54 Common Solicitor Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 9 September 2022
Published 25 June 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Being a solicitor requires you to have knowledge and experience in a specific field. To determine this, law firms prefer to have a face-to-face interview with their potential candidates to ensure they are the right fit for the position. To prepare yourself adequately, it's best to consider the types of law interview questions you may be asked. In this article, we'll discuss the role of a solicitor and provide typical law interview questions and answers to expect in your interview.
What is a solicitor?
A solicitor is a legal practitioner who prepares legal documents, represents and defends a client's legal interests. As a solicitor, you can provide legal advice to individuals, private companies, small businesses and public sector organisations.
Related: How To Become a Solicitor
Common solicitor interview questions
Here's a sample of solicitor interview questions. The questions can be classified into the following categories:
General questions help your potential employer to get an impression of who you are in terms of your interests and passions. Here are some examples:
Why should we hire you?
What's your biggest success so far?
What do you do in your free time?
Why are you interested in this role?
What else can you tell me about yourself that's not in your CV?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
What aspect of being a solicitor do you love most?
How would your previous co-workers describe you?
What are your long term career objectives?
If hired, what's your 30-day action plan?
What sets you apart from other candidates applying for this position?
How do you define success?
Being a solicitor can be overwhelming and stressful sometimes. Your interviewer wants to know that you can handle the pressure that comes with the job. For these questions, be sure to demonstrate excellent communication skills and give a thorough explanation for each question asked. Here are some examples:
Tell me about a time you had to deal with an unpopular client such as a murderer or a terrorist.
Discuss a time when you lost a case in court. What lessons did you learn?
What would you do if you had a case that went against your moral values?
How do you manage projects that have demanding deadlines?
How do you handle criticism?
Describe a time when you had to give bad news to the management.
How would you react if one of your colleagues was sabotaging your case?
Describe a time you had to convince a client to drop their charges?
Tell me about a time you encountered a difficult client? How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time you had conflicting ideas with your superiors.
Experience and background questions
These questions help your interviewer gauge your knowledge and experience. Be sure to provide well-structured, concise answers. Here are some examples:
What's the most interesting legal issue you've dealt with?
What was your favourite subject in law school?
Have you written any legal papers so far?
Tell me about your internship experience.
Describe a complex case you dealt with in your previous job.
Has your prior working experience has prepared you for this role?
What was your most rewarding academic experience?
What was the most challenging part of law school?
How do you define a successful solicitor?
Which extracurricular activities were you engaged in during law school?
Is what you learnt in school relevant when handling cases?
Law-related questions are questions directly related to your area of practice. The interviewer wants to know that you're up for the task. Examples include:
Tell me about a current issue affecting law firms.
What are the skills of a good solicitor?
What is your view on the franchising of legal aid firms?
How do you keep yourself current with emerging issues in law?
What do you think of pro-bono cases?
Do you like to lead or to follow?
How do you give legal advice to a client?
Have you ever attended an employment tribunal?
Tell me about a time you had to negotiate a deal. How did you go about it?
How do you handle multiple clients? Give examples from your previous firm.
Explain your approach to solving problems.
How do you handle a client that has conflicting interests with that of your firm?
Do you have any experience drafting legal documents?
Do you prefer to work as a team or as an individual?
What do you think of our law firm?
Sample solicitor interview questions and answers
Here are some sample interview questions and answers for solicitors:
How do you handle disagreements with your superiors over a legal matter?
As a solicitor, you'll have to work with other legal professionals that may have conflicting ideas from yours about a case. It's even more challenging when you have disagreements with your superior. Your interviewer wants to know that you can effectively communicate your views without being intimidated and that you can compromise if someone's ideas are better than yours. Your answer should demonstrate:
Conflict management skills
Confidence in your opinion
Ability to know when to compromise
Example: 'I state my views respectfully and listen to my superiors to understand their point of view. If I feel that my opinion would be more efficient in solving the issue at hand, I'll go the extra mile to convince my superiors why they should try my idea. If my superiors don't agree with my views, no matter how I try to convince them, I'd respectfully follow their decision as long as it's per my professional obligations.'
How do you handle having multiple cases to work on?
Sometimes, as a solicitor, you'll have multiple clients or cases that have tight deadlines. The interviewer wants to know if you can multitask and prioritise your work to achieve the set goals. Your answer should demonstrate:
A plan to prioritise tasks
Ability to exceed expectations
Example: 'If I have multiple cases that I have to work on at once, I'd start by setting my priorities and setting deadlines for each task. I'd make a schedule and ensure I stick to it. If there're tasks I could multitask, I'll do that to save time and energy. If the case requires more time, I'd be willing to spend more hours at work to complete the projects.'
What do you do to keep abreast with new developments in the law industry?
The law industry keeps evolving and changing. You must be up to date with new law developments to advise the management on steps to take. This question aims to understand your plan to stay up to date and your promptness to implement changes. Your answer should include:
Examples of how you stay up to date
A plan to stay current with the emerging issue
Your genuine view on new developments
Example: 'I believe that changes and new developments are good for any field. To keep abreast with the current issues, I attend law conferences and workshops to interact with other solicitors and learn from them. I also have subscriptions to various law journals and magazines to help me stay current with what's happening in the industry. If I discover any new laws impacting my company, I'll ensure my superiors know about it to implement the changes.'
How do you build a relationship with your clients?
The major role of a solicitor is to represent and defend the client's legal interests. That means that you'll have to build a relationship with your clients for them to trust you with their cases. Your answer should indicate:
Ability to listen and communicate effectively
Example: 'I believe every relationship has to be built on trust. I first listen to my client's needs before offering my advice and opinion on the matter. I then give my professional opinion and get the client to trust me enough to tell me everything on the issue. I make sure I don't promise anything to the client but let them know they can rely on my abilities. It may take a while for the client to trust me but, I'd be willing to wait without judging or pressuring them.'
What qualities do you think a good solicitor should have?
This question seeks to gauge your understanding of a solicitor's role and what's needed to be successful. Take this opportunity to talk about skills that make you the ideal candidate for the role. Your answer should demonstrate:
Understanding of the roles of a solicitor
Unique skills that make you perfect for the role
Good communication skills
Example: 'I think a good solicitor should be able to communicate effectively, analyse situations and solve complex problems. Also, competent solicitors should build a strong relationship with their clients based on mutual respect. I am particularly proud of my intuition and ability to build a relationship with my clients. These skills have allowed me to win various cases and retain clients in my previous job.'
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