After one full day of firm tours, I thought it might be helpful to blog about my tips for those students who are going to be heading off on firm tours over the next couple of weeks. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but I hope they are helpful nonetheless.
- Do your research for the firms that will be a part of your tour. Get a sense of the firm and bring questions with you. There will be partners, associates, articling/summer students from firms, and you will get the most out of the tour if you have questions to ask them. In general, I think that any question that can be answered from reading a website is not one I want to be asking someone at the firm.
- Bring paper and a pen so you can take notes as you go along. This is a great idea because you can jot down names and any important information mentioned. You will be going on a whirlwind tour, so it’s safer not to rely on memory. I hadn’t thought of this beforehand, and I ended up taking quick notes on my phone in the elevator after each tour. I would have preferred to write the information down as I was going on the tour.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be on your feet a lot as you go around the firms, travel to each firm, and network. Let me tell you, nothing is worse than trying to focus on holding a conversation while your feet are aching.
- Bring a roomy bag to store swag. Firms are generous and will be providing you with lots of informational handouts, folders, water bottles, mugs, pens … you name it! It’s nice to have a place to store your swag, just so that you aren’t holding onto a mountain of things as you travel between firms.
- Bring an umbrella. It’s Vancouver after all. If it begins to rain, you will get drenched as you are walking to firms. It’s very uncomfortable to be in a soaked suit when you are trying to look and feel presentable.
- Take a business card if one is offered. Business cards will help you keep track of the people you have met.
- Send a Thank You email. Remember that the firms are taking time to host you, provide you with refreshments, and arrange for their lawyers and students to speak with you. The least you can do is remember to thank them.
Note: If you were just wondering about whether or not to go on firm tours, I would definitely recommend them! UBC CSO organizes Vancouver Large Firm Tours for 2L/3L/LLM.CL students early in the summer. Spots are limited, so if presented with the opportunity I encourage you to register early to secure a spot.
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