Law fairs are once again being held virtually, which can have some really great advantages. For example, there is no need to stand awkwardly waiting for your turn to talk with a firm’s graduate recruiter or current trainee. Most platforms now offer the opportunity to organise one-to-one meetings ahead of time. Admittedly, the downside is not walking away with three water branded bottles, a lifetime supply of law-firm logo post-it notes (enough even to last through the LPC) and the occasional tote bag!
It is worth dedicating some time to research each of the firms before the event to see if they might be right for you. Review their academic requirements, locations and salary to see if the firm aligns with your achievements and expectations. If it is of interest to you, check for opportunities to work abroad and whether secondments are on offer. Understand who some of the firm’s clients are and follow up on information on some recent deals or cases to enable you to start a conversation, and maximise your time with the recruiter. LawCareers.net, Chambers Student and Legal Cheek are all useful resources for these types of information. You can then take a more targeted approach at the law fair.
Most importantly, don’t ask questions that you could find the answer to by simply looking at the firm’s website, brochure or social media. Recruiters are far more impressed with insightful and intelligent questions. Show that you have done your research. If the platform has the capability, do set up one-to-one meetings. Try to find out information that can only be gained by talking to someone who works there. Not only will this make the recruiter happy (and potentially remember you), it will also give you the edge when it comes to writing your application.
It is tempting to hide behind the chat box function, keep your camera off and stay on mute. The recruiters and trainees will be on camera and it is nice to put a face to a name! Due to COVID, the vast majority of client calls are now over Teams or Zoom, and this is expected to continue regardless. This is a great opportunity to show that you are up for the challenge as a potential future trainee and that you are paying attention and actively participating.
Use the opportunity to network and ask those insightful questions. Often, recruiters will be relieved that you have had the courage to speak up and show your face. Do feel free to follow up with any recruiters or trainees on LinkedIn if you run out of time or forget to ask something.
Often there will be several talks and workshops on offer throughout the day. These may be designed to assist you with the application and interview process and help you to crack the essential ‘commercial awareness’ secret. Check the agenda and go to as many as possible as these will be presented by experts in their field.
Above all else, be confident, polite and do your research.
Michelmores will be attending the University of Law Virtual Fair on Thursday 1 July (14:00 – 17:00). We look forward to seeing you there!