33 Law Firm Interview Questions and How To Answer Them
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated June 23, 2022 | Published April 3, 2020
Updated June 23, 2022
Published April 3, 2020
A person sits before three individuals during a panel interview.
At law firms, firm partners ask questions to gauge your knowledge of the specific field, understand how you balance your caseload and learn about your process for interacting with clients. It's important to know what kinds of questions to expect so you can prepare your answers for an interview with a law firm. When you deliver detailed answers to partner questions, you can leave a lasting impression and increase your chances of getting a job offer from the law firm.
In this article, we will provide example questions and answers that hiring partners at a law firm may ask you during a job interview, plus we explore some interview tips to help you impress at your next law firm interview.
These questions help a hiring partner get to know you a little more by understanding your passions, interests and how you may fit into the firm's culture:
What are your biggest strengths?
How do you handle feedback?
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
How do you handle stressful work situations?
What is your biggest weakness and how are you working on improving it?
Why do you want to work at this law firm?
Where would you like to be career-wise five years from now?
How do you prioritize your work?
What made you pursue a career in the legal field?
Questions about experience and background
These questions help an interviewer understand how your education and previous experience translate to the role:
What was your favorite course in law school and why?
Tell me about a case you were lead on that substantially broadened your knowledge of the legal field.
Which extracurricular groups were you involved in during law school?
Tell me about your law school internship or externship.
Describe a complex case you were in charge of.
How would you work with a difficult client or court member?
Why do you think it's important to be detail-oriented as an attorney?
Describe a court case that didn't go your way. What lessons did you learn from it?
Describe any legal papers you've written.
Read more: Learn About Being a General Counsel
An interviewer may ask these questions to get to know how you build a relationship with clients and navigate court issues. These questions also give you a chance to explain your processes and display the parts of your personality that make you the right candidate for the role.
How do you build trust with a client?
How would you keep clients informed about the status of their cases?
Describe how you would approach a client who is unhappy with a judge's ruling.
What resources do you use when writing your complaint or defense on behalf of your client?
How do you hope to serve your clients and the community?
What would you do if you had to take on a case that went against your values?
How can the legal system improve to make sure all people get a fair trial?
How do you manage your caseload?
Which area of law is the most interesting to you and why?
Sample interview questions and answers
Review these sample interview questions and answers to form your own responses:
1. Why do you want to practice law?
This question allows you to talk about what attracted you to the legal field. Your answer to this question can position you as the best person for the role and can provide the hiring partner with a glimpse of the knowledge and experience you can bring to the job. Employers want to hear how important this field is for you, so show your genuine interest in law when providing an answer.
Example: "I want to practice law because I'm passionate about bringing justice to clients and upholding the law of our country. I believe it's important to be fair and unbiased, and I'd like to help someone experience that in their case. Being an attorney is more than filing paperwork with the court—it's a chance to represent someone who needs help."
Related: Q&A: Titles for Attorneys
2. What are your strengths as a lawyer?
Employers want to know your strengths so they can see how you could work with their current team. Since your strengths are unique, you can use your response to stand out from other candidates. Answer this question by relating your strengths to the job you're applying for and the tasks you expect to be responsible for. Use the STAR technique to give a specific example of your strengths.
Example: "One of my biggest strengths is perseverance. I once represented a client who filed a suit against their employer for failing to pay for injuries they sustained while on the job. It was a difficult case to gather evidence since no employees claimed to witness the accident and there was no video footage. After performing some in-depth research and interviewing several employees, I was able to find out that there was a delivery driver present who corroborated my client's story. Thankfully, we were able to settle quickly after that."
3. What do you want your clients to know about you?
This question helps a hiring partner understand more about your client relations. Think about how you want a client to feel after an interaction with you in the office or courtroom. Consider what attributes you have and how you work that makes a client happy to have you represent them. Employers want to make sure that you treat clients well and represent their law firm in a positive light.
Example: "I want my clients to know that I'll work hard in their case because they matter to me. I care a lot about their personal outcome and do my due diligence in researching their issue to offer solutions, file the appropriate paperwork and represent them in disputes. My clients should know that I am their advocate, and they can be honest with me about their situation and take comfort in the fact that I'm providing a safe space for them."
4. Describe your approach in the courtroom.
How you perform in the courtroom can be the determining factor in winning your case. Answering this question is your chance to share how you interact with members of the court, present your case and represent your client. Give a detailed, step-by-step answer that shows exactly how you prepare and work in a courtroom.
Example: "Either the night before or the morning of a case, I study all of my notes so I'm fully prepared for the trial. I make sure any witnesses or evidence I need to present are confirmed. I usually take an aggressive stance during proceedings so my client gets fair representation. When the opposing side is presenting, I take thorough notes so I can counter effectively."
Law firm interview tips
Here are some interview tips to consider so you can present yourself well to the hiring partner:
Familiarize yourself with recent court rulings
The law firm's hiring partners may ask you questions about recent court rulings to make sure you have up-to-date knowledge in your field. Be prepared to discuss them and your thoughts as this shows your potential new employer that you take your career seriously.
Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview
Research the law firm
Especially if the law firm is well established in the community, the partners want to make sure you will continue to bring good representation to them. It's important to show that you have researched the firm and are excited to work there. You'll also be able to better explain what makes you a good fit for the firm and why you chose it as your new place of employment.
Bring examples of papers you've written
A large component of working at a law firm is being able to articulate your case in a clear, concise and professional way. Hiring partners may want to see evidence of your writing, so bring some examples. This could include court documents you have prepared, an extensive legal research paper you wrote in school or a legal memo.
Related: Interview Stage: End of the Interview
In this video, Jen, a career coach at Indeed, provides a comprehensive look at the interviewing process and shares tips on how to position yourself for success at the end of the interview.
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