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    I tried reading the FT... Do I need to know everything on there? What section do I focus on?

    They have lots of irrelevant issues like the sexism thing with those lawyers on LinkedIn & who Labour's new leader is... These will not affect commercial law firms?

    Currently, what kinds of commercial knowledge should I have?
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    (Original post by p3ssimist)
    I tried reading the FT... Do I need to know everything on there? What section do I focus on?

    They have lots of irrelevant issues like the sexism thing with those lawyers on LinkedIn & who Labour's new leader is... These will not affect commercial law firms?

    Currently, what kinds of commercial knowledge should I have?
    You don't have to read the FT - there's plenty of other newspapers or publications that you might prefer reading and that might help you absorb the awareness better than the FT (many people find it too hard work, dry or too technical).

    It depends on the firm's you are looking to apply to. The stories you follow should be tailored to them but at the same time follow your own interests.

    For instance if you are applying to more regional/national firms whose client base and work is predominately UK matters, you might want to focus on economic and political matters that will influence the firm and its clients. If you are applying to international firms you need to have a broader view, looking at both domestic and international matters.

    It isn't necessarily about having technical knowledge, it's more about being able to common sense analysis why things are happening, and what the impact might be on businesses and then in turn law firms.

    My advice is always to follow news stories that you "connect" with better. Maybe it's a sector that interests you or you have some form of basic knowledge about. Maybe it relates to a module you are enjoying studying, some work experience or even is in the same sector you have done some part time work in. Read the articles/news stories about them. Whenever you don't understand a bit of jargon, then read up on that. This will help you build up a broader spectrum of knowledge. By choosing something you connect with, you will find it less of a chore to read and also you are more likely to absorb it and retain the knowledge.

    However, if you are applying to any commercial firm you should be able to hold an opinion on and have a basic understanding of what is happening with the following (at the moment):

    - issues in the EU - this is a pretty broad spectrum in itself, but in particular financial matters and the instability of certain EU economies, price of the Euro, embargo on Russia.

    - Chinese financial markets and the issues there - in particular how it may impact businesses here

    - What if Britain leaves the EU in 2017?

    - Continued low oil prices and the impact on businesses.

    I'm the least commercially minded person I know - so those on here with TCs will probably also give you a better idea of what else to follow.

    Also have an idea of how law firms operate and how they make money/profit. Being commercially aware is not only for the firm to see you will be interested and engaged with the businesses/clients you will work for, but also how you will in the (very distant) future be commercially minded enough to make your business commercially viable.








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    (Original post by p3ssimist)
    I tried reading the FT... Do I need to know everything on there? What section do I focus on?

    They have lots of irrelevant issues like the sexism thing with those lawyers on LinkedIn & who Labour's new leader is... These will not affect commercial law firms?

    Currently, what kinds of commercial knowledge should I have?
    Ok so this is the exact opposite of what 'commercial awareness' is! Please, please do not see commercial awareness as just knowing what's happening around the business/legal world and regurgitating it.

    I always say that commercial awareness is a mindset, it's a way of thinking. It's the ability to get the cogs whirring in your brain when there is a seemingly unrelated news story that you come across, and to think about how that particular story will have an impact on various sectors (including, but not limited to, the legal sector).

    To give you an example, I just went on to the BBC website and Jeremy Corbyn is making the headlines right now. So at first glance you think 'ah but that's politics, nothing to do with the law firm I'm applying to or their clients'. Right? Wrong.

    Think about it. Politics necessarily affects the society, and corporate law firms' clients in a pretty big way! So the next logical step is to see what Corbyn is all about. What would happen if he came in to power? What does he stand for?

    I don't want to go into detail, but one example is People's quantitative easing.

    What impact would it have? Well, if you read up on it a bit more, he wants to basically print money and invest that in infrastructure. So, construction firms, for example, would benefit massively. Employment rate would increase. Consumer confidence might increase as a result, which might mean good news for things like the retail sector. All these things have an impact on a law firm, and the economy at large. Inflation might increase, causing interest rates to rise to deal with that, which will have an effect on gold prices. A rise in interest rates in the UK might mean bad news for law firms' private equity practises because wealthy individuals might not see the UK as attractive any more. Etc etc. You get the gist. It's about making all these links in your head, and that only comes from reading widely and understanding how the world around you works. Only then will commercial awareness make sense. It doesn't even have to necessarily be right, but interviewers will be impressed that you're making these links and forecasts.

    If you know the economy etc isn't your strong point (it certainly isn't mine), don't think it's all too technical for you. It literally is just common sense with a foundation of knowing how the world around you works. Try buying some books. I heard 'Know the City' is really good but haven't read it personally.
 
 
 
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