An upcoming London event offers students essential contact with firms.
A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives revealed that only 40% of 14-24-year-olds received careers advice they felt was useful.
So the remaining 60% are unlikely to be aware that, according to the government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, at least half of entry-level vacancies at leading law firms are likely to be filled by graduates who have already completed work experience with the employer.
Statistics like these make events such as the London Law Fair, which is being held at the Law Society, Chancery Lane, on 26 November, important as ever to ensure talented and ambitious students don’t escape recruitment efforts.
‘The London Law Fair is extremely important as it grants students, like myself, direct unadulterated access to some of the major firms within the legal profession, which tasked with alone is nigh on impossible,’ says second-year LLB student Aaron Abraham, who attended last year’s fair.
Abraham attended hoping to ‘gain an insight into the workings and intricacies of the legal profession, as well as guidance on the process of obtaining work experience and the “elusive” training contract’.
It is not just students who benefit from the event – law firms can too, as professor Sara Chandler, of the London South Bank University and chair of the London Law Fair Consortium, highlighted earlier this month.
‘These students bring a wide range of languages, cultural literacy and technical fluency, particularly valuable for extending client bases within emerging markets,’ she said. ‘It represents a significant opportunity for firms to make their recruitment more inclusive.’
‘Law firms traditionally have a reputation of being elitist,’ says Sarah Gregory, inclusion and diversity partner at City firm Baker & McKenzie, which along with magic circle firm Linklaters was named a social mobility champion by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg last week.
‘We are trying to break down those barriers,’ she adds.
One hopes that events such as the London Law Fair will help break down those barriers a little bit more.
Monidipa Fouzder is a Gazette reporter