What is the difference between a screener and an interview?

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What is the difference between a screener and an interview?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:32 pm

I would like to ask a few employers I am interested in to meet with me over the summer. For a few, I know associates who work at the firm and for others, I know no one at all. I've seen suggestions on TLS indicating that I should ask for a screener. Is that the same as an interview? Can I just ask for an interview? For firms where I know associates, should I use that connection to try and get an interview/screener? I'm hoping to speak with a few of the firms I'm particularly interested in, including firms that are coming to OCI and firms that are not. I'm targeting the NYC market.

Ness Lee

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Re: What is the difference between a screener and an interview?

Postby Ness Lee » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:08 pm

A screener is an interview, a certain type of interview. It's usually with just one attorney, and he's "screening" you to make sure that you're fit for another interview.

After you do a screener, then you do a "callback," where you go to the law firm and meet other associates and partners.

Usually, if you know the attorney, maybe you could just ask for a general "interview," and let them decide whether that'll be a screener or callback. Someone else care to chime in?


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Re: What is the difference between a screener and an interview?

Postby shock259 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:26 am

First, check out Seal's guide to OCI sticky. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=161018

Second, don't ask for a "screener." This will confuse people. Asking for an interview with associates isn't really proper form either. I would advise you to just network. Express interest in the individual and in the firm. Meet new people. Be enthusiastic. Make connections. Send follow up emails. Etc.

If you ask for an interview during the summer when networking, most firms will politely decline and tell you to bid on them at OCI. No loss, but I wouldn't make this your focus. Biglaw hiring is pretty rigid. You cannot circumvent the process just by knowing an associate or two. That said, it's still great to know those people. Just don't expect much to come from it.

If you are at a T14/T6/have amazing grades/whatever, then some firms may bring you in before OCI starts for interviews. But that's fairly rare. It seems like it would be really hard to do with networking. I'd guess mass mailing is a better bet to reach more people (albeit impersonally). But they aren't mutually exclusive, so do both if your heart desires.

So, focus on making connections and gearing up for OCI. Get interviews if you can, but don't expect much.

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