Lawstudentsaveme
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I want to apply to law firms, but they all ask for commercial awareness. For someone who is just starting to read the FT and given that applications for TC are closing in a few months time, how far back on commercial news do I need to be caught up on? Also, how do I know once I've become commercially aware? I hear the words being given so much emphasis that I fear I've knocked it before I've tried it. Any recommendations about how I can be commercially aware for a TC and how long the process takes to have a good understanding is much appreciated. THANK YOU!!!! <3
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h0pefulstudent
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I think a key point to note here is that commercial awareness doesn't just mean following the business world news - I have heard it explained (in various law firm insight events) as an awareness and understanding of how businesses work, what might impact them, where challenges/opportunities might arise and where the law comes into all of this. Obviously you do need some sort of awareness of what has been happening in the world and I'm sure reading the FT every day will help, but you do need to actively reflect on the potential impact of what you're reading about.

Instead of worrying about reading the FT every day for months (unless you have spare time and it fascinates you!) I would recommend keeping an eye on the headlines and reading an article from time to time, but when you do read it really try to dissect it and think about the questions it raises. It's very common in TC interviews to be given a FT article and have a 30-minute discussion about it, in which your interviewers are most interested in how you approach the problems and ambiguities. When you do read articles, try to pick out things that interest you - you'll be much more likely to remember them and have things to say about them in an interview.

Hope this helps!
(For context, I've interviewed at various firms and have a MC TC - I have only ever read the FT as panic interview prep)
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Philosopher2020
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(Original post by Lawstudentsaveme)
I want to apply to law firms, but they all ask for commercial awareness. For someone who is just starting to read the FT and given that applications for TC are closing in a few months time, how far back on commercial news do I need to be caught up on? Also, how do I know once I've become commercially aware? I hear the words being given so much emphasis that I fear I've knocked it before I've tried it. Any recommendations about how I can be commercially aware for a TC and how long the process takes to have a good understanding is much appreciated. THANK YOU!!!! <3
I also recommend that you learn a list of business and economics terminology as part of your commercial awareness, such as, turnover, market share, government bonds etc. I also recommend that you find out who the biggest clients are in the firm you are applying to and then research their sector. So if the airlines are the biggest client, you could read a magazine called Aviation for latest commercial news.
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Lawstudentsaveme
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(Original post by h0pefulstudent)
I think a key point to note here is that commercial awareness doesn't just mean following the business world news - I have heard it explained (in various law firm insight events) as an awareness and understanding of how businesses work, what might impact them, where challenges/opportunities might arise and where the law comes into all of this. Obviously you do need some sort of awareness of what has been happening in the world and I'm sure reading the FT every day will help, but you do need to actively reflect on the potential impact of what you're reading about.

Instead of worrying about reading the FT every day for months (unless you have spare time and it fascinates you!) I would recommend keeping an eye on the headlines and reading an article from time to time, but when you do read it really try to dissect it and think about the questions it raises. It's very common in TC interviews to be given a FT article and have a 30-minute discussion about it, in which your interviewers are most interested in how you approach the problems and ambiguities. When you do read articles, try to pick out things that interest you - you'll be much more likely to remember them and have things to say about them in an interview.

Hope this helps!
(For context, I've interviewed at various firms and have a MC TC - I have only ever read the FT as panic interview prep)
Thank you so much!! That helped a lot
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Lawstudentsaveme
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(Original post by JessPhilosophy)
I also recommend that you learn a list of business and economics terminology as part of your commercial awareness, such as, turnover, market share, government bonds etc. I also recommend that you find out what the biggest clients are in the firm you are applying and then research their sector. So if the airlines are the biggest client, you could read a magazine called Aviation for latest commercial news.
I will do that, thank you so much!!
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EU Yakov
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tbf everyone uses the term differently
for me it means knowing broadly about how the business world works - usually M&A, finance - and also how law firms work as businesses, how the legal market is changing, the usual stuff
different firms test you on different things. there are interview experiences on corporate law academy (<3) and this forum. you should be adjusting your 'commercial awareness' prep to fit each interview.
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lawstudentss123
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Reading the FT is one way to start, but like someone already mentioned you'd have to also reflect on why that particular headline matters/what it means for the law firm you're applying for and the legal industry at large. I found the best way of getting on top of my commercial awareness is reading newsletters that break down what happened, who was involved and why it matters. I highly recommend a new newsletter called Legit - it runs you through a few headlines in enough detail that you'd feel comfortable talking about it in your apps/interviews. It was started by a Cambridge law grad (i think?), gets sent out every Monday and is free.. Failing that - finimize.
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