Professional Conduct Questions

Updated 23 May 2020

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Professional conduct questions are a type of interview question that is used mainly by law firms, to assess a candidate's concept of professional conduct, their thought process and their attitude to dealing with clients. This type of question is most frequently used during training contract assessment centres.

The Rules of Professional Conduct

The main rules of professional conduct are:

  • You must work in the best interests of your client
  • Avoid conflict
  • Confidentiality
  • Being competent to act for the client
  • A lawyer is bound to act with integrity, their overriding duty is to the court. Yes, they have to work in the best interests of the client but this does not mean by forsaking honesty and integrity.

Example Questions

Question: You and your supervisor have arranged to meet a client on a Saturday. You and your client have arrived, but your supervisor has been in an accident and cannot attend the meeting. The client wants answers today. What do you do?

Answer: Advise your client that you are only a trainee and not fully qualified to give advice in this situation. Listen to the client's problem, and if you feel competent enough to advise, do so within your knowledge. If you do not feel competent or only have limited advice to give, ask the client if he is ok to wait while you try to contact another partner or manager, perhaps from a different office for advice.

A lot of interviewers/interview questions will try to panic you by mentioning that you will lose the deal if you don't give advice. Do not let this change your answer. It is unfortunate if you lose the deal, but that is better than giving incorrect advice and/or breaching professional conduct rules.

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