Practicing with common law school interview questions and answers is essential if you want to impress the admissions committee. While you can’t possibly anticipate every single question in your interview, law school interviews usually follow a pattern. They can be tough, and just like any other kind of interview, you have to be prepared. Given how intimidating can be, it is normal to be nervous, and you have to make sure to do everything at your reach to increase your chances of success. If you are not sure where to start, our experts have prepared a list of 60 common and challenging interview questions with example answers, so you can get some ideas for your own!
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1. Why Did You Choose Our School?
Before your interview, you need to research the school you’re applying to. You should be able to state the reasons why you like the institution and its specific program and convince the admissions committee that you didn’t just randomly end up sitting in front of them. At the end of the day, only the candidates who demonstrate a genuine interest in becoming a part of the program will be admitted, and the only way to prove that is by naming particular aspects of what they offer that attracted your attention.
It is likely that you already mentioned this in your , or your , so make sure your answer is consistent with that as well. It does not mean that you have to repeat what you included exactly but do stay consistent with your goals and aspirations.
Interested in some quick tips for writing your law school personal statement? This video will help:
Saying that you chose their school because of its academic prestige won’t be enough, as you can say the exact same thing about any other school. You must be specific. Start by mentioning what you look for in the perfect school. What features, programs, or extracurriculars do you value the most? Secondly, state what makes this school competitive for you. Think of what makes this school different from other schools, and what it has to offer to you specifically. Lastly, highlight what you think you will learn at this school. Here’s an example:
“When I think of my ideal school, I think of an institution that offers students excellent career-placement opportunities, which is something not every school has. That is why I was thrilled to discover that X school offers an internship program, which I consider an ideal first step in any professional career. While academic achievements and learning inside the classroom are the backbone of becoming a successful professional, I strongly believe that schools should give students the possibility to acquire first-hand work experience to fully prepare them for what comes next. Additionally, an aspect of the program that I greatly value is the fact that it has some amazing top-class professors, such as [a certain professor], who I admire greatly, especially after attending his seminar on environmental law. In fact, I believe this school encourages students to get involved in current issues that go beyond the scope of traditional law education, such as racial discrimination, gender equality, and exploitation of natural resources, which are topics I expect to be able to learn more about if I get accepted.”
2. Why Should We Choose You of All Candidates?
This question is your opportunity to brag and talk about what makes you special. Law schools want their candidates to bring them recognition and have a positive impact on their academic reputation. Admissions committees, therefore, aim at finding candidates who are likely to surpass the others and become successful after they graduate. Your answer should make you memorable.
To come up with the perfect answer, you should research the school and find out exactly what they look for in a candidate. Think of your skills, experience, and strengths, and figure out how they fit into what the school values in their matriculants. Use those traits to convince them that you are a good fit.
“I grew up in a family of lawyers. Both my parents and two of my grandparents have had outstanding careers in the field of law. Legal cases were often discussed at home, and I witnessed what the daily life of a successful lawyer entails. As I grew up, I started developing an intense curiosity for law, and my parents didn’t hesitate to feed that curiosity. At a certain point, I had become so involved in my parents’ jobs, that they decided it wasn’t healthy for me at such a young age and banned case discussion in the house. It was then that I started researching famous cases, defense strategies, and growing a genuine interest in becoming a lawyer myself. I was never that kid who was told “you are going to be a great lawyer”, and unlike what you might be thinking, my family never pressured me into following a family tradition, but even quite the opposite. If you are looking for candidates who are truly determined, I believe you should choose me because I am aware of what a career in law consists of. I have been convinced for years that I have what it takes to take on this challenge, not only because I am passionate about law, but also because I have a deep understanding of it.”
Ethical questions in interviews can be tough! This infographic provides a simple 5 step guide to help you answer any ethical questiont that may come up:
3. Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years?
You’ve probably thought a lot about your future while deciding whether a career in law is the right path for you to follow. The more specific your answer is, the better. It will show your determination to pursue this challenging career. Your answer to this question should include a detailed description of how this program is going you help you get to where you want to be in 10 years. The sky is the limit! No answer will be too ambitious here. Moreover, admissions committees love applicants who can dream big.
“Given my deep interest in international law, I see myself following that path in the future. In 10 years, I would like to be working overseas, becoming involved in cases that have to do with human rights and international relations. Diplomacy is a field that I have always found extremely attractive and that I think will suit me well, given my strong communication skills and engaging personality. One of my greatest ambitions is to be able to defend my country’s interests while helping maintain peace with the rest of the world. This school offers an exchange program that I found extremely attractive when I first started working on my application. Completing a semester abroad would help me get a realistic sense of what a career in international law looks like. I strongly believe [school name] can help me achieve my academic and professional goals in the long term.”
4. Why Do You Want to Become a Lawyer?
This question aims at assessing your motivations and ambitions. If your interest in attending law school lies solely on the possibility of aspiring to a 6-figure yearly salary, your lack of motivation will show in your overall performance and you will likely end up dropping out. Storytelling is the only strategy to convince the admissions committee that your motivations are genuine. Tell the story of how you became interested in law as a career. Make it detailed, engaging, and convincing. Choose 2-3 talking points or examples of what got you interested in law. Think of the qualities of a good lawyer and explain why you believe you have the potential to become one.
“Believe it or not, I grew up convinced that one day I was going to become a successful athlete. I believed that was my fate and never even considered anything else. I started swimming when I was practically a baby and never stopped since. I had become so good that I actually had a chance of qualifying for the Olympics. But my training was intensive and expensive. I had full support from my mom, but my dad disapproved of me focusing on sports instead of academics. Arguments at home became an everyday thing and my parents decided to get divorced. Apparently, it was too hard for them to reach an agreement and they started a legal war that went on for way too long, partly because their lawyers were more interested in getting more money out of the case than in representing the interests of their clients. A good lawyer is supposed to be ethical and act in their client’s best interest. Even though I fully understood the divorce hadn’t been my fault, I always felt stuck in the middle. I felt so powerless I even started researching how divorces work, legally speaking, and getting involved in the resolution of this conflict. This experience made me realize how much damage an unscrupulous lawyer can bring to a family, and I decided to make it my life mission to become the lawyer my family needed in such a difficult time; a professional with principles, empathy, and solid communication skills."
5. What Book Are You Currently Reading?
While they might seem completely unrelated to the main point of the interview, questions about what books, journals, or magazines you are currently reading are common and hard to answer. Books can say a lot about a person’s interests and lifestyle. There are no right answers to this question. If you are not currently reading anything, you can mention the most recent book, or any book you want, as long as you can link it to your interest in law as a career. Be honest, don’t start talking about a book that you think might impress the admissions committee if you haven’t read it. Check out this example:
“I haven’t had much time for books, unfortunately, but the last book I read was To Kill a Mockingbird. I had read it in high school, like most people, but I believe good books should be read more than once, as they teach you different lessons at each stage of your life. As a matter of fact, I was right. This novel talks about an attorney’s attempt to prove the innocence of a black man who has been wrongly accused of raping a white woman in 1930s Alabama, seen from the innocent eyes of his 6-year-old daughter. The first time I read it, I would focus on the children and their conflicts, while the second time I read it I automatically stepped on the shoes of their father, Atticus, the lawyer defending the innocently accused black man. I was able to understand why he decided to defend him, even when his chances of success were incredibly low. Atticus’ actions throughout the book taught me a lot about ethics and made me realize the kind of lawyer I want to become. I’d like to give it a third read once I start my professional career in law, as I believe I’ll have a totally different perspective.”
Use the questions below for practice! Apply the answer strategies we outline above to come up with your own stellar answers!
6. Tell me about yourself.
Wondering why interviewers ask this question and how you can answer effectively? Take a look at this infographic:
7. How would your friends describe you?
8. How would you describe yourself using three words?
9. Tell me something that is not on your resume.
10. What do you like to do in your spare time?
11. What was your biggest accomplishment?
12. What was your biggest mistake?
13. Tell me about a recent supreme court case that you disagreed with and why.
14. What are your strengths?
15. What are your weaknesses?
16. What attracts you about law?
17. What’s the one thing about yourself that you’re the proudest of?
18. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
19. What academic accomplishments are you the proudest of?
20. What are the qualities of a good lawyer?
21. Is there a famous lawyer that you admire? Why?
22. Is there a famous lawyer that you disagree with? Why?
23. What areas of law interest you the most?
24. What would make you a good lawyer?
25. What is your dream law job?
26. How did you investigate a career in law?
27. Are there any lawyers in your family?
28. What do you wish to accomplish as a lawyer?
29. Who’s your hero/heroine?
30. Do you consider yourself to be a leader or a follower?
31. Describe a leader you’ve worked with and what you learned from them.
32. Who is your favorite author?
33. Tell me about a book that has influenced the way you think.
34. If you could have dinner with a person, living or dead, who would it be?
35. How would you describe your experience at your undergraduate university?
36. What were your favorite and least favorite undergraduate courses?
37. What was the toughest class you’ve taken and why?
38. Why are you applying to law school now?
39. What’s one thing that intimidates you about law school?
40. What kind of student do you consider yourself to be?
41. How will you contribute to this program?
42. Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.
43. Tell me about a time you showcased leadership.
44. Tell me about a time you solved a conflict with a classmate or colleague.
45. Tell me about a time you successfully worked as part of a team.
46. Are there any social issues that concern you at the moment?
47. What journals do you read on a regular basis?
48. Are you a team player or do you prefer to work on your own?
49. What is your idea of success?
50. What can you do to become successful, following your own criteria?
51. Is there any crime that you would have trouble defending?
52. Tell me about a time you faced a moral dilemma and how you solved it.
53. What was the biggest obstacle you were able to overcome in your life?
54. How do you handle stress?
55. What makes you a competitive applicant to this school?
56. Are you also applying to other law schools?
57. If you get accepted into multiple schools, how would you make your decision?
58. What do you think are the pros and cons of this school in particular?
59. What specific aspect of our program called your attention?
60. Do you have any questions for us?
Make sure you have questions ready for your interviewers in case they ask this question! If you're unsure what kind of questions to ask, check out this video:
A law school admissions process is challenging, and you need to learn things like , how to write an impressive personal statement, and how to answer interview questions. Your law school interview won’t be impossible to tackle if you prepare yourself with a good list of law school interview questions and answers. Go over it as many times as you need and rehearse with a friend. Additionally, make sure to research the school and stay up to date on current social issues that might come up during the interview. If you dedicate enough time to come up with thoughtful answers to the most challenging questions, you will leave the interview feeling accomplished and satisfied with your performance.
1. Who will conduct the interview?
You will be interviewed by one or more members of the law school admissions committee. Admissions committees usually consist of program directors, law professors, and even advanced law students.
2. How long do law school interviews usually last?
The duration of law school interviews varies greatly from school to school, but they usually last around 30 minutes. At the end of the interview, the interviewer might take a few extra minutes to ask additional questions.
3. What should I wear to my law school interview?
Make sure to wear neutral tones, and keep make-up, accessories and perfumes to a minimum. Feminine law school interview attire usually consists of a skirt or pantsuit, with a light-colored shirt. The skirt should never be more than 2-3 inches above the knee. In the case of men, a fitted suit with a buttoned-up shirt and a silk tie would be ideal. Make sure to be neatly shaved and avoid wearing too much cologne.
4. Should I prepare for my interview beforehand?
Yes. In fact, the more you prepare for your interview the more confident you are going to feel, thus increasing your chances of success. The best way to prepare for your law school interview is by practicing your answers to the most common and challenging questions that might come up during the interview.
5. How long should my answers be?
Your answers should be no more than 2-3 minutes long. A good time management strategy is timing yourself as you rehearse. You can also film yourself answering each question to study your body language and notice those things that might need improvement, such as your posture, your tone, or using too many filler words.
6. What should I do after my interview?
Within the first 24-48 hours of your interview, you should send a thank you letter to the person who conducted the interview, or to the admissions committee. Showing appreciation for the time and dedication the school put into your application is a great detail that shouldn’t be underestimated.
7. What should I expect after my interview?
The admissions committee is most likely not going to send you an email with personalized feedback after your interview. Unfortunately, all that is left to do is wait for your letter of acceptance or rejection. You might also get waitlisted, which isn’t necessarily bad!
8. How can I sound more confident?
The key to sounding confident in an interview, apart from practicing your answers, is to be as relaxed as possible. Interviews are always nerve-wracking, so it is normal to feel anxious and stressed before and during each question. Meditating and performing breathing exercises can help a lot. Having a good night’s sleep can also be a game-changer!