Big Law Interview Tips and Law Firm Interview Preparation: A Complete Guide for Law Students and Attorneys
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

How to Excel in Law Firm Interviews

We have seen the same scenario repeat itself over and over again. We send a highly qualified candidate out on an interview, only to later learn that a job offer was never extended. What went wrong? The reasons for unproductive interviews vary from one attorney to another. Furthermore, interviews are often handled differently, depending on whether the interviewee is a senior partner, an associate with one to four years of experience, or a senior associate. Hiring organizations also pose questions about certain topics at different stages of the interviewing process. However, candidates need to be ready to answer every question, whether it's posed to them during the initial screening interview, the callback interview, or during a post-offer stage.

Let's review how even excellent lawyers can suddenly find themselves in need of new jobs. Then we'll take a look at some helpful pointers that will greatly increase every attorney's chances of receiving a job offer for the right position at the most opportune moment.

You've Decided to Look into Other Opportunities

Imagine the following scenario. You are an associate in a major Chicago law firm. You accepted the firm's offer just after graduating from law school because the lawyers who hired you said they would allow you to do public company work and offered you a great salary. You even sincerely liked the partners and associates in the firm during your time there as a summer associate (at least most of the time). Furthermore, your reviews were much more encouraging when you were a summer associate than now. Today, your reviewers act almost cold and calculating. You're certain you haven't changed, so what's happening now?

You were envied by many of your law school classmates when you received an offer from such an outstanding firm. Your family even found it a bit difficult to believe. You are earning twice as much money as your father did, and you grew up in a small town outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. You are a hero of sorts among the people back in your hometown. You've heard from your younger brother, who is finishing up his last year of high school in your hometown, that your former teachers still brag about you to their other students.