Have you ever wondered what a law school mock interview actually is and if it makes any difference in your performance at all? You're not the only one. Considering how competitive law school acceptance rates are, students are often looking for new and better ways to prepare for law school interviews. Law school mock interviews are often recommended to applicants, but many don’t actually know what they are or how they work. So, in this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about law school mock interviews, the lifelong skills that they can teach students, and the significant impact that they can have on interview performance.
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What is a law school mock interview and how does it work?
Law school mock interviews are a preparation tactic commonly used in law school admissions consulting. It is a form of interview coaching designed to give students a first-hand experience with the interview setting and the format they will be using. Students are asked questions, and they are expected to respond to the interview questions and behave the way they would in the actual interview. The admissions consultant then evaluates their responses and overall performance in the same manner that the interviewer will during the law school interview.
In order for it to be considered a mock interview, instead of a simple practice session, you need to be wholly immersed in the situation. This means that the conditions you are in have to mimic the interview setting as closely as possible. For example, if you are working with a remote consultant for your MMI interview coaching and you typically have sessions over a video call, they can still do a mock MMI simulation, but they would have to include the key aspects of this interview format in the mock interview. We’ve included a video of what this might look like for you in this blog, so keep an eye out for that as you keep reading. Furthermore, the consultant or law school advisor that you are working with needs to behave exactly as the interviewer would. This means that you can't ask them for help with a question that you are not sure how to answer or ask them to stop the interview for a while so that you can talk about a previous response or a different topic.
The main difference between the law school mock interview and the real one is that at the end of the mock interview, the consultant will provide you with feedback regarding your performance before giving you tips and strategies to help you improve.
Check out our tips for getting into law school with a low GPA:
How do law school mock interviews help students?
Considering how competitive law school is, your interview performance can make the difference between getting an offer of admission or a rejection letter. The reality is that most of the time, when candidates are called for an interview, it means that the law school admissions committee already liked what they saw on their law school resume or in their law school personal statement.
Now, they want to confirm that you are still the ideal candidate in person by evaluating your communication skills, interpersonal skills, professionalism, and other soft skills that you cannot assess by reading law school optional essays. It may also be that the admissions committee wants to give you a chance to elaborate on something that you mentioned in your law school addendum. In which case, your interview is even more important.
For example, if you are trying to get into law school with a low GPA, but you have your eyes set on a highly competitive program like Stanford law school, for example. You'll need to convince the board that you have not only learned and grown since undergrad, but that you also have other strengths that make up for your subpar grades. To do so, you need to learn how to communicate effectively and compellingly in an interview setting. That's where law school mock interviews come in. They help you by giving you the following:
Familiarity with the interview format
While most law schools opt for traditional face-to-face interviews, it is not the only format used for law school interviews. Video interviews, for example, are becoming increasingly popular with law schools. While these two settings may seem very similar on the surface, there are a few key differences that can affect your interview performance.
For example, most people have a hard time looking their interviewer in the eye during video interviews, and students are no exception. Sometimes it is simply because they are looking at the screen instead of the camera, or they get distracted by other things that may be happening on their screen, including their own reflection. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can potentially affect your interview. For instance, a student may keep checking their reflection every few minutes to make sure that they have good posture and are presenting themselves well, but to the interviewer, it may seem like you are distracted because your eyes keep wondering.
This example is only one of the many nuances applicants are often unaware of. Participating in a law school mock interview or two on video will help you get more familiar with this format and learn how to best prepare yourself. Your consultant may also provide some tips to minimize distractions or to help you keep your eyes on the camera.
During law school mock interviews, your interviewer will be asking you common law school interview questions. This will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the type of questions that you can expect during your law school interview and come up with answers ahead of time. By doing this, you get to think about the information that you want to share with the interviewer and how you want to phrase it. You don't need to write down your answers and memorize them, but because you will be repeating some of them often, you are more likely to remember the key points you want to cover.
Furthermore, remember that your consultant or advisor should provide you with feedback at the end of your law school mock interview. This means they will listen to your answers and let you know what you can ameliorate. Many common law school interview questions, such as the 'what is your greatest limitation' or the 'why do you want to study law' questions, are deceptively simple, and answering them requires specific strategies.
During law school mock interviews, you will learn strategies to help you structure your answers in a way that is not only compelling, but memorable. You will also learn how to deliver those answers in a way that stands out.
Improved interview skills
Interview skills are not taught in school. Many people assume that because we learn how to give presentations and work in groups, we are essentially learning how to interact in professional settings. While there is some truth to that, it does not apply to interviews. Interviews are about knowing how to sell yourself without sounding overconfident while staying true to your personality. This is not an easy thing to do, and it is the type of skill you develop over time while doing more interviews.
This is why law school mock interviews are such an important part of the preparation process. Mock interviews give you the experience you need to push past the nerves and improve your interview skills within a much shorter time frame, without going on a bunch of different interviews and with the guidance of an expert.
Every student is different, so some people are able to get the hang of things after two or three sessions, while others need more practice. But ultimately, law school mock interviews will help you feel and sound more confident in your interview, reduce the likelihood of you getting caught off-guard, improve your body language, manage stress better, and so much more.
It is also worth noting that knowing proper interview etiquette, how to present yourself and highlight your qualities is something that you will need to do at several points in your academic and professional career. So these skills that you will pick up during mock interviews, will actually serve you well during your law school interviews, while in law school, and afterward during your career.
Check out a mock interview session with one of our experts!
How to find the right mock interview for your law school interview prep
It is important to note that not all law school mock interviews are created equal. As you prepare for law school interviews, you want to make sure that you are participating in mock interviews that will yield results. So here are three things that we recommend you pay attention to while looking for a consulting firm or consultant to conduct mock interviews:
Qualified consultants: One of the most valuable aspects of law school mock interviews is the feedback you will receive from the consultant you are working with. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that the consultant in question is qualified to give you advice about interviews and the law school admission process. You should verify their credentials and find out if they have good independent reviews. This will provide you with a better idea of the number of students that they have helped in the past and what the experience was like for those students.
If you are curious about our consultants here at BeMo, you can learn more about our team of experts by contacting us or simply by looking around our website. We've shared quite a bit of information about our philosophy, student-centered approach, success rate, and training practices in our about us section and in various blogs so that you do not have to wonder if BeMo academic consulting is worth it. But of course, we are available if you have any questions.
The interview format: You need to make sure that the mock interview you will be participating in mimics the expected format of your law school interview as closely as possible. Otherwise, the session will not be as beneficial to you because it will not allow you to familiarize yourself with the actual interview format. It may even be counterproductive because you may get used to answering questions a specific way, and then get caught off guard by the unfamiliar setting and questions during your actual interview.
For example, if you are applying to a law school that recently started using MMI, but your consultant is reviewing common Harvard law school interview questions with you in a regular video format. You will not be learning as much from the session, and you will not be prepared for your actual law school interview. Meanwhile, if you conduct a virtual MMI mock interview, then you will be more familiar with the time limits and unique aspects of this interview format, such as the MMI acting sections.
Personalized feedback: We already mentioned how important the feedback you receive during mock interviews is, so we won't dwell on it too much. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your law school mock interviews, you should work with a consultant who provides personalized feedback during one-on-one sessions. Some consultants, usually in prep courses, conduct interviews with different students and then provide general feedback to the students enrolled in the prep course.
While that can still be beneficial, we recommend working with someone who offers one-on-one sessions. This is because if you are the only person that the consultant is evaluating in that moment, they will be focused on you, your performance, and your needs. A consultant who goes through the mock interview with you and then provides you with information specifically about what you did well and what can be improved will help you solidify appropriate behaviors and answer strategies better and faster.
Preparing for law school interviews is not easy, but it is essential if you want to beat the competition and get admitted. Especially if you are applying to a prestigious institution like Cornell law school, for example. One of the best things that applicants can do to improve their interview skills is to enroll in a law school interview prep service that includes mock interviews. Law school mock interviews give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the interview format, learn how to handle yourself in the interview, and learn how to answer different types of interview questions. By doing this, law school mock interviews set you up for success and help you maximize your chances of getting into law school.
1. Do all law schools conduct interviews?
Not all law schools interview applicants, but many do. If one of your chosen schools invites you for an interview, it is important that you be prepared to put your best foot forward.
2. How important are law school interviews?
Contrary to popular belief, law school interviews are not a simple formality but an important step in the admissions process. Law schools use them to evaluate your communication skills and professionalism, so you need to ace your law school interview if you want to get into law school.
3. How hard is it to get into law school?
Law school is quite competitive. Some of the top programs like UPenn law school, for example, have acceptance rates as low as 3.6%.
4. Does interview coaching work?
Yes, interview coaching actually works! It is possible to learn how to communicate more effectively, sound more confident, and structure answers in a way that highlights your strengths better. These skills, amongst many others, are not innate and can be worked on with a professional. Mock interviews can help you do that.
5. What skills do mock interviews help you develop?
Mock interviews can teach you how to create more compelling and concise answers to interview questions, long-term and short-term stress management tactics, and how to think on your feet.
6. Who conducts law school mock interviews?
Typically, mock interviews are conducted by an admissions professional such as a law school advisor or consultant who has experience with admissions interviews.
7. What is a law school advisor?
A law school advisor is an admission specialist who helps students navigate the complex law school admissions process.
8. What else can I do to prepare for my law school interview?
You can continue your law school interview prep by practicing sample questions and using the feedback and strategies that you receive from the consultants.
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