Updated 16 March 2019
Law interviews are known for bizarre interview questions as we all as predictable ones. Why corporate law’ question certainly falls in the latter category and you can be certain it will come into play either or both in the application and the interview process, therefore, preparing a compelling answer is vital. Today we will look at this question in more details and share our tips and advice on how to answer it.
1. What is corporate law?
Before you dive into preparing an answer you will want to understand the link between corporate and the law itself. One way to look at this is by asking yourself the question of why commercial awareness is always assessed in the interview process. Mainly that is because firms want someone with commercial nous who will help and advise their clients to stay competitive while generating revenues for the firm. After all, law firms are private businesses who are in business to make money. By taking this approach you will be able to understand the reasons behind this question and the question itself, which is very key.
2. What does a corporate lawyer do?
Once you understood why you are being asked this question, the next logical step would be to analyze the corporate lawyer's role. This is approach is quite important as it will enable you to identify relevant skills and experience that you have and link it with your answer. In addition, being able to convey a clear understanding of the corporate lawyer duties will help you articulate an answer to why you want to become a corporate lawyer. It goes without saying that this approach will also give you a pretty good idea as to whether or not a job as a corporate lawyer is for you.
3. Do you have what it takes to become a corporate lawyer?
The next step is to pick the relevant skills and experiences you have and match it with the corporate lawyer skills requirement. The answer here will only be as good as your understanding of what a corporate lawyer does. Don’t just pick answers that you find online because chances are they are not personal to you and they have been used by others in their applications too. Instead, concentrate why you personally want to be a corporate lawyer and what exact skills and attributes you have that are suited to a career as a corporate lawyer. We would also recommend that you regularly check the corporate law academy forum packed with discussions surrounding interviews and application process.
4. Why corporate law at this firm
A conclusive answer will always include why corporate law at this very law firm. Here you will be required to dome some research into the firm around recent deals/cases that caught your attention and discuss it in more details why that is appealing. For example, it could be because the firm represents a client or a sector that is of interest to you. But remember always link it to your relevant skills and or experience to showcase to the interviewers that you have what it takes to succeed at the firm. You will need to be specific why corporate law at this firm and not at other firms. Some firms guarantee a corporate law seat or a secondment corporate seat, so you could, for instance, say this is appealing to you.
5. Top tip
This may be basic but time and time again we see aspiring solicitors saying they want to be corporate lawyers, yet you have not had any or very limited exposure to a corporate law firm. Lack of legal experience is unlikely to convince the recruiter you have ambitions and enthusiasm to become a corporate lawyer.
To summarise, this predictable question on the face of it may seem hard to put it into words. However, if you have taken steps to gain exposure to commercial law firms and legal work experience, you already have one foot in the door because that is precisely what recruiters are looking for from interviewees.
Legal recruiter and blogger @purelegaljobs