Law at Cambridge: Interview Questions & Tips

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This article describes what candidates can expect in their Cambridge Law interview – including previously asked Cambridge interview law questions, to interviews with current students!

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Law at Cambridge may seem daunting at first, but this article contains key bits of advice to help guide candidates through answering Cambridge law interview questions

What is the Cambridge Law interview structure?

Most candidates have 2 interviews that each last around 20-25 minutes in length. Some candidates get pooled to a second college for interviews, and this means they could have up to 4 interviews over a few days!

Candidates get prior notice, with most getting an interview timetable, along with who will be interviewing them, a few days in advance. Interviews take place in December.

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Example Cambridge Law interview questions

General Cambridge interview law questions:

  • Why do you want to study Law at Cambridge?
  • Questions on why I talked about X in my Cambridge Law personal statement
  • What is it about Law that most excites you?
  • What skills would make you suited to be a successful student at Cambridge?
  • Why this college?
  • Why Cambridge University?
  • What can you contribute to college life?
  • Discussion on my EPQ topic (if done)
  • What did you do in your gap year?
  • Discussion of my future plans for study and career
  • Why is Law worth studying?
  • Why is the course structured the way it is?
  • Summarise a book mentioned in my personal statement and my opinion of it
  • Why should we give you an offer to study Law at Cambridge?
Free Oxbridge Interview Scenarios

    Cambridge Law interview questions:

    • Interview 1: This was based on a piece of legislation from the Animals Rights Act. The law Cambridge interview questions were very specific to the legislation and my interviewers created fictional scenarios stemming from it
    • Interview 2: I was asked why I chose my A-Levels (I did Maths, Biology, Chemistry (AS) and Religious Studies). I was then asked if I enjoyed them. Then I was given a lot of scenarios to work through. Some of the scenarios were as follows: – There is a man who is walking down the street and unfortunately is stabbed. He then goes to the hospital where he needs life saving treatment. However he refuses the treatment and dies – who killed him? The interviewers asked questions on the back of my answer such as isn’t it the doctor’s duty to ensure the patient doesn’t die (I had said that the patient caused his own death). 
    sample cambridge law interview questions

    The scenario then changed to the same man being stabbed in a building where there had been a badly done repair of a faulty gas leak. The building then exploded whilst the man was alive. I was asked what and who caused his death. – The scenario changed again to the man still being in the building (before the explosion) with his brother on the way to save him. His brother was severely delayed and if he had gotten there earlier, the man would be alive. I was asked if the brother was responsible for his death. I was then asked questions off the back of my answers.

    Example Cambridge Law Interview Questions

    • If my friend locks me in a room, and says I am free to come out whenever I like as long as I pay £5, is this a deprivation of liberty? 
    • Should people be forced to wear seatbelts?
    • Define ‘at fault’.
    • My interviewer gave me an extract to look at 15 minutes before the interview, and I was asked to summarise an article of around 1500 words to 200 words.
    • What is “international law”? Does it exist? Can you give an example?
    • What is the difference between intention and foresight?
    • If the punishment for parking on double yellow lines were death, and therefore nobody did it, would that be a just and effective law?
    • Should judges have a legislative role? 
    • Adam sees Jim walking towards the edge of a cliff. Adam knows Jim is blind, but doesn’t like him, so allows him to walk off the edge. Is this murder?
    • Is someone guilty of an offence if they did not set out to commit a crime but ended up in doing so? 
    • A father promises to give his daughter £100 a week during her time at university. After the first term, he decides she needs to be more self-reliant and stops paying her. Can she sue him for breach of contract?
    • A man holds a gun up to your head and says “shoot your father or I’ll kill you both”. You then shoot. Are you guilty of murder? This was then followed by “What about if he had said “shoot your father or I’ll kill you”, before being asked “what about it he had said “shoot your father or I’ll kill him”.
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    What can I expect on the day of my Cambridge Law interview?

    (My interview was in person so my experience may be slightly different to those interviewing online)

    Interview 1: On the day of the interview we were taken to a large room where all other interviewees were waiting. 

    A student helper took us to a room where we were to receive a piece of legislation. We had 30 minutes to read and jot down anything we noticed about the piece of legislation. Pens and highlighters were provided, however I brought my own. 

    We were then taken straight to the interview room. After the interview was finished, we went back to the same room. I had 3 hours before I needed to then complete the Cambridge law test. 

    A student helper took us to the lecture theatre where we were going to write our test. It felt like any other exam. We sat down anywhere and we were handed the paper with questions to answer (we had to pick 1). Once we were ready, the timer started and we had an hour to complete the test. After the test was over, the student helper took us back to the large room we had been in most of the day. An hour later, I had my last interview. I then explored the college.

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    What do you have to bring to your Cambridge Law interview?

    We were told to dress in a way that felt comfortable. I wore a colourful striped blouse, smart black trousers and shoes. I did not wear a blazer. Some students dressed very smartly (suits and ties) whilst others dressed more smart casual. We didn’t need to bring anything – I recommend bringing water and a pen just in case! 

    When are Cambridge Law interviews held?

    According to Cambridge University, interviews typically take place during the first three weeks of December, with a small number of candidates interviewing in January. Most candidates are interviewed over a period of 2-3 days, but if you get pooled for another round of interviews then this period could be even longer.

    I heard back on the 15th January, roughly 1 month after my interview (10th December)

    What if my technology cuts out during the interview?

    The interviewers will be used to technology not always working perfectly so do not worry – your interview score will not be affected. Try to remain calm, fix the issue yourself, and notify someone as soon as possible if the issue persists. 

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    How to answer Law Cambridge interview questions

    What are the Cambridge Law interviewers like?

    My interview experience was very positive!

    My interviewers were very friendly and talkative. The whole thing felt quite informal as all 4 of my interviewers were dressed casually. It was also very conversational instead of simply a question then an answer. I was able to build rapport with the interviewers and when I felt stuck, I was prompted very kindly and was able to get to the correct answer. 

    There were a lot of follow up Cambridge law interview questions based on what I said in both of my interviews. At points where I got the answer wrong, I was probed to look or think again and we spoke through a perhaps different answer.

    The interview felt less like a typical interview, and more of an interesting conversation between 2-3 people passionate about their subject! The interviewers really just wanted to know more about me and my motivations for studying Law!

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    Students reading Law at Cambridge will typically have 2 tutorials a week with 0-3 other students and a tutor

    Cambridge University Law interview questions tips

    Relax beforehand! There is no point stressing the night before, spending all night revising and cramming. This will just make you more stressed and more tired. Get a good night’s sleep and try to relax before the interview starts. 

    For online interviews, make sure that those in your house, or school know where and what time your interviews are so that you are not disturbed. Check your wifi connection is stable and make sure your device remains on charge during the interview. Set everything up at least 15 mins before each interview. 

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    Tips for the Cambridge Law interview itself

    1. Try to stay calm! It is totally normal to be nervous – take time to think, structure your answer, and try your best!
    2. Do not panic if you do not immediately know the answerCambridge University states interviewers want to see how you think and apply your current knowledge, rather than just assessing your final answer – so make sure you show the interview how you logically arrive at an answer step-by-step!
    3. Practice speaking out loud and verbalising your thoughts 
    4. Know your personal statement inside and out just in case you are asked about it. Be aware and prepare any answers to potential counter arguments to any opinions you have given in the interview 
    5. Familiarise yourself with legal topical issues and wider socio-economic issues in the world and think what place law has in some of these issues – 
    6. Practise mock interviews (online if your interviews are online), ensuring that you are aware of any bad habits e.g. not looking at the camera, not smiling, slouching etc). Look for Cambridge Law interview sample questions that you can be asked.
    7. DO NOT OVER PREPARE such that your answers sound rehearsed. Have a general idea of how you will answer each question (e.g. why this university, why the subject, why the college) but not to the point where you are rehearsing saying the same exact words over and over again.

    What is your favourite thing about Law at Cambridge?

    It is really fascinating to be learning from the leading academics in the field at Oxbridge. 

    For example, my International Law supervisor was representing Ukraine in the Ukraine v Russia dispute following Russia’s invasion. We are able to then think about and discuss international law in its very present context.

    I also really enjoy the supervision system and the freedom of thought we have to disagree with the law and give our own opinions. I also really enjoy the fact that we have a real split between problem focused learning for problem questions and more theoretical legal thinking to incorporate into essays. It is not heavily biassed towards one or the other. 

    Lastly, I also really enjoy the fact that there are various talks and seminars that take place as other leading academics and lawyers often visit Cambridge to discuss topical legal issues allowing us to enjoy learning about the law outside of the purely academic context.

    If you’re about to take the LNAT, why not speak to one of our LNAT tutors to see how we can help you to prepare. 

    Still need more support with preparing for your Cambridge Law Interview? Check out our 1-1 Oxbridge Law Interview Tutoring packages to help secure your place at the University of Cambridge!

    Find out more about out Cambridge Law interview tutoring with a free consultation today.

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