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Law Firm Open Day

by Charles Nwabueze
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Are you a first-year law student that is finding vacation schemes to get into a law firm impossible to come by? Then a law firm open day might be just for you. Even if the reader is not a first-year student, but is curious as to what Open days are or how to secure them, please read on as some open days are open to all. Alternatively, click here to see 400+ verified past successful Open Day, Vacation Scheme or Training Contract applications from those who landed jobs with the biggest Law Firms. 

What Are They?

Open days are one-day (or half-a-day) programmes at law firms that provide the opportunity for budding lawyers to spend a day at that particular law firm. Law firm open days provide an insight into the life of trainees and give participants the chance to step into their office and find out what the firm is like from the perspective of a lawyer working in the firm. Open days are perfect for candidates who are looking to apply for vacation schemes and can help you show your commitment to the legal profession and the research you are doing outside of your studies. Law open days take place at various points throughout the calendar year, and to be selected to attend one involves a competitive process. 

What Happens at an Open Day?

On a typical open day, a range of activities and informative sessions usually take place, including:

  • An overview of the firm and its place in the legal market
  • An introduction to the firm’s core trainee practice areas – is it M&A, Finance, dispute resolution, employment or shipping 
  • A panel Q&A session with the trainees so participants can ask pertinent questions regarding secondments, overseas seats, support & development in the training contract and what the culture for trainees is like
  • Participation in skills-based workshops (which may include workshops on negotiating, commercial awareness or networking for example)
  • An opportunity to discuss with the graduate recruitment team concerning the firm’s recruitment process for vacation schemes and training contracts.
  • A session where the firm’s representatives will provide hints and tips on application forms and interviews for their programmes
  • A chance to network with partners, associates, trainees and graduate recruitment and get an insight into the firm’s culture, solicitors and trainees’ experiences at the firm.
  • A tour of the offices 
  • The opportunity of shadowing a trainee

The Benefits of a Law Firm Open Day

Attending a Law firm’s Open day will provide you with the following benefits:

  • Great insight into the legal profession and associated work
  • Opportunity to determine early on whether a career at that particular firm is the right fit for you or whether a career in that practice area is good for you – for example, you might find you don’t want to be a commercial lawyer but instead, you are drawn to the practice of family law
  • The process of applying serves as good practice before attempting vacation scheme applications
  • They allow participants to broaden their network and make valuable connections with senior lawyers and the firm’s graduate recruitment
  • As a result of the participation in workshops, it can help the attendees develop skills necessary for aspiring lawyers
  • The experience gained during an open day is a positive reinforcement of your commitment to law
  • The experience gained can be added as a work experience on the CV 
  • It can also be used to reinforce your interest in that firm when making applications for their vacation scheme and training contract  
  • Many attendees at open days go on to successfully gain places on that law firm’s vacation schemes and training contracts. 

Application Process 

Before applying, it is necessary to be aware that some law firms’ open days are geared specifically for certain groups – first-year students, law students, non-law students. So check if you’re eligible to apply on the firm’s website. Generally, you will find that open days for first-year students are more common to find. The application process will vary from firm to firm; for some, you’ll need to make a full application while others registration by email will be sufficient. Places on open days are competitive so it is good practice to apply or register as early as possible. 

Making a Positive Impression 

Considering the benefits you stand to gain it’d be highly beneficial if you make a great impression on the open day. First things first take the day seriously, you can show the importance you attach to the opportunity by taking a jotter and pen to take notes. Secondly, research the firm – all firms that host open days will have a website that you can look at. When researching the firms make a note of the practice areas that they are involved in, find the ones that interest you, and look at the deals they have done in those areas. When you find the deals, it’s a good idea to make further reading about the clients involved and what role they played in the transactions. 

By taking the abovementioned approach, when you attend the Open day in your communication with any of their lawyers – if you are lucky you might talk to one of the lawyers that were on the deal you read about – you’ll come across as someone very serious about practising law and practising it in their firm. Great questions to ask the firm’s employees in an Open day may include: what would they say makes the firm unique; where do they see the firm in 5 years; what made the person choose the firm; and what does the person think you should do to make your application stand out. Make use of your interpersonal skills – be friendly and approachable. Ask questions. Keep in touch with any of the firm’s staff that is willing to exchange contacts, and thank the firm for the opportunity of attending their open day. 


Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)


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