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. 

Latest features

Supreme CourtA beginner's guide to commercial litigation

Star lawyers tell us how it works and how you can prepare.


On CampusOCI tips from the hiring partners

A round-up of 10 essential pieces of advice we've heard from senior recruiting sources and associates at law firms this year...




Edie dogLawyer happiness survey: the market overview

We identify which cities make the happiest lawyers, and whether money, prestige or pro bono determine well-being.





Gail and HillaryDiversity 2016: how do the biggest recruiters stack up on gender, ethnicity and LGBT?





EnergyOil: just how liquid is it?
Low oil prices and the state of the legal market






best and worst Big Law parties.jpgThe best and the worst of BigLaw bashes
Law firms are not famous for their 'fun side', but on occasion we do hear of spectacular (and sometimes downright peculiar) BigLaw events. We've tracked down and ranked some of the best... and the worst.




Champagne7 tips for nervous networkers
Personal relations define your career: they get you into firms; they decide which partners you work with; they will win or lose you clients. Whether you like it or not, law demands that you network, network, network. 



Career changes

How to begin a second career in BigLaw
Not every lawyer is the product of seven straight years of college then law school.







Parenting and BigLaw
"So long as one's value to a firm is measured in time rather than your output, efficiency and relationships with clients, there will be an inherent tension between wanting to be the best mother possible, and the best employee possible.”



Tower of Babel

How to speak Judge: An insider's guide to getting, and surviving, your clerkship.

“A clerkship is a peek behind the kimono of the judicial system,” one of our junior associate sources sagely informed us. 




MatchA 1L's first steps toward thinking like a commercial lawyer. "There are many moments when I am simply a mess...”





So many job offers it's become a burden? #firstworldproblems
Here are 10 things to think about as you juggle job offers.





5 things5 things to get right when researching law firms

Every associate we interview tells us why they think they were successful: most often it’s down to finding the right match.

Class sizeThe class of 2015
BigLaw hiring is up 5% in 2015, summers are up 8.3%, but the gap widens between the haves and the have-nots.




Debo Adegbile

5 Minutes With... Debo Adegbile
From Sesame Street to Pennsylvania Avenue: human rights star Debo Adegbile tells his story.



What's your greatest weakness?
How to tackle that annoying interview question...

Happiness cityThe happiest law firms
Money does buy happiness | Boston lawyers are the happiest | Baker & McKenzie's associates were the most pleasantly surprised – interpreting Chambers Associate's happiness survey.



Harvey Miller (1)"I dreamt the impossible dream and reached the unreachable star."
Remembering bankruptcy legend Harvey Miller, 1933-2015







Seattle 2The Pacific Northwest
Modest in its success, quirky yet cutting-edge; today the Bill Gates effect has made it a haven for tech firms and patent prosecutors alike.