Jan 06, 2023

Written By Claudia Chan

Do universities do interviews for law?

Jan 06, 2023

Written By Claudia Chan

Traditionally, very few universities interview applicants for law. However, increasingly, universities have decided to follow their footsteps and interview law applicants. In this article, you’ll learn which universities that tend to interview candidates and gain tips for how to prepare for a law interview, anticipate questions and ace the interview.

Universities that tend to interview

- Bristol University

- University of Cambridge

- University College London (UCL)

- University of Oxford

- University of York

The list above is based on historical trends, so bear in mind that universities often change their application process. It’s a good idea to check the individual university’s websites about their application process.

Reason for an interview

Ultimately, universities want to interview applicants to get to know you better as a person. This can be used to assess your suitability to the course and the university as a whole. Despite the fact that you laboriously worked on your personal statement, it is hard to assess skills such as problem solving through that.

General criteria used to assess interview performance

- Interest in and commitment to the subject

- Evidence of clear thinking, problem solving and analytical skills

- Standard of spoken English

- Non-academic achievements and/or experience, or extracurricular interests

- Positions of responsibility

How to prepare for the interview

Online interview

- Familiarise yourself with the online platform. To avoid any embarrassment on the day, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the interview platform. You do not want to waste your time or the interviewer’s time by wasting time figuring out how the platform works on the day.

- Check your internet connection and speed in advance, to avoid losing connection during the interview. Make sure you have a location where you know you can get secure and fast wifi.

- Check your camera, audio and background. It is advised to make sure you are sitting in a well-lit area with a neutral background to make sure that you are the focus of your screen. You may find that using headphones can be useful in reducing the amount of background noise and improving your overall sound quality.

- Make sure you are wearing something smart, but comfortable.This applies to whatever you wear on your bottom half: you never know when you’ll need to stand up!

- Relax. Interviewers want to see you succeed, they are human after all. With this in mind, approach the interview as an exciting opportunity to speak to specialists of the law.

In person interview

- Make sure you are wearing something smart, but comfortable on the day. First impressions matter and what you wear can also contribute to that.

- Arrive early. This would not only give you time to get used to the environment and account for delays, it will also give you time to destress from the journey and collect your thoughts.

- Relax. It is important to remain relaxed during an in-person interview. In some ways, it is more important to do so for an in-person interview as the interviewer can read your body language more easily. Remaining relaxed will prevent you from fidgeting, something that can be distracting for the interviewer.


Top tips!

- Revise answers for obvious questions. There are certain questions that you can definitely expect to come up, such as: “why law” and “what interests you about this course/ university?”, so it is vital to have some answers prepared. It is generally not advised to have a scripted answer, rather you should have a few bullet points of what you will say.

- Research! Although it may seem like all Law courses are the same, each university will have variations on the optional modules. Their content may also vary slightly to cater to the lecturers’ interests and speciality. As such, it is important to do your research for each course and university. You don’t want to stumble over your answer at an interview.

- Do some reading about the law. Law is everywhere: information about it can be accessible in the news, in books and on the internet. In order to gain more exposure about the law, it is helpful to access these resources. Early exposure will not only help you think about the role law plays in society, but it will also teach you what lawyers do.

Common interview questions

As with anything in life, preparation is the key to success. Here are some examples of common interview questions to get you thinking about potential questions that may arise:

- Why law? Why are you applying to this university to study law?

- What is your favourite subject in school and how does it relate to law?

- Describe a situation where you had to persuade someone to do something

- What aspects do you enjoy about working in a group?

- Tell me about yourself.

- How would your peers describe you?

- What books are you currently reading?


Best of luck on your interviews!


University Interviews