Evening! It’s been a long old day! The title of this post is making the most out of every opportunity!
One of my personal goals that I set myself for the remainder of this academic year and next was to attend as many law related events as possible. You have to make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way!
Earlier on in the semester BPP Law School had visited our university to hold part one of a two part Commercial Awareness course that they hold annually. The second part was going to be at a later date and it would be held in Leeds.
Anyway roll forward a few months and it was time to sign up for part two in Leeds!
So you guessed it, that is where I have been today! On a horrible and miserable day I have been battling with heels that are a real safety hazard in the rain and been carrying around this folder saying ‘Committed to your legal career, including our pit stop to McDonalds on the way home!
Commercial awareness in the world of law is a BIG deal!
A lot of firms are looking for commercially minded individuals that also think outside the legal box so to speak! There were a variety of people there ranging from Barristers to solicitors, teachers that work on either the LPC or GDL at the university to clients themselves. It was surprisingly helpful! Someone asked ‘what is the magic way of landing yourself that magic TC or pupillage… the reply was ‘if we knew that answer we’d be selling it like hotcakes wouldn’t we?’
It was really useful in terms of applications and what to do after the whole finishing uni situation which is approaching extremely quick may I add!
I think what I found particularly useful was that we shouldn’t just send blanket applications- that is not the way forward. We actually need to target applications at firms which we are interested in and that cover the niche area of work we may wish to specialise in! The event stressed the importance of being not just savvy with the law but with life itself! Recruiters are looking for real people, not just walking law text books, they challenged us to think about what makes us stand out from the crowd and how we can make ourselves appealing but have common sense approaches to the law and not to just merely rely on our legal knowledge.
I think we sometimes forget that lawyers and barristers and people that work within a profession are just normal people like us, and the barrister was actually sharing a tale about drinking beer on a bank holiday Monday in Leeds with his friends!
I think it is sometimes all to easy to be sucked into this incredibly competitive and tough market where everyone seems to be competing against anyone.
Recruiters are also looking for law graduates which are willing to adapt and who are willing to adapt to their clients needs because without the clients the bills are going to stack up pretty quickly! It’s good to have knowledge of current general affairs concerning commercialism but now recruiters are looking for evidence of commercial awareness throughout the TC application! There are an awful lot of graduates with the required grades but if you do not suit the firm you are applying for it’s technically a wasted application!
As you may be able to tell I’m feeling quite motivated! After talking to a third year who like me did law and criminology before swapping to straight law I felt like maybe this whole thing of one day getting the lucrative TC could indeed be possible if I am willing to be incredibly motivated and to not give up!
It was also incredibly useful to gain an insight from a client perspective and to see what they look for when hiring a legal professional- you have to think from the clients perspective and you have to be willing to adapt to how they want things to progress. It’s a whole lot more than you might think! Commercial awareness is an attitude of mind said one of the guest speakers and it really did get me thinking.
An acronym was created which spelt out – indicators:
I: Importance (what is important to your client)
N: Needs (what are the needs of your client and are they expressed or implied)
D: Decisions (Your client is relying on your expertise, knowledge and training to form coherent and logical decisions which will affect them)
I: Implementation (Your client will need your guidance and reassurance)
C: Communication (You need to communicate with your client and be willing to adapt to the method in which they want to communicate)
A: Availability (You need to be available to your client as they will need access to you potentially outside of office hours)
T: Timelines (You will have deadlines and be restricted by time limits and need to manage your time efficiently)
R: Relationship (The style of relationship you have with client to client will vary so be willing to adapt!)
S: Special (What is special about you and what makes you stand out from the crowd!?)
There was an hour or so of group session where we were given case studies on the pro’s and con’s of two firms merging (one in the North and one in the south) and then there was a light supper with mini bowls of thai green curry, pinot grigio and then there was pudding (but we left before that)
I’m actually really glad I went, I found it incredibly beneficial and I now admittedly have another certificate to add to Linkedin and my CV! So what is not to love hey?
We finished the day by teeter tottering into McDonalds- folder in hand for a big mac and a free mc flurry!
The typical life of a law student. Food & an abundance of documents and folders! We got a taxi from McDonalds back home and me and my friend Taylor just collapsed onto my bed and had a cheeky cuddle with ‘Bae’ (max)…
The glamorous life of second year law students for you. Ten o’clock bedtimes are a killer for this twenty one year old these days!
My advice to anyone who may stumble across this- Always take every opportunity that comes your way, go to anything with you get a certificate for, broaden your horizons from merely your discipline area and be a well rounded individual with a little insight into as many things as physically possible!
It’s 12am I am exhausted over and out!