Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: clhurley on July 28, 2008, 03:30:34 PM

Title: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: clhurley on July 28, 2008, 03:30:34 PM
So I'm visiting Vanderbilt Law on Wednesday, and today when I called for an admissions appointment, they asked if I wanted to set up an interview. I said yes, of course, but I'm entirely unprepared for what to expect, what to wear, how to act, what questions they'll ask, etc.. I'm moving out of the country in about three weeks and wasn't expecting ANY visits to law schools, so it took me by surprise. What are law school interviews like? What should I know? Any information.. pleeeeeease!
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: DontQuestionMe on July 28, 2008, 03:35:24 PM
Wear a suit. It is like applying for a job. Don't look like a slouch.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: Top Cat on July 28, 2008, 06:52:36 PM
Is this typical for Vandy?  I wasn't aware they were a school that did interviews.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: meggo on July 28, 2008, 08:19:42 PM
I wouldn't wear a suit, but that's just me. I feel for something like that it comes off a bit too try hard. There's nothing wrong with showing you're interesting and dressing respectfully but if the consensus is wear a suit, then wear a suit. If it was me, I would wear a pair of slim cut black cotton twill pants, a cute and interesting flat (or heels, whichever you prefer) and a shirt (I have a cute white sleeveless one by Rodarte at the Gap from their 'white shirt' collaboration with the CFDA nominees that is basic but has interesting pleating) or a dress shirt.

It has just occured to me that maybe you are not female, so if you are male, I would just wear a simple khaki's/dress pants and a button down with a decent shoe. Pretty straight forward and basic. It's Vanderbilt in the summer. I don't think they expect you to wear a hot and heavy cotton/wool blend suit to impress them.

The most important thing (other than looking half decent) is being comfortable. If you're uncomfortable with what you're wearing, that will come across and you won't be at ease and engaged.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: Pop Up Video on July 28, 2008, 08:25:47 PM
I wouldn't wear a suit, but that's just me. I feel for something like that it comes off a bit too try hard. There's nothing wrong with showing you're interesting and dressing respectfully but if the consensus is wear a suit, then wear a suit. If it was me, I would wear a pair of slim cut black cotton twill pants, a cute and interesting flat (or heels, whichever you prefer) and a shirt (I have a cute white sleeveless one by Rodarte at the Gap from their 'white shirt' collaboration with the CFDA nominees that is basic but has interesting pleating) or a dress shirt.

It has just occured to me that maybe you are not female, so if you are male, I would just wear a simple khaki's/dress pants and a button down with a decent shoe. Pretty straight forward and basic. It's Vanderbilt in the summer. I don't think they expect you to wear a hot and heavy cotton/wool blend suit to impress them.

The most important thing (other than looking half decent) is being comfortable. If you're uncomfortable with what you're wearing, that will come across and you won't be at ease and engaged.

Sounds to me like it's seersucker time!

(http://www.wist.org/albums/april-may2006/seersucker.jpg)
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: DontQuestionMe on July 28, 2008, 08:31:08 PM
Trust me, if you are a guy wear at least a sport coat and tie. It is summer time in Tennessee so wear a light colored suit if possible.

Anyone who tells you to dress down either:

a) wants your spot

b) is socially retarded like many law school students

This is not a Saturday afternoon Yankee game, a weekend at the beach or a night out at a college bar with your friends. You are not going to make a bad impression dressing up.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: GunnerDore on July 28, 2008, 09:09:29 PM
Trust me, if you are a guy wear at least a sport coat and tie. It is summer time in Tennessee so wear a light colored suit if possible.

Anyone who tells you to dress down either:

a) wants your spot

b) is socially retarded like many law school students

This is not a Saturday afternoon Yankee game, a weekend at the beach or a night out at a college bar with your friends. You are not going to make a bad impression dressing up.

Credited. Business attire is never inappropriate for interviews.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: meggo on July 28, 2008, 09:15:03 PM
um, I never said the OP should dress down, I said I think a suit was overdressing. I suggested a compromise that would be appropriate. Wearing a button down and a pair of dress pants with nice shoes is appropriate and is business attire. I don't go to Yankee's games, beaches or college bars but if I did, I don't think I would wear either of the outfits I suggested. I would also say that the OP's gender will play a role in the appropriate outfit.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: hopkins on July 28, 2008, 09:19:43 PM
Wear a suit.  Regardless of gender (aside: if female, no open toed shoes).  Regardless of anything.  Wear. a. suit.

And good luck! :)
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: clhurley on July 28, 2008, 09:33:00 PM
Haha, OK, OK, I know to wear a suit.. I knew that from the moment I signed up with the interview. I want to know more about general questions to expect in the interview. "Why Vanderbilt Law? What do you think you could bring as a law student? What do you wish to do with your JD?" etc., etc. is what I'm expecting, but.. then again, I've never done one.

And yes, the Vanderbilt interview is new, apparently starting for this cycle!
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: DontQuestionMe on July 28, 2008, 11:58:06 PM
I don't go to Yankee's games, beaches or college bars but if I did, I don't think I would wear either of the outfits I suggested.

Sad.  :(
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: DontQuestionMe on July 29, 2008, 12:01:11 AM
Here is my take on interviews. Interviews are a way to weed out weirdos. No one expects a 0L to be extremely eloquent.

Dress up, look sharp, don't go in smelling like pot or booze, be polite i.e. don't call admissions people by their first names unless asked to, talk openly/honestly and even if you get really mad don't attack anyone or piss yourself.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: pikey on July 29, 2008, 05:46:51 AM
Okay, now that we've got you dressed... ;)

Sorry to say, but the only help I can offer is from my experience with b-school interviews (for what it's worth!).  Those questions you threw out?  You're probably dead on with what they'll be asking.  I'd recommend reading over your entire application again, specifically your PS and other essays; I was asked questions regarding actual sentences I had written.  But overall, assuming b-school and law school interviews aren't too different, I'd memorize some answers to the typical "Why our school?  How can you add diversity to our student body?" etc. etc.  Just like you're expecting.

And relax.  Interviews are rarely make or break!

I interviewed with HLS, Northwestern and informally with Vandy (tour and chat with admissions person) and I fully agree with the above advice, based on my experiences. The other thing I'd add is to have some good questions for them (i.e. stuff that you can't get off the website).  If you want further advice, I'd go to a bookstore and flip through the interview section of the Ivey Guide and/or Richard Montauk's "How to get into the Top Law Schools".  Both are great books for law school admissions advice.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: clhurley on July 29, 2008, 08:15:31 AM
Great stuff, thanks. I do have some questions for the people, actually, so that's good. I haven't actually.. applied yet, however, so I don't think they'll be asking me questions about my essays! Apparently, they'll keep my interview file and hook it up with my application should I actually apply.. Ahhhh! And I was so looking forward to a nice relaxing trip to Nashville!
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: meggo on July 29, 2008, 09:11:31 AM
Well I guess for me, how I dress is very much an expression of my personality interests and a suit on something like this is just a bit basic and ordinary. But for others I suppose, it's the norm. Also didn't realize this was an actual official admissions style interview. It sounds like you're pretty sorted. I would expect exactly the kind of questions you suggested, and as you said already, you have your own questions that can't be answered on the website. I imagine that's what they'll expect. Just be relaxed and comfortable. I think the best interviews are where you are truly engaged with the interviewer and develop a real rapport, and the best way to do this is be comfortable.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: DontQuestionMe on July 29, 2008, 11:10:59 AM
Well I guess for me, how I dress is very much an expression of my personality interests and a suit on something like this is just a bit basic and ordinary.

Don't bother applying to BigLaw.
Title: Re: First (and probably last!) law school interview!
Post by: Samson, B. on July 31, 2008, 12:38:13 AM
I understand that you're probably pretty nervous about the interview but having just visited Vanderbilt last week (just pulled off of the waitlist) and met with some of the folks in the admissions office I can assure you that they all seem to be genuinely friendly people. I sometimes get a bit uncomfortable dealing with such affairs but I was completely at ease the entire time there. Good Luck with your interview.