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Messages - mccali

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Job Search / Re: I'm # 4 in my class, and can't get an interview
« on: February 02, 2007, 06:43:39 AM »
Grades get you in the door, but they definitely do not guarantee you a job. 
Your situation sounds like what I went through last year - I assumed that my grades would automatically land me a big law summer position - and while they fortunately did secure me such a position - I received several rejection letters beforehand.
Your lack of success thus far can likely be attributed to (1) lack of job experience or (2) lack of interview experience.  To prove this point, there was a guy in my class who had good, but not great, grades - yet he received like 5 offers from large law firms our 1L year.  He had had a great job before law school and knew how to handle himself in his interviews.  I was being passed over despite the fact that my grades were significantly higher than his - because I had virutally no work experience and had never been in a professional interview setting.   
I evaluated my performance in the middle of the 1L recruiting season, and realized that I wasn't as calm or confident as I needed to be in my interviews.  You have to realize that most everyone who has interviews with the same firms have the grades, so now they're looking for personality.  I'd suggest looking over the interview section of Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams.  It provides a good framework on how to approach interviews.  After I read the book and used her suggestions, I got an offer from the next firm I interviewed with.
Good luck.

Job Search / Re: 1L w/ Job interview friday
« on: January 11, 2007, 09:13:36 AM »
I agree with the above posters.  However, regarding mileage, if this is a first round of interviews, rather than a callback, you may not be reimbursed.  I sent a resume to a firm last year who invited me up to their offices for a initial screening interview.  All of the expenses incurred were my responsibility. 

Current Law Students / Re: Scored 1st interview...Any suggestions
« on: January 06, 2007, 05:30:24 PM »
I definitely agree with the suggestion about Guerilla Tactics.  Most of the advice is fairly obvious, but there  is some useful information - especially about the responses to questions - and it encourages preparation.  Plus, after I read it, my success in interviews increased greatly.

Also, this may seem simple, but BE CALM.  You may have great grades or great work experience, but be assured that every other person that interviews with the firm has your same credentials.  I seemed to have lost this idea last year when I was applying for 1L positions, I thought things on my resume would guarantee me a great job.  As a result, I didn't thoroughly prepare for many of my interviews. I think it showed because I started to receive some rejection letters.  Then I read the book mentioned above, calmed down during my interviews and as a result managed to get a great job for last summer.  This year's recruiting season was even better and I attribute the majority of it to my calmness during each interviews.  You can't rid yourself of all nervousness, but keep it under control.  This will help immensely.

I'd also definitely have answers outlined for each of the common questions: "Why law school?"; "Why should we hire you?"; "What are your strengths?"; "What did you do at X job?"; etc.  But be assured that these questions rarely come up during the actual interviews.  Most of the questions I was asked had to do with the interesting things on my resume.  I  had worked on an unusual project as a summer associate and that frequently came up during the interview.  Also, I'm an avid NFL fan, so I had that listed in my Interests section.  I'm assuming that this is unusual for female candidates because I was constantly asked about it in my interviews.  This helps break the ice and keeps you memorable.  When I received a callback last semester, my interviewer wished my team luck in their upcoming game - so they do remember!  So load up your Interest section with things that actually interest you and not just things that sound good.  To prove this point, not one person asked me about my interest in "20th Century Literature."

I asked every firm the same questions - but they were questions that actually mattered to me.  So if the firm's financial status interests you - by all means, ask!  Just be careful that you don't border on being adversarial.  One of the firms I interviewed with had an unusually high starting salary, but the rumor was that they didn't provide any benefits to their associates.  This bothered me, especially because they kept flaunting that starting salary in the interviews.  Eventually I asked about the benefits issue - they admitted it was true, but the interview became uncomfortable.  Not surprisingly, I didn't get an offer from this firm.

Law School Admissions / Applying Early... a waste of time?
« on: October 21, 2004, 03:02:43 PM »
I asked a well-known professor at my university (with whom I've had two courses) to write a letter of recommendation (to be submitted in a few weeks).  She agreed to write it, but wrote me the following:

"Believe me, they won't be doing much in December if the deadline is March...
I'd suggest that there's no rush, and it would be better to wait until early next semester to send the letter... Trust me.  I've done this many times before.  I would never do anything to jeopardize your chances."

What?!?  This cannot possibly be correct, can it?  Everywhere I've read, it is recommened to send in your application as early as possible.  Is my recommender simply being lazy, or is this the truth? (Which I cannot comprehend, as most schools use a rolling deadline) How should I respond to this?  How many letters should I include with my application (especially when they're recommended and not required)?

Law School Admissions / Re: LSDAS GPA & Written Evaluations
« on: October 08, 2004, 01:36:20 PM »
Unfortunately when I asked a few of my professors for grades A SEMESTER after I took their course they refused.  It was a lot of fun to transfer without grades...
I only knew of my former school (Antioch College) giving evaluations over grades.  Where are you?

Law School Admissions / LSDAS GPA & Written Evaluations
« on: October 07, 2004, 03:27:51 PM »
After my first year, I transferred from an alternative liberal arts college which gave written evaluations over grades.  How will this effect my overall gpa if at my current university I've maintained a 4.0?

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