On-Campus Interviewers are Looking for SIX Critical Attributes in Law Students

How many boxes do you check?

Training an associate takes enormous resources of time and money, and Big Law firms use the OCI process to figure out who they want to invest in. You’ve only got 20 minutes to convince them you’re the one they want. So focus on showcasing these 6 Critical Attributes in your interview:

1.  Serious Intellectual Capacity
2.  Understanding Your Role in the Firm
3.  Interest in the Firm
4.  Team Player
5.  Hard Working
6.  Maturity

Big Law interviewers are trained to evaluate candidates on these competencies. Post-interview, your interviewers will fill out an evaluation form ranking you on how well you demonstrated these characteristics. To help you prepare, we’ve collected a set of sample questions from actual Big Law interviews that are meant to draw you out on a particular attribute.

1.  Serious Intellectual Capacity

• How did you choose your undergraduate major?
• What do you think contributes most to your success as a student?
• What has been the biggest surprise to you about law school?

2.  Dedication/Engagement

• What would you say is the most creative aspect of practicing law?
• Which among your outside activities has been the most positive or best learning experience?
• Why did you attend law school?
• What areas of law do you want to practice and why?
• When did you first think about attending law school?

3.  Your Genuine Interest in the Firm

* What drew you to interview with us?
• Describe the ideal work environment in which you get the most work done and can be the most productive.

4.  Team Player

• When you are working with a group of people, what role would you say you typically play in the group? Is it always the same or does it depend on the type of group?
• Describe a perfectly functioning team. What are the key attributes and actions of its members?
• Why do you think you were selected as the leader in the past?

5.  Hard Worker

• How would your law school professor or best friend describe your approach to school and work?
• What are your strategies for balancing school, work, and outside activities?
• How do you know when you’ve done your best work?

6. Maturity

• Tell me about a time when you faced a big change in your life. How did you approach it?
• How will you make a decision about which employer is the right one for you?

All of these questions are getting at one basic question: "Do you understand what your role is in the law firm?"  Are you the associate who will be able to endure the all-night closing with focus, attention to detail and a good attitude?  Law firms are more focused on finding students possessing certain attributes and not certain experiences.  Who you are is more important than what you've done.

Knowing these questions ahead of time will help you better prepare for your interviews, but knowing good techniques for answering these questions is even more helpful.  

Check out more information at www.ascendlegal.com, including the Basic OCI Survival Kit now on sale.