Missed the IEUK deadline? Apply to On Demand

Can’t attend IEUK’s live experience or missed the deadline? No worries! You can still participate with On Demand. Access recorded sessions and work samples in your chosen sector, and complete the experience at your own pace over two weeks. Apply by 26th June.

Making the most of Law fairs

Book open Reading time: 4 mins

Be ready for any law fair! We've provided some helpful tips to ensure you make the best of the opportunities these fairs present.

Join the UK's number-one graduate careers network

Becoming a Bright Network member is free and easy - sign up to get exclusive access to jobs, events, networking opportunities, advice and more.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

The best way to think of a law fair is not as an opportunity to gather enough free stationery to last until the following November, but as a series of mini interviews. These mini-interviews provide a great opportunity to impress potential employers without the high pressure environment of an assessment centre, whilst also carrying out valuable research.

As is the case for any interview, preparation is vital.

Find out the list of firms attending the fair in advance and make a shortlist. This will focus your efforts at the fair.

In the days before the fair, you should make some notes about your shortlisted firms. You can find this information on the firms' websites, or by looking at their social media pages and other websites such as Chambers Student and Lex 100.

As is the case for any interview, preparation is vital.

Whilst exhibitors are happy to provide general information about their firm, it is a lost opportunity if all you learn from a fair can be found easily on firm's websites and recruitment brochures. Finding this out before the fair allows you to dig deeper and get real insight into what makes that firm unique. It can also be vital when you're trying to make your "Why do you want to work for…" answers stand out from hundreds of others.

I would recommend bringing a notebook with a list of key facts about the firm and a list of questions you were unable to get answers to. This gives you a good template when talking to exhibitors and you won't have to rely on your own natural talent and on the spot inspiration. It also demonstrates your organisational skills and that you have a solid interest in the profession.

Develop your skills with Bright Network Academy

Learn everything you need to know before you head to work with these free e-learning courses. Discover everything from how to develop your transferable and digital skills to how to smash the application process. 

On the battlefield

Do:

  • Look presentable – business attire isn’t necessary but doesn’t do any harm. Gym clothes, loungewear and last night's going out clothes are definitely not a good idea.
  • Greet appropriately – shaking an exhibitor's hand and introducing yourself before asking questions is a great way to make a good first impression.
  • Ask the right questions to the right people. A trainee may not know much about application deadlines or future intake numbers and HR personnel aren’t going to be able to tell you about life as a trainee.

Don't:

  • Get distracted by freebies – it might be October but that doesn't mean Law Fairs are a place to Trick or Treat. Students (and other exhibitors) make a poor impression by circling the room on a freebie hunt without engaging with exhibitors. 
  • Stick together – it's much easier for exhibitors to talk to one student at a time and it's much easier to leave a lasting impression if you're by yourself. Unfortunately in this scenario your friends are your potential competitors. Think of networking as a necessary evil. Although student 'networking' may often occur at the pub, it is a skill that ought to be practiced. There is every chance that a firm representative will make a note of you so don't be nervous to go and introduce yourself. 

Post-match analysis

If you were given a business card or email address by an exhibitor, it might be worth sending them an email a few days after the fair telling them how nice it was to meet them or following up on a question you had. You may even want to add them on LinkedIn.

If speaking to an exhibitor convinced you that their firm was the one for you, say so when you come to apply for the firm later. This shows the recruiter that you've made a real effort to gain an insight into the firm.

If you did find a firm that took your fancy, make sure you keep an eye on any application deadlines. You may be surprised by how early some firms open their applications for Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts. If you are ready to make an application and you've found a firm that you think is a good fit, complete your application sooner rather than later.

Browse graduate opportunities in law

Ready to take the leap into law? Explore available opportunities and take the first step towards a career in this exciting sector.