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    Hi guys, I was hoping someone could help me out. I'm in my first year of study and am thinking of applying to relevant open days and insight events.

    I know that when you go to these things, and they have a networking event at the end of the day, that it's a good idea to have knowledge on the firm and commercial issues that may affect its clients.

    On the subject of research, other than looking at their website how would you suggest researching a firm? And what level and kind of knowledge do I need to know?

    Also, I feel quite nervous on the networking thing (and in general law fairs) in the sense that I don't know how to approach an employer. Like if I'm going to talk to a graduate recruiter, what kinds of things should I be saying? I can't just question them on the firms' latest acquisitions or cases can I?

    Thank you for any help and guidance on this!
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    I just have a quick moment now, but websites you can use are chambersstudent and allaboutlaw. You can use rollonfriday too, but it's less reliable and some information is updated (and it's hard to tell which is sometimes).
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    (Original post by likezerogravity)
    I just have a quick moment now, but websites you can use are chambersstudent and allaboutlaw. You can use rollonfriday too, but it's less reliable and some information is updated (and it's hard to tell which is sometimes).

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I will definitely check out those websites!

    Do you have any advice on the appropriate topics to speak about to graduate recruiters or partners? And on the amount of information the firms expect you to know?
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    (Original post by Lostrider)
    Hi guys, I was hoping someone could help me out. I'm in my first year of study and am thinking of applying to relevant open days and insight events.

    I know that when you go to these things, and they have a networking event at the end of the day, that it's a good idea to have knowledge on the firm and commercial issues that may affect its clients.

    On the subject of research, other than looking at their website how would you suggest researching a firm? And what level and kind of knowledge do I need to know?

    Also, I feel quite nervous on the networking thing (and in general law fairs) in the sense that I don't know how to approach an employer. Like if I'm going to talk to a graduate recruiter, what kinds of things should I be saying? I can't just question them on the firms' latest acquisitions or cases can I?

    Thank you for any help and guidance on this!
    I have been getting this question A LOT! People need to stop getting over anxious about these type of events and stop over-worrying about it. These things are not as complex as people are worrying about - in fact it is probably best to keep things simple. The reason you are invited to these events is to learn exactly the type of stuff you would when researching, and so doing too much research kind of negates most of the opportunity to learn things at an Open Day.

    The level of research you need to have done:
    - what type of law the firm practices
    - why that is relevant to your career motivation

    It is really that simple!

    Generally at these events there is no such things as a stupid question. However who you ask the question to shows a level of judgement. And good judgement would say you wouldn't ask a graduate recruiter about latest deals/acquisition - they aren't involved with them. However you may want to ask a GR person about:

    - How the training is structured
    - What opportunities there are for trainees (secondments, seat rotations, pro-bono work, social aspects)
    - Cultural aspects of the firm
    - What the firm looks for in recruits - applications/interviews etc

    Yes - all the above is listed on websites/brochures, but are often condensed into short paragraphs which lack detail. Having a conversation with someone usually brings out more of the substantial/interesting points.

    Just go in with genuine questions and think about who you are asking. There is little point asking about the firm's strategy to a trainee or a HR person - that's probably best asked to a partner. At the same time there is little point asking a partner about their experiences of training when they probably went through it somewhere between 10-35 years ago.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    I have been getting this question A LOT! People need to stop getting over anxious about these type of events and stop over-worrying about it. These things are not as complex as people are worrying about - in fact it is probably best to keep things simple. The reason you are invited to these events is to learn exactly the type of stuff you would when researching, and so doing too much research kind of negates most of the opportunity to learn things at an Open Day.

    The level of research you need to have done:
    - what type of law the firm practices
    - why that is relevant to your career motivation

    It is really that simple!

    Generally at these events there is no such things as a stupid question. However who you ask the question to shows a level of judgement. And good judgement would say you wouldn't ask a graduate recruiter about latest deals/acquisition - they aren't involved with them. However you may want to ask a GR person about:

    - How the training is structured
    - What opportunities there are for trainees (secondments, seat rotations, pro-bono work, social aspects)
    - Cultural aspects of the firm
    - What the firm looks for in recruits - applications/interviews etc

    Yes - all the above is listed on websites/brochures, but are often condensed into short paragraphs which lack detail. Having a conversation with someone usually brings out more of the substantial/interesting points.

    Just go in with genuine questions and think about who you are asking. There is little point asking about the firm's strategy to a trainee or a HR person - that's probably best asked to a partner. At the same time there is little point asking a partner about their experiences of training when they probably went through it somewhere between 10-35 years ago.
    Wow thank you for your extensive reply! And you're right I have been over thinking it, it's just that speaking to other people at uni about what they think you need to know paints a daunting picture.

    Thank you for putting my mind at ease, I just want to go and impress the people who work at the firm so they remember me (as corny as that sounds) when it comes to applying for a VS or TC
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    Just dont try too hard its offputting. Can you just find the right balance of knowing who the firm are and what they do, then be a bit personable.
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    (Original post by Lostrider)
    Wow thank you for your extensive reply! And you're right I have been over thinking it, it's just that speaking to other people at uni about what they think you need to know paints a daunting picture.

    Thank you for putting my mind at ease, I just want to go and impress the people who work at the firm so they remember me (as corny as that sounds) when it comes to applying for a VS or TC
    How to impress:

    - Be polite
    - Be inquisitive
    - Smile
    - Listen and take notes (when appropriate) - will also help you not asking a question that you have just been given the answer to).
    - Try to enjoy it
    - Don't try too hard
    - Ask questions you are genuinely interested in knowing the answer to

    Only things to avoid:

    - Anything related to salary
    - Only seeming interested in one aspect of the firm (e.g. all of your questions keep on about the same topic)
    - Dominating the conversation (e.g. - constantly being the person that asks ALL the questions, not allowing others to input into conversations).
    - Asking questions about areas of law they don't cover.

    Remember you are there to learn so expectations will be fairly low. Most of it is common sense!
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    As per usual, J-SP's advice is spot on.

    I had a similar mindset to you when I was first attending these sort of events (over-thinking things, making my questions too complicated etc. in an attempt to appear smart(er!)) and in hindsight my approach likely came across as plastic/rehearsed. I am now at a stage where I attend these sorts of events on behalf of my firm and I find that those people who can converse and appear natural more often than not get more out of the events than those who try to overcomplicate things.

    Good luck!
 
 
 
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