No matter where your in-firm interviews are, congratulations on getting this far! We’ve been there and we know these couple of months are not easy. But hey, preparing for in-firms is an awesome excuse to avoid your class readings.
While the actual interviews are very similar to OCIs (shameless plug for our OCI tips here), the in-firm process presents new challenges. Like most things in the legal profession, preparation is key. The more you know about the process, the better.
With that in mind, here are some of our top in-firm tips!
- Articling Students 2018/2019
Alexandra Murray | Articling Student 2018/2019
Pack lots of snacks that are easy to eat on the go! Firms provide lots of food but often you are busy talking with people and ensuring you get to each interview on time, so it can be hard to remember to re-fuel. Protein and granola bars were my go to during interview week.
Also, have fun!
Yonca Umur | Articling Student 2018/2019
Don’t shy away from chatting with other candidates – the recruit is an opportunity to meet people from across different law schools, who will end up being your peers in this industry. A collegial attitude will make the last stretch of this process much more enjoyable. Also, try and pare down the belongings you carry with you to the bare minimum. You won’t want to be overburdened for what is a very long day/week. That purse you stuffed at 7 am starts to feel extra heavy come 10 pm. I only carried a credit card/ID, lipstick, a granola bar, copies of my application (which I needed a grand total of 0 times), and a pair of flats in a small bag. I survived!
Wesley Dutcher-Walls | Articling Student 2018/2019
Make use of your host! We are there to be a great resource and our role is specifically to be there for you during the recruit. Everyone has been through the recruit process, and we know how intense it can be. It’s easy to get caught up in over-thinking things and “strategizing” during the recruit, so ideally you can come to your host for an off-the-record conversation to talk things out. We are there to field any questions or concerns you might have, and we also would love to hear when you think things are going really well! Directions, advice, a pre-interview pep-talk, Tide To Go, anything – we’re here to help!
If you’re interviewing at a full-service firm, you likely will interview with a wide variety of lawyers in different practice areas, including those fields you may be less interested in. Don’t look at these interviews as less important. Lawyers from practice areas you previously haven’t considered may have great insight on how the firm as a whole works, or on how their practice area and your interests might align. Asking lawyers about practice areas different from their own is also a great way to get a sense of the firm culture and how people work together. You’re going to be making a big decision at the end of the recruit, and you owe it to yourself to get as much information as possible!
Abid Khalid | Articling Student 2018/2019
Keep your energy up and SMILE. The in-firm process can be very tiring, especially after a couple of interviews and all the associated stress. It is easy to get tired and stop putting forth great energy, but you have to fight it. Make sure to smile as it can really help make a great impression on an interviewer.
Bring some key supplies with you, such as breath mints, lip balm, tissues etc. Just keep them in a pocket if you can, or otherwise in a bag that you can check with the firm.
Anna Condon | Articling Student 2018/2019
In-firm week, while very exciting, can be incredibly exhausting. Make sure you utilize any brief moments you might have to yourself to engage in some form of self-care – don’t underestimate the power of taking a breather, sitting for a moment to enjoy a coffee/snack between interviews (as time permits), or unwinding by watching your favourite mindless TV show when you get home at night. Take the time to recharge as much as possible so you can keep your energy and enthusiasm up throughout the week.
Christina Liao | Articling Student 2018/2019
A day of in-firms can be such a blur, especially if you’ve jam-packed your schedule. Immediate reflection after you leave each firm is invaluable in ultimately choosing the best place for you, but there’s not always time to stop and write it down. In the short time while walking between offices, I voice recorded my candid thoughts on my phone. I found it so helpful to vocalize and memorialize my gut feelings.
Hassan Rasmi | Articling Student 2018/2019
I would recommend two things: (1), if you know you wouldn’t work at a certain firm, don’t lead them on; and, (2), be nice to everyone.
(1) Assuming you have more than a couple of in-firm offers, don’t lead all firms until Wednesday. Keep the ones you really like and communicate your interest level to them by Monday night or Tuesday morning. As for the rest, politely cancel. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it – they, too, want to focus on candidates who are likely to accept their offers. Which brings me to my second piece of advice; (2) Remember, it’s a very small community. Be nice and don’t lie! Many, many mistakes will likely be forgiven; being rude or dishonest will certainly not be one of them.
Daniel Seidman | Articling Student 2018/2019
Plan your route: Plug all the firms you’re visiting into Google Maps so you can see a bird’s eye view of the best way to get from firm to firm. I took it one step further by printing it out and keeping it with me just in case. It may seem silly, but your future self will thank you for having one less thing to worry about on the day of in-firms.
Jonathan Farine | Articling Student 2018/2019
Write a note on business cards that you receive after each interview to remind yourself what made that conversation unique. That way you’ll be able to quickly write brief but personalized thank you emails at the end of the day.
Pearl Lee | Articling Student 2018/2019
• Bring pair of comfy flats or runners
• Pack several healthy snacks to keep you fueled for the day
• Have a pack of mint or gum handy
• Remember to take breaks and allow yourself some “me” time between interviews. Even 2 minutes can go far
Samantha Galway | Articling Student 2018/2019
Plan something for Thursday evening—either dinner with friends or going to see a movie. That way you have something to look forward to during the week and it’s a nice chance to unwind.
Steve Inglis | Articling Student 2018/2019
My tip would be to take advantage of the food and snacks at each firm, as it’s a long day and you’ll need to food to get you through the day.
Sheena Singh | Articling Student 2018/2019
Rely on your family and friends outside of law school as a sounding board. Describing my interview experiences to people outside the process helped me figure out my priorities and interests, and ultimately make the best choice for me!
Samanthea Samuels | Articling Student 2018/2019
My tip is to stay confident and don’t let small hurdles ruin the rest of your day. There is going to be a lot going on, so try to drown out the noise and focus on yourself!