Law @ Fitzwilliam, Cambridge in 2018

Interview format

CLT; 2x interview

Interview content

Applying legal definitions to scenarios

Best preparation

Online practice questions, LNAT, introductory legal reading

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Try to relax!

Remember this advice isn't official. There is no guarantee it will reflect your experience because university applications can change between years. Check the official Cambridge and Oxford websites for more accurate information on this year's application format and the required tests.

Also, someone else's experience may not reflect your own. Most interviews are more like conversations than tests and like, any conversation, they are quite interactive.

Interview Format

Test taken: CLT

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: no

Time between interviews: 1 hour

Length of interviews: 20 minutes

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

Both my interviews began with a more general question, the first of which was about what I thought about the content of my History A level and the second of which was about a small section of my personal statement where I'd linked an art project to my legal interests. However, after that, discussion in both interviews was mostly focused on the problem questions I'd been given 15 minutes in advance of each interview. These questions tended to involve applying a given definition of an area of law to a scenario.

I actually found it quite fun because the interview style was much like a friendly debate where you'd give an interpretation and have that questioned or challenged so as to push you think to think more critically about the scenarios. The interviewers were nice so I was quickly put at ease, although I'd suggest that you watch out for the chairs because they are quite easy to sink into!

How did you prepare?

I read some of the practice questions from the Cambridge law test website and planned out how I would structure answers before practicing a couple under timed conditions. The LNAT essay practice I did for other universities was also useful because it gave me some more timing practice. Some of the introductory law reading I did and cases I read about were also helpful, not necessarily in terms of facts or evidence, but rather because it gave me an idea of how to think and formulate arguments when given legal problems.

I prepared for my interview by getting friends and teachers to mock interview me with example Oxbridge interview questions in order to feel more secure with the style of interview. I found this particularly helpful because it allowed me to get feedback on how I was answering questions so I could improve my interview technique, for instance the fact that I can talk too fast when I'm either nervous or really engaged with a question. I also prepared by going over my personal statement and notes I'd made about the books I'd read briefly the day before, to make sure I felt confident about answering any questions I might be asked.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

Looking back, what advice would you give to your past self?

Looking back, the advice I'd give applicants now is to know your personal statement well, because I got asked about quite a niche section of mine, but not to obsess over it because my law interview mostly focused on problem questions. I'd also say that practicing technique is good, but don't feel compelled to learn lots of law content beforehand, as they're looking for the way you think, not just a list of facts. So I'd say just try to relax and approach the questions with a clear head as that'll help you more than cramming everything about your personal statement.