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Not too long ago, when law firms used to supersize their summer associate classes and make offers to anyone who had a pulse, callback interviews were a mere formality.  Today’s post-recessionary firms are understandably more careful about hiring, and as a result,the callback interview has become a sine qua non for getting into Biglaw.  We talked with an attorney recruiter, as well as attorneys currently conducting callback interviews, to bring you the top ten tips for getting an edge over the competition.

The complete article is available on the Career Center, but we’ve highlighted the first three tips after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Navigating the Callback – 10 Tips for a Successful Interview”

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

As Above the Law enters its fifth year, you might have noticed that we are expanding. We’ve hired two new Morning Docket writers, who also contribute other posts to the site — meet the new Docketeers here and here — and we’ve brought on board columnists to cover small law firms and social media. We will soon be adding dedicated writers to cover the in-house world. We’ve expanded the ways readers can contact us (text us at 646-820-TIPS). On the business side, we’re exploring new partnerships and revenue opportunities (e.g., flash sales).

Now we’re looking for student interns (i.e., people can receive academic credit for working with us). Our internships are educational experiences and would be excellent for journalism students, undergraduate or graduate, who are interested in blogging, new media, or legal journalism. There would be byline opportunities for aspiring writers. (If you are in law school, please look into whether or not you can get credit before you apply; we are interested only in candidates who can receive academic credit.)

Also, we’d like to hire interns who are based in New York. We want to be able to see you and have you in the office to work with us.

If you are interested and meet the criteria above, please send in a résumé and cover email to tips@abovethelaw.com. We would welcome interns for either this fall semester or the coming spring semester. Our team is growing, and we’re hoping to find some new people to be a part of the fun. Thanks!


Summer associate survey results have been out for a while. If you’re trying to decide where you’d like to be a summer associate, be sure to check out the profiles below, to see which firms scored big with its summers — and which firms could use a little improvement. Before accepting that summer associate offer, visit the Career Center for some useful insider information on the firms that interest you.

  • Summer associates at this firm get tons of formal training and are even assigned a “writing advisor” who will assist them with written project assignments. The 2009 summer associates who were lucky enough to land offers started as scheduled in the fall of 2009.
  • Even though this firm cancelled its 2010 summer program in all of its California offices, summer associates say the firm is pleasantly laid-back, and they got to attend various social events — baseball games, cooking classes, dinners. Rather than rescinding offers to its 2009 summer associates, the firm gave new associates the option of voluntarily departing with a “go-away” stipend or joining its public interest deferral program with a monthly stipend.

More profiles, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Are You Deciding Where to Summer?”

If you’re looking for brutally honest opinions about the summer programs at the top law firms, head on over to the Career Center.  Here are some examples of what you’ll find there:

  • Although this firm had one of the largest summer associate classes in 2010, a high offer rate in 2009, and no start date deferrals, summer associates still couldn’t slack off, since “the standard for most assignments is perfection” and “the pressure is on” to get an offer.

  • Summer associates get the real associate treatment at this firm’s summer program, but only those fortunate enough to land an offer — and not have it rescinded — will actually get to join the first-year associate ranks.
  • Despite making 100% offers to this year’s summer class, summer associates at this firm may not be so quick to accept them, warning that they were not given “real” work assignments and that associate morale was “through the floor.”

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.

About to head out for that call-back interview? See if that firm is one of the profiled firms listed below. While you’re at it, go to the Career Center, and browse through the profiles for more in-depth information on all the major firms.

  • The summer associates at this firm describe the full-time attorneys as “extremely friendly” and always eager to help. Summer associates here also really enjoy the social events because they usually leave the office by 6:00 p.m. and are not assigned BlackBerrys.
  • 100% of the 2009 summer associates at this 160-year old firm received full-time offers. While there are plenty of professional training opportunities, summer associates here are advised to “manage-up” when it comes to handling work assignments.
  • The summer experience of the East Coast and West Coast summer associates vary widely at this firm. Still, summer associates on both coasts can attend unlimited firm lunches and usually enjoy the firm’s “low-key” social events.
  • Even though this firm is opening new international offices, it still takes the time to focus on its summer program. Summer associates praise the firm for providing a great balance of real work assignments and fun social events. In addition to constant informal feedback, summer associates also get plenty of partner contact and free lunches throughout the program.
  • No smoke and mirrors at this “Magic Circle” firm, where summer associates are treated the same as full-time associates and expected to produce the same quality of work. But it’s not all work here, as the firm flies its U.S. summer associates to its London office for a firm-retreat, in addition to standard social events.

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

Want to know where the happy summer associates work?  More importantly, want to know if the happy summer associates eventually turn into happy full-time associates?  Click on the Career Center links below to find out.

  • Bragging rights go to this Wall Street firm’s summer associates, who say they do substantive and high-profile work, but have reasonable hours, get 100% offers, and have no start date deferrals.
  • Summer associates at this firm reaped the benefits of an 80% decrease in summer class size, reporting that they were “impressed” by how often the assigning attorneys took time to go over their assignments and offer suggestions.
  • Praises abound for this firm’s summer program, which summer associates say offers “excellent hours,” “easy access to a broad range of real, substantive assignments,” and “the positive sense you get…that people actually enjoy their jobs.

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.

From time to time, we “go live” with the Career Center resources, to give you access to firsthand advice from the hiring partners and in-house counsel at major law firms and companies.  Our next opportunity for this type of professional development will be Wednesday, September 22, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

If you are in the Miami on the 22nd, need free MCLE credit, and would like some great advice on taking control of your career, read on for details….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Taking Control of Your Career”

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

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