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How to develop your Commercial Awareness

Syeda Mahi is a penultimate year History student at King's College London and is an aspiring corporate solicitor. In her blog post below, she talks all things Commercial Awareness. A buzz word that all legal professionals are familiar with, Commercial Awareness is an integral skill to that is essential to anyone who wishes to pursue a career within the legal sector!

Anyone applying to corporate law firms for open days/vacation schemes/training contracts is all too familiar with questions that ask you to showcase your commercial awareness. Keep reading to find out how you can develop your commercial awareness to ace these questions!


What is commercial awareness?

Commercial awareness can be defined as being conscious of developments in the business world. Aspiring lawyers are expected to be able to relate their commercial awareness to the legal sector.


Why is commercial awareness important?

When advising clients, solicitors must have a firm grasp on how their clients’ business operates, what it does and wider business considerations. They then need to advise clients accordingly and consider how other factors might be affected by any legal action they take.


Image source: https://medium.com/construction-global/five-skyscrapers-that-will-further-shape-central-londons-skyline-1f86a987d288


So, how do I develop my commercial awareness?

Commercial awareness cannot be developed overnight and has to be established over a period of time. Luckily for you, we have a list of easily integrable ways to develop your commercial awareness.


Keep up to date with the news

When reading about current affairs and developments, think about how these developments will affect businesses and law firms. Many universities have subscriptions to business newspapers such as the Financial Times and The Economist.


King’s students can click here to find out how to access these newspapers for free.


Podcasts

Bright Network: Thinking Commercially

  • A podcast catered for students and recent graduates that discusses the main business trends of the present. They keep it simple and focus on providing an insight into the business world, companies and the economy as a whole.

Linkubator (Linklaters)

  • A student led podcast series catered for students, helping them develop their understanding of how technology is changing the legal sector.

BBC Radio 4 Beyond Today

  • For students looking to develop their knowledge on more focused topics, this is the podcast for you. They cover one big story from the news every day and answer questions such as, ‘Will coronavirus take away our jobs?’.

Herbert Smith Freehills Podcast

  • Lawyers from HSF discuss a wide range of topics such as cyber security and coronavirus and the law.

Newsletters


I hope this was helpful in providing you tips on your journey to developing your commercial awareness!

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