1. Explain me who will be working on my case, and how involved will you be personally?

A good family law attorney often has a team to help him or her, which is great, but it is important for you to know who will be working on your case, who will be communicating with you, who will be in charge, and how you will be billed for that work.

2. Explain me are you comfortable representing someone in my situation?

It is important that your attorney has represented clients in similar circumstances to yours, especially if your have an out-of-the-ordinary situation that may require specialized knowledge.

3. Explain me about a time you had to interact with a difficult client?

You represent the company to the public and your ability to act professionally at all times is important. Discuss the specific techniques you use to handle a difficult interaction including staying calm, getting all the necessary facts and information, discussing options and coming to agreement.

4. Explain me have you handled this type of case?

This is probably the most important question to ask. You would not want to fly with a pilot making his first transatlantic flight...why trust your case with a novice? A lawyer who has the right background can often save you time and money, all the while getting the best result possible. And don't take a simple “Yes” for a sufficient answer. Ask follow-up questions, such as where and when any similar cases went to trial and their results, to ensure the attorney really knows the subject matter.

5. Tell me what are the likely outcomes in my case?

Lawyers are not fortune tellers. They should never guarantee a specific result. However, they should be able to give you a frank preliminary assessment of how your case is likely to play out.

6. Tell me who will be doing the work?

Your lawyer will frequently be part of a law firm with junior associates and paralegals. Make sure you know who will be working on your case and in what capacity. Your lawyer can often save you money by delegating routine tasks to firm employees who charge a lower hourly rate. However, your lawyer should be involved in all key aspects and decisions of your case, or should explain to you why a colleague can handle some important part of the matter just as well.

7. Tell me what is the best way to develop a rapport with the interviewer?

☛ A job interview is like a blind date in that both sides feel a little nervous and forced. Standard blind date rules apply: nice handshake, maintain eye contact, smile when appropriate, and always listen!
☛ Listening is the most crucial part. It can be difficult for attorneys to get out of talking mode, but the interviewer should do about 80% of the talking.
☛ Paraphrase what the interviewer says back to him or her to show you are paying attention.

8. Explain what's the best way to summarize your entire background?

☛ Even for law students and young attorneys it can be difficult to encapsulate their whole history in a few sentences. For experienced attorneys, it can be a nightmare.
☛ Stick to what's relevant for the job you're applying to.
☛ Refer to the resume; make it easier for the interviewer.
☛ Bring a list of representative casework.

9. Tell me how can a qualified attorney screw up in the interview?

☛ Showing up late is a sign of disrespect.
☛ Criticizing your last job is a major red flag.
☛ Lack of preparation will always make you look bad.
☛ It's important to be confident, but don't be arrogant or act like loose cannon. Never appear as though the job isn't important to you.
☛ Don't lie! Getting caught in a lie is the worst way to spoil an interview

10. Tell me what are the differences between interviews with associates and junior partners and interviews with senior associates and partners?

☛ Junior partners and associates are still “gunners” who are often in competition with the rest of the attorneys. Do not act too competitive or they might see you as a threat. Act friendly.
☛ Older partners aren't usually caught up in competition with the rest of the staff. They will want to see a competitive edge. They will also be more concerned with things like grades. Act hard working and determined.

Download Interview PDF

11. Tell me what questions should be avoided?

Don't ask about salary, vacation time, working hours, start date.
Don't appear overanxious to get the job.
Don't express reservations about taking the job. If you have reservations, deal with them later. During the interview, your goal is to make a positive impression

12. Tell me what areas of law are you most interested in?

My main interest lies in the forensic field however I am open to all fields

13. Tell me why should we consider you to be the right person for this job?

I am confident that I possess the legal educational background, the experience and the skills that this job demands. I believe I am much above in these areas as far as other contenders for this job is concerned as I possess excellent research skills along with a profound ability to work in a fast paced environment.

14. Tell me how long have you been practicing, and what percentage of your practice is devoted to family law?

It is important to have an attorney who is experienced in family law. In this era of specialization, it is impossible to do everything well.

15. Tell me will I receive copies of all the documents you generate and receive regarding my case?

A good attorney will provide his or her client with copies of everything that is received or sent out. You don't want an attorney who gets a settlement offer from your spouse's attorney and forgets to send it to you for your consideration.

16. Explain me an example of having to organize large volumes of data in order to prepare a report by a tight deadline?

A paralegal must research and analyze volumes of data in order to prepare written reports and summaries. They also have to be able to work under pressure.

Describe the steps you took, using a specific example, to identify key issues from a base of information. Highlight how you applied relevant legal principals to the facts in your analysis of the information.

17. Tell us why did you choose to become a paralegal? Why did you choose to specialize in this area of the law?

In your paralegal interview be convincing about your passion for the law. A paralegal position offers an opportunity to participate meaningfully in the legal process. It allows you to think critically and analytically and to optimize your communication skills.

As a paralegal you will be constantly learning and growing. Look at your particular specialization - litigation, criminal, corporate, insurance, family law etc - and consider what it is about the specific demands of the job that you enjoy.

18. Tell us how long will this case take?

In discussing case strategy, your lawyer should give you an estimate of how much time it will take to get to a resolution. Keep in mind that your lawyer does not control the pace of the process and cannot make any promises about when it will be over.

19. Explain what would you say is your main weakness as Judicial Clerk?

Interviewers ask this question for two reasons. Number one, so you can tell them what your main weakness is and they do not have to guess, and number two, in order to determine if you are able to view yourself realistically. Those who do not view themselves realistically are not likely to be able to take constructive criticism or work to improve their skills, two things that employers generally want an employee to be able to do. Therefore, in order to answer this question, you will need to think about your skills and abilities and find an area that could use improving. You should then think about how you can work to improve the skill, as you will want to tell the interviewer, not only that you are aware of a weakness, but also that you are doing specific things to work on it. You might say, for example, “I am lacking in certain people skills and can sometimes come off as rude or uncaring, so I have been trying to pay closer attention to how I say things to people.” Another response may be, “I sometimes focus so much on the big picture that I miss the details, so I have been stopping what I am doing at regular intervals and concentrating on the details for a few moments.”

20. Tell me can you recommend any particular resources for doing research on a firm prior to the interview?

☛ Review the law firm website.
☛ Review articles about the firm online.
☛ Talk to people you may know who have interviewed or worked at the firm.

21. Tell me “Are you interviewing anywhere else?” “Why are you leaving your present position?” or “Why did you leave your present position?” - how do you address this? What if you parted on bad terms?

☛ You never want to say anything negative about your old firm.
☛ You don't want to seem like a gossip. They will think you might badmouth them if they hire you.
☛ Turn it into a positive. Say that you want increased responsibility with a firm that offers growth or a firm that is a match with your personality and skills.

22. Explain me what are the differences in interviewing with a big firm vs. a small or mid-sized firm?

☛ Many big firms have a set of procedures for interviews and things are more rigid. They will often have callback interviews, which is not a guarantee that you will get an offer.
☛ Smaller firm interviews can be less formal sometimes, but you should always appear conservative even if the interview is less formal.

23. Tell us do you have any experience in dealing with confidential information? If yes, how well did you manage it?

Being a trained legal assistant I fully understand the importance of confidentiality in legal proceedings and know that even the minor details of any case should be kept confidential. I have always maintained case confidentiality during my work experience and my previous employer can testify the same.

24. Tell us do you prefer to negotiate and settle, and what is your attitude toward mediation?

You will be best served by an attorney who is looking for ways to solve problems, not to escalate disagreements. An attorney who is willing to try all avenues to resolve your case can help make your divorce less costly, both financially and emotionally.

Download Interview PDF

25. Tell us If you are unavailable when I call or if I send you an email, how long should I have to wait for a response?

Communication between you and your attorney is critical, and it is frustrating to wait for an attorney to respond. A good attorney will answer emails and phone calls within 24 hours, and may have someone on staff who can respond earlier.