Law Fair Season – A Survivor’s Guide

Already the Graduate Team at Pinsent Masons have attended a number of university law fairs and we have been extremely impressed by the level of preparation those attending have put in prior to attending.  Nottingham and Leeds law fairs in particular stick in the mind for this reason.

Lawyer 2B to be recently posted an excellent introductory article on how to get the most from a law fair.  Following their advice should help you overcome most of the common pitfalls and also maximise the value you get from the experience.  But what other advice is there for those candidates wanting to make a positive impression?

Standing out for the right reasons

In addition to the advice from Lawyer 2B I would advise the following:

  • Be confident when approaching law firms; we genuinely want to speak to as many candidates as possible, although I appreciate an army of people in suits can be somewhat intimidating!   Smile, introduce yourself clearly and the rest will take care of itself.
  • Think about what is most important to you in your future career.  Is it career progression, the opportunity to go on a secondment, to experience international travel, earn money or maintaining a healthy work-life balance?  Don’t say all of the above (try to pick two or three at most); unfortunately life involves making choices.  Try to focus your questions in these key areas as this will help you determine if a firm is a good match for you and also allow you to compare firms to one another more easily.
  • Write down the questions you want to ask in advance (it is easy to forget them on the day) and make a written note of the answers you receive.  Even those of you with amazing memories will struggle to remember how the different firms answered your questions the next day.
  •  If you like the firm, try to find out how you can keep in touch with them.  Can they give you a personal email to send any follow up questions to?  Are they running any events on campus later in term or holding an open evening in one of their offices?  Can you subscribe to a newsletter or receive the latest news from them through a Social Networking site like BraveNewTalent?

Who Might I meet from Pinsent Masons?

At each fair we try to take along a number of lawyers, some of whom will be former students of the university.  Typically most of our representatives are trainee solicitors as they are in an ideal position to tell you about their experience of making applications, undertaking vac schemes and securing a training contract.  Where possible we also try to ensure that more senior employees and representatives from our diversity teams can make it along too although often we find their presence works better at smaller more informal events where you have longer to talk to them in detail.  Graduate Recruitment will also always have at least one representative in attendance.   To help you recognise us please see the rogue’s gallery below!

Edward Walker, Graduate Recruitment Manager

  • Responsible for all issues relating to trainee recruitment, vacation placements and developing Pinsent Masons’ employer brand amongst graduates.
  • Over 5 years experience in graduate recruitment and has been working at Pinsent Masons for 12 months.
  • Random Fact: Edward is also a co-owner of a sun-dried tomato farm in China.

 

 

David Linacre, Graduate Recruitment Coordinator

  • Manages the firm’s Work Experience and Gap Year Programmes as well as being involved with on-campus promotion and trainee assessment and selection.
  • David graduated in 2007 with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and Human Resource Management.
  • Random fact – In a previous life, David used to practice professional magic at corporate events.

If you have any tips of your own that you have used successfully at law fairs and that you are willing to share please post a comment.