Guest blog post written by Avni Devgan, Law student at the University of Manchester
The Law Fair is now less than a week away and for those who are interested in attending it, here is a list of things you should do before and after the fair to get as much out of it as you can.
Before the Fair:
- Go through the list of exhibitors on the Careers Service website and try and get an idea of who you would be interested to interact with.
Every organisation, firm and chamber has a different work ethos and demographic so make sure you’re making the most of your time by meeting the ones that match what you may be looking for now, or in the future. You don’t have to go on to every exhibitor’s website and scan all the information on it on to your memory. However, narrowing down what you’re looking for by choosing between organisations that are national or international, engage barristers or solicitors, sponsor work visas or do not sponsor them, fund your training or don’t, will help you gain some guidance to navigate your way through the fair. When you’ve got an idea of who you’d like to meet (or even if you don’t!), it’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions to take with you, such as how to get some work experience at the organisation, or about the work they’re engaged in.
- Pick up a Starting Point Guide for careers in law from the Careers Service (or view it online).
If you think you may be interested in a career in law, do your research and find out what positions and sectors suit you. From being a solicitor to a barrister, and even a CiLex, these guides offer a lot of information about what pathways to working in law are currently available and how you can prepare yourself to work in them. Knowing about these pathways will also aid you in narrowing down what you like, who you would like to meet at the Fair and what you would like to ask them.
Starting Point Guides are available from The Careers Service, in the Atrium, University Place, or online here.
Law for law students guide
Law for non-law students guide
- Try and keep an open mind.
The Fair is a place where you can learn about things you may not know by interacting with people representing different legal organisations engaged in different legal work. Coming to the Fair with preconceived notions about what may not suit you may result in you losing out an opportunity to discover a legal career you could be truly passionate about. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t research on firms and careers that you know will be interested in working in, but do try and think outside the box and interact with exhibitors who you may not have considered while doing that research.
After the Fair:
- Look for vacation schemes, mini-pupillage or any work experience related to the career pathway that interests you.
If you’ve found something you think you would like to work in, look for some internships so you can experience what it would be like to work in that position or at that particular organisation. The exhibitors should have information on such internships and how you can apply for them, and they may also be advertised on CareersLink and websites such as TARGETjobs and Milkround.
- Book an appointment with the Careers Service for CV writing advice and interview practice.
These appointments are extremely helpful as they help you to polish your CV and tailor it according to the internship you are applying for. Interview practice is a great way of knowing what you can expect out of interviews, and to prepare for them if you’ve gotten through the first round of internship applications.
- Research on whether you need to study further for the career you’re interested in pursuing.
Studying at university is expensive and it is important that you know whether you need to undertake further studies for the career you’re interested in pursuing and if yes, how you can arrange the finances for it. Pick up a Starting Point Guide for the career you’re interested in from the Careers Service to know more about this, and then make an appointment for career advice to decide how you should plan for this period of study.
You can sign up for your free ticket in advance here, to avoid queueing on the day.
Also, make sure that you download the new Manchester Careers Fair app – it’s the digital fair guide to see which exhibitors are at the fair, where they are, and what opportunities they have available. Available now on the App Store and Google Play store.
I hope this helps and and that you have a great time at the Fair, good luck!