Back to blog

LCN Blogs

The aspiring solicitor's question bank

The aspiring solicitor's question bank

The Rookie Lawyer


Reading time: four minutes

Part of applying to law firms involves talking to qualified solicitors and trainees − either at open days and events, or by reaching out to them on LinkedIn. As many of my teachers and mentors have advised me, contacting individuals at a firm you want to apply to is a great way to not only get an insight into the firm and their culture, but also gain a better understanding of how to tailor your application.

But how do you know what questions to ask? And how can you avoid asking questions that are too general or cliché?

In this article, I've listed a bunch of questions that act as starting points for your research. Along with further research into the person you're connecting with, and further research into the firm itself, you can develop and tailor these questions to answer your specific queries. I've organised this list thematically, so that once you know which area you specifically want to ask about, you can find that subheading and use some of the questions I've listed as prompts.

Personality and skillset

These questions have two aims: firstly, to garner an understanding of the firm's culture and core characteristics; and, secondly, to note if you'd be a good fit for the firm.

  • What would you say is the profile of someone on your team/at your firm?
  • How would you characterise your firm's personality?
  • How can you showcase interest and passion – as a trainee or applicant?
  • How collaborative is the firm culture?

Formalities and application

These questions are about the specifics of working at or applying to a firm.

  • What was the interview process like for you?
  • How can I best prepare myself for firm interviews?
  • Is there anything that's an immediate deterrent on an application form/in an interview?
  • What are some things to avoid when sending off an application form? 
  • How have you dealt with failures and rejections in the past?

Asking some of these questions to trainees, who’ve recently undergone the application process, is a great way to gain some insight into the experience of a successful applicant. Alternatively, law firm recruiters will also be able to give you some advice about how to impress.

Read our Meet the Recruiter profiles to find out more about what recruiters are looking for.

Learning more about the firm

When you’re having a conversation with law firm representatives, it’s important to have some background knowledge on a firm, so do your research! It’s generally advised not to ask questions that you can find out answers to on the law firm’s website. The below questions are some good ones to ask, to gain an insight into day-to-day life working at the firm.

  • What's the firm's approach to dealing with failure?
  • How do you make decisions at work?
  • How would you describe your work-life balance, and does this change much throughout the year?
  • How do you manage and maintain client satisfaction?
  • If I worked at the firm, how would I know how I'm doing? Is the feedback oral and informal or more formal; is there a supervisor?
  • Tell me about a recent deal you were proud of.


There's a limit to how many general questions I can provide, as any person-specific questions you want to ask will entirely depend on who you're speaking to and what they've experienced! However, there are some starter questions that may help you develop your own more specific questions.

  • What made you decide to go into law?
  • Why did you apply to this firm?
  • Can you describe a day in your life working at the firm?
  • What is some advice you’d give to your younger (pre-qualified/pre-applicant stage) self?
  • What are three things you’d say are essential for a student beginning a successful legal career?
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • What do you find rewarding about your career − and has this changed since you started out?

There's no perfect, exhaustive list of questions to ask a solicitor − and my list is no exception. However, I hope this list provided you with some foundational prompts to think about and develop on your own, before then tailoring them to the person you happen to meet, in order to succeed in your future applications (or at the very least, make a good impression!).

To find out more about preparing for law firm open days, presentations and insight schemes, check out this Feature.