Firstly, you should keep in mind the main reasons why you have the drive to choose Law as a career. My own motivation came from seeing a small part of the law in action. Once you’ve drafted your answer, try this test: if you can replace the name of the law firm with that of another commercial law firm and the answer still makes sense, you’ve been too generic. Prepare how you will describe the situation, what you did and the outcome. Why are you interested in a career in corporate law? But don't underestimate the importance of practical experience at this stage. Thus, whatever the question may be, you should try your best to be convincing and confident while you answer. Think about the tests listed above, as some of these are likely to be included. Firms need to check that you have thought about the differences between working in commercial law and, say, family or criminal law. And not just because you'd look stupid if you fluffed it. If a firm refers to ‘commercial’, it wants to see that you are looking to work with businesses and government rather than advising individuals in a high street firm. Prepare by checking the job description to find out what competencies the employer will be looking for. That goes without saying. Countless applicants fall down through not understanding how the commercial firm makes its money. Louis Kroeck started writing professionally under the direction of Andrew Samtoy from the "Cleveland Sandwich Board" in 2006. Many employers use competency-based interview questions, which are aimed at finding out whether candidates have the skills and behaviours that are needed for the job. Highlight the ways in which you want to develop and explain why you think that firm in particular will aid your progress; for example, you may want to cite the firm’s top tier clients in a certain practice area or its reputation for training and mentoring. There are some characteristics that your interviewers, tutors and employers will be expecting from you straight away, such as how good you might be with clients, how much commercial awareness you have, and what characteristics you can bring to a role. Join employers or graduates as they have the career-related conversations you need to hear right now. (Please limit your answer to 250 words only). Secondly, you need to exhibit your understanding of the workings of the job description. There are a whole range of options out there – you should apply to chamber sets, solicitors firms and courts, but if you struggle to get these placements immediately, you can also get great value from work experience elsewhere, such as in the financial sector, or in retail or charity work. Although closely aligned and both grounded in contract law, corporate law is specific to a client’s ownership of its business, eg mergers and acquisitions (M&A) work, whereas commercial law is a much broader area, covering everything a City law firm advises on. Be prepared with a few questions and avoid asking questions that have already been answered or anything you should already know from details they have sent you. Many different kinds of people succeed at the law, and the best answer really will depend on your personality. 2347472. The types of questions you'll encounter during a law job interview include general enquiries about your career, specific questions relating to the firm and the law, those testing your skills and competencies, questions centred on commercial awareness and those designed to … Registered in England No. Why is the law firm asking this question? If that happens, remember it’s a test, not a personal attack. As with all answers to application questions, be prepared to expand on your answer at interview or in an assessment centre. This question will test what a lawyer believes that they are good at and what interests them. Who will your clients be? Eversheds Sutherland is the only international law firm based in Cardiff and therefore I felt that it would be the best place for me to train.’. Have you had to use your diplomacy skills when handling difficult clients in your bar job? Thus, he has better chances of getting hired. Make sure you write a thank you letter – few people do this and it is a good way for you to be remembered positively, in case you want to go back. Our A to Z of top graduate employers on site with advice on researching career opportunities and applying. Good preparation will help you to perform better and reduce interview nerves. It is easy to get into a muddle if you have not thought it through. Although most law firms will ask some similar questions, the type of questions you can anticipate in a law firm interview will depend on the nature of the job for which you are interviewing. You won’t be able to convince recruiters that you want to work in commercial law at their firm until you’ve put the hours into your research. Firstly, you should keep in mind the main reasons why you have the drive to choose Law as a career. Remember that clients need to have complete confidence in their solicitor. Our overview in commercial law – by Emma Matebalavu, a partner at Clifford Chance – will help you. and "why do you think you're suited to a career in law?" Think about the questions the interviewer asked. We may agree with Aristotle that "the law is reason free from passion", yet an answer as to why you might want a career in law is the opposite – it is a rare opportunity to show your passion, so don't be afraid to. For example, two of your seats as a Hogan Lovells trainee will be in its corporate and finance groups, and another in one of its litigation teams; all trainee solicitors at Bristows are guaranteed a seat in its intellectual property department. Additionally, this question allows interviewers to get a sense of how you view this career path and whether you are truly passionate about it or you are just fulfilling a need for a lucrative career. Examples may include: Put yourself in the shoes of the graduate recruiter. At the same time, the candidate could have a passion for a skill that the company needs. Do not think that a general knowledge of law will get you the job you want. Visit their website and check legal press websites for a more objective view. Work experience helps prove you are competent in these areas, and leaves you with a wealth of examples to talk about on application forms and during interviews. test your experience – have you had any insights into life in a commercial law firm. Quantity surveying and building surveying, Everything you need to know about assessment centres, Essential workplace skills and competencies. Perhaps that is why they chose me as the President of Students’ Union at the university. You'll be answering it on work placement application forms, during mock interviews, at tutor meetings, when applying for courses, at scholarship interviews… the list goes on. What the employer is looking for . Updated 16 March 2019. It has some variations – "why do you want to be a lawyer?" For example, many commercial firms place a heavy emphasis on client focus; show that you’re good with people and are able to form new professional relationships by highlighting any occasions or jobs where you’ve had to provide a service or deal with customers. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. This is a good opportunity to show your interest in the job and the organisation. By gaining a practical insight I realised two things – first, the power the law has on people's lives, and second, interpreting law effectively can mitigate loss of income. I have studied Law for 4 years; I have developed a keen interest in Intellectual Property and would love to explore the field in corporate law. You might decide that the purpose of the question is to: Even though many of the commercial law motivation questions don’t explicitly ask why you want to work at that firm, good answers should give the impression that you want to work at that particular firm above all others. My answer was not a convincing enough argument and I was unsuccessful as a result. An employer will have criteria that they expect candidates to meet, and the interview is your chance to prove this. It will help you stand out next to someone else, and an interviewer may well remember you by it. Your legal secretary interview questions and answers need to show that you understand specifically what the law firm does and whom they represent. – can feel somehow unexpected and can be very offputting. Take the challenge and make the leaderboard. Meet chambers, Bar associations and course providers. What makes you think that you would be particularly suited to a long-term career at a commercial law firm such as X firm?’ (max 1,500 characters) Put yourself in the shoes of the graduate recruiter. © The Law Society 2020. Before your interview, ask if you should bring writing samples. Here are a few challenging interview questions and strategies on how to answer them without breaking a sweat: Question: Why should we hire you? Your answer should demonstrate purpose and tell the interviewer something about you as an individual. When discussing the firm, stay away from generic terminology, such as referring to its ‘global reputation’. If you’re not sure how a commercial law firm differs from any other, go back and do more research. You may be asked to attend for anything from half a day to three days. Most interviewers will be reasonable, but some throwbacks enjoy making candidates squirm. Kroeck is an attorney out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania specializing in civil litigation, intellectual property law and entertainment law. ", here are three useful tips to improve your chances getting work experience: 1. You should think about the types of questions that you’ll be asked (many law-related sites have lists), and carefully prepare a response that you can give in an unscripted manner to the hiring manager. "Start small, but do something" - learning and development at Sky Legal, your skills and experience and how they fit the requirements, what you can offer, and anything that makes you stand out from the competition, what areas of law you’re most interested in, and why, what interests you about the organisation and the role, ability to cope with pressure and deadlines, psychometric tests of your numerical, verbal and reasoning skills, personality questionnaires to assess your style of working and other personal characteristics, in-tray exercises, where you will be asked to read and deal with a large amount of material such as minutes, reports, emails and letters – these test your ability to prioritise, plan and organise, and how you handle complex information, written tests, such as summarising information, writing a letter to a client or reading materials and writing a report, presentations – these test your communication skills and your ability to plan, structure and deliver the presentation, as well as your knowledge of the presentation topic, sit upright to show engagement, and hold your hands together if you think you might fidget, at the end of the interview, thank your interviewer for seeing you, shake hands and remember to say goodbye, if there is more than one interviewer, try to address your answers equally to each one, be succinct and to the point, but say enough to sell yourself, do not try to fill silences while the interviewer is looking at your CV or their questions, listen carefully to the questions and answer them precisely – remember, this is what clients will expect from a solicitor, adapt your prepared answers to the questions the interviewer asks, if you do not understand something, ask your interviewer to explain, prepare some of your own questions to ask at the end of the interview, the organisation – strategic goals, challenges they’re facing, why the interviewer(s) enjoy working there, recent developments, the role – what you would be working on, systems and processes, how performance is evaluated, any reasonable adjustments that you’ll need, the working conditions – opportunities, career development, the selection process and what happens next.
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