With the recruitment market as competitive as ever, law firms should be getting more and more serious about the freebies it doles out to potential trainees. Pens, Post-it notes, corporate umbrellas and mugs just don’t really cut it anymore.

But are standards slipping? The most random freebie at Nottingham Law fair last week was the Allen & Overy hand-warmer. It’s not entirely clear what it has to do with securing a training contract, but it proved very helpful waiting at the platform for the train home.

The other useful giveaway was the Bird & Bird towel. Well, it seemed useful until it moulted upon use and left blue and white fluff everywhere.

Sweets are always popular. Weil Gotshal & Manges had mini bags of Haribo on its stand, while Addleshaw Goddard was handing out lollipops, which according to a number of people looked very similar to packets of condoms. Perhaps the latter would be a better gift for students?