Oct 21, 2021

Written By Natasha Jones

What questions should I ask at a law fair?

Oct 21, 2021

Written By Natasha Jones

Law career fairs, whether virtual or in person, are a fantastic opportunity for you to get a real impression of what different law firms are really like. They’re also a chance to network with potential future employers and colleagues, boosting future vacation scheme or training contract applications. Preparation is key here: go to law fairs armed with a bank of carefully considered questions, so you get as much from the experience as possible.  

Making a good impression

At a law fair, you could potentially be speaking to your future employer, so making an excellent first impression is therefore vital.

Students who don’t research firms beforehand can end up asking generic questions that could’ve been answered by visiting the website. Law firm representatives will be able to see through this lack of research.

On the other hand, candidates who ask targeted questions and show a genuine interest in the firm are much more likely to impress. Trainee solicitors, associates and graduate recruitment  teams may even remember them during any future applications.

As a minimum, you should ensure you know where the firm’s offices are and the firm’s strongest practice areas.

You will most likely be provided with a list of law firms attending the fair in advance – use this to your advantage! Pick out the ones you think are a good fit for you and do your research, preparing specific questions for each individual firm. Don’t worry about trying to sound impressive – ask questions  to which you actually want to know the answer. 


Gaining an insight

A law fair is your chance to gain as much insider insight as possible. After all, a Google search can only get you so far: the best way to find out about life at a law firm is to speak directly to its employees.

Approaching law fairs in this way will help you gain a personalised insight into the people you might want to impress at a later date. You can then use this to your advantage in vacation scheme or training contract applications, demonstrating a genuine interest in, and knowledge of, the firm. 

Insight like this can also help identify firms that don’t seem such a good fit, allowing you to focus on opportunities you'll actually enjoy.


Consider your audience

Law firms are usually represented at law fairs by their trainee solicitors and members of their recruitment team. You should prepare a few questions, some aimed at the trainees, and some aimed at graduate recruitment. 

Questions about recent deals, seat selection and life as a solicitor, for example, should be reserved for the trainees. Meanwhile your questions for graduate recruitment can focus on the application process, and the firm’s culture and values.


Questions for trainee solicitors

Here are 10 potential questions you could ask trainees:

Why did you decide to apply to the firm?

Looking back on your experience, what tips would you give someone about to embark on the vacation scheme/training contract application process?

How did you decide which seats to select?

How much responsibility are you entrusted with as a trainee, and do you feel you are adequately supported?

Is there a good work/life balance at the firm?

Are trainees given an opportunity to go on secondment?

Are trainees given the opportunity to get involved in business development?

Are you a member of any of the firm’s societies?

How much interaction is there between teams and/or offices?

In your opinion, who are the firm’s main competitors and why?



Questions for graduate recruitment

The following five questions could be posed to members of graduate recruitment:

What makes a vacation scheme/training contract application stand out to you?

I don’t have any legal work experience. Do you have any tips for making non-legal work experience relevant to a career in law?

What is the firm’s culture like?

What is the firm’s policy on hybrid working?

How is the firm trying to facilitate diversity and inclusion?


Any questions should be padded out and personalised with your own research, and you should always lead by referencing the research you carried out before the law fair. Remember: only ask questions if the answers are not immediately obvious from the firm’s website.



Law Fairs