Monday, 17 November 2014

Coming out the Other Side: In-Firms from a Different Perspective

In-Firms is one week that many 2L’s simultaneously anticipate and dread – in-firm interview week. As a student, you have made it past the first hurdle by conducting yourself at OCI’s successfully. Now it is time to come in and try to meet and impress as many lawyers from the different firms as you can. You are trying to sell yourself as a hardworking and eager candidate while trying to coordinate busy schedules filled with interviews, lunches and dinners – all while trying to remember everyone’s name and avoiding getting lost in the Path.

I’ll tell you a secret – we’re trying to impress you as much as you are trying to impress us....

In some ways, the entire process seems like it happened ages ago. I have experienced many things since that time: working as a summer student, 3L and writing the bar exam. This year, I got to experience this process from the recruitment side and I was eager to see everyone in action.

Our candidates get the benefit of meeting multiple people at the firm when they come into the office for their first interview. Once the formal interview is over, the interviewees are whisked to our lawyer’s lounge where they are greeted by several current articling students and at least one or two first-year associates. This is meant to be a more relaxed environment where students can meet people who have recently done the type of work that they will potentially be doing if they are hired.

I was very intrigued to participate in this process without the gripping fear of not having a job at the end of it. I was truly impressed with everyone I got the opportunity to meet. Obviously everyone who makes it to the in-firm stage of the recruitment process is a stellar candidate but I was still blown away by how polished and prepared everyone seemed.

And, students, I’ll tell you a secret – we’re trying to impress you as much as you are trying to impress us…well, maybe not as much but we still really want you to like us! Just as there are lots of great students, there are also lots of great law firms participating in recruitment so we are trying to sell our experience here to you. Luckily that was not too difficult. I was expecting to have to exaggerate my responses to questions but when I was asked questions like “What kinds of work did you do as a summer student?” I was able to honestly reply that I got great hands-on experience running small claims files and was able to attend at discoveries and mediations with associates. And when I was asked what the student dynamic was like, I talked about how close my group was and how, because of great hire-back rates, we have never felt the need to compete with one another and, instead are always there to proofread or provide a precedent when needed.

Overall, regardless of whether you are looking for a job or looking for the perfect candidate, it’s all about fit. At the end of the day, if you’re not happy where you are it will reflect in your work product. I feel very fortunate to have found a place at McCague where I get to do challenging work with people I really like.

Brittany S.