The University of Law’s long-established National Law Fair takes place every year around September and is an excellent opportunity for you to improve your chance of securing a training contract.
Attended by a wide range of law firms and recruiters, you’ll have the opportunity to speak to a variety of employers about their training opportunities. All exhibiting firms will be offering advice on their recruitment process, including work placements and training contracts.
Why come to the National Law Fair?
- Network with over 30 law firms and organisations
- A great opportunity to meet potential employers
- Get advice on different firms’ recruitment processes
Preparing for the National Law Fair
Not all firms are the same and you should use the National Law Fair to get a feel for the culture and differences in each firm. You will also be able to find out about the type of training you will undergo as a trainee, and the range of opportunities on offer once you have qualified.
Be sure to regularly check our line-up of exhibiting firms, as it may change. You can then plan your day, making sure you get to all the firms you have a particular interest in speaking with.
Making a good impression
To make a positive impression, you will need to ensure you have prepared thoroughly.
- Look at the list of firms attending to find out who is going to be there. Do they provide the kind of training contract you want, and the career you want? Do you fit their requirements? And if not, what else can you offer to offset this?
- Research the firms before you arrive. Read their brochures or visit their websites. Find out the areas of practice they cover, who their recent clients are, and try to build an idea of their culture. Would they be especially interested in your degree subject or your prior experience? Maybe your previous career gives you an insight into the firm's business and an understanding of their clients' needs?
- Look out for articles in the business or legal press about the firms you intend to see. Visit the websites of the weekly press such as The Lawyer, The Law Society's Gazette, Legal Week and The Times law section (published on Tuesdays) for more information.
- Find out about the work the firms have been involved in. When speaking to the firms, show you already know something about them - for example, their areas of work, strengths, branch locations, number of trainees they recruit each year, and so on.
What to wear
Dress smartly but comfortably, as you will be on your feet for some time. Smart casual wear is appropriate at this stage - jacket and trousers for men, and either dress, skirt or trousers and a jacket for women.
Whatever the weather, t-shirts, jeans and strappy dresses are not appropriate. Recruiters will be looking to see if they would be happy for you to represent their firm and deal with their clients and dressing the part will give you confidence when presenting yourself at their stands.
- There may be some last-minute changes, so use the programme to select the firms you want to speak to.
- It's a good idea to practise on firms that aren't your first choice, and then tackle your favourites when you feel ready.
- Try to be yourself - remember firms are looking for potential not perfection, and above all, someone who shows a genuine interest in their firm and its business.
- Don't worry about taking along copies of your CV to the National Law Fair. Once you've spoken to the firms, you may find that you want to change your CV before you submit it - and in any case, most of the firms will only accept online CVs and application forms.
- Be sure to mention in any applications that you spoke to someone from the firm at the National Law Fair.
The next National Law Fair will be in 2020.
Be sure to check back on this page, as more information will be published soon.