Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:23 am

Soco Law wrote:A couple months ago, the discussion about suits in 1L came up. I glanced over it, but I didn't see an approximate date where 1L folks would need to have a suit ready to go. Anyone have an idea of the earliest we might be looking at a formal business attire for events?


Haha. Read this while having a discussion about Suits. Was disappointed you were not talking about the hit TV series like I was.
Also yeah, have a suit by mock interviews (or borrow someone else's blazer like I did). Definitely have a suit by Spring for summer job searching.

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Cobretti
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Cobretti » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:51 am

Micdiddy wrote:
Soco Law wrote:A couple months ago, the discussion about suits in 1L came up. I glanced over it, but I didn't see an approximate date where 1L folks would need to have a suit ready to go. Anyone have an idea of the earliest we might be looking at a formal business attire for events?


Haha. Read this while having a discussion about Suits. Was disappointed you were not talking about the hit TV series like I was.
Also yeah, have a suit by mock interviews (or borrow someone else's blazer like I did). Definitely have a suit by Spring for summer job searching.

and for the record, blues don't count

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MT Cicero
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby MT Cicero » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:00 am

Cobretti wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
Soco Law wrote:A couple months ago, the discussion about suits in 1L came up. I glanced over it, but I didn't see an approximate date where 1L folks would need to have a suit ready to go. Anyone have an idea of the earliest we might be looking at a formal business attire for events?


Haha. Read this while having a discussion about Suits. Was disappointed you were not talking about the hit TV series like I was.
Also yeah, have a suit by mock interviews (or borrow someone else's blazer like I did). Definitely have a suit by Spring for summer job searching.

and for the record, blues don't count


Ha! But they're so nice. We're talking about $40-50 total worth of fabric.

Thanks for the answers. I was debating waiting until I arrive in Chicago next month to pick a suit up since I'd like to get a fairly nice suit (just a MTM from a good shop, not Savile Row stuff). Even with a 6-week turnaround time, it looks like it'll work out just fine to wait and grab one in the city.

babblefish
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby babblefish » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:29 am

For the record, there is a Nordstrom Rack by the school that has amazing deals on very nice men's suits and shoes if you take the time to look.

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Dr. Filth
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Dr. Filth » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:48 am

suit supply is very close too, and i would recommend them.

LRGhost
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby LRGhost » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:10 pm

Suit Supply is great at their price point. If you have a little more to spend and were considering Brooks Brothers, you can get a much better suit for the same $800 or so.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:42 pm

Any especially important things I should ask when doing informational interviews with associates at the firms I'm bidding? I'm interested in lit and plan on asking things like:

1. Litigation milestones (first time you get to do a dep, write a motion, be in court, etc.)?

2. How are cases staffed? Lean staffing/large staffing?

3. Any organized training programs outside of assignments? Mock trials for summers?

4. General atmosphere? (Get togethers outside work, approachability of partners, etc.)

Looking for other good questions, thanks.

Snape
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Snape » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:10 pm

Possibly good questions BUT if easily answer on website DONT ASK. Would you want to be asked the same questions (yours) that are easily answered on your website and would you find that to be a good and interesting candidate worthy of hire? try to think of personal questions for each person you interview about a specific case they were on, an article they wrote, something they won't be asked by 30-40 other odd 2Ls hoping to impress with standard questions.

babblefish
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby babblefish » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:21 pm

The questions I have had success with are market related and I also think they show you want to be around for a long time, such as 'How do you see the different practice areas at your firm growing or declining in the next 5-10 years?' or 'Do you think the market structure of large law firms has fundamentally changed after the financial crisis? How so?'. If it is a partner, they get almost daily updates on billings and practice areas that we won't have access to and their reaction will give you a good feel for the firm.

dstars823
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby dstars823 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:25 pm

Soco Law wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
Soco Law wrote:A couple months ago, the discussion about suits in 1L came up. I glanced over it, but I didn't see an approximate date where 1L folks would need to have a suit ready to go. Anyone have an idea of the earliest we might be looking at a formal business attire for events?


Haha. Read this while having a discussion about Suits. Was disappointed you were not talking about the hit TV series like I was.
Also yeah, have a suit by mock interviews (or borrow someone else's blazer like I did). Definitely have a suit by Spring for summer job searching.

and for the record, blues don't count


Ha! But they're so nice. We're talking about $40-50 total worth of fabric.

Thanks for the answers. I was debating waiting until I arrive in Chicago next month to pick a suit up since I'd like to get a fairly nice suit (just a MTM from a good shop, not Savile Row stuff). Even with a 6-week turnaround time, it looks like it'll work out just fine to wait and grab one in the city.



i wonder if its frowned upon to rock seer sucker into an interview

bdubs
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bdubs » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:53 pm

Micdiddy wrote:Any especially important things I should ask when doing informational interviews with associates at the firms I'm bidding? I'm interested in lit and plan on asking things like:

1. Litigation milestones (first time you get to do a dep, write a motion, be in court, etc.)?

2. How are cases staffed? Lean staffing/large staffing?

3. Any organized training programs outside of assignments? Mock trials for summers?

4. General atmosphere? (Get togethers outside work, approachability of partners, etc.)

Looking for other good questions, thanks.


Questions are fine, but don't run through your list of questions like a robot. First try to get a conversation going with the person about their work, if they don't want to talk about work or the conversation dies off then you can go to your "list." If they steer the conversation toward something else you should really take their cues and go for it.

Having a long list of questions should be unnecessary in 95% of your interviews.

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cookiejar1
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby cookiejar1 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:37 pm

bdubs wrote:Having a long list of questions should be unnecessary in 95% of your interviews.


Except for call back interviews, imo. I've had two back-to-back 20min sessions start with: "So what can I tell you about the firm?"

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Cobretti
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Cobretti » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:38 pm

dstars823 wrote:i wonder if its frowned upon to rock seer sucker into an interview

saw comment and thought who would even think that was a good idea, then saw who posted it
Image

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:29 pm

Maybe the term "informational interview" is not as well known as OCS makes it seem. These are associates that I am contacting purely to get info about the firm. I will definitely ask personal stuff as well, I was just wondering if there are any questions I should ask about the firm that would be important to me as a litigator. Any big law people here know something that's important to them now that they never would've thought to ask as a 2L?

igo2northwestern
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby igo2northwestern » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Micdiddy wrote:Maybe the term "informational interview" is not as well known as OCS makes it seem. These are associates that I am contacting purely to get info about the firm. I will definitely ask personal stuff as well, I was just wondering if there are any questions I should ask about the firm that would be important to me as a litigator. Any big law people here know something that's important to them now that they never would've thought to ask as a 2L?

hmmm, not a biglaw associate, but if I were in your position, I'd ask about clerking -- how it's viewed (try to somehow figure out whether there are two tracks. Clerks and non-clerks). This is assuming, of course, that you're open to the idea.

Also, it probably goes without saying that you need to build up to a lot of your questions. For instance, some people in biglaw are a bit touchy about the milestone question. And for the summer training thing, start by asking whether they summered there in the first place. You probably knew a lot of this/would figure it out anyways, so I won't say more. Best luck on those info interviews. Great way to not only get info but also name-drop when the real thing happens.

bdubs
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bdubs » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:02 pm

Micdiddy wrote:Maybe the term "informational interview" is not as well known as OCS makes it seem. These are associates that I am contacting purely to get info about the firm. I will definitely ask personal stuff as well, I was just wondering if there are any questions I should ask about the firm that would be important to me as a litigator. Any big law people here know something that's important to them now that they never would've thought to ask as a 2L?


RC fail. I missed the "informational" qualifier on your question.

I personally think informational interviews aren't super helpful (too forced/fake to get unbiased info) but I guess it might help choosing between firms when constructing a bid list.

You should ask how practice areas are viewed in the firm (big lit/transaction buckets or very specific niches), what practice areas are growing, if/how they are assigned to new attorneys, and how common switching areas is.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:26 pm

igo2northwestern wrote:hmmm, not a biglaw associate, but if I were in your position, I'd ask about clerking -- how it's viewed (try to somehow figure out whether there are two tracks. Clerks and non-clerks). This is assuming, of course, that you're open to the idea.

Also, it probably goes without saying that you need to build up to a lot of your questions. For instance, some people in biglaw are a bit touchy about the milestone question. And for the summer training thing, start by asking whether they summered there in the first place. You probably knew a lot of this/would figure it out anyways, so I won't say more. Best luck on those info interviews. Great way to not only get info but also name-drop when the real thing happens.


Good advice. Interesting that milestone questions are touchy, I would not think that. Will some people reach milestones before others based on merit, or is it more lockstep? If the former, I could see it being touchy if I am talking to someone who hasn't done a dep when all her friends have, or something like that.

bdubs wrote:
RC fail. I missed the "informational" qualifier on your question.

I personally think informational interviews aren't super helpful (too forced/fake to get unbiased info) but I guess it might help choosing between firms when constructing a bid list.

You should ask how practice areas are viewed in the firm (big lit/transaction buckets or very specific niches), what practice areas are growing, if/how they are assigned to new attorneys, and how common switching areas is.


I haven't done one yet so no idea how helpful they are. Since I am targeting SF I have barely met a single person with any real experience in those firms. They seldom come to NU. So this is really the only way I can attempt to distinguish otherwise peer firms before potential callbacks.
Thanks for the advice on the questions, I'll definitely ask some of those.

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cookiejar1
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby cookiejar1 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:36 pm

If you develop some kind of repertoire with them my favorite question to ask is, "so what are good questions to ask during the interview?" Just . . . don't ask that if it'll make things awkward.

LRGhost
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby LRGhost » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:59 pm

I've had "informational interviews" and at one, we didn't really talk about the firm until the last ten or fifteen minutes or so. We spent a lot of time talking about the city, about what I've done this summer, things we both enjoyed from college and from moving, etc. She mentioned her practice area and how she developed it since it's niche but it was more within the context of just talking about law school and life goals. When she asked, "So I guess I should ask if you have any questions about the firm," we had already sort of covered everything. I didn't go in with prepared questions necessarily. If the conversation died, I'd probably ask what her typical day looks like or what she likes most about the firm or talk about whether the firm's reputation is accurate (are they fratty/bookish/laid back).

I wouldn't go into it expecting it to be a thing where you both get coffee and the person asks you "What do you want to know?" That would be awkward for everyone. Have them talk about what they like about work. Ask them, "What do you like about work? Seriously, besides the check, what do you enjoy about your job in specific?" Chances are if they're talking to you, they're not gonna say they hate it. They'll say they like the challenging aspect of it, the responsibility, and being surrounded by intelligent people. And if they don't like their job, then you can get a good idea of a different side that you wouldn't be exposed to.

I take it the reason for doing it is to have some relevant talking points at OCI and to be able to say "I spoke with 'X' about 'Y' and...?"

zugzwanger
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby zugzwanger » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:14 am

LRGhost wrote:I've had "informational interviews" and at one, we didn't really talk about the firm until the last ten or fifteen minutes or so. We spent a lot of time talking about the city, about what I've done this summer, things we both enjoyed from college and from moving, etc. She mentioned her practice area and how she developed it since it's niche but it was more within the context of just talking about law school and life goals. When she asked, "So I guess I should ask if you have any questions about the firm," we had already sort of covered everything. I didn't go in with prepared questions necessarily. If the conversation died, I'd probably ask what her typical day looks like or what she likes most about the firm or talk about whether the firm's reputation is accurate (are they fratty/bookish/laid back).

I wouldn't go into it expecting it to be a thing where you both get coffee and the person asks you "What do you want to know?" That would be awkward for everyone. Have them talk about what they like about work. Ask them, "What do you like about work? Seriously, besides the check, what do you enjoy about your job in specific?" Chances are if they're talking to you, they're not gonna say they hate it. They'll say they like the challenging aspect of it, the responsibility, and being surrounded by intelligent people. And if they don't like their job, then you can get a good idea of a different side that you wouldn't be exposed to.

I take it the reason for doing it is to have some relevant talking points at OCI and to be able to say "I spoke with 'X' about 'Y' and...?"


+1

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lhanvt13
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby lhanvt13 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:25 pm

What happens if I use up all my bid points for classes during the first semester?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Micdiddy » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:28 pm

lhanvt13 wrote:What happens if I use up all my bid points for classes during the first semester?


You sign up for Spring classes that still have room during open sign ups after everyone else has bid.

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lhanvt13
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby lhanvt13 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:09 pm

Micdiddy wrote:
lhanvt13 wrote:What happens if I use up all my bid points for classes during the first semester?


You sign up for Spring classes that still have room during open sign ups after everyone else has bid.

Gotcha. Thanks.

09042014
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:19 pm

lhanvt13 wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
lhanvt13 wrote:What happens if I use up all my bid points for classes during the first semester?


You sign up for Spring classes that still have room during open sign ups after everyone else has bid.

Gotcha. Thanks.


The optimal strategy is to bid everything 1st semester since you get a lot of points back if you don't get the class and drop from teh wait list, or if the class took less points than you bid.

My 3L I bid all my points and ended up using only 5 first semester since they all went for one.

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lhanvt13
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby lhanvt13 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:56 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
lhanvt13 wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
lhanvt13 wrote:What happens if I use up all my bid points for classes during the first semester?


You sign up for Spring classes that still have room during open sign ups after everyone else has bid.

Gotcha. Thanks.


The optimal strategy is to bid everything 1st semester since you get a lot of points back if you don't get the class and drop from teh wait list, or if the class took less points than you bid.

My 3L I bid all my points and ended up using only 5 first semester since they all went for one.

awesome. I'm just worried I won't get the entrepreneurship class and the strategy class at the same time




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