Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Why did you go to law school?

So we're interviewing people for a position. Many of the can wallypancake10/17/18
That is a ridiculous question to ask an experienced attorney billcarson10/17/18
I remember this question during OCI, everyone asked. My c irishlaw10/17/18
"To play a part in overturning Roe v. Wade". ....and tha youngbuck10/17/18
Because it's an in demand profession. debtslave1510/17/18
I wanted to practice space human rights sports law. therewillbeblood10/17/18
I was asked that question in my first job interview. I answ wutwutwut10/17/18
Didn't have anything better to do and it seemed like a good johnsmith10/17/18
An answer I have given that seems to land well is that it wa onehell10/17/18
Real answer: Lack of imagination Answer I used in job in quillan10/17/18
“To argue online in a more smug manner.” billcarson10/17/18
wallypancake (Oct 17, 2018 - 3:33 pm)

So we're interviewing people for a position. Many of the candidates have biglaw experience and all have solid corporate law experience. One question that my colleague asks people is why they went to law school. I don't know why she feels that such a question is relevant at this point in these candidates' careers, but she asked the question. I am glad she did because the question really weeds out people. It shows that they did not prepare for this interview and therefore should not get the job. Here are some of the answers:

Redhead: Because I thought that law is interesting
Note: she gave no other explanation

Bald guy: I was looking for something to do
Note: I'm sure he did not answer that when Sullivan & Cromwell interviewed him out of law school

Ugly tie: It was 2006 so it was the right thing to do
Note: I wonder if he wore that tie on other interviews, though the men in out department are definitely not fashionable

Thanks to all three of you for making the hiring decision easier because you otherwise have very strong resumes and did a good job of answering most of the other questions.

Interesting how these people just don't prepare for the interviews. Perhaps they believe that their resumes are so outstanding that nothing else matters.

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billcarson (Oct 17, 2018 - 3:38 pm)

That is a ridiculous question to ask an experienced attorney. If asked I’d showcase my sarcastic self-deprecating humor. If you stared at me like a sad sack of potatoes I’d know the job was a bad fit anyway.

Don’t want my contacts or clients because I don’t review the 3L interviews tip sheet? Fine.

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irishlaw (Oct 17, 2018 - 4:01 pm)

I remember this question during OCI, everyone asked.

My canned answer was...I choose law because I wanted to go into a profession where one is always learning. Each client is unique and offers a different experience to learn something new.

...it’s seemed to work.

My real answer would have been...degree in Poli Sci so no job.

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youngbuck (Oct 17, 2018 - 4:25 pm)

"To play a part in overturning Roe v. Wade".

....and that's why it took me nearly a year after graduation to snag a legal job. Whoever said honesty is the best policy was clearly lying.

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debtslave15 (Oct 17, 2018 - 4:32 pm)

Because it's an in demand profession.

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therewillbeblood (Oct 17, 2018 - 4:48 pm)

I wanted to practice space human rights sports law.

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wutwutwut (Oct 17, 2018 - 5:39 pm)

I was asked that question in my first job interview. I answered, "Because the earning potential is a lot higher than what I was doing before law school".

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johnsmith (Oct 17, 2018 - 5:50 pm)

Didn't have anything better to do and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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onehell (Oct 17, 2018 - 6:48 pm)

An answer I have given that seems to land well is that it was a certain form of curiosity. Much like a person attracted to engineering might have enjoyed taking apart television sets as a kid because he was interested in how machines work, I was always interested in how society works. In a society with rule of law, the law is pretty fundamental to that.

Much like that metaphorical television set, the law (and society, markets, etc more broadly) is a complex system that can be better understood by taking it apart and studying its component parts and how they fit together. Whether in law school or afterwards, the things I've learned over the years have largely been an exercise in a verbal/written form of reverse-engineering: Trying to ask the right questions of the right people, observing how something moves through a system from start to finish, etc. In healthcare, they call this "tracer methodology."

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quillan (Oct 17, 2018 - 9:29 pm)

Real answer: Lack of imagination

Answer I used in job interviews: As a poli sci major, I view law as applied political theory. The rule of law is critical to defining the type of society we want to live in. blah, blah, blah. It worked well.

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billcarson (Oct 17, 2018 - 9:31 pm)

“To argue online in a more smug manner.”

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