Wednesday, March 30, 2011


One thing that lawyers love to ask you during interviews are questions that will make you "think on your feet."  Now, I find this annoying.  We all want to put our best foot forward and these questions are designed by their very nature to trip a candidate up.  I use to agonize as well about what questions I would be asked.  I would agonize over this.

Most interviews for legal positions are centered around behavioral questioning.  This is designed to put you in simulated situations to see how you did react and therefore to try and figure out how you would react in the future.  There are a ton of websites out there if you google behavioral interview questions, that will give you sample questions based on what character trait the interviewer is looking for.  I have found these sites helpful. 

I also have found a good formula for answering these questions.  In your legal research writing class, we all learned about IRAC (Issue, rule, analysis, conclusion).  But there is a way to answer these questions in the interviews -- STAR:  Situation, Task, Action taken, Result.  This keeps you concise and with a goal in mind.  At the end of the interview, I give a little closing argument that gives the interviewer tells them that I am interested in the job, and why I am a good fit for the team.

So now you have my secrets to a successful interview beyond the confidence, eye contact, and general warmth.

Oh, one more thing -- have an interesting/funny/memorable story.  For me, when someone says, Why are did you go to law school?  My story is simple.  I saw my first legal dance happen when I was nine and sat in Judge Roy Miller's courtroom.  I remember being in awe and watching the back and forth tango of a criminal trial.  I remember thinking, "That's going to be me some day."  I remember Judge Miller letting me sit in his big chair, at his big desk, and him rolling me around in the chair and pointing me towards Willamette Law Schools campus and telling me that there is where I needed to go.  Not to mention this coincided with the year that Geraldine Ferraro was running as vice president and I found out that I was a political creature as well, but that's another story.  That was the day that the love of law began in me and it never left....


  1. I love law too! I went to school to become a paralegal and a few courses short I had to stop and instead eventually went back to get my BA. I cant wait to finish those legal courses! I have been following your blog for quite awhile and I love reading it! If you don't mind may I ask for some advice? I will graduate this May with my BA and I had seriously been considering law school. The only problem is that Ive read a lot lately about how bad of an idea that it is because of the economy. Even when you get into top schools, rank top of your class and so on there is not much opportunity because law schools are spitting out graduates faster than the economy can catch up. This is leaving many unemployed and underemployed. My feelings are pretty hurt because law is my passion. I too am a single mother to 2 young boys and I just don't know if I should risk racking up major debt and time lost with my children for a degree that wont get me anywhere.What should I do? Is it better to wait a few years for things to clear up or take a huge risk?

  2. This is all true.about the economy. However, you would have three to four years for it to pull around which is a major plus. Also, remember that there are ways to consolidate and restructure your student loans. If it were me, I would do it. Even if you don't practice right away out if law school there are other well paying jobs that are within your reach because of that JD.