Commercial awareness

Being commercially aware means understanding a law firm as a business in its environment. This page helps you with that.

If you've been in academia since birth, you might wonder how a law firm can expect you to be 'commercially aware'. Don't worry you're not alone. To approach a law firm as a brilliant legal mind isn't enough; successful candidates make it clear to firms that they understand its goals, and its commercial threats and opportunities.

Our researchers at Chambers spend every day interviewing lawyers about their jobs. The stories we hear that have an impact on the profession will feature on this page.

Daily legal news

August 21

US banks plan to move jobs out of london [Financial News]

How to legally fire an extremist [Employment & Labour]       

Immigrants remain vulnerable to dodgy lawyers [Star Tribune]

August 18

Should law school accreditation be linked to the number of students who get "real law" jobs? [ABA Journal]

How not to do reputation management [American Lawyer]

How should global law firms prepare for the GDPR? [Big Law Business]

August 17

What to look for in the NAFTA negotiations. [Herbert Smith Freehills]

Meet Marcia Hoffman, the lawyer defending the man who stopped WannaCry [Forbes]

PwC fined $6.6 million, in the largest ever sanction issued by the UK's accounting regulator. [Big Law Business]

August 16

Whose moved where in BigLaw [BigLawBusiness]

For Profit Charlotte School of Law finally shuts [NewYorkTimes]

What to avoid when funding your studies [Forbes]

August 15

Vast majority of mergers in the first half of 2017 invovled small law firms. [Law]

Squire Patton Boggs guide to the recent (and vague) US sanctions [Squirepattonboggs]

Legal profession falls short in promoting lawyer wellbeing [Abajournal]

August 14

Should BIglaw move away from fixed fees? [Americanlawyer]

Further grumbling over how jobs law schools fund are disclosed [Biglawbusiness]

Justice department plans to investigate the use of affirmative action in universities and collages [The Press-Enterprise]

August 9


18 year-old heads to law school – interview [Palm Beach Post

Student summit aims to encourage African-American law school applicants [Diverse Education


The 10 law schools with the most part-time applications [US News & World

Government drops charges in another high profile Wall Street case [Reuters]

August 8

Two more law schools - Georgetown and Northwestern - overhaul admissions policy [Inside Higher EdNWlaw

More discussions on how to report law school-funded jobs [ABA JournalABA

Robot-lawyers may help lower income people [USA Todayrobot

August 7

8 year-old transgender girl sues her school for discrimination [LA TimesNikki

BigLaw firms on campus, hiring in "steady" numbers [Big Law BusinessHarvard (1)

August 8

NWlawTwo more law schools - Georgetown and Northwestern - overhaul admissions policy [Inside Higher Ed

ABAMore discussions on how to report law school-funded jobs [ABA Journal

robotRobot-lawyers may help lower income people [USA Today

August 7

Nikki8 year-old transgender girl sues her school for discrimination [LA Times

Harvard (1)BigLaw firms on campus, hiring in "steady" numbers [Big Law Business

August 4

GavelBigLaw associate hiring is up [JD Journal

Class size (2)ICYMI: here's our 2017 associate entry-level hiring survey [Chambers Associate

GirlWords-can-kill case sets worrying legal precedent, law prof and ACLU say [USA Today

Ex-partner sues BigLaw firm for age discrimination [Law360]

August 3

DeVosBetsy DeVos offers lifeline to Charlotte Law School [Bloomberg

HarvardJustice Department to investigate Harvard's admissions processes [Harvard Crimson

oilCanada-US oil pipeline stopped by Obama, restarted by Trump, might never happen [CleanTechnica

August 2

Miss Teen USAAmal Clooney and disabled aunt inspire Miss Teen USA to become a lawyer [USA Today

RestaurantJudge scolds lawyers for wrong line-spacing [Orlando Sentinel

PlazaBigLaw firms evaluate future office space needs [Bisnow

SandyReed Smith re-elects Sandy Thomas as MP [Philadelphia Business Journal]

August 1

books (1)California considers lowering minimum score for bar exam [SF Chronicle

William & Mary Law School receives $5.2 million gift [William & Mary

Hudson (1)

Cooley New York to re-locate to Hudson Yards [Curbed NY

July 31

MarijThe problems caused by marijuana being legal in some states but not in others [USA Today

AfricaWhy BigLaw is betting on Africa [Big Law Business

gayIs the DOJ right to argue that LGBT people can be discriminated against at work? [CNN

July 28

Value of US deals in China collapses to 14-year low thanks to trade tensions [NY Times]

Some recent BigLaw partner hires [Big Law Business]

July 27

asian (1)Asian-American law school enrollment drops 40% [HuffPost

buffaloLaw school launches environmental grad program [University at Buffalo

transHere's some info about the possible legal fightback against the military transgender ban [SF Chronicle]

July 26

Glamour Most law grads are women, so why do men get the best lawyer jobs? [Glamour

DIx Lawyer gifts $7.5 million to law school to provide CLEs for judges [

Holl Rural clerkship program introduces students to small towns [Iowa Now

July 25

whisky Scotch whisky industry fights Scottish government in UK's Supreme Court over minimum pricing [Guardian

Beckwith One of our regular hiring partner interviewees - Baker Botts' Van Beckwith - appointed litigation department chair [Baker Botts

memoir Former Paul, Weiss chair publishes memoir, recalls battling Trump [Big Law Business

July 24

Law schools association moves conference from Texas because of immigrant and LGBT discrimination [Inside Higher Ed

First Emirati woman graduates from Harvard Law [Gulf NewsGulf

Supreme Court ruling leads to offensive trademark requests [NY Times]

July 21

All you need to know about OJ's parole hearing [Rolling StoneOJ

Missing paperwork may mean thousands of student loans get wiped [NY TimesLoans

Dali Dalí’s moustache still intact, paternity lawsuit exhumer reveals [Guardian

Meet the first woman to become UK's most senior judge [IndependentHale

July 20

Holland & Knight's hiring spree continues [Am LawBoston

Columbia professor discusses environmental law under Trump [Big Law BusinessGerrard

RBG Felicity Jones to play the Supreme Court star herself in Ruth Bader Ginsburg movie [Variety]  

July 19

Jury selection – lawyers now favor the uninformed [NY TimesJury

Fascinating report: Asian Americans in the legal professional [Yale/NAPABAAsian

Louisiana students selected for Access to Justice intern program [TulaneAccess

July 18

Another win for University of Houston Law Center in trademark battle [ChronHouston

Here's some happy diversity news: Nixon Peabody's new DC managing partner is seven months pregnant [National Law JournalColette Dafoe

Trump's latest lawyer hire is Hogan Lovells' Ty Cobb. Who is he? [IndependentTy Cobb

July 17

Yale Law School's dean defends campus free speech [Timecampus

From Gibson Dunn to Vermont Law School [Big Law BusinessVermont

How Legally Blonde prepared this student for law school [HelloGigglesBlonde

July 14

MIT scientist arrested for insider trading based on info from his lawyer wife [NY Times]

Number of LSAT takers jumps 20% [Inside Higher Ed]

July 13

Law firm managing partners' confidence grows – latest Citi survey [Am LawAm law

Legal experts consider whether Trump Jr. committed treason [USA TodayTrump jr

What do hiring partners mean by 'personality fit'? [Chambers AssociateFinn

July 12

Law school says student was 'obnoxious', not harassing [law.comApp

Skadden tops M&A rankings for first half of 2017 [Big Law Business]

BigLaw firms' work/life and benefits compared [Chambers Associate]

July 11

LGBT rights legend Robbie Kaplan is in the news for leaving Paul, Weiss to start her own firm [Big Law Business
Roberta Kaplan (2)

Here's our interview with Robbie Kaplan from a couple of years ago, not long after her Supreme Court success [Chambers Associate

FBI head nominee Wray earned just shy of $10 million at King & Spalding last year [ReutersWray

German politician dollops marmalade law on Brexit agenda [TelegraphMarm

July 10

Attorney excels on Jeopardy [Daily ReportJeopardy

Clark Hill merges with West Coast's Morris Polich to create 450-lawyer firm [ABA JournalClark Hill

Survey of first-year associate hiring numbers since 2009 [Chambers AssociateClass size (1)

July 7

UVA Law's impressive architecture [Huffington Post]  UVA

Sidley snaps up two energy lawyers in Houston [ChronNodding donkey

James Joyce and Ulysses in court [GuardianJoyce

OCI tips from hiring partners and associates involved in recruiting [Chambers AssociateFried F

July 6

Millions of student loans headed for shakeup under Trump [USA Today

Duke Law offers social justice class [Daily Caller]

What did the ABA's charitable arm spend over $70 million on last year? [ABA Journal]

Here's our survey of summer associate hiring numbers since 2010 [Chambers Associate]

July 5

'Little guys' winning at the Supreme Court [USA Today]

More firms taking out insurance to mitigate litigation risk [Big Law Business]

Is Texas America's future? [New Yorker]

July 4

Harvard announces Antonin Scalia Professorship of Law [Harvard Law Today

How can you differentiate BigLaw firms? [Chambers Associate

Happy July 4! Here are 25 moments that changed America - several legal ones in here [Time]

July 3

Berkeley Law's first ever female dean dies aged 82 [NY Times]

Team USA Olympic swimmer heads to law school [Swimming World

Law prof Bill Henderson reviews Glass Half Full: The Decline and Rebirth of the Legal Profession [Legal Evolution]

June 30

Who are the generals in Trump's army of Russia lawyers? [USA Today

Court rules Northern Ireland's strict abortion law must be decided by politicians, not judges [BBC

Here are the law firms involved in Google's €2.4 billion EU fine [Legal Business

Star white collar litigator Elkan Abramowitz shares his career wisdom [Chambers Associate]

June 29

A cautionary look at the not-so-new-normal legal education market [USA Today

Kirkland adds lawyers to its new Boston office [press release

Goodwin partner Blake Liggio talks inspiringly about being transgender in BigLaw [Chambers Associate

Robins Kaplan increases diverse hires with Rooney Rule [Big Law Business]

June 28

Yale sues Connecticut in bathroom wars [New Haven Register]

Georgetown Law study on 'adultification' reveals bias toward black girls [Georgetown]

Biglaw and global corporations victims of latest cyber-attack [ABC News]

Congratulations to Clifford Chance, winner of our benefits & lifestyle survey [Chambers Associate]

June 27

How do you celebrate your 125th birthday? [Big Law Business]

Jared Kushner hires Chadbourne's Abbe Lowell [NY Times

Two years on from the marriage equality victory at the Supreme Court, Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson shares his career highlights [Chambers Associate]

June 26

Will Justice Kennedy announce his retirement today? [Reuters

Ivanka Trump ordered to tesify in plagiarism lawsuit [Fortune

Chicago law professor helps SCOTUS rethink gerrymandering [The Chicago Maroon]

June 23

Recent law school grad argues before Ninth Circuit [UCLA]

Consider work/life balance before law school, if you can [US News & World]

Uber picks up O'Melveny & Myers for a bumpy legal ride [Bloomberg]

Top celebrity law Mark Geragos talks about his career and offers some great advice [Chambers Associate]

June 22

Seward & Kissel tops our associate satisfaction survey [Business Wire]

Thinking of going to law school? Here are 6 questions you should ask yourself [CNBC]

Early August deadline looms for Charlotte School of Law [The News & Observer]

ABA President Linda Klein shares her career tips with us [Chambers Associate]

June 21

Why bother regurgitating old law firm history? [Big Law Business

Pros and cons of 1L prep courses [US News & World]

Russia's 'gay propaganda' law illegal, says Euro court [Guardian]

New law commits Sweden to being carbon neutral by 2045 [New Scientist]

June 20

Barclays execs, including former CEO, charged with fraud [BBC]

BYU law students help poor access legal help [Daily Herald]

Yale students assist one of the best medical-legal partnerships in the country [Yale]

Globalization and the law, with Norton Rose Fulbright [Chambers Student]

June 19

The law firms advising Amazon and Whole Foods [Am Law

How much is a testicle worth? $870,000, according to this jury [Penn Live

How do law firm pro bono programs around the world compare? [Law Live

Shearman adds five-partner antitrust team in DC [Big Law Business]

June 16

Mike Pence hires McGuireWoods chairman [USA Today

WMU-Cooley's Innocence Project helps free man wrongly incarcerated for 42 years [Cooley blog

Hogan Lovells merges with Boston's Collora [Boston Globe]

Dad files complaint against JPMorgan Chase for parental leave discrimination [Bloomberg]

June 15

High LSAT scorers may be snubbing law school [ABA Journal

Are law firms striving for gender equality? [JD Journal

Hunton & Williams's merger talks with UK's Addleshaw Goddard go cold [Am Law International

London tower fire investigation focuses on defective cladding linked to fires around the world [Guardian]

June 14

Are law firms becoming obsolete? [Forbes]

Covington & Burling's advice to Uber [Vox]

Top SEC lawyer joins Quinn Emanuel [Big Law Business]