You’ll likely be asked why you want to work at a particular law firm during job applications and interviews. In this article, you’ll learn how to answer this question perfectly.

The question can have different variations:

  • Why are you applying to our law firm?
  • Why are you interested in working at our law firm?
  • How does our firm differ from others that you have applied to?

The firm seeks to evaluate your knowledge of the company and your motivation to work there.

Structure of Your Why This Law Firm Answer

You need to make it easy for the recruiters to follow your answer. The best way to do it is to structure your answer in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-present way. Whether it is a written answer or an oral interview answer, the below structure will be a good starting point.

How to Answer Why This Firm Question - Answer Structure Infographic

  1. What attracted you to the firm – This is the very exact reason that attracted you to apply. This part of your answer will depend heavily on your research. For example, perhaps the culture appealed to you.
  2. Why does that matter to you – Here, you want to explain why and how the reason that made you apply to the firm matters to you personally. For example, the culture reflects your own personal values.
  3. Connect to the firm – Lastly, you must connect your “why” to the firm. You need to explain how exactly the “why” is related to the firm. For example, having personal values that are aligned with their culture will make you helpful/useful/improve processes because of XYZ.

Why study law is also a popular question that often comes up during the application process.

Answering the “Why This Firm?” Questions

Since now you have the basic outline of how you need to structure your answer, below is a deeper explanation of how to excel in every point of your answer.

Step 1: Answering the “What” – Research the Firm

To have a good foundation for your answer you must first research the firm. You may have an idea of what attracted you to apply, but you must be precise in what exactly it was.

Research the company’s history and its expertise. What are they known for? If you are interested in a specific practice area like corporate practice or private client, why not research recent deals or cases in that area? Take a look at our law firm training contract overviews for insights and insider advice.

When researching the firm, think about:

  • Do they have a particular approach to training their trainee solicitors?
  • Do they have a unique competitive edge?
  • Do they implement any innovative technologies?
  • Do they have a unique culture or a support network?
  • Do they have unique types of clients or key clients?

For your research, you can use their website, talk to their trainees and the recruitment team, and conduct a detailed internet search. There are plenty of reasons that could make you attracted to apply to a specific firm. Make sure to research, narrow down on some ideas and be precise as to what attracted you to apply.

Step 2: Answering the “Why” of Why This Firm Question – Provide Reasons

After you have outlined what attracted you to apply, you need to state a reason as to why it is important to you. It is all about detail. Be very, very specific in your motivations. Your answer should not sound too generic.

Talk about personal experiences that have motivated you to apply to that firm. Those experiences can come from university, employment, volunteering, or life events! Make sure you develop your points and include great detail to back up your reasoning.

For example, if the firm’s international work attracted your interest, then you must state why it did so. Do you come from an international background? Do you speak multiple languages? Do you have experience working internationally? This part of the answer will be very personal, and you must include evidence to support your reasoning.

Ensure you apply on time with our detailed training contracts deadline calendar

Answering the Why in How to Answer Why This Firm Question Infographic

Step 3: Connecting the “Why” to the “What” – Show Value

You must tie everything together by connecting the “why” to the “what” to show the value you can add to the firm.

This part of the answer is highly dependent on what you have already written. However, here are some ways in which you can show that connection.

  • You can explain how you can help the company succeed.
  • You can explain how you can repeat your previous successes at the firm.
  • You can explain how your “why” can complement the “what?

For example, the firm’s culture attracts you because it encourages innovation. Innovation is important to you because come from an entrepreneurial background, and you can show an example of innovation that you have done. Finally, then you will make a connection that your experience with being innovative would complement the firm’s culture and allow you to help the firm succeed in its innovation initiatives.

Ensure that you can answer the extracurricular question correctly to boost your application. 

Alternative Strategy to Answering the “Why This Firm?” Questions

While the traditional approach to answering “Why this firm?” questions in law firm interviews or applications involves specific research and personal alignment with the firm’s values, there’s an alternative strategy that can be equally effective. This strategy focuses on demonstrating your understanding of the legal industry’s current trends and challenges and aligning them with the firm’s objectives and practices.

Step 1: Identify Industry Trends and Challenges

Begin by discussing the key trends and challenges currently facing the legal industry. This could include technological advancements, regulatory changes, client service models, or globalization. Show that you are not just interested in the firm but also deeply invested in the broader context in which it operates.

Step 2: Align Firm’s Position in the Industry

Next, align these trends and challenges with the firm’s position in the market. For example, if technological innovation is a significant trend, highlight how this firm is adapting or leading in this area. This shows that your interest in the firm is not just surface-level but is based on a deep understanding of its strategic positioning.

Step 3: Demonstrate Personal Alignment with Industry Evolution

Then, articulate how your skills, experiences, and aspirations align with these industry trends and the firm’s approach to them. If you have experience with legal tech, for example, explain how this aligns with the firm’s innovative practices. 

Step 4: Show Value Addition in the Context of Industry Evolution

Lastly, illustrate how you can add value to the firm in the context of these industry trends. If the firm is dealing with increasing globalization, discuss how your international experience or language skills can be beneficial. This approach not only shows your understanding of the firm but also positions you as someone who can contribute to its future success in a rapidly evolving legal landscape. This is a great opportunity to showcase your commercial awareness

Common Mistakes When Answering Why This Law Firm Question

Below are some of the most common mistakes people make when answering what attracts you to this firm as part of their interview questions or application process.

Overly Descriptive – not detailed

Avoid being overly descriptive when answering this question. The recruiters work there, and they likely already know all of the details regarding their recent deals, innovative programs, and culture. Instead, focus on the details and tell them why that specific something about the firm made you want to apply.

Example of an overly descriptive answer

I am applying to XYZ because this magic circle law firm is a leader in the commercial real estate sector in the UK and I am very passionate about helping business clients achieve their real estate needs. The company is ranked in Band 1 by Legal 500, Band 2 by Chambers and Partners nationwide and Band 2 by Legal 500 internationally. XYZ has recently advised BBP Construction Inc on a ground-breaking sale of their facility in North Wales, which secured them the prize of the Deal Makers of the Year by

This answer is too descriptive. Although it does show the applicant’s knowledge of the firm, it merely states facts that the recruiters already know. As for the motivation, it was mentioned in the first sentence but not developed in detail whatsoever. This answer will fail to “wow” recruiters.

Lack of Evidence

As in the above overly descriptive example, the applicant ultimately failed to explain the “why”. When answering this type of question, you need to use evidence to support your answer. You must draw on your academic, work, and life experiences to make your answer more impactful. By doing so, you not only show evidence but also allow the reader to learn more about you as a person.

Unrealistic Connection

When making the connection between the “why” and the “what”, you have to stay within realistic parameters. You cannot imply that, for example, your experience organizing products at your part-time grocery store job will help you reorganize the firm’s structure to make it more efficient. Instead, focus on how your “why” can help you succeed in the job that you are applying for. Don’t overblow your experiences and skills and the impact that they will have if you were to secure that position.