You’ve decided that you want to pursue a legal career and have chosen the solicitor route. So far, so good.

But leaving the safety net of university and trying to secure a training contract is pretty daunting and it can be difficult to know where to start.

My top tip is to make the most of your university law fair.

Law fairs are the perfect opportunity to make yourself known and help you decide which firm is right for you. You’ll be spending two years of your life at the firm you train with so it’s important that you choose wisely.

Take time to research firms who will be attending so you can speak to firms you are genuinely interested in. I knew I wanted to remain in Leicester after completing my degree at Leicester University so, by taking some time to do my homework, I was able to identify firms with presence in Leicester including Gateley. I definitely found the whole application process easier to manage by compiling a shortlist of firms rather than applying to anyone and everyone!

It is also useful to speak to trainees at law fairs as they have been in the same boat and can give you handy hints and tips about what a firm is looking for. I really enjoyed talking to the Gateley trainee at the Leicester University Law fair back in 2009 and she was one reason I decided to apply. Her first-hand picture of life as a trainee at Gateley and her friendly, relaxed attitude convinced me that the firm could offer me the solid training I was looking for and that I would enjoy working there.

One thing that set Gateley apart at the law fair was the fact the firm genuinely seemed to care about their future trainees. A current trainee was on hand the moment I accepted my training contract to offer me guidance and support on everything from LPC electives to the firm’s dress code. I was also invited to office socials prior to starting my training contract which meant I could get to know people beforehand too. This support definitely made the transition from student to trainee easier and confirmed in my mind that Gateley was the right firm for me.

 The Gateley trainees will be at the Leicester University Law Fair on Tuesday 5 November and will be attending law fairs in each region throughout November. For more details, follow us on Twitter @GateleyLLP #gateleytrainees  

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This blog is intended only as a synopsis of certain recent developments. If any matter referred to in this blog is sought to be relied upon, further advice should be obtained.