Whilst we would not recommend that you go to lots of them, we would certainly recommend that you attend at least one or two carefully selected fairs.
They are a safer and less scary way of presenting yourself to a firm and for getting some invaluable information about the firm and their recruitment processes and requirements.
You can find out what firms really want from their applicants and then you will have a blueprint to work towards.
The importance of law fairs should not be underestimated. They can give you an advantage over other candidates for the following reasons:
- You will get to talk to firms in the flesh. Most firms will be represented by multiple members of staff at different levels of seniority. Thus you will have the opportunity to speak with trainees, associates, partners and recruitment personnel. You therefore have the chance to speak with either those people who have already been successful in getting the training contract you want or those people who stand in your way of getting that training contract.
- You will be able to ask them questions that can help you when you put together your applications. You can find out information that is not otherwise available about the firm and their recruitment processes which candidates who do not attend the law fairs will not have access to.
- You can get a better sense as to what the firm is like in reality. You can see the type of person who works there and discuss aspects of the firm so that you have more information on which to base your decision about which firm to apply to. This will not only mean you have a better chance of making the right career choices but it will also mean you will find it easier to convince the firms you do apply to why you are applying to them. Do not underestimate the importance of this.
- You can find out more about the size and style of the firm and the type of work they do. Also, you can find out more about the training contract and the nature of the training you would get at that firm together with the culture of that firm. You will therefore feel more knowledgable and confident when you get to application and interview stages.
- When the application and interview stages come around you will be surprised how many of the recruiters will remember a name and/or a face so its not going to harm your chances to have already put in this groundwork. Treat it as a form of networking.
Keep an eye on the blog over the next day or two for Part 2 of our blueprint to law fairs which will show you how to make the most out of law fairs.
For details of law fairs that are taking place over the next couple of months check out our Law Fairs 2012 Guide.