The half-truths, omissions, and outright lies about floating through law school.

Some more useful advice

Monday, February 21, 2005

For the 1Ls out there, some ruminations on the firm call-back interview. I am guessing at least some of you have already been through the drill, but a lot will only be doing it in the spring months. At least for me, the interviewing was mostly in February and March. So, these are some dos/and don't from a man with a pretty strong all-time callback/offer rate:

-Try not to fall alseep or look like you are falling asleep. This is much easier said than done because lawyers love to talk, they are billing the firm for the time you are there, and it's basically like a work break for them. At some point during the 4-5 hours you are interviewing you will hit the wall and want to run out of there screaming. Don't. Instead try to sit up as straight as you can, smile, and count your future summer earnings in your head.

-Do not ask about pro bono. Yes I know it's a "legitimate" question. And no one is supposed to count it against you since it is a professional responsibility blah blah freakin blah. But in the real world firms make money by billing paying clients and do pro bono out of the goodness of their hearts. You wouldn't go to a banking interview and inquire about the quality of their softball team before getting an offer, would you? So wait to show your bleeding heart until you are in the inside and it is too late to weed you out.

-Always go to lunch, if asked. It's another chance to get a couple of people to like you and possibly stick up for you if they are on the fence about hiring you. Always remember that lunch is an interview. It's ok to let up a little in how formal you are but not ok to take your tie off and ask where the closest strip club is. Frankly the only point of this is to see if you are an anti-social freak, as a surprising amount of law students tend to be. So just act like a normal humanoid and you will be fine.

-Don't bad mouth your school. The one softball everyone gets is "How do you like law school?" Sure you may think about slitting your wrists before taking another round of exams at the end of the semester but no one wants to hear that. People don't like a downer. So the moral of the story is that you like law school a lot and you find it rewarding.

-If your interviewer is hot, try to ignore that fact. Nothing good can come out of anything but the utmost professionalism. Unless they openly hit on you, in which case...I don't know you are on your own there, it's never happened to me.

-If your interviwer asks you an inappopriate question: smile, deal the best you can with it and move on. If there is overt ass-grabbing you might want to complain to the firm but if it is partner, I wouldn't recommend it. It's a little early to be getting blacklisted.

-Do not badmouth other firms. It might be very tempting, in the comraderie that has just developed to drop something along the lines of "Oh, I interviewed at Firm X and let me tell you, they are a bunch of ball-busting assholes." It is, however, very poor form and you should never do it. If you are asked where else you are looking, drop the names of some other places that might or might not have expresed interest but don't try to trash any of them.

-Laugh at all the fucking jokes. No matter how inane or lame. But don't laugh too hard so it looks like you are kissing ass.


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Law Slave said...

What if the interviewer insults your highschool? I went to a very good NY State high school. Honestly, I was shocked and didn't know what to say. I guess that is why I didn't get that summer associate position. The guy wasn't even from NY, but his sister happened to live in my community....

At 6:37 PM, Blogger ALS said...

"What if the interviewer insults your highschool?"

Hey, you are there to get a job. Any number of things very dear to me have been insulted in the interview process but you just gotta roll with the punches.


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