Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
uiucillini23
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby uiucillini23 » Mon May 28, 2012 2:21 am

blurbz wrote:
uiucillini23 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:You'd have to click through the individual employers to see but last year there were at least a couple where law review was "required". Not sure about this year. But even if it says that you should still apply. You get unlimited bids so you've got nothing to lose

E: I see now which of my posts probably confused you. When I said employers require either journal or moot court I meant as a practical matter. I don't know anyone who got a biglaw job without one or the other


wow really...why would they care about journal so much? it's not even a guarantee that the person's work would get published. i swear someone on this board said that he didn't have journal and still got a biglaw job. maybe he has a 4.00?


That would be me. No journal here, but got market-paying biglaw. Firms say a lot of things on symplicity: Apply even if you don't meet their qualifications. They might see something they like and ask you to interview. I had no journal and I had somewhere between 25 and 30 OCI interviews--I guarantee that a number of those firms said that journal work was ether required or preferred.


that's a lot of OCI interviews. if you don't mind me asking, how many callbacks did you eventually get?

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Mon May 28, 2012 2:33 am

uiucillini23 wrote:
blurbz wrote:
uiucillini23 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:You'd have to click through the individual employers to see but last year there were at least a couple where law review was "required". Not sure about this year. But even if it says that you should still apply. You get unlimited bids so you've got nothing to lose

E: I see now which of my posts probably confused you. When I said employers require either journal or moot court I meant as a practical matter. I don't know anyone who got a biglaw job without one or the other


wow really...why would they care about journal so much? it's not even a guarantee that the person's work would get published. i swear someone on this board said that he didn't have journal and still got a biglaw job. maybe he has a 4.00?


That would be me. No journal here, but got market-paying biglaw. Firms say a lot of things on symplicity: Apply even if you don't meet their qualifications. They might see something they like and ask you to interview. I had no journal and I had somewhere between 25 and 30 OCI interviews--I guarantee that a number of those firms said that journal work was ether required or preferred.


that's a lot of OCI interviews. if you don't mind me asking, how many callbacks did you eventually get?



15. I think about 3 to 5 of them were from massmail/networking/hustling--so only 10 to 12 came from OCI.

User avatar
diegoforlan10
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby diegoforlan10 » Mon May 28, 2012 6:38 am

blurbz, how did you get the job you finally ended up taking? Was it through OCI or was it through hustling?

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Mon May 28, 2012 7:26 am

uiucillini23 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:You'd have to click through the individual employers to see but last year there were at least a couple where law review was "required". Not sure about this year. But even if it says that you should still apply. You get unlimited bids so you've got nothing to lose

E: I see now which of my posts probably confused you. When I said employers require either journal or moot co
urt I meant as a practical matter. I don't know anyone who got a biglaw job without one or the other


wow really...why would they care about journal so much? it's not even a guarantee that the person's work would get published. i swear someone on this board said that he didn't have journal and still got a biglaw job. maybe he has a 4.00?


Grades are the most important thing. I guess I wasn't making that clear enough. If you have middling grades law review won't help you. But even with good grades you still have to have journal OR moot court. Blurbz had awesome grades and moot court

As for why they care, because law is a prestige whorish profession and those things are signifiers. Journal/moot court go on your resume and firm bio forever.

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Mon May 28, 2012 10:21 am

diegoforlan10 wrote:blurbz, how did you get the job you finally ended up taking? Was it through OCI or was it through hustling?



OCI.

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Mon May 28, 2012 10:44 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:
uiucillini23 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:You'd have to click through the individual employers to see but last year there were at least a couple where law review was "required". Not sure about this year. But even if it says that you should still apply. You get unlimited bids so you've got nothing to lose

E: I see now which of my posts probably confused you. When I said employers require either journal or moot co
urt I meant as a practical matter. I don't know anyone who got a biglaw job without one or the other


wow really...why would they care about journal so much? it's not even a guarantee that the person's work would get published. i swear someone on this board said that he didn't have journal and still got a biglaw job. maybe he has a 4.00?


Grades are the most important thing. I guess I wasn't making that clear enough. If you have middling grades law review won't help you. But even with good grades you still have to have journal OR moot court. Blurbz had awesome grades and moot court

As for why they care, because law is a prestige whorish profession and those things are signifiers. Journal/moot court go on your resume and firm bio forever.


Yeah, the importance of having top-of-the-class grades really cannot be understated. They are an absolute requirement for biglaw, especially from Illinois. Because we're 100% preselect, all of the interviews are picked by the firm and not though a combination of the firm and lottery. This means the same 30ish people get almost all of the OCI interviews and those 30ish people are generally the top of the class.

The one exception to needing excellent grades is if you're gunning for IP work, but even then you'll still want to be in the top half at LEAST and I wouldn't feel comfortable if you're not in the top third. (And, of course, you'll need to meet the other qualification for IP.)

User avatar
diegoforlan10
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby diegoforlan10 » Mon May 28, 2012 12:01 pm

What are some of those other qualifications for IP? Is it really as bad as "if you don't have and engineering degree, forget about it"?

Also, is legal writing graded at Illinois?

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Mon May 28, 2012 12:08 pm

diegoforlan10 wrote:What are some of those other qualifications for IP? Is it really as bad as "if you don't have and engineering degree, forget about it"?

Also, is legal writing graded at Illinois?


You don't have to have an engineering degree but you do have to have a science background and be eligible to sit for the patent bar. There were no firms hiring Illinois students to do soft IP work just because they really liked IP law. Maybe at higher ranked schools that's a possibility, but at Illinois a hard science background is required.

Legal writing is pass/fail thank god. So is legal research. You can get honors designations (I think it's high honors for top 10%, honors for the next 30% after that) but those don't mean much. It's a line to put on your resume, which is nice. But for the amount of work you put in to that class, the return is basically worthless. Blurbz and I and another friend actually had a contest second semester to see who could get the lowest memo grade without failing. I don't think we ever paid the winner on that actually...

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Mon May 28, 2012 12:21 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:
diegoforlan10 wrote:What are some of those other qualifications for IP? Is it really as bad as "if you don't have and engineering degree, forget about it"?

Also, is legal writing graded at Illinois?


You don't have to have an engineering degree but you do have to have a science background and be eligible to sit for the patent bar. There were no firms hiring Illinois students to do soft IP work just because they really liked IP law. Maybe at higher ranked schools that's a possibility, but at Illinois a hard science background is required.

Legal writing is pass/fail thank god. So is legal research. You can get honors designations (I think it's high honors for top 10%, honors for the next 30% after that) but those don't mean much. It's a line to put on your resume, which is nice. But for the amount of work you put in to that class, the return is basically worthless. Blurbz and I and another friend actually had a contest second semester to see who could get the lowest memo grade without failing. I don't think we ever paid the winner on that actually...


Nope, we still need to settle that bet.... One more typo and I would have won!

chitown2626
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:48 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby chitown2626 » Mon May 28, 2012 12:22 pm

might be too difficult to come up with estimates, but I'l throw it out there anyways. What percentage of the class (2013) got jobs through OCI and what percentage of the class has summer jobs that "should" or "could" lead to employment after graduation?

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Mon May 28, 2012 12:31 pm

chitown2626 wrote:might be too difficult to come up with estimates, but I'l throw it out there anyways. What percentage of the class (2013) got jobs through OCI and what percentage of the class has summer jobs that "should" or "could" lead to employment after graduation?



Hmm. Definitely tough to be absolutely certain (this is where it'd be nice if OCS would release statistics....).

My (rough) estimates would be about 20% got jobs through OCI or got OCI-quality jobs (there are a few people at Cahill, for example, who certainly would have gotten jobs at OCI but chose to go to NYC).

It's much harder to come up with a percentage of people who have jobs that "should" or "could" lead to permanent employment. Any job "could": A position with a judge could lead to a clerkship, a small firm might have a need in a year, etc. In terms of "Should," I'd probably assume that the percentage is a little higher than the 20% of people who got jobs at OCI. The OCI jobs "should" lead to permanent employment and I'm assuming there are a handful of people in other positions who have a pretty good chance of getting hired full time (Gov. honors programs, a few in house jobs, etc).

The rest of the class will start blanketing the world with applications at the beginning of next year and, hopefully, will have something lined up for post-graduation within a reasonable amount of time.

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Mon May 28, 2012 12:35 pm

chitown2626 wrote:might be too difficult to come up with estimates, but I'l throw it out there anyways. What percentage of the class (2013) got jobs through OCI and what percentage of the class has summer jobs that "should" or "could" lead to employment after graduation?


From OCI I would say around 15%. Then another 10% or so probably got biglaw jobs through massmailing/interview programs/job fairs. These are just estimates based on people I know or anecdotes. I wish I had more hard evidence to give you, but hopefully career services will be more forthcoming with that information this year

As for other summer jobs that should lead to employment after graduation, that's probably impossible for me to estimate. It's much easier to track the top of the class because I know more of them and naturally they're more open about where they're going for the summer.

uiucillini23
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby uiucillini23 » Mon May 28, 2012 1:17 pm

blurbz wrote:
chitown2626 wrote:might be too difficult to come up with estimates, but I'l throw it out there anyways. What percentage of the class (2013) got jobs through OCI and what percentage of the class has summer jobs that "should" or "could" lead to employment after graduation?



Hmm. Definitely tough to be absolutely certain (this is where it'd be nice if OCS would release statistics....).

My (rough) estimates would be about 20% got jobs through OCI or got OCI-quality jobs (there are a few people at Cahill, for example, who certainly would have gotten jobs at OCI but chose to go to NYC).

It's much harder to come up with a percentage of people who have jobs that "should" or "could" lead to permanent employment. Any job "could": A position with a judge could lead to a clerkship, a small firm might have a need in a year, etc. In terms of "Should," I'd probably assume that the percentage is a little higher than the 20% of people who got jobs at OCI. The OCI jobs "should" lead to permanent employment and I'm assuming there are a handful of people in other positions who have a pretty good chance of getting hired full time (Gov. honors programs, a few in house jobs, etc).

The rest of the class will start blanketing the world with applications at the beginning of next year and, hopefully, will have something lined up for post-graduation within a reasonable amount of time.


"a few people at Cahill?" wow...for a school this small and one that hardly gets attention in NYC, "a few" is pretty impressive.

10-12 callbacks is amazing. you must have really impressed the interviewers. I was reading some of the comments and Ludivico mentioned that the career services office gave some bad advice such as wearing black suits to interviews. I always thought black suits were standard and the way to go. Is that wrong?

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Mon May 28, 2012 1:32 pm

uiucillini23 wrote:
blurbz wrote:
chitown2626 wrote:might be too difficult to come up with estimates, but I'l throw it out there anyways. What percentage of the class (2013) got jobs through OCI and what percentage of the class has summer jobs that "should" or "could" lead to employment after graduation?



Hmm. Definitely tough to be absolutely certain (this is where it'd be nice if OCS would release statistics....).

My (rough) estimates would be about 20% got jobs through OCI or got OCI-quality jobs (there are a few people at Cahill, for exampile, who certainly would have gotten jobs at OCI but chose to go to NYC).

It's much harder to come up with a percentage of people who have jobs that "should" or "could" lead to permanent employment. Any job "could": A position with a judge could lead to a clerkship, a small firm might have a need in a year, etc. In terms of "Should," I'd probably assume that the percentage is a little higher than the 20% of people who got jobs at OCI. The OCI jobs "should" lead to permanent employment and I'm assuming there are a handful of people in other positions who have a pretty good chance of getting hired full time (Gov. honors programs, a few in house jobs, etc).

The rest of the class will start blanketing the world with applications at the beginning of next year and, hopefully, will have something lined up for post-graduation within a reasonable amount of time.


"a few people at Cahill?" wow...for a school this small and one that hardly gets attention in NYC, "a few" is pretty impressive.

10-12 callbacks is amazing. you must have really impressed the interviewers. I was reading some of the comments and Ludivico mentioned that the career services office gave some bad advice such as wearing black suits to interviews. I always thought black suits were standard and the way to go. Is that wrong?


For men black is absolutely inappropriate. It might be different for women but for men black is for funerals. A charcoal or navy suit is what you should be wearing for OCI.

Edit: also the Cahill thing is kind of an anomaly. There was an interview program in NY last year and three people got SAs at Cahill ( and I know at least one other person got offers from the program). Overall I don't think that many people targeted NY

chitown2626
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:48 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby chitown2626 » Tue May 29, 2012 8:01 pm

Probably too late asking this now as our schedules are pretty much set in stone, but do employers look at (or care? or ask during interviews?) about classes we signed up for and are taking 2L?

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Tue May 29, 2012 8:10 pm

chitown2626 wrote:Probably too late asking this now as our schedules are pretty much set in stone, but do employers look at (or care? or ask during interviews?) about classes we signed up for and are taking 2L?


Absolutely not. Wish I would've known that for 2l fall semester :cry:

uiucillini23
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby uiucillini23 » Wed May 30, 2012 1:11 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:
chitown2626 wrote:Probably too late asking this now as our schedules are pretty much set in stone, but do employers look at (or care? or ask during interviews?) about classes we signed up for and are taking 2L?


Absolutely not. Wish I would've known that for 2l fall semester :cry:


I'm pretty sure some ask what classes you're taking.

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Wed May 30, 2012 1:40 am

uiucillini23 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:
chitown2626 wrote:Probably too late asking this now as our schedules are pretty much set in stone, but do employers look at (or care? or ask during interviews?) about classes we signed up for and are taking 2L?


Absolutely not. Wish I would've known that for 2l fall semester :cry:


I'm pretty sure some ask what classes you're taking.


Yeah, I was asked at a few interviews/callbacks what class I was most excited for. It was pretty clear, though, that there was no need/expectation that I take more doctrinal classes. Just take what you want to take and be prepared to talk about it excitedly and intelligently.

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Wed May 30, 2012 8:07 am

uiucillini23 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:
chitown2626 wrote:Probably too late asking this now as our schedules are pretty much set in stone, but do employers look at (or care? or ask during interviews?) about classes we signed up for and are taking 2L?


Absolutely not. Wish I would've known that for 2l fall semester :cry:


I'm pretty sure some ask what classes you're taking.


I was answering the do they care part. Some interviewers asked casually what I was taking, none cared

chitown2626
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:48 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby chitown2626 » Thu May 31, 2012 2:42 pm

What were some of the questions that were consistently asked to you guys during interviews and do you have any advice to answering those questions (Specifically, what about the "why law school" question, and tips for answering that)? Also, did you have any questions or things happen in interviews that you would consider "tricky" or difficult or that you were unprepared for? Thanks so much.

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:38 am

chitown2626 wrote:What were some of the questions that were consistently asked to you guys during interviews and do you have any advice to answering those questions (Specifically, what about the "why law school" question, and tips for answering that)? Also, did you have any questions or things happen in interviews that you would consider "tricky" or difficult or that you were unprepared for? Thanks so much.



I think we got all of the traditional interview questions: Why law school? What was your favorite class? Why do you want to work in a large law firm? Why should we hire you over the other 37 people we're interviewing from Illinois? Oh, you're top 10 percent, why aren't you top 5 percent? (this last one was said as a joke.....I think.) Where do you see yourself in five years? If you're faced with a problem, what are the first steps you take towards solving it? Why This Market?

Etc.

The harder ones are variations on those questions: What neighborhood in This Market do you think you'd want to live in? Why did you pick Illinois over My Alma Mater? What interests you most about the cooperate side of things?

Advice on answering these questions is never a one-size fits all solution. You need to do the research about the firm and the market so that you can tie your individual experiences into answers to all of these questions. If you can answer the more general variations of the questions handily, you'll be able to put together a good answer for the more specific versions of the same question without skipping a beat.

For why law school: Just have some experience or interaction that you can point to. If you don't, a variation on Bork's answer to the question of why he should be SCOTUS confirmed is fine: It will be an intellectual feast. Note: don't actually say that, but that is a fine message to send. It didn't work for Bork (because his situation was vastly different from yours!), but if you play it right it can work for you. This can also work for Why Biglaw?

If you have something on your resume, be prepared to talk about it. I had some reasearch on my resume that they asked substantive questions about in a few of my interviews. Luckily, just in case, I'd reread some of the papers I wrote for that project prior to OCI so I could still talk intelligently about it. Along those same lines, if there's anything easily found on The Google about you, be prepared to answer about it. I don't want to out myself more than my posts here already do, but this was an issue for me and I had to be sure to have good answers about some rather interesting experiences that weren't on my resume.

Ask plenty of questions, but don't lead with something like, 'does your firm offer free bike storage?" Try, instead, to stick to substantive issues: About your interviewer's past (how they got to the firm, why they've stayed, why they're on the recruiting committee etc.) Culture, staffing (how many partners/associates per deal/case on average), how your interviewer personally uses summer associates/first years, if there's any news about the firm that's interesting (I had CBs at two firms considering mergers--provided for a number of good interview questions and showed that I'd done research outside of just reading the firm's website), the differences between certain practice areas, etc. etc. etc.

The bottom line for interviewing is this: Be intelligent, excited and well-informed. If your interviewer is more formal, be more formal. If your interviewer is casual, be more casual. Play to their personality but make sure that everything you say is truthful and casts you in the best light possible.

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:41 am

Great question.

Common interview questions:

Why law school. I definitely got asked this in almost every interview. I think the most important thing for most of these questions is that you show that you are prepared and give a well thought out answer. The substance of it isn't as important. I think firms just want to know that you have an interest in the law and have a better answer than 'well I majored in English.' For the most part you can be honest. Although you might not want to tell a BigLaw firm that you went to law school specifically to do public interest. I had a pre-LS job in which I worked with lawyers and was exposed to a little bit of what they did, so I talked about that experience and how I thought my skills were a good match for law. Find a way to give a good concise answer and then transition into some other topic. Your best interviews will be conversations, so think of every canned question like 'why law school' as just the jumping off point for a conversation with that interviewer. Don't just answer the question and then stare at her waiting for the next question to come. Practice all of your answers with good ways to transition into something else, preferably something about why you're great and they should hire you. And if you get stuck, you can always flip the same question. Never let an awkward silence go by. You only get 20 minutes, so you don't want to waste time staring at each other.

Why a big firm. This one might get asked, especially if you have a really public interest heavy resume. I usually answered - the chance to do complex, challenging, high level work. To work on the biggest deals or cases, etc.

Why THIS firm. Research research research. Know everything about that firm. Know what the biggest practice groups are, what the summer program is like, how work is given out, what kind of work they do, what the culture is like. If you can, talk to alums at these firms. Talking to someone who actually works there is the best research. But also read the Chambers guide, the Vault guides, the ATL guides (I forget the name of that. Lateral liink?). Read profiles on TLS if available. At first it may seem like they're all alike but they're not.

What kind of practice are you interested in. It's ok to say you don't know. Or you can be general and just say litigation or transactional. I knew for sure that I didn't want litigation but I certainly wasn't an expert on what different transactional practices were all about. So I would just say I'm interested in transactional for x reasons but I would like to learn more and that's why I'm really interested in BigLawFirm's y practice groups. If you know a specific group you want have a decent reason for why you want it. It doesn't have to be - I want corporate because I worked at Bain Capital or something. You can just say I want corporate because I'm interested in deals and I love Barbarians at the Gates (stole that answer from someone on TLS, probably sealocust, and it actually worked great).

What do you like about law school. Easy question but common. You can probably say anything here: the professors, the material, the challenge, the friends, whatver

What do you not like about law school. Not as common but came up a few times. Good to have a stock answer prepared. Since I was interested in transactional Iaw I would usually say I didn't like the litigation focus of 1l year (another answer stolen from TLS that worked pretty well). This one can be tricky because as much as you might be tempted to badmouth a class or a professor or something you really can't do that. Even if it's a universally reviled professor you never know. I had a friend who interviewed at a firm and the first question out of the interviewer's mouth was "So how is [insert name of absolutely horrible prof here], that was my favorite teacher ". You never know. Stick with something that is a minor complaint.

Tell me about 1l summer job. Definitely will come up in most if not all interviews. This is why hopefully you have a 1l summer job where you did substantive legal work. Make sure you have at least a couple interesting projects to talk about.

Tell me about some other thing on your resume. If you have some other interesting work experience on your resume, you will probably get asked about it a lot. Have anecdotes ready to go about that job as well. If you have an interests section that also might get asked about a fair amount. If you don't get asked in any interviews about your interests section than your interest section is boring and you should probably change it or get rid of it. The interests section isn't necessary but it can be a good way to get a conversation going. Another note - if your interviewer starts asking you stuff like - so, tell me about the Corporate Law Society or some other boring club, that's not a good sign. If you find yourself having to talk about getting free pizza and listening to guest speakers then that's probably not a good interview.

Tell me something that's not on your resume. I think this question is dumb but I had it a couple times. Some kind of hobby that you have that's not on your resume because you didn't have an interests section or because it wasn't a good fit there is a safe answer. I play volleyball a lot, or I'm a foreign film buff, something like that.

Why do you think you did well in law school. This came up a few times. Be humble but don't just attribute it all to luck. Use the question to sell yourself, you're smart and hard working and a quick learner and good under pressure and blah blah.

Hard/tricky questions -

Tell me about yourself. The absolute worst question ever. I hate starting interviews this way. Keep it concise, sell yourself, find a way to transition into a conversation.

Give me your elevator speech. Basically the same as tell me about yourself. I don't think good interviews come from it but you should have one ready. Keep it under a couple minutes, highlight the things about yourself that would make you good for biglaw - attention to detail, hard working, leadership skills, etc.

I'm interviewing 20 other people today, they all have the same great credentials, why should I hire you. Kind of tricky but I think actually a fair question. You should be confident in every interview that you deserve that job and they should give it to you and you should have reasons why. This is why it's really really important to research the shit out of these firms. Differentiating between biglaw firms is difficult but there are differences. Talk about why you are the perfect fit for that firm.

Behavioral questions. Absolutely hate these. These are 'tell me about a time when blah blah blah'. The problem is that there are so many variations that it's hard to prepare for all of them, and if you get asked one that you're not prepared for and you have to sit there racking your brain to come up with an answer it's probably not going to come out well. I actually got my job because of a behavioral question and I have blurbz to thank. He interviewed with a firm early in the day that I was interviewing with later and he told me about a behavioral question that he got that threw him off guard. I spent the whole day thinking about it and when I came into interview I got asked the same question and had a great answer prepared for it. I got the callback and eventually the offer. This is probably also a good place to note - it's good to have friends going through the process with you. There's really nothing to be gained from being cut throat. Have your friends go over your resume with you, practice interview questions with you, etc.

So, you got any questions for me. This is also a nightmare scenario. You absolutely need to have questions ready to go, this is almost as important as having answers to common questions. Every interviewer will ask you if you have questions. You need to show that you've done your research and ask them about things that can't be answered by simply looking at the website. Stuff like - I saw on the website that your summer program includes this thing, can you tell me more about that. Or your work assignment system is described as this, can you tell me about how that works in practice. You can also ask things about them personally - why did you choose this Practice Group or why did you choose Firm X or I saw that you worked on this deal, what was that like, etc. You will know who your interviewers are ahead of time, you want to research them as well as the firm. Again, you never want awkward silences so always have questions ready to go. A couple other good ones I borrowed from other people - asking about qualities of succesful associates, asking what their currently working on. BUT, having said all that, questions are good ways to fill pauses and end interviews. If you have to fill up an entire 20 minutes just asking questions to the interviewer, that sucks. You're not having a conversation then and remember good interviews are conversations.

I'm probably forgetting a lot of stuff but luckily there's still a couple months until OCI so I'll post more things when I think of them. One final tip - remember that the "conversation" you want to be having in these interviews is one that is about why you would be a good fit for the firm. A lot of that is personality - nobody wants to work with antisocial assholes even if their grades are awesome - but it's also about selling them on the qualities that will make you a great worker. I walked out of some interviews feeling great because I got along with the interviewer really well and we just talked about sports the whole time. But those arent the interviews I got callbacks for. It's great to click with your interviewers and have mutual interests you can talk about, but don't let the interview drift into 100% off topic. Even if it seems the interviewer just wants to talk about football or whatever, find a way to work in selling yourself and why they need to hire you.

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby Ludo! » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:44 am

fuuuck, beaten. Was working on this throughout the morning so just saw blurbz' post. +1 to all of it.

The market thing is an important one I forgot.

Also under hard questions - intense substantive questions about your writing sample or what your intro to advocacy issue was. Ugh. Fuck that guy.

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:49 am

I've been outdone by Ludo again. That's what I get for being really brief.

It's a great poast, and should be required reading for anyone heading into OCI.

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Illinois Law 1L Taking Questions

Postby blurbz » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:51 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:fuuuck, beaten. Was working on this throughout the morning so just saw blurbz' post. +1 to all of it.

The market thing is an important one I forgot.

Also under hard questions - intense substantive questions about your writing sample or what your intro to advocacy issue was. Ugh. Fuck that guy.



Yeah, reread your 1L writing projects just in case, I guess. Though I decided pretty quickly that if this was the kind of guy that firm hired, I didn't want to work there....




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests