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Cohort 2: Understand the Financial World

You don’t begin your studies learning about the world of business, so it’s unsurprising that you find commercial awareness hard. There is a wealth of knowledge to learn and it takes time, just like learning a new language.

But what if we could learn commercial awareness together?

We’ll strip away the fluff, so you learn what you need to know. We’ll break down the foundations of the financial world in an easy to understand manner, from capital markets and M&A to understanding financial statements. The sessions will be interactive so you apply what you know to current affairs.

The goal of this programme is to leave you with the confidence to answer any commercial question in an interview.

Who this course is for:


You’re an aspiring lawyer who wants to convert their next law firm interview in an offer


You’re motivated to put in the work, but you are struggling to make it to the next stage of the process


You’re a Gold member or scholarship candidate with access to the winter scholarship school

What you can expect:

  • Build your confidence to answer any technical commercial question in an interview 
  • Understand the financial markets, financial statements and M&A
  • Truly learn what corporate lawyers actually do
  • Train with the experts, including partners and senior financial professionals
  • Join our live event so we can support you in person 🚀

Join an upcoming cohort today

Upcoming Dates Topic
Cohort 2 w/c 13 March 2023 Understand the Financial World

What they say



One of the best interactive sessions I have attended by far. Closely simulates a real assessment environment with regards to the structure, the content and the questions asked. Even though I found it challenging, I learnt a lot and it gave me confidence to face and prepare for my real upcoming assessments. This is a perfect way to prepare for interviews and case studies going forward and the membership is worth every penny! Jaysen and Alice provide the perfect balance between them while both providing informative information and personal advice to takeaway from the session. One piece of constructive feedback is that I wish the sessions were either longer or slightly smaller groups as I didn’t want it to end.BG


Loved how intimate the sessions were and how interactive it was. I thought we’d mainly be listening and taking notes but it was the opposite which meant I gained way more out of the session than expected! It was by far the most useful workshop I’ve ever attended (online and offline). I can’t fault it at all. The only thing I would say is that I wish it ran on longer, only because I was really enjoying it and wanted it to continue. Also, please keep doing more of these!!EA


As someone who struggles to confidently express my thoughts on commercial concepts, I always find these sessions so helpful; they offer a perfectly balanced combination of encouragement, commercial insights, and useful advice. This session on M&A was particularly great. Vocalising the business concepts that I’ve been working through on paper is a perfect way to prepare for interviews, and this session on M&As covered a range of those concepts – ranging from accessible to challenging. Jaysen and Alice are also perfect leaders. They give everyone enough time to express their views – whilst also providing useful advice, and spot-on explanations every single time that they speak. I get so much out of these sessions; they are one of the best interactive resources – if not the best – for aspiring lawyers that I’ve seen around.


Starting the journey towards securing a training contract is scary because I did not know what to expect. I want to take time out to thank both of you for your extreme efforts to make the process a lot easier. It provided me with an insight into what I could expect at an assessment centre. Also, it made me realise how I can utilise my time further during the lockdown to increase my commercial awareness. The sessions enable me to apply my prior knowledge to scenarios and develop my team working skills virtually. It is incredibly useful receiving a guide after the session summarising the key points. It meant I could concentrate during the sessions and have a guide to look over and further my understanding to help me prepare for the real thing. I love hearing both of your experiences, especially Alice’s, regarding interviews and appreciate how you both provide tips throughout the sessions. Once again, Thank you!

Meet your instructors

Jaysen Sutton

Jaysen is the founder of The Corporate Law Academy (TCLA), the largest community of aspiring lawyers. Prior to founding TCLA, he studied law at the London School of Economics and a master’s in law at the University of Cambridge. He began his career as a trainee solicitor at Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Bobby Reddy

Bobby Reddy lectures in company law, corporate governance and transactional deals.  Previously, Dr. Reddy was a corporate partner at the global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP, dividing his time between the London and Washington D.C. offices. He specialised in public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity, investment funds, financial regulation, cross-border transactions, and company representation.

Phil Sanderson

Phil was the Head of Private Equity and a board member at Travers Smith. He then moved to global law firm Ropes & Gray, ending his legal career as Global Co-Head of Private Equity. He was ranked as a Leading Individual by both Chambers and Legal 500.

Nik Balashov

Nik spent almost a decade of his career in investment banking at Citigroup. He has held multiple roles across Sydney, Hong Kong and London, where he was most recently a Vice President in the capital markets department.

Currently Nik is Head of Business Development at a global private oncology services provider, where he leads the UK acquisitions and growth strategy.

Cristiana Mitrofan

Cristiana Mitrofan is an Associate in Paul Hasting’s Structured Finance team.

Prior to joining Paul Hastings, Cristiana trained at a City firm. Her work is focused on securitisation, derivative transactions, repurchase agreements and repackaging programmes. Cristiana is also a mentor with the Paul Hastings – Aspiring Solicitors and Paul Hastings – Generation Success initiatives.


Ola Sanni

Ola is an Associate in the White & Case capital markets team in Dubai. Ola specialises in advising corporate, sovereign and financial institution clients on a variety of public and private capital markets transactions, including debt / equity capital markets, securitisations, structured debt and Islamic finance matters.

Ola’s transaction experience covers various jurisdictions, including the GCC, Africa, Europe and Asia. Ola has worked across the White & Case offices in London, Frankfurt, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Ian Corner

Ian Corner is the founder of Corner Finance Directors & Business Advisors where he helps business owners to make smarter decisions, powered by their financial data and sophisticated plans. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Ian spent most of his career in varied finance director roles within GSK and British Airways before bringing his expertise to the SME market to help entrepreneurs thrive.

Carla Hoppe

Carla Hoppe is the founder of Wealthbrite, a finance focused edtech championing the financial wellbeing of Gen-Z professionals. Carla is a former lawyer with extensive experience creating and delivering financial wellbeing programmes for clients including for PwC, Financial Times FLIC and Graphcore.

6 Live Sessions

Including Interactive Training Examples and Walkthroughs

  • What do Investment Bankers Actually Do?

  • 15 March 2023
  • 6pm
  • Learn about the day in the life of an investment banker from a former Vice President of an investment bank.

    You will learn about:

    • what products and services are offered by an investment bank?
    • the different products offered by an investment bank, from M&A to equity and debt capital markets
    • what do investment bankers do day to day?
    • how do investment bankers interact with legal professionals across M&A, capital markets and litigation?
  • Analysing Financial Statements

  • 21 March 2023
  • 6pm
  • Learn how to analyse financial statements from a senior accountant.

    You will learn about:

    • the different types of company structures and their implications for tax, liabilities and governance
    • understanding Companies House and the role of reporting
    • join a deep dive into a real company's accounts
    • understand how to read a balance sheet, cash flow statement and profit and loss statement
  • How to Manage your Money as a Junior Lawyer

  • 27 March 2023
  • 12:30pm to 1:15pm
  • Learn how to manage your money as a junior lawyer with the founder of a finance focused edtech company.

    You will learn about:

    • what financial wellbeing looks like for you
    • practical tips for building financial stability and confidence, including the value of emergency cash reserves and investing in the context of your pension
  • What do Structured Finance Lawyers Actually Do?

  • 5 April 2023
  • 6pm
  • Understand the role of a structured finance lawyer from an associate in Paul Hasting's Structured Finance team.

    You will learn about:

    • what structured finance is and the type of work structured finance lawyers do day to day
    • what are issuers, securitisation and derivatives?
    • how they get involved in assisting clients and what kind of documents are dealt with
    • how the work differs from a traditional finance lawyers
  • What Do Capital Markets Lawyers Actually Do?

  • 10 April 2023
  • 6pm
  • Understand the role of a capital markets lawyer with an associate in the Firm's Capital Markets practice in Dubai.

    You will learn about:

    • what are capital markets and bonds?
    • what is the difference between equity and debt capital markets?
    • why do companies choose to raise equity and debt capital?
    • how capital markets lawyers get involved in assisting clients and the nature of the documents they work with
  • What Do Corporate Lawyers Actually Do?

  • 12 April 2023
  • 6pm
  • Understand the role of a corporate lawyer from a former corporate partner at Latham & Watkins.

    You will learn about:

    • the type of work that corporate lawyers do
    • how corporate lawyers assist different types of clients
    • how the role of a corporate lawyer changes from trainee to partner
    • how a corporate lawyer fits in the financial world

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access the TCLA Academy?

The TCLA Academy is available to members of our Gold subscription or scholarship programme.

If you already are a member of the above, you can access the sessions here.

What if I join late?

No problem! You can join any future session and you will have access to all of the recordings of the past sessions.


How do I access the workshops?

If you already are a member, you can access the sessions here. Simply join the Zoom link at the relevant time.

I am a subscriber, but I can't make the session time. Will the workshops be recorded?

Yes, they will be recorded and posted here after the session.

When is the next cohort?

The next cohort will take place in March 2023! We’ll be teaching you commercial awareness, from the financial markets to law firms as a business.

Is there any free content at TCLA?

The majority of TCLA’s content is free, because we believe everyone should benefit from the experience of TCLA’s community of future trainees, trainees and associates. We regularly share advice and opinions on the application and interview process, as well as extensive articles on commercial knowledge in the forum. We also publish free Guides covering a range of topics including M&A case studies, training contract interview questions and analyses of key events in the commercial and financial year.

How do I apply for your scholarship programme?

Every year, we offer a range of TCLA scholarships which include 1 month, 6 month or 12 month standard membership subscriptions and in some cases, a small cash grant towards learning materials and expenses. You can learn more about how to apply on our TCLA Scholarship page. Please note, the next cohort will begin at the end of 2023.

How do I cancel my subscription?

To cancel your subscription, log into your TCLA account, choose Manage Subscriptions within your account profile and cancel your active subscription.

Find out more

Stay up to date on what you’ll get in this course and whether it’s for you.