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GOODRecruit: In Firm Experiences and Tips

October 24, 2017

“With in firm interviews approaching quickly, we wanted to provide some of our own positive experiences and tips to help anybody going through the process prepare for the week. Below you will find what each of our current students had to say about their experience going through the in firm process! Enjoy and good luck!”

 

– Articling Students 2017/18

 

Niki Kermani | Articling Student 2017/18

 

What was one highlight from your overall in firm experience?

The drinks and hors d’oeuvres at our cocktail reception were amazing! The event was a great opportunity to get to know more people at Goodmans.

 

 

What should a student expect from their interviewers at Goodmans?

Your interviewers will be well-positioned to describe the firm’s culture and to provide insight into what it’s like summering, articling and practicing at the firm. They are incredibly friendly and genuinely interested in getting to know you better. You can expect to be asked  questions about your education, volunteer and work experiences, but none of the questions are meant to catch you off guard. The interviews are generally quite relaxed, and conversation tends to flow very freely.

Tom Spelt | Articling Student 2017/18

 

What is a tip for sending out emails after interviews?​

I wrote a couple of different template emails before the interview week began.  It’s a very busy couple of days, and sometimes you’ll be coming home late in the evening with an early morning interview the next day.  Having a couple of template emails ready to go will save you a lot of time late at night when you might have dozens of emails to write, and will make it easier for you to personalize your emails.  Obviously, it’s still important to personalize the emails with references to what you talked about with the recipient, but having templates to work from will make things much easier.

 

What was something that surprised you/was unexpected about in firms?​

I was surprised by how similar the actual interviews felt to my OCI interview with Goodmans.  They were all very relaxed and conversational, and it was clear that the interviewers’ objective was to get to know me as a person.  So just be yourself and there’s no reason to be nervous!

Amanda Bertucci | Articling Student 2017/18

 

What is one tip you would give regarding in firms?​

Trust your intuition. You might notice that you feel comfortable at some firms fairly quickly, but you might walk into others and notice that you don’t feel the same way. Don’t ignore those feelings; instead, pay close attention to them. They’re a good marker of where you’ve felt most relaxed being yourself, and that’s something worth remembering.

 

What should a student expect from their interviewers at Goodmans?

Friendly conversations. The lawyers here are not trying to put you on the spot or trip you up. They’re really trying to get a sense of who you are and where your interests lie.

Danielle Levesque | Articling Student 2017/18

 

 

What was one highlight from your overall in firm experience?

Each time that I ran into a law school friend in the streets, the Path or at interviewing law firms. It was a moment of pure positive vibes and an amazing boost of energy.

 

What is one tip you would give regarding in firms? ​

Be true to your personal and professional values throughout your interviews and you'll end up somewhere you love.

Elliot Seetner | Articling Student 2017/18

 

What is one tip you would give regarding in firms?

Whenever in doubt with regard to questions, ask about the person in front of you. What do they practice in? How did they make that decision? What do they like about their firm? How do they get students involved in their work?

 

How did you effectively express interest during in firms?

By being honest! Don’t fake anything during in-firms – it’ll be obvious. Only express interest in a way that is genuine and true to you. Ask about things that matter to you. Ask tough questions about things that you’re worried about. Listen intently to the answers given. Comment on the positive aspects of your experience in-firming.

 

By being sincerely engaged, your interest will become obvious.

Andrew Schipper | Articling Student 2017/18

 

What should a student expect from their interviewers at Goodmans?

The interviewers will be very friendly and casual, but will ask about your experiences! Don’t expect to be grilled on your resume, but DO expect to be asked about your experiences that people might see as interesting or unusual.

 

What was something that surprised you/was unexpected about in firms?

I was really dreading the cocktail receptions (not just at Goodmans, but everywhere), but they turned out to be really helpful for getting a sense of the different firms. While some cocktail receptions could be a bit stuffy and awkward, you could really get a sense that the lawyers at Goodmans enjoyed being around each other and were excited about the firm. I learned a lot about the firms from watching how the lawyers interacted with the interviewing students, as well as how they interacted with each other.

Cobi Lechem | Articling Student 2017/18

 

What was something that surprised you/was unexpected about in firms?

Every firm has its own personality. While you can get a sense of this by talking to firm representatives at OCIs, it is not until you spend a few hours at a firm that you can actually begin to see how these different personalities manifest themselves. By the third day of in-firms, I was pleasantly surprised by just how clearly I could distinguish between the firms, which made it far easier for me to figure out where I wanted to end up.

 

How did you effectively express interest during in firms?

Expressing interest is one of the most difficult aspects of in-firms. You will inevitably feel pressured to express interest at every firm as a means of hedging your bets. Be careful in doing so, as you do not want to get caught rejecting a firm that you expressed a lot of interest in. Try to avoid the ‘first choice’ language unless you really mean it. Honesty is generally the best policy – if you really like a firm, make sure to tell the student recruiter as well as the lawyers that are interviewing you.

Chris Ferencz | Articling Student 2017/18

 

How did you prioritize multiple events (meals, cocktail receptions) throughout the process?

Be prepared to cut as you go. These are big decisions and you don’t have much time to make them, but trust your instinct. This may mean cutting ties on Monday evening with a Day 1 firm to make space on Day 2 or dropping an event/interview on Day 2 because you’re very enthusiastic about a few firms from Day 1. It’s best not to spread yourself too thin so aim to narrow your focus as you move through the process. Caveat: there is no wrong way to do in-firms so adjust your personal strategy as-needed and don’t look back.

 

What is a tip for sending out emails after interviews?​

You’ve probably been told to prepare emails ahead of time and then add some personal touch before you send them off. This is easier said than done when you’re meeting dozens of new faces throughout the day and evening. Use the tools available to you to take little notes. One strategy is to write a line or two on each business card that you’re handed so that you can match the encounter to the name. Another approach is to use your smartphone’s notepad function. These strategies are simple, but very helpful when you’re in the late night scramble to get emails out and go to bed.

Courtney Briggs | Articling Student 2017/18

 

What is one tip you would give regarding in firms?

Focus on being yourself and knowing what makes you as a candidate unique. Don’t get wrapped up in delivering the “right” answer. Rather, focus on being you and articulating your thoughts clearly and genuinely.

 

Looking back, what is one thing you wish you had known for in firms?​

That it would take me twice as long to get anywhere in the PATH than I originally anticipated. Budget time for wrong turns.

Brendan Dean | Articling Student 2017/18

 

How did you effectively express interest during in firms?​

By being genuine. If I was interested in a firm, it naturally came out through my questions, my conversations, my body language, etc. I found that allowing my natural reactions was the best way to show my interest in the firm while not making it painfully obvious or awkward—essentially, show it rather than tell it, for it will have a stronger impact than simply rhyming off that you like a firm out of context or just for the sake of saying it.

 

What was something that surprised you/was unexpected about in firms?

Something that surprised me was just how much my instinct played a factor in my decisions and my observations of each firm. It sounds funny to say, but you definitely need to follow your gut and let that dictate you if you have a difficult choice to make, or are having trouble deciding whether a firm feels right for you.

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