- in terms of "thinking how they think" if I meet with members who have a particular expertise/department, am I going to be gauged on my knowledge of that specific area/department (to the extent it overlaps with legal)? Understood you said you're not trying to evaluate my "legal" chops, but wondering to what extent they might be trying to measure the "breadth' of my knowledge.
I doubt it. Unless you're being hired on for a regulatory counsel role, the assumption is that you won't know everything immediately. (e.g. we had a great deal of consumer contract drafting work, but would never expect a candidate to know anything particularly about it.) What's far more important is your ability to rapidly get your feet under you in a variety of new fields. Not entirely sure I understood you, though, would greatly appreciate an example.
- how did you figure out how whether the applicants checked these boxes? Perhaps they can be determined to some extent through hypos, but quite curious as to how you analyzed an applicant's ability to meet these requirements.
Hypos were good -- for example, we had one where an salesperson sued us for $5k in allegedly unpaid commissions and we asked what the applicants would do. The ones who would spend ~$1,000 on outside counsel + take half of a manager's day interviewing them before doing anything else weren't thinking like businesspeople.
More generally, we asked why people thought they'd be good for the role. This is surprisingly revealing, lots of people will say "well I'm great at my firm job" which is totally not what we're looking for.
Very few candidates checked those boxes. The vast majority of candidates failed those tests, very badly. It was obvious when we got a businessperson who happened to have a JD vs. someone who wanted to do their current job, but with fewer hours. Being a generalist counsel at a company is really a fundamentally different job than being a specialized associate in BigLaw.
Also want to note the above poster's comment about exercising judgment independently is dead on. You've gotta be comfortable making legal calls on your own and have a great sense of when a question needs to be kicked upstairs vs. when you can resolve it yourself.