Law school interviews-1Very few law schools require interviews, or even make them optional, with some notable exceptions like Harvard and Northwestern. Interview prep is (comparatively) fun, especially stacked against the LSAT and personal statement. Too often, students spend too much time thinking about interview questions and avoid studying for the LSAT.

That said, the interview is another data point the law schools use to assess you.

You must be prepared to talk about the following in your law school interview:

1. Resume and experience

The most central piece of your interview will be discussing your resume and experience. You should come with stories prepared, including what on your resume is most meaningful to you. When possible, you should have narrative prepared for each aspect of your resume, and should connect back to your legal motivations. Importantly, you should take anything you’re not preparing to talk about off your resume immediately.

2. Your interest in law

Your other main focus should obviously be your interest in law. You should come prepared to speak clearly about your interest, along with how long you’ve been drawn to this field.

Once you speak to the general, you should move to the specific – what about this particular law school is special to you? For each interview, make sure you can talk cogently about the following, as it pertains to their law school:

  • At least two professors
  • At least two unique courses
  • At least one of the following: clinic, extra-curricular opportunity, journal, tradition/campus culture, or alumni

You should probably be prepared to talk about the following topics as well:

Once you’ve covered the essentials, you should be prepared to talk about ancillary details about who you are and what led you to this decision. This can include, but isn’t limited to, an academic or professional accomplishment; a mistake, failure, or weakness; or, a time you worked on a team.

Practice adapting your prepare narrative to common questions:

After you’ve practiced narrating the above, you should then begin adapting your narrative fodder to common questions. The following questions are based on a collection of real answers from T14 law schools:

  • Why law and why now?
  • Why X school?
  • Hypothetical: if at your time at [legal internship], you were to show up one day and find that your coworkers were your clones, what strengthens and challenges would you run into?
  • What are you afraid of, and what motivates you?
  • If you were a fly on the wall, what do you think the admissions committee would say are the pros and cons of your application?
  • If you were an admissions officer, what two qualities would you look for in a potential candidate?
  • Do you have any questions for me?
  • Tell me about your job at [an organization where you worked].
  • Tell me about a social issue or current event that you’re following.
  • Tell me about a book that influenced you or a book you’re currently reading.
  • Which experience are you most proud of?
  • If you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would it be with?

With practice and a keen knowledge of what to expect, you’ll be able to walk into the interview feeling confident in yourself and your candidacy.

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