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7 Steps to Prepare for a Career in Commercial Law

August 12, 2022

7 Steps to Prepare for a Career in Commercial Law

This guest blog is an adaptation of original Linkedin post by Ines Pinheiro, a future trainee solicitor who is in line to commence a training contract with DLA Piper in 2024.

Ines came to the UK from Portugal and as a newcomer to the UK found it very challenging to find the resources to help prepare for career in commercial law in this country. Having found little or no guidance from Universities, this practical guide is the result of several years of seeking out the best advice and resources. 

Although there have been a couple of exceptions in the past, generally speaking Florit Legal doesn’t work on recruitment projects focused on paralegals or trainee solicitors, since most organisations prefer a direct hiring strategy for these sorts of positions, so we are republishing Ines’s post as a blog, with her kind permission, since her insights will be useful to you if you are a law student or paralegal applying for training contracts and have a good degree under your belt.

Over to you Ines….  

Trying to get into commercial law but don’t know where to start? See below 👇

I wish I had been given a list of materials or a to-do list when I decided to pursue a career in commercial law. So I will save you the work and will tell you exactly what you need. 😀

1. Build your commercial awareness

Building your commercial awareness is crucial. For that I recommend:

  1. Reading Watson’s Daily every day and listening to the Watson’s Daily podcast.
  2. Listening to The Economist and the Financial Times podcasts, they are free.
  3. The BBC “Wake Up to Money” podcast is also good. Listening to Bright Network’s podcast “Thinking Commercially”.
  4. Reading “The City” and “All You Need to Know About Commercial Awareness” by Chris Stoakes.

2. Sign up to email newsletters

Building your commercial awareness takes time and consistency, but if you’re ever in a rush, I recommend you sign up to email newsletters from:

  1. LittleLaw.
  2. The Corporate Law Academy (TCLA).
  3. The Law Society Gazette.
  4. The Lawyer Portal.

The monthly “Current Affairs Wrap Up” delivered by Peter Watson and Jake Schogger is also really good.

3. Get to know the internal workings of legal teams

Getting to know the internal workings of a legal team will allow you to know what type of place will suit you best. For that I recommend:

  1. Completing as many Forage programmes as you can (I cannot recommend this enough).
  2. Participating in Bright Network’s virtual internships.
  3. Participating in Legal Cheek’s virtual internships.
  4. Going to court and seeing the law in practice.

4. Get a mentor

Having a mentor who helps you explore your interests can really make a difference. I recommend you check:

  1. Aspiring Solicitors.
  2. Rare Recruitment.
  3. STRIVE.
  5. SEO London Corporate Law.

5. Prepare for psychometric assessments

Before applying for jobs (vacation schemes, training contracts or other placements) you’ll realise that you may need to complete a psychometric test.

  1. For Watson Glaser tests I recommend reading “Critical Thinking Tests” by HOW2BECOME LIMITED.
  2. For situation judgement tests (and also Watson Glaser tests) I recommend signing up to JobTestPrep.

6. Get inspired

✍️ Before you start writing your application, you can get inspiration from:

  1. The Corporate Law Academy (TCLA) application bank (they have most firms).
  2. Congrapps – a portal that provides you access to past successful applications.

7. Do your homework before interviews and assessment centres

👩🏻‍💻To prepare for interviews and assessment centres, I think there is nothing better than:

  1. “The Commercial Law Handbook” by Jake Schogger.
  2. The Commercial Law Academy online courses.
  3. The Corporate Law Academy (TCLA) courses.
  4. The “Commercial Law Assessment Centre Guide” by Mindfull Learning .
  5. The BeComAware courses. 

🤝For negotiations and team exercises I recommend joining Watson’s Daily Thursday call where you’ll be able to debate hot topics with people from different unis.

Wishing you the best of luck in your journey. 🤍✨

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