Law School AdmissionsInterview Questions
Law school admissions depend on more specific requirements than most other post-graduate programs. Schools require undergraduate transcripts and a certain level of GPA as well as a personal essay and an interview with an admissions board. Unlike other degree programs, applicants are required to take the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) and include their score in their application.
Law school admissions require prior transcripts and a GPA that meets the level required for the school that’s being applied to. Applicants will also need a personal essay outlining their achievements and qualifications.
Applicants are required to prove they have taken and received a passing score on the LSAT. This aspect of the application process sets law school applications apart from other degree programs. Along with these requirements, an applicant needs to provide letters of recommendation, the number of which will be determined by the school being applied to.
How to Prepare for Law School Admissions
To begin the application process, applicants must schedule and take the LSAT. If they are not coming from an undergraduate program that provides preparation for law school, online and print resources can be used to study for the test. Law schools typically only look at the most recent score on an application, so taking the test multiple times to ensure a higher score won’t usually count against the applicant.
Potential law students should pay careful attention to their personal essay. The essay will most likely be referred to during the interview process, so it’s important to be able to elaborate on the contents of the essay in the interview.
Most law degree programs require letters of recommendation as well. These can come from former professors, mentors, or employers, and the number of letters required varies from school to school.
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Law School Admissions Interview Questions
Question: What traits, knowledge, or experience will you bring, which will contribute to the culture of our school?
Explanation: This is a general question which you will be asked early in the interview. The purpose of the question is to begin the conversation, learn more about your background, and collect some information the interviewer can use throughout the interview. This question provides you the opportunity to direct the interview towards an area that you are comfortable discussing.
Example: “I believe I will bring several different qualities to the school, which will contribute to your culture and enhance the experience other students have. These include my in-depth knowledge of technology-related law, my leadership abilities, and my cultural sensitivities, which are a result of my global travels.”
Question: If you could have lunch with a famous lawyer, who would it be, and why?
Explanation: The person interviewing you will ask this type of question to learn more about your background and the type of lawyer you aspire to be. By identifying the famous lawyer you’d like to meet with, you indicate what traits you would like to have, the type of law you want to practice, and what your goals as a lawyer are.
Example: “Given the opportunity to have lunch with any lawyer, living and dead, I would probably select Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I admire her tenacity and how she never quit, even faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. I also favor her interpretation of the constitution as a living document that should be updated to address contemporary issues and concerns.”
Question: Which of your accomplishments as an undergraduate student are you most proud of?
Explanation: This question will provide the admissions officer more information about your undergraduate studies and some of the key accomplishments you achieved. Your answer to this should be both truthful and discuss the achievement which has prepared you for the law school program to which you are applying.
Example: “The accomplishment I am most proud of during my undergraduate studies is winning the mock trial competition held by pre-law society on campus. I led a team that successfully defended an individual charged with violating the civil rights of another student. Our arguments were based on precedence for this type of case and references to the first amendment of the constitution. I’m not only proud of having won the case, but also my leadership of the team and the feedback I received from them and our academic advisor.”
Question: What books, blogs, or other materials are you currently reading?
Explanation: The admissions counselor will ask this type of question to understand your interests and the materials you read related to your ambition to become a lawyer. When answering this question, you should reference publications, online blogs, or other materials which are related to the practice of law and that have helped prepare you for admission to the law school.
Example: “I am currently reading several interesting books. The first is called ‘The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts’, written by Joan Biskupic. This is a fascinating biography of Chief Justice Roberts and gives great insight into some of his most notable and controversial rulings. For fun, I’m reading John Grisham’s ‘The Last Juror.’ I enjoy Grisham’s novels, which are not only entertaining but also provide interesting perspectives on the practice of law.”
Question: Which do you prefer, working independently or as part of a team?
Explanation: The purpose of this question is to understand your work preferences and your ability to collaborate as a member of a team. Most professionals are required to work both independently and as part of a team. While you can state a preference for either of these, you must also acknowledge that you have the skills necessary to do both.
Example: “I am comfortable working both independently and as a member of a team. If asked to choose one, it would be collaborating with other professionals to accomplish a common goal. While I have the self-discipline needed to do a job myself when working as a team, the results tend to be better. This is because having multiple insights and perspectives helps to formulate ideas and solutions which are more inclusive. This is a direct result of the variety of experiences and skill sets the individual team members bring to the table.”
Question: What has been the largest challenge you have had to overcome thus far in your life?
Explanation: An interviewer will ask this type of question to understand what you consider to be a large challenge, your fortitude, and your ability to overcome the challenges you face. Lawyers and encounter a variety of different challenges throughout their careers. They need to accept this and develop solutions to overcome these. This is a critical skill that the admissions officer will want to make sure you possess.
Example: “Probably the biggest challenge I have had to overcome in my life is my speech impediment. As a child, I stuttered quite a bit. This made me hesitant to speak in front of other people. I knew that this would limit me later in life, so I took steps to overcome it. These included working with a speech pathologist, learning techniques to help me overcome the impediment, and putting myself in challenging situations where I had to give presentations or participate in group discussions. I have since overcome this, and I’m now comfortable in what used to the challenging situations for me.”
Question: How would you describe your leadership style?
Explanation: Lawyers need to be leaders. Once you have passed the bar, you will be expected to lead teams of paralegals, junior lawyers, and litigation groups. This is why an interviewer will ask about your leadership style. It would be best to describe this in concise and clear sentences, which will also demonstrate your communication skills.
Example: “I would describe my leadership skills as being direct, leading by example, and supportive. I lead from the front, the rear, and among the team. I’m able to set a goal and describe a vision, be available to support my team when necessary, and willing to roll up my sleeves and work with them to accomplish a goal.”
Question: What do you do when you are not studying or practicing law?
Explanation: When you arrive at an interview for law school admission, the admissions officer already has reviewed your application and the background materials you provided them. One of the key objectives of the interview is to determine if you will be a good fit for the program and be able to contribute to the culture of the college. This question helps them to understand this.
Example: “Studying and preparing for entry into law school takes up a great deal of my time. However, when I’m not doing this, I enjoy reading, spending time with friends and family, playing golf, and volunteering to help people less fortunate, and I am.”
Question: How do you handle delivering bad news or having a difficult conversation?
Explanation: One of the key competencies a lawyer must possess is strong communication skills. Hopefully, you have demonstrated this throughout the interview. This question is a direct inquiry as to how you handle a difficult communication-related challenge.
Example: “When asked to deliver bad news or have a difficult conversation with someone, I try to put myself in their shoes and understand how they would like to receive the information. I remain unemotional and strive to communicate the information or address the issue at hand. I also find it helpful to actively listen to their response, acknowledging their position and either agreeing with it or disputing it in a calm, professional manner. I focus on the desired outcome of the conversation, not the content.”
Question: Who would you choose to be your mentor if you could select from any well-known person, living or dead?
Explanation: This is similar to a question asked you earlier in the conversation. Interviewers will ask similar questions throughout an interview to correlate your answers and make sure you are consistent. This question also provides the interviewer with some insight into your personality. This is because whomever you choose is somebody you admire and strive to be like.
Example: “Given the opportunity, I would like to have Elon Musk as my mentor. I admire his tenacity, his innovative vision, and his ability to extract the best from the people who work for him. I’m sure I could learn a lot from him, and would benefit from not only his knowledge, but by learning how he trained himself, what his priorities are, and the discipline required to achieve great things.”
Additional Law School Admissions Interview Questions
Why do you want to study law?
Where would you like to practice after graduating?
Why have you chosen this school?
What type of law do you hope to practice?
Tell us about yourself.
What qualities do you think will make you a good lawyer?
What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as a student?
What skills from your undergraduate degree will you bring to law school?
What do you think you will gain from studying here?
Describe your career goals.
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