11 things not to say at a law fair

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By Legal Cheek on

With the law fair season in full swing, we persuaded Norton Rose Fulbright’s graduate recruitment team to share some classic wannabe lawyer faux pas — and explain why they’re unlikely to lead to a job offer.

1. “How many pens am I allowed to take?”

Norton Rose Fulbright graduate recruitment manager Caroline Lindner says: “Focusing on the freebies, rather than the law representatives, doesn’t inspire confidence that you are attending the event to find out about a career in law.”

2. “So, are you busy?”

Lindner says: “This doesn’t show any focus or interest in the firm specifically.”

3. “I have no idea who you are. What does your organisation actually do?”

Lindner says: “Law fairs are fantastic networking opportunities for employers and students alike, and we really do remember impressive individuals. So, don’t put yourself in this position when you don’t know anything about the firms you are talking to — speak to the careers service representatives at the very least!”

4. “What makes an application form really stand out?”

Lindner says: “This is such a difficult question to answer as everyone has different experiences and we are looking at the individual. It’s far better to engage in discussion about your specific experiences and how this may — or may not — be relevant. You’ll get more from the firm’s representatives if you do this.”

5. “Do you have offices overseas?”

Lindner says: “Some recruitment stands have the word ‘global’ or the names of the cities they are based in. And researching before the fair (and reading the information provided by the university careers service) is advisable!”

6. “Do you only recruit from Oxbridge?”

Lindner says: “If you are attending a non-Oxbridge university fair, the answer should be obvious — firms want to recruit the best talent and are committed to visiting many universities to find it.”

7. “Go on, impress me, why would I want to join your firm?”

Lindner says: “Firms are generally impressed by trainees who have already researched the firm and have specific, considered questions. We can then have a much more productive discussion about whether we are a good fit for each other. That said, we are never shy to talk about ourselves and sell our global reach, fantastic training and quality of the work our trainees and associates do.”

8. “Tell me about Norton Rose”

Lindner says: “The question is too broad as you should have done your research before. And we’re now Norton Rose Fulbright!”

9. “Is it helpful that I speak more than one language?”

Lindner says: “If we’re an international firm, then yes! Have confidence in your unique selling points.”

10. “I haven’t done any research into your firm — but don’t hold that against me!”

Lindner says: “Honesty isn’t always the best policy…”

11. “I know that you receive a lot of applications, so is there any point in me applying?”

Lindner says: “If you’re worried about statistics at this stage, then you will never apply for any job! Have confidence in your abilities and demonstrate some determination.”

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