17 Law Professor Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a law professor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Law professors are responsible for teaching law students the theories and practices of law. They also conduct legal research, write scholarly articles, and contribute to the development of law.

Before you can become a law professor, you must first earn a law degree. Then, you must complete a rigorous application process that includes a law professor interview.

In this interview, you will be asked questions about your legal experience, teaching experience, and research experience. You will also be asked questions about your understanding of the law and the legal profession.

To help you prepare for your interview, we have compiled a list of common law professor interview questions and answers.

Are you familiar with the legal system in this state?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience working in the state where they are hiring. If you’re interviewing for a position outside of your home state, be sure to do some research on the legal system and laws of that state before your interview.

Example: “I am familiar with the legal system in this state because I’ve worked here for five years as an attorney. In my current role, I often work with clients who need help navigating the court system. I also regularly attend continuing education seminars about the latest developments in the law.”

What are some of the most important skills for a law professor to have?

This question can help interviewers determine if you have the skills they’re looking for in a law professor. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of your own skills and how they relate to those that are important for law professors.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for a law professor is being able to communicate complex ideas clearly. I’ve always been good at explaining things in an easy-to-understand way, which has helped me throughout my career as a legal professional. Another skill that’s important is having empathy for students. As a law professor, I would want to make sure that I’m providing support and guidance to my students so they feel comfortable asking questions.”

How do you create an effective learning environment for your students?

Interviewers want to know how you can help students learn the material and succeed in your class. They also want to see if you have any unique teaching methods or techniques that might be beneficial for their law school.

Example: “I believe that creating an effective learning environment starts with building relationships with my students. I make sure to get to know each of them by name, and I try to create a comfortable classroom where they feel free to ask questions and share ideas. I also use technology to enhance my lessons and provide additional resources for my students. For example, I often post lecture notes online so students can review them later.”

What is your teaching philosophy?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer your teaching style and how you can help students learn. Your answer should include a few key points about what you believe makes for effective learning, such as active participation in class or encouraging students to ask questions.

Example: “I think it’s important that law professors encourage their students to ask questions and actively participate in class discussions. I always make sure to provide plenty of time during lectures so that students have ample opportunities to raise their hands and ask me questions. In my experience, this helps them better understand the material and remember it later on.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to manage a difficult student.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you handle conflict. When answering, it can be helpful to focus on the steps you took to resolve the situation or what you learned from the experience.

Example: “In my first year of teaching, I had a student who was constantly disrupting class by talking with other students. At first, I tried to ignore his behavior, but after several warnings he still wasn’t following classroom rules. I decided to speak with him privately and explain that if he continued to disrupt class, I would have to fail him. He apologized and promised to behave. After that, he followed all classroom rules.”

If a student came to you asking about the best law schools to attend, what advice would you give them?

This question can help interviewers understand your teaching style and how you would advise students. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a few of the most important factors in choosing a law school, such as cost, location and reputation.

Example: “I would tell them that there are many different types of law schools, so I would want to know what their interests are. For example, if they’re interested in working for a large firm after graduation, then I’d recommend they look into top-tier law schools with strong employment rates. If they’re more interested in public service, then I’d suggest looking at lower-ranked schools where graduates have a higher chance of finding work in government.”

What would you do if you noticed a student consistently sleeping in your class?

This question can give the interviewer insight into how you handle discipline and classroom management. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of maintaining order in the classroom, but also that you are willing to work with students who may be struggling or have unique circumstances.

Example: “I would first ask the student why they were sleeping in class. If it was because they stayed up late studying for an exam, I would let them know that this is a common occurrence among law students and encourage them to take care of themselves so they can stay awake during my lectures. If the student tells me they were not studying for an exam, I would tell them that their behavior is unacceptable and assign them extra credit as punishment.”

How well do you handle criticism?

As a law professor, you may need to give and receive constructive criticism. Interviewers want to know that you can handle this type of feedback without taking it personally. Use examples from your past experience where you’ve received or given critical feedback in a professional manner.

Example: “I understand that receiving criticism is part of the job as a law professor. I have had to give my students critical feedback before, but I always try to do so in a respectful way. In one situation, I was giving a lecture on constitutional rights when a student raised their hand to ask a question. I paused my lecture to answer their question, which caused me to lose my train of thought for a moment. To avoid losing my place again, I asked the class if anyone else had any questions. One student raised their hand and said they didn’t have a question, but wanted to share an observation. They told me that I should pause my lecture less often because it’s distracting to hear someone else speak while trying to take notes.”

Do you have any experience publishing articles or books on the subject of law?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a passion for your field of study. If you do not have any publications, consider mentioning other ways you’ve contributed to your field through research or teaching.

Example: “I am currently working on publishing my first book on civil rights law. I also regularly publish articles in academic journals and online blogs about current legal issues. My most recent article was published in The Journal of Civil Rights Law, where I discussed how the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education has been misinterpreted by many people today.”

When preparing for a lecture, what is your writing process like?

This question can help interviewers understand how you organize your thoughts and plan out a lecture. Your answer should include the steps you take to prepare for class, including what materials you use and how long it takes you to complete each step.

Example: “I usually spend about two hours preparing for my lectures. I start by reading through the case study or textbook chapter that we’re covering in class. Then, I make notes on key points I want to cover during the lecture. Next, I write out an outline of the lecture with time markers so I know when to discuss certain topics. Finally, I practice delivering the lecture until I feel comfortable.”

We want to improve our outreach to local high schools. What ideas do you have to do this?

This question is an opportunity to show your passion for teaching and how you can help the law school achieve its goals. Outreach to local high schools is a common goal of many law schools, so it’s important to have ideas on how you would contribute to this effort.

Example: “I think one way we could reach out to local high schools is by offering more opportunities for students to get involved in our community. I know that when I was in high school, I wanted to be able to interact with lawyers and judges but didn’t know where to find them. If we had programs like mock trials or legal clinics at the law school, I’m sure some of those students would want to participate.”

Describe your experience working with legal software.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with legal software and how you use it in the classroom. Use examples from past jobs or internships to describe what types of software you’ve used, how you learned to use them and any challenges you faced while using these tools.

Example: “In my last position as a law professor at a community college, I worked with several different types of legal software including Westlaw, LexisNexis and Fastcase. These programs helped me find case law quickly and efficiently, but they also presented some challenges when students needed help understanding how to use them. To address this issue, I created an online tutorial that explained each program’s features and functions so students could learn how to use the software on their own.”

What makes you the best candidate for this law professor position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications for the job. They want to know what makes you stand out from other candidates and why they should choose you over them. When answering this question, make sure to highlight your most relevant skills and experience. You can also share any unique or interesting facts that might help convince employers to hire you.

Example: “I am a highly motivated individual who is always looking for ways to improve myself as a professional. I have been teaching law students for five years now, so I have plenty of experience in this field. In my previous position, I was awarded Teacher of the Year twice because of my dedication to helping students succeed.”

Which law schools did you attend, and what were your graduation credentials like?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to get an idea of your academic background and how it compares to other law professors at their institution. It’s important to be honest about your credentials, but you can also use this opportunity to highlight any awards or honors you received during your time in school.

Example: “I attended University of California Berkeley for my undergraduate degree, where I graduated with honors. For my JD, I attended Harvard Law School, where I was on the editorial board of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology and won the award for best oral argument.”

What do you think is the most important skill for law students to learn?

This question can help interviewers understand your teaching philosophy and how you approach the classroom. When answering this question, it can be helpful to identify a skill that is relevant to law students’ future careers.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for law students to learn is critical thinking. In my experience as a law professor, I have found that many students enter college with strong writing and research skills but need to develop their ability to analyze information and make logical conclusions. As lawyers, we must often look at complex situations and determine what the best course of action is. Developing these skills early in our education can help us succeed later on.”

How often do you give feedback to students on their assignments?

Interviewers want to know how you provide feedback and support to students. They also want to see if you have a specific process for giving feedback that helps students learn from their mistakes. When answering this question, explain your process for providing feedback and the importance of constructive criticism in helping students improve their work.

Example: “I give feedback on every assignment I assign. I find it’s important to provide feedback as soon as possible so students can use it to make improvements before submitting their next assignment. I always include detailed comments on each student’s assignments so they understand what areas they need to focus on when completing future assignments. This helps them develop better study habits and improves their overall understanding of the material.”

There is a controversial case that you feel the law is misinterpreting. What is your process for researching and formulating an argument?

This question is a great way to assess your critical thinking skills and ability to research. It also shows the interviewer how you might approach controversial cases in your classroom. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of a case that you researched and wrote about.

Example: “In my last position as a law professor, I had a student who was accused of murder. The evidence against him was overwhelming, but he maintained his innocence throughout the trial. He even refused to plea bargain for a lesser sentence. After researching the case extensively, I found that there were several inconsistencies with the prosecution’s evidence. I presented these findings to the jury during closing arguments, and they acquitted the defendant.”


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