The importance of attending Law firm Open Days

Oliver Chinyere, LLM Qualifying Law student, gives an insight into the Open Days on offer at Law firms for students considering legal careers. 

For those interested in entering the legal profession as solicitors after studying at Birkbeck, an Open Day gives law students an opportunity to peek inside what their future may hold. Open Days offer exceptional advantages by giving students an intimate look at the firm’s office, employees and culture. In November, I was fortunate enough to attend Accept, Clifford Chance’s LGBT-focused Open Day.

For any student seeking a training contract, it’s important that you attend an Open Day at whatever firm you’re interested in to meet and hear directly from existing employees. Although I wasn’t able to stay for the full slate of programming, I found the event incredibly beneficial for several reasons. Not only was I able to meet and network directly with people from a similar background to myself but was able to secure tips which will prove handy during the application process should I choose to proceed. Clifford Chance’s recruitment team actually ran a session full of helpful tips on how to make your application stand out.

For anyone embarking on a new career and entering a new workplace, understanding the office culture is critical to determining whether or not you see a space for yourself there. In addition to hearing from existing employees who convey what led them to the firm, we heard from alumni who had moved on from the firm to other roles. A good indication of any potential place of employment is the number of former employees who still speak highly of their experience and how it influenced the next steps in their career!

Another benefit is the ability to poke and prod and really dig beneath the surface. At Accept, we were able to hear directly from Regional Managing Partner, Michael Bates and ask him questions. In fact, I would argue that one of the chief benefits of attending Open Days is your ability to be candid, ask questions and gather the information you need to make your decision! Becoming a lawyer is all about elucidating the facts so it’s excellent practice.

In summary, attending Open Days are a great way to see what your future job and company may entail. It’s an opportunity every Birkbeck law student interested in pursuing a career as a solicitor should aim to embark on, especially if you plan on applying for a training contract. If you’re looking for more resources, LawCareers.net provides a helpful timeline of events tailored to ‘non-law’ students (or those looking for a career change). They also provide a helpful list of training contract deadlines.

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