Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about a career in the law.
What is commercial awareness?
Why should I choose law over other professions? Don’t pursue a legal career for the sake of it or because you’ve
Law firms often stress that their lawyers must be ‘commercially aware’, which is a phrase that can cause confusion. In essence, it means that commercial lawyers deal with more than just the law. They must understand the client’s business and the market/ environment in which it operates, and be proactive in spotting and suggesting ways to avoid potential problems that the client might face. Commercial awareness will not mean the same thing to a student as it will to an experienced businessperson, and nobody expects you to be an economic expert. What firms are looking for is a combination of basic knowledge, common sense, interest and enthusiasm for commercial matters, and, most importantly, the ability and willingness to ‘think business’.
heard that it pays well; you must have a strong desire to be a lawyer in order to succeed. Do you find law interesting? Is there a particular area of law that has already caught your attention? Are you the kind of person who would thrive in a legal environment? The only way to really find out whether law is for you is by doing some work experience within and outside of the legal profession. What skills and strengths do you need to be a good lawyer? A number of core skills are needed to be a good lawyer – many of them you can hone through your academic studies and work experience. The core strengths sought by legal recruiters are: • intellectual ability;
How important are grades at A level and uni? Law is an intellectually rigorous career, which is why firms and
• motivation; • resilience; • accuracy/attention to detail;
• teamwork; • leadership; • commercial awareness; and • communication skills. If you have the majority of these, law could be a good option for you!
chambers require excellent academics; in fact, many simply won’t look at applicants who have less than a 2.1 degree, and As and Bs at A level. It is therefore vital that you get the best grades you possibly can.
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