Since fall is job hunting season in the legal profession, both in terms of firm jobs and judicial clerkships, ATL offers you this “public service announcement”: our top ten interview tips.
We’ve received requests for interview advice from readers. Rather than repeat ourselves in emails, we thought we’d just write our “wisdom” down in a single post. It’s essentialy an outgrowth of our continuing series of Interview Horror Stories, which give you an idea of what NOT to do during a job interview.
1. Review your social networking site profiles (if any) for appropriateness. Here’s what one reader had to say:
Guess what. People making hiring and career decisions about you can indeed use Google, MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, etc. So can clients who are paying $300 or more per hour for your services. To the extent possible, you might want to make an effort to make yourself appear halfway professional. Or at least get rid of the materials that make you look like a drunken fool.
Yeah, that picture of you chugging a forty is pretty funny — but you should probably remove it. See alsothis cautionary tale, from the New York Times.
2. Make sure your breath is fresh. Please, don’t inflict halitosis upon your interviewer. You can check your breath by breathing into your cupped hand and sniffing (quasi-gross, but effective). Bring along a tiny packet of those Listerine strips, which you can pop discreetly when needed.
3. No gum during the interview. Bad breath is verboten; but so is chewing gum, even of the breath-freshening kind. We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but we do.
And don’t try the trick of sticking it in an upper corner of your mouth, so you can resume chewing it later; it can affect your speech. When the interview is done, treat yourself to a fresh piece. You deserve it!
4. Get Them to Start Talking About Themselves. This is everyone’s favorite topic. They are as bored with you as you are with them, so avoid you and make it about them. (Gavel bang: John Carney, a former practicing lawyer and editor of DealBreaker, our big brother blog.)
5. Cologne or Perfume? Probably safest not to — especially if you’re interviewing with this guy (he bans it in chambers).
If you do, select a subtle scent — e.g., not Drakkar Noir — and use it sparingly. (We like Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermès.)
Oh, but a resounding “yes” to showering — and deodorant.
The rest of our interview advice appears after the jump.
Today is the first day for judicial clerkship interviews under the official Law Clerk Hiring Plan (which some judges follow, and some judges don’t). We’re going to celebrate the occasion with a judge-related poll.
Here at Above the Law, we love ourselves some Paris Hilton. She’s beautiful, blonde, and rich. She’s fabulous and glamorous. She’s a gifted model, actress, singer, dancer, and businesswoman. (And yes, she’s good at that, too.)
Here are some quotes from a recent New York Sun article about Paris that capture some of our feelings about her:
Says Camille Paglia: “She feels the Zeitgeist. She has that dancer’s feel for the camera, for the observing eye, and she produces fantastic still pictures.” Ashley Barrett, global PR director for Coty Prestige, has added, “She is very clever about giving the press what they want — provocative fashion, an ever-increasing list of projects, scandal. She gives great paparazzi.”
Some people deride Paris Hilton as being “famous for nothing” or “famous for being famous.” We disagree; but if this were true, it would only make Paris more fantastic. It would make the purest incarnation of fame possible: fame undiluted by the distracting presence of accomplishment.
And, as everyone knows, we also love ourselves some federal judges. So here’s today’s poll:
Who is the Paris Hilton of the federal judiciary?
Here are the contenders and what they share in common with Paris:
Tomorrow is the first day for clerkship interviews under the official Law Clerk Hiring Plan (which some judges follow, and some judges don’t). So it’s fitting and proper that our next interview anecdote relates to a clerkship interview with a federal judge:
I clerked for a federal court of appeals judge. The judge’s chambers were located in a converted local post office in a suburb, so the judge permitted us to dress casually. (Very casually, including the judge — sweatshirts and tee shirts were not out of the question, especially given the antiquated HVAC system). This was usually a big selling point among clerkship applicants, who of course arrived for their interviews dressed in business suits.
One day, after a nicely dressed, well-credentialed law student came through on an interview, the judge came out of her office with a rather amused look on her face. She recounted that, sitting in her office during the private interview, the applicant asked about the dress code. She gave her usual spiel that casual dress was fine, joking about the poor ventilation.
The student then asked her earnestly if it would be ok if he wore a suit to work if he were hired. Puzzled, she said sure, but asked why. He said, with a straight face, that he thought it was “more professional.”
Here’s the fourth post in our continuing series about why there’s nothing wrong with writing about Supreme Court clerks. Prior installments are available here (Part 1), here (Part 2), and here (Part 3).
We’d also like to direct your attention to this excellent comment by a reader — replete with an eloquent quote from Schopenhauer. It’s like the metaphysical version of “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
The balance of this post, making the fourth point in our multi-part argument, appears after the jump.
This is the third post in a series defending the propriety of writing about Supreme Court clerks. The first two installments are available here and here. The rest of this post, making the third point in our multi-part argument, appears after the jump.
This is the second post in our continuing manifesto, started this morning, as to why it’s okay to write about former Thomas clerk Chantel Febus’sappreciation for Lenny Kravitz.
Most of you probably have no interest in the rest of this post; if you’re visiting a site like this one, you probably enjoy rather than condemn gossip about Supreme Court clerk clerks. But if you’d care to read our ramblings on the subject, they’re after the jump.
We understand that some of you have been upset by our recent coverage of a certain future Supreme Court clerk. As we mentioned over the weekend, we are instituting a moratorium on coverage of this clerk, at least for the time being. So all of youiratecommenters can unwad your panties, spray Febreze on them, and toss them into the dryer.
But we WOULD like to defend, as a general proposition, the propriety of writing about Supreme Court clerks. The Elect should not be viewed as an off-limits or taboo topic. To those of you who object to our coverage of SCOTUS clerks — and rest assured, more is on its way — we have some points for your consideration. (If you have no problem with such coverage, then just ignore all of these posts.)
We’re going to spread our arguments out over a series of posts, so as not to tire you. We’re giving this series of posts a tag — “SCOTUS Clerks Are Fair Game” — so you can click on all the posts discussing this topic.
We apologize in advance if you find our arguments unpersuasive. Substantive analysis is not our forte, which is why we generally stick to gossip (and why our own interviews for Supreme Court clerkships ended badly). As you review our points, please remember that we are but humble members of The Great Unwashed.
The first point we’d like to make appears after the jump.
* Clerkships for the bejeweled bench known as the D.C. Circuit are still available. But spots as Sentelletubbies and Tatel Tots are going fast. [Clerkship Notification Blog]
* A modest proposal for Angelina Jolie: Get married like a lesbian. [De Novo]
* Best comment clusterf**k we’ve seen in a long time: 128 and counting. (Does poor Peter Lattman have to read them all?) [WSJ Law Blog]
* “In her wildest dreams, Barbie could not have imagined herself in the middle of Rule 11 proceedings.” [TJ's Double Play]
* Q: “Do you know where Judge Marsha Berzon’s clerks came from?”
A: “Berzon’s clerks came from Hell…. Oh, wait, that’s where they are going.” [Clerkship Notification Blog]
* Larry Sonsini reminds us of why we should use the phone, and NOT email, if we’re going to do something sketchy. Also, his spelling and typing skills aren’t perfect. (But by the standards of Biglaw partners of his generation, he’s in the 95th percentile — assuming he typed this all himself.) [WSJ Law Blog]
* Justice Thomas is already hiring clerks for October Term 2008. Congratulations to Patrick Strawbridge, CT’s latest hire (as far as we know; if you know more, please do share). [Prettier Than Napoleon]
* We agree with Michael Dimino: “The more frivolous the complaints, the better the job.” But redweld cuts still hurt like hell. [PrawfsBlawg]
* The indefatigable Ann Althouse doesn’t sleep with her laptop. We’re surprised! [Althouse]
* Going through a Wendy’s drive-thru while naked can get you arrested. You didn’t know that, did you? [Concurring Opinions]
* Raffi Melkonian isn’t quite as down on clerking as we originally suggested. [Crescat Sententia]
* Allegations of bill padding at Holland & Knight. An isolated occurrence — or more widespread within Biglaw? [WSJ via WSJ Law Blog]
* The secret to success: Wake up early. Like really early — try 3 a.m. That Ann Althouse is a machine! [Althouse]
* Here’s a link for those of you who don’t think we need tort reform. It’s a long post, but well worth reading. (And it’s not Ted Frank’s fault that the reporter got so much wrong.) [Overlawyered via Volokh Conspiracy]
* We think that judicial clerkships are fabulous — for clerks, for judges, and for this great nation of ours. But Raffi Melkonian disagrees — and makes some interesting points. [Crescat Sententia]
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
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