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Paralegal Interview Questions

Author
Ryan Brown
    Job Interviews Careers Legal Paralegal

37 Paralegal
Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about a complex legal issue you had to analyze and solve before.

    Community Answers

    • "When I was doing the maritime insurance law course,"
    • "A man was being sentenced for life for weed which he claimed wasn't his so we had to meet with his friends and figure out the whole situation."
  2. Tell me about your legal experience.

    Community Answers

    • "I was volunteering as a litigation paralegal at a law firm where I was assisting six attorneys and performed the duties assigned by them. My main task was communicating with clients and updating them on their case status. I was also responsible for drafting legal documents which included complaint, affidavits, briefs and interrogatories. I was also involved in performing legal research. I was also drafting legal correspondence, setting up appointments and maintaining calendar and tickler system for my attorneys."
  3. Do you take criticism well? What if its from a senior partner?

    Community Answers

    • "Generally, I managed to develop a tough skin with regards to criticisms. I always make it a point not to let these affect me too deeply or too personally, and instead take them as an opportunity to make myself better, to correct my mistakes, and generally to make myself better. I will also do the same if ever a senior partner criticizes me for my work. I will bear in mind that these criticisms are not a direct attack on myself; after all, the senior partner is just thinking about the best interest of the organization. So if he/she deems my work to be substandard, then Iíll just view this as a motivation to do better next time and to ensure that I am able to uphold the standards of the organization."
    • "I always take critism as an opportunity to imporve myself. I would say critism from a senior partner could only help me do my job better."
    • "I will always show respect to the partner and listen completely to what is upsetting him and respond in an honest and open manner and explain that I correct the issue immediately, won't allow this to happen again if it is something that was my fault, if not, I will politely give him/her my side and respectfully ask how he would like me to handle this issue."
  4. What experiences do you have that are directly related to a paralegal?

    Community Answers

    • "Customer service experience, technical experience, office experience."
  5. How do you take initiative at work?

    Community Answers

    • "By making myself available to step in and do whatever is needed in order to meet company goals."
    • "By doing more then is expected of me, sharing my ideas, and asking questions so I can be more knowledgeable about the job."
    • "I just say what I think if I think it is necessary to speak up."
    • "I developed a weekly meeting that all the department heads to get together so everyone knew what was going on."
  6. What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?

  7. Please describe your experience working and filing documents with the courts (if litigation background) or working and filing documents with secretaries of states (if corporate background).

    Community Answers

    • "During family law I filled out a lot of court forms."
  8. Please describe what you believe are the most important qualities or skills that a good paralegal must possess.

    Community Answers

    • "I feel like the most important qualities is organzational skills and interpersonal skills."
    • "Organizational and Analytical skills."
  9. Tell me about your experience as a paralegal.

  10. How do you manage your time?

    Community Answers

    • "I plan ahead and set time limits for tasks at hand."
    • "I manage my time by delegating what is most important. I organize my day based on doing very important things in the morning and slightly less urgent things in the afternoon."
    • "I prioritize my tasks in the order of importance or deadlines and complete them throughout the day."
    • "Prioritize what needs to be done and create goals."
    • "I manage my time by setting goals and prioritizing."
    • "I make a list based on needs and time to complete and prioritize based on that."
    • "I like to schedule things and doing things in order."
    • "I like to write my priorities down on a piece of paper So I can see what needs to be done."
    • "I organize my time by making a list of tasks needing to be done & alotting time as necessary."
    • "I go to uni on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. When I am not at uni, I either study or chill a little bit at home and sometimes go out and fun."
  11. When did you first become interested in law? Did you ever think you would try a career in it?

    Community Answers

    • "I really became interested in law after taking my first course in law in college. My interests really shifted from law enforcement to the law field so I think I could see myself having a career in law."
  12. Tell me about how you keep organized.

  13. Are you interested in attending law school in the future?

    Community Answers

    • "Yes, I would like to attend law school in a few years."
  14. Please describe a time when you had a disagreement with an associate or a partner and how you resolved the disagreement.

    Community Answers

    • "Well, one time there was a problem with the customer's transaction. The customer refuted that I gave the incorrect change. However I already had the money laid out in front of me. So he disputed he gave me a bigger bill. My boss came by and I told him to check the cameras."
    • "One time me and a co-worker disagreed on how we should go about completing a project. We resolve the disagreement by voicing our opinions and coming up with a solution that we both agreed-ed upon."
  15. What college courses did you favor the most?

  16. What do you foresee as the toughest challenges you will face if hired?

    Community Answers

    • "Probably long hours away from home."
  17. Paralegals are a vital piece of any legal team working on a trial or transaction. Please describe how you see your role in such a team.

    Community Answers

    • "My role is to assist the attorney."
    • "I am very organized and very helpful."
    • "I will work to the end to make sure that my boss is happy with the work I complete. I see my role as someone who is very important and someone who the other people need."
    • "I see myself making trial notebooks and preparing the attorney so that they're organized."
    • "My role in the team would be to assist the attorney in anyway. Also being able to carry my weight and responsibilities that are given to me."
  18. What hours do you expect to work as a paralegal?

    Community Answers

    • "Standard firm hours and overtime when needed."
    • "I expect to work full time as a paralegal, including overtime into the evening if need be."
    • "At least 40 hours a week."
    • "I expect to work as many hours as my boss needs me to."
    • "I expect most days will be a full 8 hour shift. I am very willing to do overtime in order to complete a task."
  19. What are your long term goals as a paralegal?

    Community Answers

    • "I hope to own my own paralegal firm/business."
  20. A number of a paralegal's responsibilities can involve menial tasks. Please describe how you maintain your attention to detail when completing tedious and repetitive tasks.

    Community Answers

    • "I usually maintain my attention to detail when completing menial tasks by keeping my mind occupied with either responsibilites that still need to be completed or tasks that I could complete."
  21. What motivates you to take initiative at work?

    Community Answers

    • "The opportunity to learn and demonstrate my ability to take on a greater role with success."
    • "The thing that motivates me would be trying to meet a deadline or leading by example so my co-workers would follow."
    • "I prefer all of these chanel bags! They may be hot and also good! I am a good chanel bags supporter forever!"
  22. How would you handle an angry client?

    Community Answers

    • "I would handle an angry client by expressing my sympathy for their frustration and try to figure out the correct solution in order to resolve their problem."
  23. What area of law appeals to you?

    Community Answers

    • "Well I had experience studying criminal law, however business law also seems quite interesting."
  24. Tell me a little bit more about your work at your last position. How did you handle assignments, schedules, various tasks, etc,.

    Community Answers

    • "In my past work, I handled assignments and various tasks by always prioritizing what needed to be completed first and having a clear plan of what needed to get done for the day."
  25. Describe how you carry out your day to day activities.

    Community Answers

    • "I organize my files with top priorty to bottom and time it accordingly."
  26. What qualifies you to be a paralegal?

  27. How would you handle a working partner who wasn't doing their fair share of the work?

    Community Answers

    • "I will tell them how they need to do more and do their part."
  28. Are you firm with people? This job requires it. Give me a professional example of a situation where you stood your ground.

    Community Answers

    • "Explaining to a client documentation that is required in order to proceed with an application can be difficult but explaining you cant proceed without information will get the case going."
  29. What was your most challenging assignment at your last position?

  30. What are you looking for in a company?

    Community Answers

    • "Stability and reputable company."
  31. What are some of your strengths?

    Community Answers

    • "Mature, reliable, responsible and fast learner."
  32. How would you describe your work ethic?

  33. Are you willing to work overtime?

  34. Please describe some of the techniques you utilize to maintain good organization.

    Community Answers

    • "I plan ahead, keep a daily task calendar and set reminder systems using software to ensure that I am aware of all priorites."
    • "Maintain a list of what needs to be done, brain storming ways to."
    • "Make plans and stick to them. Always complete a small task as soon as I think of it."
  35. Why are you interested in being a paralegal?

    Community Answers

    • "I enjoy learning about the law and providing assistance to clients."
    • "Since my studies in college, I always felt like I had a aptitude for law and would like to gain praticial experience working in a legal position."
  36. Is this position a stepping stone to law school?

    Community Answers

    • "My gaol is the become a lawyer, it is not a stepping stone for me, it is valuable learning and tool."
    • "No, not necessarily. I enjoy the work that I do. However, I like to keep all future possibilities open."
    • "It is not a stepping stone, but rather a means of gaining experience in a law firm environment where I am relied upon to substantively contribute to its success."
  37. If a lawyer gives you an assignment at 4:50 p.m. and says that he needs it by tomorrow morning but that it's not overtime billable, how do you handle the situation?

    Community Answers

    • "I most likely will ask to stay over in order to finish the assignment."
    • "I would have to still complete the task."
    • "I would stay overtime to finish the assignment, and possibly be able to get paid time off in the future."
    • "Do the assignment regardless of the potential for overtime pay."
    • "I would have to still complete the task."