Are you an aspiring lawyer interested in honing your understanding of commercial awareness? Hadi Najem, LSE LLB student shares his experience of taking part in the Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness competition and how others can benefit from entering:

Sooner or later, all aspiring commercial lawyers come head to head with the notoriously elusive yet invaluable concept of ‘commercial awareness’. For all those who are going through assessment days for vacation schemes and/or training contracts, the Aspiring Solicitors’ Commercial Awareness Competition is an opportunity not to be missed.

After participating in the competition in both my first and second years of study, I would recommend other LSE students to take part for three key reasons:

The first and rather obvious incentive to participate is the opportunity to significantly ameliorate your commercial awareness and thus dramatically increase the odds of securing the vacation scheme/training contract you want. For example, competition exercises in the finals included (a) written tasks testing commercial knowledge about the relationship between global economics, politics and the effect of events within these fields on commercial law firms and their clients and (b) presentations based on FT articles to a panel of senior lawyers. After participating in nine assessment days in my second year, it is no exaggeration to say that after going through the competition almost no commercial awareness exercise on an assessment day seems too difficult to tackle.

The second key incentive to participate, which is closely related to the first one, is that participants don’t need to do independent preparations for the competition; preparing for assessment days’ commercial awareness exercises is necessarily preparing for the competition and vice versa. Thus, as long as you are applying to commercial law firms and preparing for assessment days, the competition is not particularly demanding in terms of time and energy.

Finally, in addition to the invaluable skills the competition allows you to develop, the winning team’s members get five legal internships. Thus, all in all, there is a strong case for participating in the competition since there is a lot to gain and hardly anything to lose.

If Hadi has inspired you to enter this year’s competition, applications of interest for the 2017/18 round are now open!