Careers > Students > Legal Scoop
14 Aug '18

So, you have an offer (or two!) in hand-congratulations! Now begins the sometimes challenging work of deciding between or among multiple offers. Chances are you already know quite a bit about the firms that you are considering. After all, you have spent a good deal of time curating an initial bid list and preparing for your screening interview and callback interviews.

Still, you might have outstanding questions about a firm, its culture or its legal practices. Now is the time to ask the firm’s recruiting team for a return visit or a “second look.” In this post, we will share some thoughts on why a second look can be helpful, how to maximize the return on your visit and general etiquette tips.

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06 Aug '18

Behavioral-style interviewing has become a popular mode of job interviewing. An increasing number of employers are using this approach to screen candidates and determine their potential for success. One of the reasons this approach to interviewing is used more frequently is the prevailing assumption that, under similar circumstances, past behavior can predict future performance. As a result, interviewers will ask for examples from past experiences that demonstrate the set of skills that the company has determined are needed for a position. In this post, we will provide some insight into what to expect from behavioral-style interviewing so that you can be prepared before walking into your meeting.

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25 Jul '18

The U.S. legal market is currently thriving in a way we haven’t seen in years, which means future legal professionals now have many options when it comes to where to practice after graduation. With so many opportunities and the millennial generation’s drive to try something new, how do you decide where you want to land? For many, it’s a simple decision to return to their home city, but for others, there’s much to consider.

In order to help you further narrow down the possibilities, we suggest reading the following blog post - Navigating the Recruiting Season – Be Where You Want to Be. Then, consider asking yourself the following questions to refine your options, or to confirm you are making a decision that is best for you.

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19 Jul '18

After working in a law firm and recruiting for more than a decade, we have witnessed the various ways that candidates can differentiate themselves from the rest–in both positive and negative ways. While it is imperative to present the most authentic version of yourself during an interview, the following four tips may help to ensure that you leave a lasting positive impression.

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11 Jul '18

What is OCI or EIW?

As the end of July nears, the on-campus interview (OCI) or early interview week (EIW) season is just starting up. OCIs and EIWs are held at law schools during the end of July / beginning of August. During this process, law firms send representatives to various law schools to meet with rising second year students and secure the top talent for their summer programs. If you are participating in OCI, you are interviewing for a spot in a firm’s summer class for the following summer. After completing an on-campus interview, a firm may decide to invite you for a second interview in their office to meet with additional attorneys. These meetings are called callback interviews and upon completing this round, a firm may then extend an offer to you for a summer position. The entire interview process takes place in a very compressed time period and thus can be very stressful. The following tips are meant to help calm your nerves and give you a better idea of what to expect this August! 

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26 Jun '18

Navigating the Recruiting Season – Be Where You Want to Be

The August recruiting season is just around the corner, and, at this point, your days are probably filled with interview preparation, resume building and mock interviews. Before you consider the hypothetical questions you’re about to be asked by potential interviewers, you should take this time to ask yourself some important questions. Deciding where you want to be, both geographically and fit wise, is something you should consider before stepping foot into your first interview. A little research and self-reflection will help you narrow the scope of your search and clarify the number of choices that you will be left with in just a few short weeks. This post will provide you with some “food for thought” as you embark upon the interviewing process.

Decisions before decisions

Before your first interview, you are going to need to select the employers to whom you want to apply. While some students go the route of “casting a wide net” and apply to any and all firms, and others try to set up interviews with the top-ranked firms, we recommend another option. Decide where you want to be, and then find the firms that match your desired outcome. One approach is to make a list based on three criteria:

  • geographic location
  • firm fit
  • practice areas
  • Geographic Location
    Your geographic preference is a great way to narrow down the firms to which you may want to apply. A firm may be well-regarded by the industry, but if you’re certain of a career in a particular city, there is no point in applying to a firm that does not have an office in that location. Similarly, a summer associateship is no time for a “summer vacation” in a particular city. The city in which you spend your summer is presumably the place that you are going to start your legal career. Expect that you will be working in this location for at least the first few years of your practice.  While transfers to other offices can occasionally happen, they are the exception, not the rule. If you are still torn between a firm’s offices in two different cities , the interview is certainly a great opportunity to ask about the differences between them.

When narrowing down your city choice, do not forget to consider:

  • your comfort level in the area (Do you know where you might want to live? Can you manage the transportation? Are there friends or family around?)
  • specific practice “hubs” (D.C. for government work, Texas for the oil and gas industry, etc.).

Thinking about your geographic expectations ahead of time allows you to eliminate firms without your interested locations, and enables you to ask specific questions about particular markets during the interview process.

  • Firm Fit
    When you are contemplating where you want to be, you should also equally consider the type of firm and culture in which you believe you will thrive. Do you enjoy working in small teams? Eliminating the firms with extremely large summer programs can simplify the list of potential employers that you may  be considering. Speak with students in the class year above you about where they spent their summer and what they liked about their summer program. While a firm’s Vault ranking can be a useful tool in learning about an organization, information gathered from students who already summered at a firm can be invaluable. Reflecting on the atmosphere in which you will excel will allow you to prioritize and target the best places for you and your interests.
  • Practice Areas
    Your time as a summer associate is a great opportunity to go into the season with an open mind in terms of practice area. That said, you should think about possible practice area interests before applying to firms. If you are interested in entertainment and media, you may want to eliminate firms that do not offer that specific work.  On the other hand, keeping an open mind allows you to consider areas you might not have previously considered.

Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The industry changes. When considering geographic locations and the makeup of people and practices at a firm, check to see if any major announcements are being made. Firm mergers, major partner or practice moves, and additional office openings are all factors that can change the dynamics of the firms you are considering. A quick online search of the news stories relating to a firm may be a reason to add or remove a potential employer from your bid list.
  • Be honest. With yourself and with your employers, be targeted in your decision-making. Remember that firms are likely tracking your applications and can see if you have multiple cover letters promising your 100 percent devotion to multiple locations. Most firms prefer that you selectively apply. While being open is a great characteristic, applications to literally every law office indicate that a candidate has not started thinking about career decisions, or is not serious about long term plans.
  • Go into the interview with a game plan. The interview process is, of course, not just a way for firms to get to know you, but also a valuable way for you to learn more about the firms and what differentiates them. Having your goals narrowed down while going into the process allows you to interview with a more select number of employers, and to have targeted questions prepared that will really get to the heart of the goals you have identified as most important to you. Considering where you want to be at the start can help you get there in the end, and it is very likely that your hard work will become evident during the interviews and pay off in the long run.

For more tips and insights, check out some of our prior posts and links to additional recommended reading.

Finding the Right Law Firm Fit – How to Use Career Profiles

The Artful Curator: Creating the Big List That’s Right for You

Recommended Reading: Finding Your Cultural Fit

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13 Jun '18

Give yourself a pat on the back - you survived and thrived during 1L year! It may seem like only yesterday that you walked into your first day of law school with the jitters. Going into your 2L year, you are more confident and one step closer to becoming a lawyer.

Now it is time to conquer the fall on-campus interview (OCI), also known as early interview week (EIW). The bidding process is the first of many steps in obtaining a summer position, and it is an important one. Creating the right bid list can impact your OCI/EIW experience, and ultimately, your employment prospects. Read on for strategies and detailed tips.

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31 May '18

Congratulations on completing your first year of law school! Final exams have concluded and that means a break. Not so fast! For most students, the on-campus interview (OCI), also known as early interview week (EIW), bidding process begins in less than one month and this can feel like a daunting process. It is not uncommon for students to bid on between 25 to 50 law firms. How does one begin to differentiate this many potential employers? For starters, you must conduct ample research. You should also determine which firms align with your values and goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What practice area(s) am I most interested in?
  • What are my geographic preferences?
  • What values are important to me in an employer?

Informed and realistic bidding will lead to greater success during OCI. This month, our highlighted resource will give you essential tips on the OCI bidding process.     

Please check back later this month for additional information on creating the bidding list that is best for you! 

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