Answering the “why do you want to study law” interview question can be tricky, as all open-ended interview questions are. Unlike the dreaded question “tell me about yourself”, the “why do you want to study law” interview question is specific and direct, and so requires a focused answer. Preparing for a law school interview is important, and some of the best ways are to use mock interviews or professional resources like law school admissions consulting. In this blog, we’ll look at why do law school interviews ask “why do you want to study law?”, why it’s a difficult question that needs forward preparation, tips on how to answer and a step-by-step guide on how to format your answer. We’ve also included some sample answers to help guide you on preparing your own answer to this question.

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Why do law school interviewers ask “why do you want to study law?” How to answer “why do you want to study law?” Guide to answering “why do you want to study law” interview question Why do you want to study law interview question sample answers FAQs

Why do law school interviewers ask “why do you want to study law?”

This is a relatively common among law school interview questions, and yet it can be one of the most dreaded questions applicants are asked during their law school application process. For some students, it’s an obvious answer, and for others it requires a bit of self-reflection.

The purpose of asking this question is for your interviewer to determine what drives you, what motivates you. They want to know if you can self-reflect and provide a clear, thoughtful answer. They want to see where your passion for the law or your interest in becoming a lawyer comes from. This is your law school interviewers’ opportunity to learn what is unique about you and who you are outside of your law school application. And it’s also your chance to show a law school admissions board that you are a unique and diverse candidate and will therefore make a spectacular law student.

Even if you feel your answer to this question is obvious, as you’ve always wanted to be a lawyer or you hail from a long family line of lawyers, you should still prepare an answer. Interviewers don’t need a recap of your CV or your law school personal statement. They want you to dig into your personal motivations and reflect on what’s driving your decision to apply to law school. If you don’t have a clear answer to this question, law school interview preparation is even more important. Take some time to reflect on this question and walk into the interview prepared to deliver an excellent answer. Remember that there is no “right” answer to this question. The response will be different for everyone!

How to answer “why do you want to study law?”

Open-ended questions like these can weird applicants out during the interview process. It’s temping to launch into a long explanation of your passion for the law. But that’s what your law school essay is for. Some applicants point to their CV or resume and extoll their work experience in the legal profession. But again, these items are included in your law school application and have already been seen by the admission committee. So, this question can be tough because it’s hard to come up with a sufficiently deep and self-reflective answer while also staying on point and not rambling on.

Open-ended questions tend to make us want to talk, and the more we talk the more we feel the need to elaborate and pile on the words. And that’s where we lose the thread. A good interview answer to a question like “why do you want to study law” is focused, insightful and not overly long.

A few tips to keep in mind when you’re preparing your answer to the why do you want to study law interview question:

Preparing for your interview ahead of time is essential. Having your answer to this question ready to go will set a strong start. Especially because this is likely to be one of the first, if not the first, questions you’re asked in the room. Mock interviews are an excellent way to rehearse your answers and try them out. A law school advisor is also a good resource if you need feedback on your interview presentation or answers. You can also read some examples from Harvard law school interview questions to see what kind of tough and tricky questions you might be asked during a law school interview.

Next, we’ll look at a step-by-step guide for formatting your answer to “why do you want to study law?” Following these steps will help you flesh out and prepare your answer. When you’re asked the question, you won’t hesitate to deliver a steady, strong answer.

Guide to answering “why do you want to study law” interview question

When formulating your answer to this question, it might be easy to bullet point your top three drivers for pursuing a career in law or expanding on your main motivation for wanting to study law. But the stronger and more memorable your answer to this question is, the better impression you’ll make. This means doing more than listing your key points and ticking items off on your fingers. It means getting a bit personal and using details to really draw your interviewers in. A quick format would be to start with what sparked your interest in law, illustrate your growing passion with personal details, share what solidified your decision to study law and then make a brief concluding statement to wrap up your answer.


Why do you want to study law interview question sample answers

Sample Answer #1

I was an older child when my parents made the difficult decision to divorce, and I had three much younger siblings at home. Witnessing the confusion and uncertainty they went through, I found myself stepping into a more adult role, and I took notice of how my mother’s family law attorney took a few minutes always to explain things to the kids or do her best to cheer them up. I appreciated her efforts to make a hard situation easier when she didn’t have to. I began looking into family law cases and saw how seldom children are actually talked to directly because no one thinks they’ll understand or no one has the time. It made me realize I could be the one representing families and taking the time to talk with them through difficult times.

Sample Answer #2

From a young age I have been passionate about environmental conservation, and I was always outraged when I saw people littering or stomping through a garden. I remember watching a case on the news of a company accused of illegal dumping, and I asked my dad how the company could do such a thing. His answer, that there were laws against this type of thing and it was up to lawyers to see justice served, changed my point of view. I knew then that were ways for me to help protect the environment in a more meaningful and long-lasting way. Becoming an environmental conservation attorney, I can make a much bigger impact than picking up people’s litter.

Sample Answer #3

My aunt is an attorney, and when I was a teenager she agreed to let me escort her to court for a “take your kid to work day”. I used to think she was just a smart-dressed woman with nice heels, perfect hair and a strong, loud voice. But watching her in court that day, as simple as the case was, I was in awe of her. Her confidence was inspiring. On the drive home I asked her dozens of questions about what type of cases she saw and her work. As always, she didn’t shy away from telling me the good, bad and boring parts of being a lawyer. But it didn’t deter me. By the time I finished high school, I had done enough of my own research and observed some more of my aunt’s cases. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in law.

Sample Answer #4

I want to study law because it is an ideal career for my personal goals. I value financial stability and job security in my career, and the law provides these, as well as being a fascinating field that offers endless complex problems to solve and demands a wide variety of skills. I interned with a law firm during university, and I found I enjoyed the day-to-day work and the opportunity to collaborate, problem-solve and think critically about a variety of different matters. The law is an ideal lifelong career for me.

Sample Answer #5

As the child of immigrants, I understand very well how difficult it can be to leave your home and move to another country. My parents dealt with their fair share of problems, as did their friends and neighbours. As I grew up, I found myself helping these friends and neighbours with small problems like language barriers, cultural adjustments. So many of them commented on how helpful I was, and at the time I was still considering my future. I enjoyed being the bridge between my immigrant community and our new home so much, and I considered a government position, but the law had always fascinated me. It seemed a perfect marriage of my skillset and my passions, so I decided to apply.

Sample Answer #6

I once had to read an biography for a class assignment and happened to stumble onto Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her journey was incredibly inspiring to me, as someone who has always envisioned themselves being able to make a difference. Digging into the details of her life gave me an idea of what working with the law entails, and I jumped from her biography to many others. It was intriguing to me that change could be affected through debate, slow though it may be sometimes. I knew if I wanted to climb to the upper echelons of justice, as Bader Ginsburg had, I would need to start at the bottom and learn from the bottom, so the law has become my launching point and will form my foundation.

Sample Answer #7

I have always found the law to be a challenging and diverse subject. I admit I was a fan of courtroom dramas and the more sensationalized view of the law. I had planned to pursue a career in international relations, so I could travel and immerse myself in international business matters. In direct opposition to my serious ambitions, I was watching one of these dramatic movies which briefly features a sensationalized human rights case. I hadn’t considered a career as a human rights lawyer, but this fictional human rights case really drew my attention and I started researching, reading biographies of human rights attorneys, even interviewing a few I had met through my network. It shifted my ambitions, but it solidified my love of the law and the protection of human rights.


1. How do you answer why do you want to study law interview question?

To answer this question requires some self-reflection. Avoid using cliches or just summarizing from your law school application. Deliver a clear, brief answer that sums up your key drivers for pursuing a law degree.

2. Why do law schools ask why do you want to study law interview question?

Law schools want to get to know you as a potential law student. They also want to see that you are capable of self-reflection and examination and that you aren’t just applying to law school because you come from a family of lawyers.

3. What shouldn’t you say during a law school interview?

Try to avoid using cliches or over-explaining your answer. Keep it to the point and confident. It’s a personal question needing a personal answer, but stay focused on your motivations.

4. Should I prepare an answer to why do you want to study law interview question?

Yes! It’s important to prepare an answer to this question so you don’t hesitate or freeze up during the interview. Law schools want to see that you have thought about the answer to this question a lot and that you have a good answer ready to go.

5. Why is the why do you want to study law interview question hard?

Questions like these can be hard to answer because you may not have thought about it and don’t know how to answer yet. Or maybe your answer needs some polishing, or you tend to wax poetic in your response. Interviewees tend to find these questions the most intimidating because of the personal nature of these questions. The answer is different for everyone, but there is no “right” answer.

6. How long should my law school interview answers be?

Try to keep them brief, but don’t cut yourself down too much. Aim for the 2-minute mark for a question like this, so you can get your point across without losing yourself in the weeds.

7. What is the most common mistake in answering this question?

One of the most common mistakes applicants can make in answering this question is saying what they think the interviewer “wants to hear”. Don’t say you want to study law because “it’s the greatest career in the world” or because you’ve never wanted to do anything else. Explain why you think it’s the best career for you or why nothing else has ever captured your interest the same way law has.

8. What is the best format I should follow for answering “why do you want to study law?”

The best format to follow when preparing your answer to this question is to identify your key points, decide on personal stories or anecdotes you will include, the “aha” moment when you decided a career in law was your dream, and then a short wrap up.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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