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Author Topic: My Northwestern interview  (Read 901 times)

burghblast

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My Northwestern interview
« on: December 29, 2004, 06:31:19 PM »
For anyone wondering what to expect:

I had an off-campus interview in Pittsburgh.  The alumnus who interviewed me was a corporate tax attorney for what I perceived to be a huge firm.  Their offices took up an entire building downtown and they are over 100 years old and multinational.  This was the first time I'd ever been inside a law firm, but I figured this must be what "biglaw" looks like. 

I wore dress pants, a dress shirt, and a tie - no suit jacket.  My interviewer was wearing the same thing.  He was in his late 30's or early 40's and graduated from NW 10 years ago.  He was a very nice guy, and gave a great interview.  He did a good job of asking questions, letting me answer, and then also providing information.  It lasted about 45 mintues and I think I made a good impression, but I know I could have done an even better job at some things.  I wish I had it back to do over again, but alas this is not the LSAT. 

He started by asking me why I wanted to go to law school (Not Northwestern specifically, but law school in general).  He asked where else I applied and what my grades were like.  He didn't seem very concerned with my GPA.  I got the impression he thought 2.86 was "average" for engineering.  He spent a lot of time trying to relate my GPA to my major and to the average GPA in my college.  My LSAC report lists an "average college GPA" of 3.13, but I'm not sure if college means Penn State or the College of Engineering within Penn State.  He also asked me about my LSAT score and how the scaled score related to percentile.  It seemed like more than half of the talking he did was explaining things to me about Northwestern or law school in general, or answering questions that I had.  Overall it was a very "soft" interview I thought - Not much pressure, very congenial. 

The guy was very friendly and engaging.  Like me, he had a low GPA and high LSAT when applying to law school and got into NW on the strength of his LSAT alone, he said.  He verified a couple of my impressions about NW: They value WE very highly in the admissions process, and the degree is pretty much your ticket into any type of law at any sized firm anywhere in the country.  He told me a few things I didn't expect, like "the only grades that matter in law school are your first year grades."  According to him, you interview for your second year summer position after your first year and that process is based almost exclusively on your first year grades.  After that, nobody looks at your grades because you typically end up working at your second year summer firm after you graduate.  This was the best news I've heard in months: 1 year of studying and 2 years of binge drinking until I cash in on that degree and ride my phat summer position to full time employment :)  Just kidding of course...

He also said that he only works about 50-60 hours a week.  I was expecting it to be much higher judging by the size of his firm.  As he put it, the associates who put in those kind of hours work at huge firms in NYC or LA that "exist in their own little universe".

 

pointdexterish

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2004, 06:34:16 PM »
Wow, great interview write up.  Thanks for the information!

ori

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2004, 06:38:48 PM »
does every Northwestern applicant have to go through an interview?
http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?cycle=0405&user=origoongdengee
In: NYU, Temple
WL: Harvard, Stanford
Deferred: UPenn
WL/Accepted (for c/o 2009): Chicago
WL/Declined: Columbia
WL/Rejected: Yale

vickymaz

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2004, 06:43:39 PM »
Generally, yes, they like to interview everyone and if you don't interview it hurts your chances.

I, however, was recently spared the interview. I requested one on November 6th, and after hearing absolutely nothing, calling in mid-December and being told to keep waiting another week, I finally got ahold of the person responsible for scheduling my area (Rhode Island) on Monday. He said that they were so backlogged that I wouldn't be able to have an interview, but it wouldn't hurt my application in any way because it's entirely their fault. Then he sent me an email saying the same thing. So there you go.

TDPookie1

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2004, 08:13:18 PM »
My LSAC report lists an "average college GPA" of 3.13, but I'm not sure if college means Penn State or the College of Engineering within Penn State. 

penn state.  LSAC doesn't know which major falls into which school, nor do they probably care.
i am officially the biggest nerd of LSD!  ::gleaming with pride, as i shine my yoda trophy::

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accepted at yale.  how the hell did i pull this one off?

burghblast

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2004, 08:14:54 PM »
My LSAC report lists an "average college GPA" of 3.13, but I'm not sure if college means Penn State or the College of Engineering within Penn State. 

penn state.  LSAC doesn't know which major falls into which school, nor do they probably care.

Interesting.  My Penn State transcript doesn't provide a GPA for my "major".  I wonder if Penn State even keeps track of these figures.  I would be curious to know how the average GPA of Penn State engineers compares to everyone else here.

alphalyrae

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2004, 08:20:25 PM »
does every Northwestern applicant have to go through an interview?

I blew it off. I thought it might have been the kiss of death. But they didn't seem to care.
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TheZooker

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2004, 08:24:14 PM »
1. VickyMaz you have the best avatar I've ever seen.

2. Burgh I'm glad to hear that it went well.  I'm rooting for you big time (this could have something to do with us being similar applicants...)

3. At UF, we have a website dedicated to these things.  It is a product of the Department of Institutional Research, and it lists GPA's by college.  At UF, the average GPA for law school applicants ( I believe this is what LSDAS lists, not overall institutional GPA ) is about 3.25. The average for the college of engineering is 3.15, and the institutional overall is 3.22.  If you're interested, the site is www.ir.ufl.edu.  I found much of the data to be pretty interesting.  Maybe you guys have something like it?

burghblast

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2004, 08:26:13 PM »
1. VickyMaz you have the best avatar I've ever seen.

2. Burgh I'm glad to hear that it went well.  I'm rooting for you big time (this could have something to do with us being similar applicants...)

3. At UF, we have a website dedicated to these things.  It is a product of the Department of Institutional Research, and it lists GPA's by college.  At UF, the average GPA for law school applicants ( I believe this is what LSDAS lists, not overall institutional GPA ) is about 3.25. The average for the college of engineering is 3.15, and the institutional overall is 3.22.  If you're interested, the site is www.ir.ufl.edu.  I found much of the data to be pretty interesting.  Maybe you guys have something like it?

Thanks Zook, I'll check this out.  Maybe the Big Blue Beaurocracy Machine does have something along these lines.

vickymaz

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Re: My Northwestern interview
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2004, 09:06:10 PM »
Thanks Zooks! It's part of a mini-collection of things that I drew a while back.