How can you make sure you demonstrate commercial awareness when you apply to or interview for training contract or vacation scheme with a law firm?
If you’re considering applying to a law firm for a training contract or vacation scheme two words you will almost certainly have heard repeatedly are “commercial awareness”.
Although commercial awareness is not always the easiest concept to define, there is no doubt that both law firms and recruiters place real emphasis on it so here are 5 tips that should help you develop your own commercial awareness for use in your applications and your interviews:
Keep an eye on the business sections in the quality newspapers/websites (i.e. The Times or Telegraph or BBC News … not The Sun or Facebook!)
Sign up to free podcasts. Whether the topic is business, Brexit or even business development, there’s likely to be a podcast available that’ll help you get up to speed while you’re on the move.
Talk to contacts already in business or practicing in a law firm, they will be able to give you an invaluable “insider’s view”.
Draw on the experience you’ve built up during your previous jobs or volunteering as to the types of issues you or the business experienced on a day-to-day basis. This is perhaps the most important tip as when it comes to building your commercial awareness, nothing will beat real life experience.
Bear in mind the areas your target firm/s operate in. For example, if you’re applying for a regional commercial firm, it is worth keeping updated on local business news so that you understand the main sectors and key players in the region and have the examples to hand that’ll immediately mark you out as more informed and more credible than the other candidates in the process.