Law fairs are a great resource when you’re looking at training contracts – you can find out key information about firms, what makes them stand out, and even have a chat with their recruitment teams. There’s a few tips and tricks to making sure you get the most value out of them.
Know your firms
This isn’t the time to be learning about firms – you want to be able to walk into the fair with a clear idea of who you want to speak to, and why. Have a list of firms, a rough idea of what each firm specialises in, what they take pride in, and (if possible) where they’re growing. If you show an interest, you’ll make a much better impression. You’ll also then be able to avoid the unnecessary questions such as ‘where are you based?’, ‘are you a law firm?’ or ‘why should I consider applying to you?’.
You want to make good impressions while you’re at the law fair. Dress well (smart casual is always a good idea), come prepared, and have a notebook and pen ready to take notes – some firms do take note of students who make a good impression. You’ll also come across a lot of valuable information, and it’ll be too easy to let some of it slip away. Note down the names of people you’ve spoken to or contacts you’ve made – turning up to a vacation scheme is much easier if you’ve already made (and remember!) a few acquaintances.
It’s often easy to get too focused on what’s on display and the freebies available, rather than the people who have turned up. Have a chat with recruitment for each firm – they’ll be able to give you information about applying, and what the firm is looking for in trainees. Also talk to the current trainees who attend the fair, and ask them about the kinds of work they’re handling, or any big cases their firm has publicised. This will really help give you an idea of what to include in your application, and is a great topic of discussion for any interviews. You’re also going to get offered the freebies at the end of any conversation, there’s no rush!
When the fair has finished, make a point of consolidating what you’ve learned; note everything down, keep track of it, and make use of it in your applications, interviews and vacation schemes. It’ll make everything easier.
5. Most importantly, remember that everyone is there to help, and relax and enjoy the fair.