Preparation is essential for a Law Interview and knowing how to effectively do so will give you the confidence that you need.
Nerves before a Law Interview are to be expected, but putting the early preparation in now is the most effective way to ensure you put your best self forward and make a strong impression.
With that in mind, this guide will lay out the best ways to prepare that will put you on course to have a successful Law Interview.
1. Don't Worry Over Knowing Legal Terminology
None of the questions asked of you will assume any previous legal knowledge, as the Admissions Tutors understand that candidates will likely not have studied Law before.
As such, do not try to throw in legal jargon to try and impress the interviewers if you do not fully understand the meaning. By doing this, you run the risk of coming out with a weaker answer. Stick with words and phrases you have a solid understanding of.
The questions are designed to give you an opportunity to highlight the skills that are necessary to ‘think like a lawyer’ – sounding like one will come in time.
Don’t wait until you get invited for an Interview to start your preparation, getting started early will put you on course for Interview success.
Waiting to be invited for an Interview means you won’t be left with enough time to prepare for your Interview. Check out our Law Interview Programme to gain essential Interview preparation.
2. Keep Up On Current Affairs
You should be keeping up to date on all the major ongoing stories in the world such as Brexit and the situation in Syria. This is especially important on the morning of your Interview, so you feel confident that you are up to date on everything.
Do not just read the news at face value; try to form opinions on what you read and think about how you would argue your position and what the counter-arguments are.
A helpful trick is to read the same news story but from a range of sources to get different political views and so you can see how the presentation of an argument can change the angle of the story. This is why it is important to also read opinion pieces and not just news stories. Also, writing a paragraph summarising the story is a helpful preparation exercise.
3. Read A Law Case
Whilst this might seem intimidating at first, it is helpful to get an idea of how a case is structured and how judges present their reasoning. A classic and very good introductory case to read is Donoghue v Stevenson.
The best way to access cases you might read about in the news or in books is to access them via BAILII. A simple internet search will provide you with instructions about how to navigate the database.
You will need to read cases so that you can make legal arguments in court, apply the law in particular situations, and keep up-to-date with recent developments in the law.
Furthermore, you will effectively be able to demonstrate that you have done wider reading – essential preparation before a Law Interview. It shows that you have a keen interest in Law and are actively engaging with it.
4. Read A Piece Of Legislation
Similarly, to reading a case, it can seem intimating at first to look at a piece of legislation, but in some Law Interviews, they may present you with some legislation to interpret.
Understanding legislation is a key skill. Every legal topic that you study will generally involve a mixture of legislation and case law.
An easy to understand and interesting statute is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, look carefully at the language used and whether it takes an objective or subjective approach for example.
Before searching the electronic resources, consider if you are looking for up-to-date law (consolidated), historical law (as enacted) or the law at a certain point in time. The version of the law you are looking for will influence your decision on which database to select for your research.
5.Practice Law Interview Questions
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. You will only gain confidence ahead of the Interview by getting practice in and getting used to what the Interview may be like.
Verbalising your thought processes is essential as this is what the Admissions Tutors will be looking for so get used to thinking aloud. The ability to formulate reasoned responses and talk through your thoughts is arguably more important than trying to answer them from a legal perspective.
Mock Interviews are incredibly helpful and a surefire way to ensure you are prepared. However, do not use them to rehearse answers meaning that when the time comes for you to attend the Interview, your answers flow naturally rather than sounding robotic.
6. Remind Yourself What You Wrote In Your Personal Statement
Make sure your re-read your Personal Statement. This is a very simple thing to do but is incredibly important.
The Admissions Tutors will likely ask questions based on what you have written in your Personal Statement. Some time has liked passed since you submitted it so reading it back will help remind you of what you mentioned.
If you have mentioned any further reading that you have done or an area of law that is of interest to you, expect to be asked questions on these. Make sure you are up to date on any issues or concepts that you may have mentioned and have some interesting points of discussion prepared just in case.
Your Personal Statement is the Admissions Tutors first insight into you, so it is of the utmost importance to fresh your memory of it.
Preparing for your Law Interview does not have to be complicated. It is easily achievable and will go a long way in helping you have a successful Interview. Ensuring you are aware of current affairs and have refreshed your memory on your Personal Statement will be vital in your preparation.
In doing these, you will be best placed to have a good Interview and secure your place at an Oxbridge Law school.
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