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   Summer Associate interview....help me please
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Jim983
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Summer Associate interview....help me please
« on: Jan 27th, 2007, 1:17pm »
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Hi everyone.  I have an interview next week for a 1L summer associate position at a very large firm.  My undergrad is in EE.  What kind of questions should I expect?  How technical will they get?  I don't have much work experience (I'm 23) and I have on my resume the design projects that I worked on as an undergrad including such things as a CPU design and SRAM layout.  Should I make sure I memorize these designs?  
 
Any suggestions will help.  Thanks.
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plex
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Re: Summer Associate interview....help me please
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29th, 2007, 11:56pm »
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Hey Jim,
 
Well, I am in the same position as you, I graduated from a good engineering school as an EE last month. I have a few years of engineering work experience, which was the best I could do, since I am only 23 also.  
 
I have had a few interviews from the firms I applied to in my area. It seems that EE is a hot degree, and if you have some experience as well, many firms will at least interview you even if they really aren't actively recruiting. During them, there were some fairly common themes to the questions they asked. I have another one this week, this will help me prepare as well.
 
1) What school do you plan to go to or what schools have you applied to and been accepted to?
 
2) Further, what school are you really interested in? Why were you interested in that particular school?
(This question is asking your reasons, its not asking you about how likely you feel it is you will get in)
 
3) If you have any experience related to law, in any way, such as writing a patent disclosure for some engineer, and have it on your resume, they will ask you about it.
 
4) They may ask you about your most recent work experience, they will not go much further back than that.
 
5) Do not talk about preparing for the MPEP unless they ask you about it. Most of the lawyers I have spoken to during the interview felt that someone does not need to take the exam before they finish with law school. I don't really feel that way since I have 6 months to study for it, but I have found they really didn't feel comfortable talking about it.
 
I have been told by a patent lawyer who is a friend of the family that I should get it out of the way, so even if I do not find any relevant work before school begins or during school, I can at least work as a patent agent.
 
6) They will ask you if you have any questions,  have some. This is where you show that you are actually interested in the firm and in patent law.  
 
They will, at least in some cases, expect you to know about who is interviewing you form their websites. Ask about what sort of work they have interns do. This will invariably be prosecution work, and they will tell you that, but ask what kind of work the firm often gets. This leads to the question of what companies they have close relations with. Ask how many, and who the interns are. You very likely will be introduced to most, if not all of them, during part of the interview.
 
7) They may take you out to lunch. Its about 50/50 whether a firm regularly does this or not, if it is a larger firm, it is much more likely, if it is a smaller one, it is less likely. Just eat calmly, don't take much time to choose what you will eat, and eat the same courses the others eat. It gets uncomfortable if you are the only one not eating something like a salad or soup.  
 
8 ) They don't, or at least they say they don't, know what LSAT scores mean, and are not likely to ask you more than what your score was.
 
9) They will ask you how you first became interested in patent law. Who first mentioned it to you. They will also ask how you heard about the firm. In my case, I got a list of the top 5 firms with good intern programs in my area from a patent lawyer.
 
« Last Edit: Jan 30th, 2007, 12:02am by plex » IP Logged
eric c. jarsh
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Re: Summer Associate interview....help me please
« Reply #2 on: Jan 30th, 2007, 11:58am »
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I'm a 1L at a Tier 2 law school in Chicago. I have a BSEE and I just finished my first semester of law school. I got pretty crappy grades, but a law firm has offered me an interview without seeing 1st semester grades yet.
 
So, I know that once they "C" them, I will not get an offer. However, I figure I should still do the interview; you never know, I have some work experience and semi-likable personality. The interview will consist of several hours of interviews, probably about 2 hours of interviewing plus lunch.
 
What kind of stuff will they ask me? I want to focus on patent law, and this position is for an IP job. Will they ask me technical questions? Do I have to brush up on engineering skills? (It's been years since I looked at an EE problem).
 
I'm just trying to figure out how to prepare for this...Thank you in advance.
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mk1023
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Re: Summer Associate interview....help me please
« Reply #3 on: Jan 30th, 2007, 1:01pm »
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For about 60% of the engineering interviews I've had, the extent of the technical questions were "Tell me about the projects you've worked on". Another 30% would be trivial questions like "Draw a bode diagram". I always had the impression that based on your resume/GPA they will decide how interested in you they are and that the second interview is more about your people skills. I'd imagine that interviews for summer associate positions would place even less emphasis on technical skills. I think it would make more sense for you to spend your time coming up with slick answers for questions like "Why do you want to work here?".
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eric c. jarsh
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Re: Summer Associate interview....help me please
« Reply #4 on: Jan 30th, 2007, 2:25pm »
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well actually this is for an "IP Law Clerk." how is that different than a Summer Associate? how much of a difference is there in terms of competitiveness and difficulty to land the job? thanks!
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