Attorney Interview Questions - Frequently Asked Attorney Interview Questions And Answers that You MUST Prepare For

Attorneys advice and help clients deal with legal matters.

Clients can be individuals, small businesses, large corporations, or government.

There are various fields of law that an attorney can specialize in like Tax attorney, Patient attorney, Real estate attorney, Prosecutor, etc.

Success Traits Attroneys require good analytical skills, good problem-solving skills, good written and oral communication skills, good presentation skills, good emotional skills, and organization skills.

Job skills - Attorneys advice clients about their legal options, represent them before court, present and argue in favour of them, conduct legal research, interpret laws and regulations, communicate with all parties involved in a legal case, oversee the work of team members such as paralegals and legal assistants, etc.

Attorney Interview Questions - Attorney interview questions are crafted in such a way that the hiring manager can assess if you have the right qualification, experience, passion, and skills, needed to be an attorney in their organization.

Listed below are the top frequently asked REAL Attorney Interview Questions asked at various organizations.

Tell me about yourself?


By asking this question, the interviewer wants to see if you have the passion, skill set and experience required to be an Attorney.

Best way to answer this question is to briefly talk about yourself and highlight the following four points in sequence.

1. Your education - Highlight on your law school, bar exams passed, and law certifications that you might have achieved.
2. Your previous experience - Highlight the job duties from your previous jobs that match the requirements for this job.
3. Your strengths and passions - Highlight the success traits required for an attorney - analytical and problem-solving skills, communication skills, case presentation skills, organizational skills, etc.
4. Your job specific skills - Highlight specific legas cases or tasks that you have handles in your past jobs.

Important - Do not specify your hobbies, personal details, or family details unless specifically asked for.

Sample answer - 'I got a bachelor's degree in social sciences from XYZ university, and a law degree from XYZ law school. (shows that you have relevant qualification). I have five years of experience as a tax attorney, including last four years for companies XYZ and ABC where I was responsible for managing tax audits for 2 of their main clients - X corporation and Y corporation (shows that you have relevant experience). I love helping clients with their legals issues, providing them with the best legal options and paths, and representing them in courts (Shows that you are passionate about being an attorney). I have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, and perform in-depth analysis of past law cases to provide the best options to my clients. (shows that you have the right job related skills.).'

What are your key strengths?


Strengths - Some of the key success traits required to be a successful attorney are - analytical skills, problem-solving skills, your knowledge of law, presentation skills, etc. Mention some of these as your strengths, and make sure that you can back it up with concrete and measurable results from your previous jobs.

Weaknesses - Yes, you would certainly like to answer 'I do not have any weaknesses', but that is not what the interviewer is expecting, so be prepared to list out some weaknesses. The trick is specify some weaknesses but put a positive spin on these weaknesses.

Important - do not mention any of the key success traits required for this job as one of your weakness. For example, do not say 'communication is my weakness' or 'multi-tasking is my weakness'

What are your weaknesses?


Weaknesses - Yes, you would certainly like to answer 'I do not have any weaknesses', but that is not what the interviewer is expecting, so be prepared to list out some weaknesses. The trick is specify some weaknesses but put a positive spin on these weaknesses.

Important - do not mention any of the key success traits required for this job as one of your weakness. For example, do not say 'communication is my weakness' or 'multi-tasking is my weakness'

What is your biggest professional mistake or failure?


Unfortunately you cannot answer like 'I never made a mistake'.

Prepare for this question by having a list of mistakes or failures that you may have encountered.

Important - Make a positive spin on this kind of question. In this case, in addition to stating what your mistake is and why, make sure to follow it up and describe how you over came that mistake.

Why did you choose to be an attorney?


By asking this question, the interviewer wants to see if you have the passion, drive and motivation to be an attorney.

Answer this question by highlighting the qualities and soft-skills needed for an attorney (communication, presentation), and the job duties needed for an attorney (legal knowledge, helping clients, etc.)- and how it interests you and how you are driven by them.

Why did you choose this specialization in law?


There are many specializations in law - tax, real estate, patents, corporate, government etc.

Be prepared to answer why you are interested in a specific specialization - like tax attorney, over other areas.

Tell me about a recent Supreme Court case you disagreed with and why?


This is a commonly asked interview question for attorneys. This questions serves various purposes. It tests your knowledge of the law, legal system, and the supreme court. It tests your critical thinking skills, your opinions and thought process, and how up-to-date you are with the cases that the Supreme Court ruled on.

To prepare for these kind of interview questions, have a list of the last 5 to 10 Supreme Court cases. For each case - prepare the reason why you agree, and another on why you do not agree.

Important - Do not make your answer too controversial.

Which law would you like to change and why?


This is a commonly asked interview question for attorneys. This questions serves various purposes. It tests your knowledge of the law and the legal system. Tests your critical thinking skills, your opinions and thought process.

To prepare for this kind of interview question, have a list of 5 to 10 different laws that you want to change, and the reason for each.

Important - Do not select a law that is too controversial, or your reason for change too controversial.

How do you prepare for a trial in a courtroom?


By asking this question the interviewer wants to evaluate your analytical, problem-solving, and case presentation skills.

Prepare for this questions by have a checklist of the processes you would go through during the trial process.

What is the difference between civil law and criminal law?

FAQLegal Knowledge

Civil law deals with disputes between individuals or entities, where one party seeks compensation or remedies for harm suffered.

Criminal law, on the other hand, involves offenses against society, and the state prosecutes individuals accused of committing crimes.

In civil cases, the plaintiff must prove the defendant's liability based on a preponderance of evidence, while criminal cases require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Example: A civil case may involve a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering, while a criminal case may involve charges of theft prosecuted by the state.

What are the elements of a contract, and how is a contract formed?

FAQLegal Knowledge

The elements of a contract are: offer, acceptance, consideration, capacity, and legality.

An offer is a clear proposal made by one party to enter into a contract.

Acceptance is the unqualified agreement to the terms of the offer.

Consideration refers to something of value exchanged between the parties as part of the contract.

Capacity relates to the legal ability of parties to enter into a contract, and legality requires that the contract's purpose is lawful.

A contract is formed when all elements are present, and there is mutual assent between the parties.

Example: A person offers to sell their car for $10,000. Another person accepts the offer, and $10,000 is paid as consideration. A contract is formed.

What is the doctrine of stare decisis, and how does it impact legal decisions?

FAQLegal Knowledge

Stare decisis is a legal principle that means to 'stand by things decided.' It is the doctrine of precedent, where courts follow the decisions of higher courts in similar cases.

The principle ensures consistency and stability in the law and provides guidance for judges in deciding current cases.

While courts may depart from precedent in certain circumstances, stare decisis is generally respected in common law systems.

Example: If a higher court has previously ruled that a particular statute is constitutional, a lower court will likely follow that precedent in a similar case.

What is the concept of negligence, and how is it applied in personal injury cases?

FAQLegal Knowledge

Negligence is a legal theory used in personal injury cases where a person's careless or reckless conduct causes harm to another.

To prove negligence, the plaintiff must establish four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

The defendant must owe a duty of care to the plaintiff, breach that duty by failing to meet the standard of care, and the breach must be the direct cause of the plaintiff's injuries.

Damages refer to the harm suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant's negligence.

Example: A driver has a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely. If they cause an accident due to reckless driving, they may be found negligent and liable for the other driver's injuries.

What are the different types of intellectual property, and how are they protected?

FAQLegal Knowledge

Intellectual property includes copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets.

Copyrights protect original works of authorship, trademarks protect brand names and logos, patents protect inventions, and trade secrets protect confidential business information.

Each type of intellectual property is protected through specific registration or filing procedures.

Copyrights are automatically granted upon creation, while trademarks and patents require applications with the appropriate government agency.

Trade secrets are protected through confidentiality agreements and other security measures.

Example: A company may seek a patent to protect a new and innovative product it has invented from being replicated by others in the market.

What are the elements of a tort, and how are they different from criminal offenses?

FAQLegal Knowledge

A tort is a civil wrong that causes harm or injury to another person or property.

The elements of a tort include: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

A duty of care is owed to others to avoid causing foreseeable harm.

Breach of duty occurs when a person fails to meet the standard of care, causing harm.

Causation requires a direct link between the breach of duty and the resulting harm.

Damages refer to the injuries or losses suffered by the plaintiff.

Unlike criminal offenses, torts are resolved through civil lawsuits, and the goal is to compensate the injured party rather than punish the wrongdoer.

Example: If a store fails to clean up a spill, causing a customer to slip and injure themselves, the store may be liable for negligence as a tort.

What are the elements of self-defense, and how are they applied in criminal cases?

FAQLegal Knowledge

Self-defense is a legal defense used when a person uses force to protect themselves or others from imminent harm.

The elements of self-defense typically include an honest belief of facing immediate danger, the use of reasonable force to respond to that threat, and a lack of any reasonable opportunity to retreat.

The force used in self-defense must be proportional to the threat faced.

In criminal cases, the defendant must present evidence supporting the elements of self-defense, and the jury decides whether the defense applies.

Example: If a person is attacked and fears for their life, they may use reasonable force to defend themselves without facing criminal liability.

What is the process for obtaining a patent, and what are the requirements for patentability?

FAQLegal Knowledge

The process for obtaining a patent involves filing a patent application with the relevant government agency, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The requirements for patentability include:

- Novelty: The invention must be new and not previously known or disclosed.

- Non-obviousness: The invention must not be an obvious improvement over existing technology.

- Utility: The invention must have a practical and useful purpose.

The patent application must include a detailed description of the invention and how it works.

Example: An inventor may file a patent application for a new medical device that addresses a specific medical condition.

What are the essential elements of a valid will, and how is it executed?

FAQLegal Knowledge

The essential elements of a valid will include:

- Testamentary capacity: The testator (person making the will) must be of sound mind and legal age.

- Intent: The testator must have the intention to create a will and dispose of their assets.

- Signature: The will must be signed by the testator.

- Witnesses: The will must be witnessed and signed by at least two witnesses who are not beneficiaries.

After the will is properly executed, it becomes a legally binding document.

Example: A person creates a will, signs it in the presence of two witnesses, and expresses their intention to distribute their property according to the terms of the will.

What are the key principles of contract interpretation, and how are ambiguities resolved?

FAQLegal Knowledge

The key principles of contract interpretation are:

- Plain meaning rule: The words of the contract are given their ordinary and usual meaning.

- Intent of the parties: The court seeks to understand the intent of the parties at the time of contract formation.

- Contra proferentem: Ambiguous terms are interpreted against the party that drafted the contract.

- Course of performance: The parties' conduct during performance can shed light on their intended meaning.

- Trade usage and custom: Industry practices and customs may be considered if relevant to the contract.

If a contract contains ambiguities, the court may interpret them in favor of the party who did not draft the contract.

Example: In a contract for the sale of goods, if the term 'delivery' is unclear, the court may interpret it in favor of the buyer if the seller drafted the contract.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Behaviorial Interview
Top resource to prepare for behaviorial and situational interview questions.

STAR Interview Example