Dozens of law students across the commonwealth honed their
interviewing skills by participating in the Massachusetts Bar
Association's Mock Interview Program this fall. First piloted in
2013 by the MBA's Law Practice Management Section and Suffolk
University Law School, the program offers law students and recent
graduates the opportunity to interview with an attorney in a real,
but low-pressure, setting.
The MBA's Mock Interview Program was developed around a similar
one that MBA member Susan Letterman White had been involved with in
Pennsylvania. In addition to Suffolk, the program expanded to
include four other area law schools this year: New England Law |
Boston, Massachusetts School of Law, Western New England University
School of Law and the University of Massachusetts School of
A total of 85 students and 65 volunteer attorneys from the MBA
participated in this year's program. Volunteer attorneys provided
participating law students with a 30-45 minute mock interview,
which will help prepare the students for real interviews.
Law Practice Management Section Vice Chair Damian J. Turco noted
that the program is unique because it provides "wins" all the way
around for those involved. The students get the valuable experience
of interviewing and gaining bar involvement. The law schools
receive the added value of having their students receive free
training from area attorneys. And MBA members get to engage with
law school students in a practical, first-person manner.
Law school students are matched with volunteer attorneys based on
their location and practice areas of interest. Then it is up to the
law student to make outreach to the attorney and set up the mock
interview, which are made as realistic as possible. Attorneys are
provided with a list of sample questions in advance. After the
interviews, the attorneys provide immediate feedback to the law
students and also submit a feedback form.
"It was great," wrote one third-year student at New England
School of Law | Boston. "After the process the attorney and I spoke
about how it went, and she made me feel very confident about
interviewing. It was also a great networking experience, and the
attorney offered to lend a hand with getting me some trial
Bringing students, lawyers together
The MBA has a close relationship with every law school in
Massachusetts and frequently engages law students through
continuing education programs and panel discussions, often provided
directly at the schools. One of the qualities unique to the mock
interview program, however, is that it helps to bring students off
campus and into the greater statewide legal community.
"This is really a unique situation because in our traditional
programs lawyers go to the students. In this program, the students
go to the lawyers," said Turco.
While the intent of the mock interviews is to prepare students,
they have an equally important impact on some of the
When West Roxbury attorney Kevin Cloutier interviewed a recent
graduate of Suffolk University Law School, it became clear that the
interviewee had previously interned with the Division of
Professional Licensure. Cloutier, who happened to have a case
pending before that board, hired the student part-time as an hourly
Overall, the program reinforces the importance of networking for
both attorneys and law students as an indispensible aspect of
career success. The mock interviews are not only practice for law
students, but also provide a natural networking
Mike Vigneux contributed to this story.