Law Fairs and Open Days
What are Law Fairs?
We’re going to quash this once and for all: law fairs aren’t just a chance to bag an armful of freebies. We’ve seen countless students go delirious on free stuff, stoked that they managed to nab themselves a pen emblazoned with a law firm logo.
Yes, we all love freebies (you should have seen the hordes of city-types going nuts for a free soya yoghurt sample in Liverpool Street Station), but so many students are missing the whole point of law fairs: that they’re an excellent chance to meet potential employers face-to-face.
What are law fairs?
Let’s examine the basic anatomy of a law fair. They take place, usually, in universities and conference halls across the nation. Law firms, barristers’ chambers and other organisations set up stands and bring representatives along who will talk to you about their organisation what opportunities they have for students and graduates.
Law fairs offer you valuable face-to-face time with graduate recruiters. It’s a great chance to find out more about the different law firms and chambers, their culture and the possible direction you want your own career to take. There’ll also be plenty of company literature to aid your research and, yes, some will be handing out freebies to lure you over to their stall. Aside from stalls, there might be also be talks, presentations and CV workshops, which are also certainly worth attending.
"Don’t underestimate the value of personal contact with law firm representatives..."
Why should I go to a law fair?
Put it this way: what’s stopping you? Careers fairs are a great way of getting to know the different employers in your chosen industry. Students who use law fairs effectively might have a higher success rate of getting through to the later stages of the training contract and vacation scheme application process. They are also great places to hone your networking skills.
Don’t underestimate the value of personal contact with law firm representatives. It’s a great way to get an insight into life in the industry, to ask any questions you may have, to learn more about their company culture and to find out what they expect from job applications.
Meeting a representative will give you a better sense of whether the law firm/chambers/company is right for you and, of course, it’s also a chance to find out more about the training contracts, mini pupillages, or vacation schemes they offer. You could even try and wangle yourself some cheeky work experience.
I’m not a second year. Can I still go to law fairs?
Law fairs aren’t just for second years. They are a great way of obtaining information about different careers, companies and work experience opportunities. It’s never too early (or too late) to go to a law fair.
Also, keep an open mind; don’t just make a beeline to the big name law firm/chambers. Whilst you’ll have your “hit list” of stalls you want to visit, it’s also worth checking out other organisations that you might not have previously considered.
Where can I find these law fairs?
Keep a beady eye out for law fairs happening at your university and in other neighbouring universities. You can also check out the events section on AllAboutCareers for all the latest updates on careers fairs happening near you.
So ditch the freebies and focus on mingling with the representatives. Who knows what pearls of career wisdom they might throw your way?