Law fairs are a unique opportunity for aspiring solicitors to take a sneak peek into law firms of all shapes, sizes, locations and specialities by talking to trainees, solicitors and HR professionals to gain further insight. Additionally, law firms are extremely eager to showcase what they have to offer and what makes them stand out from the crowd. Walking into a room full of potential employers, alongside other applicants, can make law fairs a daunting experience. However, these top tips will allow you to make the most of the law fairs you attend.
- Be Honest
It can sometimes feel that there is a lot of pressure to know exactly the kind of law firm you want to train with, the exact area of law you want to qualify into and which part of the country you want to do it in. However, I can assure you there really is no pressure. It is best to approach these events with an open mind and when talking to law firms, be honest about your experience and knowledge. Ask questions about the firm’s main areas of work and try to speak to trainees about their experiences. If you have a closed mind and only focus on the firms you ‘think’ you want to apply to, you could miss a really great firm that would be more suited to your training needs.
- Be Prepared
It can be tempting to see law fairs as an opportunity to bag as many freebies as possible, and whilst free pens and highlighters are always a bonus as a student, this should not be your primary reason for attending. There is normally a list of firms in attendance available prior to the event, so it is a good idea to spend a little bit of time visiting the websites of the firms to get an idea of their work and specialities. This could save you some time asking the preliminary questions when you get there and means you can hit the ground running with more in-depth questions. It also shows the firm that you have done your research, which will always go down well.
- Be Realistic
Keep in mind the purpose of law fairs. Whilst it is a great opportunity to network and meet professionals within firms before you send off your applications, you need to be realistic. You’re not going to walk out of that law fair with a training contract in the bag (you probably will have some free pens and highlighters in there though). Some people opt to take CVs with them but, given the volume of people attending and the formal recruitment process that most law firms have, there might not be much to be gained from doing so. Try to keep in mind that attending a law fair can often be the first step in a long recruitment process.