Law Firms

2Ls Have to Argue a Hypothetical in Pepper Hamilton’s ‘Hot Seat’ Interviews


Law students interviewing for summer associate positions at Pepper Hamilton can’t just rely on transcripts or law review experience to prove their legal abilities.

Instead students will have to argue a hypothetical fact pattern with law firm lawyers as part of a three-pronged interviewing process, according to U.S. News & World Report. University of Pennsylvania 2L Noor Najeeb, who landed a job as a summer associate at the firm, calls the interview a “hot seat” situation.

The story says Pepper Hamilton’s new methods are an example of “small tremors of change” at law firms seeking more information about potential hires. Several law firms are using behavioral interviews, designed to assess how job candidates dealt with difficult situations.

Pepper Hamilton changed its interviewing style in 2010. Students still go through the typical 20-minute initial interview, the story says. Then they go through interactive interviews discussing their writing samples and arguing a fact pattern.

Hiring chair Michael Subak tells the publication the new hiring model was the result of brainstorming sessions with summer associates, associates, and hiring and recruitment committees. “The idea was, ‘Let’s all come at this the way we work our cases, which is together,’ ” he said.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Are You the Type that Likes to Run with Scissors? McKenna Long Has a Test to Exclude You”

ABAJournal.com: “Do You Like Flowers? A Yes Answer Didn’t Help Careerist Blogger”

ABAJournal.com: “Saul Ewing Interviews Emphasize Critical Life Decisions”

ABAJournal.com: “Law Firms Using Behavioral Interviews to Learn About Resiliency, Client Focus”

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