Are you an aspiring lawyer? Then we have the perfect event for you. Join us and our exhibitors at our London Moorgate campus on Wednesday 14 June from 12pm – 4.30pm for the opportunity to speak one-on-one with representatives and trainees from top law firms from around the country.
By Elsa Tatam. Published 22 May 2023.
What you need to know before the National Law Fair
The National Law Fair provides the opportunity to explore exciting career options and network with firms. It can be an important step on the route towards securing a training contract, paralegal position or graduate job. You will be able to find out about each firm’s graduate recruitment process, get careers advice and speak to current and future students.
John Watkins, Our Director of Employability, said: “There has been a definite trend in recent years where concrete opportunities have arisen as a direct result of students attending careers fairs. There’s no pressure to secure something on the spot; but don’t underestimate the domino effect that can be set in motion by having the right conversation with the right person.”
Who attends the National Law Fair?
The National Law Fair is attended by a range of law firms and recruiters. Representatives, recruiters and trainees from numerous law firms and organisations will be in attendance this year. Previous attendees include Reed Smith, Mishcon de Reya , Stevens & Bolton , Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP and LawCareers.Net . We’ll be announcing new exhibitors so keep an eye on our National Law Fair webpage for more information.
How should I talk to recruiters?
Be yourself but on a good day, says John Watkins. It’s no use pretending to be someone you are not, but you should certainly maximise your chances of making a good first impression. Make sure you know your strengths and what makes you stand out. You’re not there to brag but you may be asked questions about yourself, so you’ll want to be ready to put your best foot forward and stand out from the crowd.
Be prepared. Check which firms will be attending, identify those that interest you and conduct some preliminary research before you join. This will help you ask probing, memorable and distinctive questions which show your genuine interest in that firm.
Make a plan. The students who get the most out of the fair tend to be those who have worked out which booths they want to visit before they arrive rather than visiting everyone. This will help you make sure that you speak to all of your chosen organisations.
If you’re nervous, test the waters by approaching a firm that isn’t your main choice first. This can help you get a feel for what greetings and questions work well and gives you a chance to overcome your anxieties before approaching the firms where making a good impression matters most to you.
During the National Law Fair
What will be happening and when?
Visit our National Law Fair webpage for updates on what talks will be happening and their timings.
What sort of questions should I be asking?
Try to work out what the firm’s culture is all about and whether you are compatible. If a recruiter says something that confirms that their firm is a strong cultural fit for you, take a moment after the exchange to write down who you talked to and what they said that has made you want to apply to their firm. You may well find you want to mention this in your application.
What should I wear?
When it comes to what you should wear, view the NLF as a giant job interview where you’re showcasing yourself as a smart and professional candidate. Dress like you’re working in a top City law firm and make sure that you’re neat and groomed. Whether you’re networking in person or online, employers will generally view the people they speak to as prospective employees more than as students so dressing smartly will only benefit you.
How do I ask for contact details?
You can ask a representative whether they mind you contacting them. Be prepared to take details of people you talk to. Employers follow up with ‘nice to meet you’ e-mails and those students that impress may well also be invited to forthcoming events from which work experience and even a job opportunity may arise.
You can ask about adding recruiters or representatives to your contacts on LinkedIn. This is a good way to stay in touch, stay up to date with ongoing updates from people and their firms and increase your professional network.
After the National Law Fair
Remember to ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and then follow up with firms or employers and get in touch with the people you spoke to; not just firm contacts but other students and tutors too.
If there was a particular course that was mentioned that sparked your interest, discover more about it on our study pages. If you’ve already applied, it is time to engage with our Careers and Employability Team.