Is this normal for 1L interviews?

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Anonymous User
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Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:06 am

1L at T14 with below-median grades. Somehow I got invited for an interview at a mid-sized firm in a smaller city near my hometown. However, they are not paying for my travel costs and it will cost me several hundred dollars to fly myself from law school to there and back. I don't know if this is standard for mid-sized firms or if it's a sign that they aren't really that interested in me? Should I deal with the airfare and do the interview anyway?

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traehekat
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby traehekat » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:52 am

Is it a place you could see yourself working after graduation? Do you know what your chances are of that happening if you land a 1L SA with them? I figure if you can afford it, and it's a place you would work after graduation, and your chances are decent that 1L SA could turn into 2L SA and then a permanent offer, then you should go for it. If you don't see yourself there for the long haul though, I might not bother since any other summer employment would be about just as good for your purposes (working at somewhere OTHER than that firm).

Then again, you could look at it as a cost-benefit kind of thing for this summer. Drop a few hundred dollars on the chance at a paying gig, that doesn't sound too crazy either.

r6_philly
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:07 pm

Can you ask if they could do a video conference interview? Your school should have the facility to do this. Also ask how many people are interviewed to interview for how many positions. It seems reasonable to do since you have to foot the bill, so if you have like 1 in 50 chance to land the job, you can decide if you want to pay the money.

sparty99
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby sparty99 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:18 pm

Ask for a phone interview...If they say no, then at least ask for a phone interview for the first round...

You can also skype. I would not fly across country for an internship if you are poor

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2LsAPlenty
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby 2LsAPlenty » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:29 pm

Many do Skype these days.

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bk1
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:36 pm

I doubt that they aren't paying because they aren't interested. Mid-size firms are probably all over the map in the types of practices they have. I would imagine that the reason they don't pay for it is because that is their policy. Maybe they have that policy because they almost exclusively interview from local schools (I was offered an interview for an unpaid position with a state agency and they would not do phone/Skype and I would have had to fly cross country for it... likely because they almost always interview local kids and thus don't want to do phone/Skype and as a state agency can't pay for flights).

Whether you should buck up and pay for it depends. As others have said you should definitely see if you can do phone or Skype first. If not then I would ask first whether this is for a real SA program where you would be paid well and have the opportunity for 2L summer and then postgrad employment. If so then I'd probably take the gamble and pay for the flight. If it isn't an SA then I'd weigh how much you want to work for this firm and how likely you are to get other job offers that you might rather have.

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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:06 pm

Thanks, everyone. I think I'm going to give it a shot. The SA program seems legit, although I don't know how many spots are reserved for 1Ls.

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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:30 pm

If it's a first interview, it's standard for them to NOT pay, especially if you initiated the contact with them (like via mass mailing or email, as opposed to an OCI interview). If it's a second interview, it is standard for them to pay.

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bk1
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If it's a first interview, it's standard for them to NOT pay, especially if you initiated the contact with them (like via mass mailing or email, as opposed to an OCI interview). If it's a second interview, it is standard for them to pay.

While it's standard, I don't think it's that out of the ordinary for firms in smaller markets not to reimburse travel expanses (could be wrong). I know a friend of mine who interviewed for 2 SA spots in a small market and one reimbursed travel whereas the other did not.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:36 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If it's a first interview, it's standard for them to NOT pay, especially if you initiated the contact with them (like via mass mailing or email, as opposed to an OCI interview). If it's a second interview, it is standard for them to pay.

While it's standard, I don't think it's that out of the ordinary for firms in smaller markets not to reimburse travel expanses (could be wrong). I know a friend of mine who interviewed for 2 SA spots in a small market and one reimbursed travel whereas the other did not.


I think it's more standard for the first round to be phone rather than unpaid with an expectation that you fly in.

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bk1
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:51 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If it's a first interview, it's standard for them to NOT pay, especially if you initiated the contact with them (like via mass mailing or email, as opposed to an OCI interview). If it's a second interview, it is standard for them to pay.

While it's standard, I don't think it's that out of the ordinary for firms in smaller markets not to reimburse travel expanses (could be wrong). I know a friend of mine who interviewed for 2 SA spots in a small market and one reimbursed travel whereas the other did not.


I think it's more standard for the first round to be phone rather than unpaid with an expectation that you fly in.


Oh I wasn't clear. I was referring to the callback interview, not the first interview.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:53 pm

bk1 wrote:
Oh I wasn't clear. I was referring to the callback interview, not the first interview.


I was agreeing with you and adding something on top of it. :)

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bk1
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:55 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Oh I wasn't clear. I was referring to the callback interview, not the first interview.


I was agreeing with you and adding something on top of it. :)


:oops:

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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:12 pm

They wouldn't ask you to spend the time and money to fly across the country if they weren't interested in you. #duh

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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:49 pm

OP here.

Yeah, it's weird because there was no first round interview. It went from "thanks for sending us your application" to "come for an afternoon of interviews with these four people".

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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:29 pm

OP, I had interviews with a bunch of mid-sized firms for 2L SA's and they didn't reimburse (and these were "callback"-style interviews just like yours - no first round). I think it's pretty normal.

Geist13
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Re: Is this normal for 1L interviews?

Postby Geist13 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:46 pm

I paid my own way in two smaller markets. From the employer's point of view, if you're not willing to throw down a couple hundred for the shot at a job, it probably says a lot about how committed you are to staying with the firm/ in that market. Basically it helps ensure that they aren't offering jobs to flight risks, which is something midisize firms in small markets really worry about a lot.




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