Law careers fairs

Bristol law fair 2018

Law fairs: when, where and what? Find out when fairs are being held, where you can pick up a free copy of Chambers Student, and how to make the most of fairs.

Every autumn the Chambers Student research team travels to law careers fairs up and down the UK to hand out 1,000s of free copies of Chambers Student and answer your law careers questions. We attend as many fairs as possible – usually 35 to 40 – and at each one you'll find members of our research team ready with a free copy of Chambers Student for you and plenty of helpful careers advice.

Of course, things are looking a little different in 2020. With the covid-19 pandemic preventing large scale events, many employers have moved their events online. Virtual law fairs have obvious differences to in-person fairs, but the basic principle is the same: meeting employers and learning about the careers opportunities that are out there.

University law careers fairs are an invaluable opportunity to meet and talk to law firm recruiters and trainees. They are a prime chance for networking like no other: at least a dozen and maybe as many as 40 or 50 law firms will be literally setting out their stall to you.

Firms will be flashing the pearly whites and going out of their way to have a natter with you. To some degree they are trying to impress you, attempting to lure in the best applicants by opening up to students. At the same time you should be trying to impress them: not by wittering on about how brilliant you are, but by taking a considered interest in firms you have an eye on and asking intelligent questions. Below are some tips on what approach you should (and shouldn't) take to law careers fairs.

One final tip about law fairs: go! Do everything you can to make it to the event. Law fairs only happen once a year and offer an unparalleled opportunity for networking. If you are serious about a career in the law, then you may find you need to cancel any social, family or sporting commitments which clash with your uni's law fair.

We normally give out free copies of Chambers Student at fairs. While of course we won't be able to give you a book at a virtual fair (we're good but not that good), the whole guide is available for free on this website. We recommend you start here for the solicitors' profession or here for the Bar.

Law fair: What do you think is the best strategy?

Depending on which approach you take, you’ll get very different things out of your law fair experience. What sort of law fair attendee are you?

Strategy One: The magpie. You’re passive and blend into the crowd. The most you’ll get out of the day is a few pens, plastic bags and chocolate bars.

Strategy Two: The explorer. You have a rough idea where you want to work and which areas you’d like to specialise in. This is your chance to scout around, have a chat, and hone in on those firms that really take your fancy.

Strategy Three: The interrogator. You’ve done your research, and have pinpointed which firms you’re interested in. Now’s your chance to get the inside scoop on the things that matter to you. What pro bono work can trainees do? Are there any diversity initiatives at the firm? If you’re lucky, you might even make some contacts you can mention on the dreaded Application form.

We think we know which approach works best. Do you?