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COMMERCIALLY AWARE (Read 3655 times)
Junior Member

teribilis est locus iste

Posts: 30
Gender: female
Feb 18th, 2005 at 4:19pm
what is a good answer when you are asked,


Also what kind of commercial experience is out there for students who want to pursue a career in commercial law? Aside from getting a placement in a commercial law firm!

Thank you!!!
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Junior Member

Young, Educated, Jobless
& Hungry!

Posts: 28
Of no fixed abode...Scotland
Gender: male
Reply #1 - Feb 18th, 2005 at 7:04pm
Ah, the Dreaded interview questions...(i always like the one where they ask for transferrable skills from your job as a Checkout Monkey and how they are applicable in a trainee placement).

There is no right answer on How to address this type of question, A good starter point is to draw on the Commercial experience of your Education, what you learned from the Commercial classes you have studied.  Also from any experience in previous employment where you may have had commercial exposure & try some simple commerce-speak terms like "supply & demand".

Another good idea is to make yourself aware of the "business of the firm" you are going to see beforehand.  It seems odd but interviewers seem to love it when you tell them what they already know about their firm. Also if you can, think of questions which you can ask about the business of the firm this will show you have an interest as you want to know more. If you know any businesses that the firm has acted for try bring in what they are doing also.

Try also to think about the current trends in the legal environment. (eg there is a belief that we are becoming an Americanised "Compensation Culture" but actual figures do not suggest an unexpected increase in litigation).

The other problem with this question is it is Very Objective, and the right answer can depend entirely on who is asking it.  the above cover the main areas you can draw an answer from, but above all you should remember not to waffle or you risk losing their interest.  Stick to talking about the points you understand and can show enthusiasm about.
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If I'd done it when I was supposed to I wouldn't have anything to do now!
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Reply #2 - Feb 21st, 2005 at 3:25am
I think the way you answer this question says more about whether you're a suitable candidate than you think. Do you have a general level of commercial understanding of the world at large?

I think that firms are generally trying to find out how much you understand about the business world but also how much interest you have in it. Have a read of these pages for stories to refer to in the interview:

Being a lawyer isn't just about doing the work, its about bringing work in as well (pressure increases in later years). As a business with longterm growth intentions, law firms are always looking for people who might bring in work too.

Actually, having said that, none of those webpages were really catching my eye at all. But you get my point?

Its worth bearing in mind that the phrase "commercial law" is an odd one. and the concept of a "commercial law firm" is perhaps a little wide. There is a huge variety of work within each of the larger firms which it is probably worth being aware of during the interview process as it shows you have a bit of an understanding about what you might be doing as a trainee.

Rather than singling out a Scottish firm, have a look at A&O's list of practice areas for ideas. If you have any questions about any of the phrases or names of types of law, post them here.

Oh, and incase you haven't seen:

There's a trainee one too.
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