40 Questions Attorneys and Law Students Should Ask in Law Firm Interviews and Questions You Can Ask the Law Firm Interviewer as Well | BCGSearch.com

40 Questions Attorneys and Law Students Should Ask in Law Firm Interviews and Questions You Can Ask the Law Firm Interviewer as Well

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Never, ever, underestimate the importance of your law firm job interview! If you have gotten this far in the process … congratulations … you have your foot in the door (literally) and an offer in well within your grasp. If you have been invited for an interview it means you have made the cut in terms of grades, law school, prior work history, etc. What matters now is that you come to the table prepared and in all respects interested and engaged in the process of meeting the firm’s lawyers and becoming the newest addition to their team.

Here are some interview questions that often come up. We recommend that you know the answers to these questions. Some people find it’s helpful to write the answers out. Others practice saying the answers out loud to a friend or the bathroom mirror. The idea is not to stress out or write an autobiography or memorize answers. The idea is to think about the questions so you can answer truthfully and succinctly and with a fluidness that only comes from preparation and practice.
 


This is your time to SHINE! Having answers at the ready to each of these questions will impress your interviewer and help ensure that both of you enjoy this experience so much that the next time you meet is on your first day of work!
 

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.
  2. How did you end up at your current firm?
  3. Tell me about your experience there.
  4. What have your reviews been like? How about your billable hours?
  5. Why did you join a smaller firm after practicing at a large firm?
  6. You mention that you moved to your current city for XYZ reasons. What is your connection to our city?
  7. Why are you looking to move to a new law firm now?
  8. What are at least two positive things about your current firm?
  9. How do you see your practice changing if you move into a law firm like ours?
  10. If I were to ask your associates/colleagues about you, what would they say?
  11. Tell me about your experience and work at prior law firms.
  12. Tell me about an obstacle you’ve encountered and how you’ve overcome that obstacle.
  13. What is one of your weaknesses? How are you working to turn that weakness into something positive?
  14. Give me three of your best qualities that make you a good candidate for this firm.
  15. Do you think that your past experiences will help you practice in a law firm like ours?
  16. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Ten years?
  17. Why our firm?
  18. Why our city?
  19. Tell me about your practice.
  20. Why did you choose that particular practice area?
  21. How have you seen that practice area change or evolve?
  22. Tell me more about your technical experience.
  23. What can you bring to the table that others may not be able to do?
  24. Where else are you looking?
  25. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
  26. If I was to call your boss, what would he or she say you need to work on/improve on?
  27. Tell me about a particularly exciting project and the role you played in it.
  28. Tell me about three projects you worked on in the last year.
  29. What have you accomplished in law so far that you are most proud of?
  30. What are your salary expectations?
  31. If we were to extend you an offer, when would you be able to start?
  32. Do you have any questions for me?
 


Sample Questions You Can Ask of Them
 

  1. What would an associate at my level be expected to do as soon as they begin at your firm?
  2. What are associates in my class doing right now at your firm?
  3. How is work assigned? Would I be working directly for certain partners? At what level would I be managing associates more junior?
  4. Why are you hiring for this position? Is it for a specific client or transaction?
  5. How will I know that I’m doing well? Is there a formal review process?
  6. How does your office interact with other offices in the firm? Would I only work with partners in my office, or firm wide?
  7. Will I be staffed on a wide variety of matters or do you prefer associates to specialize in an area?
  8. What have you enjoyed most in your legal career?


While you must never let your guard down, please remember that interviews are organic situations. At a basic level, you are just having a conversation with a fellow person and attorney. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and to give your interviewer the chance to be his or herself too. If you see something around the office that strikes your interest (and it seems appropriate at the time) – a photo, a book, a piece of sports equipment, an antique desk, or even a view from a window – go ahead and bring it up. You’ll both probably enjoy things more if you add a little genuine rapport to your interview.

Be respectful

Be gracious

Be grateful

And be your prepared … awesome … seize the day and get the job self!!!


Learn why attorneys usually fail law firm phone-screening interviews in this article:
   
Get advice from law students, prelaw students and others at: Top Law Schools
 


About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.


About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives


Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.


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