Legal assistants play a crucial role in the field of law. They assist the lawyers through various ways including but not limited to legal research and maintaining and organizing records. For such a position, the interview plays a key role in selecting the candidates.
Why did you apply for the post of Legal Assistant?
I have always been intrigued by legal processes. I find the job profile of supporting and assisting people in the field fascinating. The same fascination along with my interest in being a part of the organized and methodical sector has brought me here. Getting the opportunity of being a contribution to the organization elates me.
Are you versed with the law we practice here?
Sample Answer: (Try to showcase that you have done your research about the organization)
Based on my research, your firm specializes in _____________(fill the appropriate specialization). I have been interested in the field and have focussed my career primarily on it. Within the past 5 years, I have been working in similar working environments.
What is a legal assistant?
Legal assistants are a category of workers under the law where their primary duty is to assists lawyers in their procedures.
What skills do you think are required to make a good Legal Assistant?
A legal assistant needs to have good analytical skills and reasoning. He should have an eye for details and must be good at communication. Good researching skills are also very much necessary. He should be well versed with the legal terms and procedures. He should be able to work under pressure and in unfavorable conditions.
What is involved in case filing?
Case filing is a complex process that involves summarizing the cases, collecting materials and then organizing them, researching, witness scheduling and finally making a report for the team case review.
Explain your strategy in dealing with a tough client.
Clients need a lot of patience and effort in general. However, when we come across a client who is tough to handle, the process becomes harder by folds. But it is not possible to have pleasant clients all the time. I feel like communication plays a key role in smoothening the work process.
Even if there is a tough client, communicating well with them while setting boundaries on the side may help.
How do you make sure that your work is accurate?
Sample Answer: (Involve two or three ways which ensure that your work is accurate)
I make sure to check my work a second time, reviewing it carefully. In some situations, I even ask a third person to go through my work and look for any issues. As far as cross-referencing is concerned, I’m good at researching the facts. At times, I opt for applications that help me segregate the work into definite hours.
Why should we choose you over all candidates?
Before applying, I made sure that I have all the skillsets and other requirements to work as a legal assistant for your firm. I am sure about this because, over the past years, I have been working in the same field and have gained significant experience that could add to your firm. I understand the pros and cons of working both as a team and as an individual. I can handle both of the working situations. I can handle criticism well which provides me room to grow and improve faster. I believe in adhering to deadlines while working to the best of my capabilities. I can confidently say that I would be an asset to you and your firm.
In what conditions, do you work the best?
I can be the most efficient while working in an organized surrounding. Having specific duties and responsibilities helps me to work at a greater pace with more accuracy. Tangled-up surroundings slow down the process and are not so favorable. Although I can work through them, if given a choice, I would better be suited in an organized place. This is also why I feel that being a legal assistant is suitable for me.
How do you deal with a situation with multiple priorities?
Legal work comes with the requirement of multitasking and prioritizing. When I have to manage multiple priorities at a time while giving my attention more or less equally to all, I make a schedule. It is easier working with a schedule that has definite deadlines. As long as I follow the schedule, my multiple priorities are easily dealt with.
How would you deal with a client complaint?
The first and foremost thing to take care of while dealing with a complaint is to keep composure. We need to take their perspective into account and understand what has been bothering them. Then we can proceed to slowly make them understand our point. For example, if a client is concerned about the fees, we can proceed to explain to them why we charge that much, and rightfully so.
What is the best thing about being a Legal Assistant?
I think working for the law is a meaningful job. I would be a part of a group that believes in helping people through their problems. The work culture and the end goals of a law worker are really ones to be proud of.
What do you dislike about being a Legal Assistant?
As unfortunate it is, injustice and failures are a common sight with lawyers and legal assistants. It makes me sad when such instances arise. I plan to try to prevent such situations to my best.
What would you do if you had a dispute with your colleague?
The difference in opinions is a common sight and they can exist anywhere. I feel this is what primarily causes disputes in any surroundings. I would try to understand the reason for the dispute and try to solve it. In case, I’m unable to do so, I would keep my patience and try to not indulge in heated situations with the person.
What are your weaknesses?
I often get worked up when I feel that I have been underperforming. This might lead to little heated-up situations. However, when that happens, I make sure to take a small break to cool off my mind. Once I regain my composure, I proceed to get back to my work with good energy. I reflect on the rage of underperforming to do better. I deal with the issue of underperforming which subsides the issue automatically.
How do you work with confidential information?
I am very professional with my work while never letting my emotions tangle with what I am supposed to do. I make sure that I am aware of the protocols. With my updated knowledge and careful approach, the confidential information is dealt with, without any discrepancies.
How has your education prepared you for being an appropriate candidate?
Sample Answer: (Make sure to include a lot of specific details about your education that are relevant to the job profile and the firm)
As a student, my favorite course was _______. After I developed a deep interest in it, I continued to pursue it during my post-education, the entirety of which has taught me to be efficient with the work.
What other goals do you have for yourself?
In the future, I want to attain expertise in the same field. I also wish to improve my communication and networking skills, which could improve my overall personality.
How do you work with stress?
I fully understand that the legal field is always under stress and tight deadlines. However, I perform really well under pressure and stressful conditions. I make sure to keep everything organized which helps me to be efficient even in times of stress.
What would you do if you are not selected for this job?
That would unfortunate. I applied here because I felt I was a really good suit for this job. Therefore, I would definitely be disappointed. However, I believe that negative emotions must not be carried in the long run, instead, we should take our learnings from them. I will continue to prepare and rectify any mistakes I have made here.
Do you have any questions for us?
Sample Answer: (Answering this question with a ‘No’ might feel like you are not attentive or interested enough. Try to pick out points from the entire interview to ask questions.)
Yes, I do.
- What are the special rules and guidelines of the firm that I would have to abide by?
- What are the benefits offered to your employees?
- What would the work timings as a legal assistant?
The interviewers are determined to check both your knowledge and personality, with the percentage of questions varying in the two categories. Therefore, it is very necessary to stay composed while answering the questions precisely but accurately. Hope you liked the list, and if you did, do share it further.
Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (for Legal Assistant interviews):
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