Thursday, February 25, 2010

Interview Update

I had my interview, and as promised, I'm providing you with the details.

The position was for a computer company. It's not a development position. It's more of an analyst position, but familiarity with databases and programming concepts are required.

I met with two people (not simultaneously) to discuss the position.

The first person worked on the business side of the company. We had a good discussion about the company, my background, and my interests. For the most part, the focus was on my prior full time work experience where I detailed some of the analysis and computer skills I had developed at my previous position. I think I was able to convey both my aptitude regarding and interest in the main functions of the position.

I would reveal to you how I handled the "Why law school?" question. The question, however, didn't really come up (at least not in the way I expected it would). Eventually, the first interviewer noted that a number of my internships were related to the law. I actually took the opportunity to explain how those positions and law school helped me obtain and enhance a number of transferable skills. He seemed to wholeheartedly agree, and aside from asking how I liked my law school, he didn't raise the subject again.

The second person to interview me was a tech guy. He was harder to read, and it seemed like his role was mostly to vet me on my technical skills. I think I was able to demonstrate that I had adequate IT knowledge as well as the ability and desire to learn anything else computer related that was necessary.

After going over my resume, he did wonder why I went to law school if I wanted to get into the tech world. I just informed him that I wanted to go to grad school and that the JD was a versatile degree. I think he was more curious than skeptical, and he didn't seem to have any problem with my answer. He seemed more concerned with just making sure I had the appropriate technical background.

The three things on which the entire interview seemed to focus were:
  1. My previous work experience
  2. My interest in the company and the position
  3. My computer background and skills
For the most part, it was a pretty straightforward interview. I think this looks like a great job that would allow me to get into the industry in which I'm interested and help me glean some additional computer skills in which I am also interested.

Obviously, I'm not guaranteed the job, but I'm glad that I appear to have a strong enough background that some companies aren't going to concern themselves with my unorthodox academic path.

If I can't secure this position, I'm at least encouraged to forge ahead looking at computer related jobs. Even if it requires a little bit more self-study, I think I can eventually find a job I'll like.

I'll keep everybody posted.


  1. It sounds like it went really well overall. Good job. I hope it works out, but in the event it doesn't, I think that all of us who are trying to transition into a nonlegal job can take heart that it is possible to get an interview. I think, unfortunately, the key is have previous work experience, which a ton of law grads do NOT have. Kind of a bummer. But anyway, good luck! We all need it.

  2. I hope you get it. Doesn't it kill you that you could have done this right after your prior career. I wish law school could be considered a tax write-off as a business loss.

  3. I was a senior software engineer for quite some time. I've worked at Nvidia, Citadel and Optiver for quite some time. After getting laid off from Citadel I interviewed at a few companies but I feel now I'm just too old to go through the two phone screen interviews, then get flown out and deal with security at an airport, then the whole getting interviewed/grilled for another 8 hours.

    Once I got laid off my major fear was the interview process and having to re-learn all that bullshit interview style questions they throw at you.

    A reference point what we engineers have to go through.

    I'm 34 years old now and I just don't know what is next. I'm fed up with crap like that. I've got some friends who decided to go back to school and get a MFE and try to land the same job I had at Optiver but I wasn't even getting paid that much (it's not worth the debt load and risk). My gross pay was around 165k but I was working 70 hours a week.

    IT sure is great when you are young, but once you get older the allure fades pretty quickly.

    I suppose all industries have their pros and cons.

  4. to 9:55 - you think 34 is old and 165k isn't a good salary? What planet are you from?

  5. Great job! I'm actually in solar sales now following my layoff from BigLaw. Like you, I had a very difficult time getting responses from companies and faced the typical misconception that all lawyers are filthy rich. Why wouldn't you want to make all that cash with your JD?

  6. Would you be willing to go into more detail the kind of questions you were grilled on? I was considering looking into an entry-level IT

  7. Best of luck! I hope you get it. Thank you for spreading some truth about what attorneys face and now showing that there's an upside. We need the good news! : )

  8. I love this blog. You sound like a very nice give me hope.

    Fellow unemployed bitter law grad

  9. I really hope you get this or something like it soon! Be sure to keep us posted!


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