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Big Law

For the lawyers in biglaw firms, how do you manage to interview at other firms while balancing the commitments and availability of your current position? Also, how do you make sure your current firm doesn’t find out that you’re interviewing with a competitor?

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Pre Covid you do in-person interviews discretely. Good firms know how to do it and are quite discrete. The time commitment is a half day or a couple of half days, which isn’t hard to fit in. Post Covid we do it on Zoom. No trouble at all.

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You just say you will be out of office for an appointment. You don’t need to get into details. Be professional about communicating when exactly you’ll be out (and leave yourself some cushion) and say you’ll make sure all your work gets done regardless. And then you work late/all night to catch up on your work if needed. I once had some dental issues and had to schedule several dentist appointments that I just called “appointments” and a partner/mentor later asked me whether I was interviewing and said he hoped I wasn’t 😂 I wasn’t then, and I told him it was just bad teeth... but if you do get pressed on it (which really is not appropriate) you can claim it’s personal medical issues but nothing serious that you’d rather not get into. Also, people interview all the time. Partners know it too. There’s an unofficial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in big firms. It’s not that big a deal. When I gave notice about leaving for my current position, one of my former partners was like “OMG I totally suspected you were interviewing!” But she and everyone else was nice and supportive about my leaving.

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The firms I interviewed with were nice enough to arrange interviews at lunch time - precovid that is.

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