2 years out of law school, never practiced, interview with medium/biglaw firm. Tips?

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Anonymous User
Posts: 299683
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

2 years out of law school, never practiced, interview with medium/biglaw firm. Tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:20 pm

"Biglaw" by medium town standards. 2 state range with 2-4 office locations and 100ish attorneys total. Mixed practice, with emphasis on litigation and employment law.

My story is roughly thus:

- Undergraduate 4.0 summa cum laude
- 169 LSAT
- Top 50ish law school
- Basically had my life break down during law school, parent died unexpectedly at the start of 2L, a bunch of other stuff I'll spare you. Grades suffered.
- Barely top 50% of class finish, average/good grades, journal but not law review.
- Passed Bar in two states now (including California), but been moving around a lot due to family craziness and working in JD-advantaged position.
- Been working a JD-advantaged position for a couple of years
- Now, through gracious alumni connection and me getting my shit together and manning up to practice law, have an interview at the firm described in the first part of the post. Would really, really like to get the job.

It's a panel interview spanning 3 hours with rotating pairs of partners and senior associates. Any general guides for what I can expect? Should I learn as much as possible about the practice area(s) that they are feeding into at the moment and try to become an expert, or just walk in with eyes open and whatever knowledge I have now?

I basically have the experience of a recent graduate. Nothing in my current job really applies to this sort of firm (but the position(s) being filled are for 0-2 years' experience). Am I damaging myself by stating it that bluntly, or is it still worth warming up the spin machine to try to make any thread of relatedness from my current work seem topical?

Finally, should I mention my family situation as an excuse/explanation for my one truly bombed semester/other bad grades, or just let me number speak for themselves as well as they can?

I missed the boat as a 3L with all of these concerns, and now feel like a slightly older and less genuine gradate panicking over these concerns that should be trivial.

Any advice appreciated.

Anonymous User
Posts: 299683
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2 years out of law school, never practiced, interview with medium/biglaw firm. Tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:25 pm

Just be yourself and be likeable. They wouldn't have given you the interview if they weren't impressed with your credentials. I would def. mention the family circumstances if it comes up in convo, but don't abruptly bring it up out of nowhere.

Study this firm in and out. Search the partners on FB and see what their "likes" are etc. Stalk everyone you're interviewing with. Seriously. You don't want to mess this interview up. You want to come off as their best friend.

Also study this practice. Do you know what position/practice you're interviewing for?

I know this may seem like a lot of info you have to research, but it can be done in 3-4 hours. Don't come off as desperate. Come off as a phoenix reemerging from the ashes.

lolwat
Posts: 1051
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: 2 years out of law school, never practiced, interview with medium/biglaw firm. Tips?

Postby lolwat » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:46 pm

The above is all good advice. You don't get an interview if you haven't already passed the qualification test on paper. Definitely learn about the firm, their strengths, and the people you'll be meeting. Also, the way that interview sounds, be prepared to repeat yourself a billion times because many of those rotating pairs of people will probably repeat the same questions, lol. Happened to me once.

Only thing, I'd be careful about the stalking. Definitely okay to talk about their practice, anything in their firm bio, articles they've published, and stuff like that. Too personal and it starts getting creepy. You don't want people to wonder "what else shows up about me online that I forgot about and should go try to delete right after this interview?"

RaceJudicata
Posts: 1585
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: 2 years out of law school, never practiced, interview with medium/biglaw firm. Tips?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:33 pm

IMO, more important than knowing about the attorneys practice (which is absolutely important) is to be able to articulate a compelling reason why you want to practice in X area.

I also disagree w/ “stalking” their Facebook pages. That’s creepy. LinkedIn - for sure; but not Facebook lol.

User avatar
BasilHallward
Posts: 491
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:19 pm

Re: 2 years out of law school, never practiced, interview with medium/biglaw firm. Tips?

Postby BasilHallward » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:"Biglaw" by medium town standards. 2 state range with 2-4 office locations and 100ish attorneys total. Mixed practice, with emphasis on litigation and employment law.

My story is roughly thus:

- Undergraduate 4.0 summa cum laude
- 169 LSAT
- Top 50ish law school

- Basically had my life break down during law school, parent died unexpectedly at the start of 2L, a bunch of other stuff I'll spare you. Grades suffered.
- Barely top 50% of class finish, average/good grades, journal but not law review.
- Passed Bar in two states now (including California), but been moving around a lot due to family craziness and working in JD-advantaged position.
- Been working a JD-advantaged position for a couple of years
- Now, through gracious alumni connection and me getting my shit together and manning up to practice law, have an interview at the firm described in the first part of the post. Would really, really like to get the job.

It's a panel interview spanning 3 hours with rotating pairs of partners and senior associates. Any general guides for what I can expect? Should I learn as much as possible about the practice area(s) that they are feeding into at the moment and try to become an expert, or just walk in with eyes open and whatever knowledge I have now?

I basically have the experience of a recent graduate. Nothing in my current job really applies to this sort of firm (but the position(s) being filled are for 0-2 years' experience). Am I damaging myself by stating it that bluntly, or is it still worth warming up the spin machine to try to make any thread of relatedness from my current work seem topical?

Finally, should I mention my family situation as an excuse/explanation for my one truly bombed semester/other bad grades, or just let me number speak for themselves as well as they can?

I missed the boat as a 3L with all of these concerns, and now feel like a slightly older and less genuine gradate panicking over these concerns that should be trivial.

Any advice appreciated.


Everything said thus far is good advice and you have earned this interview. A bit of an aside, but damn, with those stats, you should have been at a T8 with money...




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