What I learnt from attending the LawCareersNetLIVE London event
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A few weeks ago I was privileged enough to be able to attend the LawCareersNetLIVE event in London. The event is designed to help aspiring solicitors learn more about the role of a solicitor, improve their commercial awareness through interactive workshops and meet recruiters. The event was really useful for various reasons, and I would definitely recommend it to budding solicitors as I learnt a huge amount during the day.
The day began with a series of welcome talks, which included a speech from the keynote speaker who was a partner at a London law firm and a panel of legal professionals discussing the law firm ‘as a business’. These talks served as a brilliant introduction to the day as they gave a taster of what the day would hold and grappled from the get-go with the concept of commercial awareness in relation to the functioning of law firms. The biggest take-away that I got from the panel discussion was that the legal sector and law firms are constantly evolving but that their evolution is ultimately directed by their clients’ needs within whichever market they function, because law firms are businesses themselves.
After the welcome talks and panel discussion, the delegates attended different morning workshops. I attended a workshop about international M&A where the leaders outlined the key stages within a typical M&A deal. These include:
- the preliminary stage, which involves steps like the signing of confidentiality agreements;
- the due diligence stage – the process by which the target gives the purchaser information about itself; and
- the implementation stage – whereby the final documents are signed and the transfer occurs.
It was really beneficial to work through the different steps, which were supplemented by interesting information about international M&A deals in the context of that particular firm.
The morning activities were followed by a networking lunch, and there were a series of such networking breaks throughout the day. These enabled delegates to find out about individual firms through conversation. The layout was similar to that of a law fair with each firm having their own stand. These sorts of occasions are the perfect opportunity to ask personalised questions as the setting is formal but comfortable, meaning it was easy to talk to firms about their specific work individually.
My second, and final, workshop was the most interesting of the day, in my opinion. It was about the lifecycle of a company and was very interactive. We learnt about the stages in the development of a company and worked in groups to find answers to essential questions that companies might be faced with at each stage of their developments. These included, for example, questions about how to fund projects, how to protect themselves in a competitive market and what their options are for legal advice.
Finally, we sat down for our final panel Q&A, which was on key advice for applicants. The main pieces of advice imparted were to:
- research the firm well;
- show your enthusiasm and passion for the firm;
- highlight why you want to work at that firm specifically; and
- weave your commercial awareness in naturally.
One of the standout pieces of advice was: don’t forget to let your personality shine through – which was something that really resonated with me. It is sometimes difficult, when you’re wrapped up trying to show your technical knowledge, to get your sense of humour or personality across.
Overall, the day was really useful and located in a beautiful venue; I would definitely recommend LawCareersNetLIVE events. It has helped me so much to refine my choices for law firm applications and what I learnt there has certainly boosted my confidence.