Manchester Metropolitan University

Students and law firms come together for Pro Bono and Careers Fair

The annual event gives law students the opportunity to meet with lawyers and recruitment representatives

Pro bono offers an opportunity for students to gain practical experience alongside their studies

Pro bono offers an opportunity for students to gain practical experience alongside their studies

Over 350 students from a wide variety of Law School and non-Law courses were welcomed to the annual Law School Pro Bono and Legal Careers Fair on Wednesday October 3.

The event gave students the opportunity to network with current trainee solicitors and pupil barristers, experienced lawyers and senior HR and graduate recruitment staff, amongst others.

The attendees were able to gain a range of advice and tips on topics including training contracts, pupillage and vacation scheme applications, finding legal work experience, paralegal and other fee earning roles.

Nick Touati, Careers Manager at Manchester Law School, said: “The Pro Bono and Legal Careers Fair gives our students the opportunity to meet directly with lawyers and recruitment representatives from legal employers.

“This enables them to receive priceless tips and advice on the types of skills, qualities and work experience that these employers are seeking and how to portray them in job applications.

“Students also get the chance to learn about the wide range of pro bono volunteering opportunities open to them. Undertaking pro bono work alongside their studies allows them to develop they key legal and other transferable skills that will directly enhance their employability and make them attractive to employers when they graduate.”

The companies exhibiting at the event represented a very wide and diverse range of legal employers, from a large commercial law firm offering a mentoring scheme exclusively to Manchester Law School students, to mid-sized firms offering a mix of commercial and private client legal services.

Several barrister’s chambers were also present alongside agencies offering advocacy work to graduates from Manchester Metropolitan’s professional legal courses.

The event also welcomed specialist legal recruitment consultancies and professional bodies such as the Government Legal Profession, the Manchester Trainee Solicitors Group and the Black Solicitors Network.

Nick Touati added: “Manchester Law School’s pro bono scheme partners offers students the opportunity to gain valuable legal volunteering experience in a number of areas. The pro bono volunteering opportunities available include a specialist legal advocacy project with Greater Manchester Law Centre, working on housing and homelessness issues, supporting litigants in person with the civil courts’ Personal Support Unit and a legal research scheme with international law firm Slater & Gordon.

“Such pro bono work gives students direct experience of working with clients experiencing real legal issues and matters.”

The feedback from students, employers and pro bono partners alike following the event was universally positive. All organisations and partners in attendance said they would attend the event again in 2019.

A representative from F-LEX, a legal recruitment agency who specialise in finding temporary and flexible paralegal work for students, said: “We met lots of students who were referred to us by the University’s career mentors, so thanks again!”

In addition, leading north-west law firm SAS Daniels were very happy to have attended as they met some potential work experience candidates and Ralli Solicitors described the event as being “absolutely useful”.

Find out more about pro bono at Manchester Law School.

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