You're up against tough competition when searching for a new role, so it's critical that you invest considerable time and effort in preparing for each interview. Over the coming weeks we will post a series of tips on interview preparation. In this first post we focus on what you need to know about the law firm you're interviewing with. Don't assume they're all the same!
The importance of research
So… do you know how the firm ranks in terms of size? Where is it operating internationally, if at all? If you're interviewing for a specific practice area or sector position, how is the firm ranked in that area and what recent successes/deals have there been? What is the market saying about the firm? Has it been in any recent news stories? How is the firm perceived by clients and/or employees?
We're living in a content heavy world so there is a huge amount of information out there to help you with your research. We've listed a few key sources below.
The firm's website
Researching the website will give you a sense of how the firm is positioning itself. You can often access useful information on the firm's history, international reach and sector focus plus many firms include links to recent news stories. There is no excuse for not reading everything on a firm's website before your interview.
Chambers & Partners and Legal 500
These are the two key directories for the legal sector. They include law firm rankings by country, practice and sector. See www.chambersandpartners.com and www.legal500.com.
www.thelawyer.com is an excellent place to start for news and insights into the legal sector and the site contains useful commentaries on each law firm. The UK 200 Table is a great source of information on financials and numbers of partners.
Billed as ‘news, views and gossip on law firms’ this site is well worth a read. Its ‘Firm of the Year’ rankings include cultural and pay information as well as the all-important biscuit rankings – a popular interview conversation starter in this industry!
A number of law firms have twitter accounts and tweet news and commentary regularly. Follow the firm plus search on the firm's name to see what else people are saying about it.
Do you know someone who works at or has previously worked at the firm? If not, perhaps you are connected to someone at the firm via your LinkedIn contacts? Gaining insights from people in the firm is invaluable so leverage off your connections.
Your recruitment consultant
At Totum we work with the understanding that in the highly specialised legal sector, nothing is generic. We pride ourselves on understanding our clients. We really get to know firms and between us have a lot of information that we can share. Make sure you ask your recruitment consultant to tell you everything they know about the firm.