There are many steps along the way to becoming a commercial lawyer and each step comes with its intricacies and pitfalls. The best way to be successful is to take each step at a time and understand what you can do to ensure you are on your way to achieving your overall goal. Below are a few tips to help you along the way. It is by no means a comprehensive list, but they do cover some of the most common questions and missteps that can lead you astray.
Your applications and interviews
Know the role
At first glance this headline may sound strange. You would not apply for a role on a vacation scheme or directly for a training contract if you did not understand the role of a lawyer. But, how much do you know about the different stages of your future career? A trainee’s role is different to that of an associate which is different to operating as a partner. At this stage, do you know the role of a trainee? How would you describe their work on a transaction? How will you keep yourself motivated when working long hours or on monotonous tasks? The more you can think about this ahead of your application the better prepared you will be answer these questions in an interview.
Know the firm
You will always be asked, on an application form as well as in an interview, why you have applied to that particular employer. Be ready to answer this question with distinct examples of what distinguishes us from our competitors. You can do this by ensuring you know as much as possible about us as well as our direct competitors. Many firms offer excellent training, top quality work, secondment opportunities and seat rotations which allow you to learn more about distinct areas of law. Try to look within these points to uncover the differences across firms. We want to know that you have made a considered decision to apply to Linklaters and we want to understand the reasons behind your decision. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate all the research you undertook at the beginning of the process.
Know the meaning of commercial awareness
Commercial awareness can still be an elusive concept. Simply put, we are looking for students who can put complex ideas into client friendly and commercially focused terms. When reading the business news think about whether you understand the terms and phrases within an article. For example, what does it means to hold shares in a company and how do they work? What would shareholders be concerned about in the context of a merger or acquisition? Where does the money come from to make these deals happen and are there different ways to raise money? Understanding the meaning behind the jargon will begin to help you understand where your legal knowledge can add value to a commercial transaction.
Find out more about Linklaters here.