The common wisdom is that interviewing for law firms is largely about numbers – primarily your GPA and the rank of your school – and the interview itself is largely a formality. At most, interviews act as a filter to screen out the worst applicants, the ones who show up to the interview wearing shorts or something.
“So…do you have any questions for me?”
For candidates, this can be one of the most perplexing parts of the interview. For one thing, this part of the interview is completely open-ended. It’s up to you to steer the conversation. It could also come at any part of the interview, in the very beginning or in the final 30 seconds. So you need to be in a position to fire away questions for anywhere from less than a minute to 20-30 minutes.
Bidding is often mistaken as the easiest aspect of the OCI process, whereas in fact, it is probably the most strategic and complex step of OCI. In the Networking 101 article, we teach how to network. In our article on firm differences, we explain the some of the factors that differentiate Law-Firms. These articles transmit concrete information and techniques, because things like interviewing and choosing law-firms is something that can be mastered and learned.
“Connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like.”
-Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone
In the Networking 101 article, we explain how to network and leverage your contacts to score law firm job offers. In the Law Firm Interview Roadmap, we explain where networking fits into the overall interview process. And the Law Firm Interview Bible teaches the ins and outs of networking in exhaustive detail. But why should you network in the first place?
I’ll begin this article with an anecdote. I have a good friend from law school. Very good guy, who was sort of confused about whether he wanted to work for a firm or not. A part of him wanted to, for all the same reasons you want to, but a part of him wanted to do the peace corps.
In our other articles, we’ve described the importance of learning about law firms’ economics and practice groups, the importance of planning for your bids, and the importance of networking and doing so effectively.
If you’ve taken our advice so far, you would’ve already started to do research, line up practice interviews, and solidifying your law firm knowledge-base. You should already be relatively familiar with the law firm pecking order, the eco-system, and the hiring food chain (screener, hiring committee decision to call back, call back, hiring committee review of interviewer notes, decision).