Your law school interview is just around the corner; how will you prepare? Here are some common interview questions for admission to law school. Make sure to familiarize yourself with them before your interview.
The law school admissions process will throw many curve balls at you as an applicant, although none are quite as confusing as the law school interview. How do you prepare for a conversation? Should you act naturally or memorize lines? If you’re asking yourself these questions, you wouldn’t be the first!
While we can’t anticipate exactly what will happen in your interview, we can certainly help you get ready. Here we discuss common interview questions for law school admissions and break down how to go about answering them.
Let’s get started!
While preparing for a law school interview, you may wonder what law schools are actually looking for. Simply put, law schools are looking for talented, driven students with strong work ethics, engaging personalities, and a system of values that match their schools.
All of that sounds wonderful, but how can you demonstrate these characteristics without stating them? Let’s break down a few key ways you can show your law school that you’ll make an excellent law student and future lawyer through your interview.
Start by shaking off the nerves and trusting yourself. In order for anyone else to believe in you, you must first believe in yourself. YOU know you’re an excellent fit for this school; YOU know that you’ll work hard and that one day you’ll be a great lawyer. Walking into your interview self-assured and confident will help your interviewer have confidence in you.
You can build confidence for your interview through daily affirmations, meditation, and even by typing up a personal statement on why you want to be a lawyer. Gain a firm grip on your personal values, what you bring to the table, and how you intend to achieve your goals.
A law school interview is not a place to sit down and go over the entire history of your dream school. However, a few expertly placed research points can go a long way in terms of showing your passion and commitment.
For example, you should know exactly what it is about the school that you are drawn to, be it internship opportunities, specific courses, or extracurriculars. Knowing a bit about the school's history may also be useful, especially if the school is prestigious or historically significant in some way.
Nothing is worse than walking out of an interview and realizing you completely forgot to mention key information about yourself. You shouldn’t try to write out all of your answers and memorize every line, but you should certainly write down the important things you want to mention and go over them a few times beforehand.
A good lawyer is a good speaker. You should absolutely engage in conversation with your interviewer; they’re human, after all! Don’t forget to ask your law school interviewer questions and listen intently to their words of wisdom.
Although you might not want to memorize your answers word for word, it’s a great idea to get an idea of what questions you can expect in a law school interview. Below are some common interview questions for law school, which were used in interviews with Harvard, Columbia, and other top schools.
Perhaps the most common interview question for law school and any other type of school, this open-ended question is often the hardest to answer. Interviewers ask this to learn more about you, your background, and your interests.
This response can easily get too long, so your first step to answering this question is keeping your timeline concise. Begin with a brief introduction (your name, where you’re from, what school you’ve just graduated from), and then dive straight into what you’re passionate about.
Avoid spending too much time on irrelevant details, and loosen up! There’s no harm in smiling and even using a bit of humor here. This question is typically an ice-breaker, so let yourself answer comfortably and confidently.
My name is Kevin, I’m from New York (which is why I’m a broadway nerd!) and I just completed my undergraduate degree in Political Science from NYU.
This question is intended to help your interviewer understand your motivations, your specific interests, and what makes you unique as a law school candidate and a future lawyer.
Here you can express your passion for seeking justice. You can touch on your origin story, why it’s important to you to uphold the rule of law, and how you want to make a positive impact on society through the legal system. You can also use this opportunity to include some research you’ve done on the school.
When I was young, my father was injured in a severe workplace accident that left him without his right leg. It caused my family a lot of stress, and for him it meant relearning how to live his life. We settled with the company for only $10,000. I found out years later when a friend sued his employer that my father could have received much higher compensation for his terrible loss. Today, as an adult, I feel strongly about not only upholding the law but educating others on their rights. Knowing the law could have changed our lives back then and I hope to positively impact the lives of other families through my career.
Similar to the previous question, this question assesses your passion for law while also seeking to learn more about your understanding of different legal fields and your career aspirations.
When answering this question, you can elaborate on the origin story of your passion. Incorporate how you came to choose your chosen area of focus. Your answer should look toward the future as they’re not only asking you why you want to attend law school—but why you want to practice law in general.
I’ve been passionate about entertainment law ever since I was young because my mother was in the entertainment business. As an actress, she was often left out of important conversations and taken advantage of. I’m excited to follow in her footsteps while also making the entertainment world safer for women in the field.
Although this question is less common, it’s important to prepare for it as it can be quite the curve ball. This type of question can also come in the form of “describe how you handled a challenging situation” or “describe a time you demonstrated leadership skills.” In each instance, the school wants to learn how you come out on top of a stressful situation.
First off, prepare a conflict scenario you can draw upon if this question comes up. Choose a memory in which you were presented with a conflicting point of view and found a way to take away something positive. More specifically, touch on what you learned from the experience and how you’ll apply that knowledge in the future.
On my soccer team, I had one teammate who always missed practice, and myself and the team would express our frustration about it. When I became captain, I sat down with her and asked her if everything was alright. She explained to me that things had been rocky at home, and she appreciated my reaching out. After our talk, she began coming to practice every week - and she was a great player! Later that year we won our county tournament, and she had a renewed appreciation for the team. Looking back, I’m happy I reached out and I only wished I could’ve done it sooner. I certainly learned the power of simple communication and empathy!
This question is similar to a “why this school” inquiry and allows room for you to demonstrate your research skills. This is particularly common in interviews for Ivy League schools.
Questions like this are why it’s crucial to do thorough research on your target schools. In your answer, identify shared values you have with the school and unique ways in which you can contribute to the school's programs.
When my mother went to Harvard Law, she became the first female head of the Harvard Press. As a proud member of the lgbtq+ community, I hope to take similar strides for Harvard press and follow in her footsteps. I’m also excited to audition for the Harvard band as a Clarinet player of over 12 years!
This question aims to uncover any final details you may not have disclosed and presents an opportunity for you to argue your case!
When answering this question, be careful not to brag. This is an opportunity to humbly present yourself as an excellent fit for your target school. Avoid listing points of your resume here and use this as an opportunity to align the school’s values with your own.
I’m not a legacy, I don’t come from money, I’m not secretly an acrobat or an opera singer. I’m just an average American kid from a trailer park outside Ohio with a strong passion for justice, and that’s exactly why I know I belong at Columbia. I represent so many other people who look like me and need a knowledgeable, legal voice to speak on their behalf who understands where they come from. I can only hope that I can earn a top law education from Columbia to serve my future clients as best as I can.
Law school can be demanding like no other program you’ve ever faced. So, the interviewer will likely ask about how you handle stress and manage your time.
Be 100% honest. If you excel at time management, discuss your system and how you make time for mental health and personal time as well. If you struggle with time management, discuss how you’ve faced that challenge head-on.
I wasn’t always good with time management. In high school, I was often late to class due to staying up late and oversleeping. It wasn’t until my undergraduate degree that I realized how my poor time management was costing me valuable opportunities. I switched my sleep schedule in the first year, and never looked back. Of course, my friends laugh at me for going to bed early—but I’ve never felt better and I’m proud of myself for prioritizing my academics and sleep!
Always be prepared to ask questions at the end of your interview. Consider asking about the law school, its programs, resources, or anything else you'd like to know. Some examples of questions you can ask include:
Remember, the key to a successful law school interview is to be genuine, prepared, and confident in expressing your motivations and aspirations in the legal field. Practice answering these questions beforehand, and be ready to engage in thoughtful discussions during the interview.
Preparing for a law school interview? We've got you covered with the top questions you may be asked. These questions span various topics, allowing you to practice and perfect your responses. Get ready to excel in your law school interviews!
1. Why do you want to attend law school?
2. Can you describe your academic background and achievements?
3. What influenced your decision to pursue a legal career?
4. How did you prepare for the LSAT?
5. Can you talk about any relevant work or internship experiences you've had?
6. What areas of law are you most interested in?
7. Have you shadowed or worked with any attorneys?
8. Why are you interested in our law school specifically?
9. What do you think sets our law school apart from others?
10. Can you discuss any extracurricular activities or leadership roles you've been involved in?
11. How do you handle stress and pressure?
12. What are your long-term career goals as a lawyer?
13. Describe a challenging situation you've faced and how you overcame it.
14. What skills and qualities do you possess that will make you a successful law student?
15. Are there any specific professors or courses at our law school that interest you?
16. How do you plan to contribute to our law school community?
17. Can you discuss a legal issue or case that you find particularly intriguing?
18. What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing the legal profession today?
19. Describe a time when you had to work as part of a team to achieve a common goal.
20. How do you prioritize and manage your time effectively?
21. What motivates you to excel academically and professionally?
22. Have you conducted any legal research or written legal papers?
23. Can you explain your decision to apply to law school at this point in your life?
24. What do you think are the most important qualities for a lawyer to possess?
25. How do you plan to finance your legal education?
26. Are there any social justice issues that you are passionate about?
27. Discuss a book or article related to law that has left an impact on you.
28. What do you think is the role of lawyers in society?
29. How do you handle ethical dilemmas and make ethical decisions?
30. Have you ever faced failure or a setback, and how did you handle it?
31. Do you have any experience working with diverse or underserved communities?
32. Describe a time when you had to advocate for a position or cause.
33. Can you provide an example of a situation where you demonstrated leadership?
34. How do you stay informed about current legal and societal issues?
35. Are there any legal organizations or clubs you hope to join in law school?
36. Discuss a recent Supreme Court case and your opinion on the ruling.
37. Can you talk about your passion for civil rights or civil liberties?
38. How do you plan to balance your academic responsibilities with your personal life?
39. Describe your communication and interpersonal skills.
40. What role does pro bono work play in your vision of a legal career?
41. Have you ever experienced a situation where you had to mediate a conflict?
42. How do you plan to contribute to the legal profession's diversity and inclusion efforts?
43. Describe your understanding of the attorney-client privilege.
44. Can you discuss a legal issue where you hold a different perspective than the majority?
45. What are your thoughts on alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and arbitration?
46. Explain your views on the role of precedent in legal decision-making.
47. Have you had any exposure to international law or human rights issues?
48. How would you handle representing a client whose values or beliefs differ significantly from your own?
49. Can you provide an example of a time when you demonstrated adaptability and resilience?
50. What are your favorite legal TV shows or movies, and how do they portray the legal profession?
51. Discuss your commitment to public service and pro bono legal work.
52. How do you plan to use your legal education to effect positive change in your community?
53. Describe your approach to legal research and analysis.
54. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about lawyers?
55. Can you talk about your experience in public speaking or debate?
56. How do you handle criticism or feedback on your work?
57. Explain your perspective on the attorney's duty to maintain client confidentiality.
58. Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision based on limited information.
59. Can you discuss a legal issue where you see room for reform or improvement?
60. How do you plan to stay updated on changes in legal technology and practice?
61. What strategies do you use to stay organized and meet deadlines?
62. Are there any specific courses or clinics you hope to enroll in during law school?
63. Discuss your views on the legal system's treatment of vulnerable populations.
64. Can you provide an example of a situation where you successfully negotiated a resolution?
65. How do you handle situations where you are asked to work under tight timelines?
66. Explain your approach to balancing individual rights with the common good in legal matters.
67. Describe your experience with community service or volunteer work.
68. How do you plan to manage the potential stress of a legal career?
69. Can you discuss a legal issue related to technology and its impact on society?
70. What role do you believe lawyers should play in promoting environmental sustainability?
71. Explain your views on the adversarial nature of the legal system.
72. Describe your experience in conducting legal research and writing.
73. Can you discuss a recent news story related to a legal issue you find interesting?
74. How do you plan to maintain a healthy work-life balance as a lawyer?
75. Discuss your perspective on the role of corporate responsibility in legal practice.
76. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to persuade someone to change their opinion?
77. Explain your understanding of the attorney's duty to zealously represent their client.
78. Describe your commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.
79. How do you plan to address challenges related to diversity and inclusion in the legal field?
80. Discuss your involvement in any legal or advocacy organizations.
81. Can you talk about a legal scholar or figure who has influenced your thinking?
82. Explain your approach to handling sensitive or confidential information.
83. Describe a situation where you had to think creatively to find a solution.
84. How do you plan to stay engaged with the legal community beyond law school?
85. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to work with limited resources?
86. Discuss your views on the role of empathy in legal practice.
87. Explain your approach to handling cases that involve complex legal issues.
88. Describe a time when you had to multitask and prioritize multiple responsibilities.
89. How do you plan to address issues related to access to justice in your legal career?
90. Can you talk about a legal precedent that you believe should be reconsidered?
91. Discuss your involvement in any legal advocacy or social justice initiatives.
92. Explain your approach to collaborating with colleagues and clients.
93. Describe a time when you had to navigate a situation with cultural sensitivity.
94. How do you plan to contribute to the legal profession's efforts in promoting ethics and integrity?
95. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to make a quick and critical decision?
96. Discuss your views on the role of lawyers in addressing systemic inequalities.
97. Explain your approach to time management and organization in a legal context.
98. Describe your experience in dealing with high-pressure situations.
99. How do you plan to use your legal skills to advocate for marginalized communities?
100. Can you summarize why you believe you are a strong candidate for our law school?
These questions cover a broad spectrum of subjects and can be valuable in your preparation for law school interviews. Don't forget to practice your responses and stay true to yourself when answering to leave a favorable impression during your interviews.
Navigating a law school interview can be a pivotal moment in your academic journey. To help you shine during this critical step, let's explore some key dos and don'ts that can make all the difference:
These dos and don'ts are key to a successful law school interview. With them in your toolkit, you can approach this important step with confidence and professionalism. Best of luck!
Here are some answers to common questions about law school interviews.
Yes, you should absolutely ask questions in your law school interview! Of course, the interviewer is there to learn about you, so most of your time should be spent answering questions. That said, a few well-researched questions can help you stand out and learn valuable information.
The best way to prepare for a law school interview is by conducting mock interviews with a friend or admissions coach. You should also focus on building up your self-esteem and knowing your key talking points.
In your interview, law schools want to see you demonstrate your passion for law through the following:
Don’t forget to ask your interviewer questions and follow up with them after!
You should practice for your law school interviews, but you should avoid sticking to a script. While preparing for your interview, you should have a few key talking points in mind that you can naturally incorporate throughout the conversation. Memorization allows for too much room for error and not enough room for free-flowing interaction.
Some of the most popular interview questions include:
For more information on law school admissions, check out our blog.
Preparing for law school interviews is a critical step in the journey toward a rewarding career. By familiarizing yourself with sample law school interview questions and becoming confident in your answers, you’ll be able to naturally showcase your strengths, experiences, and genuine passion for pursuing law.
Remember to be authentic in your answers, highlighting your unique qualities and motivations while demonstrating a clear understanding of the legal field and its impact on society.
Additionally, researching the specific law schools you're applying to and tailoring your responses accordingly can further enhance your chances of success.