“I’M HERE to see what this whole law thing is about,” said one second-year law student at the Sydney Law Careers Fair last week. But the general consensus was that the Fair was a means by which students at all stages could assess their options for their future careers.
Second-year law students Edward and Brett agree that they aren’t sure they want to be lawyers. But if a firm gave them a good talking to, “and the right area to work in”, they both could be persuaded, they told Lawyers Weekly at the Sydney Law Careers Fair last Friday.
More than 1,000 law students filled Darling Harbour’s Convention Centre at the one-day event last week to assess their options, and speak first-hand to the very firms that are after these valuable potential future employees.
Lawyers Weekly interviewed students at the Fair, who gathered the goodie bags many firms were handing out to lure talent to their individual stalls, about what they hoped to get out of the day.
Alanna, a first-year student, said she wanted to see “what this whole law thing is about”, so that she can be better informed once she has to start making career decisions in her third year.
For Justin, a final year student, the purpose was to get himself a position in any one of the firms at the Fair. “I’m looking for a job; I’m about to graduate. I will take any firm of interest. In some respects I have come to feel a mid-tier firm would be better. I hear grads get more responsibility and wider exposure in the mid tier,” he said.
For second-year law student Sam, while he wants to work overseas when he graduates, he was at the Fair to “check out the firms”.
When pressed as to what their expectations were, most students anticipated 10- to 12-hour days and a good starting salary.
James, a third-year student, said: “Most firms demand those hours. And whether you earn $45,000 to start or not, you’re going to end up with a decent wage.”
Job satisfaction rated high on the list of importance for a career in a law firm. Chris, a third-year student, said he was most interested in Holding Redlich’s stall. He saw the firm as offering more interesting work because of what they do in public interest law. “It’s fashionable to be interested in how to make a difference for most law students. Now everyone is speaking out and attaching themselves to these issues. Holding Redlich seems to be a good firm for that sort of thing. I don’t want to be tied to the same contract all day; I want to do something important.”
See Lawyers Weekly’s Sydney Law Careers Fair photo spread from the event in the next issue.