Why do you want to be a lawyer?

This question is going to come up in any interview, so you can’t avoid it – perhaps not in those exact words – but by the end of your meeting, the person sitting on the other side of the table is going to want to be convinced as to whether or not you have the right motivation and potential to do the job.

In my group sessions, we explore this – I ask for people in the audience to give their own answer to that question in front of the group, and really appreciate it when somebody volunteers. I then ask others to give their comments.

It’s not an easy one to answer, because (let’s be honest) many people choose jobs for what are probably the wrong reasons – milk round visits, money only or perception of parents’ expectations. The reason that I chose law was probably not much more logical than any of those reasons – a really fun internship at Clifford Chance.

I have been asked a few times for tips on how to answer this one; but as I have said in a previous post https://legaljobtips.com/2012/09/21/practise-answering-those-questions-that-you-know-are-coming/, this isn’t a question that someone else can answer for you. I don’t think that any interviewer is expecting you to have a “calling” to law as some people do for charity work or medicine; but they do want a credible story. All I would say is that commercial law firms expect candidates to understand that the job is an academic and a commercial one, with a focus on clients.

Other than that, you should prepare your own well-practised credible answer – you are going to need it.
Do have a look through other tips in the archive folders on the left.


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