Success at the Stay in Leeds law fair

For many years Leeds has been regarded as the second largest centre for legal and financial services, outside London.

With approximately 15,000 people employed at over 200 firms, Leeds remains an important centre for the UK legal profession and as such, a viable destination for our students after graduation.

Recognising the Leeds appeal, in 2016 the School launched the ‘Stay in Leeds’ Law Fair: to help undergraduate students forge relationships with local firms and to increase work experience opportunities by encouraging firms to offer exclusive placements to Leeds Law students who attend the fair. One year on (and two fairs later), the ‘Stay in Leeds’ Law Fair is already a firm favourite in the student’s employability calendar – and offers the lion’s share of School organised workplace opportunities.

Melissa Poulter, final year LLB Law student, told us about her experience at the 2016 fair which helped her to secure a training contract at Leeds law firm, 3volution.

What attracted you to the ‘Stay in Leeds’ Law Fair?

I’ve known for a while that I want to stay in Leeds following graduation, so when I heard about the ‘Stay in Leeds’ Law Fair, offering the chance to speak to law firms on the lookout for Leeds graduates, it sounded like a great opportunity.

How did you benefit from the fair?                            

I chatted with a few different firms, finding out the different ways trainees had secured post-graduate employment, and following these conversations I signed up to a number of law firms e-mail lists so I would be notified if work experience opportunities became available.

I was contacted over Easter (and after many hours spent improving my CV) I managed to secure a week’s work experience with 3volution, a law firm based in Leeds City Centre.

What did your work experience involve?

My week at 3volution was organised so that each day I was assigned to one of their main departments, being given the opportunity to complete tasks such as drafting instruction letters, compiling research pieces, helping associates prepare for conference calls and then sitting in on the relevant conference calls.

I was also given the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with some of the partners, discussing my career aspirations and receiving feedback on the tasks I’d completed.

Why should others attend the Stay in Leeds Law Fair?

Not only did my work experience with 3volution leave me feeling more confident about pursuing a career in commercial law, but following an interview with partners at the firm I also secured a training contract at 3volution – none of which would have happened without the support of the School and the local firms who attended the ‘Stay in Leeds’ Law Fair.