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Oxford University Law Interview Questions

Law Application & Interview Preparation Specialists

Course Information

There are two different Law (known as Jurisprudence) courses at Oxford. Course I is a three year course, whilst Course II is a four year course with a third year abroad in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, or Spain. Course II students will gain additional legal experience in a different system, but must have an A Level in a Modern Foreign Language in order to apply.

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Admissions Statistics & Process

Oxford interviews a high proportion of students – for law, expect around 39% of the total applicants to be interviewed. However, only 13% of applicants are successful – making for an intake of 205 students.

Interview Key Dates

First college interviews for law will take place in the second week of December typically, with decisions on second college interviews communicated to students in the second half of that same week. Second college interviews then take place at the start of the following week.

Interview Format and Purpose

Oxford explains that its interviews are typically formatted as you being shown a piece of information, and then being asked to answer questions and comment on that piece of information. Additionally, you might be asked to discuss and consider work that you have submitted – including your personal statement. In practice, this means that Law applicants are given some form of short reading material before their interview, then asked to discuss this with the interviewers. This might be a case or some form of legal framework. Remember that you don’t need specific legal knowledge, but that you will need to be able to show an ability to analyse and use suitable ethical and logical frameworks.

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Additional Assessments for Oxford Law

All applicants to Oxford for Law will sit the LNAT. This is an aptitude test, which doesn’t rely on knowledge of law. It’s designed to help universities assess aptitude and ability. The examination is divided into two parts. Section A is a multiple choice exam on a computer. You must read passages of text, and then answer comprehension questions on them. You receive a score out of 42, which is your LNAT score. Section B asks you to write an essay from a choice of three possible subjects. The essay is not marked and will not contribute to your score, but can of course be seen by the university. 

Previous Questions for Law at Oxford

Legal Concepts and Debates

  • What is best: a written or unwritten constitution?
  • Can a computer have a conscience?
  • What is a reasonable belief?
  • Is wearing a school uniform a breach of human rights?
  • Is someone guilty of an offence if they did not set out to commit a crime but ended up in doing so?
  • Should anyone be able to serve on a jury?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a jury system?
  • Can morality and law be separated, or are they inherently intertwined?
  • Do you think the legal age for certain activities (e.g., drinking, voting) should be standardised globally?

Legal Scenarios and Problem Solving

  • If the punishment for parking on double yellow lines were death, and therefore nobody did it, would that be a just and effective law?
  • If A gave B £100 thinking it was a loan and B accepted the money thinking it was a gift, should he give it back?
  • Would you trade your scarf for my bike, even if you have no idea what state it’s in or if I even have one?
  • If a person finds a lost item and keeps it, should they be charged with theft?
  • In a case where the defendant is clearly guilty, should a defence lawyer still give their best effort to defend them?

Legal Philosophy and the Role of Law

  • Can you imagine a world without laws?
  • What do you think the uses of traffic lights are?
  • Where does the state have the right to violate privacy?
  • What role should the law play in regulating new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering?
  • How should the legal system balance individual rights with the greater good?

International Law and Current Affairs

  • What have you read in the papers recently that relates to international law?
  • Where do you see International Law in fifty years’ time?
  • How do you think international law should address the issue of climate change?
  • In what ways can international law be improved to better address human rights violations?
  • Do you think there should be a global legal framework for dealing with cybersecurity threats?

Legal Reasoning and Critical Thinking

  • How would you approach analysing a legal case you have never encountered before?
  • How do you differentiate between valid and fallacious arguments in a legal context?
  • How do you think the legal system can adapt to the growing influence of social media and other digital platforms?
  • How would you evaluate the fairness of a law that disproportionately affects a particular group of people?
  • How do you think the legal profession can adapt to the evolving needs of a diverse society?
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