Now that the new term is firmly under way, it’s time to start thinking about your career in law. A great place to do this is your university law fair, where you can find out all the things different firms have to offer.
Something for everyone. Law fairs are essential sources of information for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in law. Whether you’re set on being a barrister, considering becoming a solicitor, or just want to know more about the legal profession, law fairs will provide you with a wealth of information. Graduate recruiters, trainees, and even qualified lawyers will all be on hand to answer any questions you may have. You’ll be able to pick up a variety of booklets and brochures containing everything you need to make your application for a training contract, vacation scheme or placement.
Time for a chat. Law fairs are the perfect opportunity for you to get some facetime with people you’re applying to work for. Don’t be afraid to go and have a chat with them about the firm; talk to them about how the firm operates, what kind of opportunities they offer, and smooth out any questions you have about their recruitment process. Ask them about their own career and whether they have any tips for someone hoping to follow in their footsteps. Before you go, think about any unique questions you have to ask them – this will help you stand out. Mention in your application that you met them, and focus on how their answers might have strengthened your resolve to apply.
Find out the crucial information. If you don’t have the opportunity to talk to every firm or chambers, make sure you’ve still got the key facts you need. Things to find out include:
- Location – are they based on the high-street, or do they have a large city headquarters?
- Size – are they an international company with thousands of staff, or is it a close-knit office environment?
- Training prospects – how many trainees do they hire each year, and what opportunities are they offered?
- Funding – do they pay for your LPC or BPTC, or will you be expected to find the money yourself?
- Practice areas – what do they specialise in, and does this suit your interests?
Explore other possibilities. If you’ve already got your mind set on a city law firm or you’d prefer an in-house job, don’t close your mind to other possibilities. Check out the variety of different options on offer, as you might find out you prefer something else. Moreover, if you’re even more sure afterwards, demonstrating a knowledge of the other options on offer will improve your applications; you’ll be able to show not only why you want to work in a certain place, but also why you don’t want to work at the rest. If the city is for you, show your knowledge of the high-street firms, and why that isn’t the path you want to take.
Keep track of your information. Rather like freshers fair, you’ll probably leave a law fair with a huge collection of literature, mugs and pens. When you get home, sort it all out and work out what is most important for you. Read through the information you have about the places you want to apply to and note all the deadlines. Pick out anything that you find especially attractive so that you can focus on it in your applications. Make note of key phrases and features so you won’t waste time hunting about later.
So write down those questions, bring a bag for the freebies, and head off to that fair!