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Legal Assistants Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
View Answer
How to Answer
This is an important question to answer in a positive and slightly neutral way. Unless you know for sure if this firm offers a highly collaborative team environment, you want to avoid answering in a way that paints you into a corner.
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Top 30 Legal Assistants Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
This is an important question to answer in a positive and slightly neutral way. Unless you know for sure if this firm offers a highly collaborative team environment, you want to avoid answering in a way that paints you into a corner.
Rachelle's Answer
"I do enjoy working as part of a team. I am productive in both a team and independent environment. Do you offer a strong team environment here, or are you more individually task driven?"
Anonymous Answer
"I do enjoy working as part of a team, and I find it helpful at certain times. However, I also enjoy independent work."
Rachelle's Answer
Concise and to the point. You are independent while also being a team player. Well done!
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Anonymous Answer
"I enjoy working as part of a team but can work efficiently in both a team environment and individually. I feel that to be able to best contribute to a team setting; I need to be able to efficiently work individually to produce great solutions which can be built upon within a team setting."
Lauren's Answer
Great response. You see the value each individual possesses in order for the team to be successful. I altered your response slightly.
"I enjoy working as a team, as it serves as an opportunity to display my strengths. I believe each person in a group must work efficiently and effectively for the entire project to be successful. I enjoy contributing to a team effort as well as taking on individual projects and tasks."
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2.
What is your greatest strength? Greatest weakness?
When you answer this question be sure to talk about what you are really good at and what you are improving on. It's always best if you can talk about the steps that you are currently taking to improve yourself.
Rachelle's Answer
"I have been told many times that my greatest strength is my ability to time-manage. This means that I consistently meet my deadlines and am able to deliver when I need to. The aspect I am working to improve would be my detailed documentation. I have been working on improving my notes so that anyone could pick up my files and fully understand where I was at, in my work."
Anonymous Answer
"My greatest strength would be flexibility. This allows me to time-manage and prioritise tasks to meet deadlines, while being prepared to address any new information or changes. At my previous legal internship, I had meetings and phone calls scheduled with different clients throughout the day. I had to balance these alongside my primary legal assignments so that I was able to complete tasks in a timely manner. An aspect I am working to improve would be overthinking. Sometimes I will overanalyze and overthink a situation which can lead to me doubting myself and the outcome. I've been actively telling myself to take a moment to step back and reevaluate the situation in a more macro sense."
Lauren's Answer
It would be helpful to add how you envision the firm can assist in lessening your weaknesses. Don’t harp too long or discuss your weaknesses in length of detail.
"My most notable strength is flexibility. In my previous legal internship, I juggled primary legal assignments, meetings, phone calls, and unforeseen tasks throughout the day; Flexibility, Time Management, and Prioritization were essential in my success. Currently, my greatest weakness is overthinking. I believe the experience I gain at Legal Assistants will allow me to sharpen my skills and provide me more confidence to address my needs to overanalyze."
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Anonymous Answer
"I would say my greatest strength would be my persistence. I always want to do well at whatever I am doing, and I will go to great lengths to ensure that I am doing my job as well as I can. I'm also very organized and good with time management. My greatest weakness is something that I have been working on a lot within the past year, and that is public speaking. I can do it, but I want to feel more confident and get to a place where I am not always so nervous about doing it."
Rachelle's Answer
Perfect response! The interviewer will be looking for ways that you are actively improving your weakness, which you readily answered.
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3.
What qualities do you feel are most important for a successful legal assistant?
This is a good opportunity to talk about your soft skills and why they make you a good fit for the position.
Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that the most important qualities for a legal assistant to have would be a keen eye for detail, strong time-management and strong communication skills. You must have these to be successful in this career. I have managed to fine tune these skills over the years and can confidently say that I have these abilities."
Anonymous Answer
"I feel that strong time-management, communication, and attention to detail are vital to being a successful legal assistant. From my knowledge, legal assistants are highly flexible as they need to manage and draft a lot of case files but also provide secretarial support to the broader team. They're the glue that enables the team to work more efficiently."
Lauren's Answer
Great response. Though I made minor grammatical edits, you provided a well-rounded and thoughtful answer.
"I believe a successful legal assistant is a person who possesses strong time management skills, communication, and attention to detail. These qualities are essential to maintain multiple projects at one time and fulfill duties for multiple staff members. A successful assistant is flexible while managing case files and open to lending support to the broader team; they are the glue that enables the team to work smoothly and efficiently."
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Anonymous Answer
"The most important qualities that I think are essential for a successful legal assistant are organization, time management, and communication. I also believe that having a general passion or like for what you are doing in necessary too, as it keeps you motivated to want to do well. I think that I have all of these qualities."
Rachelle's Answer
Excellent! It's great that you added in the fact that you possess these qualities, too.
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4.
Which areas of law are you most interested in?
Be sure to answer this question in a way that it relates to the firm that you are interviewing with. You don't want to say that you are most interested in an area of law that they do not even work in.
Rachelle's Answer
"I have always been most interested in Family Law because of the variety between each case. I understand that a lot of what your firm does, is in Family Law?"
Anonymous Answer
"I am interested in any kind of law that focuses on human rights. I have always been dedicated to being educated on all kinds of humanitarian, social, and cultural issues, so that pairs well with my love for and interest in law. I would also say that I am highly interested in criminal law because of all of the other kinds of issues that intersect with that area of law in general."
Rachelle's Answer
Great response, and very thorough.
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5.
How do you check your work for accuracy?
This can be answered in a very simple way. You should be to the point and be sure to include any software or programs that you use to stay organized and accurate.
Rachelle's Answer
"Once my work is complete, I am sure to give it a second review and sometimes will ask for another set of eyes if necessary. I have very strong research skills which is a great trait when it comes time to cross-referencing the facts of a case. To remain organized, I utilize a program called 'XYZ' which keeps me on task and on time."
Anonymous Answer
"I always double-check my work for accuracy. If possible, I like to get a third party to review the information. However, I have strong research and time management skills which allows me to easily cross-reference any facts. Often I'll use the app tools to organize my tasks into different projects and set timelines for each accordingly."
Lauren's Answer
Wonderful response. You have created organizational systems that enable you to work efficiently. I supplemented your response to reflect your analytical work style.
"Throughout my career, I have fine-tuned my organizational and time management skills. As an analytical thinker, I have created systems to keep me on-time and accurate. With the use of calendaring applications, I set clear deadlines for each project, and allot time to double-check and cross-reference my work. And, if time allows, I receive third-party feedback as well."
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Anonymous Answer
"I go the extra mile to double, triple, and quadruple check to be sure. In documents, I find it important to read them out loud, so it's easier to catch any spelling errors. If possible, I will have another person look it over, but that's not always an option."
Rachelle's Answer
Your method of checking for accuracy is good, and very specific.
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6.
How has your college degree prepared you to work in this firm?
The interviewer is looking for less of an obvious answer and more of an answer that focus' on the soft skills or transferrable skills that you gained while attending college.
Rachelle's Answer
"In addition to the knowledge in Law, I gained some really valuable skills while attending college. My ability to meet deadlines while working under pressure was a big one for me. College also taught me how to prioritize and juggle a large variety of tasks. All of these skills are ones that I look forward to bringing you and your firm."
Anonymous Answer
"I feel that studying law has challenged me to prioritize tasks in order to meet deadlines. Studying enabled me to develop my organizational and time management skills. Communicating with group members and tutors allowed me to consolidate my interpersonal skills. Ultimately, I feel I have a more holistic understanding of the steps taken to address any legal issues."
Lauren's Answer
Fantastic response. The interviewer getting a good sense of who you are and your level of readiness. You have the ability to collaborate with others and initiate productivity as a result of your educational experience thus far.
"Studying law has offered several vital experiences that will help me succeed. Studying enabled me to develop organizational and time management skills; I had to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines to achieve desirable grades. Communicating with peers, tutors, and professors broadened my interpersonal skills and my exposure to varying work styles and personalities. Ultimately, my college experience provided me a holistic approach and understanding of ways to address legal issues. I am confident in my abilities to take the next step and begin my career."
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Anonymous Answer
"I did a lot of studying in college which gave me the organization and time management skills that I have now. I also communicated with my professors and advisors weekly which helped shape my communication skills. In terms of the actual coursework, I took a lot of classes that taught me about government and law. I think those have given me the knowledge to be able to do this job well."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like your college education prepared you in many ways. You've done an excellent job communicating this.
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7.
Why are you the best candidate for us?
When answering this question be sure to tell the interviewer about your strongest skills, and perhaps some unique ones that set you apart from the rest of the candidates.
Rachelle's Answer
"I feel I am the best candidate for you because I am highly skilled and experienced in divorce law, which is your firm's primary focus. Also, I am bilingual which makes me able to assist English and Spanish speaking clients."
Anonymous Answer
"I feel I am the best candidate for you because I not only have had experience in a similar role, but I have a keen eye for detail. In all my previous roles, I have endeavored to work above and beyond expectations, which enabled me to approach processes with a deeper understanding."
Lauren's Answer
Great start. It would be helpful to pack a punch here; you must convey knowledge and passion. You are vying for a position many are applying for, so try to make a lasting impression.
"I am the best candidate for this position because I have what it takes to get things done. I have excelled and exceeded expectations in previous roles, and I would like to bring my dedication, mastery, and attention to detail in this position. I am self-motivated and driven to take on multiple projects and ensure seamless quality. I have an unrelenting goal to become proficient in this work, and I would like to bring my energy and talent to your firm."
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Anonymous Answer
"Although my resume doesn't have a lot of direct experience on it, I am a hard worker and pride myself on always doing the best job I can. I do not do well with failure, and that drives me to go the extra mile to do things well. I also genuinely believe that my college experience, as well as things from my past employment, have shaped me into someone who will be able to do the things required for this position."
Rachelle's Answer
This answer contains a great basis for hiring you; however, I would try to answer with more confidence. Also, at the end, use specific traits that are listed in the job posting. Please see an example below.
"I am the best candidate for you because I pride myself in delivering over expectations, and going the extra mile to do things right the first time. My college experience, as well as previous employment, has shaped me into someone reliable, dedicated, communicative, and organized."
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8.
How can you contribute to our firm?
This is a great question for highlighting your soft skills on our resume again.
Rachelle's Answer
"I bring 6 solid years of work as a Legal Assistant and a very strong work ethic. I am a fast-thinker and a great multi-tasker. I would be happy to contribute all of these skills, and more, to your firm."
Anonymous Answer
"I will contribute to your firm by being a reliable, hardworking, and flexible professional support person to the IP team. I will bring my determination and practical understanding and will be more than happy to contribute my skills to an area I am passionate about."
Lauren's Answer
Excellent response. I altered the wording slightly to convey your desire to contribute to their team if given the opportunity.
"My contributions to the firm will include reliability, flexibility, and an unwavering desire to help. I am an extremely determined and passionate person; it gives me great satisfaction to contribute to a strong group of professionals. I will bring fortitude and practical understanding to this role if given this opportunity."
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Anonymous Answer
"I am hard-working, detail-oriented, fast-paced, and organized. I think that all of those things will contribute positively to this office."
Rachelle's Answer
Try to refer to the job posting and identify the pain point that your position would solve for the firm. Please see an example below.
"I will contribute to your firm by being a reliable and professional support person to your law team. I will bring determination, knowledge, and practical understanding; allowing me to help pave a smooth path for the cases your firm takes on."
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9.
What are your long and short range career goals and objectives?
It is important for a hiring manager to know that they are hiring a very career driven person. You can answer this question in two parts.
Rachelle's Answer
"My long term career goal would be to further my education as a paralegal and then eventually become a lawyer myself. My short term goal is to create a very strong reputation for myself in the industry as a trustworthy and knowledgable legal assistant."
Anonymous Answer
"My short term goal is to consolidate my skills within this role and make a strong reputation for myself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy legal assistant. In the future, if management believes that there are other roles better suited to my skill set, I may consider that, however, my focus is furthering this short term goal of mine. In the long term, I may seek to eventually become a lawyer myself."
Lauren's Answer
Great start. It would be great to use this as an opportunity to see yourself working for the firm. Include ways you can grow within their tenure there.
"My short-term career goal is to build a strong reputation as a seasoned, knowledgeable, and trustworthy legal assistant. Sharpening my skills and mastery as a legal assistant is my primary focus. I believe this experience will help me build and create long-term career goals and objectives. Management will groom me for other roles in the future, which may include becoming a lawyer."
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Anonymous Answer
"In terms of my long-range career goals, in a few words, I want to be successful in helping people. Whether that is working for a non-profit or eventually getting my law degree, I want to have a career that I know will be centered around helping people. My short-term career goals entail setting me up to achieve my long-term goals successfully. I want to have positions that will make me a better employee in the long run."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer sounds nice and honest; however, it sounds as though you may be okay with job hopping as well. Mentioning a non-profit, returning to school, or mentioning positions (plural) will all be red flags for the interviewer. I have reworded, below.
"My short-range career goal is to help people every day, utilizing the knowledge that I gained while attending college. This goal will fuel me in my long term goals which include leading a team of junior paralegals or even taking additional law coursework in tandem with my full-time job. My ultimate goal is to be with a firm that supports my learning and professional growth."
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10.
What two or three things are most important to you in a job?
Why would you stay in a position vs why would you leave a role? What workplace values do you put the most stock into? You should answer this confidently and matter-of-factly.
Rachelle's Answer
"The top three things I hold most important in a job would be transparency, honesty and positivity."
Anonymous Answer
"The top three things I find most important to me in a job would probably have to be honesty, support, and transparency."
Rachelle's Answer
This response may leave more questions than answers. How can an employer offer you transparency, for instance? Like, in what way is this important to you? Do they support you in your learning, as you train, in your future career goals? Try being more specific. Please see below.
"The top three things that are most important to me are honesty, support, and transparency. I am seeking an employer who actively encourages employees to be open about their achievements, creating a safe and open workplace for all."
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Anonymous Answer
"I value honesty and support. I am seeking an employer who understands the value of work/life balance and is supportive."
Lauren's Answer
It would be helpful to the interviewer if you expanded upon your thoughts of honesty and support in the workplace. With specificity around those subjects, they will get a better sense of your work style and culture expectations. Cultural fit is always on the forefront of an interviewer’s mind.
"Honesty and support are important to me in the workplace. I appreciate clear communication and directives, so that I may fulfill my duties and exceed expectations. Support can be conveyed in many forms such as collaborative projects, shared tasks, or positive morale. Feeling supported increases my motivation and stamina."
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