"What type of law are you interested in?"

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Anonymous User
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"What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:52 pm

I really do not know what type of law I'm interesting in. My only experience (pre law school as a para) is with creditors rights, personal injury, no fault, real estate, some trust and estates.
Im kind of up for anything.

My question is : Does it matter at OCI if I dont know what law im "interested in"? It is my understanding that at a 2L SA you will be schooled/trained. Will employers looks down upon interest in pretty much anything?

Baby_Got_Feuerbach
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:58 pm

Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:01 pm

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.



HAHA very good point. Thanks. was just a worry of mine

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cookiejar1
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby cookiejar1 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:22 pm

Plenty of employers asked me what type of law I was interested in practicing either by wrapping it into a "why this law firm question" or more generally - i.e., litigation or transactional? When I answered each question I stressed that it was still early, I had much to learn, and I was open to trying many things out but that I was also particularly interested in X practice area.

X practice area being the firm's biggest group according to their NALP form.

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:25 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:Plenty of employers asked me what type of law I was interested in practicing either by wrapping it into a "why this law firm question" or more generally - i.e., litigation or transactional? When I answered each question I stressed that it was still early, I had much to learn, and I was open to trying many things out but that I was also particularly interested in X practice area.

X practice area being the firm's biggest group according to their NALP form.


Yeha i was thinking their biggest practice area would be the best route

Anonymous User
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:26 pm

I interviewed with several NYC V10s, I would advise you to at least hint at corporate work for your own sake, seems like people who said "primarily litigation" got booted easier

desertlaw
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby desertlaw » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:17 am

1. Show that you have put some thought into the question, whether your personality/interests best fits corporate/litigation.

2. Admit that it is still early and you'd like to try out a few different areas in the summer (but DON'T say this if you're required to declare a department at beginning of summer)

3. Don't be afraid to say that you're leaning one way and want to use the summer to get hands-on work to confirm.

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ymmv
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby ymmv » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:27 am

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.



Every employer at OCI will ask this.

BigZuck
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby BigZuck » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:22 am

Just tell them what kind of law you're genuinely interested in

Oh, and make sure it is transactional (unless it's a lit boutique or something, then it's ok to say litigation)

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sinfiery
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby sinfiery » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:29 am

The answer is found at http://www.nalpdirectory.com/. Search firms you are interviewing with and pick one of the largest practice areas they have.

As for why you absolutely love X, bullshit it. Look up generally what the practice area does then work backwards to find a reason

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:33 am

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.


This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby BigZuck » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.


This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.


Figure out which one is transactional and start pitching to him/her

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ymmv
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby ymmv » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:43 am

BigZuck wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.


This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.


Figure out which one is transactional and start pitching to him/her


I find this as funny as the next guy, but it's inaccurate in 2015. Plenty of firms are manning their lit practices again. Just make sure you pitch the appropriate groups.

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sinfiery
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby sinfiery » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:19 am

No one knows better than the trust and estates guy how unlikely they are to hire another associate.

Don't pitch your interviewers choice of law, pitch the firms

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romothesavior
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:53 am

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.

Spot on.

They might like to hear you talk about litigation vs. corporate, but probably not specifics. In fact, a hiring person I know said he used to laugh at people at OCI when they expressed a strong desire for a particular area without legitimate experience in that area. The average rising 2L has no clue what practicing in certain areas is like.

I wouldn't volunteer this information without being specifically asked because your answer is more likely to hurt than help. If this question comes up, just say a general area or two that interests you that you know the firm does without being committal. Don't fret about this.

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mmelittlechicken
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby mmelittlechicken » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:06 am

romothesavior wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.

Spot on.

They might like to hear you talk about litigation vs. corporate, but probably not specifics. In fact, a hiring person I know said he used to laugh at people at OCI when they expressed a strong desire for a particular area without legitimate experience in that area. The average rising 2L has no clue what practicing in certain areas is like.


I wouldn't volunteer this information without being specifically asked because your answer is more likely to hurt than help. If this question comes up, just say a general area or two that interests you that you know the firm does without being committal. Don't fret about this.

This is bad advice. You can have a genuine intellectual interest in a practice area without having practiced. If you can discuss that interest intelligently and convincingly, you're going to look better than your totally aimless classmates. It's also fine if you don't know what you want to do, but I wouldn't default to being noncommittal if you actually have a preference.

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romothesavior
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:28 am

mmelittlechicken wrote:This is bad advice. You can have a genuine intellectual interest in a practice area without having practiced. If you can discuss that interest intelligently and convincingly, you're going to look better than your totally aimless classmates. It's also fine if you don't know what you want to do, but I wouldn't default to being noncommittal if you actually have a preference.

I appreciate the different perspective on this. I've had a couple partners and the hiring partner at my last firm say they tend to roll their eyes when law students say they're focusing on one particular area, but I can definitely see how someone with sufficient experience, background, or legitimate interest in an area could be a selling point (e.g., someone with PE firm experience wanting to practice law in the PE arena, or someone with a biology degree wanting to do environmental law, etc) I just don't think the average law student has a solid enough perspective on the practice of individual areas of law to say they want to commit to X, and I think you're more likely to talk yourself out of a seat at OCI than into it by being commited to one area. Though again, I could see situations where the tailored approach makes sense.

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby notgreat » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:30 am

ymmv wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.



Every employer at OCI will ask this.


Yep.

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby BigZuck » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:32 am

ymmv wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.


This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.


Figure out which one is transactional and start pitching to him/her


I find this as funny as the next guy, but it's inaccurate in 2015. Plenty of firms are manning their lit practices again. Just make sure you pitch the appropriate groups.


Ok, serious now: yes, I agree. I think people just need to do their research before going into OCI. I thought I did that along the way by looking at what different firms did but about halfway through OCI I realized I hadn't done nearly enough. In the market I targeted (and, I guess, when you considered my GPA and other factors), pitching an interest in lit was a big time mistake, even if the firms I interviewed with had lit practices. In retrospect I think I should have gushed about transactional work at every opportunity.

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.


This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.


OK, apart from the fact that you're confusing an opinion with advice, it sounds like your interviewers were playing down to their interviewee. There's a difference between "what type of law are you interested in?" and "which practice group will you succeed in?" I have never, ever, heard the former and hear the latter some of the time.

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cookiejar1
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby cookiejar1 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:26 am

romothesavior wrote:
mmelittlechicken wrote:This is bad advice. You can have a genuine intellectual interest in a practice area without having practiced. If you can discuss that interest intelligently and convincingly, you're going to look better than your totally aimless classmates. It's also fine if you don't know what you want to do, but I wouldn't default to being noncommittal if you actually have a preference.

I appreciate the different perspective on this. I've had a couple partners and the hiring partner at my last firm say they tend to roll their eyes when law students say they're focusing on one particular area, but I can definitely see how someone with sufficient experience, background, or legitimate interest in an area could be a selling point (e.g., someone with PE firm experience wanting to practice law in the PE arena, or someone with a biology degree wanting to do environmental law, etc) I just don't think the average law student has a solid enough perspective on the practice of individual areas of law to say they want to commit to X, and I think you're more likely to talk yourself out of a seat at OCI than into it by being commited to one area. Though again, I could see situations where the tailored approach makes sense.


So this is why you hedge. You want to come across as confident but also as very deferential. We're students, after all, and we don't know anything about practicing the law other than what we've heard during or before OCI. So it's important to echo that sentiment when discussing interest but in my opinion it would be a mistake to interview with K&E/STB and fail to mention Private Equity even once when you're interviewing for their corporate groups, for example.

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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:51 am

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.


This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.


OK, apart from the fact that you're confusing an opinion with advice, it sounds like your interviewers were playing down to their interviewee. There's a difference between "what type of law are you interested in?" and "which practice group will you succeed in?" I have never, ever, heard the former and hear the latter some of the time.

Aren't you a 1L? When have you been interviewing?

Baby_Got_Feuerbach
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:58 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Sounds like something your aunt will ask at the holidays, not an employer at OCI.


This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.


OK, apart from the fact that you're confusing an opinion with advice, it sounds like your interviewers were playing down to their interviewee. There's a difference between "what type of law are you interested in?" and "which practice group will you succeed in?" I have never, ever, heard the former and hear the latter some of the time.

Aren't you a 1L? When have you been interviewing?


Mock interviews, granted, with asscs/partners that OCS/different clubs bring in.

BigZuck
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby BigZuck » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:05 pm

"never, ever"

"I've done a couple mock interviews"

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skers
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Re: "What type of law are you interested in?"

Postby skers » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:25 pm

BigZuck wrote:
ymmv wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
This is terrible advice. I have been asked this question in every single interview I've had.

What's a good approach when you have 2 interviewers from entirely different practice areas? I feel like when I express my interest in one, I'm ostracizing the other interviewer, and if I rave about both I sound like I'm bullshitting.


Figure out which one is transactional and start pitching to him/her


I find this as funny as the next guy, but it's inaccurate in 2015. Plenty of firms are manning their lit practices again. Just make sure you pitch the appropriate groups.


Ok, serious now: yes, I agree. I think people just need to do their research before going into OCI. I thought I did that along the way by looking at what different firms did but about halfway through OCI I realized I hadn't done nearly enough. In the market I targeted (and, I guess, when you considered my GPA and other factors), pitching an interest in lit was a big time mistake, even if the firms I interviewed with had lit practices. In retrospect I think I should have gushed about transactional work at every opportunity.


Maybe? Sure, there's a demand right now for warm bodies in corp, but you have to keep in mind that this shit is cyclical. Plus most summer classes are still at least 50/50 corp/lit, if not skewing more towards the lit end still.

You gotta make sure you can speak well on why you want to do corporate work, and probably more so IMO than lit where it's kind of the path of least resistance. It's not just saying, 'yeah bro, I want to crush mad deals,' and then you're good. I had an interviewer ask from the outset in a CB "so, why do you want to do transactional work...you know we've caught on to the trick where people think it's easier to get jobs that way." And during a dinner at the end of our summer a partner asked a bunch of corp people, "how the fuck do you guys even know you want to do this. I mean I think it's the way to go, but how the fuck do you guys know?"

I agree with the sentiment that you can totally sell a practice area and you're going to come across as a better interviewer if you do so. After all, you're a fucking adult and you're spending 3 years of your life and six figures on this decision, so you should have some idea of what you're doing. At the same time firms expect you to rotate practice area and the stronger you sell a certain practice area, the stronger your reasons backing that up should be. If you're going to gush about how you are just completed by the idea of working in leveraged lending and marking up credit agreements, you better have some good reasons to back that up.




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