17 Lawyer Interview Questions and Answers

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

Lawyers play a critical role in our society, providing legal services to individuals, businesses, and government. They may work in a law firm, in corporate legal departments, in government, or in other legal settings.

Landing a job as a lawyer requires more than just passing the bar exam. You also need to be able to answer questions convincingly during a job interview. In this guide, you will find common job interview questions for lawyers and sample answers.

Are you comfortable working with clients who may be in a highly emotional state?

This question can help interviewers understand how you might handle a client who is experiencing extreme distress. It’s important to show that you are empathetic and compassionate, but also that you have the ability to remain calm in these situations.

Example: “I am very comfortable working with clients who may be in an emotional state. I believe it’s my responsibility as their lawyer to ensure they feel safe and supported throughout the process. In fact, I find that when I’m able to provide reassurance and guidance, it helps them feel more confident about moving forward with their case. This ultimately leads to better outcomes for my clients.”

What are some of the most important qualities that a lawyer should have?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your values and how they align with those of their law firm. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention qualities that you have that make you an effective lawyer.

Example: “I believe that one of the most important qualities a lawyer should have is integrity. I am always honest with my clients and colleagues, which helps me build strong relationships with them. Another quality that’s important in this role is empathy. Lawyers need to understand what their clients are going through so they can provide the best legal advice. Finally, I think lawyers should be detail-oriented because every case has many details that need to be considered.”

How would you deal with a client who is not satisfied with your services?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills and ability to communicate with clients. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you had to deal with an unhappy client and how you handled the situation.

Example: “I once had a client who was not satisfied with my services because I did not win their case. However, I explained to them that there are many factors that go into winning a case, including the judge’s decision. The client understood what I said and we parted ways on good terms.”

What is your experience with legal research?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience with legal research and how you use it to complete tasks. Use examples from past experiences to show that you know how to conduct research, find information and apply what you learn to your work.

Example: “I have extensive experience conducting legal research for both my current employer and a previous one. In my last position, I was responsible for researching case law, statutes and regulations to support arguments in court. I also used online resources like LexisNexis and Westlaw to find relevant cases and other supporting evidence. My current employer has me perform similar research on a daily basis.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to negotiate a settlement for your client.

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to negotiate. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide a specific example of how you used your negotiation skills to help your client achieve the best possible outcome.

Example: “In my previous role as a lawyer, I had a client who was involved in a car accident with another driver. My client suffered minor injuries but wanted compensation for their medical bills and time off work. The other driver’s insurance company offered $5,000, which my client declined. We decided to go to court where we presented our case and asked for $10,000. The judge awarded us $7,500.”

If a client asked you a question about the law that you didn’t know the answer to, what would you do?

This question is a great way to determine how much research you do before giving advice. It also shows the interviewer that you are honest and willing to admit when you don’t know something.

Example: “If a client asked me a question about the law that I didn’t know the answer to, I would first try to find out the answer myself by researching it online or asking my colleagues. If I still couldn’t find an answer after some time, I would tell the client that I was unable to provide them with an answer at this time but that I would continue looking for the information until I found it. I would then follow up with the client as soon as I had more information.”

What would you do if you discovered that a co-worker was intentionally misinterpreting the law to benefit the firm’s clients?

This question is designed to assess your ability to work with others and resolve conflict. Your answer should show that you can collaborate, communicate effectively and solve problems.

Example: “I would first approach the colleague in private and ask them if they could explain their reasoning for misinterpreting the law. If they were unable to give me a valid reason, I would report them to my supervisor or another senior member of the firm. In this situation, it’s important to ensure that we are not only following the letter of the law but also its spirit. This will help us avoid any future lawsuits.”

How well do you handle stress?

Lawyers often have to handle a lot of stress. They may be working on several cases at once, and they also need to meet deadlines. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the pressure that comes with being a lawyer. In your answer, explain how you manage stress in your life. Share some strategies you use to stay calm and focused when things get hectic.

Example: “I am able to handle stress quite well. I find that if I take care of myself physically, it helps me feel more mentally prepared for stressful situations. I try to exercise regularly and eat healthy meals. I also practice meditation every morning to help clear my mind and focus my thoughts.”

Do you enjoy public speaking?

Lawyers often have to give presentations in court or at conferences. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable speaking in front of a large group of people. They also want to know if you can speak clearly and confidently. In your answer, share that you enjoy public speaking. Explain that you are confident presenting in front of others. Share an example of a time when you gave a presentation.

Example: “I do enjoy public speaking. I find it very rewarding to be able to educate others on the law. When I was in college, I had to present my research findings to my class. I was nervous at first, but once I started talking about my topic, I became more confident. I think I did a great job explaining my research.”

When writing legal documents, do you prefer to work independently or with others?

This question can help interviewers understand how you work with others and your communication skills. Your answer should include an example of a time when you collaborated with others to complete a project or task.

Example: “I prefer working independently, but I also enjoy collaborating with my colleagues on projects. In my last position as a legal assistant, I worked with two other legal assistants to create a database for our firm’s client information. We each took turns creating different sections of the database so we could collaborate and ensure that all information was accurate.”

We want to ensure that our clients understand the law. How would you help a client who was unsure about an upcoming court date?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would interact with clients and their families. Showcase your interpersonal skills by describing a situation where you helped someone who was unsure about the law or court proceedings.

Example: “I once had a client who was scheduled to appear in court for a misdemeanor charge. The day before his hearing, he called me asking if there was any way he could get out of going to court. I explained that it’s important to show up to all hearings because missing one could result in more serious consequences. I told him that I would be happy to go with him to court so he felt less nervous.”

Describe your experience with courtroom procedures.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your experience with the legal system. They want to know if you have any prior courtroom experience and how it prepared you for this role. In your answer, share what you’ve learned from past experiences in courtrooms and how that knowledge can help you succeed in this position.

Example: “I’ve had some experience in a courtroom setting, but I’m still learning about all of the procedures. When I was an intern at my current firm, I observed many different cases and learned about the process as they went through it. I also attended several seminars on courtroom etiquette and procedure so I could understand the rules better. With these experiences under my belt, I feel confident that I can handle myself in a courtroom situation.”

What makes you stand out from other lawyers?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight some of your unique skills or experiences that make you an excellent candidate for the position.

Example: “I think what makes me stand out from other lawyers is my ability to communicate effectively with clients. I have always been passionate about helping people understand the law and feel comfortable asking questions. In fact, I started a free legal advice clinic at my alma mater where I helped students understand their rights when facing legal issues.”

Which areas of law do you plan to specialize in?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your career goals and how you plan to achieve them. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention an area of law that interests you or one that you have experience in.

Example: “I am passionate about civil rights cases, so I would love to specialize in those types of cases if given the opportunity. In college, I interned at a legal aid office where I worked on several discrimination cases. It was rewarding to see my clients get justice after going through such difficult situations.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of customer service for lawyers?

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you prioritize your work and what you consider most important. They want to know that you understand the importance of customer service in law, so they can be sure you will provide excellent client care if they hire you. In your answer, explain why you think customer service is important and give an example of a time when you provided great customer service to a client or colleague.

Example: “Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any job, but especially for lawyers because we are serving clients who need our help. I believe it’s essential to treat everyone with respect and kindness, even when they’re not being respectful themselves. For instance, once I had a client who was very upset about their case. Instead of getting defensive, I listened carefully to them and explained my side calmly. By doing so, I helped them feel more comfortable and reassured them that I would do everything I could to help them.”

How often do you update your knowledge of the law?

This question can help interviewers understand how you stay up to date with the law and legal developments. It’s important for lawyers to keep their knowledge of the law current, so it’s beneficial if an interviewer sees that you have a passion for learning about the law.

Example: “I am passionate about keeping my knowledge of the law current. I subscribe to several newsletters and blogs that provide updates on recent cases and legislation. I also attend seminars and webinars to learn more about new laws and regulations. In fact, I recently attended a seminar where the speaker discussed the latest case law regarding privacy rights.”

There is a new law that contradicts an older law that you’ve used to advise your clients. How do you handle this situation?

This question is a great way to see how you would handle working with other lawyers and the legal system. It also shows your ability to work within the law, even when it’s not in your client’s favor. In your answer, explain that you will do everything you can to ensure your clients are treated fairly by the law.

Example: “I understand that there are times when laws change or conflict with each other. I always make sure my clients know about any changes in the law so they can adjust their plans accordingly. If there was ever a situation where an older law conflicted with a newer one, I would do everything I could to help my client navigate the new law. Even if it means helping them find another lawyer who specializes in this area of the law.”


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