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Commercial awareness

Welcome to the Commercial awareness hub, sponsored by Mayer Brown International LLP

updated on 24 August 2023

Commercial awareness is a key skill that all law firms look for in their applicants. Understanding what commercial awareness is and how you can demonstrate yours is fundamental to your success.

LawCareers.Net’s Commercial awareness hub, sponsored by Mayer Brown International LLP, has all the information you need. Whether you’re just starting out on your commercial awareness journey, are applying for vacation schemes or getting ready for that all-important training contract interview, we’ve got you covered.

At Mayer Brown we recognise that developing commercial awareness is something that all our fee earners – trainees to partners – have to continuously invest in. In order to successfully advise our clients, our lawyers need to develop a deep and meaningful understanding of the sectors they operate in, their strategic aims, and potential challenges they might face. A great applicant should demonstrate an intellectual curiosity in the work we do, showcase their knowledge and understanding of how a law firm operates as a business, and show genuine enthusiasm for building commercial awareness from day one!” – Mayer Brown International LLP

There’s a huge variety of commercial awareness-related content for you to digest on LawCareers.Net:

  • Commercial Questions: these weekly articles written by lawyers at leading law firms are designed to get you thinking about commercial issues in a legal context.

    You can access the latest Commercial Questions via the Commercial awareness hub, find the full directory of articles on the Commercial Question page itself or register for a free LawCareers.Net account to have them delivered straight to your inbox. 
  • Wrestle with PESTLE: LawCareers.Net’s ‘Wrestle with PESTLE’ (WWP) series looks at various business case studies using the PESTLE technique – it involves applying six external factors to analyse the impact on a business and/or industry. You can find the latest WWPs on the Commercial awareness hub.
  • Commercial news round-up: every Thursday LawCareers.Net summarises a selection of the top commercial news from the past week to keep you in the know.
  • COMMERCIAL CONNECT podcasts: hosted by LawCareers.Net’s Niamh Gray, the monthly COMMERCIAL CONNECT podcast series is designed to help you apply the PESTLE technique to various commercial issues.
  • COMMERCIAL CONNECT newsletter: each month we pull together our latest commercial awareness content to support your development and ensure you’re up to date. If you’ve registered for a LawCareers.Net account, you’ll receive this newsletter to your inbox on the first Friday of every month.
  • Masterclasses: in collaboration with leading law firms, LawCareers.Net’s virtual masterclasses are a great way to find out about the work that law firms are involved with in relation to specific practice areas, including real estate, dispute resolution and intellectual property. Check the Events page for the latest upcoming sessions and catch up with our recent masterclasses via YouTube.
  • LawCareersNetLIVE: for a chance to put your commercial acumen to the test, make sure you apply to our annual LawCareersNetLIVE careers conferences that take place in November and December. Find out more about LawCareersNetLIVE and how to apply today!

On top of the above, keep an eye on our Features, LCN Says and Oracles for tips on how you can show firms you ‘think business’, as well as general guides to this skill.

You can also read our Practice Area Profile interviews with solicitors and barristers for insights into the commercial issues at the forefront of specific practice areas.

Welcome to your commercial awareness journey – we’ll be there every step of the way as you develop this vital skill and start understanding how the business world impacts what lawyers do.