Getting a job at the top law firm takes hard work and determination. You will need to complete a highly effective interview and show the partner or hiring manager your skills.
Reviewing the following guide to legal secretary interview questions and answers will help orient you on how to best represent your strengths. By so doing, you will increase the likelihood of getting the job of your dreams in a top law firm.
Show your detail-oriented nature
A legal secretary needs to be highly detail-oriented first and foremost. This is because the majority of the work will be in preparing paperwork for the caseload of the lawyers on staff. You will definitely be asked during a legal secretary interview questions about your experience in preparing complex documents and you will need to give answers to show your strengths.
A law firm produces many highly important documents that need to be error-free so that the clients are properly represented. Before the interview, make sure to prepare examples of highly polished documents that you have created. These documents should be in a cover or binder so that they appear professional.
In addition to these documents, you will want to make sure that you have specific examples that you can tell from your previous employment or educational experience that illustrate your document preparation and organizational skills.
For example, think of a time that you prepared and created a professional report that you presented or that was published in a newsletter or other publication. Explain the process of creating the document, editing the document, and if applicable, your experience working with others to create it. This story will provide a definitive example of your writing abilities.
Understand the legal background of the firm
Each law firm represents a specific legal practice. Do not think that a general knowledge of law will get you the job you want. Your legal secretary interview questions and answers need to show that you understand specifically what the law firm does and whom they represent.
Before the interview, make sure to study carefully the law firm's website and research information about the type of law that they practice. For example, if the firm is a real estate law firm, make sure that you understand the major types of clients that they represent and the types of cases with which the lawyers of the firm are faced.
It is highly possible that the lawyer or hiring manager will expect you to understand the basic terminology of their law practice. If you do not have specific experience in the type of law that the firm practices, it will be important for you to talk about your research and understanding of what they do.
Illustrate your experience with customer service
When most clients come to a law firm, they are facing legal problems that can induce stress and frustration. As a legal secretary will be the front-line representative of the firm, you will need to show the hiring manager that you are able to deal respectfully and effectively with disgruntled clients.
Although it might not be in the job description or in the job requirements, customer service is a critical part of the job. Prepare specific examples of your customer service experience, including a story when you effectively served a disgruntled client in the past and completed a job responsibility.
Do not worry too much about presenting a story in which you made someone happy that was angry; think more about a story where you were faced with a difficult problem, and you did your best to provide a solution that helped the client and honored your employer as well.
The more you have well-prepared, specific answers during your legal secretary interview questions and answers session, the more you will show your strengths to the hiring manager.