How to demonstrate interest and capability in a practice area as a lateral candidate

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How to demonstrate interest and capability in a practice area as a lateral candidate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:09 am

Title pretty much says it. After completing a federal district clerkship, I've spent the last ten months practicing for a small firm. I specialize in municipal law. I've recently been offered an interview for I guess what would be characterized as a regional biglaw firm. The position is for a specific practice area that's different than what I've been doing since entering private practice, but it is still a litigation position.

The firm wants a young lateral, but I'm a bit worried my lack of experience in this practice area will hurt me. How can I demonstrate interest? I mean, I'm fine with the practice area, but, to be honest, I mostly want to join the firm because it's highly regarded and pays more. At this stage in my career (2015 grad) I don't have a love affair with any specific practice area, but rather, litigation in general. Any ideas are welcome bc the interview is in a couple weeks and I badly want the position.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to demonstrate interest and capability in a practice area as a lateral candidate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:01 am

What is the practice area?

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Re: How to demonstrate interest and capability in a practice area as a lateral candidate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:45 am

OP here: practice area is oil and gas/wetlands litigation. Also, from the list of partners I'm interviewing with, possibly some employment lit. The latter will be easier to show demonstrated interest or at least competence bc I did a ton of if as a clerk.

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Re: How to demonstrate interest and capability in a practice area as a lateral candidate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:04 pm

I mean if you don't have specialized knowledge in it, you have to just hit the transferable skill set aspect. Also that you hit a variety of practice areas quickly as a clerk and really enjoyed learning about new areas blah blah blah. That you find the X (unique) aspect of oil and gas litigation interesting bcuz Y.

Environmental? Leases? Find some kind of common ground based on your previous experiences and with what the new position entails. Look at cases the partners worked on if you're not sure what the litigation entails.

Want to work in Texas/the south? New location?

Just have to find a spin on it. But I would think transferable skill set makes most sense since you're sstill junior (research skills - discuss areas of law you hadn't seen but conquered as a clerk; doc review at your current firm; depo skills; tons of writing experience. Working on teams with judge and your small firm, leanly staffed and able to handle your own docket, etc etc)

Nebby

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Re: How to demonstrate interest and capability in a practice area as a lateral candidate

Postby Nebby » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: practice area is oil and gas/wetlands litigation. Also, from the list of partners I'm interviewing with, possibly some employment lit. The latter will be easier to show demonstrated interest or at least competence bc I did a ton of if as a clerk.

Almost no lateral with your amount of work experience would have experience in niche fields like O&G and Wetlands and therefore the firm won't expect you to have it as a prerequisite to being considered a good candidate. If they specifically wanted someone with prior experience then they wouldn't have offered an interview. They want to see that you are the type of person who can learn quickly and adapt effectively, so that's all you should worry about portraying in the interviews. And be likeable.



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