Feeling a little lost when it comes to law fairs? I expect you are not alone.
Having attended a number of law fairs as a student, I know that the experience can be quite overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. But for me, visiting these fairs was a positive experience and definitely helped to kick-start my law career, having first met Michelmores at the Cardiff Law Fair in 2011.
Law fairs are not just about re-stocking your stationary pot with branded pens and USB sticks (although this is a definite perk), they are much more valuable than this. They are an opportunity for selling. Recruiters strive to sell their firm to the best quality candidates and equally, students want to sell themselves to potential employers.
To help you calmly navigate your way around the maze of recruiter stands, I’ve put together a short guide on how to get the most out of a law fair.
Before the law fair
Yes, I know you’ve heard it all before, but preparation is important. Unless you already have an excellent knowledge of the law firms attending, I recommend conducting some background research:
1. Review the list of exhibitors (your university will normally have a list online)
2. Shortlist potential ‘target’ firms. It is very unlikely you will have time to talk to everyone so make a list of a half a dozen or so which particularly interest you
3. Research the firms on your shortlist. The Lawyer recommends identifying the following:
where the firm is headquartered;
As a bare minimum you should review the firm’s website but I would also suggest browsing legal press such The Lawyer and Lawyer2B, the firm’s presence on social media, rankings in Chambers and Partners (in order to find out in which areas of law your chosen firm has its strengths), Lex 100 (for trainee perspectives on life at the firm) and for a bit of light-hearted insider gossip, RollonFriday.
At the law fair
Walking into a room filled with 40+ exhibitors can feel overwhelming. However, armed with your new list of targets, you should feel much more focused and able to confidently approach delegates with a decent knowledge of their firm. Some points to remember:
After the law fair
Hopefully, the law fair will have helped you identify the firms which you would like to work for, but it is important that you do not sit on this information until the last minute. Here are some things you might want to consider:
This year, I will be attending the Reading Law Fair on 5 November 2014 and my fellow trainees Holly Dobbins and Sarah Duke will be at the Cardiff Law Fair on 4 November 2014, along with Kim Tomlinson and Gabby Essame from Michelmores HR team. If you are interested in finding out more about life at Michelmores, please do come and say hello!