updated on 18 December 2018
Which law firm’s water bottle trumps all others? Which childhood-inspired branded toy made us go “huh?” Whose notebook is always number one in our eyes? Find out in our round-up of the best law firm freebies of this law fair season.
Would it really be Christmas if we didn’t put together our list of the best law firm freebies? This year we attended 25 law fairs at universities all over the country and fought through hordes of excited students to get our hands on a range of goodies. Here are our favourites from each category.
If there’s one thing that law firms do well, it’s a fine selection of water bottles (or smoothie jars in Shoosmiths’ case), and this year was no different. There were standard, sturdy offerings from Bird & Bird, Osborne Clarke and Addleshaw Goddard, as well as a CMS-branded CamelBak water bottle which apparently allows one-handed access – now you can take a drink and raise a hand to answer all your tutor’s questions at the same time. The winner in this category, however, is undoubtedly the absolutely beautiful Jones Day copper vacuum insulation flask which immediately caused a flurry of excitement in the office. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold – what’s not to like?
We all know that aspiring lawyers are caffeine-starved shells for most of the academic year, so law firms clearly thought that they were onto something clever when they decided that branded reusable coffee cups were the way to go. By possessing one of these reusable cups, not only are you saving the environment, you’ll also probably get some money off your morning latte (or flat white if you’re at Durham). With a plethora of options at law fairs this year, the LCN team secured plenty of choices, from Farrer & Co’s pretty-if-not-a-bit-small cup, to Gowling WLG, Latham & Watkins and Womble Bond Dickinson’s similar fares. Walker Morris’ collapsible cup was Matt Broadbent’s favourite cup of choice, while Bird & Bird’s hipster tin cup will do well for all those camping trips law students might find themselves on.
The lovely PR team at Mayer Brown made our day back in October by sending us a box full of goodies, including the ingeniously named Mayer Brown-ies. Unfortunately, these did not make it through to the photography stage for obvious reasons. Other sweet treats this year were Taylor Wessing’s old-school packs of pastel-coloured Millions and Russell-Cooke’s jelly beans. Browne Jacobson’s fortune cookies were definitely an odd choice, we felt. Were students hoping to find “You will get a training contract” in the middle of theirs?
Attempting to woo students with a variety of gadgets this year were BLM with their mini speaker, Orrick with their snazzy wireless charging pad, and Mayer Brown with their iGrip multi-tool and selfie ring. If you also can’t hold your phone because it’s too big for your hand, you’re in luck, because Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner were handing out pop sockets on their stand. Bird & Bird and Russell-Cooke Solicitors both have their own card holders to stick to the back of your phone, while Shoosmiths’ six-in-one charging cable will come in use on the go, as will Addleshaw Goddard’s. For the LCN team, however, it was the mini phone fans from Mayer Brown and Shoosmiths that caused the most joy – because now we don’t need to fight over the air conditioning anymore.
It’s 2018 and we’re not going to lie – post-it notes frankly just don’t cut it anymore as an exciting branded freebie. Shiny new notebooks, however? We’re all in! CMS and Osborne Clarke win the notebook game every year with their glossy and substantial options, although Taylor Wessing’s cute colouring book and pencils made us go “aaahhh”, and might be good for evoking some mindfulness among frazzled students. If you’re looking for a free pen, a law fair is certainly the place to be, and Gateley PLC’s silly purple pen might make you smile as it stands out from the boring multitude of corporate colours and branded bureaucracy. Yet again, the famous Slaughter and May pen did not make it to the judging panel as it was selfishly snatched away by LCN’s Managing Director Sinead Dineen.
Every year there are a few law firm freebies that make us go “huh?” and this year was no exception. Steele Raymond were appealing to ’90s kids with their branded yoyo – huh? – while Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy opted for a rubber pig stress toy with a questionable pun inscribed on top. Bird & Bird sent us the winning combination of mints and lip balm in one – because what law student doesn’t want to soothe their chapped lips with firm-branded lip balm? And Blake Morgan’s highlighter-come-fidget spinner is quite frankly genius and we won’t hear a bad word against it.
And finally, it wouldn’t be a law fair without a special mention to all the tote bags you can grab to carry around the heavy freebies you will inevitably pick up. Of course our own hot pink bag tops the list of the chicest arm candy, but points also go to Covington & Burling’s huge beach-bag sized tote, and Kirkland & Ellis’ spacious and stylish version which comes in black this year.
What’s the best law fair freebie you’ve picked up this year? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on Twitter!