Legal Assistant Interview Questions (And Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Due to the opportunity it provides hiring managers to learn more about the applicants they are interested in, interviews are a crucial component of almost any hiring process. Candidates can also use this as a chance to highlight their finest qualities and explain why they are a good fit for a post. If you are currently a legal assistant or hoping to start your career in this role, it is beneficial for you to prepare for an interview by reviewing possible questions and their answers.

In this article, we examine some legal assistant interview questions an interviewer may ask when you are applying for the position of legal assistant, along with some sample answers you can use to prepare your own responses.

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General Legal Assistant Interview Questions

An interviewer may ask you general legal assistant interview questions to get to know you better. When a firm considers you for the role of legal assistant, you are likely to interview with an attorney, firm partner or paralegal who may be responsible for overseeing your work. General questions provide hiring managers with more information about you as a candidate, such as your professional goals and the reasons for your application. Here are a few examples of general interview questions you may encounter:

  • What about a career in law appeals to you?

  • Describe why you are the best candidate for this position.

  • What are your top three strengths that would contribute most to this company?

  • What kind of work atmosphere and schedule do you find ideal?

  • What are your career goals?

  • How do you prioritise your work tasks?

  • What do you enjoy most about being a legal assistant?

  • What made you decide to join our company?

  • Which field of law do you have the most interest in?

  • Are you accustomed to working in stressful and hectic environments?

  • What questions do you have for us?

  • Why are you leaving your current job?

  • What makes working in the legal field appealing to you?

  • What qualities do you have that make you a good fit for this job?

  • How long do you plan to serve in this position?

  • Are you familiar with the daily tasks of a legal assistant?

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Questions About Experience And Background

Interviewers often ask legal assistant candidates regarding their work history since an organisation may look for specific experience based on their attorneys' needs. A hiring manager may evaluate your experience against that of the other applicants to decide who would be an ideal fit for the role. Consider providing examples while answering questions about experience and background, as it can help a hiring manager see how your particular experience can benefit your new workplace. You may encounter these experience-based questions during an interview for the role of legal assistant:

  • Have you ever worked with a challenging lawyer? Describe the situation and the way you handled the professional relationship.

  • Describe the procedures for preparing a case file.

  • What programmes have you used in prior roles and what did you use them for?

  • Have you held a customer service position? Tell us more about it.

  • Describe a time when you made a mistake at work. What was the outcome and how did you handle it?

  • Legal assistants typically strive to make sure their job is accurate and complete. How can you be certain that you are?

  • Tell us about a time when you were working on a project with a lot of responsibility but within a tight deadline. How did you handle it?

  • Describe your experience with litigation support. Do you feel comfortable assisting an attorney prepare for trial?

  • Tell us about your most memorable work experience.

  • How do you remain updated on the most recent legal developments and trends in law?

  • Have you ever had a position as a legal assistant? Why did you quit that position?

Related: What Is Relevant Experience? (With Examples And Tips)

In-Depth Questions

An interviewer can ask you a couple of in-depth questions to find out more about what they can expect from you if they hire you. Your responses can show how you support a legal team, your familiarity with various legal procedures and perhaps even how you handled a challenging scenario in a previous workplace. You can review the following list of in-depth questions to prepare yourself for interviews:

  • What is your method for researching a case and creating a briefing?

  • How would you manage multiple attorneys at once?

  • Describe a situation when you had to deal with a challenging or unresponsive client. How did you address the issues that manifested during work?

  • Do you prefer working individually or with a team?

  • Why do you think it is essential to have strong attention to detail?

  • What is your organisational process?

  • What is the first step in any summons?

  • What have you learned by working with lawyers and other legal assistants in your prior roles?

  • How would you describe working with a legal team?

  • What are depositions? Why are they crucial?

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

Legal Assistant Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Answering practice questions for the position you are applying for can help you be ready for an interview process. Here are some sample questions and responses to help you prepare for an interview:

1. Discuss the importance of confidentiality.

Most legal jobs require the ability to practice confidentiality. A hiring manager may ask this question to ensure that you realise how vital maintaining confidentiality is. In your response, show how protecting client privacy is vital to you and briefly describe how you achieve this.

Example: ‘I think one of the most crucial responsibilities in any law firm is maintaining confidentiality. I always maintain complete confidentiality, regardless of how involved I am in a case. A violation of confidentiality not only complicates the process of winning a lawsuit, but you can also lose the trust of clients and colleagues.'

Related: What Is A Code Of Ethics And What Are Its Principles?

2. How do you think you can support the attorneys you work with?

An interviewer can ask you this question to find out more regarding your experience and ability to prioritise tasks. You can discuss your experience working with attorneys in prior roles in your response. Consider your experience managing multiple tasks at once and how your strengths contributed to the success of a company.

Example: ‘I support the attorneys I work with by effectively communicating, remaining organised and managing my time. I am able to prioritise my tasks because of my time management skills and all attorneys I have worked with know that they can count on me to do my job on time, which helps them stick to a schedule.'

Related: Attorney Vs Lawyer: Definition And Fundamental Differences

3. How do you feel about working for an attorney who is representing a suspected criminal?

Depending on the field of law you practice, you might work on a case with a client who is appearing in court in relation to alleged criminal activity. Although it is unlikely that a hiring manager may expect you to support a client's decisions, they might rely on you to execute your job responsibilities to the best of your abilities. Make sure your response adequately reflects your genuine feelings regarding this situation and give it sufficient thought before answering.

Example: ‘I expect that I may be in this situation as a legal assistant, but I am committed to working just as hard for such cases, as is the case with any other. I adhere to the notion that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally and that the court system is set up for a reason. The best I can do is assist the attorney working on the case and uphold my professional integrity regardless of how I feel about the client personally.'

Related: How To Become A Criminal Lawyer: A Complete Guide

4. What is your personal approach to time management?

Time management is of primary importance in the legal field. A hiring manager can ask you this question to learn more about how you personally set priorities, adhere to deadlines and maintain the pace of your workflows. Emphasise your own approaches and how diligently you stick to your own schedules and goals in your response to this question.

Example: ‘I use personalised scheduling software to keep track of deadlines and stay on top of all of my commitments. Every time I receive a new task assignment, I always add the deadline to my schedule. At the start of the week, I make a list of all the things I require getting done that week, calculate how long they would take and then jot down a rough timetable for each day.'

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