What to Expect
Callback interviews usually consist of a series of interviews with three to six attorneys (five is typical for large firms) individually in their offices, and often a restaurant meal with other attorneys. The same basic rules apply to callbacks as to screening interviews: arrive on time, dress professionally, and bring extra copies of your resume, transcript and writing sample. Firms will be looking for the same qualities as they did during the screening interviews: smarts, motivation, professionalism, collegiality, etc. (See the CDO Effective Interviewing Guide for more details). The interview lasts from the moment you arrive at the firm until you exit several hours later. Keep in mind that the lawyers you meet will be evaluating you, and they will notice your interaction with everyone you encounter, including their support staff and servers at restaurants. When you arrive, you will meet briefly with either an administrative staff person or an attorney before the formal interview schedule begins. You will be given a list of the people with whom you will be meeting. Make an effort to remember their names, which can be difficult when you are meeting so many new people. Remember that you are also there to learn about the firm, so you can make an informed decision should you receive an offer. Get as much information as you can during the callback, and observe the atmosphere and the people there as well. Would you like to spend the summer (or your professional life) here?
Large firms prefer to include a meal as part of the callback because their representatives want the chance to observe you in a less formal setting. Often, the attorneys who will accompany you are closer in age to you and the meal is billed as “your opportunity to ask more junior-level attorneys whatever you want.” In reality, however, they will be interviewing you and likely submitting written evaluations just as the attorneys with whom you more formally interviewed will. You should resist the temptation to “let down your guard” with these younger attorneys. At the same time, you do not want to appear like someone who cannot relax in a less formal business setting. Your challenge, therefore, is to find a balance between keeping your mind alert and “in interview mode” and not appearing like a “stuffed-shirt.” For more information about appropriate behavior and etiquette at callback lunches or dinners, you may want to listen to CDO’s Etiquette presentation from a few years ago.http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1152.htm