CASSANDRA ACQUAH | LEGAL JARGON WRITER
We’re into the season of assessment centres with firms offering applicants a place on these final stages of a very competitive application process- good luck if you’ve been invited to one and good luck if you’re still waiting to hear back!
That being said, it’s important to develop your commercial awareness throughout the process as this will stand you in good stead when you do get invited to that interview or assessment centre. Law firms increasingly want to ensure applicants are able to demonstrate commercial awareness and also, a genuine commercial interest.
This means having an awareness of and interest into business environments, making links about how the stories being read affect different industries, being curious and asking questions about what you are reading and also, having your own opinions about the story and any future impacts it could have.
Assessment centres can involve a range of activities from group and written exercises to case study interviews and being able to demonstrate your commercial interest where applicable will only add to your impressiveness as a candidate.
There are many resources out there to help develop your commercial awareness so it’s important to find the ones that work best for you and that you enjoy as this will help you establish a daily routine for yourself. You should also ensure that you draw on a range of resources to gain an overview and understanding of the story/ topic being researched.
Some resources to check out:
Legal Jargon News Summaries and Blogs
Commercial Law Handbook by Jake Schogger
Commercial Law Assessment Centre Guide by Mindfull Learning
The Tazil Foundation Commercial Awareness Specification
Wake up to Money on BBC Radio 5 Live (available on Spotify and Apple Po
Financial Times Daily News Briefing (available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts)
The Economist Morning Briefing (available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts)
Commercial Awareness with Watson’s Daily Business and Financial News (available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts)
Commercial Law School (on YouTube)
BBC News (the Business tab on their website or app)
The Financial Times
Law firm websites- it is also important to understand how a firm works as a business as part of your commercial awareness. Think about what the firm’s business model is, where its offices are located, if it has recently made lateral hires and if so, into which areas, if it has a sector-focused approach, the strategies it employs to maintain its clients etc.
Questions to ask yourself when reading a story:
It’s important that you analyse the stories being read and consider the implications it could have in other areas. This will provide you with a greater level of understanding of what’s going on which in turn, will make it much easier for you to talk about if prompted during an interview.
When you’re listening to/ reading about a story try and ask yourself these questions:
Who are the main parties involved?
What sector/s does this impact?
Does this link to a wider trend that has been developing recently
Does this link to something else I’ve read recently?
Do I anticipate any risks that could arise from this? How could a law firm get involved here?
We hope you found this short guide helpful- the resources provided here are by no means the only ones out there so please feel free to share any further resources you find useful too!
Cassandra is an aspiring solicitor with interests in retail and media, as well as the steps being taken to increase diversity at all levels within the legal sector.
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