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nothingtosee
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby nothingtosee » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:57 pm

Tagging this.

Bit of advice for those still in college: take advantage of your career services office. Schedule an appointment to mock interview, and you can even tell them to ask particular questions. You will good feedback on your strengths and weaknesses and will feel much more confident going in to your real interview.

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HouseTargaryen
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby HouseTargaryen » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:33 pm

This was a HUGE help for me as I prepped, so figured I'd weigh in even if just to reaffirm what some of the previous posters said. These are the questions I was asked during my Chicago interview for the 2013-2014 cycle:

1) Why [Undergrad school] and [major]?
2) Why law school?
3) Why Chicago?
4) If you could redo one thing in your life, what would it be?
5) Greatest accomplishment?
6) How would professors describe you?

Best of luck!!

mint_basil
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby mint_basil » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:23 pm

Hey guys!

I practically memorized this thread when I was prepping for my interviews, so I thought I'd return the favor by posting my experience here. I'll post Chicago and Harvard interviews soon (Edit: see below).

Schools are not listed in any particular order.

Georgetown
method: local alum
questions: why Georgetown, why undergrad school/major, why D.C., why should we admit you, where else have you applied
length: 1 hr-ish
overall theme of questions: "Why should we admit you? How likely are you to actually come to Georgetown if admitted?"
take-a-ways/advice: beware of the "where else have you applied" line of questioning-- do tell if you guys have tips for answering these! I just stammered my way through my answer to Why Georgetown (alum looked mildly impressed but persisted with same line of questioning for a few minutes).

Northwestern:
method: local alum
questions: why NW, why undergrad/major, why law, what did I learn at undergrad that would help me become a better lawyer
length: 45 minutes
theme: "are you actually interested in Northwestern? Do you have social skills?"
take-a-ways: alum had 4-5 questions and then let me ask questions for the next 30 minutes. Not sure if this is standard practice but definitely be ready to ask 8-10 substantive questions.

Vandy:
method: local alum
questions: why Vandy, why Nashville, why law, why particular interest in X law, where else have I applied, why not another career path would be a better "fit" with my undergrad major
length: 1 hr
theme: "How likely are you to come to Vandy? Are you going to be the sort of the person that Vandy wants to admit?"
take-a-ways: know your resume and if law doesn't seem like a natural "fit" (e.g., you were pre-med), have a good answer as to why you want to go to law school vs. say, med school

UVA:
method: skype with Jason Dugas
questions: very, very abstract- asked about personal statement, life experiences, strengths/weaknesses, and a variation of the what would you do if X were to happen instead of Y-- none of the "standard" interview questions above
length: 20 minutes
theme: "What kind of person are you? Are you a self-aware? Do you have social skills?"
take-a-ways: Brush up on your small talk. JD is super chill. Definitely the most relaxed interview of the bunch, but don't except to waltz through- he's very sharp and the questions only appear simple.

Chicago:
method: skype
questions: why undergrad/major, why Chicago, most memorable academic experience, if you could re-do 1 thing what would it be
length: 15 minutes-ish
theme: "Can you string a sentence/argument together? Are you someone our faculty wants to teach?"
take-a-ways: fairly formal and felt like an in-person interview for a real job. Interviewer took copious notes throughout. Difficult to gauge facial expressions/cues. Felt odd talking to someone's hair.

Harvard:
method: skype (committee bios are on the HLS Admissions blog)
questions: why undergrad/major, specific resume points, why Harvard, why law school now (vs. later/never)
length: 15 minutes-ish
theme: "Are you someone we want to represent the Harvard brand?"
take-a-ways: very structured and tailored to my app/interests. Again, brush up on small talk.

Final thoughts: Relax. Your interviewers aren't out to "get" you. If they're interviewing you, then they're seriously considering admitting you. Think of it as another chance to show them how wonderful you are. Don't stress once the interviews are over because you've given your best effort. Go watch a movie or something.

Trust yourself- you'll end up where you're supposed to be.

Good luck!
Last edited by mint_basil on Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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papercut
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby papercut » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:10 pm

Tag. Thanks for the great thread.

xmbeckham
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby xmbeckham » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:26 am

Just curious how a girl would dress for a Skype interview...

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kershka
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby kershka » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:54 am

xmbeckham wrote:Just curious how a girl would dress for a Skype interview...

I don't think it matters that much. For two of mine I wore a business-style dress with a suit jacket overtop it. For the one I had when Snowpocolypse 2014 hit, I wore a business-professional sweater over a traditional button-up shirt.

Rule of thumb: business casual is fine but business formal is okay as well if you are interviewing while at work, you just feel more comfortable like that etc.

FluffMonster
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby FluffMonster » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:02 am

Tag

xmbeckham
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby xmbeckham » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:38 pm

kershka wrote:
xmbeckham wrote:Just curious how a girl would dress for a Skype interview...

I don't think it matters that much. For two of mine I wore a business-style dress with a suit jacket overtop it. For the one I had when Snowpocolypse 2014 hit, I wore a business-professional sweater over a traditional button-up shirt.

Rule of thumb: business casual is fine but business formal is okay as well if you are interviewing while at work, you just feel more comfortable like that etc.

Thanks!

Theopliske8711
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:30 pm

Tag this bitch.

Pau.C.
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Pau.C. » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:08 pm

.
Last edited by Pau.C. on Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lsatquestion
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby lsatquestion » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:45 pm

Thanks for the help guys!

I have an interview coming up and had a question. Some of my honest answers to several interview questions (biggest challenge/situation in which you felt awkward/what would you go back and change) involve things that happened in my personal life and are not really related to academics or employment. Should I give those answers, even though they don't really speak to my academic abilities? Or should I interpret the questions as being limited to academic and employment environments?

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Balthy
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Balthy » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:46 pm

I think there was one question on my interview that I hadn't read anywhere on TLS (maybe it has been added since).

My application made it clear that I had a few other career interests which I eventually decided against in favor of law school. I was expecting questions asking to clarify my decision making process. I was also expecting the Q about what you would do if you didn't get into any law school (my answer would have been that I would keep working on my current projects, but retake and reapply next cycle).

Instead, the interviewer asked: If you don't get into any law school, can't ever go to law school for whatever reason, can't follow X career interest, also can't follow Y career interest, THEN what would you do? This question threw me off big time. I think the best response might be to punt in some way, but I took the hypothetical seriously and imagined not being able to do any of the 3-4 options available to me. I ended up introducing an entirely new interest, but then quickly moved on to why I'm not as committed to that possibility (or any other) as I am to law.

Another thing I learned is that you can't be unwilling to use your prepared material very loosely. What I mean is, if you get thrown a curveball question and you know an answer you prepared for a different question would answer it well, just use it. Don't worry that you'll be out of the germane material when the original Q you prepared it for comes up. If you have a good interviewer s/he will have a good sense of the things you've explained so far, and you shouldn't have too much of a problem with overlap.

Lastly, I think the importance of preparing your answers is not so much in the substance (you know that well anyway) but the small but important things like transition words, qualifiers, etc. I memorized key mechanisms like those in my stories and and I think it helped make everything sound smooth and communicate exactly what I wanted it to. One qualifier can be the difference between you sounding confident vs. pretentious.

theycallmefoes
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby theycallmefoes » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:49 pm

mint_basil wrote:take-a-ways: alum had 4-5 questions and then let me ask questions for the next 30 minutes. Not sure if this is standard practice but definitely be ready to ask 8-10 substantive questions.
Wow. That seems intimidating. I've been wondering about this: what sorts of questions do you ask in response to the "do you have any questions for me?" question? Could you, and any other TLSers who have ideas about/experience with this, give some examples of/ideas for "substantive" questions? I worry about being sincere/genuine during this part of the interview, as well as asking questions that could easily be answered through the website. Any advice about this would be greatly appreciated!

20141023
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby 20141023 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:12 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lawschool22
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:38 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
theycallmefoes wrote:
mint_basil wrote:take-a-ways: alum had 4-5 questions and then let me ask questions for the next 30 minutes. Not sure if this is standard practice but definitely be ready to ask 8-10 substantive questions.
Wow. That seems intimidating. I've been wondering about this: what sorts of questions do you ask in response to the "do you have any questions for me?" question? Could you, and any other TLSers who have ideas about/experience with this, give some examples of/ideas for "substantive" questions? I worry about being sincere/genuine during this part of the interview, as well as asking questions that could easily be answered through the website. Any advice about this would be greatly appreciated!

You better get used to asking random shitty questions that seem substantive. Many law firms will expect you to ask a lot more of them during interviews for summer associate positions than law school admissions will. :lol:


Yeah this is definitely interviewing skills 101 that you'll want to become familiar with and good at. It can be tricky, since you need to be prepping another question while still listening attentively to the current answer. But once you have done it a few times it becomes easier. As far as coming up with questions? Hopefully this field is interesting enough to you that there are things you wonder about or interest you. These make good topics. Also, asking questions which allow the interviewer to talk about his or her personal story/journey is always a good route to take. People love to talk about themselves, and the longer their answer, the fewer questions you have to come up with.

theycallmefoes
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby theycallmefoes » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Generally, how brief (say, in minutes) should we keep our answers? For example, for the usual questions of "why law"/"why x law" or the more tailored questions like "describe a time when you felt uncomfortable and how you dealt with it."

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midwest17
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby midwest17 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:07 am

In terms of asking the interviewer questions, I like variations on "what advice do you have for me?" If you're talking to someone who went to law school (always the case with alums, obviously, and often the case with adcomms), "what do you wish you'd known before you went to law school" has seemed to work well. Or "how would you describe the atmosphere at your school." These have the added bonus of possibly getting you useful advice, if you listen in the right way.

It's also good to show that you've researched the school, though. I usually find the answers to all the questions I can think of about specific programs online, so one thing I've done is say "X, Y, and Z all sound like wonderful opportunities. How much is the typical student able to do while still succeeding academically?"

Disclaimer: it's hard to know what the interviewer thinks of you. But these all seem to go well in the moment.

theycallmefoes
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby theycallmefoes » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:57 am

midwest17 wrote:In terms of asking the interviewer questions, I like variations on "what advice do you have for me?" If you're talking to someone who went to law school (always the case with alums, obviously, and often the case with adcomms), "what do you wish you'd known before you went to law school" has seemed to work well. Or "how would you describe the atmosphere at your school." These have the added bonus of possibly getting you useful advice, if you listen in the right way.

It's also good to show that you've researched the school, though. I usually find the answers to all the questions I can think of about specific programs online, so one thing I've done is say "X, Y, and Z all sound like wonderful opportunities. How much is the typical student able to do while still succeeding academically?"

Disclaimer: it's hard to know what the interviewer thinks of you. But these all seem to go well in the moment.
Thank you so much - this was incredibly helpful and exactly the type of answer I was hoping to receive.

mint_basil
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby mint_basil » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:11 pm

theycallmefoes wrote:
mint_basil wrote:take-a-ways: alum had 4-5 questions and then let me ask questions for the next 30 minutes. Not sure if this is standard practice but definitely be ready to ask 8-10 substantive questions.
Wow. That seems intimidating. I've been wondering about this: what sorts of questions do you ask in response to the "do you have any questions for me?" question? Could you, and any other TLSers who have ideas about/experience with this, give some examples of/ideas for "substantive" questions? I worry about being sincere/genuine during this part of the interview, as well as asking questions that could easily be answered through the website. Any advice about this would be greatly appreciated!


I definitely second the TLS-ers who recommended that you ask about the interviewer's personal experiences. All of my alumni interviewers LOVED to talk about why they picked their school, how their education helped prepare them for their field, their current career trajectory, advice for newbies, etc.

RE: my specific Northwestern interview, I could have asked a number of good questions that were a lot better than the ones I actually asked in my panic of "OMG I'm out of questions and I have no idea what else to say!!!!!!" :oops: It was the only meeting that felt interviewee-driven versus the standard interviewer-driven style of someone asking you the majority of the questions. The one saving grace was that the interviewer gave me cues about what his interests (a certain field of law/firm/geography/clinic) were when he introduced himself, so when I ran out questions I just asked about his interests. My advice would be to listen very carefully to your interviewer and look for hints about conversational topics-- chances are if they spend time talking about a club/prof/whatever, they're probably interested enough in that topic to talk to you about it for a bit. If they don't volunteer this information you have to draw it out of them-- things like, "What were some the extracurricular activities that you were involved in during law school?" should do the trick.

Your questions really depend on who you get, though, and what they're willing to offer about themselves and their school. Some people are naturally good at the art of conversation and some people need you to be more proactive (maybe they do this on purpose to test your social skills...?) But anyways, the overall goal of allowing you to ask questions to test, besides your level of genuine interest in the school, how fast you are on your feet and how well you can integrate the information that's already been exchanged to continue the dialogue. Think of it as more of a give and take than a pure exercise in coming up with just "good questions" the day of the interview.

Hope this helps!

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thewaves
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby thewaves » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:20 pm

I haven't read this thread, so I am probably repeating this tip, but I recommend asking thoughtful questions tailored to the school and that reflect your own interests. In other words, have a question and be ready to elaborate on why understanding XYZ is important to you so that it becomes more of a dialogue. This may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how well interviewers respond!

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Quest4Knowledge
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Quest4Knowledge » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:05 am

nothingtosee wrote:Bit of advice for those still in college: take advantage of your career services office. Schedule an appointment to mock interview, and you can even tell them to ask particular questions. You will good feedback on your strengths and weaknesses and will feel much more confident going in to your real interview.


I found this helped me quite a bit.

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thewaves
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby thewaves » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:52 am

Quest4Knowledge wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:Bit of advice for those still in college: take advantage of your career services office. Schedule an appointment to mock interview, and you can even tell them to ask particular questions. You will good feedback on your strengths and weaknesses and will feel much more confident going in to your real interview.


I found this helped me quite a bit.


Also good even if you're out of school! I contacted career services, and they were very happy to help out an alum.

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odela
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby odela » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:11 pm

This was incredibly helpful for my interview. Thank you!

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Quest4Knowledge
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Quest4Knowledge » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:51 am

What is the downside to being 'over-prepared' for an interview? Over-prepared in that your answers sound rehearsed.

Basically, if I have pre-written, properly structured answers to standard questions like Why law, Why X, unique aspect of app, why KJD, etc. - what is the risk of coming across as over-prepared? If they think my answers were rehearsed, will this hurt my interview in any way?

I guess it may not come across as genuine or spontaneous, but will it necessarily be a negative to my application?

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midwest17
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby midwest17 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:44 pm

Quest4Knowledge wrote:What is the downside to being 'over-prepared' for an interview? Over-prepared in that your answers sound rehearsed.

Basically, if I have pre-written, properly structured answers to standard questions like Why law, Why X, unique aspect of app, why KJD, etc. - what is the risk of coming across as over-prepared? If they think my answers were rehearsed, will this hurt my interview in any way?

I guess it may not come across as genuine or spontaneous, but will it necessarily be a negative to my application?


It can hurt because part of the evaluation is whether they enjoyed talking to you, and it's less enjoyable talking to a person who sounds like they're just reading a pre-written answer.




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