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Author Topic: Life As An Associate  (Read 171686 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2007, 05:29:38 PM »
I just recently found out that I have two interviews coming up...one with a govt. agency in DC and one with a BigLaw firm here in Houston.  I have had many job interviews outside of the legal arena prior to law school, but law firms are a new ballgame for me.  Any tips advice as I come face to face with the partners/associates who will be interviewing me?

Thanks for making this thread come back to life!

Law firm interviews are not much different from what you've seen before.  Stick to what you normally do and you should be fine.  Be sure to research the firm, the specific people who will be interviewing you, anything important that they've published, etc.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

EEtoJD

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2007, 05:40:19 PM »
That was pretty sickening to read. This especially hit home:

Quote
Such thinking was less prevalent among those associates who came from wealthy, long-established families. On a presumably unconscious level, the firm understood this, and therefore recruited heavily from among those who were the first in their families to go to college. It wasn't just that lawyers from the outer boroughs were hungrier. Being associated with a famous name meant more to them. It was a bigger part of who they were. In terms of leverage, it gave the firm an extra twist of the wrench.

He's right. I am pretty gung-ho about being associated with big names. I'm trapped before I even begin. Awesome.

I would like to see a more modern version of this essay, though. It sounds like this was mid- to late-80s/early-90s. I wonder if the amount of work and generally bad work environment he describes holds true at IP firms like Kenyon & Kenyon...
I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2007, 06:00:08 PM »
I'll preface by saying that I'm not quite sure, but every partner at every IP boutique that I interviewed with (including Kenyon & Kenyon downtown) literally had mulitiple stacks of paper in their offices 4 feet high off the floor. Every single one.  It didn't look like anybody was going home early anytime soon.  All of the assiociates at Kenyon shared a small office with no view and had to lottery after year one (or something like that) to be moved to better offices.  Some of the partners there also had offices similar to those shared by the associates.  But even the partners upstairs still had the stacks of papers that I mentioned before.

If anything, just given the nature of IP law, especially when dealing with patents that take pages upon pages to describe the invention, you're dealing with long hours and crazy amounts of doc review.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Rudy Huckleberry

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2007, 06:03:39 PM »
I just recently found out that I have two interviews coming up...one with a govt. agency in DC and one with a BigLaw firm here in Houston.  I have had many job interviews outside of the legal arena prior to law school, but law firms are a new ballgame for me.  Any tips advice as I come face to face with the partners/associates who will be interviewing me?

Thanks for making this thread come back to life!

You'll be fine. One thing to keep in mind is that law firm interviewers tend not to barrage you with a bunch of questions, and you might have to keep the conversation going yourself. I'd had a lot of interviews before law school, but they were usually more about qualifications and less about whether I could keep a conversation going. Make sure to have a lot of questions about the firm in your back pocket in case you get an interviewer who starts with that - some of them do it just to see if you can handle it.

EEtoJD

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2007, 06:03:47 PM »
I'll preface by saying that I'm not quite sure, but every partner at every IP boutique that I interviewed with (including Kenyon & Kenyon downtown) literally had mulitiple stacks of paper in their offices 4 feet high off the floor. Every single one.  It didn't look like anybody was going home early anytime soon.  All of the assiociates at Kenyon shared a small office with no view and had to lottery after year one (or something like that) to be moved to better offices.  Some of the partners there also had offices similar to those shared by the associates.  But even the partners upstairs still had the stacks of papers that I mentioned before.

If anything, just given the nature of IP law, especially when dealing with patents that take pages upon pages to describe the invention, you're dealing with long hours and crazy amounts of doc review.

Ugh! Well, good to know this early in the game! Thanks. I guess. Bastard.  ;)
I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #75 on: January 10, 2007, 06:12:01 PM »
I'll preface by saying that I'm not quite sure, but every partner at every IP boutique that I interviewed with (including Kenyon & Kenyon downtown) literally had mulitiple stacks of paper in their offices 4 feet high off the floor. Every single one.  It didn't look like anybody was going home early anytime soon.  All of the assiociates at Kenyon shared a small office with no view and had to lottery after year one (or something like that) to be moved to better offices.  Some of the partners there also had offices similar to those shared by the associates.  But even the partners upstairs still had the stacks of papers that I mentioned before.

If anything, just given the nature of IP law, especially when dealing with patents that take pages upon pages to describe the invention, you're dealing with long hours and crazy amounts of doc review.

Ugh! Well, good to know this early in the game! Thanks. I guess. Bastard.  ;)


LOL

Yeah I know I know.  When I was a 1L, somebody tried to sell me on the idea that Patent/IP firms are easier/less work than general firms.  Not true, man.  Not true at all.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #76 on: January 10, 2007, 07:11:48 PM »
I just recently found out that I have two interviews coming up...one with a govt. agency in DC and one with a BigLaw firm here in Houston.  I have had many job interviews outside of the legal arena prior to law school, but law firms are a new ballgame for me.  Any tips advice as I come face to face with the partners/associates who will be interviewing me?

Thanks for making this thread come back to life!

i'll cosign on sands' advice, but also add that my best interviews were ones in which the amount of time we spent talking about the firm, law school, the law was about equal with the time we spent talking about other non-legal and non-job-related things. you want to show that you're not just a robot who cranks out legal memos. with very few exceptions, firms want to see that you have a decent personality, that they can put you in a client meeting or in a community event without fearing that you're going to make an ass of yourself. so, by all means, know your *&^% about the firm, your intended practice area, something about your interviewers, but be sure to find ways to demonstrate your interpersonal skills as well.

btw, texas is a very quirky legal market. i clerked there last summer and really felt like an outsider because i was the only summer who wasn't from texas. what are your ties to the region?
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

Booyakasha2

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #77 on: January 10, 2007, 08:15:29 PM »
I know this migth sound strange, but after reading this, and seeing it first hand at my firm (i work as a paralegal) - I still want it.

Like the article mentioned, I am one of those "first to go to college" kids.  In my family, Ive been the first for many things actually.  First gen American, first to grad college, and soon to be the first to attend law school.  After growing up in near poverty where a cold night and living pay check to pay check were the norm, Id be grateful to have one of those Bigfirm jobs.  I am a product of my past.  Im only one generation removed from living in a third worl-like country and 2 generations removed from a horrific civil war.  Getting paid 6 figs to do document review is fien by me.  Maybe my kids will feel differently, but Ill still be sure to make sure they knwo their roots and that their grandparents sacrificed their adult life to get their father into good schools and a better life. 

Sorry for the diatribe... :P
Princeton Law 2010

intent06

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #78 on: January 10, 2007, 08:34:46 PM »
I definitely am the King of making up interesting questions to ask interviewers.  I hate asking those standard questions that you can find on Monster or CareerBuilder.  Thank heaven for being an ex-human resources professional!!!

I am a Texas native for sure!!  I have gone to firm receptions and while there were people from out of state schools, they all were from Texas.  One of my interviews is for a position in DC and from what I hear they aren't super interested on your ties to the region likes most NYC firms (just what I have heard).  But I have an answer for the firms/agencies outside of Texas as well.

Sands, you know I am east ooast deep, deep down inside so let's see if I get anymore love from the east coast!! ;D
Damn...it's the third year already!!

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #79 on: January 10, 2007, 09:02:41 PM »
I definitely am the King of making up interesting questions to ask interviewers.  I hate asking those standard questions that you can find on Monster or CareerBuilder.  Thank heaven for being an ex-human resources professional!!!

I am a Texas native for sure!!  I have gone to firm receptions and while there were people from out of state schools, they all were from Texas.  One of my interviews is for a position in DC and from what I hear they aren't super interested on your ties to the region likes most NYC firms (just what I have heard).  But I have an answer for the firms/agencies outside of Texas as well.

Sands, you know I am east ooast deep, deep down inside so let's see if I get anymore love from the east coast!! ;D
sounds like you're all set then. good luck with it!

where would you prefer to be?
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.