What is the Commercial Awareness Competition?

The Commercial Awareness Competition is designed to develop and refine your awareness of political, economic and current affairs. The overriding objective of the Competition is to help diverse aspiring solicitors secure training contracts.

The Competition will begin in Autumn 2024, comprising five rounds. The Competition is CV-blind, which means entrants are only assessed according to performance in each round rather than their academic background or previous experience.

Full Key Information, including Rules and Guidelines for this year’s Competition, can be found here.

Full and comprehensive FAQs about this year’s Competition can be found here.

If you require any further support including reasonable adjustments at any stage of the Competition, more information can be found in our Support and Guidance page here.

Who can enter?

You must be an Aspiring Solicitors member and must be from at least one of the following underrepresented groups in the legal profession:

  • Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic; and/or
  • Socially mobile (Aspiring Solicitors considers this to include (but not limited to) candidates who: were eligible for free school meals or pupil premium aged 11-16 due to financial limitations; were state school comprehensive educated; were the first of your family to attend university; spent time in local authority care; came to this country as a refugee or asylum seeker; you are a primary carer); and/or
  • LGBTQIA+; and/or
  • Disabled, neurodiverse and/or have a long-term health condition.

You must also:

  • be an undergraduate, or a postgraduate or a graduate (whether working or in education); and
  • not have secured a Training Contract offer; and
  • Be based in and have Right to Work in the United Kingdom for the purposes of completing the latter rounds and for the work experience (should you be one of the winners).

First year students are welcome and encouraged to participate despite not being vacation scheme or training contract eligible for many law firms.

All entrants register as individuals and Aspiring Solicitors coordinates the creation of teams for the latter stages of the Competition. This ensures the best performers reach the final of the Competition.

This will ensure that the best performers reach the final of the Competition.

How do I enter the Competition?

Please note that by submitting the entry form when entries open in Summer 2024, you are entering the Competition (I.e., there are no other stages to enter). By entering you must complete the Preliminary Online Rounds as a minimum.

Before you enter, please read our Rules and Guidelines as part of the Key Information page here.

Why should you enter the Competition?

There will be 25 competitors in the Grand Final, and 6 of these competitors will be selected as the winning individuals. Winning individuals are awarded:

  • Work experience and/or vacation schemes with each of our sponsoring organisations (Baker McKenzie, Barclays, BCLP, Dechert, Mayer Brown and Skadden); and a suit courtesy of LexisNexis.

Even if you are not selected as a winner, you’ll have the opportunity to impress law firms and build strong commercial awareness and employability skills.

In 2016/17 and 2017/2018, every member of the respective winning teams has since obtained a training contract, with 100% of the 2018 winners obtaining a training contract offer with a sponsoring firm! 83% of the 2019 winners secured a training contract and, on average, 90% of finalists go on to secure a vacation scheme (typically with a sponsor firm) and training contract.

Grace’s success story
"The Commercial Awareness Competition fast-tracked my law career in a way I never thought possible".
Future Trainee Solicitor
Kiran’s success story
"AS’ network and its events are nothing short of game-changing for those applying to commercial law firms"
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Future Trainee Solicitor
Niamh’s success story
"I firmly believe that I would never have been able to secure a training contract without guidance from AS"
Mayer Brown
Future Trainee