Keeping connected: How aspiring lawyers can effectively network remotely

Networking is vital for anyone wanting to break into the legal profession and secure an ever-coveted vacation scheme or training contract. Speaking to individuals associated with a firm, from future trainees to partners, is vital to understanding a firm’s work and culture. Not only that but it also helps you to know if you would be a good fit for the company. Networking and making connections with graduate recruiters can also be a good way to help make your application stand out. As the pandemic continues to shape the way we socialise, in person networking events have been put on hold – but that doesn’t mean you can’t network! Whilst canapes and in person presentations are (for now maybe) a thing of the past, law firms and legal recruitment organisations have been working hard to keep students connected to legal professionals - albeit virtually. In fact, over the past few months legal networking opportunities have only become more accessible to students all over the country. These tips should help you make the most of all the exciting virtual networking opportunities out there.

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The Inns of court: What are they and why are they important?

Possessing deep historical importance within the legal profession, the collective term “Inns of Court” encompasses four legal societies, or “Inns”, which play a key role in the process of qualifying as a barrister. Their most notable function is that they have the sole, exclusive right of admitting qualified students to the English Bar (i.e. the formal recognition of barristers completing their vocational training). Other functions include teaching, offering guidance and providing scholarships to prospective barristers.

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10 Top Tips for Law Firm Applications

Applying for law firms can be a daunting process. However, it is likely that you already have lots of the skills and qualities of a successful candidate, it’s all about communicating them. Follow these ten tips to make sure you show your best self in your application and stand out from the crowd!

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How law firms test your commercial awareness throughout the application process

Commercial awareness is a buzzword that never ceases to mystify applicants. Countless articles and books exist breaking down what commercial awareness “actually is”. Nevertheless, commercial awareness remains an important skill to demonstrate throughout the application process and law firms will be testing applicants in different ways at different stages in the journey to getting a Training Contract.

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A Commercial Awareness Morning Routine

Being commercially aware is key to succeeding in any job in law or business, particularly in vacation scheme or training contract applications! Firms want to ensure applicants have both a sound grounding in commercial issues and an understanding of how they impact the legal market. Whilst commercial awareness might seem like a mythical area to tackle, taking simple steps every day to keep up to date with business news can get you thinking like a lawyer in no time! Adopting an easy and quick morning routine is a great way to incorporate commercial awareness practice into your daily schedule. The following recommendations should help you develop your commercial awareness to succeed in interviews and applications.

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Should universities teach commercial awareness as part of the legal curriculum?

Commercial awareness essentially underpins all business, whether identifying growing marketplaces or the consequences of conflicting industry objectives, the achievements of collaborative mergers or even the wider determinants of social, economic or technological factors. All of these components formulate the environment in which businesses not only seek to survive in, but ultimately thrive. So, if commercial awareness is so important, should Universities be teaching it?

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Training Contract: Expectations v Realities

Everyone wants a training contract. From the glamour of Suits to the gripping intensity of Better Call Saul, television paints a varied but thrilling picture of life as a lawyer. But a slightly bleaker version is seen from the interviewee comments on Chambers Student or RollOnFriday. With these different narratives, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about starting (or applying for) a training contract. However, the truth is everyone’s training contract is unique. You will work in different teams for a range of fee earners, who come from different backgrounds and have different working styles. Let’s debunk some of the most common assumptions about the training contract experience.

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What’s in the bag of a law student?

Whether it’s for a day of motivating yourself through online lectures at home or a day out to the library, here are some essential items for the law student’s bag to get you through that nasty chapter in your Trusts textbook.

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3 habits you can build to improve your commercial awareness

At this point, the importance of commercial awareness for aspiring lawyers is well documented. It is an increasingly sought-after characteristic in candidates. What constitutes commercial awareness is debatable and there are many definitions. This article will focus on developing three habits to develop commercial awareness. These habits can be seen as three key strategies which are defined as absorption, analysis, and explanation.

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