Discussing Exit Options in Interview?

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Re: Discussing Exit Options in Interview?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:50 am

TatteredDignity wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:I discussed exit options a couple of times in my interviews and it went over fine. I never brought it up unprompted, but there were times when the conversation would naturally lead in that direction. If someone starts asking you about your long-term career plans, then I think the best move is to say why going to the firm would fit with your goals, for instance if they have a practice that links with government work that's of interest to you, if you happen to know they've sent a lot of people to certain offices, etc. Of course, temper it by saying that you hope to stay in private practice with the firm for the foreseeable future and if things work out then you'd be thrilled to stay as a partner, etc. But your interviewer knows as well as you (actually, better than you) that you are really unlikely to stay forever, nor do they want you to. Pretending that your whole goal in life is to work at this law firm just makes you look naive.

I handled it this way in an interview yesterday with a big NYC firm. We'll see if I get a callback. #smallsamplesizebutstill

This is basically how I handled it. I was a bit more aggressive but had that luxury after discussing my non-legal prior work experience. It gave me the chance to say things like "I know I can't predict the future so I like having options. Whether I end up shooting for partner or moving on to somewhere like [valid example of where some of their associates go] I know that working for you would be a valuable opportunity." In the best cases it showed that I had researched the firm and had specific reasons to want to work there. Some interviewers responded very well to it and I got callbacks at their firms. Others not so much. But I'm happy with the offers I got out of it.

You have to be able to say it naturally if you do. Interviews are long conversations and anything that comes up should be appropriate for the conversation.

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Re: Discussing Exit Options in Interview?

Postby iplulzer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:55 pm

Completely false.

Lol. Believe whatever the fuck you want. I know what he did and I know what I did.

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Re: Discussing Exit Options in Interview?

Postby Loose Seal » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:56 pm

iplulzer wrote:These discussions always ignore one critical factor: how desirable a candidate you are. Without that information, these anecdotes are useless, and even potentially harmful

My friend with spectacular credentials was basically the one doing the interviewing during CBs. Firms were falling all over for him and he couldbhave asked whatever the Fuck he wanted. Hisbquestions tended to focus on lifestyle, and picked his firm on that basis.

The rest of us don't have that luxury. So... Ask about exit options if you feel that is something you can afford to do as a great candidate. Otherwise, zip it.

This is a fair point. If you have enough leverage, though, I think it's a good thing to ask about if only because you will suss out firms that will not support you if you want to leave. I was forthcoming in screeners and callbacks about wanting to leave after 5-7 years to be an AUSA (when asked about my future plans), and while some firms were not on board with that, many were. Moreover, the firm I ended up selecting was downright THRILLED I wanted to go that route and not only said they would be supportive but also connected me with many partners who used to be AUSAs and said they would make sure I had exposure to these partners so they could make calls for me when the time came. (FWIW, I'm going into my third year now and the firm has been true to its word.)

I'm glad I put my ten-year plan out there because I ended up somewhere that will help me achieve those goals. If you don't think you'll have many offers, though, then this may not be realistic.

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Re: Discussing Exit Options in Interview?

Postby MarBar » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:35 pm

I never brought it up totally unprompted, but I specifically chose firms that had revolving doors with government (and want a practice area where that's very common). When interviewers asked things like "why this firm?" or "where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?" I always answered honestly that I want to spend my career going between government and private practice and chose places where that seemed realistic. I then also emphasized that part of the reason I liked the "revolving door" concept was because I thought it was also great to have people in the firm who had come from government and who could provide that additional perspective. I never got anything resembling a side-eye for those answers and got CBs from firms where I had said that.

That said, that kind of answer makes a lot more sense in a practice area and a firm where that's common than at one where the mentality is that you're in for the long haul no matter what, so be honest only as far as it makes you seem forthright and knowledgeable, and don't be if it would make you seem like a liability.

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Re: Discussing Exit Options in Interview?

Postby IAFG » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:39 pm

Realistically, firms are willing (and even gleeful) participants in the revolving door between firms/government/clients. But I can see the hesitancy to talk about it. I am sure more people handle it poorly than well.

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