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Hot Legal Topics to research for an interview

Written By - Joshua Watts - September 10,2019

Hot Legal Topics to research for an interview

You will at some point in your legal career journey have to attend an interview. They are a key part of many different application processes. They can also be a fairly daunting experience, and many candidates struggle with interviews more than any other stage in the application process.

Below I have included a few legal topics that can be discussed in your interview, this will make you feel more relaxed whilst showing off your knowledge within the legal industry.
Artificial Intelligence

The impact of new legal technology is something which law firms are particularly aware of. Many firms wish to pioneer it as an important part of their future development, however they also want to ensure that technology and in particular, artificial intelligence, does not take over from human participation in legal problems.

Artificial intelligence mimics certain operations of the human mind and is the term used when machines are able to complete tasks that require human intelligence.

AI could be used to review documents and legal research, help perform due diligence, contract review and management, predict legal outcomes and optimise recruitment.

According to Deloitte, 100,000 legal roles will be automated by 2036. Now is the time for all law firms to commit to becoming AI-ready.

How to use this in an interview:

Candidates should know the types of jobs that artificial intelligence may be helpful for in future development and whether the firm should embrace these changes.

It is important for you to have a spectrum of opinion in this case – how artificial intelligence an augment what humans do and free them up for higher level tasks.

Also, how humans will be required in the legal field to relate to clients and their personal or business matters.

You may also benefit from having an opinion on what firms can do to embrace a growth mindset in terms of AI and innovate to be ready for this massive step-change.

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam

The Solicitors Regulation Authority will introduce a common assessment that all prospective solicitors will take before qualifying in autumn 2021.

Their belief is that it will allow for everyone to meet the same high standards in a consistent way.

In order to pass the SQE, you are required to pass stages one and two, which comprise of legal knowledge and practical legal skills respectively.

You will also need to have obtained a degree or equivalent qualification in any subject, as well as pass the character and suitability requirements; and have two years qualifying work experience. This, in effect, may allow paralegals and apprentices to also qualify.

How to use this in an interview:

Law firms are immensely interested in the SQE, the benefits of it in comparison with the traditional LPC followed by two-year training contract route to qualification and the difference it will make to graduate recruitment within the firm.

A well-researched answer is key here. You may be asked if you believe the benefits outweigh any risks in changing the qualification route.
Moreover, you may be asked to consider how the firm should amend their graduate recruitment to make way for those qualifying via this route post-2021.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Over the past decade or so, courts have begun to favour many different approaches as alternatives to the traditional model of litigation.

This has reached an extent where many parties, for example, will now be penalised when it comes to the settlement if they have not tried to mediate beforehand.

Many people now accept that in the not too distant future, the majority of civil and family cases will be potentially solved by mediation or, where applicable, arbitration.

Mr. Justice Francis in the case Great Ormond Street Hospital v Yates & Gard, went as far as to say that all cases should attempt to mediate, even if just to better understand the others’ position.

How to use this in an interview:

Candidates may be asked to give their opinion on how they believe cases are likely to be approached in the future and give their opinion on the efficacy of alternative dispute resolution, as opposed to going to court.

Those going into firms which place an emphasis on mediation may be asked what they know about it and whether or not they have any experience in the field.

Candidates can prepare for questions of this nature by reading over the relevant information on the Civil Mediation Council or even applying to observe an experienced mediator.

Whilst criminal law is far more litigation based, candidates may be asked how they feel court proceedings can be improved and whether there is an alternative to litigation where minor offences are concerned.