Last year, many students we met at law fairs mentioned that this blog was a useful guide which helped them make the most of their law fair. We’ve included this year’s law fair dates at the bottom. Please do come and meet us on campus!
Attending a law fair – the tips and tricks
Whether you’re exploring your options, searching for a summer placement or applying for a traineeship, a law fair is an invaluable resource for any law student. There aren’t any other situations where you’ll have so many different firms in one room – and they’re here to speak to you.
This is your opportunity to ask questions, so use it!
Our trainees attend all law fairs, and speaking with us is a valuable way to get to know the bread and butter of what you’ll be doing during the two years at the start of your legal career. Sitting on the other side of the table is definitely a totally different, and slightly more relaxing, experience to attending in our university days. With the benefit of hindsight, here are a few useful dos and don’ts to help you make the most of your law fair.
DO come prepared.
Do your research in advance. What firms are attending? Which ones do you want to speak to? Use your time wisely and make a short-list of “must-see” firms. Law fairs are busy places, and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have the time to speak to everyone.
Make sure you do a little research into each firm too. There’s no such thing as a stupid question (see below!) but make sure you know the basics, such as what type of law they practice. It is a good idea to have a list of questions in the back of your mind, but it can be a bit distracting if you have a reporters notepad with a detailed interrogation planned!
Law fairs are crowded, noisy and pretty hectic. Take a few moments when you arrive to check where your firms of choice are located. If you’re feeling nervous, try speaking to a firm who you’re not quite so fussed by first. It’ll give you the chance to practice and calm those nerves.
DO come open minded.
Have an idea of who you want to speak to before you arrive – but keep your options open. Have you considered working in-house or in the public sector? What about smaller firms? This is your chance to speak to lots of different organisations. It’s all about trying to work out where you see yourself fitting in best – and speaking to people is a great way to do that.
DO ask questions.
Most firms will bring along trainees. We’re here to answer all the questions you’re dying to know the answer to, but don’t know who to ask. How much client contact do you get? What are your working hours like? What sort of things do you do in a typical working day? Any tips for the traineeship application? Just ask! We’re here to help and there’s no such thing as a stupid question (so long as you know the basics!)
DON’T just grab the freebies.
It can be tempting just to go for the freebies and leave (particularly with the free umbrellas, which are often indestructible!) but it doesn’t make a great impression. Ask questions first, eat the chocolate later.
DO make a good impression.
This might seem like a bit of an obvious one, but bear it in mind! Don’t expect to come away from a law fair with a traineeship or a summer placement in hand – but attending a law fair can certainly make the application process easier. If you had a particularly useful conversation with someone, there’s nothing to stop you referring to that in your traineeship application. Tell the firm who you spoke with and why it made you want to work there.
DO follow up.
If anyone was particularly helpful and gave you a note of their contact details, then drop them an email to say thanks. It’s polite and it may give you the chance to ask any follow-up questions you have.
Brodies will be attending the following law fairs:
- University of Edinburgh – Wednesday 21 September 2016
- University of Dundee – Thursday 22 September 2016
- University of Strathclyde – Wednesday 28 September 2016
- University of Aberdeen – Thursday 29 September 2016
- Robert Gordon University – Wednesday 5 October 2016
- University of Glasgow – Thursday 6 October 2016
Please come armed with your questions – we’ll look forward to seeing you there!
On August 4, 2016