You’ve got yourself a criminal law training contract interview after sending off your training contract applications. You’ve patiently (somewhat!) waited to hear back from your choices, and now it’s time for you to shine.
Here are the kinds of questions you can expect to hear at your criminal law training contract interview, how best to answer them, and how to impress the interviewer with readily prepared questions of your own.
Want to know how to prepare for a training contract interview? Check out our guide.Training Contract Interviews
Exploring and knowing your motivation for your initial application is important. It is also particularly key if you are a non-law applicant. Tell the interviewer(s) about:
If you have previous experience of studying criminal law at university, be sure to highlight what you loved about it as a specific area of law. It’s also a good idea to include how case law and legislation relating to key criminal law areas sparked your interest in the legal field.
Is there a particular injustice you’ve read about that ignited your interest in a criminal law training contract? Did you read legislation or a specific case and wonder why the decision was made? Have you been to lectures or exhibitions on the history, or the future of criminal law?
It is important to emphasise how you engage with the legal sphere, and particularly, criminal law, as part of your academic education and personal interests. This will show why it is you want to work for a criminal law firm.
To feel confident when you walk into the interview, consider what skills and competencies are required specifically in the area of criminal law.
Popular and important examples are communication, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, analytical skills, empathy and good people skills.
By showing you awareness of the issues faced by criminal lawyers and firms, you’ll show your understanding of the complicated industry and job role that you are applying for.
It demonstrates your tenacity, ambition and commitment to becoming a criminal lawyer. The interviewer will get a clear indication of your willingness to face and overcome obstacles you’re likely to face in the criminal sphere.
Here, the interviewer is looking for your interest and awareness in how case law and legislation impacts the real world. It is a valuable way to see how you can bring the law to life by taking theoretical concepts and translate these into how they impact people in society.
Demonstrating your commercial awareness of what is happening in the media and the English legal system indicates your understanding of the environment, why this is important to the firm and how it may impact clients.
Preparing a list of questions before the criminal law training contract interview shows your enthusiasm at the prospect of getting a criminal law training contract, and at the law firm in particular.
Ultimately, structure your answers as best as you can, and prioritise providing well-explained answers that demonstrate your excitement over in-depth and polished answers.
Written by Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe
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