29 September 2017

By trainee solicitor Claire Hamer

Since the start of my training contract, I have attended law fairs, careers fairs and spotlight events representing Burges Salmon. I have reflected on my experience on both sides of the table. Here are my top tips on how to prepare for a law fair.

1. Seize the moment

Law fairs are a great opportunity to meet current trainees and members of the recruitment team and to ask questions about the firm, the work and the culture. They provide a unique situation in which to compare and contrast different firms. During the law fair you are within walking distance of representatives from firms based throughout the UK and abroad, so make the most of it. Don’t wait until the last hour of the fair. If you can, arrive at the start when everyone is fresh – law fairs can be a tiring business!

2. Visit post-graduate course providers

If you are a non-law graduate and you are unsure of the various routes into law, make a pit stop at one of these stands to discuss your options. This means that when speaking to law firms you will be able to focus your questions on firm specifics, rather than asking generic questions about conversion courses and routes into law.

3. Be prepared

Make sure you review the list of law firms attending in advance of the law fair and do your research. Law fairs are busy places and you will not be able to speak to everyone, so narrow your focus by making a list of the firms that are a good fit for you. You should have an idea of the size of the firm, its practice areas and the number of seats offered in its training contract. Arming yourself with some basic knowledge of the firm is an easy way to make a good first impression.

4. Ask questions

Having done your research now is your chance to ask us any other questions you may have. How much client contact do you get as a trainee? What are the secondment opportunities for trainees? What is your work/life balance like? What is the firm culture? What does the firm look for in a training contract application? We are here to answer your questions and to give you an insight into our firm, so ask away!

5. Make notes

You will speak to trainees and members of the recruitment teams from several different law firms, so take notes of any information you think is particularly helpful. If someone has provided their name and contact details, drop them an email to say thank you. This can be helpful if you think of any follow-up questions and if you want to mention their name in your vacation scheme or training contract application.

And finally, relax! As the day goes on and you have spoken to your short-listed firms, be prepared to stop and speak to some other firms. You never know, they could be just the firm you’re looking for…

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Law fairs: advice from the other side of the table

Don’t wait until the last hour of the fair. If you can, arrive at the start when everyone is fresh – law fairs can be a tiring business!
Claire Hamer, Solicitor

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