Top Questions to Ask Law Firm Partners
By: Michelle D. Patrick
Interviewing with a law firm often requires meeting with senior associates and partners. New attorneys need to create the right first impression, and distinguish themselves from other candidates.
While working with a legal recruiter in Florida can assist you in landing that law firm interview, the rest is all up to you. The questions you ask indicate your preparedness and astuteness. After all, finding the perfect fit is paramount.
Here’s how to prepare for your law firm job interview and which interview questions to ask.
How Do I Prepare for an Interview with a Partner at a Law Firm?
Before attending a law firm interview, it is imperative to prepare yourself accordingly. You may be a senior associate looking for a new firm, looking to secure a role as a partner, or you may be fresh from law school. These interview tips will help you feel confident and land the job you desire.
Conduct Your Own Independent Research
One of the quintessential skills of any successful attorney is the ability to conduct legal research. Use your skills to research the law firm, visit its website and learn about the firm’s culture, mission, vision, and goals.
Things to find out about the firm include, ascertaining when the firm started operating, its practice areas, and what kind of cases it takes. Familiarizing yourself with the law firm’s clientele might provide a better sense of its reputation and values. Through this due diligence, you should be able to discover if this is the kind of firm you would like to join.
Additionally, one should learn who will be conducting the interviews at the firm. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for this as most interviewers will be listed there, allowing you to gather more background information. You will be highlighting your interest in the firm by knowing this information beforehand.
Find Out More About the Available Position
Part of preparing for the law firm interview is learning about the position for which you are interviewing and what your role would be. You will know what to expect and verify that if it aligns with your long-term goals. Review the job description and gather as much information as possible about the position.
Make Sure Your Resume Is Strong
Law firms look for candidates that have a strong resume. You will need to show academic history, history in the legal field, and all relevant skills. Keep in mind that your resume is your first impression before anyone from the law firm ever meets you. You want them to see you as a person who will bring value to the firm through your position.
With the right resume, you can show your strong work ethic, experience, and what you will bring to the table. If you have any writing sample or career successes to support your achievements, be sure to include them to really stand out.
Know Your Achievements
On the resume, include projects to which you made significant contributions and be prepared to provide robust details in the interview.
The interview panel may be partners, senior associates, or even junior associates. Practice discussing these details, and when asked, you will be able to respond coherently and without pause. You will exude confidence and capability for the job.
Don’t Ignore Your Soft Skills
Yes, your hard skills are important to help you make a lasting impression. However, your soft skills should never be ignored in a law firm interview. You will want to strike the right balance between technical abilities and legal knowledge while showing you have an eye for the details, can work well on a team, effectively communicate, and be an asset to the law firm.
It should go without saying, but the way you present yourself is imperative for landing this coveted law firm role. Dress professionally to show that you are a serious candidate. Your appearance will be the first thing they notice about you when you walk through the door.
Be Ready to Answer Relevant Questions
In every law firm interview, you will be asked a few questions. Depending on your answers, the interviewer will likely ask follow-up questions and at least one open-ended question. Preparing for any type of interview questions you may be asked will help you to feel more confident. Make sure you have relevant examples to relay when asked more questions.
Prepare to Ask Thoughtful Questions
Asking probing questions at the end of your law firm interview shows that you are prepared. It also demonstrates your ability to listen carefully and that you are seriously interested in taking on the available role. Even if the interviewer was very thorough, you should have at least one question to ask them.
Not sure what questions to ask? Read on to discover sample questions you can prepare for your interview.
What Should I Ask in a Partner Interview?
The questions you ask can provide you with helpful information about the firm and what it’s like to work there. With this insider information, you can make the best choice for your career should the firm offer you a position.
Why Is This Role Available?
While it may seem simple, you will want to find out about the turnover rate at this law firm. Many large firms see quick turnover rates, and this may be due to junior associates continuing education or seniors retiring. Ideally, if most people are leaving because they are retiring, then it indicates high employee satisfaction. If that’s the case, you can ask about the qualities needed to succeed in this role.
Roles often open up due to promotions, which may indicate that the firm cares about career goals and trajectory. You could then ask about the traits that made others successful in this role so you can follow in their footsteps.
When new positions are created, it can also indicate growth in the firm. However, gathering more information about how this growth happened will help you assess whether or not this position is one that can help you advance your career.
Describe What You Like Most About Working for This Firm
Open-ended questions like this allow for the sharing of the interviewer’s personal experience. It lets them think about what they enjoy about working there and gives you a bigger picture of the work culture.
When you ask a question like this of your interviewer, it invites them to talk about their own experience. This shows you care about getting to know those you would work with better and that you have people skills to help develop connections there. On your end, you willl be able to see if it’s more competitive or collaborative and if your qualities are a good match.
What Tasks Will I Be Expected to Perform?
Understanding what you will be expected to do as a new lawyer helps you align your expectations with the firm. Additionally, you will be able to determine if this is a place for growth over the next five years.
If the position is with a large firm, you may need to work under senior attorneys and partners to acquire the required skills. Due diligence for contract issues, trial preparation, and transactions is usually required. When the firm is smaller or medium-sized, you may need to be involved in legal research, negotiations, preparing briefs, conducting discovery, and being in the courtroom to represent clients.
What Makes This Firm Different Compared to Others?
When you ask the attorney conducting the interview this question, you will discover the advantages of working there from someone who is currently an employee. Every law firm has its own benefits and distinctions, such as a healthy balance between work and life or remote working options.
You may learn in the interview that the firm offers great benefits. As an example, they may provide a health savings account or offer bonuses.
What Qualities Will I Need to Be Successful with Your Firm?
Another determining factor will be what qualities and skills the firm deems most valuable for your success. If your skills are a match, this may be the perfect role for you to accept.
How to Connect with a Top Law Firm
The best way to get an interview with a top firm near you is to work with a legal recruiter. Garcia Legal Search can help you find your way through this competitive landscape. We do more than help you find and land a job. We consider your skills and aspirations to help set you up for success with the top firms looking for top talent. Connect with our team to start exploring your future.Back to Blog&News