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Nixon Peabody Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner
Published June 22nd, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Talent     Commercial Services    

Question 1 of 27

Here at Nixon Peabody, carefully analyzing the cases of our clients is of utmost importance. What analytical skills would you bring to the team here?

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Answer Examples

1.

Here at Nixon Peabody, carefully analyzing the cases of our clients is of utmost importance. What analytical skills would you bring to the team here?

To be successful in the field of law and helping to achieve the best outcomes for clients, an analytical and evaluative mind are extremely important. To cut right to the chase, your interviewer will be looking to hear about the skills and experiences you have in analyzing data to come to reasonable and logical conclusions for both Nixon Peabody and their clients. If possible, give a real world example or two where you put your analytical skills to good use.

Ryan's Answer #1

"My analytical skills as a successful attorney start with my ability to see everything from a 10,000-foot perspective and then putting together all of the pieces of the puzzle to build the best case possible for my clients. A recent success story happened a couple of months ago with a client that was going through a very complicated workers compensation claim that was ultimately denied by the employer. By gathering all of the information I could from my client, medical records and from the employer, I was able to use my working knowledge of workers compensation laws in my home state to win the case for my client."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Having been a paralegal in a personal injury settlement firm for the last three years, my analytical skills have been vital in working with the Attorneys in the firm. I'm relied upon to identify and evaluate the key factors in each case that I work on. From there, my analytical skills come through with my working knowledge of the law in this state to pull the necessary information for our Attorneys and leave out the irrelevant information. In looking to make the move to Nixon Peabody, I understand there will be some learning curve to expand my knowledge outside of personal injury settlements and I would work hard to build that knowledge and let my analytical and logic skills take over."

2.

Who is your hero/heroine?

This question is a simple way for your interviewer to gain insight into the values that you respect and aspire to achieve in others that you work with. Prior to your interview, put some thought into who you consider your hero/heroine to be and make sure to put emphasis on the why you see them in that light. If possible, be sure to point out qualities that would help make you successful in the role that you are interviewing for.

Ryan's Answer #1

"From a very young age, my grandmother has always been my inspiration as a person who is driven to succeed both personally and professionally. Knowing that she raised a family of six children while working around the farm to help out my grandfather always put a smile on my face and motivated me to work hard during my life. When my uncle and aunt passed away in a tragic car accident, she took in their two children at the age of 65 and raised them all the way through high school and into college. Her open heart, will and determination were definitely passed on to me and I bring those attributes to work each and every day!"

Ryan's Answer #2

"For the last ten years, I've considered Dr. Anderson from the University I attended to be my hero. He was truly the inspiration for my pursuit of a career in law. He taught me about the knowledge and dedication necessary to be successful in this field and also how to be a caring and compassionate person when working with people from all age, race and social classes in this field."

3.

Have you been involved in a corporate tax audit before? What did you learn from that experience?

Nixon Peabody is often called upon for their legal guidance when a business is facing a tax audit. For this question, your interviewer is looking to see if you have experience working under IRS audit conditions and to hear what vital information you could bring to the team if hired. If you have experience, talk in detail about the type of organization you represented and what the audit entailed. If you don't have direct experience working with an IRS audit, talk about your working knowledge of the audit process and what your role would be in that.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Two years ago, I represented a small business that retained my firm after being notified of an audit. From the start, it was pretty easy to understand that the business owner had failed to report some pretty significant chunks of business income based on records that weren't reported. When it appeared like the IRS was poised to bring in their criminal investigation team, I worked with the client and the auditor to negotiate the standard settlement of interest on missed payment plus a 20% penalty. The client was extremely pleased to avoid potential stricter penalties and learned some important lessons moving forward with their business."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Two years ago, I was brought in to a very large, well known corporation that was receiving a tax audit from the IRS. While knowing that the accounting and finance procedures of the organization were spot on, my role was mainly to fully prepare them for the field audit that was happening in two weeks. Knowing the audit process well and reading the request from IRS, I was able to work with them on preparation for the field meeting in having all documentation prepared and being ready for any form of questions the auditors would bring. On the day of the audit, I was onsite representing the team and audit went very well."

4.

Here at Nixon Peabody, we often have to work with very difficult clients. What would be your steps toward effectively working with a difficult client?

Clients going through the legal process can often be at their worst and for this question, your interviewer is looking to see how you specifically deal with clients that are difficult. Rather than focusing your answer on the details of the client in your example, highlight your techniques and qualities that make you effective in working with and handling difficult clients. Stress the importance of putting clients in this situation at ease to be able to move forward in a seamless working relationship.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Throughout my career to this point, I've worked with many clients that were experiencing a very difficult time and this has often translated into them being angry or sad. In these times, my ability to keep a level head and to be able to empathize with them is key to helping them get more centered in the moment. I hear them out and reflect back their feelings to show them that I care about their situation and understand what they are going through. When this sinks in with them, they are able to move forward from their feelings and start talking about the fine details of their situation."

Ryan's Answer #2

"With clients that are feeling stressed and angry about their situation, it is important for me to be as respectful and educational as possible and my tactic for doing this is to keep them focused on the future and moving forward rather than reflecting on their unfortunate situation the brings them to me. I always focus on their options moving forward and how I will work with them to achieve the best results possible and this always helps shift their focus to moving forward. This is vital to resetting their focus and changing their attitude towards hope rather than anger."

5.

What do you feel is the most important skill that you possess that makes you effective in the litigation/arbitration process?

This is a twofold question where your interviewer is allowing you to talk about what you feel your best skills is as a litigator and/or arbitrator as well as letting you talk about what you feel is the most important quality of someone who is successful at trial or arbitration. Speak to your top strength and prove that it is vital to your success by using a specific example of a time that you've put it to use on the job.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Really my number one reason for pursuing a career in law has turned out to be what has made me the most successful I could be in my career and that is my verbal communication skills. In the courtroom setting, my persuasive skills come from a concise and logical place and this sits well with judges and juries alike. My communications skills extend to an innate ability to listen attentively and be witty enough to ask great follow up questions during cross examination."

Ryan's Answer #2

"If I am lucky enough to be hired here at Nixon Peabody, you'll quickly find that my attention to detail makes me stand out from any other paralegal you have had on staff here. During the pre-trial process, I spend the extra time to dig for information that can help my firm win their case and any of the attorneys that I've worked alongside during my career would be willing to tell you that as well. Last year, I was researching a case and my close inspection of police reports noticed a blatant error made by officers during the arrest of a client. This was enough to have all charges dropped and put a big win on the books for our firm."

6.

Employment law often involves deep human emotion when bonds are supposedly broken between employee and employer. How do you separate your personal feelings and emotions when involved with a case?

This question gets to the root of your ability to keep your own personal feelings and biases out of your work while working to the letter of the law in what is best for your clients. In the practice of employment law, you have been involved with cases that have involved potential injustice to the rights of workers and/or employers and you need to stress your ability to keep your own thoughts and feelings separate from your work. The best way to do so is through an example or two of a case that you worked on.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Recently, I was consulting a large employer that was moving forward with a mass layoff and part of my role was to ensure that the organization was selecting the right employees to layoff based on performance records. I spent many days reviewing performance reviews, improvement plans and disciplinary actions and my own personal thought was that the employer was really an organization filled with high performing people. While in my heart I felt for the employees that would soon be out of work, my duty to the organization was to help them take the best action legally and I did just that through a thorough and well documented process. If hired here at Nixon Peabody, I will bring the ability to remain focused on the best interest of your clients at all times."

Ryan's Answer #2

"As part of my pursuit of my law degree, I received great advice to train in emotional intelligence and the training I received has both helped me be able to relate to and recognize the emotions of other and also to recognize and control my own emotions in the legal setting. A couple of years ago, I was representing an employer that was facing a wrongful termination lawsuit. During the discovery period, quite an extensive list of emails that included discriminatory remarks and harassment toward the terminated employee surfaced. I knew that the emails were certainly wrong and made me personally feel horrible for the employee, I was still able to focus on my representation of the organization and proceeding through the case ethically and professionally."

7.

When we look for diligent and effective people to join our real estate law team here at Nixon Peabody, the ability to effectively research legal options and write contracts are vital to our success as a firm. Talk about your ability to excel in these are

With local and state laws being so unique in real estate, the need to effectively learn and research the laws couples with the need to be able to write effective deeds and contracts. To prove your worth to Nixon Peabody, talk about your experience in working in real estate law as it applies to both research and writing and be sure to talk about a specific example where you were able to customize/personalize a deed or contract based on your abilities.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Having practiced in Oregon for the last eight years, I worked with many clients on the local Homestead laws and last year I worked with a family in a unique situation after the father had passed away. Facing some financial trouble from many avenues, I recommended that the family first focus on debts surrounding their property and mortgage as financing on the home and property were not a part of the Homestead exemption. I researched the best way for them to claim the exemption when creditors were coming for their home and the family was really held together in the end by their ability to keep their home and property."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Having worked as a Paralegal on the real estate side for a few years now, I have a wealth of experience in drafting purchase agreements, title documents and mortgage documents. In my current position, I have to work around a great deal of local and state laws and I fully realize that I would have a steep learning curve of local laws here at Nixon Peabody. If hired for this position, my first goal would be to learn local nuances to contracts and other documents so I could be up and running as part of the team as quick as possible."

8.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of work?

While this question can be a pretty standard interview question, the motivation of the interviewer here is two-fold. First, law firms can often operate like a family and life at Nixon Peabody is no different. Your interviewer will be looking to see if you will be a cultural and personal fit with the team so be sure to be open and honest with what personally interests you. Second, having personal interests that tie into the organization is important so be sure to do your research on Nixon Peabody and the job and try to think of hobbies of your that directly relate to them.

Ryan's Answer #1

"My biggest passion when I'm not advocating for clients is being outdoors. My family and I are avid hikers, kayakers and bikers and we spend all of the time we can in the great outdoors. For me personally, being outside really helps me re-energize and prepare for a new day ahead on the job. Other than being outside, another hobby of mine is reading and I've been very entranced lately in historical books about the drafting of the United States Constitution."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Outside of work, my loves in my life are my family and personal fitness. I avidly participate in running and biking events and have recently been training to run my first marathon this upcoming summer. Family interests include athletics for my two sons, who actively participate in baseball, cross country and basketball. We spend many evenings and weekends traveling around the state to watch them and cheer them on and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything in the world."

9.

Do you have any particular areas of wage and hour laws that particularly interest you?

A large firm like Nixon Peabody often prefers staff to sub-specialize to be of best use to clients as subject matter experts. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to gauge your familiarity with the different aspects of wage and hour laws and where you find your abilities are best suited. There are no right or wrong answers for this question as your interviewer will be looking to see what clients you will best be suited in representing if hired for the position.

Ryan's Answer #1

"A majority of cases that I have represented during my career so far have revolved around exemption status laws under the FLSA. I have a great working knowledge of the salary basis tests and duties tests to advise clients to make proper decisions when considering statuses of their positions. With changes in law, like we just had recently regarding the minimum salary level for exemption, I am thoroughly versed in changes when they happen and can take swift action with clients to ensure compliance."

Ryan's Answer #2

"I've always had a particular interest in the child labor laws as I feel the United States is falling faster behind the world when it comes to preparing our future through our youth. I've been an advocate at the federal level for real changes in the surrounding this aspect, but I have also advised and represented organizations in their child labor practices in the food and hospitality industries. I think my experience and passion in this area would be a unique fit for the team here at Nixon Peabody."

10.

Talk about a time that you had to think on your feet on the job. What was the situation and what was your thought process for acting quickly?

Working in the legal field and potentially in the future with Nixon Peabody will require a natural ability to think and act quickly when face with adversity. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear about that you had to do just so. In your answer, paint a clear picture of the situation that you were faced with and describe what it took for you to think and act quickly. In the end, make sure that great results were achieved due to your ability to think on your feet and react in a positive manner.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Last year, I was defending what I thought was a routine DUI case that we had prepared to help my client proceed to trial on. During the arrest, local law enforcement had failed to both read her Miranda Rights to her and also promptly test blood alcohol content. I felt we had a pretty slam dunk case to get the charges dropped. When in questioning though, my client began admitting her guilt and also confessing to being under the influence of other narcotics as well at the time. In a last ditch effort to protect my client, I immediately asked the judge for a delay in proceedings. It was allowed, but only after questioning had finished. At that point, my client read the writing on the wall that she was obviously saying too much and she quieted down from there during questioning. Coming back from break, I proceeded to break down the facts that the county had failed to show proof of intoxication at the time of arrest and the charges were later dropped."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Early in my career as a Paralegal, I had a very upset client come into our office demanding that he speak to his attorney immediately. Being the only person manning the front of the office that day and knowing that his attorney was out of office that day, I calmly asked the client to explain the need for meeting with his attorney and assured him that I would get any messages to the attorney. While the client continued with his questions and concerns in a very heated tone, I reflectively listened and empathized with what they were going through to the point where he eventually calmed down and asked great questions for advice. In the end, I was able to connect the two later that day and likely could've helped diffuse a potentially bad situation with my ability to stay calm and empathetic with the individual."

11.

With our diverse range of clients here at Nixon Peabody, are there any specific areas of intellectual property law that interest you the most?

For this question, be open and honest with your interviewer in talking about where your interests fall within your legal practice. This will better help them assess where and how you will fit with the team and best align you with the right clients if you are hired for the position. Do your research on Nixon Peabody to find out if there are any particular areas that they specialize in and be sure to read the position description in detail when you apply to pick up on any cues for what they may be looking for in this hire and use that knowledge to your advantage.

Ryan's Answer #1

"While I have a broad range of skills as a paralegal in intellectual property, I have loved working with trademarks for some very high profile clients. Being a sports fan, I have helped in the registration process for two major sports teams in their trademarking of their logo."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Since I start practicing law during the advent of the internet age, I became very adept at representing and litigating cases involving illegal distribution of copyrighted materials. My experience has involved me working with musicians and authors on their material being used illegally. My experience in this realm would help me bring unique experiences and expertise to the team here at Nixon Peabody."

12.

To ensure that our clients here at Nixon Peabody are served in the best way possible, our staff must ensure that they are up to speed on all state and federal laws. How do you stay in touch with changes to local, state and federal tax laws?

While your years of education and experience in the field of tax law have prepared to you to work with the clients of Nixon Peabody, your interviewer is looking to hear that you do what is necessary to stay up to date on changes in tax laws. Talk about the ways that you keep yourself educated and up to date in the field and make sure to speak with passion to your interviewer to show a true and genuine interest in your field.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As you can see from my resume, my dedication towards the tax law field immediately following law school when I pursued and attained my Masters in Law in Taxation degree. While this provided a very solid backbone for the start of my career, I am always actively learning more in the field through my pursuit of additional CLE credits and attending tax law seminars on a regular basis. And as any good attorney in this field, being tied at the hip to relevant materials directly from the IRS is always a plus. Being the tax nerd that I am, this comes pretty easy to me for some nighttime reading before bed."

Ryan's Answer #2

"In this industry, staying up to speed on changes in policy and law involved staying connected and doing my research whenever necessary. Involvement and regular discussion with colleagues in this industry helps us all stay informed and helps in ensuring that businesses are able to flourish. I have many great contacts in tax law that I meet with and have discussions with on a very regular basis."

13.

What drew you to an interest in pursuing a career in real estate law? What excites you each day to be successful in this area?

For this question, your interviewer is really looking for your own personal motivation to be successful in your career choice. Be sure to hit on the skills and abilities that you possess that make you successful in real estate law while also reiterating that you are easily motivated each and every day on the job. Both Nixon Peabody and their clients will depend on your ability to do so.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Going to law school as really an open book and looking to find my niche, real estate law was very easy for me to gravitate to because of my ability to be detailed in contracts and agreements while upholding the letter of the law. I also really loved the opportunity to work with very high profile clients on helping their businesses succeed through new land purchases. Still being pretty young in my career, my main motivator are my clients that I represent and they are truly the only need I have to be motivated for success in my work."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Growing up, I watched my mother thrive as a real estate agent in my hometown and she motivated me to pursue a license to sell property while attending school for my undergraduate degree. As I sold some homes and realized my knack in the field, may passion for large scale transactions was really my main motivator to pursue a law degree and eventually practice in real estate law. To this day, nothing excites me more than working with a client on a successful transaction."

14.

If hired here at Nixon Peabody, how would you best build trusting relationships with our clients?

The law firm/client relationship is built upon trust and your interviewer at Nixon Peabody knows how important building trusting relationships is to the success of both the firm and the client. For you, it is important to understand and demonstrate that a trusting relationship helps open lines of communication and increases cooperation of the client in helping build cases. Talk about your own personal attributes and how they help foster and build trust with the clients you would be working with and reiterate to your interviewer why you believe trust is such an important factor in the relationships you will have with clients.

Ryan's Answer #1

"For clients that I personally work with, a trustful relationship is the number one priority for me to show my clients that I care about them and that I am invested in the best possible outcome for them. To help build trust from the start, communication is key. I actively listen to them and show respect for their thoughts and opinions. If I disagree with them on anything, I do so professionally and tactfully while educating them on my thoughts. From there, I am quick with my decision making and setting of goals with clients and this greatly helps them trust me and us moving forward as a team."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Having worked as a Paralegal in a large firm, I've always tried to put a personal touch on my work with clients by showing them they are a top priority for me. I keep very detailed files on clients and have the ability to talk to them about their personal cases. As well, I stay in continuous communication with my clients and help set expectations for them regarding what they can anticipate from me and their attorney. All of these things are vital to my clients placing their trust in me and my firm and I'd look to bring these qualities to the team here at Nixon Peabody."

15.

Where do you feel you could use some improvement in the litigation/arbitration process at this point in your career?

While this may seem like the age old question of pointing out your biggest weakness, it is important for you to see this question as more of an opportunity to point out where you may have some inexperience or deficiencies. This gives you the ability to talk about personal growth in your career and what you have done or would like to do to grow professionally in this area.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Having come out of law school and began in a high stress, high case load environment for the past six years, I haven't been able to really hone in on and craft my time management skills to the point I would like to. I most often relied on our paralegals and office secretary to keep me organized when things were busy. Coming to this role with Nixon Peabody, I would look to learn from others about their best methods for time management without relying on the assistance of others."

Ryan's Answer #2

"As you can see from my experience on my resume, a majority of my litigation experience has come in the area of labor laws, work comp and FMLA. Now, I am at a point in my career where I'd love to branch out and hone my skills in other areas that interest me and I believe that opportunity exists for me here at Nixon Peabody. In talking with some of your colleagues here, I'd love to take on and be a part of cases that involve the environment and energy."

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27 Nixon Peabody Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. Here at Nixon Peabody, carefully analyzing the cases of our clients is of utmost importance. What analytical skills would you bring to the team here?
  2. Who is your hero/heroine?
  3. Have you been involved in a corporate tax audit before? What did you learn from that experience?
  4. Here at Nixon Peabody, we often have to work with very difficult clients. What would be your steps toward effectively working with a difficult client?
  5. What do you feel is the most important skill that you possess that makes you effective in the litigation/arbitration process?
  6. Employment law often involves deep human emotion when bonds are supposedly broken between employee and employer. How do you separate your personal feelings and emotions when involved with a case?
  7. When we look for diligent and effective people to join our real estate law team here at Nixon Peabody, the ability to effectively research legal options and write contracts are vital to our success as a firm. Talk about your ability to excel in these are
  8. What are your interests and hobbies outside of work?
  9. Do you have any particular areas of wage and hour laws that particularly interest you?
  10. Talk about a time that you had to think on your feet on the job. What was the situation and what was your thought process for acting quickly?
  11. With our diverse range of clients here at Nixon Peabody, are there any specific areas of intellectual property law that interest you the most?
  12. To ensure that our clients here at Nixon Peabody are served in the best way possible, our staff must ensure that they are up to speed on all state and federal laws. How do you stay in touch with changes to local, state and federal tax laws?
  13. What drew you to an interest in pursuing a career in real estate law? What excites you each day to be successful in this area?
  14. If hired here at Nixon Peabody, how would you best build trusting relationships with our clients?
  15. Where do you feel you could use some improvement in the litigation/arbitration process at this point in your career?
  16. What Supreme Court ruling have you disagreed with and why?
  17. We value diversity at Nixon Peabody. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
  18. What are some of the key components that you would advise clients here at Nixon Peabody to include in their employee handbook?
  19. Customer service is our top priority at Nixon Peabody. What is your customer service philosophy?
  20. What experience do you have in working with large scale construction companies on state and federal regulations? Would this be an area that would interest you?
  21. Some of our business here at Nixon Peabody is representing companies in collective bargaining agreements. What experience in the collective bargaining process would you bring to the team here?
  22. One common legal aspect that we work closely on with clients here at Nixon Peabody is zoning for large scale construction and/or purchases. What experience do you have in working with local zoning laws?
  23. What do you feel are the key qualities that a great attorney should have?
  24. Talk about the most difficult work situation you have found yourself in and explain how you used sound judgement to find a great outcome?
  25. To better help serve our diverse client base here at Nixon Peabody, do you have an area of sub-specialization that you would prefer to focus on if hired?
  26. What do you consider to be the most difficult case or project you have worked on during your career?
  27. Working with clients here at Nixon Peabody entails the need for strong finance and accounting principles. Why is this important and what will you bring to the team here in this realm if hired?
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