You made it through the LSAT. You asked for letters of recommendation. You even summarized your entire life on a single page (your résumé) before being given two pages (double-spaced) to convince the school that you’re interested in law (personal statement).
And if that wasn’t bad enough, they now want to interview you.
As the number of people applying for law schools decreases, many law schools are adding interviews to the application process. Fewer law school applicants makes this both logistically possible and important to creating a well-rounded class, instead of just taking anyone with a high academic index (the combination of your LSAT score and GPA) and a semi-interesting tale to weave.
Harvard, Chicago, and Georgetown all require interviews. Northwestern allows one by request. And new law schools are added to that list all the time.
Since it’s a relatively new phenomenon, there isn’t much information out there about how these interviews are going to go. So your friends at Blueprint LSAT Prep are here to give you some guidelines.
Law School Interview Tip I: Know the Law School
Everyone wants to feel special. And unlike your dating life, law schools know you’re ‘seeing’ at least 10 other people at the same time. You need to convince them that they’re at the top of your list. This is The Bachelor, and you want to make sure they think they’re getting the first rose.
So before you interview with the law school, do some research. Look into some professors who teach there. What programs do they seem to be proud of? What do they focus on throughout their website? You should know these things so that you can drop them casually into your answers.
Law School Interview Tip II: Know the Questions; Know Your Answers
Preparation is 1 and 2. It is key. I’m repeating myself because it’s that important.
You could be asked about anything in your law school application. You might be asked normal interview questions (“What’s your biggest weakness, and how do you overcome it?”). You might be asked crazy, out-of-left-field questions.
You need to have answers ready.
So go over your law school application. Check online message boards to see if anyone has posted information about their own interview at that law school. Prepare some generic answers (with places to insert references to the law school).
And for those curveball questions, have one or two themes that define your law school application and how you want the interview to go, and fall back on them when you need to come up with a quick answer to an unexpected question.
Law School Interview Tip III: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Interviewer Tough Questions
I have not heard from a single candidate who wasn’t asked if they had any questions about the school. This is a great opportunity to get some insider information.
Ask about the law school. Ask about student life. Ask about what the administration has done to help with the notorious competitive aspect of law school. Get a sense for the law school itself. Because you’re going to be stuck with them as long as they’re stuck with you.
Law School Interview Tip IV: Don’t Get Your Expectations Up
If you’re called for a law school interview, it’s a good sign. But it’s not a definitive sign. (Just ask Lindsay; Sean completely blind-sided her in The Bachelor season finale. My, uh, girlfriend’s a huge fan.)
Treat the interview the same way you would a note from the law school letting you know that your application is complete. You don’t jump for joy when they receive your letters of recommendation; don’t celebrate too early here.
Law School Interview Tip V: Send a Thank-You E-mail
It’s just polite. Make your mother proud.