22 Interview Questions the Top Law Firms Ask

by Nicole Weber | August 10, 2015

  • My Vault

While most of us are looking forward to enjoying the last few weeks of summer as much as possible, life is not so different for rising 2Ls and law firm recruiting teams. On-campus interviews are in full swing at law schools around the country and some students are already preparing for callbacks: second interviews with a law firm that may last anywhere from a couple hours to a full day. To get in the spirit of this crazed season, I took a look at some interview questions that the Top Ten firms on the Vault 100 list ask summer associate candidates. Vault collected these from associates who took our Law Survey earlier this year; associates either reported having been asked these questions when they were interviewing, or reported that they pose these questions to candidates.

  1. What was your favorite class in law school?
  2. What practice areas are you interested in? 
  3. What did you find interesting about [the topic of your journal note or a paper that shows up on your resume]?
  4. Why do you want to practice in a law firm?      
  5. Describe a legal issue you encountered during your first year summer internship.
  6. Name a time in your life you have had to overcome a challenge and how you approached it.
  7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  8. What is your connection to/why New York City?    
  9. Why are you interested in this firm in particular?
  10. What interests do you have outside of the law?   
  11. Tell me about the last book that you read that was not related to your occupational aspirations.  What interested you enough to decide to read that book?
  12. Are you interested in corporate vs. litigation and why? 
  13. What deals/cases has our firm recently worked on that you found interesting or exciting?
  14. Have you spoken with alumni from our firm? 
  15. What are you looking for when choosing a law firm
  16. What's your favorite part about law school so far?   
  17. What is the most challenging project you have worked on (in the past six months, in law school, during your prior summer) and what did you do to overcome the challenges involved?   
  18. What do you know about the firm/group?
  19. Why did you do X before/after law school?
  20. Give me an example of how you overcame a challenge/adversity?
  21. Which areas of practice interest you and why? 
  22. Provide examples of situations in which you demonstrated leadership qualities. 

These examples may not require the same kind of studying as consulting case interviews or finance “guesstimate” problems, but don’t underestimate the need to prepare meticulously for law firm interviews. For interview questions by firm, visit the “Vault’s Verdict” tab of that firm’s profile.

Happy OCI season!

Read More:
Which Summer Associate Program is Right for You?
What Every Law Student Should Know About OCI

Filed Under: Interviewing | Job Search | Law

Tags: BigLaw | interviews | law firms | Law school

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