Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

How to irelate commercial awareness into law firm’s business?

Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I’ve attended many workshops/talks/presentations on commercial awareness and read Ch. Stoakes’ books, got familiar with business press and I am more aware of what is happening in the business sector right now.

    However, the problem that I am facing is – how to use that information ? If I am invited to an interview I might be asked about sovereign debt crisis, about Greece leaving the Eurozone, or to give an opinion whether Europe should concentrate on growth or austerity measures. That is fine for me, I can discuss the issues currently in the news.

    What I fail to see is – how to implement this information into what actually law firms are doing ? What impact does the possibility of Greece leaving the Euro has on law firm business? I take it that I should ask myself a question: what are the risks for the clients ? But I completely fail to see the bigger picture not even mentioning about the details.

    The worst thing is – that I do not know where to search for those answers ? Correct me if I am wrong but I suppose that going through deals that law firms work on and which are listed online won’t help me much in this matter. So how to get this broader picture ? How to hit it on nail ? I suppose there is a way/pattern to get around this ? If somebody could shed some light on it I would be really grateful!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    There isn't really a way to learn commercial awareness in one go. It's just a pervasive area. I think it's a good idea to try and get a framework in your head when faced with a business issue i.e. what does this mean for clients? How will they react? Also, I think you should research a little further into exactly what it is a commercial lawyer does - if you understand that fully, linking commercial issues to legal practice will be a lot easier.

    One useful tool is the 'Burning Question' feature on lawcareers.

    http://www.lawcareers.net/information/BurningQuestion/
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Benjamin1989)
    There isn't really a way to learn commercial awareness in one go. It's just a pervasive area. I think it's a good idea to try and get a framework in your head when faced with a business issue i.e. what does this mean for clients? How will they react? Also, I think you should research a little further into exactly what it is a commercial lawyer does - if you understand that fully, linking commercial issues to legal practice will be a lot easier.

    One useful tool is the 'Burning Question' feature on lawcareers.

    http://www.lawcareers.net/information/BurningQuestion/
    Thanks for your help, but it doesn't really answer my question.
    I know that it's impossible to learn commercial awareness in one go, what I am asking about is how to develop that kind of framework - and by and large by referring to Ch. Stoakes books (which are great btw) and by reading financial press, I don't see how when faced with a case study scenario in the assessment centre you can link all these information together in a neat way and give the answer that is expected.

    The framework that you refer to - I try to keep it in mind, but still I cannot connect all the points. What kind of issues I should have in mind ? Is it insurance, currency ?
    I was told that it's all about risk management, but it does not seem very precise, as it could mean all kinds of things...
    • 17 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tanya_Dzirigorova)
    it does not seem very precise, as it could mean all kinds of things...
    This is the problem. Commercial awareness is an extremely vague term that means different things to different people.

    To me it just means common sense in a business context. Reading the financial press and Chris Stoakes' books will help, but ultimately it is the application of common sense to commercial situations. The idea behind commercial awareness is being able to understand what the client actually wants from you as his lawyer.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tanya_Dzirigorova)
    I’ve attended many workshops/talks/presentations on commercial awareness and read Ch. Stoakes’ books, got familiar with business press and I am more aware of what is happening in the business sector right now.

    However, the problem that I am facing is – how to use that information ? If I am invited to an interview I might be asked about sovereign debt crisis, about Greece leaving the Eurozone, or to give an opinion whether Europe should concentrate on growth or austerity measures. That is fine for me, I can discuss the issues currently in the news.

    What I fail to see is – how to implement this information into what actually law firms are doing ? What impact does the possibility of Greece leaving the Euro has on law firm business? I take it that I should ask myself a question: what are the risks for the clients ? But I completely fail to see the bigger picture not even mentioning about the details.

    The worst thing is – that I do not know where to search for those answers ? Correct me if I am wrong but I suppose that going through deals that law firms work on and which are listed online won’t help me much in this matter. So how to get this broader picture ? How to hit it on nail ? I suppose there is a way/pattern to get around this ? If somebody could shed some light on it I would be really grateful!
    When I was doing interviews, I thought the way to link current affairs etc to how it will actually effect the firm, is generally to stick to quite broad and general consequences and just think about what departments the firm has and what they do that might be effected. For example, taking Greece leaving the Euro;

    Presumably this would create a high volatility in the markets, and generally be crap for the world economy as banks default, countries move back into recession etc. So assuming your going for a City law firm if your reading Stoakes' book, this would probably discourage a firms clients from making big investments, as they will have no money. So the corporate department may be a bit screwed in the short term, as they would be doing things like M+A.

    On the upside for the law firm, lots of businesses going under means a lot of work for restructuring departments, and probably a lot more litigation as clients start to care about getting their money back if things have tanked.

    I'd then probably say something like continued economic failure might lead to more pressure on regulators to be tougher on "the banks" so might be stricter rules on things like derivatives. So if the firm has a structured finance or capital markets division, they might be a bit screwed too.

    Sorry if I've rambled. The key is I think just looking at the individual departments of the firm, and thinking were all their money comes from.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jasonm)
    When I was doing interviews, I thought the way to link current affairs etc to how it will actually effect the firm, is generally to stick to quite broad and general consequences and just think about what departments the firm has and what they do that might be effected. For example, taking Greece leaving the Euro;

    Presumably this would create a high volatility in the markets, and generally be crap for the world economy as banks default, countries move back into recession etc. So assuming your going for a City law firm if your reading Stoakes' book, this would probably discourage a firms clients from making big investments, as they will have no money. So the corporate department may be a bit screwed in the short term, as they would be doing things like M+A.

    On the upside for the law firm, lots of businesses going under means a lot of work for restructuring departments, and probably a lot more litigation as clients start to care about getting their money back if things have tanked.

    I'd then probably say something like continued economic failure might lead to more pressure on regulators to be tougher on "the banks" so might be stricter rules on things like derivatives. So if the firm has a structured finance or capital markets division, they might be a bit screwed too.

    Sorry if I've rambled. The key is I think just looking at the individual departments of the firm, and thinking were all their money comes from.
    Thanks a lot! It seems to make much more sense to approach it from that perspective. I think it's also more useful, since by applying this method you are also becoming more aware of what different departments deal with.
    I'll definitely try it out.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: May 27, 2012
New on TSR

Personal statement help

Use our clever tool to create a PS you're proud of.

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.