Updated: Jun 28, 2019
Are you preparing to hire a legal assistant? Here are ten of the most effective questions to ask during the interview to secure a great new hire and positive addition to your legal team!
NUMBER ONE: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A LEGAL ASSISTANT?
This question allows the interviewer to gain in-depth background information on the potential hire and understand their motivation and passion behind their reason for wanting to become a legal assistant. This translates into what will fuel their motivation to succeed and excel on the job.
NUMBER TWO: WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THIS ROLE AT [NAME OF LAW FIRM]? This question gives the interviewer insight into why the potential hire applied for this specific job with this specific law firm. Hopefully, this sparks a conversation regarding the potential hires' interest in the law firm and their interest in the work or values of the law firm.
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NUMBER THREE: WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU FEEL ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR A SUCCESSFUL LEGAL ASSISTANT?
This question allows the interviewer to learn whether the potential hire has a clear understanding of what the position will entail and the qualities needed to succeed in that position.
NUMBER FOUR: WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS? WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
Basic, but necessary. The interviewer needs a clear idea of where the potential hire may excel and where the potential hire may struggle. In the long run, knowing your legal assistants' strengths will allow you to maximize his or her efficiency and productivity.
NUMBER FIVE: WHAT TYPE OF STEPS DO YOU FOLLOW TO MANAGE YOUR DAILY WORKLOAD AND MEET DEADLINES?
This question allows the interviewer to discover whether the potential hire is capable of task management and prioritizing.
NUMBER SIX: HOW DO YOU ENSURE ACCURACY IN YOUR DAILY WORK?
There is little to no room for mistakes in handling legal cases, whether drafting documents or organizing files. The interviewer must confirm the potential hire is detail-oriented.
NUMBER SEVEN: HOW WELL DO YOU HANDLE STRESS?
Constant deadlines, multiple attorneys, continuous task. The interviewer must ensure the potential hire can not only handle stressful situations, but excel.
NUMBER EIGHT: WHAT ARE YOUR LONG-TERM CAREER GOALS?
This question helps the interviewer determine whether the potential hire intends to work as a legal assistant for a long time or is just using the position as a stepping stone to do something else. Nothing worse than hiring, investing in, and training a legal assistant who leaves the firm after a short period of time.
NUMBER NINE: WHAT PRIOR EXPERIENCE, IF ANY, DO YOU HAVE WORKING AS A LEGAL ASSISTANT?
If the potential hire has worked as a legal assistant in the past you can ask more specific questions. Experience working with a case management system? Have you ever prepared for a trial? Interviewed a witness? Obtained an affidavit? Obtained medical records? Drafted pleadings? Summarized a deposition? Outlined video evidence? Created an evidence log? Outlined medical records or other documentation? Prepared a case file?
NUMBER TEN: DO YOU HAVE A WRITING SAMPLE?
This is always a good question to ask. This question provides the interviewer an idea of the potential hires' writing ability and work quality. Request the potential hire follow-up with an email providing a copy of their writing sample.