Meet lawyers and recruiters at a law fair near you this autumn

Josh Richman - Meet lawyers and recruiters at a law fair near you this autumn

It's law fair season, which means that throughout October and November solicitors' firmsbarristers' chamberslegal executiveslaw schoolspro bono organisations and legal advice centres are coming to your campus or one near you. Law fairs are excellent for meeting potential employers, picking up essential resources and signing up to the vital (and free) online careers information, updates and advice that you will need on your road to law.

LCN will also at a host of law fairs up and down the country, so don’t forget to come and say hello, pick up free copies of Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook 2018 and our other useful print resources, and learn about the CityLawLIVE and NationalLawLIVE careers conferences in December, for which students can now apply for places. Come and meet us at:

Employers (ie, law firms and barristers’ chambers) attend law fairs to meet and impress students whom they hope will go on to apply for work experience or a training position. The legal profession comprises a vast range of organisations, so many firms and chambers see law fairs as an important way to spread brand awareness and differentiate themselves from the competition in their drive to attract top talent.

As much as employers want to create a good impression among students when they attend law fairs, they are also looking for people who themselves stand out as impressive, meaning that students who make the effort can network and gain new contacts that can prove invaluable when applying or interviewing later. These candidates are easily identifiable by the fact that they have clearly done some preparation before approaching an employer’s stand. Doing some research before (or even on the morning of) the fair so that you can have deeper, more interesting conversations about the firms in attendance is highly recommended.

There will generally be two types of conversation happening between employers and students – ‘basic’ and ‘high-value’. Basic conversations consist of students asking what a firm's practice areas are, where its offices are located, when work experience placements take place, how to apply and so on. The recruiters and lawyers present will usually be happy to provide you this information, but it is not the best use of your time, considering that all of this is information is easily accessible online before you attend. High-value conversations happen when students have already done some introductory research into the firm and use the opportunity to meet its people to learn what you can't find out by reading a firm's website or brochure. This could be asking about what the firm's office culture is really like, how the seat progression and qualification processes work, about a trainee's experiences of different departments, how a partner's practice could be affected by Brexit and lots more besides. If you start a conversation on the basic side, that's completely fine - but do make sure that you move it on to the more interesting side of things as you talk, as you will get more valuable information this way and will also be more likely to create a lasting good impression. You will also need this in-depth information to make an informed choice about where you want to work.

If you want more detailed advice, LCN's Matt Broadbent has some tips on how to ask questions at law fairs, while our Feature also provides a comprehensive guide to these autumnal opportunities. 

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