Law Student Guides
Answering the Question: “Why BigLaw?”
Saturday, October 24, 2020
OCIs are coming up. Here's some interview tips on landing your dream BigLaw job and on how to answer the most common trap question recruiters like to ask.
For many 2L students (and some ambitious 1Ls), on-campus interviews are starting soon. With the pandemic this year, “OCI’s” are most likely online, but this doesn’t take away the stress that typically comes with these rites of passage, especially since their offers this summer will provide students with the trajectory for the rest of their careers.
Many students aiming for the promise land of BigLaw have asked us about interview tips, how to go through BigLaw interviews online, and more. We’re here to address the most daunting question that can plague law students in the coming interviews. “Why BigLaw?”
Aside from the obvious answer (hint: the money), there are actually a number of more subtle ways to answer this question, and many of which can impress the recruiter across the screen. For example, instead of financial opportunity, you can say that you’d like the opportunity to work on complex legal work for sophisticated clients.
Instead of providing ample amounts of money, you could say that BigLaw provides ample learning opportunities to understand certain industries, especially if you’re interested in a certain niche practice and the firm specializes in that niche.
Why do recruiters ask this question? It’s to get a sense of whether the interviewee knows what they are getting into. Don’t get me wrong, BigLaw can be glamorous. But behind the glamour, it is intense. It is demanding and challenging.
And you have to want it. The goal with these interviews is to learn as much as possible from some of the top minds in law so that one day, you’ll join the ranks.
While your answer may be nuanced based on each firm, it doesn’t hurt to do research on the firm beforehand.
This applies generally to any interview, but you should take particular care in browsing the law firm’s website as well as Lawwly’s up-to-date information and news updates on each firm. Are they well reviewed on glass door and law crossing? Do they have a great reputation for law and for firm culture?
Do they invest in innovation and technology and professional development internally?
These things make a great firm to prospective interviewees, and firms will recognize your research efforts if you address these points in explaining why you’d rather work for that particular firm than anywhere else.
At the end of the day, recruiters will generally understand that the money is attractive.
That’s not the point. They’re asking you this question over and over again so that you can really understand and get a feel for what you’re getting into. BigLaw is a completely different animal in and of itself. Answering the question faithfully, while accepting that money is and always will be a large part of your decision, will help you get over those interview-day jitters and land that dream job.
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