Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

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Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:52 pm

I am a graduate and haven't taken any real estate classes at law school, other than Property.I took a bunch of other corporate law classes instead.

I am invited to an interview for a real estate associate position. Since I have zero legal experience since law school, the classes I took would get asked during an interview. I summered at law firms while in law school and slightly touched on real estate but very quick projects.

How can I show that I have some knowledge in real estate, which I don't, and that I am interested in real estate practice, which I am?

1styearlateral

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:25 pm

It would be foolish to try and demonstrate knowledge in an area of law where you have none. If you get caught, you could look 1) stupid and/or 2) disingenuine. It's best to just say you don't have any experience but you have a strong interest in learning. Maybe you wrote an article or did research once on a type of real estate law. Maybe you can draw similarities between things you have practiced with real estate. But I definitely wouldn't give anyone the impression that you're experienced when you are in fact not. Too risky.

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filibuster

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby filibuster » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:26 pm

Well...what interests you in real estate? Let's start there.

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:29 pm

filibuster wrote:Well...what interests you in real estate? Let's start there.


OP.Desperation - I have no jobs.I am willing to practice any business/corporate law except bankruptcy.

What would be good interview lines about why I am interested in real estate? Anyone??

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:30 pm

So are you interested in practicing real estate? Your question mark at the end confuses me. In any event, if you want the job, demonstrate enthusiasm for the position and for the practice. Take a look at your real estate work at past law firm and the property class again. Research the heck out of the work at the firm you're interviewing. Try to tie in your past experience with the work that you think the firm is doing to demonstrate interests and preparedness, if possible.

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:37 pm

OK, I, OP, should revise my earlier question.

What would you say why you are interested in real estate? Any anecdotal?

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zot1

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby zot1 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:47 pm

Real estate can involve a lot of agreements. If you took any contracts or contracts drafting classes, that's something else you could use.

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
filibuster wrote:What would be good interview lines about why I am interested in real estate? Anyone??

If you're in NYC, you can say you're interested in RE because NYC is one of the largest RE markets in the world.

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby LAsonic » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:06 pm

I'm a first year Big Law associate practicing in the firm's real estate transactions department. When I interviewed, the main reason that many real estate lawyers enjoy the practice is due to the tangibility of the work--the fact that you could leave your office, walk down the street and possibly see an office building, sports arena, apartment building or shopping center that you helped finance, buy or sell.

If you give the above as your main interest in wanting to practice real estate law, the interviewing attorneys will be able to relate. (assuming you are interviewed by all real estate attorneys)

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:29 pm

LAsonic wrote:When I interviewed, the main reason that many real estate lawyers enjoy the practice is due to the tangibility of the work--the fact that you could leave your office, walk down the street and possibly see an office building, sports arena, apartment building or shopping center that you helped finance, buy or sell.



This is great. Many thanks!
The one problem is that I haven't taken any RE courses other than Property, which is a required course, and I've already graduated. The subsequent question would be why you haven't taken any classes in RE if you are interest in RE. And yes, all of the interviewers (partners) are RE attorneys.

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:30 pm

LAsonic wrote:I'm a first year Big Law associate practicing in the firm's real estate transactions department. When I interviewed, the main reason that many real estate lawyers enjoy the practice is due to the tangibility of the work--the fact that you could leave your office, walk down the street and possibly see an office building, sports arena, apartment building or shopping center that you helped finance, buy or sell.

If you give the above as your main interest in wanting to practice real estate law, the interviewing attorneys will be able to relate. (assuming you are interviewed by all real estate attorneys)


I used this explanation as well during OCI for a firm's real estate practice. Got an offer. Ended up taking a different offer for a lit group (my preference). No idea if that reasoning made any difference in the hiring decision, but my interviewer seemed to agree with the answer.

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:35 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
LAsonic wrote:I'm a first year Big Law associate practicing in the firm's real estate transactions department. When I interviewed, the main reason that many real estate lawyers enjoy the practice is due to the tangibility of the work--the fact that you could leave your office, walk down the street and possibly see an office building, sports arena, apartment building or shopping center that you helped finance, buy or sell.

If you give the above as your main interest in wanting to practice real estate law, the interviewing attorneys will be able to relate. (assuming you are interviewed by all real estate attorneys)


I used this explanation as well during OCI for a firm's real estate practice. Got an offer. Ended up taking a different offer for a lit group (my preference). No idea if that reasoning made any difference in the hiring decision, but my interviewer seemed to agree with the answer.


Yup this is good.... Just like the answer to "Why are you interested in Labor/Employment?" (e.g. I enjoy seeing a diversity of issues and also being able to relate to real world work scenarios. Same tangibility argument. This works for RE too).

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby LAsonic » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LAsonic wrote:When I interviewed, the main reason that many real estate lawyers enjoy the practice is due to the tangibility of the work--the fact that you could leave your office, walk down the street and possibly see an office building, sports arena, apartment building or shopping center that you helped finance, buy or sell.



This is great. Many thanks!
The one problem is that I haven't taken any RE courses other than Property, which is a required course, and I've already graduated. The subsequent question would be why you haven't taken any classes in RE if you are interest in RE. And yes, all of the interviewers (partners) are RE attorneys.


Personally, I do not think that your lack of RE classes is much of a red flag. There really are not too many RE-centric classes to take in law school (and some may not offer any at all) and any lawyer who has been in RE for any period of time knows that (1) you know nothing and (2) the learning curve in RE can be steep.

If you are really worried about it, RE is not all that different than normal corporate work. Any experience or classes you took relating to contract drafting or any kind of corporate work can likely be spun as having a general interest in transactional work, which RE is apart of.

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So are you interested in practicing real estate? Your question mark at the end confuses me. In any event, if you want the job, demonstrate enthusiasm for the position and for the practice. Take a look at your real estate work at past law firm and the property class again. Research the heck out of the work at the firm you're interviewing. Try to tie in your past experience with the work that you think the firm is doing to demonstrate interests and preparedness, if possible.


It is a piece of good advice! I work at law firm that provides commercial real estate services https://gklaw.ca and I can say that your confidence and argumented positions are important. Try to show your strengths and be quiet and confident. Good luck!

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
filibuster wrote:Well...what interests you in real estate? Let's start there.


OP.Desperation - I have no jobs.I am willing to practice any business/corporate law except bankruptcy.

What would be good interview lines about why I am interested in real estate? Anyone??


Current big law associate in a top bankruptcy group. FYI: our group is crazy busy and we're always looking for more people. Curious as to why you seem to be opposed to bankruptcy?

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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
filibuster wrote:Well...what interests you in real estate? Let's start there.


OP.Desperation - I have no jobs.I am willing to practice any business/corporate law except bankruptcy.

What would be good interview lines about why I am interested in real estate? Anyone??


Current big law associate in a top bankruptcy group. FYI: our group is crazy busy and we're always looking for more people. Curious as to why you seem to be opposed to bankruptcy?


I once worked on a bankruptcy case in law firm and I didn't like it. I am more interested in developing new things.

Anonymous User
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Re: Invited to an interview to practice group w/ zero experience. What to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
filibuster wrote:Well...what interests you in real estate? Let's start there.


OP.Desperation - I have no jobs.I am willing to practice any business/corporate law except bankruptcy.

What would be good interview lines about why I am interested in real estate? Anyone??


Current big law associate in a top bankruptcy group. FYI: our group is crazy busy and we're always looking for more people. Curious as to why you seem to be opposed to bankruptcy?


I once worked on a bankruptcy case in law firm and I didn't like it. I am more interested in developing new things.


Restructuring/reorganization is literally developing new things. Or maybe I didn't understand anything in law school.



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