Midlaw Interview tips

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Midlaw Interview tips

Postby ahduke99 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:24 pm

Are there any general tips anyone can give me for midlaw interviews? I finally have my first interview since passing the bar in November at a midsized firm with offices in 2 states. They never requested grades, but they did want one reference, and I used a professor of mine. They do a lot of PI/insurance/malpractice work, and I took classes on much of that in law school, although I focused on tax.

I did have one gap in my resume where one summer the position I had been offered fell through late and it was too late to get another job and another summer where I traveled after graduating college, but other than that I had two internships at law firms in the area. My family knows the managing partner, but he is unaware of who I am, and I don't know him.

Do firms typically ask cookie cutter "where do you see yourself in 5 years" questions or do they ask about your past work, why you chose law, etc? All the interviews I had previously for summer internships basically were "do we like you" type things where we talked about golf, drinking and outside interests. The only question I really had to answer was what I did at my previous job and why I chose the schools I chose to attend.

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Re: Midlaw Interview tips

Postby racheltessa » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:15 pm

My experience is in BigLaw interviewing (from BOTH SIDES of the desk) but I think the answers to your questions are the same whether for "midlaw" or BigLaw, in that it will depend on the person who is interviewing you, the hiring goals at the firm and for the particular office you are interviewing, etc. I think no matter what they might ask, you should go into the interview well-armed with info about the firm, the particular office, and the person who will be interviewing you (without sounding like a stalker, of course).

To address the specifics you raise--

Smart to use a law professor as a reference--I think doing so adds a level of cachet not necessarily provided by other types of references (ie: non legal past employers), so nice work, assuming the professor will remember you when they call, and will have good things to say...

Be prepared for questions about why having "focused on tax" in LS you are now looking to work at a firm that does a lot of PI/insurance/malpractice work. Be ready to explain that you may have focused on tax in the past but have a real interest in pursuing these areas in your future legal career, it would help to familiarize yourself with recent specific matters that the firm has been involved in, check lexis, westlaw, bloomberg, etc, and use real examples of their real cases to show that you care and have an interest. Also, I would mine your family's knowledge of the firm, and use whatever they can tell you, hopefully insider information about how the firm works, to your advantage, if possible.

Don't stress on the gap in your resume, be prepared to highlight why what you did instead makes you an interesting candidate. The fact that you traveled is interesting, tell them about it, where you went, why, and what you experienced during the trip. This kind of detail will cut through the normal boring content the interviewer is expecting and may actually even engage and surprise them.

HTH, good luck!

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