LAW PRACTICE INTERVIEW

 

Try a practice interview for legal jobs, answering typical questions and also getting tips on how you should answer. There are also other questions students have been asked at law interviews.

Law interviews

SOLICITORS need good VERBAL COMMUNICATION and LISTENING skills to deal with clients; INVESTIGATION, ANALYTICAL and PROBLEM-SOLVING abilities to handle legal casework and DECISION-MAKING skills - to assess, for example, the best course of action to follow. They also need the ability to work under PRESSURE and to DEADLINES, and NEGOTIATING and PERSUADING SKILLS. Below is the sort of the evidence you could give at interview to demonstrate that you had these skills:

 

Interviewers will also be looking for a genuine interest in the type of law practised in the firm whether this be commercial, private client or legal aid. You should also show an awareness of the context of this law, e.g. business or social issues. Read relevant publications, both legal (see www.kent.ac.uk/careers/siteslaw.htm#gensites for links) and general (e.g. the Financial Times www.ft.com  for City firms or the Guardian’s “Society” section www.guardian.co.uk/society for legal aid work)

The questions asked in this practice interview are typical of those that might be asked of students at interviews for solicitors' training contracts. Only a few general interview questions are included here, so you might also like to try the general or multiple choice interviews as well for standard interview questions that can be thrown at any candidate, also our answers to 150 common interview questions.

Click on "First Question" to begin. Think carefully about how you would answer, then click on "Show Answer Tips" to get an idea of how you should be answering.

  

OTHER QUESTIONS KENT LAW STUDENTS HAVE BEEN ASKED

If you have been to an interview or assessment centre recently please fill in our interview report form to help other students.

At trainee solicitor interviews

At interviews for pupillages and Inns of Court scholarships

Some hypothetical, controversial or more obscure questions


One Kent student commented: "These sorts of questions are very popular (not with me!!). They are trying to see how you construct an argument or how well you can think on your feet and how you react under pressure. Be prepared for them to challenge your opinions and arguments in order to test all these qualities thoroughly"

 

The above questions all relate to issues that were widely reported and discussed in the legal and national press during 2008 – interviewers would expect aspiring lawyers to be aware of such issues and to have an opinion on them!

WRITTEN EXERCISES

These are often used to assess your common sense and written communication skills rather than your knowledge of specific legal issues and procedures. You may be asked to write a report that will then be used as the basis for discussion at your interview. See our in-tray exercises page

Examples of written exercises used by firms include:

You will typically be given between 40-60 minutes to complete an exercise of this kind.  

CASE STUDIES. See our example case studies

These are usually used by larger firms: they may be set for groups or individuals, and test your analytical, time management, writing and presentation skills. Group case studies will also test your teamworking and negotiation abilities. Below are examples of case studies that Kent students have undergone:

Group Case Study (5 or 6 candidates)

  1. We were given a very long case relating to a hotel owner wishing to acquire another hotel, and asked how we would advise the client, giving the pros and cons of the various options and the issues to be aware of (lots!). About 10 - 15 pages to read within the allowed time (45-60min). Allowed to take notes. Not allowed to speak yet. Interviewers were absent.
  2. Discussed with other candidates as to how we would advise the client (45-60min). Interviewers still absent.
  3. Presentation time: outlining the case, the issues involved and our recommendations to interviewers and answering questions (30 minutes)

Individual case study:


   Instructions:

 

Advise your client regarding the proceeding. What are the pros and cons?

TIPS FOR SUCCESS AT INTERVIEWS

General:

For City firms:

For “High Street” firms

  1. Interviews are likely to be less structured and more “conversational” than with large firms. Partners may only interview on an occasional basis so don’t be afraid to take the initiative when answering questions;
  2. Knowledge of the local area is often helpful so, if the firm is not in an area that you know, do some research (the local authority’s website may be a good starting point – see www.direct.gov.uk for a list);
  3. These firms will expect you to show a knowledge and understanding of the areas of law in which they practise rather than the firm itself;
  4. Experience through the Law Clinic will almost always impress;
  5. They will look for flexibility and good people skills – work experience outside law is helpful in demonstrating these;

FURTHER HELP

 

Back to the practice interviews menu or Answers to 150 common interview questions