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Traditionally the Am Law 100 and 200 law firms would all arrive on the doorsteps of law schools each summer to interview their best and brightest to be summer associates for the following summer. Success during these 20-minute screener interviews on campus meant a full callback interview at the firm. The callback interviews usually consisted of two partners and two associates in succession and then a meal or something more social—totaling anywhere from two to six hours. The end result of this process was a golden ticket to join an Am Law firm. However, the process was onerous for both interviewer and interviewee alike.

The pandemic has squelched the traditional process of the on-campus interview (OCI). Last summer, firms were not in any position to think about summer hiring. Each firm was concerned with their pandemic business plan and their retention of the talent they already had on board. Most firms passed on the traditional summer interviews and focused on trying to figure out their pandemic work situations. Then during the late fall, some firms did some “pre-cruiting,” doing screening interviews with students that wrote in directly or students from underrepresented groups. The firms then earnestly started a more regular recruiting process in late January and early February. The only catch is that this “regular” recruiting was all virtual.

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