updated on 10 March 2020
Law fairs offer an important opportunity to see firms face to face. They are your chance to meet trainees, associates and partners, as well as graduate recruiters, to quiz them about their firms and get a sense of what they are like.
These conversations are also a chance for you to make a good impression, so people at the firm remember you. If you’re a non-law or a first-year student, law fairs are a crucial place to start considering a career in law and learn more about the profession and options out there.
Law fairs take place at most universities across the country in the autumn term, so look out for posters and careers service emails to find out about yours. When it arrives at your university, the law fair will commandeer a large space like a sports hall or conference centre. Firms will bring large exhibition stands to grab your attention and quirky (or not so quirky) freebies to seduce you. At law fairs, everyone's a winner: you get to chat to recruiters and lawyers to find out what they really want in candidates and they get to take an initial look at you, all within a relatively informal environment.
[Law fair video: https://youtu.be/HWO-oZvBa3c]Here are a few quick tips to maximise your chances of having a successful fair:
Do your research beforehand into the firms that will be attending and write a hit list of the ones you'd like to talk to.
Speak confidently to the people on the stand (recruiters and lawyers) and ask interesting questions about their firm – avoid obvious questions which you could simply answer by reading the firm’s brochure or website. The recruiter is likely to remember you if seem like a good candidate.
For more detailed information and advice on how to get the best from a law fair, see our feature "Law fairs: everything you need to know". But if you'd just like some ideas of what you can speak to firms about, try preparing some questions on the:
Law schools providing the postgraduate courses you'll study after your degree also have a presence at law fairs. You might want to ask them about: the percentage of students who complete the postgrad courses but don't have a training contract/pupillage lined up; links with firms and chambers; and whether you can defer the course to take a year out (if you're considering a gap year).
You can really benefit from attending a law fair if you do some preparation beforehand. Your interactions with lawyers and recruiters will be of more use if you have done some preliminary research into the firms attending. This will eliminate the need for you to ask basic questions, and enable you to have a more interesting conversation and make a much better impression.
When you find out which firms are going to be attending your fair, search for them on LCN and also check our Meet the Recruiter and Meet the Lawyer sections for relevant profiles containing potentially useful insights.
Keep an eye on the LCN Diary page for upcoming law fairs. For more on how to make the most of a law fair, listen to this episode of The LawCareers.Net Podcast which features tips from LCN and Shoosmiths.