What makes a good commercial lawyer and how can you demonstrate the skills required?

What makes a good commercial lawyer and how can you demonstrate the skills required?

I want to become a solicitor at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP because I am keen to train in a firm with a relatively small London office and trainee intake, as my previous work experience had shown that this would lead to better training and a greater involvement in the firm's work from an early stage. At the same time, I am impressed by Field Fisher Waterhouse's reputation for high quality work on an international scale. Working with colleagues in other Field Fisher Waterhouse's offices across the world I will come face-to-face with many of the cross-border issues that clients face in a rapidly globalising economy. As a trainee, this exposure, so early on, is invaluable. As a person who enjoys constant challenges and problem solving, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP will provide me with a very dynamic and exciting environment through its focus on companies that are highly regulated and those with intellectual property and technology driven business models. I am attracted by the range of client secondments offered by Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP because this will give me an opportunity to better understand the needs of clients and operate in an innovative and constantly developing sector.

What makes a good commercial lawyer and how can you demonstrate the skills required?

A good commercial lawyer should possess strong teamwork and communication skills because they will be required to work in teams on common projects. At [Law Firm Name], I operated in a team when conducting document review during the disclosure stage. In order to meet a tight deadline, I was required to closely collaborate with others to gauge our progress and prioritise tasks. I was always forthcoming with ideas on how to streamline our operations and re-allocate work according to skill sets within the team. I demonstrated a capacity to lead and motivate the team whilst taking into account the views of team members.

A good commercial lawyer should be commercially aware and have strong problem-solving skills in order to be able to offer solutions to most complex commercial problems facing their clients. At [Law Firm Name] I attended a Board of Directors EGM in my capacity as an interpreter between a [language] client and English and Dutch solicitors. At the EGM, I was required to think on my feet and see things from a business perspective and always align myself with client’s commercial objectives. By the end of the meeting, the solicitors had a clear understanding of the needs of the client and were able to proceed to the next stage.

A good commercial lawyer should have good attention to detail and organisational skills because they will be required to perform multiple tasks accurately and to tight deadlines. At [Law Firm Name], I demonstrated meticulous attention to detail and organisational skills when cross-referencing expert valuation reports against the court’s database. I was very discerning and structured and prioritised my work because I had to sift through a vast amount of technical information and ensure that all references corresponded to the content of the report.

Describe a commercial issue which has attracted your attention. Why do you consider it to be significant?

I am attracted by the planned IPO of Facebook because it illustrates the prevalence and growing importance of ICT, namely social networking sites, in today’s commerce. With a valuation of £100 billion, Facebook is gaining market share over companies with traditional business models and is thus transforming the commercial landscape. Facebook has stated that its largest share of revenues comes from online advertising which points to the fact that companies are becoming increasingly dependent on online social networking sites. Yet, social networking sites have raised privacy and ethical concerns as there is evidence to suggest that people’s personal information is vulnerable to theft and to unethical exploitation. The astronomic growth of Facebook underscores that in today’s day and age the exchange of information on the internet plays a pivotal role in commerce. There is strong evidence to suggest that Facebook has proliferated the exchange of information all over the world which has purportedly led to the liberation of numerous countries. This has helped to reshape the commercial landscape and create more opportunities for people around the world and consequently help increase the freedom of global trade. Nevertheless, it is still too early to gauge the success of Facebook in commerce as it still may be a temporary phenomenon that is likely to die out with the advancement of technology.

Please give details of any prizes, scholarships, positions of responsibility and any or other noteworthy achievements gained at School, University, Law School or in employment.

In my second year, I was a sports executive of the [language] Speaking Society. I was responsible for organising and running sporting events. During my tenure I introduced many exciting sports schemes and had helped to develop members' interest in sport. In [year], I was the founder and President of the [University] Amateur [Sport] Club. I ran regular training sessions, managed the executives of the society and oversaw the entire operation of the society. In my third year, I was elected on the Board of the Student-Staff Liaison Committee where I maintained a rapport with the staff of the law faculty and students on my law course. In [year], I won a ‘[award name]’ Award for academic excellence at GCSE and A-Level. I was awarded numerous commendations at my school and sixth form for excellence in multiple subjects. I represented my school in amateur [Sport] tournaments and have won a gold medal for England in the [tournament name].

Please describe any activities you’ve been involved in outside academic study or work over the past four years.

I enjoy debating and in [year], I took part in the Clifford Chance Mooting Competition. I was a member of the [language] Speaking, Nordic and English societies and regularly participated in functions and socials: being a member of these societies allowed me to learn more about cultures and meet new people. As a dedicated member of the [environmental society], I helped to introduce and develop social responsibility initiatives at University. I had successfully organised and developed a scheme whereby all unused desktops at the library were turned off during the vacation breaks to help reduce the University’s carbon footprint. I regularly participated in the five-a-side football tournaments as a way of keeping fit and challenging myself. I enjoy travelling as it helps me to broaden my mind and learn new cultures and meet interesting people. In [year], I organised a student trip to Cardiff and Stratford-Upon-Avon which proved to be very memorable and enjoyable.