0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

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DaftAndDirect
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0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby DaftAndDirect » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:22 pm

I was thinking about the Big Law interviewing process and had a question about what I assume is a typical interview question posed by firms during OCI.

When your interviewer asks you the "Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, ...n, years?" question...is the right answer always "I see myself as a partner at your firm of course!"

I know that it's important to eliminate from your interviewer's mind the possibility that you are a flight risk for any reason - such as having plans to try and break in to academia or to move to a smaller shop after two to three years. But at the same time isn't it important to show your interviewer that you're not a complete idiot and that you know that chance of making partner are extremely slim?

Fair enough if you think I'm getting ahead of myself...I just remember getting burned when stupidly dropping "I plan to go to law school" during an i-banking interview. Would rather not fumble the ball again if I can help it.

TLDR: What's a good answer to the question "Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?" during OCI with a Big Law firm?

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:27 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:I was thinking about the Big Law interviewing process and had a question about what I assume is a typical interview question posed by firms during OCI.

When your interviewer asks you the "Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, ...n, years?" question...is the right answer always "I see myself as a partner at your firm of course!"

I know that it's important to eliminate from your interviewer's mind the possibility that you are a flight risk for any reason - such as having plans to try and break in to academia or to move to a smaller shop after two to three years. But at the same time isn't it important to show your interviewer that you're not a complete idiot and that you know that chance of making partner are extremely slim?

Fair enough if you think I'm getting ahead of myself...I just remember getting burned when stupidly dropping "I plan to go to law school" during an i-banking interview. Would rather not fumble the ball again if I can help it.

TLDR: What's a good answer to the question "Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?" during OCI with a Big Law firm?



You should be focused on so many other things right now, but I'll indulge, seeing as I have 1L OCI this week. I've only gotten the "5 years" version of the question. I usually say something about wanting to have formed a strong relationship with a mentor, have made progress in developing a particular niche skill set, and hopefully be on track for partner. You obviously don't want to look like you have a giant ego and expect to be made partner, thats why i usually emphasize "partner track."

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Lincoln
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Lincoln » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:33 pm

Go drink a beer, and get back to us in a few years. Ya'll need to chill out.

rad lulz
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby rad lulz » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:34 pm

nonprofit-prophet wrote:You should be focused on so many other things right now, but I'll indulge, seeing as I have 1L OCI this week. I've only gotten the "5 years" version of the question. I usually say something about wanting to have formed a strong relationship with a mentor, have made progress in developing a particular niche skill set, and hopefully be on track for partner. You obviously don't want to look like you have a giant ego and expect to be made partner, thats why i usually emphasize "partner track."

I basically say this, plus something like "I want to be an involved member of the local community and local bar organizations" or something like that.

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Guchster
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Guchster » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:42 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:I was thinking about the Big Law interviewing process and had a question about what I assume is a typical interview question posed by firms during OCI.

When your interviewer asks you the "Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, ...n, years?" question...is the right answer always "I see myself as a partner at your firm of course!"

I know that it's important to eliminate from your interviewer's mind the possibility that you are a flight risk for any reason - such as having plans to try and break in to academia or to move to a smaller shop after two to three years. But at the same time isn't it important to show your interviewer that you're not a complete idiot and that you know that chance of making partner are extremely slim?

Fair enough if you think I'm getting ahead of myself...I just remember getting burned when stupidly dropping "I plan to go to law school" during an i-banking interview. Would rather not fumble the ball again if I can help it.

TLDR: What's a good answer to the question "Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?" during OCI with a Big Law firm?



Of all questions to ask of law students/employers as a 0L, what a strange one...

I've had dozens of big law interviews and this question has never been asked of me. Maybe I'm just lucky. But there are a larger set of questions that are asked in greater frequency (i.e., about your summer legal job, transactional/litigation, favorite lawl school class, moastly about your resume). If this questions was asked of me, I'd give something similar to prophet's answer. For the 10 year one, I would avoid making any assertion that you will or will not be partner and instead focus on the ability to manage clients effectively, maintain a highly functional organizational structure to deals/cases, highly crafted and useful skill sets, mentor, etc.

Unless your interviewer is trying to be a dick/obnoxious/burgerish, they will not ask you if you think you will or will not make partner. This is a pointless speculation and there is so much stupid in answering it that it's not even worth mentioning.
Last edited by Guchster on Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby kalvano » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:43 pm

I always just say "In Fiji with my cut."

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby DaftAndDirect » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:45 pm

Lincoln wrote:Go drink a beer, and get back to us in a few years. Ya'll need to chill out.


When I said "fair enough [...]" in my original post I meant exactly what I said. Thanks for the advice. I get it. The question itself still has value regardless of who is asking it.

Army2Law
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Army2Law » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:54 pm

I can never decide if I hate law students or 0Ls more. Threads like this don't clear my confusion up.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby DaftAndDirect » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:09 pm

Army2Law wrote:I can never decide if I hate law students or 0Ls more. Threads like this don't clear my confusion up.


I don't see any reason why you have any business criticizing the way I go about researching even the most minute details regarding the return I'm going to get on my $160,000 investment bet on my legal education. I'm going to ask a lot of questions throughout this process. You might think some of them are stupid. By all means let me know what questions I should be asking instead, but please don't just mouth off like a prick.

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Gail
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Gail » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:09 pm

Army2Law wrote:I can never decide if I hate law students or 0Ls more. Threads like this don't clear my confusion up.


Fucking honestly?

It's a question that the poster is interested in. Not a request for you to give him a class lecture.


Lay off with this "I hate 0Ls" shit. Are you in high school or something? Seriously.

shoeshine
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby shoeshine » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:11 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:
Army2Law wrote:I can never decide if I hate law students or 0Ls more. Threads like this don't clear my confusion up.


I don't see any reason why you have any business criticizing the way I go about researching even the most minute details regarding the return I'm going to get on my $160,000 investment bet on my legal education. I'm going to ask a lot of questions throughout this process. You might think some of them are stupid. By all means let me know what questions I should be asking instead, but please don't just mouth off like a prick.


I think you will look back and realize why this was stupid if you actually go to law school and are in the position to get a big law interview.

Until then I can see how this seems like a reasonable concern from your perspective. All I can say is that you are worried about the wrong thing.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:19 pm

rad lulz wrote:
nonprofit-prophet wrote:You should be focused on so many other things right now, but I'll indulge, seeing as I have 1L OCI this week. I've only gotten the "5 years" version of the question. I usually say something about wanting to have formed a strong relationship with a mentor, have made progress in developing a particular niche skill set, and hopefully be on track for partner. You obviously don't want to look like you have a giant ego and expect to be made partner, thats why i usually emphasize "partner track."

I basically say this, plus something like "I want to be an involved member of the local community and local bar organizations" or something like that.


Yea that's a good one. Basically a proxy for "I'm going to work hard to bring in business," but less "on the nose." I'll be adding that to my rotation.

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Veyron
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Veyron » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:33 pm

I said "in court." Got rejected everywhere but firms specializing in trial advocacy. Not terribly upset about this but YMMV.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Well, if they ask about 5 years, you're fine. During OCI you'll still have two full years of law school left, so in 5 years you'll just be finishing up your third year at the firm, so you can safely say you want to see yourself still at whatever firm you start out at, building relationships, blah blah, without sounding like you see partnership as a realistic option for yourself.

10 or 15 years is tougher, but focus on the kind of professional you want to be rather than where you want to be at. You can talk about having a broad knowledge base and a more specific set of highly developed skills, having developed long-term, close client relationships as well as good relationships with your coworkers, etc. None of this really hints at either "I'MA BE PARTNER OBVI" or "psh I'll be out of your stupid sweatshop in 3 years, max." If the interviewer is enough of a jerk (or bored enough) to ask you point blank about partnership, just say that obviously it's pretty much everyone's goal (which, no, it's not, but it'll give the impression you're sincere about wanting to stay long-term if you assume everyone else does too), but that, putting aside how hubristic it would be, more importantly it's just futile and a waste of time to think about it at this point, because you have so much still to learn that you'll just be staring at an equation where you know literally none of the variables.

In crafting your interview responses generally, always think about the type of person the business wants to hire. They don't want someone so big-headed they see partnership as a sure thing, but they do want someone who'll work like they want it. Also, FWIW, I too have never been asked this question.

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Guchster
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Guchster » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Veyron wrote:I said "in court." Got rejected everywhere but firms specializing in trial advocacy.


esp. if you state earlier in the interview that you want to go into the corporate practice group.

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Gail
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Gail » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:36 pm

Veyron wrote:I said "in court." Got rejected everywhere but firms specializing in trial advocacy. Not terribly upset about this but YMMV.


i imagined you delivering this in a spectacularly funny way. it made me laugh.

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Veyron
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Veyron » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:44 pm

Gail wrote:
Veyron wrote:I said "in court." Got rejected everywhere but firms specializing in trial advocacy. Not terribly upset about this but YMMV.


i imagined you delivering this in a spectacularly funny way. it made me laugh.


It definitely had that effect on interviewers.

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monkey85
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby monkey85 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:45 pm

I never give a specific answer regardless of the 5/10/15 year timeline questioned. The answer below has always worked out for me:

"I can't say exactly where I hope to be in 5 or 10 years because things always change. I think that looking too far ahead can be a little unrealistic. But wherever I am, I do hope to be in an environment that continues to challenge me, where I've gained more responsibility, and I can be for the long term."

Similar to another poster, I have previously screwed up my undergrad i-banking interviews. When one i-bank asked where I saw myself in 10 years I said "Running a distressed debt fund with my friends." Never got the callback, ha ha.

I have since gone more vague and found interviewers more receptive.

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Gail
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Gail » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:45 pm

did you intend it sound like you anticipated sitting in divorce court banging your head on the table while your ex cuts your wallet in two?


that's what i thought.

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Guchster
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby Guchster » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:46 pm

monkey85 wrote:I never give a specific answer regardless of the 5/10/15 year timeline questioned. The answer below has always worked out for me:

"I can't say exactly where I hope to be in 5 or 10 years because things always change. I think that looking too far ahead can be a little unrealistic. But wherever I am, I do hope to be in an environment that continues to challenge me, where I've gained more responsibility, and I can be for the long term."

Similar to another poster, I have previously screwed up my undergrad i-banking interviews. When one i-bank asked where I saw myself in 10 years I said "Running a distressed debt fund with my friends." Never got the callback, ha ha.

I have since gone more vague and found interviewers more receptive.


ok, robot.

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monkey85
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby monkey85 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:54 pm

Guchster wrote:ok, robot.


he he, oh well, jerb is a jerb and glad I landed one.

rad lulz
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby rad lulz » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:57 pm

,
Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby DaftAndDirect » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:30 pm

rad lulz wrote:Also, take it from me and DF, if they ask you what you're biggest weakness is, don't say "My writing."

Go with something safer, like "My mile time could use some work."


I'm so late to the party on this but...is that Ben Affleck?

rad lulz
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby rad lulz » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:32 pm

.
Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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quiver
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Re: 0L Question RE: Big Law Interviews

Postby quiver » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:43 pm

Guchster wrote:I've had dozens of big law interviews and this question has never been asked of me
Yeah I had a lot of biglaw interviews (including screeners and CBs) and I never got asked this question either.




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