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Top 15 Summer Law Clerk Interview Questions

Question 1 of 17
What is your greatest weakness, and what are you doing to improve it?
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Question 2 of 17
What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?
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"The most difficult situation I have had to face was (X difficult situation preferably related to the position you applied for). It was difficult because (X reasons contributing to the difficulty of the situation, and how you nevertheless successfully completed the project or found a successful resolution)."
Tell the interviewer about a past situation you have considered the most challenging, preferably related to the position you applied for, e.g., similar firm or industry. If you do not have experience related to the position you applied for, mention a difficult situation related to any position/capacity, which could nevertheless be relevant in the capacity of a Summer Law Clerk.
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Question 3 of 17
What are your educational qualifications that would support your application for the position of Summer Law Clerk?
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"I read on your job posting that one of your preferred educational qualifications is a bachelor's degree. As you can see on my resume, I hold a Bachelor's degree in (X) from (X university), granted in (X year). I also have a Certificate in Legal Studies, which I am positive will be highly beneficial in this role as I have developed the required skills throughout my studies."
Ensure to review the job posting before the interview to familiarize yourself with the educational requirements for this role. Answer this question by mentioning your degrees and certifications that you have, by putting emphasis on those that are relevant to the position you applied for. Should you hold one or several of the preferred educational qualifications listed on the job posting, tell the interviewer you directly meet the educational qualifications, making you a great candidate for this role - and this is an opportunity for the interviewer to see you did your due diligence before the interview. Alternatively, tell the interviewer why you believe your education has prepared you for this role.
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Question 4 of 17
Why do you want to join our firm?
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"I saw on your website that your firm is participating in (X initiative). This is a great initiative contributing to the firm morale by strengthening relationships while giving back to the community. I also always seek the opportunity to develop my team playing skills and hope to work with colleagues I will consider family."
Answer this question by telling the interviewer what seems great about the firm, e.g., their services, initiatives, growth opportunities, and so on. Make sure to answer by providing evidence that you did your due diligence before the interview (e.g., by mentioning something exciting you saw on the job posting, firm website or social media pages), which demonstrates you are serious about working for this employer specifically and are not simply looking for any job. Link this evidence to your professional goals proving this position was made for you and it is one in which you will excel. For instance, you can point to their seemingly friendly firm culture as per some specific programs or initiatives you came across on their website, and say how friendly and how much of a team-player you are - and that this is exactly the type of work environment you are looking for.
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Question 5 of 17
What is your greatest strength, and how will it help you as a Summer Law Clerk?
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"My greatest strength is that I am extremely dedicated. For instance, while employed for (X employer) as a (X position title), I (X further information on your past experience demonstrating your dedication to your work, relevant to the job posting)."
Answer by telling the interviewer what your greatest strength is, related to the position you applied for. Ensure to mention how this strength will contribute to your success as a Summer Law Clerk.
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Question 6 of 17
What do you know about our firm?
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Question 7 of 17
How do you evaluate success in your work?
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Question 8 of 17
How do you react to stressful situations in the workplace, such as tight deadlines and a change in client priorities?
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Question 9 of 17
What is your philosophy towards work?
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Question 10 of 17
Tell me about a time when you were trusted with confidential information.
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Question 11 of 17
Give an example of a time when you made a mistake because you did not adequately listen well to what a colleague or superior had to say.
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Question 12 of 17
What have you done in past situations to contribute toward a teamwork environment?
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Question 13 of 17
In your opinion, what skills are required to be successful as a Summer Law Clerk?
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Question 14 of 17
Describe what you have done to achieve a professional goal.
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Question 15 of 17
Why are you the best candidate for us?
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Question 16 of 17
Why are you considering leaving your current employer?
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Question 17 of 17
Tell me about your typical workday. How do you prioritize assignments?
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User-Submitted Interview Answers

Question 1 of 17
What is your greatest weakness, and what are you doing to improve it?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I am a perfectionist. I can stare at something for hours and continue to make changes to it. I feel as if my work can always be improved.
2.
Perfection is definitely my greatest weakness. There is a standard that I expect my work to meet and although I have completed the task to an acceptable standard. I set my standards, well sometimes beyond my own ability. I endeavour to curb this restraint by accepting that high standards are an acceptable quality of work and perfectionism can hinder productivity.
3.
I am emotional and will try to minimise it by pursuing factual life.
4.
My greatest weakness is that I get overwhelmed under stress. However, I have learned to use this emotion to push myself to work better. This has helped me to improve my thoughts when I feel overwhelmed, to feel as if I can do the task as opposed to feeling so overwhelmed that I cannot.
5.
Inexperience, I have a lot more to learn, I've been paying attention and trying my best.
Question 2 of 17
What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
The most difficult situation I have had to face was being alone in my firms office for the first time, and knowing I had a responsibility to take on anything that occurred in that time on my own to the best of my ability, such taking calls from new clients and following all the procedures without any supervision, doing bank runs on my own, faxing, etc.
2.
Over the summer, I had several situations at work where I had to figure out how to complete an assignment that I had never done before. Often, the attorney I worked for was out of the office for most or all of the day, handling hearings in court, meeting with attorneys and clients, or doing other out of office work. In these situations, I often had to do my best to learn how to handle the situations on my own. The most difficult of these assignments was writing a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief. If you're at all familiar with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, it turns out you may just be the exception. I questioned my boss as often as I could to clarify issues, but I was forced to tackle most of the assignment with hours of raw research, writing, and re-writing before I had a strong finished product.
Question 3 of 17
What are your educational qualifications that would support your application for the position of Summer Law Clerk?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I have strong grades from my first year of school, and I will continue to work hard to achieve high grades for the remainder of my time in law school Furthermore, I have an extensive background working on the ground in construction, both for a company, and on my ow. I also have great educational and workplace experience as a law clerk working with important documents, rather than as a glorified runner like many first-year clerks. Finally, I am taking several classes next semester, including construction law, and business associations, which I believe will make me even more suitable for the job with your firm.
Question 4 of 17
Why do you want to join our firm?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I am particularly interested in joining this firm because I am particularly interest in business defense practice. I typically do well in fields that I enjoy, and I am confident that this field will be one that I actively enjoy practicing in. More specifically, with my background, I think that I can be a valuable member of a legal team that focuses on construction law. The first thing that caught my eye about Richardson Plowden was the large number of attorneys who practice in this field. I hope that I can become a part of a team like that.
Question 5 of 17
What is your greatest strength, and how will it help you as a Summer Law Clerk?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
My greatest strength is that with my backround in customer service, I have a good sense of how to read people. I know that if a client is very formal and professional, I provide the same service back to that client. If they do not understand certain terms that we provide them and are a little more laid back, then I approach them with a mellow head and help them understand in different words what we are doing for that client.
2.
My greatest strength is that when I find something that I am unfamiliar with, I respond with a great aptitude for learning, either through researching and discovering something on my own, or through the competent leadership of others with experience. I am a fast learner, and I am never afraid to tackle a task just because it is unfamiliar to me.
Question 6 of 17
What do you know about our firm?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I have done some research and know that this firm deals with corporate-commercial law, estate law, real estate law and buisness law.
2.
I know that you have an impressive range of practice areas focusing on business defense. Your firm has a good reputation as a place with well-liked professionals and impressive resumes. I strongly respect that you have a background in construction management as well as legal training and expertise.
Question 7 of 17
How do you evaluate success in your work?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
To be a licensed law clerk in a firm that I can provide my skills and abilities to.
2.
My goals are to be a professional attorney with a reputation for honesty, integrity, a diligent work ethic, a drive for justice in the legal system. I don't want to be known just as an attorney who always wins, or always has the best outcome, but also as an attorney who meets those goals without sacrificing the integrity of the legal profession.
Question 8 of 17
How do you react to stressful situations in the workplace, such as tight deadlines and a change in client priorities?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I am the best summer law clerk for Miller & Brown, P.C. Because I am a diligent worker and I have the drive and ability to be a efficient and effective summer law clerk. My goal as a law clerk is to get the most of out the firm I will be working at for the summer and I believe that Miller & Brown can provide that for me, due to the wide range of legal services it provides to clients.
2.
I have a unique background, with both legal and workplace experience that will make be the most suitable law clerk for your practice. I will work harder, longer, and more effectively than anybody else. I will always be willing to tackle new tasks, and learn new skills, whether they are familiar, exciting, boring, or totally new and difficult. When I am assigned a task, I will get it done.
Question 9 of 17
What is your philosophy towards work?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
My philosphy towards work is never being afraid to ask questions to learn the job. I would rather ask questions up front and learn my mistake than be to afraid and have to repeat my questions 6 months later.
2.
I think that people should work hard for everything, especially when they are working on the clock for somebody else. It is important to work as effectively and as efficiently as possible, in order to produce a very high quality work product, as well as to save your boss, client, etc. As much time and expense as possible. I have always been taught to work hard for everything, and not to rely on others to provide for me. I think work is one of the most important things we can do in the world as professionals.
Question 10 of 17
Tell me about a time when you were trusted with confidential information.
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I am trusted with confidential information on daily basis dealing with criminal law. Clients trust us with their information, and also they trust us to not judge them for their bad decisions.
2.
- I am consistently trusted with confidential information when I interview clients at TLC. I am required to keep my clients information private and only discuss the details with the instructing solicitor so that they can advise on the legal issue. Further, I have been entrusted with Census information.
3.
When I worked as a runner at SWB, one of my main responsibilities was filing documents in the proper cases and folders. In order to do this, I often had to go through confidential documents to file them correctly. This was a daily task at that job for me, and I was always careful to make sure those documents were properly handled, and that I did not discuss any of the confidential materials I worked with.
Question 11 of 17
Give an example of a time when you made a mistake because you did not adequately listen well to what a colleague or superior had to say.
User-Submitted Answers
1.
An example of a time I did not listen well to what someone had to say is when I did not.
2.
During an interview at TLC, I was confronted with a client who was getting angry and yelling at me during an interview. I found this confronting and it stopped me from being able to effectively pull out the important information from what he was telling me. This impaired my effectiveness in telling the solictor about what information they should advise on. As a result, the lawyer also had to ask alot of interview questions and advise on the spot. I learnt that I need to ask the client to slow down and focus in on the imporant issues at hand.
3.
In the restaurant, I once made the mistake of taking food to the wrong table. This is probably one of the worst mistakes you can make, as the customers receive food they didn't order, it causes embarrassment for the entire team and the chefs then have to make a whole new dish because we don't take the food away once it has been given to the wrong table. I made the mistake because I did not clarify with the chef which table I was taking the food to, and instead I assumed that I knew which table the food was for. I have learned from this severe mistake to never underestimate the value of communication, and also to never be afraid to double check with someone to make sure I am following the right directions.
4.
Sam was explaining the difference between the different expenses, I didnt.
5.
When I was installing one of my very first tile floors without immediate supervision, I measured one end of the room incorrectly. I had been taught to measure several times, and to double check everything to make sure that my lines were perfectly straight and centered. Somehow I messed up the main center line, and didn't catch the mistake until the next morning when half of the floor was installed and set. I learned my lesson, and never made the mistake again, after my boss had me tear up and replace all of the work I had done the previous day to make it right.
Question 12 of 17
What have you done in past situations to contribute toward a teamwork environment?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
In past situations I have shown teamwork by not being afraid to think outside of the box and bring information to the group in order to move forward.
2.
I think about what each person in the team can contribute to achieving our objective. I then delegate tasks to these people and explain the importance of what they are contributing and that we are relying on them to do their part. I make it clear that their contributions are meaningful and appreciated amongst the group.
3.
I have contributed toward teamwork environments on various occasions at both work and uni. At work in the restaurant, I contribute toward working as a team every shift. We each have our own 'sections' to cover in the restaurant, yet team members will often need help when one 'section' is busier than another. In these scenarios, I happily offer a pair of hands to help, because I know they help me out when I'm struggling to keep on top of my 'section'.
4.
I worked in a team at TAFE. Contributions toward a teamwork environment consisted predominately of respecting the others in the group, listening to and understanding their perspectives on problems and solutions, and being prepared to admit that they may have the better approach.
5.
Work part time, communicate, listen and be active in assisting others.
6.
I find issues that are not being addressed by others, and I offer my assistance and leadership wherever I can be helpful. I am happy to pick up the slack of other group members, but I do so only after I have addressed my own responsibilities.
Question 13 of 17
In your opinion, what skills are required to be successful as a Summer Law Clerk?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Ten years from now I see myself in New York or D.C practicing law at a major real estate business law firm, and teaching business law at a community college and a University, and actively volunteering and participating legal and political local activities. Lawyers are public servants and agents of justice and I want to be an instrumental public servant. I want to raise a family, preferably a family of four, I want to be a great father, great husband, great public servant, a great professor, and a great lawyer. I perceive myself materializing this vision in New York and the climax of enforcing this plan should be 10 years.
2.
I see myself as a qualified lawyer specialising in criminal matters. I am a mother of four and my child ren will be in high school here at xx school. I would like to continue to be involved in community work.
3.
That I m eligible and a confident girl.
4.
I see myself continuing to grow with the same company. I see myself as a full time law clerk taking on multiple projects with confidence and knowledge.
5.
I see myself working as a lawyer, keeping busy with work yet making time for my family. I picture myself putting in the hard hours at work, yet finding time to unwind with the kids when I get home.
6.
Hopefully in a small to medium law firm, life/work balance, happy.
7.
A succesful attorney, handling more complicated construction and civil defense cases, and bringing my own clients and repeat clients to the firm where I work.
Question 14 of 17
Describe what you have done to achieve a professional goal.
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Any personal goal I set, I expect to achieve that goal. If there is one person I enjoy competing against, it is myself. Every time I achieve a personal goal, I feel as though I have beaten my hardest opponent and in turn created a higher bar that is waiting to be beaten upon embarking upon achieving another personal goal.
2.
I have plans and do daily tasks to achieve my goals . I study daily and give myself atleast 2 hourss for this.
3.
I currently am volunteering for any legal project I can get my hands on, in order to fully understand what being a law clerk entails with hands on experience.
4.
Last year, I decided I wanted to become a runner. I could only run for about 30 seconds before feeling entirely worn out. I started training 2-3 times a week, gradually increasing my distance. After a few months, I was able to run 4km in the HBF Run for a Reason without feeling exhausted!
5.
I've always worked hard for the goals I wanted to achieve, I was a regional long distance swimmer in primary school, I placed first in course in 5/7 of my subjects at my high school and I've tried my very best to acquire the skills I will need to become a good lawyer in the future.
Question 15 of 17
Why are you the best candidate for us?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
If you are willing to invest in me, I am 100 percent willing to invest myself in this job to benefit your firm in anyway I can.
2.
Absolutely. As I just said, I have always been taught to work hard, and to work effectively and efficiently. As your law clerk, I will finish my assignments quickly and thoroughly. I am willing to put work on the forefront of my responsibilities, meaning I will always be willing to put in extra hours, staying late or working on weekends when necessary, in order to ensure that every one of my tasks is accomplished well.
Question 16 of 17
Why are you considering leaving your current employer?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I heard about this position from SRG that my school introduced me to.
Question 17 of 17
Tell me about your typical workday. How do you prioritize assignments?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
In my typical work day, I start off by reviewing my calendar and writing out a list of tasks that I need to complete throughout the day.
2.
My typical work day at the moment, requires publishing leading newspapers and ensuring they are delivered before the deadline. In order to do this, we publish the country newspapers first as they have the longest distance to travel. Additionally, we do the individual mailing at the beginning of the night as these truck drivers have to make more individual stops. Finally we conclude with the publications travelling the least distance.
3.
A typical workday in the restaurant involves communicating with customers from the moment they enter the door to the moment they leave. Throughout the evening, we are describing dishes to customers, processing payments, communicating with the chefs about personal dietary requirements etc. At any one point in time, there are always multiple tasks running through your mind. I prioritise the customers first, making sure they are happy and cared for.
4.
My day is typically focused around completing assignments for upcoming assessment. Therefore, I prioritize my work with regard to the due date, the amount of preparation required, whether any work has already been completed, whether there is sufficient time between assessment to focus on each individually or whether I need to work on them concurrently.
5.
I like to start the workday by looking over what assignments I have ahead of me. I prioritize based first on the time frame. Closer deadlines get worked on first. I also prefer to get work that I fear may be more challenging or monotonous out of the way first so that I don't have to worry about those tasks hanging over my head.

About Summer Law Clerk

August 18th, 2017

Summer law clerks are paralegals or legal assistants who are employed by law firms as part of their summer internship program. They may be assigned various tasks depending on the firm they are interning with. In general, summer law clerks conduct interviews with new clients to get all the necessary information, prepare opening case memos, assist in drafting manuals and correspondence, and research legal issues.
First, second and third-year law students are typically given the opportunity to work as summer law clerks in established law firms. These legal clerks must have outstanding research and writing skills and must be able to follow instructions and work independently.
At your summer law clerk interview, the interviewing panel will want to know what you are most passionate about in law. What area of law are you interested in pursuing and why? All through the interview, they will also assess your communication skills. When replying to their questions, make sure your answers are convincing and emphasize your passion for fighting for justice. A great way to prepare for your upcoming interview is to think about how you will answer some of the more commonly asked questions. You can find these listed at mock interview questions.

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