Simona, Student Intern, tells us all about the Law Fair and shares her tips on how to make the most of it…
On the 1 November 2016, the suited and booted law experts will take over City Hall for the Cardiff University Law Fair. Are you ready? Whether you’re a law fresher, a third year, a past student or a student from a different degree discipline – the Law Fair is an unmissable opportunity for all those considering a career within the sector.
If you want to get the most out of the fair, and make a real impression – look no further: here are our tips and tricks.
1. Research the exhibitors
Think carefully about what firms you are targeting and what information you would like to know in order to write a good quality application. Maybe make a list of all the firms attending the fair that you are most interested in and what you want to find out about them. Research the exhibitors – look for basic information like where the law firm is headquartered, the location of their offices, how many overseas offices it has (if any) the practice areas it focuses on and how many trainees it recruits. Also, read about an interesting case the firms have been working on recently. You can find such information on their websites, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook – following their social media channels is a good idea.
2. Prepare appropriate questions to ask
Avoid questions like ‘what can you offer me?’ and ‘What does the firm do?’ Try more challenging questions like ‘What do you think is the most challenging aspect of being a solicitor?’ If you speak to a trainee, you could ask ‘what was your favourite seat and why?’ or ‘I know that the firm represented X and won. What was crucial to winning the case?’ or ‘what was the most challenging piece of work you have done and why?’ or ‘how much exposure to clients do you have?’
3. Use good body language
It’s normal to feel a bit intimated when speaking to lawyers. However, remember that they were in your position once. A good way of introducing yourself is: ‘Hi. My name is X and I am a first/second/third year law/non-law student. I am interested in applying for a vacation scheme at this firm and I have a few questions to ask.’ Make eye contact, speak slowly, smile and look people in the eye. First impressions matter and employers may make a note of the names of students who impress them at the fair.
4. Follow up with the exhibitors after the fair
Ask for the trainees’ business cards or e-mail addresses. You could send them an e-mail thanking them for being helpful – they will make a record of you and are more likely to share with you the realities of life at the law firm. Contacting them shows initiative and when you are filling in your applications, mention the name of the person you spoke to at the fair.
5. Attend the preparation session!
The Careers and Employability Service runs a session on how to prepare effectively for the law fair. Do not miss it as it offers invaluable advice on how to stand out and how to make the most out of the fair.
The session runs on Monday 24th October, 4-5pm in room 0.22 in the Law School. All year groups are welcome!
See you at the fair!
Simona, Student Intern.
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