Secrets for Law School Interview Success
Be aware that some law schools such as Northwestern invite almost all applicants to a law school interview whereas other schools such as Harvard do not interview at all. It is apparent, therefore, that different school give different weights to the interview as criteria for law school admission. An important rule of thumb is to accept the interview opportunity if it is offered as either a requirement or as an option in order to optimize your chance at law school acceptance .
Law School Interview Secret #1: Make sure to do your homework! Properly research the law school at which you are interviewing . The way that a trial lawyer would not go to court without adequate research into his case, an applicant should not show up at an interview without knowledge of the philosophy of the law school and its strengths and weaknesses. Law schools are very different from one another. Know at least one to two specific reasons why you want to come to this particular law school and what you as an individual can contribute to its class. The law school admissions committee will be much more interested in you if they think that you are likely to attend if accepted. Make sure that your body language reinforces the content of your interview answers. You want to give the impression of confidence but not cockiness.
Law School Interview Secret #2: Be yourself! Don’t try to be someone that you are not. Your body language will give you away. Lawyers are especially adept at picking up the body language of a liar. Make sure all your answers are honest. It is not uncommon to be asked thought-provoking questions that have no right or wrong responses. For example, should internet providers be responsible for the content on the websites they host or should DNA evidence obtained years after a crime automatically free a jury-convicted murderer. Don’t try to seond-guess what the interviewer wants you to say. The interviewers want to see your thought process, your ability to articulate and your ability to react under a stressful situation. Your body language counts!
Law School Interview Secret #3: Your interview begins the minute you arrive at the school. People who you informally meet in the parking lot, at the reception desk, in the building, etc all may possibly give feedback to members of the admission committee. Be polite and courteous at all times. Always try to be at least 15 minutes early for your interview. However, if you do arrive late for whatever reason, apologize, give a brief explanation, and move on. Do not belabor the point. Always try to directly answer the interview questions. Try to keep your answers brief. The interviewer is trying to determine if you will make a good lawyer after graduation, not just whether you will be able to keep up with the law school curriculum. No one wants to hire a rambling lawyer who does not get to the point.
Law School Interview Secret #4: Grab some friends and family members to act as the interviewer and practice, practice, practice. You will better able to get your points across if you practice. Remember, it is important to emit positive body language at all times. You want your interview answers to sound polished but not rehearsed. As already stated, you do not want to accidentally give off the body language of a liar. You want to come across as an applicant full of enthusiasm and integrity.
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