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All about law fairs

It's best to think of a law fair as a great place for you to network as a student. Even if you are in your first year of university it's still worth attending, you may find a firm that you are really interested in or even secure some work experience. Second and third year students should attend a law fair to ascertain which firm to apply for a vac scheme and training contracts.

I have listed below some tips on how to make the most of attending a law fair.

1. Prepare

Preparation really is key. You should be provided with a list of the firms that are attending a few weeks in advance of the law fair, spend some time researching into the firms so you know the ones you are interested in. It's worth learning a bit about the firm and having a few questions prepared.

2. Engage with the firm representatives - don’t just take the freebies!

We all love a freebie, but you will not benefit from the law fair unless you talk to the firm representatives. An easy starting point is to ask the representative how they got to where they are. You could then ask about any work experience / vac schemes and the firms training contracts or CILEX routes.

Don't be shy about asking questions and don't feel as if you have to ask clever questions to try and impress. Try and avoid asking questions that you can easily find the answer to on the firms website.

Strike a balance - be careful not to ask too many questions, but do try and make the most of having the opportunity to speak to the representatives. Some firm representatives do take names of students who make a good impression, bear this in mind when engaging in conversation.

3. Questions to avoid asking

The following questions are the sort of questions that are guaranteed to make a bad impression:

"Are you a law firm?" "Where are your offices?" "Tell me something about your firm" "Why should I apply to your firm"

This is why preparation is key - demonstrate that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the firm.

4. Take a notebook and a pen

You may want to jot down a name or contact details of someone you have spoken to.  You may be offered a vac scheme or work experience after attending the fair and may wish to network with the individuals before commencing your vac scheme or work experience.

5. Dress appropriately

There is no need to wear a suit - you are not attending an interview. There is no dress code for a law fair but it is worth remembering that first impressions do count when considering what to wear. Smart casual is probably the best option.

Finally, try and relax and make the most of the law fair. Good luck!