Surviving On Campus Interviews: Tips to Ace Your Callback Interview

Law Firm Interviews

It’s almost OCI time, so today we are excited to welcome back Peter from Law Firm Interviews with a follow up to his first article, Dealing with Adverse Facts During Interviews in the Surviving On Campus Interview Series. Today he is sharing tips to ace your callback interview. 

Welcome back, Peter!

I was at a cocktail party at the firm last night, and chatted with a few people, one partner, a couple of mid-levels, and a senior associate, about the folks they’ve been interviewing over the past few days. What they said reminded me to write this article.
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Surviving On Campus Interviews: Dealing With Adverse Facts During Interviews

Law Firm Interviews- On Campus InterviewsIt’s almost OCI time, so today we are excited to welcome Peter from Law Firm Interviews with the first in a series about On-Campus Interviews. This first article discusses how to explain adverse facts on your record and discusses how he got through the process with flying colors. 

Welcome Peter!

Everyone has weaknesses, even the strongest candidates among you. Even if it’s that one low grade on the transcript, the result of one aberrant class or badly executed exam, you’ve been obsessed about how interviewers will see it, and in moments of extreme doubt, you’ve worried that it would cost you your job. [Read more…]

In Defense of BigLaw…Sort Of

Angela Kopolovich - Legal RecruiterJust in time for OCI, we’re thrilled to welcome back Angela Kopolovich, Managing Director of the boutique attorney recruiting firm Alegna International to share her thoughts on a controversial topic: Whether you really should take that BigLaw job you’re not sure about. (And, no, your concerned parents did not pay her to write this piece.)

Here’s Angela!

I’m going to share a piece of advice with you that I got when I was in law school.

It came from my wise old owl of a mentor, right before OCI turned our lovely, quiet law school into a scene from Paranormal Activity. (If you haven’t lived through it, just wait till September…)

“If your grades and class rank make you competitive for a spot in BigLaw,” he told me, “you should probably take it.”

As you may recall, I went to law school because I wanted to be a prosecutor, so I was a little surprised by his suggestion.

“Surely BigLaw is not an appropriate career step for me. They don’t even handle the type of criminal work that I want to do. What would be the point?”

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Are You Setting Yourself Up For a Résumé Red Flag?

Trashed ResumeYou know how everyone says follow your passion? Well, what if following your passion results in a giant résumé red flag? What then?

Today, we’re thrilled to have Rebecca Shoom — a rising 3L at an Ontario law school who currently works in Toronto — here to explain the unexpected pitfalls she encountered after following a side interest that BigLaw firms didn’t fully appreciate.

Without further ado, here’s Rebecca:

“1L summer is your last taste of freedom — relax, explore an interest, have fun!”

This was the advice given by professors and students alike in my first week of law school. So, that’s exactly what I did.

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Law Firm Hiring Partners Talk About What They’re Looking For

Are you interviewing for summer associate jobs? If so, I strongly suggest you watch this Bloomberg Law video series. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m in it. Trust me, I’m the low man on the totem pole here — the rest of the guests are seriously impressive BigLaw hiring partners and such.)

All total, they run about half an hour, but I pretty much guarantee you’ll learn something useful!

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7 Ways to Stay Sane During OCI

Note cardsAugust is here, which can only mean one thing — the annual craziness of on-campus interviewing is about to begin!

For the uninitiated, OCI is how most law firm summer associate positions are handed out. Students interview en masse before classes start, often in a hotel or set of on-campus conference rooms. In one day, you might do 10 or more screening interviews, with an eye towards getting to the all-important callback stage (which requires another day of interviews, on site in the office you’re interested in).

Every school is different, of course, but — in my experience — OCI was alternately boring, stressful, frantic, and exhausting. Not to say there weren’t some good parts, but the whole experience can be a bit overwhelming!

Therefore, I offer you seven tips for maintaining your sanity during the OCI craziness:

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Want a Legal Job? Listen to Shauna C. Bryce

Hard hatI know a lot of you are worried about finding that first job out of law school. (And with good reason.) That’s why I’m thrilled to have Shauna C. Bryce here.

Shauna’s a Harvard Law grad who paid her dues in BigLaw before leaving to start her own career consulting business for lawyers, Bryce Legal. She’s written a great book: How to Get a Legal Job: A Guide for New Attorneys and Law School Students and runs a useful website on the same topic.

Her advice is consistently useful and interesting, so let’s get started!

I’m a rising 2L, and I’m starting to get concerned about OCI. My grades are pretty good, and I’m at a top school, but I’ve never had a “professional” job before, and I’m pretty intimidated by the whole process. What can I do to improve my chances of a summer associate offer? And if that doesn’t work out, what should I do instead to find a summer position?

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What Are Law Firms Looking For? Get the Inside Scoop From a Legal Recruiter!

HandshakeYou’re in for a treat! My fantastic friend Rebecca Netter, who left Biglaw to become a legal recruiter, has agreed to answer some questions about getting a legal job, from the perspective of someone who spends all day figuring out if someone is a viable candidate for legal jobs.

In other words, she knows what she’s talking about.

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The Inside Scoop on Law Firm Summer Associate Programs

HierarchyWhat, you might reasonably ask, qualifies me to talk about law firm summer associate programs? Glad you asked. Basically, I made a hobby out of being a summer associate. I managed to summer at three different firms, in three cities and two countries, over three summers, for a combined total of something absurd like 30 weeks. Hey, it’s not a bad gig! Most of the time.

Why Do Law Firms Have Summer Associates?

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Rock OCI and Get the Job You Want: Introduction

Photo of Conference Room TableFirst things first: what is OCI, anyway?

On Campus Interviewing

The name varies, but most law schools have some variant of on campus interviewing, or OCI. Basically, a bunch of law firms send representatives to a single location (either on campus or in a nearby hotel) and these people conduct short interviews with law students. Afterwards, certain chosen students are granted “callback interviews” – more extensive interviews that happen on-site at the law firm’s office. If all goes well, the callback interview results in a job offer to join the firm’s summer associate program the following summer.

One slightly odd aspect of OCI is that it generally happens before 2L classes start, so you’ll be interviewing for a job that starts after your second year of law school, before that year has even started. Kind of weird, right? And potentially problematic if the economy shifts markedly during your second year, and the firm you thought you’d be summering with decides to cancel or downsize their program, leaving you in the lurch. But let’s not dwell on that now!

How Do Firms Decide Which Students to Interview?

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