Be Prepared To Answer A Few Questions
How To Prepare For A Lateral Interview As An Associate: Looking To Improve Your Chances Of Receiving An Offer
These are Some Effective Preparation Methods to Ensure a Successful Interview.
As we begin 2020, we enter the busiest time of year for lateral attorney hiring. Law firms are less focused on on-campus interviewing and concertedly devote more attention to hiring laterals for busy and growing practice groups. Also, more lateral attorney candidates begin their job searches following annual reviews, bonus distributions, and promotion decisions. With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share our insight and some the most useful preparation activities and strategies for lateral associate interviews. Research is conclusive, more interview preparation significantly increases the probability of succeeding in the process.
Macro Interview Advice and Typical Law Firm Interview Structure.
With respect to the format of law firm associate interviews. Most firms have a two-round process. The initial interview is typically with one or two practice group leaders followed by a second-round interview with four or five additional attorneys, including a mix of partners and associates. Essentially, you are preparing for 3045-minute micro-interviews with each person or group of people on your interview schedule. Though each interviewer is unique, you can expect common themes and similar questions when meeting with most of the attorneys.
Where to Start: Study the Firm and Practice Group Inside and Out Using Key Resources.
Answering Why are You Looking for a New Position?
Why Do You Want To Become A Solicitor
‘Firms consider this question to be an easy opening, but surprisingly it can throw candidates off their stride,’ says Louise.
‘Always interpret the question within the context of the firm you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to an international commercial firm you must show an interest in commercial law in the international arena. Look at the firm’s main website – not just their recruitment website, as it often contains useful information about the sectors that the firm is active in.’
This question can be phrased in number of ways, such as:
- why choose a career in law?
- why have you applied to us?
Questions about why you chose the type of law you’d like to practice are also common, so be prepared to explain your choice.
Highlight your breadth of legal work experience and identify which specific element led you to pursue a career in your chosen specialism and why. Give details of the experience you’ve sought in your preferred field and how this has strengthened your interest in this area of law.
Vacation schemes aren’t the only experience of value, so be sure to mention periods of work shadowing and relevant extracurricular activities. For example, you could use your experience volunteering with a victim’s rights charity to demonstrate your passion for criminal law, your captaincy of a university sports team to show your interest in sports law or your creation and management of a local event, such as a music or arts festival, to show your commerciality.
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Finding The Right Lawyer For You
While the answers to questions you ask your lawyer will vary widely, it’s important to keep in mind that nothing should be taken as a guarantee. Instead, these questions should give you general knowledge of a specific lawyer’s experience and skill-level, and whether the lawyer is a good fit for you. If you’re looking to take the next step of speaking with a lawyer, check out FindLaw’s attorney directory to find an experienced professional in your area.
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Ii How To Prepare Yourself For Your First Interview With A Lawyer
1. Assemble as many facts, documents and items related to your case as you can and take them with you to the interview.2. Organize your thoughts and state your needs as clearly as possible: be assertive. Your initial goal should be to find a lawyer with whom you are comfortable and at ease when discussing your particular problem.3. Remember, your first interview does not commit you to staying with that lawyer. You may wish to “shop around” until you are satisfied.
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How Would You Describe Your Approach In The Courtroom
A lawyer must be courtroom savvy and arrive fully prepared. The goal of the question is to evaluate the candidate’s ability to prepare for a courtroom appearance and their professional demeanour in counsel. What to look for in an answer:
- Ability to prepare thoroughly for a courtroom appearance
- Confidence in cross-examination and evidence presentation skills
- Interpersonal skills to build rapport and mutual respect with the judge
“I spend many hours in preparation before entering a courtroom. I need to understand the case better than the opposing counsel. I study every detail of the case, such as witness testimony and police reports. I prepare a detailed strategy of all critical points I need to cover.”
Understand The Role In The Law Firm
If youre interviewing for an associate position , make an effort to really understand what the firms expectations are of you. This means either dissecting the job description or if there isnt one, doing enough research to find out what the role really requires. This might seem like a given, but the competition is tough, and you can edge out other candidates by being more diligent on this front.
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Can You Tell Me About The Opportunities For Advancement Within The Firm And The Typical Career Path And Timeline
This detail-focused question communicates to the interviewer that you are driven and committed to your career. Your forward-thinking goals and priority on a leadership position reveal that you are looking for ways you can help the firm. It allows for elaboration and can also give you key information about the opportunities for upward mobility within the firm. In some cases, associates can work their way up to being partners. While other firms might have different routes and opportunities, such as a chance to lead firms in other cities, it will depend on the leadership structure within the firm and its size.
Here Are 20 Common Questions That You Need To Be Prepared For:
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Can You Talk Us Through A Current Issue Affecting Law Firms
When asked, legal recruiters say that commercial awareness is one of the most important skills that a candidate can possess.
Your response needs to prove that you have an understanding of industry, regulatory, economic, cultural and social issues, as well as company identity and structure.
To tackle questions surrounding commercial awareness watch the news and read newspapers daily. Sign up to legal newsletters and set up notification alerts on you phone to receive the latest business news. Check firm websites and follow their social media accounts.
Alternatively, you may be asked:
- What are the main challenges facing city law firms today?
- What recent legal stories have caught your eye and how are they progressing?
How Do You Handle Stress As A Lawyer
A competent lawyer typically puts in long hours and must handle workplace stress productively. The goal of the question is to evaluate the candidate’s ability to deal with stress in a healthy and productive manner. What to look for in an answer:
- Understands the value of a healthy work-life balance
- Ability to delegate administrative tasks to a paralegal or other team members
- Productive stress relief habits
“I learned early in my internship not to take workplace stress home with me. I love jogging and often go for a long run while listening to notes and proceedings. It helps me relax and stay focused on a case without sacrificing time for things I enjoy. I understand how important a healthy work-life balance is in this profession.”
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What Steps Do You Take To Prepare For A Difficult Case
Cases can be difficult for a number of reasons, including the following: 1. The adverse party is obstinate and provocative. 2. The issues involved new areas of law that require much research and preparation to be sure the judge is given the best and most current law. 3. The facts are not apparent, or the other party is hiding assets or records. 4. The assets of the parties, date of marriage, contribution of asserts to a marriage, gifts to the parties, premarital assets, business interests have to be valued and a plan for equitable distribution presented.
The initial pleadings set the tone for the anticipated litigation. They must be thought through and crafted for each case. Most complex cases require significant discovery, including, interrogatories to the other party and third parties, demand for productions of documents, requests for admissions, and depositions. Often a second or third round of discovery is necessary to get to the truth. Once discovery is completed it is common for us to try to resolve the matter through mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, then we set the matter for trial and allow the judge to hear the facts and make a determination as a matter of law.
Tips For Your Interview: If Your Interview Is Via Phone/video:
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How To Interview A Divorce Lawyer
What exactly do you need to know before you hire a lawyer? Here are some questions to ask before you write a retainer check or sign on the dotted line.
Concerning general experience, ask these questions:
- How many matrimonial cases have you handled?
- How many of those cases went to trial?
- How many of these cases involved custody, support, business valuations, large financial settlements, or whatever issue feels like your major concern?
- Where did you go to law school?
- Are you experienced in unbundled divorce ?
- Do you have the time to take on a new case now?
- Do you know my husband ?
- Do you know his or her attorney?
Ask about day-to-day operations:
- Will anyone be assisting you on my case?
- What is his or her experience?
- Can I meet the associate now?
- What work would the associate do and what work would you do?
- Which one of you will negotiate the case?
- Who will try my case?
- Are you available to take phone calls?
- Is the associate available to take calls?
- What hours are you usually in the office?
- Do you have any time-consuming trials coming up?
- Will I get copies of all papers in my case?
Make sure the fees are clear:
Ask these questions about handling the case:
Before you make the final decision to sign on with a lawyer, be sure to fill out the attorney checklist. It will guide you in your decisionand serve as a reminder about your agreement in the months to come.
How Will We Communicate
Next, youre going to want to touch on how often and how exactly youll be communicating with one another.
Will you be speaking on a daily basis or will you be meeting once weekly? Is the best way to get in touch with them through phone or email? Are there any fees associated in communicating with your attorney?
These are all important facts about how you and your attorney will be communicating.
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How Would You Make Yourself Stand Out As A Trainee
Where training contracts are concerned there are far more applicants than places, so this is your opportunity to highlight your unique selling points and make clear what you could bring to the firm.
Identify key strengths and experiences using real, relevant examples. Don’t just say that you’re a great problem solver instead tell the interviewer how you demonstrated this skill in a student mooting competition.
This is also a good time to demonstrate how the culture and values of the firm fit with your own. Are there any social or charity events that you’d be keen to get involved in? Are there any organisational sports teams you’d like to join? Are there any gaps in the firm’s social offering that you could fill?
Law Firm Interview Questions
Every law job interview should be treated as an opportunity to present an arsenal of your most important skills, achievements, and strengths. But in the highly competitive legal sector, preparation is key. So, go over your resume and be prepared to talk about specific experiences and why you want to work at a particular firm.
The following guide, which condenses our extensive knowledge about the most prevalent law firm interview questions, will help prepare you for your next chat with a potential employer and ensure that youre never caught off guard.
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On Average How Long Do Associates Stay With The Firm
This question provides valuable information about the firm pertaining to employee satisfaction. You can estimate how long it will be until promotion opportunities come and what kind might be available. If attorneys have to go elsewhere for promotions, turnover rates will be higher and might signal a demanding work culture with high expectations of associates. Knowing how to manage stress can help you succeed in a demanding role.
What Is The Likely Outcome In My Case
Generally speaking, it is fair game to ask the attorney whether you have a good chance of winning your case. You are not looking for the “right” answer, just an honest one. For instance, if you’re facing an uphill battle in, let’s say, a nasty divorce situation, you’ll want to know up front from the attorney so you can prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
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When I First Meet With My Prospective Lawyer Should I Ask About The Possible Outcome Of The Case
Certainly, but beware of any lawyer who guarantees a big settlement or assures a victory in court. Remember that there are at least two sides to every legal issue and that many factors can affect its resolution. Ask for the lawyers opinion of your cases strengths and weaknesses. Will the lawyer most likely settle your case out of court or is it likely that the case will go to trial? What are the advantages and disadvantages of settlement? Of going to trial? What kind of experience does the lawyer have in trial work? If you lose at the trial, will the lawyer be willing to appeal the decision?
Five Law Firm Interviewing Tips For 3ls
Tiffany M. Graves, pro bono counsel at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Charlotte, N.C., provides pointers on how to put your best foot forward in a law firm interview. She gives practical advice on how to prepare, engage, and follow up.
I have worked at two law firms and participated in dozens of interviews at both with associate candidates. Whether you are interviewing in person or remotely, there are questions for which you should always be prepared.
In addition, there is information you should be ready to provide even if you are not asked for it directly. The following are the five things that I believe every law student should know before interviewing with a law firm.
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What Are Your Attorney Fees And What Is Your Billing Process Also Will Paralegals Or Legal Assistants Handle Any Portion Of My Case
As good as an attorney needs to be for you, you will also need someone you can afford. You want the firm to communicate with you regarding their billing practices as well as if they offer any types of payment plan options. Plus, you also want to know how much work they will actually be doing and how much may be done by administrative assistants.