List of Law Firm Interview Questions

The following is a list of interview questions that are commonly asked of candidates attending interviews at law firms, in particular interviews for training contracts. The majority of these questions relate to all types of law firm, and apply to interviews for pupillages, paralegals or solicitors.

Senior lawyers haven't necessarily been trained in how to interview potential candidates, so it can be wise to work your answers back to the areas where you feel you have most experience or strength. Remember also to prepare for the kinds of interview questions applicable to employers from any industry, such as your strengths and weaknesses, and how you resolved a challenging situation. For an overview of these types of questions and how to answer them effectively, see Common Interview Questions. Teamwork, personal initiative and academic curiosity are all characteristics law firms will be keen for you to demonstrate.

The best way to prepare is by reading as many interview questions and answers as possible. Interview Gold can help you with a method of preparation that almost guarantees success.

Law Interview Questions: Human Rights

  • Is the current 28-day limit for detention without charge in terrorism cases sufficiently long?
  • Should defendants in criminal cases have the right to know the identity of witnesses giving evidence against them?
  • Do sporting boycotts have any effect on governments’ human rights policies?

Law Interview Questions: Technical

  • How is a merger/acquisition structured?
  • Give an example of a recent commercial deal that captured your attention: which party/side in this deal would you like to work for if you were a lawyer and why?
  • How would you sell on services to a client? - for solicitors in commercial practice only
  • You are alone in the office and a client phones demanding instant advice, what do you do?
  • You are alone in the office and a very important client phones demanding you shred various documents of theirs. What do you do?
  • What would you do if three partners all came to you with work they wanted you to do by 5pm that day?
  • If you were Lord Chancellor for the day what would you do?
  • If you had a completely free choice, which law would you like to change and why?
  • Give me an example of a recent legal decision that you have disagreed with and explain why.
  • What do you see as the main challenges facing the legal profession in the next few years?
  • How would you demonstrate to a client that you were commercially aware of their business and their needs?
  • Why would you want to do legal aid work?
  • What do you know about the impact of the Human Rights Act on law in this country?
  • What sort of advocacy experience do you have?
  • Tell me about a time when you advocated (or performed) poorly?
    • Why do you think this was?
  • What are the key skills and qualities for a successful solicitor/barrister?
  • If you were senior partner in this firm and the BNP came to you for representation what would you do?
  • If a Client wanted to pay £750,000 for a house in CASH what would you do?
  • What advice would you give to a friend who wants to set up a restaurant?
  • How would you explain "the caution" to a client with learning difficulties who is extremely agitated at having just been arrested?
  • Explain the difference between contract and tort in layman’s terms.

Law Interview Questions: About the Firm

  • Why do you want to work for our firm?
  • Why do you want to work in London?
  • Which seats do you want to complete?
  • How is this firm different from its competitors?

Law Interview Questions: About a Career in Law

  • Why do you want to study law?
  • What do you think of law?
  • Why do you want to be a solicitor?
  • Where do see yourself in 5/10 years' time?
  • What experiences most influenced your career choice?
  • What do you really want to do in life?
  • Would your social life or interests outside of work infringe on your work commitment?
  • Have you applied to anyone else?
  • What are you looking for in the firms you have applied to?
  • Are you hoping for specialisation in a particular field, if so why?
  • What motivates you

Law Interview Questions: About your Education

  • Why did you select your A level subjects?
  • Why did you choose your university?
  • Why did you choose your course?
  • What have you gained from your course?
  • Did the course live up to your expectations?
  • What aspects of your course did you find the most challenging?
  • Have you been required to re-sit any examinations?
    • Why do you think this was?
  • Are you satisfied with your academic achievements to date?
  • What do you see as the principal benefits of university life apart from obtaining a degree?
  • Non-law graduates: What benefit, if any, do you consider your degree subject has to a career in law?

Competency Based Questions

  • Give an example of when and how you have worked in a team?
  • Give an example of a time when you were not in agreement with the rest of the team. How did you react?
  • What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Can you give me evidence that you set yourself high personal standards?
  • Would you say that you usually achieve what you set out to do?
  • How do you go about motivating yourself when the pressure is off?
  • How do you go about organising your time and assessing priorities?
  • Why, among all the candidates, should we choose you?
  • Describe a situation where you acted on your own initiative?
  • What is the worst mistake you have ever made and what did you learn from it
  • How do you react to pressure?
  • How do you react to failure?
  • How do you respond to change?
  • How do you go about handling difficult people?
  • If a decision goes against you how do you take it?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • How would your enemies describe you?
  • Tell me about a situation when you have had to meet a tight deadline?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to negotiate to achieve a desired outcome?