updated on 16 March 2021
It’s so easy to consume regular, up-to-date information in our modern world, with podcasts and videos being some of the most useful and interactive ways for candidates to work on their commercial awareness. And as the world becomes increasingly digital, there are more podcasts and vloggers than ever on the legal scene for you to be following.
As you know (and as we try not to sound like a broken record), commercial awareness is a key skill that all law firms look for in their future trainees. It is imperative that you can demonstrate this skill at each stage of the application process. So, rather than sitting down the evening before your interview and scouring the Financial Times website for interesting articles in a bid to impress a firm with your new-found knowledge, start early. Not a week early, but months or even years early. It needs to become a way of thinking.
LawCareers.Net recommends the following three podcasts and three vloggers we think you should be following for an alternative means to develop your commercial awareness. The following is not exhaustive and there are lots of other excellent legal content creators out there to investigate, too!
BBC Radio 4 Law in Action
Hosted by Joshua Rozenberg and no more than 30 minutes long, the BBC Radio 4 Law in Action podcast is a “jargon-free but rigorous analysis of the legal stories in, behind, and ahead of the news”. It features reports and discussion on legal matters relating to the law, including recent episodes on legal lessons from Brexit and whether Love Island contestants leave their legal rights at the door of the villa. With a variety of topics available to listen to, it’s a great place to start improving your knowledge on how the law is ingrained in every aspect of society.
The Hardwicke Legal Podcast
Part of Hardwicke Chambers, this podcast offers informal opinions on important legal issues that are affecting individuals, companies and other legal entities. It focuses on the chambers’ key practice areas, including commercial dispute resolution, construction and engineering, insolvency and restructuring, insurance, private client and property. The most recent episode celebrating International Women’s Day features Sally Penni MBE, Brie Stevens-Hoare QC, Morayo Fagborun Bennett and Amanda Illing as they explore the challenges and opportunities facing the Bar, with other episodes on topics including the 10 leading property cases from 2020, as well as insights and summaries from recent cases such as Brushett v Hazeldean – a case “that divided a nation”.
Law Pod UK
Focusing on developments across all aspects of civil and public law in the UK, Law Pod UK is brought to you by barristers at One Crown Office Row. The most recent episode features presenters Rosalind English and Emma-Louise Fenelon in discussion with Gowling WLG’s head of artificial intelligence (AI) and co-author of a new practitioner’s book on AI Matt Hervey. They discuss several topics addressed in Hervey’s book, such as negligence, liability for physical and economical harm, AI and professional liability and AI and intellectual property. The episodes range from 15-40 minutes and cover a range of topics, including the most significant cases of 2020, inquest law updates and the Brexit trade deal.
Simranjeet Kaur Mann
Simran is a trainee solicitor at Womble Bond Dickinson and a vlogger for LCN. Her YouTube channel is a well-rounded picture of the journey to becoming a lawyer. As well as general videos on analysing and improving your law firm applications, for example, Simran also takes her subscribers through the process of analysing articles, plus tips on researching law firms. Not every video is commercial awareness focused but the ones that are will give you a good insight into what your fellow aspiring lawyers are doing to improve their commercial understanding and should motivate you to incorporate such analysis into your day-to-day.
The Business Update
Brought to you by fellow students and young professionals, The Business Update offers insights into key stories in a bid to help you develop your commercial awareness ready for application season. Ranging in length from one minute to just over an hour, the videos attempt to simplify commercial awareness to facilitate your understanding. Recent videos look at the audit industry and how a weakening of the Big Four accountancy firms has affected the legal industry, how fintech has revolutionised banking, and lots more.
You can also find useful content via the LawCareers.Net YouTube channel (a shameless plug), including advice from our very own Matt Broadbent on using the PESTLE technique to analyse a news story through to featured vlogger Simran’s latest video on ways to increase your commercial awareness. You can also catch-up on LCN’s “Understanding commercial awareness” webinar via the channel, which includes advice from Squire Patton Boggs Partner Karen French, Baker McKenzie Graduate Recruitment Officer Lizzie Arthey and Travers Smith future Trainee Solicitor Bernie Rivard.
Other vloggers and podcasts we think you should check out: