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Reed Smith LLP Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published June 27th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
Do you have any particular areas of wage and hour laws that particularly interest you?
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How to Answer
A large firm like Reed Smith LLP 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.
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Top 25 Reed Smith LLP Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Do you have any particular areas of wage and hour laws that particularly interest you?
A large firm like Reed Smith LLP 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 Reed Smith LLP."
2.
What in particular about our firm here at Reed Smith LLP interests you both personally and professionally?
Reed Smith LLP and your interviewer are looking to find the perfect match for the position that you are interviewing for and to do this, they are looking to hear firsthand what truly interests you in the firm. Be sure to do your research on Reed Smith LLP and be able to speak about an aspect or two that appeals to you both personally and professionally. Putting a personal touch on your answer will help your interviewer understand that you will be invested into your job and be more likely to stay for the long haul versus your competition for the position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I've been searching for the right firm to join, the one aspect about Reed Smith LLP that really appeals to me is your international exposure and client base. My background and strong Spanish speaking skills could be a great asset to your firm and my desire to practice in international tax and corporate law would fit very well with what you are looking for."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In all honesty, this position is the only one that would pull me away from my current practice and that drawing factor that you have here at Reed Smith LLP is your reputation. The class, dignity and knowledge that are present among the staff here is world class and definitely a practice that I would take great pride in being a part of."
3.
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?
Regulatory law firms are often called upon to represent large construction companies to ensure that all federal, state and local regulations are being met throughout a project. These companies can range from home building contractors to road construction companies. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear what type of experience you have in the broad area of working with construction outfits. If you don't have direct experience in this area, be sure to talk about some areas of construction regulations that you may have experience in. Example of this could be alternative dispute resolution, OSHA, building codes or insurance.

Ryan's Answer #1
"With my current firm, we represent a couple of large construction companies and my role as a paralegal has me drafting payment agreements, contracts and completing applications for building permits and zoning. If hired for this position, I would be able to hit the ground running as I have familiarity with regulations in the state of New Jersey ."
Ryan's Answer #2
"This area definitely does interest me as I have had a lot of success in both settling cases both outside litigation and with litigation. Last year, I represented a commercial builder in a construction defect lawsuit that went to trial. The work of myself and my firm helped save the builder a large amount of money in a potential lawsuit based strictly on how the contract was written. Seeing it hold up at trial was very satisfying to me professionally."
4.
To be successful here at Reed Smith 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 Reed Smith LLP to best represent their clients.

Ryan's Answer #1
"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 Reed Smith LLP."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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 Reed Smith LLP, I've developed and honed my skills to take on bigger clients in their pursuits and am ready for the challenge here."
5.
Here at Reed Smith LLP, 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 Reed Smith LLP 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 Reed Smith LLP, 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."
6.
Have you been involved in a corporate tax audit before? What did you learn from that experience?
Reed Smith LLP 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."
7.
We value accountability at Reed Smith LLP. If a customer sent a formal complaint about an interaction with you, how would you handle it?
Assure the interviewer that you are a person of integrity who will take responsibility for any shortcomings in the workplace. At Reed Smith LLP, accountability is an essential aspect of providing great service to their clients, so your interviewer will be looking to hear that you take being accountable seriously. Briefly explain to the interviewer that you will handle Reed Smith LLP clients with great care, even when things aren't going perfectly.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I understand that Reed Smith LLP has put a lot of work into building these long-term client relationships. If one of your clients complained about my communication with them, I would take full responsibility for my actions and issue an apology. I would also be open to feedback to avoid future incidences. Rest assured, in my 15 years of employment, I have not had any clients complain to my employer about my work ethic or delivery of service."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Constructive feedback is difficult to swallow at times, but it's helpful for me to remember that everyone receives constructive feedback from time to time. Feedback like this is the most important to me when it comes directly from clients, because they are my number one responsibility at all times in my work. As I look back on my career, I can say that I am where I am at today in my successes because I have the ability to learn from my mistakes and shortcomings and take that information forward to improve as an attorney."
8.
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 Reed Smith LLP 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."
9.
What are some of the key components that you would advise clients here at Reed Smith LLP to include in their employee handbook?
Employment law requires some working knowledge of the ins and outs of a functional employee handbook and your potential role at Reed Smith LLP may find you advising clients on edits to their handbook or creating a new one. For your answer, speak to the legal aspects of what should to be included in an employee handbook to help protect employers from legal action against their employees.

Ryan's Answer #1
"While federal law doesn't require employers to have a formalized handbook for their employees, I will always advise clients to create a handbook for existing staff and new hires that is available in both hard copy and electronic versions for easy access. The first key area I will focus on is a section for local, state and federal fair labor laws and this section of the handbook also includes collective bargaining agreements, when applicable. The next sections, often the most important to protect against legal action down the road, include things like at-will employment clause, FMLA, EEO, drug free workplace policy and time and attendance policies. Throughout my career, I've helped many employers create new and highly functional handbooks and consider myself a great resource in this area."
Ryan's Answer #2
"While the standard legal issues surrounding attendance, leaves of absence and benefits are fairly standard in today's age, my inspection of existing handbooks really tries to nail down overly broad statements that can cause legal issues for organizations. A great example of this was with a client a couple of years ago that had a policy prohibiting photos or videos being taken by employees during their work hours. Their broadly painted policy in the handbook didn't get to the root cause of the issue: no cameras or video recording devices were allowed on premise. I helped them rewrite the policy to include this language and also added additional language on prohibited phone usage during work."
10.
What would make you a great trial advocate if you were to join the team here at Reed Smith LLP?
The decision to work for Reed Smith LLP will put you in the middle of a team of very experienced and dedicated individuals who strive to succeed when cases go to trial. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear what your key qualities, traits and/or experiences are that will make you key player on their team for their clients. This question gives you the opportunity to talk yourself and your abilities up a bit, so be sure to prepare to speak about what sets you apart from your competition for this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Looking back on my career up to this point, I can honestly say that a a great deal of my success in working with clients and winning cases has stemmed from my interpersonal skills. I have a charming and likable demeanor when I am speaking in front of people and this plays very well with jurors. I also have the ability to analyze the body language and tone of people when I am cross examining to be able to ask the right questions that pull as much information as possible. When in front of the judge and jury, I feel right at home and I won't hesitate to send you footage from some high profile cases that I have worked if you would like."
Ryan's Answer #2
"If hired to join the team here at Reed Smith LLP, my experience preparing subpoenas and evaluating jurors would prove to be vital to your attorneys. I would bring superior organization skills and analytical skills to your cases going to trial and you can rest assured knowing that I can be tasked with any duties surrounding cases with little oversight."
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