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Law: Commercial Awareness

Commercial Awareness

As a law student it's very important to be commercially aware and to research organisations who you may wish to approach for a training contract, pro-bono work experience or other employment opportunities.  Be sure to research any market sector you or your potential clients may be interested in, you never know what information may give you a competitive edge at interview.

Not sure what commercial awareness is?  Have a look at these articles:

Lex100: Gaining Commercial Awareness

Target Jobs:  Commercial awareness and how to achieve it, by trainee solicitors and law recruiters

The Guardian: Law students are you 'commercially aware'?

Videos from Westlaw:

How can law students increase their chances of getting a training contract?

Securing a pupillage and commercial awareness

Databases for Company and Market Research

Key Note

A UK provider of market research and company and people information, includes UK perspectives on international companies.

Search here to find out who owns the law firm or company, where it's based and to see how financially healthy they are and even who pays the most!  If you are looking to work as an in-house lawyer in a particular sector you can find information here on various charities and particular industry sectors from retail fashion to transport.  It's possible to benchmark a group of companies and some reports include SWOT and PESTLE analysis.

MarketLine Company Profiles Authority

MarketLine’s company profiles (available via Business Source Premier) include PEST and SWOT analyses and lists of competitors.

Mintel Global Market Navigator 

Provides market data for 30 countries across 17 industries, including market size, market share, segmentation data, trend forecasts and socio-economic data.

Mintel Oxygen Academic Provider of market and consumer intelligence. 

Keeping up to Date

News databases

European Newsstream contains articles from the FT, other quality newspapers and local papers the Western Mail and South Wales Echo.

LexisLibrary contains articles from the quality press.  Go to the News section and select from the Sources menu: UK broadsheets.

News and law news websites

Al Jazeera for international news in english.

BBC business news.

CNN US based international news.

Daily Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph law page.

The Economist for industry sector news.

The Financial Times (selected full text content only).

The Guardian and The Guardian law page.

The Lawyer

Legal Week

South China Morning Post for information on Asian markets.

The Times and The Times law and business page.

Wall Street Journal UK edition.

See also the Finding Blogs section of this guide to keep up to date with legal news. Twitter and LinkedIn can also be useful for contacts and industry news.

Law Podcasts

Radio 4 Law in Action

Careers and Employability Advice

The webpage of the USW careers and employability service can be found here.