Why is commercial awareness important to your trainee recruitment process?
It is essential that our trainees have a genuine enthusiasm for business and the commercial world. They need to take the time to understand not only TLT’s business goals and direction, but also the goals and direction of our clients. Our advice needs to be given in the context of the environment in which our clients operate, meaning trainees need to keep up-to-date on developments in that environment. We give our trainees huge amounts of responsibility, meaning they need to be commercially savvy, credible, and able to hold their own when communicating with clients and colleagues.
Why are you supporting the Commercial Awareness Competition?
We first supported the competition in 2016/2017 and were incredibly impressed with the calibre of candidates and the ways in which they were challenged to develop and demonstrate their commercial understanding in a wide variety of ways. We are passionate about increasing diversity and social mobility in the legal profession and believe the competition offers an excellent opportunity for potential trainees from under-represented groups to learn invaluable skills that they can take with them through the training contract application process and beyond.
What are you hoping to achieve from supporting the Commercial Awareness Competition?
Not only does the competition allow us to show our support for the overall aims of Aspiring Solicitors, it also gives us access to a breadth of talent we might not otherwise be able to easily access. We are delighted to offer the winners of the competition work placements with the firm and look forward to welcoming them to TLT.
Why is diversity and inclusion important to your firm?
We appreciate the value of diversity within the firm and our equal opportunities and our comprehensive diversity agendas are communicated to every employee. Our commitment to equality and diversity is concrete. Regular monitoring ensures that we’re aware of the diverse profile of our employees and that our policies and working environment reflect what’s important to our people. Rather than simply collecting numbers, we use this information to plan our annual objectives in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion. Our initiatives are fully integrated with our HR policies to ensure that development and rewards are based on merit, without discrimination.
Any advice/information you would like to share with entrants to the Commercial Awareness Competition this year?
Our advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity the competition offers. Not only are you given the chance to develop commercial awareness, but also negotiation skills, presentation skills, credibility, resilience, and the ability to work in a team in a high pressure environment, which are all essential for a commercial solicitor. It is also an excellent networking opportunity, with senior lawyers from each sponsor firm attending to judge. Our Group Leader for Banking and Lender Services judged the final of the competition last year and was joined by senior partners from our London and Manchester offices for the post-event celebration; they all reported back incredibly positively on the participants they had met.
Importantly, don’t forget to enjoy it! The competition is challenging, but you need to demonstrate genuine interest and passion, not just competence.