I am interviewing to lateral into big law from a smaller firm. Is there anything I should focus on and/ or stress in my interview? I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

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Attorneys from smaller firms often (though not always) get given responsibilities earlier than Biglaw associates. I dunno your level or if you’re in transactional or litigation, but if you have experience managing cases on your own, you’re a gift.

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Thank you for the advice! About 60 percent of my caseload consists of purely my own clients so I will stress that.

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Direct client contact, working closely with partners (as opposed to just senior associates up the chain), increased responsibility at more junior levels, exposure to wider variety of matters (assuming that’s true).

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I got great feedback in my interview when I emphasized all the non-lawyer work I did at the boutique I was leaving. Filings, assisting on billing issues, paralegal-level tasks when the paralegals were over-extended. Anything that shouts “I’m a team player and I’m willing to do what’s in the best interest of the firm” is worth highlighting. To be cliché, it’s the little things. Everyone has billable hours, everyone passed the bar and (presumably) knows how to conduct legal analysis. But knowing that you’ll be willing to do what needs to be done to make a deadline even if it isn’t a billable task? That makes you an attractive hire.

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Study beforehand. Don’t just know your “why BigLaw LLP” one-liner, but also be able to answer follow-up questions. I had two lateral candidate interviews today from small firms who didn’t do their homework 😑 and it really showed.

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Agree with A1 - don’t ask anything you can easily find on the firm’s page or a quick google search.

When I did it they seemed primarily focused on whether I could handle the hours so if you think that’s a concern here, stress the work you’ve put in when it was called for

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How did you handle the increased hours btw - my biggest concern to make the jump.

Try to make it known that with managing cases on your own you have to balance various tasks at once and that there are often tight deadlines

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Recently left big law (lit) as a senior associate who also had some boutique experience. In addition to what others have said, big firms are obsessed with perfection and minutia, so highlight your attention to detail and perfection.

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Got it! Thank you!

Do you work with numerous partners? If so, I would mention that and how you juggle all of that. And somehow mention that you work long hours without actually saying it (so the interviewers know that you know what it’s like to work a lot). Mention how the work you’re doing could help the firm fill any gaps they have (if any). I didn’t lateral from a small firm, but I have expertise in a niche area and emphasized that the firm I ended up at didn’t have anyone doing that right now.

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