Imagine being a law student in a Judicial Internship Interview, and an esteemed judge seeks your opinion on a real-world case. What would it look like if you could give the judge an idea to help provide the correct verdict? What will you feel in those hallowed halls if you have no clue about the answer?
To land a Judicial Internship, knowing how to answer the interview questions is important to put you in the spotlight. However, what is most important is knowing heads-on the likely questions to expect at the interview rather than second-guessing.
Read on to discover the common Judicial Internship Interview Questions, how to answer them, and how to shoot yourself into a shortlist for any judicial internship.
Overview of Judicial Internship
You can fall into any of the above-case scenarios. The best resultant scenario would be giving an outstanding opinion that helped the judge reach a verdict. The worst scenario would also be that you flopped because you can’t bring yourself to a position to evaluate and give a response critically.
However good or bad the case scenario, that is what the judicial internship is all about. Judicial Internships are rare opportunities for law students to work directly with judges and gain practical experience in some of the most challenging and fascinating legal settings. A judicial internship can also be a big step if you want to pursue a profession as a judge someday.
Furthermore, a judicial internship is an excellent method to hone your future legal practice and advance your research and writing abilities. In addition, it is the only surefire method to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at how judges make decisions and participate in creating the law.
Benefits of the Judicial Internship Program
Results derived from data collected from interviews, reports, and blog posts of Judicial interns From Boston University, USA, suggest the following as the key benefits of Judicial Internship programs.
#1. Building Relationships and Networks
Asides from being a great way to build connections in the legal community, a Judicial internship is necessary for your legal expertise. Previous interns talked about days when the judge and clerks encouraged them to check out what else was happening in the courthouse and connect with their senior colleagues.
You may not meet these people on an ordinary day to talk with them. However, an internship gives you the time to connect with clerks and judges. If you do, they will be great mentors throughout your career.
#2. Refining your research and Writing Skills
The second most suggested benefit is the opportunity to sharpen your research and writing skills. Nothing is more valuable than the law clerk supervising you or the judge’s comments. It is crucial when evaluating petition reviews and bench memoranda in preparation for oral arguments.
#3. Exposure to a Wide Variety of Practice Areas
In addition, Judicial Internships expose interns to a wide variety of practice areas for specialization and many different types of lawyers and lawyering styles. Exposure to work and oral argument styles from excellent and terrible lawyers will help you define the kind of lawyer you wish to become. Further, it will inform you of the best practices necessary to refine your skill in the legal profession.
#5 Common Judicial Internship Interview Questions And How to Answer them
What common interview questions should you expect while preparing for your judicial Internship interview? According to Harvard Law School, the interview questions an employer may ask range from any or all of the following types; Basic, Behavioral, or Hypothetical. But most employers concentrate on questions requiring critical and analytical thinking to answer.
Below are some of the most common judicial internship interview questions and their answers;
1. Why do you want to pursue a career in the Judiciary?
Do not be alarmed when the interviewer asks you the above type of question or questions similar to the above. Know that your interviewer asks you this behavioral question for various reasons. They either want to find out if you know what you know about the Judiciary or why you picked interest in a career.
How to Answer
The most important function of the Judiciary is interpreting and applying the law. As such, those seeking a career in the Judiciary must stand for equity, fairness, and justice. Another essential thing to know is that this career requires critical and analytical thinking to dispense tasks effectively. Also, it requires effective communication and persuasive skills to execute legal interpretations.
I have always frowned at injustice and am keenly interested in the justice system and the execution of laws. ( You can tell a brief story to depict the above instead of saying it). All those times I acted on the side of justice, it was always from an angle. This time, I want to be part of the justice system and help execute it. And this position is perfect for a start.
Also, the challenge of working on complex legal issues and with experienced judges and lawyers motivates me. I want to be in it.
2. What is the most challenging aspect of the Internship role on your CV?
This question is a hypothetical question that the interviewer wants to use to ascertain two things;
a. To ensure that you are the one who wrote your CV and that the qualifications and experiences are yours.
b. To ensure you do your due research on the job role and identify opportunities for improvement.
How to answer
You should be aware of what the job requires of you and what limitations may prevent you from delivering. Doing this will tell the reviewer how self-aware you are. And someone who is self-aware has many opportunities for improvement.
From my research about the job role, working with the court schedule is the most challenging part. There are a lot of deadlines, and I discovered that it could be challenging to keep track of everything. So I took ( or Intend to take) a three-day course on management to help me close the gap to a minimal level until I figure out the best approach.
3. Describe A Time When You Failed In A Similar Role and The Lesson You Learned?
The interviewer asks this basic question to determine your experience level and if it aligns with what you have on your CV. Also, they want to know how you will fit in on the role and if you have learned a skill or experience transferable to the position you indicate on your CV.
In addition, the interviewer may want to see how you deal with failures and whether you take them as a learning experience.
How to answer
Tell your truth that relates to the job role. Do not use fiction but a real-life experience to bolster your failure, how you overcame it, and the lesson learned.
I once worked (name of the business or company) where I do ( Describe your job role. Ensure it is similar to the job role in question or that the experience is relevant to the job role in question). I had challenges coping with pressure and meeting deadlines. It was challenging, but I knew it was a real problem once my company lost a client. I ended up producing a low-quality job.
The manager penalized me; however, I returned to the drawing board to find a solution. And now, I can confidently assure you that I have turned it into my most prominent quality. Those days of failure taught me the techniques of working under pressure and organizing the schedule to handle the numerous jobs without compromising quality and maintaining deadlines.”
4. Why Do You Think You Are The Best Fit For This Role?
The interviewer asks this basic question that the interviewers ask when they want to find out your strength and weigh it with that of other interviewers.
How to answer
It is okay to brag. Talk about your achievement in the field or related job field. However, ensure that it aligns with what they seek from the job role.
Also, discuss your educational qualifications and professional and personality skills that would help you be the best candidate for the role.
I am ( name previous roles, current qualifications, and achievement that aligns with the role). My data entry and computer skills, experience in legal documentation and record-keeping, administrative and managerial skills, and a degree in political science make me an able candidate for the role.
Moreover, I possess a calm and determined personality to handle stressful work environments while maintaining my composure. I always try to maximize my focus, attention to detail, and multitasking abilities.”
5. What are the biggest challenges facing the Judiciary today?
This question is hypothetical. The interviewer is likely asking this question to gauge your understanding of the Judiciary and its challenges. Afterward, they use your answer to ascertain your qualifications for the position.
How to answer
Make the interviewer understand how knowledgeable you are about the challenges facing the Judiciary. Then, tell them how you intend to come in to make a difference.
There are many challenges facing the Judiciary today, but some of the most significant include (List as much as you can, then explain the instances of the challenge they pose to the Judiciary and the subsequent effect).
So as a clerk, I intend (give a hint on how you intend to approach the problem differently)
You must ask the interviewer questions at the end of the Judicial Internship Interview. It solidifies your good standing and intention for the Judiciary beyond doubt.
It is imperative to complete your due diligence before any interview. And completing your due diligence means conducting thorough and in-depth research about the court, the judge, and the available Judicial Internship position before proceeding with an application.
Also, these questions discussed in this article are not limited to the Judicial Internship Interview but extend to other Internship Interviews. As a tip, you must train yourself to think critically and analytically before answering any question. Also, make sure to understand the question before giving your answer. You can now go for your interview. Congratulations on reading to the end!