Student perspectives on Early Interview Week

Student speaking with company representative

Early Interview Week (EIW), a three-day annual event organized by NYU Law’s Office of Career Services (OCS), brings hundreds of NYU Law students to a midtown Manhattan hotel every August for multiple 20-minute interviews with attorneys from top law firms and select federal agencies. This month, 367 2Ls and 3Ls engaged in 7,636 interviews with 371 employers. While the event can be an intense experience—2Ls have an average of 22 interviews each—it allows students to connect with a large pool of potential employers as they seek a summer associate position that’s the right match for both parties.

We spoke with four students who attended EIW in 2018 to hear how the process worked for them. Eric Brannock ’20 had praise for EIW’s scope. “I was really impressed with what NYU had put together in terms of a program over the course of three days,” he said. “Honestly, I can’t imagine a better process for doing hiring.”

Haley Patterson ’20 mentioned the individualized assistance available from OCS, especially from Associate Dean for Career Services Irene Dorzback and Director for Marketing and Recruitment Wendy Siegel. “I asked Wendy and Irene questions about how to phrase turning down a callback or offer and other difficult correspondence, and they responded with incredibly helpful advice every time,” Patterson said. She added, “I am confident they will be helpful at any point in my career if I ask. Also, they are just really wonderful people who I enjoyed speaking with and getting to know through this process.”

When it came to sizing up firms, apart from the obvious question of how a firm’s specialties align with an interviewee’s interests, students stressed the importance of feeling comfortable with their future co-workers and working environment. For Cansu Colakoglu ’20, a firm’s attention to diversity and inclusion was a key factor. Of the firm he choose, Matthew Wollin ’20 explained, “It was the place where I connected most with the people, and I felt the biggest click with the culture there.” Patterson, who accepted a position at Goodwin Procter’s Silicon Valley office, said, “There were many great people at every firm, but I felt at ease when I interviewed with Goodwin attorneys—as though they were real people I was simply having a conversation with.”


Eric Brannock portrait
Eric Brannock '20

Eric Brannock ’20

Summer firm: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (New York office)

Number of interviews: 24 

Advice for EIW participants: “Have an answer to the question ‘Why do you want to work here?’… To answer that question requires a bit of research about the firm and a bit of your background and explaining why you think you would be a good fit for them.”


Cansu Colakoglu portrait
Cansu Colakoglu ’20

Cansu Colakoglu ’20

Summer firm: Morrison & Foerster (San Francisco office)

Number of interviews: 27 

Advice for EIW participants: To prepare for interviews, Colakoglu drafted several lists, including a list of general answers for potential questions from interviewers as well as lists of both the general and the firm-specific questions she wanted to ask.


Haley Patterson portrait
Haley Patterson ’20

Haley Patterson ’20

Summer firm: Goodwin Procter (Redwood City, California, office)

Number of interviews: 19 

Advice for EIW participants: “Research each firm and interviewer. Create a schedule of some form to keep track of your interviews and interviewers. Print extra copies of your résumé and transcript. Plan your outfits before the day of EIW. Pack a bag with everything neatly organized, including water, a Tide to Go pen, non-crumbly snacks, and perhaps an extra shirt. Most of all, do not stress out! You will do great, and EIW will fly by.”


Matthew Wollin portrait
Matthew Wollin ’20

Matthew Wollin ’20

Summer firm: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (New York office)

Number of interviews: 17

Advice for EIW participants: “[Interviewers] want to make a connection. They want you to be a person and show that you are competent and can work in a workplace and get along with people. Just make sure you’re actually talking to the person you’re in front of, rather than giving a polished two-minute paragraph.” Wollin added a note about callbacks: “Schedule the ones early that you’re most interested in, because then if you get the offer, you can cancel everything else.”

Posted August 20, 2019