Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

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Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:52 pm

So I hustled and got an interview next week. It's kind of a miracle for me because i dont even have a full year of lit under my belt after graduating last year. When you get an offer to interview, does this generally mean that you will likely get a job short of wildly screwing up the interview? Presumably they read my cover and resume and saw something they liked. Otherwise they wouldn't waste their time right?

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I hustled and got an interview next week. It's kind of a miracle for me because i dont even have a full year of lit under my belt after graduating last year. When you get an offer to interview, does this generally mean that you will likely get a job short of wildly screwing up the interview? Presumably they read my cover and resume and saw something they liked. Otherwise they wouldn't waste their time right?


No, it doesn't mean you are getting the job.

I don't know your background so it's hard to give a complete answer, but I'll say what I can. Unsurprisingly, biglaw firms occasionally under hire and need additional 1st years. You found a firm that needs one, which is great for you. But you're competing against other junior biglaw laterals (who either got fired or hate their current firms), people in clerkships / fellowships who might be on a weird schedule, people in midlaw or something that convinced someone they were worth an interview, etc. You're also competing against partners at the biglaw firm who just want to give all of the juniors another 60-70 hours a month and wait it out until the next class joins or things slow down. So don't count your chickens yet, but congrats anyway, it's hard enough just to get lateral interview offers if you're searching in under a year.

yay

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby yay » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:13 pm

I think one of the founding partners took an interest in me after i applied to him directly. I think that partner told the recruiter to interview me. There is no way i would have made it via applying through the website careers route alone. I say this because i applied one evening and got an interview the folloing morning.

Would this put me in a better position than the others you described above? I am not a unique snowflake. Im run of the mill T1 grad with good softs like moot court, full ride, and being published in a legal journal.

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:18 pm

yay wrote:I think one of the founding partners took an interest in me after i applied to him directly. I think that partner told the recruiter to interview me. There is no way i would have made it via applying through the website careers route alone. I say this because i applied one evening and got an interview the folloing morning.

Would this put me in a better position than the others you described above? I am not a unique snowflake. Im run of the mill T1 grad with good softs like moot court, full ride, and being published in a legal journal.

Could be better, could be worse. No point reading tea leaves. Just focus on what you can control - prepare for the interview and do your best.

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:22 pm

It is somewhere in between a guaranteed job and having no shot. Now forget about that and go prep for the interview.

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby yay » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:10 pm

I actually have never done a mid-size/big law interview before. I am sure it is markedly different than the vast majority of short interviews conduct at small firms. Can anyone please point me to a good resource on biglaw interview?

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby sflyr2016 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:32 am

If it's anything like 2l callbacks, you'll meet with 4-6 people for roughly 20 minutes each, and you'll probably go to lunch with two. Nothing very scary. Just try not to be too nervous about it and don't overly prepare -- u don't want to sound scripted or like a gunner. Just be confident and talk about your experience, background, and try to connect with each person on a personal level if you can-- for example, if a lawyer decorates his office with sports memorabilia and you follow that team or sport generally, then casually ask him about it. Be normal. Oh, and if they ask you if you have any questions for them, just ask them what they're looking for in a candidate. That's always worked for me as it shows confidence, puts the pressure on them to have to answer, and gives you an opportunity to say how you match that criteria. Good luck man. Seriously, don't over think it.

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:05 am

sflyr2016 wrote:If it's anything like 2l callbacks, you'll meet with 4-6 people for roughly 20 minutes each, and you'll probably go to lunch with two. Nothing very scary. Just try not to be too nervous about it and don't overly prepare -- u don't want to sound scripted or like a gunner. Just be confident and talk about your experience, background, and try to connect with each person on a personal level if you can-- for example, if a lawyer decorates his office with sports memorabilia and you follow that team or sport generally, then casually ask him about it. Be normal. Oh, and if they ask you if you have any questions for them, just ask them what they're looking for in a candidate. That's always worked for me as it shows confidence, puts the pressure on them to have to answer, and gives you an opportunity to say how you match that criteria. Good luck man. Seriously, don't over think it.


This is generally great advice. Really don't over think it - once you've landed an initial interview, there's no reason to be nervous. You might also have one or two projects in mind that you've worked on since starting so you can discuss briefly if prompted. No reason to overstate your role though - the attorneys know what first years do and don't do.

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:30 pm

I am a first year who recently lateraled between biglaw firms so I speak from a place of some experience.

First, no you definitely are not guaranteed a job. Sometimes partners just bring someone in for an interview in case something opens up later. Plus there are many first years who hope to switch firms, so even if there is a position open, it is unlikely that you're the only one interviewing.

So what does that mean? You need to really prepare for this interview! Among other things, you should:

1. Be sure that you have a very clear answer on why this firm.

2. Be ready to talk about matters or cases the firm was recently involved with and why those bolster your interest in the firm.

3. Speak about what you have learned from your experience at your current firm and how it will help you succeed at the firm you are interviewing at.

4. Make it clear that you are not scared of biglaw hours.

Finally, as you will likely see other posts on TLS, lateral interviews are really about fit, so try to talk to associates who work there now so that you can get a feel for culture and any insight into what your interviewers are like before you go in for your interview.

Best of luck!

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:27 pm

I really appreciate all your advice. Would it be okay to email the legal assistant who offered me the interview to ask who will be interviewing me and whether there is a particular format? She simply just said to show up by X date at Y hour. She is one of those long-time professional legal assistant who probably has more say in hiring than some of the hiring senior associates.

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:28 pm

Could be they have a need, and by not using a recruiter they'll save a lot of money. I think if you framed your question as trying to get a time estimate to plan your day, you'll look busy at your current firm and get the same info while appearing valuable and you'd eliminate the risk of coming off as overeager.

If it's a legal assistant and not a recruiter, you should assume whatever email you send to her will be read by or summarized for the partner. If you'd feel strange asking the partner, don't ask the assistant, because if the assistant doesn't have the info then you are essentially e-mailing the partner as well.

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Re: Biglaw interview as a 4L... tips?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I really appreciate all your advice. Would it be okay to email the legal assistant who offered me the interview to ask who will be interviewing me and whether there is a particular format? She simply just said to show up by X date at Y hour. She is one of those long-time professional legal assistant who probably has more say in hiring than some of the hiring senior associates.


I don't see a problem with asking who you will be interviewing with. Just phrase it in a way that sounds professional. With respect to format, aren't all biglaw interviews kind of the same? You meet with 4-6 people for 20-30 minutes, unless it's a screening interview in which case you'll be meeting with one person for 20-30 minutes.



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