5 Practical tips to Succeed in Law University Interview

05 Jul 2022

Aspiring to enter law school? Having been accepted to NUS and SMU Law,  I have compiled five tips for better performance during your law admission interviews.

1. Constructing your personal statement.

The most critical tip you’ll need would be to prime the interviewers with your personal statement. Your personal statement serves as the basis for your interview and if constructed purposefully, can help you immensely in dictating the direction of the interview. For instance, I had explicitly stated an interest in criminal law in my personal statement and as expected, the interviewers dedicated a significant portion of the interview to questions concerning criminal law in Singapore. Such an opportunity then allowed for me to showcase the extensive knowledge I possessed as I expounded upon my opinions substantiated with research conducted prior to the interview. Hence, it would be advisable for you to meticulously consider the contents of your personal statement as it could remove a large degree of the uncertainty associated with interviews. In essence, utilize your personal statement as a medium to indicate to interviewers areas of interest and when supplemented with appropriate research in the form of case studies and statistical figures, ensures that you’ll be well-equipped to answer any question that you might encounter.

2. Stay updated on world events

Apart from questions specific to law, it is also likely interviewers will mention global events as a talking point. It will then be important to at the very least, have sufficient functional knowledge to formulate opinions and provide reasonable corroboration. The choice of media outlets is personal but websites you could peruse include The Straits Times, CNN Asia and even Reddit.

3. Stay Versatile

Alternatively, interviewers may elect to prioritize evaluating your critical thinking and adaptability instead. In such cases, the structure of the interview will differ greatly, as interviews postulate scenario-based hypotheticals that require practical answers. An example would be during my SMU Law interview, when the scenario was as such:

A family was at dinner in a restaurant and had wanted to order a fish dish priced at $50. However, they were informed by the staff that said dish was no longer available and were instead recommended another fish dish on the menu with seasonal pricing. When the bill was received, they had discovered that the fish dish they ordered was $500.

Based on such a situation, we were then asked a variety of questions – who do you think was at fault here?, what measures could be implanted as a policy maker in order to prevent further similar mishaps?.  Furthermore, do not be surprised when interviewers look to introduce new variables (what if the family had asserted that they were misled by the staff) each time you answer. One pitfall interviewees might struggle with here would be the inability to consider new information. It is important then to be mentally dexterous and revise your insights along the way, demonstrating to interviewers your ability to adopt various perspectives.

4. Be Confident

Ultimately, interviewers are looking for firm opinions justified by strong reasoning that can withstand their line of questioning. There are no suggested answers to an interview, so be confident in your ability to synthesize convincing ideas and to express yourself coherently. Remember, an interview is basically just a conversation, so stay relaxed and try to have fun with it. One tip to note, pauses are perfectly acceptable, so use the time to organize your thoughts to avoid convoluted or verbose sentences.

5. Dress to Impress

As for the dress code, there is no need to be overtly formal, business casual wear will suffice as long as you ensure that you are neat and presentable. Dress comfortably and all the best for your interviews!

The writer, Jon** is a former IB graduate who got accepted to law schools in Singapore
**not his real name


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