Featured why do you actually want to work in commercial law? (honest)

Discussion in 'Applications Discussion' started by orange32, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. orange32

    orange32 Star Member

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    Genuine question to anyone doing applications right now. is it the salary? prestige? buzz? competitiveness? London life? Or is it actually the work? if so why?

    What makes it worth the mindnumbing hours going into applications right now?
     
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  2. Fatima P.

    Fatima P. Distinguished Member

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    Honestly, I was doing mind-numbing hours in investment banking and a VP who laughed at me for studying history chucked a pensions contract at me and said I had two weeks to summarise it. I did it in two days and found my calling in commercial law (but I was eyeing up A&O daily anyway on my way to Pret)
     
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  3. Nat000

    Nat000 Distinguished Member

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    Partly salary, partly prestige, partly the feeling of wanting to be in a job where my interest in politics, business etc could be used. Also, to be honest, the security. I really like how in law, it's possible to get a TC early on and have the next few years of your life mapped out for you; I do English, which is famously one of those 'non-employable' degrees, so I really wanted something where you could get an offer long before you graduate and not have to stress over what you'll do next.
     
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  4. Sammy Watkins

    Sammy Watkins Active Member

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    K&E's £145,000 NQ salary at age 24. Not even investment bankers and doctors earn that much.
     
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  5. Fatima P.

    Fatima P. Distinguished Member

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    Be prepared to give up your life and break your back to get that snazzy office in the Gherkin and the 145k pay though!
     
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  6. MarathonNotaSprint

    MarathonNotaSprint Star Member

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    I've literally been travelling the whole world since I was a kid- parents were globe-trotters (thanks, parents lol) and I've always had an interest in business from watching the 'rents run their own business and law because I've always loved arguing since I could talk lol So I figured: what career unites all these interests? Hmmm only one I could pinpoint was commercial law lol the earning potential is an added bonus haha
     
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  7. James Kitching

    James Kitching Star Member

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    As someone doing their MSci in Biochemistry, the reason why I want to pursue commercial law is because it offers me the opportunity to escape the claustrophobic science bubble and enter the world of business without committing to one particular sector. In addition, the legal industry itself is going through an exciting time, need not look further than a couple of podcasts before you realise that what’s expected of a lawyer will not be what many associate with the job, especially as technology continues to become better adopted and embraced within firms.

    Bref, Buzz - yes, London Life - yes, Salary - Kind of.
    An exciting change in career going from researching neurodegeneration to (potentially) advising on a global merger - DEFINITELY!
    Hope I helped :)
     
    #7 James Kitching, Oct 14, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  8. Andrew M

    Andrew M Distinguished Member

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    The thing is, I worked in hospitality management before deciding to go to University as a matter student. In my previous jobs, I've had to give up my life and break my back for an absolute fraction of the money a commercial lawyer gets, and with none of the intellectual stimulation either.

    For me it comes down to having a well paid, stable job, which suits my skill set but still challenges me mentally.
     
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  9. D95

    D95 Valued Member
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    When I went to study law, I had no idea what kind of law exactly I wanted to practice. However, I was lucky enough to get a taste of public, family and commercial law whilst still at uni and I simply found the latter most interesting, challenging, rewarding and suitable to my personality. Also, improving on my commercial awareness quickly became more than a chore - I simply got quite passionate about it over the years. The two years of in-house legal experience that I have under my belt only cemented my decision to work toward qualifying as a commercial lawyer. In essence, I think that having actual experience really helps in realising if you like what this job entails or not.

    I would also like to echo what others said above about stability - of course, in the present times nothing seems to be "strong and stable", especially for our generation, however a career in commercial law is still largely deemed to be able to provide one with some sense of security, not least financially.

    Speaking of salary - I confess it used to be one of my major considerations, but not anymore. When I was a poor EU student who had to skip parties with friends because I simply could not afford going to them, the allure of a six figures salary offered by some legal tycoons was very thrilling. Interestingly, this has changed as I grew up. Surely, I would like to earn decent money, but working in-house, I learned to value and appreciate good work-life balance and peaceful working environment over big bucks. Thus my decision to train in-house - I guess I got to the point in my life when I want to start a family in the next few years and I would actually like to see my kid(s) growing up (look at me getting suddenly mature and all).
     
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  10. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Love the honesty in this thread. Initially, I'd say I was drawn in by the prestige and salary. I wanted to be 'successful' and I felt becoming a commercial lawyer would make me successful.

    Outside of that, I'd say the actual work interested me the most. I really liked the idea of drafting and negotiating legal documents/pouring over really fine points of law.
     
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  11. kristof

    kristof Standard Member

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    When I started out studying law I kind of already counted as a mature student. Following from that, it was important to me to find a career that provides a sense of stability and where you can plan 10-20 years in advance. It is definitely hard to get into commercial law, but in my opinion, once you get a training contract and qualify, you will not have to worry about being forced to change careers and there will also be work available for qualified lawyers.

    On the other hand, it was all about trying to think what career would fit my skills, interests and personality. I'm an introvert, love to delve into detail and usually take a methodical approach in everything I do in my life. Also, ever since I was a teenager I enjoyed reading my parents' contracts and figure out what the key information was in all the fine print (I know this sounds geeky, but you should have seen me reading the broadband contract instead of studying for that Maths exam in high school). Apart from that I have always loved to share my knowledge with other people and give them advice when facing personal issues. I think it then logically followed that law was something to explore and I don't regret making that decision at all!
     
  12. Kablahc

    Kablahc Star Member

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    Initially I wanted to do private client, but so few firms are willing to accept the fact I don't have Oxbridge on my CV and didn't go to school in a very well to do area. I just want a career that's relatively social where I can use my LLB...
     
  13. Raam

    Raam Legendary Member
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    I echo many points above and love the brutal honesty!

    Having gone to a RG uni and studied a course with a "strong reputation," I was naturally drawn to the prestige and pay offered by commercial law. But my interest genuinely came from some legal work experience where I assisted with a banking matter - understanding the legal concepts in loan documentation was super interesting!

    Bit nerdy, but it was great to finally find a career I felt is engaging and enjoyable for the long run :D The visualisation of securing a TC at one of my target firms kept me motivated despite several rejections (and it paid off).
     
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  14. Ren97

    Ren97 Distinguished Member
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    My initial interest back in my days as a first year who knew absolutely nothing about commercial law was definitely because of the pay, international opportunities and prestige. Law school also made me feel like if I didn't secure a TC, I'd be a total failure at life.

    That being said, after some work experience in the banking sector and a myriad of vac schemes with law firms, I have come to realise how much I actually truly enjoy the work - both the legal side and commercial side. I like how I always feel like I'm learning something new on either front. I can now really see myself doing this job for a long long time (although I suppose only time will tell) and surprisingly enough this summer turned down an eye watering potential NQ salary for another firm because I knew I'd enjoy the variety of work more at the other place.
     
    #14 Ren97, Oct 15, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
  15. bethbristol

    bethbristol Esteemed Member

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    completely agree with the notion that my initial attraction was that I want to feel successful and commercial law offered that. As I’ve delved deeper into it, I’ve found that I do have a solid interest in it and that success is measured on yourself and your pride in what you do not your bank balance
     
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  16. Matt_96

    Matt_96 Esteemed Member

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    For me the main thing I liked is in the sheer diversity of experiences you can encounter as a trainee. If you are applying to become a trainee in an accountancy firm you will likely be split into a stream that does audit, assurance or tax. I don't think there is a lot of scope for crossover - at the very least, that is what my friends in the business say. I think it is probably similar in banking or consulting. You go in and join the team for your 'thing'. And then you just keep doing it ad infinitum.

    In law firms, however, you can skip from doing a seat in something esoteric like aviation finance to one in something like product liability disputes, and depending on the firm, you could even end up doing more varied seats like private client or catastrophic injury claims, for instance. Those are wildly wildly different. The only thing they really have in common is that the persons practicing them are all (or mostly) solicitors. It really is perfect for people who want to have a really broad training experience. I think this is especially true now the profession is starting to embrace technology and allowing trainees to be involved with that.
     
  17. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    Commercial law for me would be one of the worst possible jobs out there.... I am not suited to it at all.

    Working in a law firm (as a non-lawyer), I liked working with very clever people. They say if you are the cleverest person in the room, you are in the wrong room, and that was never the case when I worked in law firms. I often had the highest EQ in the room though (and my EQ isn't even that great).

    My career in law firms has shaped me into who I am now, and I am grateful for that. I got to go to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and New York - all of which were amazing. But I also lost a bit of myself (and mainly my confidence) at various points working in different law firms and I realised sometime after that I shouldn't have done.

    And that is why I am in no rush to ever go back.
     
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  18. Mash239

    Mash239 Standard Member

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    Thanks for your candid answer. I've trained in two law firms for a period of a year in a different country already, and I always found that I didn't fit in because people did not behave like "normal" human beings. Conversations were stilted and I kept hoping that I would meet someone that was just able to have a normal conversation. This is obviously a generalisation, but interacting with many others in the general legal industry was not the best experience I had. Sometimes I wondered whether I was smart enough because I wanted to chat about tv shows or hobbies, and not always about work!
     
  19. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    To be fair, I never struggled with conversations at the vast majority of the law firms I have worked for or with. And I used to have plenty of pretty random conversations with various people about the things you mentioned.

    Generally the people were great - I think that’s because I got them at their most optimistic though. Graduate recruitment is fun and energetic and there is always a bit of a buzz about it from all levels of seniority. The lack of EQ was always down to how demanding people were - having to chair a meeting with the senior partner in the room, with trainees putting on the agenda for the meeting a complaint about the size of the jacket potatoes in the canteen (because they were too big) is just one example of the lack of EQ shown...

    I was always a little too outspoken and lacked the diplomacy for law firms. I often had strong opinions and even when I kept my mouth shut, my face would give the game away. There is a lyric to one of my favourite songs that says “she’s got looks that tell the truth when she lies” and I swear it must be about me :D
     
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  20. JohanGRK

    JohanGRK Active Member

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    It was kind of the norm for people in my course at uni. That or the Bar. I really don't want to become a barrister and the thought of doing medium-effort work for long hours and good pay seemed great. I would have equally happily gone into strategy/management consulting or some banking position...

    (apologies if this is too honest)
     
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