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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 26

Do you have any experience in working with tenancy and leasing laws?

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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Do you have any experience in working with tenancy and leasing laws?

      Whether commercial or residential, many property owners look to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP to help draft lease agreements and your interviewer will be looking to hear firsthand about the experience you have in this realm of the law. Talk to your interviewer about the importance of factoring in local and state laws in all lease agreements and speak to your experience in representing clients in this area.

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my time working for XYZ Law Firm in Dallas, I helped draft lease agreements for large scale property ownership groups that were leasing residential apartments and condos in the city. As the paralegal representing the real estate team, it was my job to know and include Texas' legal obligation of landlords to return security deposits within 30 days of lease termination. I also worked directly with clients on some of the fine details of the agreement that included due dates for rent, procedures for requesting maintenance and pet policies."

      Ryan's Answer

      "A significant part of my practice while in Colorado was working with commercial developers who were leasing both office and retail space in the heavily growing areas of the state. In drafting commercial lease agreements, I became very well versed in working with local zoning laws to include minute details in the agreements that obeyed local law to protect my clients. A great example of this was including details of number of parking spots designated under each lease and business hours permitted by local law."

  2. 2.

    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

      "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

      "If I am lucky enough to be hired here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, 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."

  3. 3.

    Tell me why you are the right fit for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, and this position.

      A successful hire needs to feel like the right fit by both parties. Express to the interviewer that you think this position is a stable fit for your experience and your career goals. To do this, thoroughly research the firm and the position you are applying for and talk about how the role matches exactly what you are looking for. Put yourself in your interviewers shoes for a moment by realizing that they are looking for a long-term fit for the job. It is now on your to demonstrate why you are that long-term fit.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I feel that I am the right fit for this company because, from what you have described and what I have researched, my personality, skills, and drive are what you are looking for. The challenges that come with this position are all challenges that I welcome and frankly have been looking for in my caree. I am confident that this is the right fit for both of us."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am great at what I do, motivated, and I am an avid lover of practicing law in the employment and labor field. As I've progressed throughout my career, my knack in the field has always been union labor disputes. From what I understand about this role, that would entail a majority of the clients that I work with. I've reached a point in my career that I'm ready for this focus and I'll join Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP extremely motivated to help in the success of the clients here."

  4. 4.

    Talk about the most difficult work situation you have found yourself in and explain how you used sound judgement to find a great outcome?

      During your training and through your career up to this point, you have certainly faced some difficult situations that you could easily discuss with your interviewer. But your interviewer isn't so much interested in the situation here as they are in your ability to think on your feet and use your best personal judgement to make the situation better. In the example you give, be sure to prepare for a time where you can exemplify this ability with success.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Early in my career as a litigator for a large firm that handled criminal defense cases, I was slammed with a very large caseload almost always. In the months leading up to the Christmas period, I had three high profile trials that were all progressing to dates that would fall very near each other. After motioning to have some of the cases moved around with no leniency from the court, I had to think fast and work ahead as much as possible to ensure that all three cases were handled to the best of my ability. When crunch time came, I approached a colleague and their paralegal for all of the help I could get and they willingly obliged. With all three cases heading to trial without a hitch, I was very thankful for my resourcefulness and made sure to pay the favor back to my colleague the next time he needed it!"

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my time arbitrating employment disputes for the state of California and mostly handling unemployment cases, I encountered one particularly difficult situation where things got physical in the conference room of the county workforce resource center. My cases mostly involved disputes when companies would fight the payment of unemployment benefits based on malfeasance of the employee. During one particular case, a tow truck company was disputing a claim by a terminated employee and during arbitration, the supervisor from the company accused the terminated employee of harassing other employees and creating a fearful work environment. With that said, the terminated employee reached over the table and grabbed the supervisor by the collar of his shirt and started swinging. Being a female that is small in stature, my first instinct was to run and grab a member of the building's security team and they reacted quickly. When matters had settled, I immediately postponed the hearing and warned both parties that security would be present in a week when we met again. A final warning to the terminated employee was to let him know that charges would be pressed if any outbursts should occur the next time."

  5. 5.

    Talk about a creative way that you helped ease the tax burden for a business during your career. How did you help put this process into place?

      Modern corporate tax law allows organizations a lot of personal freedom to change the ways they do business to help lessen their taxes on a year to year basis. Your role with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP could potentially entail you working with clients to find creative solutions to their tax issues and to get a better sense of how you would do this, your interviewer is looking to judge off of a prior example from your career. If you are new to the field or young in your career, it is okay to speak from the hypothetical 'what you would do' scenario.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my time working in private practice, a majority of my clients were running and operating small businesses and this client base was very vulnerable to heavy tax burdens. But fortunately, they were also open to the most lenient ways to be creative with their finances and process to help ease their tax burden. With a client a couple of years ago, I helped evaluate their situation of hiring seasonal employees and employees full-time that were laid off at certain times of the year. In the evaluation, it proved to be extremely more cost-effective to hire most employees as contractors to help lessen costs like Social Security and Medicare taxes while also making sense from their business perspective as well. I helped this client set up all necessary paperwork and processes for hiring contracted help moving forward in the future."

      Ryan's Answer

      "With a large corporate client last year, I helped lead the educational side of training their finance staff to find deductions for depreciation of their equipment. Being a large manufacturer with a great deal of investment in capital equipment, they were missing out on this key loophole to corporate tax law and my education and insight helped them see a huge tax savings for that year."

  6. 6.

    With our diverse range of clients here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, 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 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 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

      "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

      "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 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP."

  7. 7.

    Working with clients here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 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?

      In the legal field surrounding tax law, attorneys work side by side with accounting and finance departments to ensure that laws and regulations are adhered to from the company's perspective. Because of this, representatives from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP must have working knowledge of finance and accounting departments and their principles to be as successful as possible. Talk about the importance of speaking knowledgeably about these principles and pull from your experience and education to explain why you'll be able to do this.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, my pursuit of this profession involved a dual law degree and CPA education and this path has been vital to my success thus far in my career. The CPA side of my practice has been vital in helping clients develop new processes and techniques for changes in legal processes, making me a two headed ally for them as their legal representation in tax law."

      Ryan's Answer

      "My inspiration for pursuing a career in tax law really stemmed from my early days post-bachelor degree in the business world. There, I was exposed to the finance side of a large retail business where I learned many things. When the time came to apply and get accepted into law school, the solid job prospects and exciting work made this career a no-brainer for me. If fortunate enough to come work for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, you will quickly find that my business experience and acumen will make me a key player on the team here."

  8. 8.

    Some of our business here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is representing companies in collective bargaining agreements. What experience in the collective bargaining process would you bring to the team here?

      Unionization throughout many industries has brought forth the need for employment attorneys to assist in representing organization's at the bargaining table. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear what experience you have in this realm so be prepared to talk in detail about the important and necessary aspects for helping the organization you are representing to meet all of their business objectives during the negotiation. Talk about the importance of communication and fact finding in your answer to demonstrate that you will bring those qualities to the organizations that you will represent.

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my years of practice out in California, I represented employers at the negotiating table with large unions like the SEIU and UNITE. Through any negotiation, my first order of business with my clients was to sit down with management to discuss goals and then to draft proposals to the union that met all of the goals of the organization. Ahead of negotiation, we made a plan for prioritizing the goals in the case any concessions were necessary to gain ground elsewhere. Having this plan always helped in coming to a winning deal for the organization that the union was also happy with. During bargaining, you'll find that I am a forthright and demonstrative communicator with business leaders and clients that I would be representing."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Choosing to specialize in the realm of employment law came because of my passion for the collective bargaining process, to help find win-win situations for both employers and employees. As we've discussed, I have experience representing both the union side and company side of negotiations and this has provided me a very well-rounded experience. In particular, I am a unique fit for this job because of the work that I've done with a large union group like the United Automobile Workers. Seeing the perspective and tactics of a large group like them has positioned me to better suit employers moving forward and I would look forward to that opportunity here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP."

  9. 9.

    Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue?

      A genuinely creative minded person will have outside activities aside from what's happening in the workplace. Tell the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you express your creativity outside of the workplace. Be sure to think of your answer ahead of time to really display to your interviewer that your hobbies and interests outside of work allow you to be creative while also putting you in a calm and relaxed state of mind while on your downtime.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Outside of work I like to attend dance classes and I also attend the odd paint and sip wine nights at a local wine shop. I also enjoy reading as a way of nurturing my creative side. By remaining active in these types of things in my free time, I find that I sleep better at night, am less stressed and able to come to work each day with a clean slate."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I think it's important to exercise creativity in a variety of ways. To stimulate both my mind and my body, I teach exercise classes for seniors at one of the local health clubs. While keeping me healthy and in shape, I also get the satisfaction of helping senior citizens in the community with hopefully prolonging their life for their loved ones."

  10. 10.

    To be successful here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, we want to ensure that you are motivated each and every day on the job with our clients. What drew you to working with patent and trademark law?

      At the heart of this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear what your personal motivation was to pursue a legal career working with patents, trademarks, copyrights and/or trade dress. Whether your drive stemmed from a background and passion in science or the firm belief in artists/inventors/creators owning their own work, be sure to speak passionately about your pursuit of work in this field and leave your interviewer convinced that you are ready to come to work everyday at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP to best represent their clients.

      Ryan's Answer

      "While I always knew that law school was in my future from the start of high school, I always had a passion for the sciences like chemistry and physics. This naturally led to a legal career in intellectual property. Out of law school, I had the chance to represent one of the large electronics manufacturers here in the United States and helped them patent many great technologies that have shaped the future of entertainment as we know it today. I would look forward to bringing this same skill and motivation to your clients here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am a firm believer that a person needs to be invested in their work and passionate about their work and I know I have found that in working in intellectual property law. Growing up, my parents were artists and since I've been working in the small boutique firm setting, I've been able to work closely with artists, musicians and filmmakers in their pursuit of copyrights and trademarks. As I look to move on to a place like Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, I've developed and honed my skills to take on bigger clients in their pursuits and am ready for the challenge here."

  11. 11.

    When we look for diligent and effective people to join our real estate law team here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, the ability to effectively research legal options and write contracts are vital to our success as a firm. Talk about your ability

      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 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, 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

      "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

      "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 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. 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."

  12. 12.

    What was your motivation for pursuing a career in the field of law/legal services?

      As your experience and education were reviewed and desired by the hiring manager for the position you are interviewing for, this question is giving them the chance to really hear about your own personal motivators for your career in law. This is an opportunity for you to show what has driven you up to this point in your career and what will continue to drive you to help bring success to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Be open and honest with your interviewer as you give them insight into your own personal motivating factors.

      Ryan's Answer

      "My venture into a career as a lawyer stemmed from my passion for helping people meeting with my desire to be intellectually challenged throughout my career. I love the fact that I've had to stay on my toes throughout my career to this point to learn and be up to date on changes in laws as they relate to my clients. I am a lifelong learner in this field and I always look forward to new educational opportunities for myself in this field. Along with this, I absolutely love working with clients and their legal rights. I am a client first advocate in the legal profession and my work is ultimately for them."

      Ryan's Answer

      "My passion for the field of law stemmed my pursuit of a degree as a Paralegal. My aunt is a very successful trial attorney and she was definitely a role model for me during my teenage years. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to shadow her for a two day period for a report my sophomore year of high school and the drive to be in this field was ingrained at that point. Having worked as a Paralegal for five years now, I have a desire to pursue a Juris Doctorate degree and am slowly preparing for the LSAT's now."

  13. 13.

    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

      "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 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, I will bring the ability to remain focused on the best interest of your clients at all times."

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

  14. 14.

    Talk about a recent time on the job you were working under pressure or stress. How did you cope with that situation and ensure everything was handled smoothly?

      In the legal field, working under pressure should come naturally to you. Working with multiple clients on multiple cases under tight deadlines is something you've likely faced many time throughout your career to this point, so be sure to talk about a recent time that you handled with ease. Highlight the little things that you do that ensure each client and case is handled to the best of your ability and don't hesitate to point out to your interviewer that you will be able to handle situations like this when faced with them while working for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of months ago, a colleague went out on maternity leave and we all had to work together at my firm to pick up the slack for our clients. While handling a full work load myself, the ability to handle everything with ease started with my ability to maintain self control and handle tasks one by one. Keeping a running to do list is important for me and I have the ability to prioritize and even delegate when needed and those abilities were key during this time. In the end when my colleague came back, I received some letters from clients that were very pleased with my service and a colleague that was extremely happy for the help provided."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Recently, my job had a huge influx of new clients when we added a new attorney to our practice. Without adding another body as a Paralegal, I took the extra work on with my head up and a smile on my face. The key for me was to keep a level head and remain as organized as possible to ensure that key tasks weren't missed. My organization starts with a running tasks list and updated calendar in Microsoft Outlook. This is a vital tool to help me during times of stress and certainly helped me during this time. Once the heavy work load fizzled, two of the partners at my firm surprised me with a lunch to thank me for my help."

  15. 15.

    If hired here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, how would you best build trusting relationships with our clients?

      The law firm/client relationship is built upon trust and your interviewer at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 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

      "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

      "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 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP."

  16. 16.

    Who is your hero/heroine?

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  17. 17.

    At Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, employee satisfaction is very important. To ensure that you would be happy here, what brings you satisfaction in your day to day work?

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  18. 18.

    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?

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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

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

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  21. 21.

    What would make you a great trial advocate if you were to join the team here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP?

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  22. 22.

    Here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, we often have to work with very difficult clients. What would be your steps toward effectively working with a difficult client?

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

    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?

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  25. 25.

    One common legal aspect that we work closely on with clients here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is zoning for large scale construction and/or purchases. What experience do you have in working with local zoning laws?

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  26. 26.

    To ensure that our clients here at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 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 ta

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