So you may have heard about the Law Careers Fair coming up on the 22 February 2013 at the Oei Tiong Ham Lobby from 10AM to 6PM. Or about the Law Graduate Careers Fair on the 20 February 2013 from 10am to 3pm. But if you haven’t, you heard about it here first.

Every year, the NUS Law Club organizes the Law Careers Fair to bring the industry to your doorstep (we’re talking about the doorstep of your second home, otherwise known as BTC).

Also, the inaugural Law Graduate Careers Fair (LGCF) is a careers event targeted only at our Masters of Law (LL.M) students, specializing in various disciplines viz. Corporate and Financial Services Law, Intellectual Property & Technology Law, International & Comparative Law, Maritime Law, Asian Legal Studies, International Business Law, [email protected] Dual LLM Program, Double Degree Programmes in LLM-MPP/MPA. Participants are international law firms and organisations that are interested in foreign lawyers with LLM qualifications.

Perhaps for the more enterprising, you may have already known all there is to know about the legal industry, career opportunities in law firms, ministries etc. But for the uninitiated, or those who lack the time to diligently scour through tons of websites and career booklets, or who perhaps don’t have seniors and/or contacts in the industry to induct you into the world of legal careers, come on down to find out more!

And here’s how to go about it[i]:

1.     Suit Up 

Everyone knows about the existence of the ‘other’ local law school. Some people think they’re better than NUS Law. Some don’t. But one thing partners of law firms have reflected they approve of is how the undergraduates from that university actually look like they didn’t just roll out of bed and stumble in to meet with their prospective employers during their Careers Fair. While most of us certainly cannot claim to always be looking our best, surely we wouldn’t do the same on our first day of work. Studies have shown that first impressions are formed in the first impressions are formed in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone). While not everyone at the fair is going to be a big-shot recruitment partner, you’ll never know who you’ll meet. So suit up, if you can.

2. Know what you want, or at least, what you want to know.

Everyone knows a conversation is two way traffic. Be it wanting to know if rumours of burning the midnight oil daily from your first week are true; if a firm promotes “work-life balance”, or if the uncle’s cousin’s colleague’s friend’s daughter whom you’ve had a crush on since you were four still works at that firm, do have something prepared to strike up a conversation with the firm representatives. True, you may choose instead to just walk around gathering brochures, eavesdropping on ongoing conversations in order to glean possibly useful information, but nothing beats you finding out the information first hand, tailored to your unique needs and demands. So don’t be shy. These people have taken time off to meet with you, so let’s make their time worthwhile.

Stock questions include[ii]:

  • What is the culture like at _______________?
  • Can you tell me more about the internship programme at _______________?
  • What kind of graduates are your firm looking for?
  • Are there any particular subjects or electives that I should be taking up or focusing more on?

3.     Be polite

The Careers Fair is first and foremost, a networking event. You’re going around meeting people, talking to people and segueing in and out of conversations with people whom you might have never met before. Maybe the shy ones might be contented to hover in the background, but if you ever decide to speak up, here’re a few tips:

The Handshake: Offer one when you introduce yourself in a one to one setting, or if you’re the main speaker with an audience staring on. Do this standing if you can. Make the handshake firm. Do not waggle your fingers mid-shake. Letting that hand linger and parting with a caress is probably also a bad idea (unless you can detect some chemistry between the two of you, to which this writer wishes you the best of luck).

Introduce yourself: As much as you’re there with a purpose (hi, tell me what I need to know, bye), if all, take some time to do away with the niceties, and mean them. Sincerely. With all your heart. Nothing’s more depressing than someone who greets good morning like the world has collapsed at their feet (anybody can recall the drone of greeting a teacher in secondary school?). Tell the other person who you are, and then launch into your question. It makes for at least the semblance of a conversation, instead of an interrogation.

The Smile: General rule of thumb, smile. A real, genuine one. But try not to look like a psycho. Mostly importantly, do not  look bored, or dead, even if Tan and Thio, legal theory or evidence law kept you up all night.

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Participating Firms

The following are the participating firms for the Law Careers Fair on 22 Feb 2013.

1               Allen & Gledhill LLP

2               Allen & Overy LLP

3               Amica Law*

4               APAC Law Corporation*

5               Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow

6               Clifford Chance Pte Ltd

7               Colin Ng & Partners

8               Competition Commission of Singapore

9               CPF Board

10            David Lim & Partners

11            Drew & Napier LLC

12            Global Law Alliance*

13            Harry Elias Partnership LLP

14            Kelvin Chia Partnership

15            KhattarWong LLP

16            Lee & Lee

17            Ministry of Foreign Affairs

18            O’Melveny & Myers LLP

19            Onn & Bazul LLP

20            Patrick Tan LLC

21            Pure Search Recruitment

22            Rajah & Tann LLP

23            RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP

24            Rodyk & Davidson LLP

25            Shook Lin & Bok LLP

26            Singapore Legal Service

27            Stamford Law Corporation

28            Tan Kok Quan Partnership

29            Tan Rajah & Cheah

30            Thomas Cooper Law*

31            TSMP Law Corporation

32            Watson, Farley & Williams Asia Practice LLP*

33            Wee Swee Teow & Co

34            WongPartnership LLP

35            Yeo-Leong & Peh LLC

*Firms will not have a booth at the exhibition.

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Seminars/ Presentations 

We will also be having seminars and presentations by the firms/organisations in the week of 4th – 8th March 2013. The schedule as of 14 February 2013 is as follows:

Date/Time Firm/Organisation Venue
MON, 4th Mar 20131230 – 1330 Drew and Napier LLC Executive Seminar Room
MON, 4th Mar 20131330 – 1430 Global Law Alliance SR 3
TUES, 5th Mar 20131200 – 1300 Rajah and Tann LLP SR 5-4
WED, 6th Mar 20131200 – 1300 WongPartnership LLP SR 4-3
WED, 6th Mar 20131300 – 1400 O’Melveny & Myers LLP Executive Seminar Room
WED, 6th Mar 20131400 – 1500 Allen & Overy LLP SR 3
FRI, 8th Mar 20131330 – 1430 Ministry of Foreign Affairs SR 3
FRI, 8th Mar 20131330 – 1430 RHTLaw TaylorWessing SR 4-1
FRI, 8th Mar 20131200 – 1330 Clifford Chance Pte Ltd Executive Seminar Room
WED, 20th Feb 20131300 – 1400 Milbank SR 3
WED, 20th Feb 20131400 – 1500 Freshfields SR 5-3

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Law Careers Fair (for Undergraduates)

22nd February 2013, FRIDAY

1000 HRS to 1800 HRS

Lobby, Oei Tiong Ham Building

National University of Singapore, Bukit Timah Campus

469C Bukit Timah Road

Singapore 259772

Law Graduate Careers Fair (for Graduate Students)*

20th February 2013, WEDNESDAY

1000 HRS to 1500 HRS

Lobby, Oei Tiong Ham Building

National University of Singapore, Bukit Timah Campus

469C Bukit Timah Road

Singapore 259772

Participating Firms:

DLA PiperAshurst LLPLatham & Watkins LLP

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Milbank 

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RSVP

Please indicate your participation for the fair AS WELL AS your attendance for any of the seminars (if any) by clicking on this link:  http://www.tinyurl.com/nuslcf2013-seminarsignups

See you there!

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For more information, send your queries to [email protected] or check out the posters that will be put up around school very soon!


[i] This article does not profess to be the definitive guide to the Law Careers Fair, though if you’re completely and hopelessly lost, this might help

[ii] Not all questions should be reused wholesale. Please tailor to your own requirements.

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Jezer is also the NUS Law Club Academic Director.