If the jury’s still out on whether a career as a lawyer is right for you, here's an overview of commercial law including what skills you need, typical roles available and benefits of working in the sector.
Typical types of law
Depending on your exact specialism and interest, tax lawyers usually investigate things like tax evasions, defending public authorities against private sector claims, prosecuting tax offenders and more. Working in tax law is intellectually demanding and you have to be on the ball and committed to keeping up with all the latest changes and developments in tax law.
Admiralty and Shipping Law
Admiralty and shipping law is one of the longest established areas of commercial law. The work in this area falls into two main areas. ‘Dry’ shipping deals with contract issues, which can range from charter disputes, price, performance or routes, to bills of lading. ‘Wet’ shipping deals with the ships themselves, which can involve their construction, sale, repair, refuelling, insurance, and mortgage. Shipping law also covers other marine craft, such as oil rigs.
Simply put, Media law governs what can be published and broadcast. A media lawyer covers legal issues that relate to the media, including everything from television, advertising and music. Often a media lawyers' case can include high-profile clients such as well-known music stars or actors.
Sports law consists of legal issues when it comes to professional and ameteur sporting, this also includes areas like contracts, competition and intellectual property. A sports lawyer usually travels to different sporting venues, advising celebrities and negotiating contracts - you certainly need a love of sport to be involved in this field.
Read our guide to the different careers in Law to find out more.
Why should you work in commercial law?
Solicitors are among the highest paid professionals in the world. Salaries do vary depending on practice area, which city you work in, which firm you work for, and how experienced you are, however, regardless of this, from day one you can still expect to earn a steady and lucrative income well above the national average.
Read about life in commercial law.
Lawyers are notoriously analytically-minded, focused, and intellectual professionals. Perpetually in the pursuit of knowledge, your brain will need to flex between creative, linear, logical, categorical and rational thought processes every single day. So, if you are looking for a serious challenge, you’re on the right track!
In addition to a healthy salary, you can expect to be rewarded for your long hours with a variety of office perks and corporate benefits. In order to stay competitive in the war for talent, law firms have been clamouring to attract and retain employees with gym memberships, free fitness classes, music lessons, buy-and-sell holiday schemes, medical insurance, subsidised restaurants, dry-cleaning services. Love a freebie? You'll LOVE this...
There are dozens of specialities that you can focus your career on. You can choose to specialise in commercial, corporate, tax, environmental, intellectual property, banking (to name just a few). If you’re not sure where to start, your own interests might just be a good starting point for thinking about where your career can take you.
Opportunity to help others
Of course, we understand that it’s not all about the fat pay packets and on-site gyms. As a lawyer, you will also be in a unique opportunity to help individuals, communities, groups and organisations. Every single day public interest, criminal or pro-bono lawyers are working for the greater good. You can make a real difference in this profession.
Who are the leading employers?
- Clyde & Co
- PwC Legal
- Slaughter and May
- Reed Smith
- Allen & Overy - read more about the key differences between magic circle law firms.
Discover more about the leading graduate employers in commercial law.
Skills you need for this sector
- Interpersonal skills
- Commercial awareness - signup to our commercial awareness updates to get your weekly fix of business news.
- Project management skills
- Negotiation ability
- Time management
- Attention to detail
Learn more about the key skills and qualities you need for commercial law.
Where you can go to find out more
If you're a graduate or student, or you're looking to get your foot into the door, Bright Network's career path guide for commercial law is the perfect place to begin. We've got everything from tips for law students in their first year, our guide to training contracts, how to secure a vacation scheme and how to become a barrister.
How you can get your law career started...
Luckily, we're on hand to help with our application deadline list for commercial law graduate schemes. Apply today!