What does it mean to be commercially aware?

In my opinion and in terms of the legal context, very simply put, it means being aware of the recent and most notable developments happening in the legal sector.

Why is this important?

  • For interview purposes – In one of the interviews I did, I was asked to speak about whether the retirement age of judges should be moved up or not 😱(don’t get scared, I will give you some interview tips I came along which will help you feel more confident) and in another I was asked to talk about a recent case I had read about in the news.
  • For pupillage or mini-pupillage applications – This is because sometimes Sets may ask you why you are interested in applying to them, and if you know a barrister from that set was representing a client from a massive case that has had a significant effect on the legal sector, you would definitely stand out if you mention this in your application.

So from the above examples it’s clear how important being commercially aware is. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds:

  • for a general overview of the legal developments, I would recommend reading the Guardian Law section;
  • for an update on the cases the Inner Temple Current Awareness section;
  • depending on the area of law you are interested in, there are some specific blogs you may wish to have a look at. The LawCareersNet site has a selection of the fantastic links to blogs that can help you.

All you have to do is make time to read the specific links once a week and you will feel more confident with the applications you make and interviews you attend. All the best!

***Note: this image does not belong to me. I got this image from the debute careers website.