Prepare for your Head of Legal interview. Understand the required skills and qualifications, anticipate the questions you may be asked, and study well-prepared answers using our sample responses.
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience leading a team of attorneys. It is important to show that you are comfortable taking on this role and have the skills necessary to lead a department of lawyers.
Answer Example: “I have been in a leadership role for several years now, so I am definitely comfortable with it. In my current position as head of legal, I have a team of five attorneys who report to me. I meet with them regularly to discuss projects and make sure everyone is on track. I also hold weekly meetings with all of the attorneys in the department to ensure everyone is up to date on projects.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in this role. Use your answer to highlight some of your most important qualities, such as communication skills, problem-solving ability and leadership ability.
Answer Example: “I believe the most important qualities for a head of legal are leadership, communication and problem-solving skills. As a leader, I am passionate about helping my team achieve their goals and objectives. I am also very good at communicating with my team members, which allows us to work together effectively. My problem-solving skills allow me to quickly identify issues and develop solutions for them.”
This question can help interviewers understand your leadership skills and how you would build a team of professionals. Use examples from previous roles where you helped create a successful legal department or team of lawyers.
Answer Example: “I would start by hiring a senior lawyer who has experience managing a team of attorneys. This person would be responsible for training new hires and helping them develop their skills. I would also hire a secretary or admin assistant who could help with filing documents, answering phones and scheduling appointments. Finally, I would hire a paralegal who could assist with research and document preparation.”
This question can help the interviewer determine your level of expertise in the industry and how you apply it to your work. Use examples from previous experience to highlight your knowledge of legal requirements in the workplace.
Answer Example: “I am very familiar with the legal requirements of the healthcare industry. In my current role as head of legal for a large hospital, I oversee all aspects of compliance, including HIPAA regulations, patient rights laws and medical malpractice regulations. I also work closely with other departments to ensure that our company meets all applicable laws and regulations.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities they’re looking for in a head of legal. Use your answer to highlight some of your most important qualities, such as leadership, communication and problem-solving skills.
Answer Example: “Successful heads of legal must have a combination of both hard and soft skills. On the hard skills side, I believe that a deep knowledge of law and legal practice is essential. A head of legal needs to understand the various ways in which companies can operate legally and how to ensure that the organization stays within the law. They also need to be able to understand and interpret complex legal documents such as contracts and agreements.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle conflict in the workplace. Use examples from previous experiences where you helped resolve a situation and improved communication between coworkers.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of legal, I had a senior attorney who was very talented but struggled with communicating effectively with others. He would often give unclear instructions, which caused frustration among the rest of the team. I met with him privately to discuss the issue and helped him understand how his behavior was affecting others. He agreed to work on improving his communication skills so he could better collaborate with his team.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with litigation and how you might handle similar situations in their company. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your skills as a lawyer and how they helped you achieve success in those situations.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of legal for a small business, I represented the company in court when we were sued by a client who claimed we did not complete their project correctly. After reviewing the case, I realized there was some miscommunication between the client and the project manager that led to the error. We ended up settling the case for $5,000, which was much less than if we had gone to trial.”
Employers ask this question to see if you have the ability to analyze information and come up with solutions. When answering, try to provide an example that shows your problem-solving skills, as well as your ability to use legal analysis.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of legal for a small business, I was tasked with creating a contract for a new client. After reviewing the contract, I noticed that there was an error in one of the clauses. The error could have caused the company significant financial loss if they didn’t catch it before signing the contract. I immediately contacted the client to let them know about the error and helped them create a new contract without the mistake.”
This question is a great way to show your leadership skills and how you would improve a company’s legal department. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of the areas you would like to improve or highlight some of the positive aspects of your current company’s legal department.
Answer Example: “I would hope that a legal audit would conclude that our department is well organized, efficient and effective. I believe that a well-run legal department should have clear documentation of all procedures and processes, as well as accurate records of all transactions and communications. It should also have well-trained staff who are able to provide timely and accurate advice on legal matters.”
This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and how you would respond to an unexpected situation. In your answer, demonstrate that you are willing to take action and ensure that the company’s values are upheld.
Answer Example: “If I discovered that one of our suppliers was engaging in illegal activity, I would immediately contact the vendor to discuss the issue. If the vendor refused to change their practices, I would terminate our contract and find another supplier who meets our standards. It is important to me that our company is ethical and honest, so I would not want to do business with someone who is not.”