thesealocust wrote:The standard (from which most deviate at least slightly) would be 4 interviews, 30 minutes each
However, down in the South, I've found that the CBs tend to be quite a bit longer and with more variation. In general, the bigger a firm's class, the more you will see CBs like the above. But for firms with smaller classes who are looking for that perfect fit, I've seen some important variation rarely discussed on TLS.
Of all my CBs, only 2 CBs I had were 4 hours-ish and lunch. All others went significantly longer and/or had dinner/drinks/cocktail components. I interviewed in 5 separate Southern markets and had a whole messa CBs. See the following:
Oh the super day. These are weird. Basically the firm, instead of separating people and calling them back over separate days or using some other method to keep people segregated will call back a bunch of people in one day. You will end up waiting with these people for things or having a cocktail party or other type of mixer with them. This is common, and it's weird, because you see exactly what the competition is and you will end up interacting with these people. Sometimes interviewers ask questions to the group. These interviews tend to be longer, and this more tiring, as you have to keep your game face up. These types of interviews from what I've gathered from TLS and my own experience tend to be an almost exclusively Southern phenomenon.
Advice: Don't let the competition get to you. Be cool and social, because you will interact with these people. Don't treat other candidates like competition, though they are. Be polite and whatnot. Don't let the presence of competition interfere too much with your mental ability to quality social interactions with firm people.
Long ass CBs
When firms aren't calling back a fuckton of people, they have the luxury of having longer CBs. Longest continuous one I've had was 7 hours, from a noon lunch until 7 pm. I had planned on ending at 5. Some will want you to come up the day before and have dinner with firm people, and then a CB and lunch later the next day. Some will have a drinking component. Longest I've even had was morning interviews, lunch, and more interviews, for a total of like 5-6 hours. There was a cocktail party later with all the candidates, and then dinner. Finally got done at like 11:15. It was insane. I was exhausted.
Advice: Do your best to be perky, even though you're getting the same Qs and asking the same Qs over and over. Still prepare for all the interviewers, though it's a damn pain. Don't get too drunk. If the attorneys do expect you to get drunk though, by all means feel free to do so. I know you, the reader, are an asspie TLSer, but try to suppress that and be cool. Ignore CSO advice to "just have 2 drinks" or whatever when it's applicable. Stay on your toes. Less structured social interactions are less predictable, as opposed to just asking the same stock questions in a 20-30 minute CB segment.