Key dates and Preliminary Online Rounds details

The Preliminary Online Rounds will take place on Tuesday 8 October 2024. In advance of these rounds, you will be given LexisNexis pre-reading that will form part of the Preliminary assessment for 5 of the 30 questions.

Please ensure that you are available to complete the Preliminary Online Rounds on the agreed date before you enter; you will not be able to complete these rounds on another date. It is advisable that you mark this date in your diary once you enter and check your emails in advance of this date for any updates and pre-reading you will receive.

Details of the rest of the key dates can be found below:

  • Preliminary Online Rounds: Tuesday 8 October 2024
  • Quarter-Finals: Monday 14 October – Thursday 24 October 2024
  • Semi-Finals: Tuesday 5 November – Thursday 7 November 2024
  • Pre-Final networking event: Wednesday 27 November 2024
  • Grand Final and Final Dinner: Thursday 28 November 2024

We recommend a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps per second for online rounds. You can test your internet speed via a Google search.

Rules and guidelines

It is essential that you read this webpage thoroughly before entering the Competition as it sets out important information about the format, rules, and conditions of participation.

All entrants register as individuals, you will not be required to form a team at any stage. Aspiring Solicitors will place entrants in teams at the Semi-Finals and Grand Final but you will be assessed as an individual throughout, including for your ability to work in a team.

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).

Aspiring Solicitors reserves the right to disqualify any individual who does not meet the above criteria at any stage of the Competition.

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

Deadline To Enter

The deadline to enter the Competition will be Monday 30 September at 4pm. Because there is a three-month window to enter the Competition, the deadline will not be extended under any circumstances.

Attendance / Absence

You must take part in all stages of the Competition. Without highly exceptional mitigating circumstances, failure to complete the Preliminary Online Rounds will prevent progression to the next round.

The dates in the ‘Key Dates’ section are not moveable or negotiable. If you cannot participate during one of the dates, you will not be able to proceed to the next round. Please check all key dates carefully before entering.

If you secure a Training Contract before or during the Competition, you must inform Aspiring Solicitors so that the organisation can firstly congratulate you and secondly remove you from the Competition, as the Commercial Awareness Competition is only open to Aspiring Solicitors members who do not have a Training Contract.

At Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages, Aspiring Solicitors will send you an online link to a booking platform that sets out multiple available dates for these stages of the Competition. This platform will enable you to select a suitable time and date. It will be your responsibility to book the date and time from the selection provided. No further dates will be made available.


The questions and materials for each round of the competition are strictly confidential and should not be shared with any peers, fellow competitors or shared outside of the competition. The questions should not be used for any other purpose outside of the competition.

Preliminary Online Rounds: Practice Article

The Preliminary Online Rounds of the Competition will involve LexisNexis commercial articles that are circulated to you in advance of each round (you do not need a subscription to access these). Ahead of the Preliminary Online Rounds, Aspiring Solicitors will supply you with a practice article. You will not be tested on this, but you are encouraged to read and reflect on it.

Aspiring Solicitors will provide you with URL links to access the online assessment via email. If you do not attempt an online assessment or fail to access an online assessment due to connection issues, you will not progress to the next round. Given the large number of entrants, this rule will be strictly adhered to.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in a suitable location with an appropriate internet connection to complete the online assessment. If the internet connection is poor, this will negatively impact your performance and likely prevent progress to the next round. We recommend a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps.

Please also ensure that you are in a quiet place where you will not be distracted by background noise.

Should you lose connection/miss the assessment time, we will not be able to reschedule your test and therefore you will not progress to the next round. Therefore, cafés with free/unreliable Wi-Fi and other such environments are not suitable for the online assessment.

Please note that it is possible to complete the online rounds via smartphone or tablet.

No resources that may give you an unfair advantage, such as the internet e.g., search engines, newspapers, journals, or notes, are permitted during the Competition. Use, or suspicion of use of these, or similar resources, will result in automatic disqualification.

There will be strict time limits for each round and for the purposes of the Competition, you will be required to adhere to these time restrictions. Aspiring Solicitors will set out the available time to complete each round at each stage of the Competition.

At registration, you will be given the opportunity to submit a request for reasonable adjustments which may include additional time. This will be factored into your assessment if adequate evidence has been produced as part of your entry form.

We may request additional information from you throughout the Competition e.g., a CV. Sponsoring firms are highly interested in hiring star performers, with many winners and non-winners securing training contracts each year the Competition has run, so documents such as your CV may be passed onto them. This will not be seen by judges and will not be factored into any kind of CAC assessment.

Judging Criteria

You will be judged on the following criteria in relation to the questions asked and the answers provided:

  • clarity and accuracy of response; and
  • analysis and understanding of commercial principles/issues; and
  • knowledge of the subject/topic.

Where an individual is considered to have acted contrary to the spirit of the Competition (collaboration, cooperation, and healthy competition) in any way, Aspiring Solicitors reserves the right to disqualify that individual at any time.

By participating in the Competition, you agree and accept that you have read and understood all the information provided on this webpage.

Your Responsibility as a Competitor

Please read the below carefully in advance of entering the Competition.

When you register and supply a contact email address, you must use the same email address throughout the Competition e.g., when completing the online rounds and booking a Quarter-Final assessment slot.

Use of multiple emails during the Competition may lead to disqualification. Please ensure the email address provided at registration is used throughout the Competition e.g., when completing online rounds.

Please ensure you enter your email address accurately every time you are asked to provide it.

Please do not use a university ( email address to take part in the Competition. University email servers are usually more stringent, and emails sent to this email address may be blocked.

You will be responsible for ensuring that you are available for each Round. If for any reason the contact details provided by you to Aspiring Solicitors at registration change, you must email at least 48 hours in advance of the upcoming round of the Competition. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.

Please consult our FAQs if you have any questions. If your question has not been answered, please contact Please note that you may not receive a response if your query has already been answered in the FAQs.

The date and time of each round cannot be revised or rescheduled. If there is a significant issue, please email stating your name and reason, at least 48 hours in advance of the upcoming round of the Competition.