely like law school so I've just said that I came in thinking it would be tedious but I have enjoyed it much more that I thought I would.

Also, con law was my favorite class because I think it was cool to see the history and how the law developed over time for various issues. I also thought that there were more solid black letter rules in con law.

User avatar
Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Cupidity » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:02 am

You can also hate on ConLaw gunners.

See post supra.

JK

Anonymous User
Posts: 273376
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:15 am

Shaggier1 wrote:
"Well, in my opinion the best and worst part of law school is the people [always got a laugh from the interviewer]. I've met some amazingly accomplished people, who have challenged me to achieve at a higher level than I ever have before. I've really enjoyed the friendships I've made during the long nights at the library [throw in the name of the library if the interviewer is an alum and the name isn't completely obscure] working with my study group to help each other understand what can really be dense concepts [sell your ability to work in teams]. On the other hand, the downside of law school is the intense competition. My attitude has always been that I'll treat it like a job, and get to school in the morning and stay until I've accomplished all of my goals for the day. I put my best 100% effort into everything I do, and if someone else's best is better than mine, then I don't begrudge them that [sell your professionalism and the fact that you'd be chill to work with]. Overall though, I've enjoyed learning about how minor details can mean everything, and the ways that the law has a profound effect on people's lives, which has really reaffirmed my decision to become an attorney."


"It's been a lot of work so far. However, the work load has forced me to further develop organizational and time management skills, which will truly benefit me going forward. In terms of substance, one of the great surprises of law school is how much I've enjoyed each of my classes. I was expecting to like some and not others, but have been truly surprised at how interesting all the subjects have been, except for maybe (insert class that everyone agrees is just awful, e.g. tax)"


Don't do this. Don't give caged responses because you think that is what they want to hear.

Answer the question and answer it honestly. Sincerity is the best approach when interviewing.


Anyone willing to second this guy?

I'm a 1L right now, and if employers expect us to give answers like those (which seem like complete BS), I think I'm going to suck at interviews.

User avatar
Entchen
Posts: 722
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Entchen » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:24 am

AreJay711 wrote:I genuinely like law school so I've just said that I came in thinking it would be tedious but I have enjoyed it much more that I thought I would.


Ditto my sectionmate. I honestly really enjoy law school. I'm surprised so many people in this thread seem to dislike it.

ConLaw wasn't my favorite, but I didn't mind it. So far, the only class I've actively disliked has been Civ Pro, and that I think was mostly a result of the professor, who, while incredibly nice and intelligent, could not teach to save his life.

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Shaggier1 wrote:
"Well, in my opinion the best and worst part of law school is the people [always got a laugh from the interviewer]. I've met some amazingly accomplished people, who have challenged me to achieve at a higher level than I ever have before. I've really enjoyed the friendships I've made during the long nights at the library [throw in the name of the library if the interviewer is an alum and the name isn't completely obscure] working with my study group to help each other understand what can really be dense concepts [sell your ability to work in teams]. On the other hand, the downside of law school is the intense competition. My attitude has always been that I'll treat it like a job, and get to school in the morning and stay until I've accomplished all of my goals for the day. I put my best 100% effort into everything I do, and if someone else's best is better than mine, then I don't begrudge them that [sell your professionalism and the fact that you'd be chill to work with]. Overall though, I've enjoyed learning about how minor details can mean everything, and the ways that the law has a profound effect on people's lives, which has really reaffirmed my decision to become an attorney."


"It's been a lot of work so far. However, the work load has forced me to further develop organizational and time management skills, which will truly benefit me going forward. In terms of substance, one of the great surprises of law school is how much I've enjoyed each of my classes. I was expecting to like some and not others, but have been truly surprised at how interesting all the subjects have been, except for maybe (insert class that everyone agrees is just awful, e.g. tax)"


Don't do this. Don't give caged responses because you think that is what they want to hear.

Answer the question and answer it honestly. Sincerity is the best approach when interviewing.


Anyone willing to second this guy?

I'm a 1L right now, and if employers expect us to give answers like those (which seem like complete BS), I think I'm going to suck at interviews.


Ya don't worry. That text above sounds like some BS you'd write in an email. Nobody actually talks like that. If you said that in person, autoding. How the hell you even gonna get those 50 words out before the interviewer passes out or smacks you in the face? It's supposed to be a conversation, people.

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:53 am

Entchen wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:I genuinely like law school so I've just said that I came in thinking it would be tedious but I have enjoyed it much more that I thought I would.


Ditto my sectionmate. I honestly really enjoy law school. I'm surprised so many people in this thread seem to dislike it.

ConLaw wasn't my favorite, but I didn't mind it. So far, the only class I've actively disliked has been Civ Pro, and that I think was mostly a result of the professor, who, while incredibly nice and intelligent, could not teach to save his life.


law school brings two types of people together. 1 - people who love school. 2 - people who want to be lawyers and hate school, but have no choice but to go.

sillyboots
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:50 am

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby sillyboots » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:36 am

My guess is that they aren't asking you in order really to "test" you so much as they are wanting to start the conversation vibe. Keep in mind that law school is one of the few things the interviewer knows you both have in common, something you can relate to each other on. As someone who has conducted interviews before, not to ding the people who responded earlier, but my guess would be to try to avoid speeches about things like how your time management skills have developed or words like "challenge"-- they always made my eyes glaze over and I'm guessing it's the same for others.

I think what others have said before is probably true: interviews are not so much about qualification, but instead are about compatibility. They have seen your resume and transcript, they probably have a good idea of your ability to work and accomplish things and the fact that they're interviewing you is a good sign that they think you're sufficient in that department (besides, if your resume indicates you're lazy and suck or something, they aren't going to take your word for it that it's not true). Think of intro week and the impressions your classmates gave off when you spoke with them. People who went on long tangents about their accomplishments or how amazing nursing baby goats in the congo was come off as assholes. People who wouldn't make eye contact and kept playing with their nails came off as weird. People who were natural, friendly and comfortable, though, gave off a really good impression and you likely sought them out in the future-- interviews really aren't that much different.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273376
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:55 am

I tell them it's good but I miss working.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: "So, how do you like law school?"

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:44 pm

Most initial interviews are conversational. They're trying to judge your personality and "fit" with the firm, knowing that how you behave with them is how you'll soon behave with clients. If you sound cold and rehearsed, you'll come across as unable to be natural in even brief business interactions. You should practice standard interview questions if you're nervous (and schedule mock interviews before the real ones), but instead of trying to rehearse scripted answers, just practice answering in your own voice.

You can know what topics you might want to touch on, but if you practice talking about those things, you can do it comfortably and without having a script during the real interview.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.