Although most law firms will ask some similar questions, the type of questions you can anticipate in a law firm interview will depend on the nature of the job for which you are interviewing. All law firm applicants can anticipate questions about their past experience, law school grades and professional affiliations, but specific interview questions and answers will vary.
Law School Education
In an interview, most law firms will ask questions about where you attended law school, what type of classes you took, what your grades were, what subjects interested you the most and your participation in law school extra-curricular activities. Come to your interview prepared to discuss these matters and highlight any activities that will bolster your chances at getting the job. Be prepared to answer questions about any articles you had published in law school, any awards you may have received or any experiences participating in activities such as moot court or legal journals.
Your potential employer will be interested in hearing about your experiences in other law firms, but you should also be prepared to discuss your previous work experience with other employers before law school. Prior to your interview, make a list of all legal matters you've handled in the past, such as depositions, court hearings, transactional matters or legal documents. Many of your answers regarding your previous experience should be based on these matters. Before your interview, ask if you should bring writing samples.
There are many common questions you can expect to answer in your interview, such as naming your strengths and weaknesses, identifying a difficult situation you had to overcome at a previous job, explaining why you are interested in working for the law firm, talking about how you deal with tight deadlines, stress and conflict. You will also want to be prepared to answer hypothetical questions dealing with legal issues. For example, the employer may ask you to describe how you would handle the defense of a lawsuit involving a products liability issue in your jurisdiction.
Law Firm Specific Questions
You may also be asked to answer very specific questions related to the opening at the law firm. If you are interviewing for a position involving litigation, come prepared to speak about courtroom experiences and your dealings with judges in your jurisdiction. If you are interviewing for a more transactional law job, come prepared to speak about your experience drafting documents and handling client issues.