updated on 08 September 2020
Law fairs are an important stage of the recruitment process that provide the chance to meet recruiters, trainee solicitors and partners from the law firms you could be joining in the future. This year law fairs will be different as employers and universities adapt to the challenges of covid-19, with new virtual law fairs replacing face-to-face events throughout the autumn term. Find out more about the opportunities available below.
Law fairs are a valuable source of information about opportunities in the legal profession, both for those who are studying law and for non-law students who are thinking about converting. This year, there are virtual law fairs from September to December.
Virtual law fairs – Autumn 2020
Several new virtual law fairs are taking place alongside those organised by individual universities.
Universities and law schools are also organising virtual law fairs. Check with your institution for the latest information and use the LCN Diary to make sure you don’t miss an event.
If you are interested in training as a solicitor, the fairs will give you an opportunity to talk informally to trainees, solicitors and recruiters. Areas to explore include:
It is also well worth considering opportunities outside private practice (eg, with the Government Legal Profession).
You may want to ask about funding and sponsorship. Many firms offer financial support for postgraduate courses. Will this affect your choices?
If you are interested in training as a barrister, you should consider:
If you are an international student, you may wish to explore opportunities to qualify in the United Kingdom.
Preparing for a virtual law fair
Start by looking at the list of organisations attending the law fair. Make a list of the exhibitors that you are most interested in speaking to.
Don't approach interactions with potential employers with a casual attitude, as if you aren't sure why you want to speak to them or as if you are not sure whether you are interested in law. Questions like, "So what do you do?" and "Why should I consider working for you?" don't go down well with professionals who have given up valuable time for your benefit (read the profiles in the Meet the Recruiter section for questions that they do like). Equally unimpressive is the question, "Where are your offices?" when the answer is a five-second web search away!
By taking just 15 minutes to research a law firm before you speak to its recruiters and trainees at a virtual law fair, you will have the basic information you need to ask more developed questions and have a good conversation. Recruiters and lawyers remember candidates who were engaged and interested in the firm.
After a conversation with an employer, you may want to note down your key takeaways for later.
Make the most of law fairs to help you decide if law is the right career for you and to identify which practice area will suit you best. This autumn’s virtual law fairs are ideal opportunities to meet professionals and start planning your next steps.
Find out more
For more information on preparing for a law fair and impressing recruiters on the day, listen to this episode of The LawCareers.Net Podcast featuring interviews with Shoosmiths' Graduate Recruitment Manager Samantha Hope, and LawCareers.Net’s Matthew Broadbent.