I’ve definitely screwed up at least one of my past 20+ job interviews from the last two years. This was for various reasons, from being 10 minutes late to getting snippy about being called a feminist to the job being simply too far away for anyone to believe I was willing to commute to it. But where I can pinpoint the most difficulty, and the most ability to control in the future, is this part – the what questions do I ask the interviewer! So click on the link and check out the suggestions, and I thought I would share some of my favorite lawyer-specific questions. Often these will get answered on an interview, but interviews where I ask a lot of questions are my best interviews. I mean, I still didn’t get jobs from them, but I left and didn’t feel like I just wanted to curl up and cry. So, a grain of salt and all that, but here are some suggestions:
Are there minimum billable hours? What are the consequences for not meeting them? What are the rewards for going beyond them?
What is the status of the grant that funds this position? What will happen if it is cut?
What is your intake process for clients like? Is it performed by the attorneys?
What is your average caseload?
How do you manage clients?
How does the office use technology? Are billable hours kept on paper or on a computer? Does each attorney have their own computer? Does the office keep an electronic calendar? How are appointments scheduled?
Are attorneys performing their own case support?
Are attorneys encouraged to attend CLE courses or peer groups to keep current with new developments? Are these courses paid for by the firm? Are bar dues paid by the firm?
How do attorneys in this office fulfill their pro bono requirements? [If you live in a state where it is a suggestion, and they say, "the rules are really more guidelines anyway", it might be a red flag for you.]
What are your expectations from an attorney?
How flexible is the office with allowing attorneys to create their own systems for organization?
How do you evaluate success for the attorneys?
Have any attorneys ever had malpractice complaints? How does the office deal with that?
What are the things that previous attorneys have found the most challenging?
How is employee retention? Is there frequent turnover for particular positions?