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Law and Careers Fair Top Tips

Having attended quite a few law fairs over the last year or so, I can definitely say there are some things you can do to really make the most out of careers fairs and that not everyone does them, so hopefully the below will be useful!

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Use google

We know there are a lot of stands to get round at these things, and you aren’t a robot – you can’t instantly retain and recall everything about every firm and remember it while you speak to every exhibitor. I would suggest going in and walking around the room first (you aren’t obliged to talk to everyone first time round). Then go outside and look up the firms who stood out to you – spending a few seconds doing this before speaking to exhibitors makes a massive difference in the relevance of the questions you can ask. You can keep repeating this until you’ve spoken to everyone you want to speak to.

Ask us things you can only find out from real people

Most law firms have websites stuffed full of information on them. You can find that out any time, as well as using other resources like the Legal 500 to look up firms, but at a law fair you have the advantage of having a real person in front of you. Ask them things the website can’t answer: what’s it like in your office – is it a talkative environment or quieter? Are there any social activities to get involved in? How much are trainees expected to travel around the offices? Try to paint a picture for yourself of what your day to day life would be if you did work for the exhibitor you’re speaking with.

Show some understanding

At every law fair I hear about a hundred people tell me they’d quite like to do criminal, but not working for people who’d done anything they’d consider really bad, or they’d quite like to do family, but haven’t quite understood that say matrimonial work can sometimes be undertaken without having to deal with children matters – not every couple has young children, after all (that’s ok, you’re not meant to know everything, it’s just such a common one that it gets a bit repetitive). It would be great if you could bring up a recent case, or anything that’s been in the news recently, to show you understand how those areas of law actually apply in the real world and what’s going on in those areas at the moment.

Stand out

If the more popular areas of law like criminal or family are the things you’re interested in, that’s great, there’s nothing wrong with being interested in those areas – they are definitely ones that I would have listed as amongst my favourite subjects at law school – but be different. Ask us if we’ve done any work in that area or engage us in a discussion rather than just stating what area of law you’re interested in (in fact, that goes for whatever area you’re interested in, not just criminal or family). We aren’t HR so we aren’t involved in any of the hiring decisions, but we are potential future colleagues!

Be interested

Last but not least, whilst we do have some great information and some lovely freebies, do make sure you’re using these to supplement the experience of meeting us rather than making it the focal point of conversation. Be more focused on talking to us rather than picking up leaflets!