Law @ Lincoln, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

1x interview; LNAT

Interview content

Interview 1: scenario question

Best preparation

Didn't try to pre-empt questions

Final thoughts

Practise close reading scenarios to prepare for the LNAT and interview.

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: National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT)
Number of interviews: 1
Length of interview: 20 minutes
Online interview: Yes

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

My interview was a little chaotic because I was the first to go on the first day of Skype interviews in my home country, and the repeated technical faults meant that my waiting time went from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, in addition to me being unable to see the tutors while they could see me throughout the entire interview. The tutors didn't mention my personal statement or ask any general questions, perhaps because of the delay, and jumped straight to quizzing me on how I would tackle the given scenario using some relevant statutes that were provided during the reading time. Since I only had one interview, both tutors were present, and it was primarily one of them who spoke throughout, with the other only interjecting at some points. In my personal opinion, it was very much like a shortened and more relaxed tutorial; they would challenge some of my claims, especially when I was going in the wrong direction, but it felt more like they were trying to guide me to a different understanding or to consider an alternative point of view than shoot me down, so I found the interview rather more fun than people have made it out to be! Though I was certainly very nervous, the tutors gave me the impression that they were genuinely attempting to teach, as opposed to just testing or judging, which went a long way in helping me get into the rhythm of things.

How did you prepare for your interviews?

I didn't really prepare for it because I wasn't sure how I could; I did hear from some seniors that it would involve a problem question, but that I wouldn't be required to know the law in order to answer the tutors' questions, so I didn't think there would be a point in pre-empting questions. After the interview, I personally felt that there was no way I could have prepared for the interview anyways, because it was entirely focused on the scenario I received during the reading time, and did not require me to have prior legal knowledge to understand. If anything, the tutors seem to be more interested in analytical skills, and the ability to defend your own point of view while remaining open to their questions or challenges.

If you took a test, how did you prepare?

I did the sample papers on the website, which were pretty close to the actual thing.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

I would say that there's not much of a point in preparing for a law interview because you don't have to know the law, and you won't be expected to cite cases or doctrines with any expertise either. If you really want to feel more prepared, practicing close reading of articles or passages describing complex situations would be helpful for both the multiple choice section of the LNAT and the interview itself, but this is mostly a skills-based thing as, again, there's not much you can do about the content because the problem question you might get could be about any area of law under the sun. But you can also be assured that the scenario isn't typically very technical; you wouldn't need to be familiar with any law in the area, especially since you will be given short excerpts of any relevant statutes anyways, and the problems presented don't require any legal knowledge to understand at all. I would also say that you should know your personal statement well, although in my experience this wasn't mentioned.