Changing the merchandise norm in law fairs

Brodies LLP is a Scottish law firm that offers legal advice to both private and public sector clients both in the UK and internationally. Its core business areas include corporate and commercial; energy (both renewables and oil & gas); real estate; litigation and dispute resolution; banking and financial services; employment, pensions and benefits, trust and tax, and personal and family law.


In 2022, Brodies joined the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance, recognising the need to reduce waste in their recruitment processes. Upon returning to campus law fairs after the pandemic, the firm realised that traditional reusable merchandise, such as water bottles or tote bags, still carried an environmental impact despite being made from sustainable materials. Beyond this, they couldn’t verify the transparency of the supply chain or ensure that people would actually use these materials.

To address this challenge, Brodies adopted a creative and engaging strategy, moving away from physical merchandise and exploring a more sustainable and innovative approach to engage with potential candidates.



At law fairs, Brodies takes an innovative approach to promote their firm while making a positive impact. Instead of handing out branded merchandise, they set up three reusable glass jars, each representing a different Scottish charity focused on topics like tree planting, bicycle upcycling, and tackling climate change. Alongside the jars are wooden counters and information outlining the work of each charity.

As students explore the law fair and visit Brodies’ stand, they are encouraged to vote for their preferred charity by dropping a wooden counter into the corresponding jar. At the end of the fair, the votes are tallied, and the charity with the most votes receives a donation from Brodies, equal to the amount they would have spent on promotional merchandise.

This unique approach achieves multiple goals simultaneously. It reduces waste by eliminating the need for branded merchandise, as the jars, counters, and information stands are reused at all law fairs. Additionally, it allows both the students and Brodies to make a charitable impact by supporting local organizations tackling various social and environmental issues in Scotland.



The initiative has proven successful, sparking valuable discussions about sustainability and Brodies’ work in the renewable energy sector among students. It has also allowed for more one-on-one engagement with potential candidates, as students linger at the stand to learn about the voting process and the charities.

Notably, Brodies has observed a regional trend in the voting patterns, with students at different universities tending to favour the charity based in their local area. To address this in future iterations, the firm plans to keep a running total across all law fairs, rather than resetting the vote count at each event.

The initiative has been well-received both internally and externally. Brodies has even seen some candidates explicitly reference this creative sustainability-focused approach in their applications as a factor that attracted them to the firm, indicating the positive impact such efforts can have on employer branding and recruitment.

Going forward, Brodies plans to build on the success of this initiative and explore other sustainable practices within their recruitment processes. They aim to continue reducing waste, promoting environmental causes, and engaging with potential candidates in creative and meaningful ways.

The firm is committed to evaluating and improving their sustainability efforts, ensuring that their recruitment activities align with their values and contribute positively to their environmental impact.

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